Willy Hernangomez barely played during the Knicks' season-opening loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City, only entering the game in the final minutes of New York's blowout loss.
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek told Hernangomez before the game that he wouldn't be in the rotation.
"He told me, 'Billy, be ready,' " Hernangomez said, according to Al Iannazzone of Newsday. " 'Enes (Kanter) and KO (Kyle O'Quinn), they've been doing a great job too. Just be ready for your moment.' I have to keep working the same way and be ready when my moment is coming. And just keep working. I'm not worried about that. It's the first game. I have the experience from last year, so I'm not worried about today.''
Hernangomez, 23, averaged 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 72 games for the Knicks in 2016-17 during his rookie season, while averaging 18.4 minutes per game.
He was more involved late in the season, starting 22 games.
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With the Knicks preaching on their youth and rebuilding, it's foolish for a guy like Hernangomez to not be the first center off the bench when Enes Kanter sits.
Kyle O'Quinn had a good night on the glass, but he's not a part of their youth movement. The Knicks are expecting growth from Hernangomez this season, and that's not happening when you play three minutes. It would be shocking if this doesn't change. It's too early to judge, but Jeff Hornacek has got to re-consider Hernangomez's minutes. He also needs to play Damyean Dotson more than two minutes.
It's going to take some time for Hornacek to figure out rotations and what works and what doesn't. The Michael Beasley injury probably had to make him shake things up a bit on the fly. With Joakim Noah suspended for the first 12 games, though, barely playing Hernangomez made no sense whatsoever. With Noah out, Hernangomez should be playing 20 minutes every night.