Skip to main content

Can Jeff Hornacek Save the Knicks?

hi-res-97473ac377469def78b4af5e86eb3d29_crop_north


Phil Jackson never ceases to surprise hungry Knicks fans. After several months of Kurt Rambis speculation, the Knicks have decided to sign Jeff Hornacek as their new head coach. Phil Jackson has a history with Jeff Hornacek, including two NBA Finals battles when Jackson was coaching the Bulls and Hornacek was playing for the Jazz. Guys like Frank Isola have other theories on how Hornacek got the gig.

https://twitter.com/FisolaNYDN/status/733317591733829636

There is no need to speculate if Jackson was behind this signing or not, because at the end of the day we’ll never know. What does matter is the history of Jeff Hornacek’s coaching career in Phoenix and how that will correlate with the 2016/2017 New York Knickerbockers.

In 2013, the Phoenix Suns hired Jeff Hornacek. The Suns ended up with a 48-34 record, which was a huge improvement compared to their 2012 team, which finished 25-57. A lot of people would credit this improvement to the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe, a point guard with Westbrook-like athleticism. However, Bledsoe was injured for almost half of the season, only playing 43 games.

hi-res-869df9acb6124d1feb52acddba3a5b5c_crop_exact


The success of Hornacek’s Suns team had less to do with star power, and more to do with coaching. The style that the Suns established in 2013-2014 was simple: run every team out of the gym with Jeff Hornacek’s quick tempo and deep 10-man rotations.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSr1_pJvuHg&w=560&h=315]


To put Jeff Hornacek’s high tempo philosophies in perspective, the 2013-2014 Phoenix Suns led the league with 18.7 fast break points per game. The Fisher/Rambis Knicks averaged 8.4 fast break points per game, which was dead last in the league. 


Can Hornacek cater to Jackson’s beloved triangle?


0604378001462419553_filepicker


It is important to note that Hornacek had young players who bought into a system, a very different situation from the Knicks. Phil Jackson can still get his triangle on, because it is not a dated system. In fact, the Warriors and the Spurs run variations of the triangle within their half court offenses. The fundamental difference between the Knicks and the Warriors/Spurs is that the Warriors/Spurs try to get an easy bucket before they run their respective offense.

What to expect from the Knicks


Free agency will dictate what roster Jeff Hornacek will be working with. Expect Phil Jackson and Steve Mills to go for athletic wings, and go all in on Mike Conley or Rajon Rondo. A good point guard is a must for any NBA team, let alone one coached by Hornacek.


Sasha+Vujacic+Jose+Calderon+Portland+Trail+UKDjBrQijmbl


Even if the Knicks don’t trade Jose Calderon and resign Sasha Vujacic, you can expect their minutes to diminish tremendously. Knowledge of the triangle will not be enough to play significant minutes.


Hornacek is going to give guys like Jerian Grant and Langston Galloway a lot more minutes due to their ability to run the floor. You can also expect more small ball lineups, with Carmelo Anthony at the 4 and Kristaps Porzingis at the 5.

lg1.jpg


There is no reason why the Knicks offense should not improve considerably. However, it remains to be seen if the Knicks will be a proper defensive squad. The Knicks have a history of allowing point guards to penetrate without much resistance, and without the right players and defensive schemes, we might see another frustrating season in that respect.

carmelo-anthony-kristaps-porzingis-nba-brooklyn-nets-new-york-knicks2-850x560


Regardless of his recent firing, Jeff Hornacek is the best possible signing for the Knicks. He is one of the best coaches when it comes to getting the most out of his role players, which will make life for Porzingis and Melo much easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Swiss Cheese D Regular Season Projections 2019-2020

Here we go, here we go, here we go! What's the point of making these rankings? The Warriors are just going to win, the NBA is rigged!

On a serious note, the Warriors look mortal! There are eight legitimate contenders this year and the NBA is great again!

Eastern Conference
Too Young, Too Unproven to take seriously
15) Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets have by far the worst roster in the NBA. Kemba leaving was devastating, but when you factor in all of the poor contracts they have piled up over the years, it makes me almost think they’re the Knicks.

14) Cleveland Cavaliers

The health of Kevin Love will determine their seeding, but even if he plays 82 games, there is not enough fire power on this team to be a legitimate playoff contender. 


13) New York Knicks

With Durant, Kyrie and Zion, the Knicks will win 10 championships in the next 8 seasons.

I have said enough about this squad. Knicks fans are going to love Julius Randle, the dude is a bulldozer. Think Zach Randolph but with bounce. The r…

Swiss Cheese D Mailbag Feat. Free Agency Potential, Dolan's Monarchy and Mitchell Robinson's Ceiling

The last month before the playoffs is usually pretty boring. The Knicks basically locked in a top 3 spot for worst record in the league, so that 14% chance at Zion seems to be what they're facing. Only time will tell if they can win the golden ticket. In the meantime, I answered some questions from my lovely Twitter followers!

https://twitter.com/Aphilpott_22/status/1105240039624245249

Robinson is such a raw talent that it's tough to say what his ceiling is, but it is clear that he is going to get paid due to his ceiling on the defensive end. On offense, expect a high efficiency low usage player.

Similar to his mentor, DeAndre Jordan, Robinson rolls to the rim looking for lobs on basically every play. He is going to need to bulk up and set better screens, unfortunately I have seen Amar'e Stoudemire inspired screens thus far; the half-assed screens where he shies away with contact. Experience and the weight room will help with his screen setting.

The reason why he is able to be…

The Knicks are not a destination for Premier Free Agents... but hope remains

In February the Knicks took a gamble. They traded their best prospect since Patrick Ewing to offload crappy contracts in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee. The selling point to fans was simple: This would create two max slots to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Dolan went on The Michael Kay Show stating, "Look, New York is the Mecca of basketball. We hear from people all the time, from players and representatives about who wants to come. We can’t respond because of the NBA rules, etc. But that doesn’t stop them from telling us, and they do. I can tell you, from what we’ve heard, I think we’re gonna have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents."



July 1st provided us with a different outcome and the narrative across the media remains constant: The Knicks are a joke. We can speculate Porzingis’ health all we want. There is a legitimate argument that the Knicks dodged a bullet by trading away Porzingis before being forced to max out the tallest NBA player in NB…