Coaching Carousel: New York Knicks
Who said Merry-Go-Rounds can’t be fun for adults? Well if you’re an NBA coach it might not be, but for us at Off The Glass they sure are. Let’s take a look at who's new and who’s through in this year’s coaching carousel.
New York Knicks
Out With The Old: Derek Fisher/Kurt Rambis – 40-96 / 9-19
In With The New: A Jeff Hornacek – 3 years exp – 101-112
What Could Happen: Over his three years as a coach in the desert, Hornacek didn’t have the most talented roster at his disposal. Fortunately for the former sharpshooter, talent won’t be the problem as he takes over the reins coaching above Penn Station. The Knicks roster is front loaded with talent in the form of Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and even Brandon Jennings. This roster would be ideal in a video game, but in the real NBA finding an effective way to mesh all these talents is almost as important as the talent itself.
Fortunately for the Knickerbockers, they have a lot of different options on making this work. I think they will be best of in playing lineups with Rose, Anthony and Porzingis at center mixed chased with defenders. This would allow the Big Zingis to stretch the floor and provide space for Rose and Anthony to operate. Bringing Joakim Noah and Jennings off the bench would save on Noah’s minutes and allow BJ to do what he does best, in racking up points in high volumes vs other team’s backups.
Unlike most teams, lack of talent won’t be the major issue that will plague the Knicks, with the injury bug being something that Hornacek will look to keep away. If you have been on the internet in the last 2 years you already know about Derek Rose’s frequent relationship with the trainer’s table. In addition to Rose, Joakim Noah has been on the shelf frequently in the past two years and has 9 full seasons along with 4 full years on college on his odometer. Melo’ has managed to stay relatively healthy for his NBA tenure but anytime 13 years and many extra games in international play could catch up to him and torpedo the Knicks season.
The other glaring issue in NYC is the lack of proven NBA talent outside of the top 6. Guys like Ron Baker, J.P Tokoto and Marshall Plumlee are fun names for college basketball fans to hear, but not the guys that come off the bench for a winning team. The first year coach will need to find a way to develop depth, especially with so many injury prone starters
Prediction: 46-36 _ If they stay relatively healthy this Knicks team could be pretty good. The combination of top end talent and playing in the weaker Eastern Conference makes the playoffs a real possibility. However, this ship could sink fast if the injuries start to pile up.