New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek is one official game into his Knicks tenure and so far not so good. Hold your horses people it really is just one game, but there definitely were a few causes for concern. The Cavs drubbing of the Knicks on opening night led me to a couple of key takeaways on the Knicks and specifically coach Hornacek.
1) Be Your Own Boss- If you were to say that coach Hornacek was really just listening to the real King at the throne of the Knicks, Phil Jackson, I'd be hard-pressed to say I disagree with you. Since Jackson took the helm of the Knicks he has forced many things on the team, specifically forcing the triangle offense into the gameplan. Newsflash to Jackson and Hornacek, you don't have to run the triangle! How about a Rose and Porzingis pick and roll with the opportunity to swing it to Melo for the jumper. The Knicks offense has the ability to be very explosive, but their king's loyalty to a beloved gameplan that has brought success in the past may be holding them back.
2) Spread The Bench Out More Efficiently- This year's Knicks starting five is their most talented of recent memory. While the Knicks have also formed a pretty serviceable bench it is inexcusable the amount of time that five bench players spent on the court at once against the Cavs. Guys with injury histories like Rose, Noah, and Melo should be given frequent breaks, but you need to make sure that they are not all on the bench at the same time. In my opinion, at least two starters should be on the court at all times.
3) Ball Movement is Key- If the Knicks really want to compete this year they have to make sure they are spreading the ball around. With an offense containing this much talent, there is no longer a need for Carmelo to stop the ball movement. Hornacek needs to make sure that the Knicks are pushing the pace on the opponent and spreading the ball quickly. Let Rose use his speed to get to the basket and find the open man. The fact that Rose only had one assist on opening night is shameful, but not all on him. Rose needs to be bringing the ball up pushing the pace and spreading the ball all over the court.
It's very early King Hornacek, but the fans want to see a coach that can create change when necessary and not just be Phil's puppet.