New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek has conceded the NBA playoffs during his latest words to the New York city media.
Via Ian Begley of ESPN New York:
“We can start to build some things for next year.”
With just 15 games to go and in 12th place in the eastern conference, New York’s best bet is to tank for the future. The Knicks have been tanking over the past couple of months now, unknowingly. Hornacek went with the young guys more than what he use to in the first half of the season.
Chasson Randle minutes increased enormously over the past two weeks. He went from playing eight minutes before the all-star weekend to playing 15 minutes per game after the all-star break. In the past week, we saw Hornacek give more minutes to Randle in the 4th-quarter than Derrick Rose. Since Joakim Noah injury, Willy Hernangomez has been the starting center for the Knicks. His minutes have gone up seven-plus since the all-star break and is averaging 23.5 minutes since the all-star break ended.
The head coach believes that the second unit plays with more energy and teamwork than the starts. The second unit features four guys that have been in the NBA for under three years (Justin Holiday, Ron Baker, Chasson Randle, Mindaugas Kuzminskas). It’s safe to say that the young guys have been playing better than the older guys according to Hornacek, which means he would rather see the young players play more in the future.
Furthermore, the triangle system is fully in place, furthering the rebuilding, tanking process. This hasn’t gone over too well.
As far as the current mood of the team is concerned, Carmelo Anthony‘s words on Tuesday provided an insight. After the embarrassing loss to Brooklyn, Melo thinks the locker room will be tough over the last month of the regular season.
Carmelo Anthony says it will be challenging to keep frustration out of the locker room in the final few weeks of the season. “I think it’s just the accumulation of losing games and the way we’re losing games. It’s challenging to kind of keep it tight, to keep everybody positive knowing that the frustration (could seep) in the locker room. That’s the challenging part, trying to keep it all together in the locker room this next month.”
At this point, the only thing New Yorkers can do is just embrace the ride New York and see how things will fall and see who’s on the team coming to this offseason. New York will have a top 10 draft pick if the season were to end today.