The Internet was aflame — aflame, I say! — this morning with reports that Phil Jackson is concerned about the lack of Triangle sets in the Knicks’ offense. Instead, let’s do like Jeff Hornacek and focus on something that actually matters:
Jeff Hornacek giving strong consideration to bringing in someone to be in charge of the defense, according to a source.— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) November 8, 2016
New York’s defense is currently in shambles, rocking a league-worst defensive rating. Hornacek’s old defensive coordinator, Mike Longabardi, is now working for the Cavaliers, which is a pretty good job in my opinion. Kurt Rambis worked the position under Phil Jackson. If Hornacek goes outside the coaching staff, that would be a decent indication he’s not super high on Rambis’s input, at least on that side of the ball.
Hopefully this doesn’t turn into another D’Antoni/Woodson scenario, though I’m not terribly concerned. Hornacek has already used a defensive coordinator in the past, whereas Woodson was essentially forced on D’Antoni. Hornacek hasn’t shown a big ego thus far.
Personally, I’m thinking about former Knicks who would be perfect for the job. Jared Jeffries? Sheed? Hold up ... don’t we know somebody who is currently between jobs and is a mastered at taking the ball away from opponents?
Pablo Prigioni for Knicks’ Defensive Coordinator! He won’t say all the secrets, but he’ll say enough.
UPDATE: Welp. They chose Kurt Rambis.
NBA coaching sources say the Knicks have put assistant Kurt Rambis in charge of the team's defense, New York's prime area of concern at 2-4.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) November 8, 2016
As Joe mentioned in the initial version of this post, Rambis has been Phil Jackson’s defensive coach in the past. This is not a very inspiring move, as Rambis is a bad basketball coach. But hey, if Phil had Rambis coordinating his defenses in the past, he’s gotta be good at that at least, right? Nope!
Rambis has coached two teams for a full season. They finished 28th and 27th in defensive rating. https://t.co/vjwTwVoYcq— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) November 8, 2016
Yeah, that’s super reassuring. The guy Jeff Hornacek chose (read: was probably strong-armed into choosing by Phil) to shore up the Knicks’ awful defense is someone who is terrible at coaching it. Knicks!