Lost amidst the 40-point swing and general awfulness that was the Knicks’ Saturday night loss to the Rockets was the fact that the team was a couple of calls away from fouling out both of the centers on their active roster. Kyle O’Quinn and Willy Hernanomez got into foul trouble in the first half, and with Enes Kanter (back), Kristaps Porzingis (back) and Joakim Noah (stomach illness) unavailable, the Knicks somehow managed to fall upon a crisis at the one position they have stocked to the gills.
That’s where Luke Kornet comes in. The un-drafted big man from Vanderbilt is technically on the Knicks’ roster as one of their pair of two-one contracts. This two-way business is new to me, but I believe that means they can call him up to the big roster for a limited number of games. With Kanter popping pain pills and moving gingerly by all accounts, with both O’Quinn and Hernagomez proving unworthy of more minutes at the moment, and with Noah being an expensive shell of a player, perhaps it is time to call up Kornet.
Kornet won’t replicate what Kanter gives in terms of post scoring and rebounding. What Kornet does is bomb threes and block shots...in bunches. He’s averaging 15.2 points on 45.0% shooting, which includes a mind-blowing 39.7% on 7 three-point attempts per game. He’s also blocking 1.6 shots per game. And he’s surprisingly adept at moving the ball (1.9 assists per game). Gimme some of that.
Here’s some highlight footage of Kornet’s most recent game against Greensboro.
The Knicks generally have way too many centers. They also tend to get outscored from three-point range ever single night. With Kanter out, why not steer into this curve and play yet another big, one who can allow New York to play a little 5-out, mad-bomber basketball?
Do it, Jeff Hornacek. Play Kornet with four shooters. You know you want to.