The Knicks are chillin’ on the West Coast at the moment, practicing and preparing to play the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night. Fans should expect to see the return of Kristaps Porzingis, who returned to practice on Sunday after missing New York’s last game with a thigh bruise.
The Unicorn was asked (for approximately the 45,000th time) what went wrong with the season. He reiterated the fact that he never believed the Knicks were as good at their early-season record, and offered an interesting explanation for their struggles: a lack of familiarity due to roster turnover. Per Al Iannazzone:
“Just more work, attention to details, keep growing as a team,” he said. “Obviously, a good team needs some time to play together. This was our first year for most guys playing together. It never happens like that: You trade a couple of players and there you go, you’re a championship contender.
“It’s understandable that we weren’t going to win the championship, but I could tell that we weren’t there yet where we wanted to be.”
Of course, roster turnover has been a staple of Knicks teams throughout this century, so Kristaps might be in for a rough couple of years. There might be considerably fewer changes next season...unless Phil Jackson can get Carmelo Anthony to finally waive his no-trade clause to spark a true tear-down. Who the hell knows anymore.
Head coach Jeff Hornacek seemed refreshed after the break. He still seems to be rather stubbornly sticking to his “We all want to win; I want to play my best guys” mantra, but it sounds like he may be softening a bit.
He mentioned Marshall Plumlee as a guy he’d like to play more, though he has been limited by the sheer number of centers on the roster. Shit, play Big Poppa Plums at power forward, then. Play him at shooting guard. Let’s get weird, baby!
The Sixers won on Sunday, which means the Knicks are only 1 game back of the No. 5 spot in the draft. I believe in them.