With the New York Knicks out of playoff race, Carmelo Anthony is expected to demand a trade this summer. Coach Jeff Hornacek decided to use the remaining games of the season to get a close look at their young players, resulting in Anthony getting a decrease in playing time.
The Knicks will miss the playoffs for four consecutive seasons and is expected to undergo a full-scale rebuild this summer. On their recent game against the Los Angeles Clippers, coach Jeff Hornacek decided to bench Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter. Hornacek explained his decision, saying that he wants to give their six rookies more playing time.
He also informed the 10-time NBA All-Star that his minutes will decrease in the succeeding games. Anthony knows their current situation and said that he’s OK with Hornacek’s decision.
“Coach is starting to realize — he mentioned today he’s going to start shortening minutes,’’ Anthony said. “I’ve been understanding with the situation. I understand.’’
As most people think, the Knicks will try moving Carmelo Anthony again this summer. Anthony aims to win his first NBA championship title and doubts if he could earn it in New York. If president Phil Jackson finds an agreeable trade, Anthony may consider leaving the Knicks.
Jeff Hornacek blames Knicks’ stars for recent struggle
On paper, coach Jeff Hornacek has one of the best starting lineups in the league. The combination of Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, and Derrick Rose formed a “Super Team.” Unfortunately, they failed to build good chemistry and became one of the worst defensive teams.
“You see teams — open guys always end up with the ball,’’ Hornacek said at Monday’s morning shootaround before the Knicks faced the Clippers at Staples Center.
“Here we do it in spurts. Then we have spurts where it sticks. One guy will take a shot that maybe he can move it on for a better shot. That’s probably the biggest key is we get the good shots. We don’t get the great shots. If we make one extra, we’ll get a great shot. You see the good teams out there, they pass it up for better ones.’’
Hornacek believed the team’s downfall partly stemmed from not being unselfish enough on the offensive end. He felt that Knicks only settled for “good shots” and not for “great shots” in which elite squads do. Some people perceived his statement as a shot to their “Big Three,” especially on Anthony who’s a ball-dominant player.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr