Joakim Noah could quickly go down as another Knicks free agent bust if he doesn’t pick up his play soon, Mike Coppinger of USA Today writes. Noah was brought in to be the defensive anchor but the Knicks are tied for seventh-most points allowed per game (106.5), Coppinger notes. Noah, who was signed to a four-year, $72MM contract, has seen limited minutes during crunch time, Coppinger adds. “I want to play better, obviously,” Noah told Coppinger and other reporters. “I know personally I have to play better for this team to get to where we want to get to.”
In other developments regarding the Knicks:
- The debate over whether the Knicks are now Kristaps Porzingis‘ team or still Carmelo Anthony‘s team is meaningless to Porzingis, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. “That’s not something I’m worried about,” Porzingis told Begley and other media members. “I read social media and Twitter and all that. But a lot of that is just in and out. And I don’t really pay attention to it. It doesn’t really matter.”
- The Porzingis-Anthony controversy is a moot point because the Knicks are really Jeff Hornacek’s team right now, Harvey Araton of the New York Times argues. Owner James Dolan was forced to eat most of previous coach Derek Fisher’s $25MM contract and logically, team president Phil Jackson won’t be allowed another coaching change, giving Hornacek plenty of leverage, Araton opines. Hornacek should feel free to run his preferred offensive scheme, pick the rotation he wants and enforce his rules, Araton adds.
- Derrick Rose turned aside questions about being benched in favor of defensive-minded Justin Holiday during crunch time against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Rose is eligible to sign a three-year, $75MM extension as of December 22, and wants to be a closer, Berman adds. Hornacek left in backup point Brandon Jennings, who is also playing for a new contract, and that could prove to be a tough dilemma for Hornacek if Jennings is playing well. “That’s something you’ll have to ask [Hornacek],’’ Rose said to Berman of the late-game benching. “I’m just doing whatever Coach asks me to do, go in whenever he tells me.”