Defense was behind the Knicks’ decision to keep Maurice Ndour over Chasson Randle, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The 6’9″ Ndour provides a defensive presence with the bench unit, something coach Jeff Hornacek felt was important after watching the team in preseason. “He’s an activity guy when we need to mix it up,’’ Hornacek said of Ndour. “You saw in some of the preseason games when he face-guarded a point guard and ran around to deny him the ball. He creates havoc out there. He’s done a nice job with the second group. His activity of cutting to the basket, moving around, we liked that energy.’’ Ndour, a Senegal native, first impressed the Knicks while playing for their 2015 summer league team. He appeared in six games this preseason, averaging 4.3 points and 2.4 rebounds.
There’s more news out of New York:
- Randle is examining his options, but Hornacek would like to see him join the Knicks’ D-League affiliate in Westchester, Berman relays in the same piece. Randle is recovering from an orbital fracture and is expected to be sidelined for another month. He has a $100K guarantee, and it’s possible that he could be brought back to the roster when he’s healthy in place of Ron Baker. “He’s done a great job for us,’’ Hornacek said of Randle. “We hope all these guys get other jobs and another team picks them up, but our hope is if he doesn’t go to another team, he stays with our organization. We really like what he did for us.”
- Derrick Rose rejoined the Knicks Saturday after missing nine practices and five preseason games because of a sexual assault civil trial in Los Angeles, Berman writes in another story. Rose, who played in just one preseason game, is excited to be able to concentrate solely on basketball. “I’ve been preparing for this for a long time,” he said. “Ever since I didn’t make the playoffs last year, I’m still chasing something right now. I just want to hoop and let my game speak for itself.”
- New York’s frontcourt depth worked against veteran Lou Amundson, who was among five players waived Friday, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. The 33-year-old power forward has been in the league for 10 years and spent most of the past two seasons with the Knicks. New York decided to part ways with Amundson even though he is guaranteed more than $1.5MM for this season. “Lou, it came down to a matter of how many bigs we have,” Hornacek said. “We have a lot of bigs on the team. So that was a tough one.”