It was a rough night for the NBA’s New York teams on Monday, as both the Nets and Knicks suffered double-digit losses on their home courts. While Brooklyn lost to a strong Utah club that’s in the midst of a winning streak, the Knicks’ defeat came at the hands of an Orlando team that ranks below them in the standings. In the wake of that loss, Jeff Hornacek delivered “his most damning assessment” of his club’s defensive issues, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.
“I don’t think our guys aren’t trying — maybe they’re not capable,” said the Knicks head coach. “I don’t know. That’s what we have to figure out. Maybe play some other guys and mix the lineup somehow. … We have to find someone to play some defense. You can’t come out at the beginning and their first three baskets are 3s. You have to have better pride than that. … I think they’re trying — they must not be good enough defensively.”
With Hornacek sounding ready to make some changes to his lineup, let’s round up a few more notes out of New York…
- Nagged by Achilles pain, Kristaps Porzingis missed his second straight game on Monday, and may see his minutes reduced going forward as the Knicks try to keep him and their other starters fresh and healthy. As Berman details in a piece for The Post, Porzingis isn’t thrilled with the plan, telling reporters with a smile that he wants to play all the minutes he can. However, he deferred to Hornacek and said he’d go along with what’s best for the team.
- Speaking of Porzingis, he remains on the shelf for now, with Hornacek telling reporters today that the big man is doubtful for the Knicks‘ next game on Wednesday (Twitter link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com).
- There’s no specific timetable for Jeremy Lin‘s return to the Nets, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. Lin admitted that it has been discouraging to have to battle health issues so far this season after he joined a new team on a new long-term deal in the summer.
- We passed along a few Knicks and Nets notes on Sunday and Monday as well.