Brandon Jennings is still taking shots at the Knicks, even though he’s now in a Wizards uniform, relays Keely Diven of CSNMidAtlantic. After his first game for Washington on Friday, Jennings told reporters the change has been beneficial. “I’m in the same position I was in New York,” he said, “but just in a better system for me personally and with a team that actually plays together.” Jennings was never shy about criticizing the Knicks while he played there, perhaps surprised to see the inner turmoil in the organization after signing a one-year deal worth more than $4.8MM last summer. Jennings agreed to a buyout with New York and signed with the Wizards on Wednesday. He will be an unrestricted free agent again in July.
There’s more out of New York:
- Cavaliers GM David Griffin said the team agreed to take J.R. Smith from the Knicks in a 2015 trade involving Iman Shumpert so it wouldn’t have to surrender a first-round pick, tweets Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Griffin recounted the deal Saturday at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Smith and Shumpert both became contributors during the Cavs’ two trips to the NBA Finals, while the Knicks received Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-rounder.
- Coach Jeff Hornacek says defensive lapses, not the triangle offense, are behind the Knicks’ difficulties in closing out games, according to Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Several players have been pointing fingers at the triangle, with Carmelo Anthony saying after Friday’s loss to the Sixers that other teams adjust during the games, but the Knicks don’t. “When we get down, especially in fourth quarters, we want to run something that’s part of a system,” Hornacek said. “The triangle aspects is one of the systems that you can run that hopefully they can’t double, hopefully they can’t switch. It at least gets you organized in a set.”
- Phil Jackson’s attempts to trade Anthony and Derrick Rose before the deadline are evidence that the Knicks will eventually revolve around Kristaps Porzingis, Iannazzone writes in a separate story. He suggests that Porzingis should be made the focus of the offense now, even if it means fewer touches for Anthony.