After both Frank Ntilikina and Jarrett Jack were upstaged by T.J. McConnell in the Knicks‘ Christmas loss to the Sixers, head coach Jeff Hornacek wants both players to be more aggressive, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes.
“We always tell our point guards, if someone is pressuring you, just drive right around them. Don’t wait for them to get into your body and try to make a move,” Hornacek said. “You see when he comes up to get you. That’s that change of pace, that change of speeds, when you go one way then slow down, then speed up. And that’s something that Frank will learn.”
Ntilikina and Jack combined to shoot just 2-for-13 from the field in the loss. Also, the 20-year-old Ntilikina had a rare off night on defense, a part of the young Frenchman’s game that has been lauded thus far. With Jack the incumbent starter, the Knicks do not have much depth at the position, meaning the Knicks will need consistency from both players as the team battles for playoff contention.
Check out other Atlantic Division stories below:
- Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s timetable to return from a stress injury to his left shin remains a mystery, ESPN’s Ian Begley writes. The Knicks announced on Wednesday that Hardaway has made progress — which includes on-court activities such as jumping — and that he will be evaluated weekly. The exact severity of Hardaway’s injury remains unclear but the team hopes to have their prized offseason signee back at some point in January.
- Celtics big man Daniel Theis does not like playing with a protective mask on his face but his recent performance was not impacted by the facial inconvenience, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. Theis grabbed 15 rebounds in the Celtics’ win over the Bulls last Saturday. While he maintains that the mask is bothersome, he said the current one he uses has improved his vision on the court. Theis hopes to play without the mask in three weeks.
- Derek Bodner of The Athletic (subscription required and recommended) examined the Sixers’ recent loss to the Raptors. Bodner also highlights the disappearance of Trevor Booker and Richaun Holmes in Philadelphia’s recent skid.