Defensive Help Is On The Way For The New York Knicks This Offseason


The New York Knicks front office is aware of the massive defensive problems and will reportedly address the issue in the offseason.

The New York Knicks are at the bottom of the NBA defensive food chain.The Knicks ranks 26th in defensive efficiency. Even though they are third in block shots, the Knicks have the sixth worse defense in the NBA.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN, New York will pursue defensive minded players in the offseason as the defense has been one of the issues in the Knicks’ horrifying season.

“I think if you look at our defense this year, we can use some more defensive players,” Hornacek said. “[Management] will look at that. [General manager] Steve [Mills] and [president] Phil [Jackson] and those guys will look at whatever can help us out. We know we need some help there.”

As the Knicks await the offseason to attempt to sign a defensive player, they still have a chance to sign one in the draft. New York has been linked to the defensive minded lottery pick player Josh Jackson from Kansas. As of Tuesday, New York has the sixth-worst record in the NBA.

“We’ve obviously got to get tougher; we’ve got to get more physical, we’ve got to fight over screens, our bigs are going to have to help the guards, guards are going to have to help the bigs. Defensively, we’ve got a lot of work,” Hornacek told Stefan Bondy of New York Daily News. “We’ve got to try to figure out what’s going to be best for us. The personnel, we were trying to mix things up a little bit, see if we can find something that worked. We never really found anything. But going into next year, we need to stay with one way and keep practicing until we get it right.”

New York is filled with a majority of young uprising players, and rarely all of the young players can play defense. One player, in particular, is Willy Hernangomez. Hernangomez has a bright future in the Knicks franchise because of his game offensively.  However, his defense has been exposed by several great big men in the game right now.

Hornacek told Ian Begley that he saw some improvements in Hernangomez, but maybe moving Porzingis to the five on some games can help.

“He gives us different options,” Hornacek said. “He’s got quicker feet, so maybe we can pull him up on screens more often, that might help us out. Playing [Kristaps Porzingis] at the 5, perhaps with his length, if we keep him back. So we can be better from the inside.”

The young guys are not the only problem on defense, but the veterans are not holding up their part of the deal. The Knicks traded for Derrick Rose and signed Joakim Noah, but both players haven’t played up to par defensively. Rose is ranked 82 out of 90 point guards in defensive real plus-minus (DPM) with a -2.75 rating. Joakim Noah was suspended for violating the NBA drug policy, but even before his suspension, he didn’t play up to par from his 2013 defensive player of the year form. Noah is ranked 42 out of 69 centers in RPM.

Courtney Lee and Carmelo Anthony were also at the bottom on their defense according to RPM stats. 

About Aaron Davis

Aaron is a staff writer and the Co-Founder of NBALEAD. He has been following the NBA for over 15 years. Graduated from Purdue University.

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