GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Jeff Hornacek isn’t getting much of a honeymoon.
Hornacek’s Knicks haven’t even played a game in front of their hometown fans, and the two biggest names on the team, Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony, already are grousing about the triangle offense and how difficult it is for a playmaker like Rose to run it.
Rose, who missed a major chunk of the preseason while attending his sexual assault civil trial in Los Angeles, had only one assist in the Knicks’ 29-point loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday night in the season opener. After the game, he aired his frustration with the offensive flow, and after practice on Thursday, Anthony said he understands where that’s coming from.
“It can get frustrating,” he said. “Especially [for] a guy like Derrick Rose who is used to having the ball in his hands and offenses running through him and it’s all spaced out and pick-and-rolls and utilizing what he can do and his strengths are . . . It’s an adjustment.”
Hornacek, who is trying to run a system that incorporates the triangle offense designed by team president Phil Jackson, said he isn’t surprised that Rose wouldn’t be comfortable in the offense after missing so much time in the preseason.
“If we expected anything different, we’d be crazy,” he said. “He hasn’t seen a lot of this stuff. He saw it for four days, he can see it on film, but actually going up against a defense that’s set for it and ready, it’s part of getting back into the swing of things.
“He’s fine. You saw his explosiveness, his ability to get to the basket. There will be times when we want him to do that and other times where we want him to use that explosiveness to get by people and create plays. We want him to be able to use that ability, and if it can get us seven, eight assists a game, that’s going to be good for us.”
The Knicks had 18 turnovers and 17 assists in the opener.
“I think everyone knows it was terrible,” Rose said when asked about the team’s ball movement. “We have a lot of room, a lot of upside, to what we have on this team. Like the only way that we can play is hard, play efficient and play for each other, and everything else should follow. We should do what the game tells us to do. If it tells us to shoot the ball when we’re open, shoot.”
Anthony believes the offense will come together but isn’t ready to put a timetable on it.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Honestly, I have no idea,” he said. “If it looks this way after 15, 20 games, you know then I’ll be sitting here singing a different tune. But I know what kind of group I have, I know what type of guys we have, and like I said, that first game is no indication of who we are as a team and who we will be.”