WEST POINT, N.Y. — Derrick Rose takes every game seriously, and showed just how seriously at the end of Knicks practice on Thursday.
Rose took out his frustrations on an ice bucket after camp hopeful Chasson Randle stole the ball from him. He still was upset long afterward. His turnover led to a basket in transition by Maurice Ndour that sealed the game for the Blue team, which was made up of mostly subs and some players who might be on the Knicks’ D-League team.
“I’m a perfectionist,” Rose said. “Even if it’s a scrimmage game. If it was a real game, I probably would have [expletive] flipped out. I just hate turning the ball over and we have a possession to win. I like to talk [expletive]. I turned it over. I just got to learn from my mistakes.”
It was only a scrimmage, but it wasn’t a good showing for the expected starting five of Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah.
They spent the entire five-minute stretch on the floor together and were outplayed and outhustled by a group that included Lance Thomas, Brandon Jennings, Kyle O’Quinn, Justin Holiday and rookies Willy Hernangomez, Randle and Ndour.
The Knicks have 15 players with fully guaranteed deals, including Lou Amundson, Marshall Plumlee and Ndour. Randle has a partial guarantee, but if he plays well in camp and the preseason, he could be under consideration as a third point guard behind Rose and Jennings.
“We have a lot of guys under contract, and they’re all fighting for a place,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “No one’s guaranteed . . . The Knicks organization, I don’t think they’re afraid to cut a guy with a guaranteed contract if there’s another guy that’s better. So these guys are competing every day and there may be one or two of these guys that can make it, so you never know.”
Porzingis adds strength
After an impressive rookie season, Porzingis said one of the things he worked on during the offseason was building up his lower-body strength. Hornacek said he can see Porzingis has gotten stronger.
“We saw a couple of times today when he drove to the basket,” Hornacek said. “I think last year he was getting a little bump and kind of falling away and throwing up something wild. And this year he’s taking the bumps and he’s falling to the basket. So that’s a sign of strength. So he’s going to continue getting better with that.”
Hornacek believes Porzingis’ jump shot, and its range, also has improved. He plans to use Porzingis a number of ways, on the perimeter, in the post and in pick-and-rolls.
Porzingis is getting more comfortable taking pull-up three-pointers and likely will shoot more this season at the request of Knicks president Phil Jackson.
“I think that’s a high-percentage shot for me,” Porzingis said. “Last year, Phil Jackson told me that he likes that shot. I wasn’t so sure about it at first. It was early in the offense. I didn’t know if it was the best shot. But once we saw the percentages, he said it’s a pretty good look if I get that. The bigs a lot of times, they’re giving me that space, then just take that shot.
“Once he said that, I have his confidence in me and it was just let it go. I’ll probably do the same thing this year.”