Kristaps Porzingis eventually will be the focal point of the offense, but Jeff Hornacek said the Knicks don’t want him to be that yet.
With Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose on the roster, Hornacek said the Knicks have enough scorers to have a more balanced attack rather than feeding a player every time down.
“You don’t want to put that on a — what did he, just turn 21; second year in the league — when you have players like Carmelo and now Derrick, guys who have proven it in this league for years,” Hornacek said. “We try not to make [Porzingis] the focal point, but we’re trying not to make Carmelo necessarily the focal point or Derrick the focal point. We want everybody to be involved.”
On Friday night in Chicago, Porzingis had 27 points in a win in which all five starters scored at least 15. “We had a pretty good balance from everybody,” Hornacek said. “Some nights he might have more. Some nights he just may be off. That’s how the game goes.”
Rose more Duncan than Kobe
At some point, Rose said he will feel more comfortable with his new teammates and yell at them when it’s warranted. But he considers himself a Tim Duncan type of leader, not a Kobe Bryant. “You have your leaders like Kobe, he’s in your face about it,” Rose said. “You got leaders like myself and Tim Duncan where we lead by example. Coming in every day, being consistent with our workouts, just showing people that we’re focused and that we’re trying to get better.”
Hornacek never expected to be an NBA head coach or a full-time assistant.
He started out as Utah’s shooting coach, working with players once a week. But when Jerry Sloan and lead assistant Phil Johnson abruptly resigned in 2011, interim Ty Corbin asked Hornacek to join his staff. He became the Suns’ head coach in 2013.
“I was kind of enjoying just coming there once a week,” Hornacek said. “It was kind of like, ‘OK, now’s an opportunity, maybe I’ll do this.’ A little bit of a surprise to get the head job at Phoenix and now here in New York. So just luck, I guess.”
Reserve forward Lance Thomas returned after missing Friday night’s game with a sprained ankle. He finished with five points in 29 minutes . . . Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler, fresh off his Saturday Night Live appearance, was at the game.