GREENBURGH, N.Y. — How do you teach a new offense to a new team when their new point guard is 3,000 miles away?
That’s what Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has to figure out as he said Wednesday that Derrick Rose will not be rejoining the team until the conclusion of his rape trial in civil court in Los Angeles. Rose has been in Los Angeles since Oct. 6, the first day of the trial, which is expected to go into next week.
“Whenever it’s over — I’m hoping that’s sooner than later — we’ll catch him up on some things,” Hornacek said Wednesday after the team practice. “We’re trying to stall a little bit on putting in some of the things, so we don’t go over it again while he’s here.”
Hornacek said he has been communicating with Rose by text and talked to him once on the phone last week.
“There’s a lot of stuff to put in when you have a new team with a new system,” Hornacek said. “There’s different things we’re looking at. We’re looking at different combinations. There’s plenty to do.
And what type of things might they have to wait for Rose to return to put in?
“It’s just little things. Like timeout plays, end of game stuff, certain types of things defensively we might do,” Hornacek said.
Rose has missed four practices and two of the Knicks’ three preseason games. He likely will miss another game Saturday when the Knicks host the Boston Celtics.
The Knicks are 2-0 in Rose’s absence with backup point guard Brandon Jennings having made a strong impression. Hornacek knows there will be a time crunch when Rose returns but believes he is a quick learner.
“When Derrick comes back, he’s going to have to jump back in quickly and figure it out,” Hornacek said.
Though Rose likely won’t be playing Saturday, it is beginning to look as if Joakim Noah will. The 31-year-old practiced for the first time with his teammates since injuring his hamstring on the final day of training camp 10 days ago. His teammates were impressed with what they saw.
“He’s like a caged animal out there,” Carmelo Anthony said. “He’s just loud. You can feel the difference when he’s out there on the basketball court. His energy, his excitement of just being back on the court just kind of lifted everybody up.”
Said Hornacek: “He brings energy. He talks. He’s calling out the coverage. He’s blocking offensive rebounds and diving on the ball. It’s infectious. Guys see him doing it, and how can they not be doing it.”