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Jeff Hornacek not surprised by Player of Week honor for Kristaps Porzingis

The Knicks coach said his star big man has been great and should have won it.

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina celebrates forward Kristaps Porzingis' basket

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina celebrates forward Kristaps Porzingis' basket during a game against the Pacers at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5, 2017. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek isn’t surprised Kristaps Porzingis won Eastern Conference player of the week honors on Monday after a four-game stretch (three wins) in which Porzingis averaged 33.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.25 blocks.

“He should’ve got it,” Hornacek said on Tuesday night before the Knicks hosted the Hornets. “He’s been great. He’s carried us. I think he’s shown that he can handle that. Guys trust him. They look for him and when he’s open they’re learning how to get it to him at the right spots. Even Enes [Kanter], when he’s got the ball inside, KP knows if he moves with his size you can almost always pass it to him. It may not always be for a layup, dunk or shot, but you can toss it up high and he’s going to get it. It’s been impressive offensively what he’s done, how calm he’s gone about it. But I think his defense also has been a big factor in us winning these games”

Hornets coach Steve Clifford called Porzingis an “offensive superstar. There are only a few of those in the league . . . You can’t guard him one-on-one.”

Noah or yes

Hornacek said he was been pleased with the center duo of Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn. Willy Hernangomez is nowhere to be found. So it will be hard to see where Joakim Noah’s minutes will come from when the suspended big man is eligible to return on Monday against Cleveland.

“We’re going to have to see when that time comes,” Hornacek said. “We still have another week before that. When he comes in we’ve got to figure out what his role is going to be with all of the bigs that we have. Again, that’s something Jo and I will have to talk about and figure out. The way we’ve been playing, I like the Enes and Kyle rotation right now.”

New York Sports