Jeff Hornacek has always been known to push the pace, and it’s worked for him in the past. For a New York Knicks team that lacks a multitude of talent, should they push the pace?
Jeff Hornacek loves to push the pace on offense. He used that coaching method when he was head coach of the Phoenix Suns, and most thought he would bring that style to the New York Knicks.
However, that doesn’t seem like it has been happening for these Knicks, even though it may work for a roster full of young athletes.
Should Hornacek make a move toward fast-paced basketball or stick with his halfcourt sets?
With rebuild mode in progress, the Knicks have many young guys chewing up minutes each game. Young players usually have not adapted to the league, but are fresh and athletic. This would lead one to believe that coach Hornacek would like to push the ball up the court, to try to get easy fast break points.
However, up to now, the New York Knicks have ranked just 20th in pace. Hornacek may be informing the team to slow down play, because it seems they’re in no rush to push the ball. For some reason, they prefer to go into half court sets.
Athletic players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Troy Williams, and Damyean Dotson are all players who can get out and run. For a roster with limited talent, the more points you can get in the fastbreak, the better.
It’s possible, however, that slowing the pace of play is the right way to go.
Hornacek Knows What He’s Doing
I believe Jeff Hornacek is the coach of the Knicks’ future. He’s had times where he has been able to lead these Knicks to success, and is not afraid to call people out. Being a great leader also means throwing out personal preferences in favor of what is good for the team.
With the Suns, he had a very athletic team, and loved to push the pace. So why not here?
Yes, this team is young, athletic, and lacks talent. However, will constantly making them push the pace hurt their development?
It’s important for these players, if they are in future plans, to be able to run the halfcourt sets. It’s crucial for them to be able to score without pushing the pace and going on the fast break. Reason being: All it takes to stop the fast break is to hustle back on defense.
Of course, that’s easier said than done.
Even so, if the Knicks are unable to run a halfcourt set, it will be quite easy for teams to stop them. In the modern NBA, athleticism is all around. Once recognized, the Knicks’ plan to play run-and-gun offense will be stopped by opposing defenses making sure they have at least two men back on defense to stop the fast break opportunities.
For future development, staying in halfcourt offense is the way to go. During a rebuild, isn’t development one of the main goals?
Head coach Jeff Hornacek is right to slow it up, and let the New York Knicks learn the halfcourt game that’s required to win in the playoffs.