NEW YORK — Kristaps Porzingis said the New York Knicks’ changes in schemes on both sides of the ball this season have led to confusion “from top to bottom” in the organization.
After the Knicks’ loss to the 12-win Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, Porzingis said there is “a lot of stuff that’s not clear” for players, adding that it’s “hard to play like that.”
The Knicks (26-41) recently shifted their philosophy on offense, increasing the amount of triangle sets after the All-Star break. But the change hasn’t produced the desired results; New York has lost seven of 10 games since re-emphasizing the triangle — team president Phil Jackson’s preferred offensive approach.
Porzingis, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2015 draft, said the Knicks’ offensive sets under new head coach Jeff Hornacek are “random” and that his teammates “don’t know the triangle well.”
“We’re really basic [with] what we do,” Porzingis said. “A lot of times it’s — especially one on one — whoever it is, myself, Carmelo [Anthony], Derrick [Rose], Courtney [Lee], we try to make something happen and that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s very random.”
In addition to changing their approach on offense, the Knicks have shifted their defensive philosophy several times this season, particularly in defending the pick-and-roll.
Associate head coach Kurt Rambis was installed as the club’s defensive coordinator two weeks into the season in an attempt to streamline the communication on that end of the floor. New York currently ranks 25th in the NBA in defensive efficiency.
“We’ve been switching things up because at any point of this season we [haven’t] played like we wanted to,” Porzingis said. “It was like, ‘maybe this will work, maybe this will work.’ So we’re kind of looking for stuff. Coaches, they obviously try to do the best job they can and [are] giving us as much as they can so we have the information. But we never really got it all together and were able to execute the way we should have. It’s been a lot of confusion.”
The Knicks fell a season-high 15 games under .500 after Sunday’s loss to Brooklyn. They are seven games out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. With 15 games left in the regular season, New York will almost certainly miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year.