<
>

Hornacek wants Kristaps Porzingis to get the ball more

New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said his team is missing opportunities to get the ball to Kristaps Porzingis.

"They've got to do a better job of getting him the ball when he's got a mismatch," Hornacek said after the Knicks fell to 1-3 following a 19-point loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. "There were several times where he's in the area on a smaller guy and we're not necessarily looking for him. We're looking for the next thing. We've got to find that mismatch, throw it up there, let him gather the ball and make a play on that."

Porzingis missed all four of his field goal attempts Wednesday and was held without a field goal for just the second time in his 76-game career.

"They were switching; a lot of times he had a 6-5, 6-6 guy on him. We have to take advantage of that and just didn't see it," Hornacek said.

Some around the NBA believe that Porzingis' shots and touches may decrease in his second season because he's sharing the floor with new Knicks point guard Derrick Rose.

Rose and Carmelo Anthony are players who use a high percentage of their teams' plays when on the floor. Thus far this season, Porzingis is averaging 14.5 points per game on 11.5 shots. Last season, he averaged 14.3 points on 12.3 shots. So there isn't a huge discrepancy, but the Knicks are struggling on both ends of the floor and would benefit from getting Porzingis some easier shots.

In addition to failing to take advantage of Porzingis' mismatches, the Knicks also struggled to defend on Wednesday. They allowed Houston to shoot 47 percent from the field and score 66 points in the first half. Defense has been an issue for the club early in the season.

In Tuesday's loss to the Pistons, New York allowed Detroit to ring up 64 first-half points. In all, Knicks opponents have scored 30 points or more in eight of 16 quarters, and New York has yet to hold a team under 100 points.

"We just have to build better habits and be better on our one on one defense," Joakim Noah said. "Just being on a string, being all together, understanding the game plan and taking pride in the defense."

Added Rose: "If we don't come out and play defense, we're going to keep getting smacked like this."