The New York Knicks are making some drastic changes on their starting lineup in order to find a possible combination to lead them in the right direction.
After a 116-101 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night, New York has lost four of its last five games and 10 of its last 12 dating back to last year — forcing the hand of head coach Jeff Hornacek who plans to play star forward Carmelo Anthony at power forward and could play second-year player Kristaps Porzingis at center if he were healthy, forcing a struggling Joakim Noah to the bench, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
With Porzingis still out with an Achilles injury, Noah started against the Atlanta Hawks today.
Hornacek inserted rookies Ron Baker and Mindaugas Kuzminskas into the lineup in an effort to shake things up, taking starting shooting guard Courtney Lee out of his spot, a mysterious move that likely won’t sit well with the veterans of the team.
Lee’s defense was the only constant production at the less-acclaimed end of the floor, making this a mind-boggling move by a coaching staff that’s emphasized a better defensive effort all season long.
Lance Thomas, who is also out with a left orbital fracture, figures to be the man starting in Anthony’s place while the star forward slides to a more post-heavy role at the power forward position.
Trotting two rookies into the starting lineup is a bold move, one made for drastic measures, but not one without consequences. If this Hornacek experiment fails royally, it could very well be his goodbye ticket from New York as it has the potential to lose the locker room with only a month before the All-Star break.