Enes Kanter making it tough for Knicks to play Willy Hernangomez
All of this has put head coach Jeff Hornacek in a tough position at center as he told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that Kanter’s presence has made it difficult to give more playing time for second-year big man Willy Hernangomez.
“That was all before the trade for Enes Kanter. And they’ve always said, ‘Play the guys who earned it,’” Hornacek said. “(The Kanter trade) added another center into the mix. It’s a tough spot, but that’s when guys step up. I think Willy will.”
Through the first two games, Kanter is averaging 13.5 points on 60 percent shooting from the field with 8.0 rebounds in 23.0 minutes per contest. He is also coming off a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Meanwhile, Hernangomez has struggled to earn any consistent playing time as he played in just one game logging just four minutes in the season opener and received a healthy DNP on Saturday night. The 23-year-old hasn’t been able to get on the floor even ahead of veteran big man Kyle O’Quinn.
Hernangomez was a huge bright spot last year averaging 8.2 points with 7.0 rebounds in just 18.4 minutes per contest in 72 games played. He has had difficulty with his conditioning that has contributed to his lack of playing time so far this season.
That said, it may be just a matter of time before Hernangomez gets on the court if the Knicks continue to struggle.