Team president Phil Jackson is worried about his team's offense but after giving up 110.9 points per 100 possessions through the first six games of the season, the New York Knicks have the worst defense in the league. The Knicks are well aware of their deficiencies on the defensive end, though, and now believe they have a solution.
That solution? Kurt Rambis.
According to Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, assistant coach Kurt Rambis will become the team's defensive coordinator. Hornacek is hoping that having just Rambis' voice on the defensive end will make things simpler for the Knicks and not confuse players.
Hornacek: "I just felt we're probably better off with just one voice, so Kurt, we are going to have him be the voice on the defense."— Barbara Barker (@meanbarb) November 8, 2016
Rambis, a former player and head coach, has a wealth of basketball knowledge. He is also good friends with Jackson, which was likely the reason why Rambis was the interim coach of the team last season after Derek Fisher was fired. That said, Rambis has never been viewed as a defensive mastermind.
When Rambis was the coach in Minnesota, the Timberwolves were terrible defensively. Rambis was, however, the lead defensive coordinator on the Lakers from 2008-2010. Those Lakers teams won back-to-back championships and were ranked fifth and sixth in defensive efficiency under his guidance. However, Rambis was also working right alongside Jackson those years and had defensive aces in Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace. And based on his tenure with the Timberwolves, Rambis has not been able to duplicate the results he had with the Lakers.
The Knicks do have a former Defensive Player of the Year in Joakim Noah and a versatile defender in Courtney Lee. Kristaps Porzingis is a solid and developing rim protector as well. But Noah's athleticism isn't what it used to be, and this is his first season back after being injured for the majority of last year. The Knicks also have Derrick Rose, whose defensive prowess is less than ideal.
But perhaps Hornacek has a point. Having Rambis' voice on defense may make things easier for the players. Of course, the Knicks have to be at least motivated to listen to Rambis in the first place.
Carmelo on Rambis taking over defense: "Whether we're comfortable with it or not, it is what it is so we have to buy into it." #Knicks— Barbara Barker (@meanbarb) November 8, 2016
Anthony is right, though. The Knicks do have to buy into what the team is preaching defensively if they want to get better. Though his lack of excitement just points to how uninspiring the choice of Rambis for defensive coordinator is.