This is nothing against Jeff Hornacek, I think very highly of him. Although his 101-112 record as a head coach in Phoenix doesn’t say much, Hornacek proved that he has the ability to be a successful coach in the league. In his first season, he took a Suns team that was one of the worst in the NBA to a team that missed the playoffs in a very competitive Western Conference by just one game. He improved their record from 25-57 in 2012-2013 to 48-34 in just one season. It was his next two seasons that marred his record, as he was forced to part ways with Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas and had to deal with a multitude of injuries.
What confuses me about this hire is that all along Phil Jackson made it seem that he was committed to finding a coach who could run the triangle offense. Hornacek is not that guy. His fast pace offense was similar to that of Mike D’Antoni’s, where he emphasized fast break opportunities and three pointers. Not ball movement, which is pivotal when running the triangle offense. Does this mean that Phil Jackson is moving away from his beloved triangle offense? That fact that he chose a non-Phil Jackson disciple to run his team may prove so. Or maybe Hornacek agreed to conform to Jackson’s ways? Whatever the reason is, I hope Phil Jackson has realized that forcing the triangle offense down the Knicks throat hasn’t helped them much. Their offensive production throughout the Phil Jackson era has been mediocre at best and wildly inconsistent.
Like I said before, I think Hornacek will be a fine coach for the Knicks. His offense will benefit Melo and Porzingis, who can both spot up shoot the three ball. Do I think Hornacek was the best option out there? No, I was really pulling for Frank Vogel mainly for defensive purposes. Vogel turned the Pacers into a very tough defensive team, which was the main reason for a lot of their success a couple years ago. Not to mention, Vogel worked under Phil Jackson as a scout in Los Angeles. Although Hornacek has had success on the offensive end, I worry that his lack of defensive emphasis will hinder a Knicks team with a bad track record on defense. Bottom line is I like the move, but the Knicks need personnel changes if they want to be able to compete for a playoff spot in the upcoming season, regardless of who’s coaching them.