Hornacek: Knicks lack defensive-minded players

The New York Knicks still have a number of weapons capable of putting up points in this post-Carmelo Anthony era, but until they figure out ways to prevent the opposition from scoring, they're probably not going to get very far.

"We're not going to be the greatest defensive team to start out," head coach Jeff Hornacek said, according to The New York Post's Marc Berman. "Our makeup is a lot of offensive players. That's something we need to get them to work every day to improve."

Enes Kanter joined the Knicks - who ranked 25th in defense during the 2016-17 campaign - as part of the package received from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Carmelo trade. His strengths on the offensive end have been well documented, as have his deficiencies as a defender. Hornacek has seen a great deal of improvement in the Turkish center over the years on defense, though, crediting his basketball IQ in aiding his growth.

"The game has slowed down for him - I think he's become better defensively on what teams are trying to do," he added. "He didn't play at Kentucky, (so) he was pretty raw his first year. Now he's been around the league. He's one of the best (true) centers in this league right now."

Oklahoma City was 4.5 points per 100 possessions better defensively when Kanter wasn't on the floor, but scored 4.6 more points under those same circumstances when he did play. If new teammate Kristaps Porzingis is granted his wish of playing at the four spot, Kanter would presumably be the starting five next to him in the frontcourt, therefore putting more pressure on Porzingis to be the rim protector Kanter struggles to be.

As Hornacek acknowledged, the current iteration of the roster is comprised of a ton of scorers, but no one with a reputation for being a stout defender. Along with Kanter, the likes of Tim Hardaway, Michael Beasley, and Doug McDermott will get their fair share of points, but not one of them could head a defensive unit.

Suffice it to say, getting stops won't come easy to this group.

Hornacek: Knicks lack defensive-minded players
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