Knicks president Phil Jackson is looking for unity among his players on this year’s squad. Last year’s club went 32-50. New York is looking for a big turnaround this year and a triumphant return to the postseason.
Jackson tweeted: “We have brought change to the Knicks team. The real dimension of change is how much the players [want] to unite in this change.”“It’s not about bonding and being friends, it’s about joining in the effort of playing HARD on every effort.”
The Zen Master seems to be challenging his team’s effort levels after previous results from lacklustre results. Jackson isn’t singling out a specific player with his comments and is instead looking at the whole roster in hopes of changing New York’s fortunes.
He mentioned after firing head coach Derek Fisher that, some players appeared to have lost their spirit during the team’s struggles last year.
Jackson’s solution is simple: bring in more veteran firepower. He signed Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings in the off-season.
Adding these veteran pieces to a core including Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony should vastly increase the organisation’s playoff chances.
The chemistry is already building as both Rose and Porzingis were photographed working out together in Los Angeles. Rob McClanaghan, New York's trainer, walked the duo through team workouts this off-season.
These workouts will lead to the cohesion that new head coach, Jeff Hornacek, is looking for out of the improved squad. Hornacek looks to get the explosive point guard and lottery pick sensation easy points near the basket.
If the former Bull can look somewhat like his explosive self in New York, he and the rookie dynamo would form a devastating pick and roll tandem.
Couple that action with Anthony’s precision shooting from outside added to a solid paint defender in Noah and the Big Apple could be a in for a big surprise.
The franchise will need this unity to develop if they want to return to the postseason.