Jeff Hornacek urges the Knicks to give Kristaps Porzingis more of the ball

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When the New York Knicks acquired Derrick Rose in the summer and added him to a roster already containing Carmelo Anthony, the biggest worry for fans was how this was going to impact the growth of Kristaps Porzingis.

All-Stars Rose and Anthony are ball-dominant players and have always played with a score-first mentality and are not renowned for sharing the basketball often.

After an impressive rookie campaign, Knicks fans were excited to see Porzingis take his game to new heights this year, but their offseason fears appear to be coming true and it's something head coach Jeff Hornacek wants to fix quickly.

The Knicks have begun the year 1-3 and in their recent 19-point blowout by the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden, the Latvian big man missed all four of his field-goal attempts and didn't convert one for just the second time in his 76-game career.

Hornacek is keen to see his team exploit the talents of the 21-year-old, particularly when he has a smaller man guarding him.

"They've got to do a better job of getting him the ball when he's got a mismatch," Hornacek said after the loss to the Rockets on Wednesday. "There were several times where he's in the area on a smaller guy and we're not necessarily looking for him.

"We're looking for the next thing. We've got to find that mismatch, throw it up there, let him gather the ball and make a play on that.

"They were switching; a lot of times he had a 6'5", 6'6" guy on him. We have to take advantage of that and just didn't see it."

So far this season, Porzingis is averaging 14.5 points per game on 11.5 shots. Last year, he averaged 14.3 points on 12.3 shots.

There isn't a huge drop, but the team is currently struggling on both ends of the floor and would benefit from getting the 7'3" center some easier shots around the basket.

With multiple new players and a new head coach, it was always going to take time for the New York-based franchise to figure themselves out, but they will continue to struggle if they don't utilise the obvious skills of one of the league's most talented youngsters.

Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Derrick Rose
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Kristaps Porzingis
Carmelo Anthony

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