Knicks’ Coaches Scramble to Fix the Defense Before It’s Too Late


The Knicks’ bench in the final minutes of Monday’s 115-103 loss to the Magic. The Knicks were second-to-last in the Eastern Conference in points allowed per game.

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. — After the Knicks finished practice Tuesday afternoon and most of the players had walked into their locker room, the coaches remained on the court.

Faced with the arduous task of rehabilitating the Knicks’ defense, Jeff Hornacek and his staff huddled near the foul line and evaluated their options. They ran pick-and-rolls, talking after each one. Presumably, they were trying to figure out the best way for the Knicks to defend that most common of N.B.A. plays.

So far this season, the Knicks have not. Nor have they been very successful at dealing with other offensive schemes thrown at them. It should be no surprise that only the Nets, who are 8-25, had allowed more points per game in the Eastern Conference than the Knicks entering Tuesday and that just five N.B.A. teams had a worse defensive rating.

Monday’s loss at home to the Orlando Magic — who scored 115…

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