New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek has been experimenting with rotations. Sixth man Brandon Jennings is frustrated by the constant changes.
Any time a team plays as inconsistently as the New York Knicks have in 2016-17, severe changes are going to occur. It certainly doesn’t help that injuries have played as much of a role in the Knicks’ shortcomings as any other factor.
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Though it’s understandable for head coach Jeff Hornacek to experiment with his rotations, the players are understandably frustrated.
Kristaps Porzingis has missed six games with a sore achilles tendon and Lance Thomas recently suffered a fractured orbital bone. Perhaps more importantly, the Knicks are 2-11 over the course of the past 13 games.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, sixth man Brandon Jennings is frustrated and confused by the consistent changes to the rotation.
“Yeah, when you come in here you don’t really know what’s going to happen, so it’s kind of no consistency and it’s really tough right now,” he said. “Right now, you come in here you don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m struggling. It’s difficult for me, because I don’t really know what’s going on. Just take it one day at a time.”
One could argue that Jennings should compartmentalize and internalize those complaints, but his evaluation is reasonable.
In 42 appearances, Jennings is averaging 8.3 points, 4.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 1.1 3-point field goals made in 23.4 minutes per game. He’s doing so on a slash line of .393/.321/.765 and is committing 2.0 turnovers per contest.
Those season averages translate to marks of 12.8 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.7 3-point field goals made per 36 minutes.
Unfortunately, Jennings has been one of the players whose playing time has fluctuated in recent weeks.
Over the course of the past 10 games, Jennings has seven games with at least 20 minutes played and three below it. He’s been limited in key games, including the losses to the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.
Jennings maintained his stance that the Knicks can do something special, but the inconsistency in the rotation has left him frustrated.
“We could be doing something special here. Losing games like this really hurts,” he said. “But like I said, you really never know what’s going to happen each game.”
The first sentence is what’s most frustrating about the Knicks’ inconsistency.
One can’t help but hope that Jennings’ morale will improve. Between Dec. 31 and Jan. 11, Jennings played in seven games and averaged 13.3 points, 3.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.0 3-point field goals made in 23.0 minutes per game on a slash line of .522/.452/.600.
Over the course of the past three games, however, Jennings is averaging 5.3 points and 3.0 assists in 19.4 minutes on a slash line of .250/.182/.857.