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Report: Knicks put Kurt Rambis in charge of NBA-worst defense

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Head coach Phil Jackson (R) of the Los Angeles Lakers and assistant Kurt Rambis sit on the bench during the game with the Los Angeles Clippers on November 5, 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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When a report emerged Phil Jackson and Knicks players were unhappy with the triangle offense – Jackson wants more of it, and players seemingly want less – I suggested they focus on defense. After all, New York is allowing an NBA-worst 110.9 points per 100 possessions.

I guess they agreed.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Remember, Jackson pushed for Rambis to remain the Knicks’ head coach last season. But Jackson also sought a coach he knows and who would run the triangle then hired Jeff Hornacek, who fits neither qualification. So, who knows what’s really going on in New York?

We know what Rambis did before arriving there. In his two years as the Timberwolves’ head coach, they finished 28th and 27th in points allowed per possession. The Knicks fared a little better last season with Rambis as interim coach, posting a defensive rating that would’ve ranked 19th over a full season – but they were even more stout with Derek Fisher in charge earlier in the season.

I’m unconvinced Rambis can implement a sound defense. I’m unconvinced Jackson is seeking defensive help from the right places. And I’m unconvinced Joakim Noah can anchor a quality defense at his age.

But at least the Knicks are tying something – which is more than I can say about everything else they’ve done defensively so far this year.