NEW YORK (WFAN) — Walt “Clyde” Frazier says he believes in this year’s Knicks.
Talking to WFAN’s Mike Francesa, the Knicks great said he senses something different about the team, which entered Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors with a 9-7 record.
“You know, last year we were 14-10. And then. And then,” he said, laughing.
“So this year, I’m believing in this team, though. I think they’re going to get better. … What they can’t afford to have is an injury, a key injury to one of their players.”
Frazier, an analyst on Knicks TV broadcasts, credited a lot of players for the surprising start, but said coach Jeff Hornacek and big man Kristaps Porzingis have been especially key.
“The coach is holding them accountable, especially on defense,” Frazier said. “Last year, the triangle was a problem. I think he was subservent to (then-team president) Phil (Jackson). Now he’s running his own, implementing his own offense, letting guys run.”
The Hall of Famer called Porzingis the “catalyst.”
“He’s the crowd favorite. When he gets into his act crossing over, they really enjoy it,” Frazier said. “And a lethal shooter, man.”
Frazier added that he’s been surprised that Porzingis is comfortable taking the big shots in game.
“I wasn’t sure. I was ambivalent, because he’s such a nice guy,” Frazier said. “He’s not a selfish guy. He doesn’t look for points. But I’ve been surprised that he’s taken that role.”
Frazier, although, admitted he wasn’t crazy about the Knicks’ decision to trade away Carmelo Anthony.
“I thought they should’ve kept him, but I also thought he should’ve tried to be more of a team player,” he said. “I always told him he should have been a 20/10/5 guy. But he wanted the 28, 29 points, not the rebounds, not getting guys involved.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.