Michael Beasley isn’t happy with the New York Knicks’ lack of ball movement, and head coach Jeff Hornacek is less-than-thrilled with Beasley’s slumping play.
Beasley says the Knicks are playing selfishly.
Beasley admits he’s been on a slide since the All-Star break. Taking over for Kristaps Porzingis as starting power forward hasn’t been easy.
Hornacek, who has only raved about Beasley’s prowess this season, singled him out after Friday’s defensively dead, 128-105 loss to the Clippers and now may take him out of the starting lineup.
After Saturday night’s practice at Sacramento, Hornacek said it’s “possible’’ he will make a lineup change and Beasley is the strongest candidate. Hornacek indicated he’d make a change Sunday vs. the Kings because of an injury and mentioning Beasley tweaked his ankle.
For his part, Beasley thinks the losing is not just about D. Following the loss, a frustrated Beasley told The Post the Knicks are no longer sharing the ball like they used to.
“How many assists did we have tonight?’’ Beasley snapped when a question was posed about Hornacek’s anger over their defensive tenacity. “It’s a lot of things. A lot.”
For the record, the Knicks notched 24 assists on 41 baskets — not a good percentage. Beasley scored seven points (3-of-7 shooting) in 20 minutes with two turnovers and one assist.
“Offensively, it’s hard to get involved,” Beasley said as he walked out of the visitor’s locker room at Staples Center late Friday. “It’s hard to get a rhythm. That’s why I asked you about the assists.”
But now Beasley sees the Knicks have become selfish on offense. The Knicks have dropped heady point guard Jarrett Jack out of the mix and are using their young point guards, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke.
“I can’t be the only one trying to figuring it out,” Beasley said about sharing the ball. “We’ve got to figure it out together. We just don’t play the right way of basketball at times. And that’s frustrating.”
Asked specifically if the playbook is lacking creativity or if the problem stems from the new point guards adjusting, Beasley said, “I’m not sure what it is.”
Hornacek said Beasley is right, but only to a point, saying their 24 assists “isn’t horrible.’’ During the ghastly third quarter, the Knicks scored 18 points, shot 33 percent and were 1-of-6 from the 3-point line.
“We could have more,’’ Hornacek said. “Sometimes we take a shot when maybe [we need] an extra pass and [need] to drive with a purpose of kicking to someone else instead of a drive to score.’’
During Saturday’s film session, Mudiay said the ball movement was hashed out. “Last couple of games, we haven’t,’’ Mudiay said. “l feel it’s one pass, shot. The good thing is we talked about it today. Everyone owned up to what they’re doing wrong. Everyone was trying to be honest with each other.’’
After the game, Hornacek was as furious as he’s been all season, mentioned the point guards’ struggles and seemed to take aim at Beasley’s defense after their 11th loss in 12 games.
“We’ve got to have everybody playing well,’’ Hornacek said. “We don’t have KP out there. The guards struggled tonight. And we need to get something out of Michael on both sides of the court.”
Hornacek could have been referring to his scoring slide as much as his defensive tenacity. In the four games since the break, Beasley has shot 11-of-32 and is averaging 7.9 points.
But Hornacek made an additional remark that could’ve been a reference to Beasley.
“You hope it’s not a case where we’re not making our shots so we’re dropping our heads and don’t play defense,” Hornacek said. “The mentality you have to have is when you’re not making your shots or not scoring, then get a stop. That’s just being tough, that’s kind of having a feel for the game.”