At the Knicks’ Christmas Eve practice, center Willy Hernangomez got clocked by assistant coach David Bliss during a one-on-one drill. The blow caused a big welt on his right cheek. It swelled up, got infected and the normally handsome Hernangomez wasn’t ready for a modeling gig on Christmas. “I was worried — national TV game,’’ Hernangomez said jokingly. Hernangomez didn’t have to worry. He never got on the court during the holiday game nor did he play Wednesday. Hernangomez now has not played in 10 of the last 11 games and his situation is getting harder for him to accept. He is squarely third fiddle to emerging starting center Enes Kanter and backup Kyle O’Quinn — at least until the Feb. 9 trade deadline. The effects of the center logjam grew in absurdity when Joakim Noah was inactive against the Bulls for the second time in 2 ½ weeks — certainly a blow to the former Bull’s ego. “It’s been really hard for me,’’ Hernangomez told The Post before the Knicks’ 92-87 loss to the Bulls on Wednesday. “The only thing I know is I work hard every day and try to be ready when they need me. I’m glad to support teammates on the bench because we’re winning now. But it’s been really hard for me. I’ve played 15 games all season. It’s hard. But I’m working hard to be ready. I don’t like my situation. When I have the chance to be on court I’ll try to use it.’’ According to sources, the Knicks still consider Hernangomez, 23, a part of the future. If this stretch of 16-of-20 games on the road tosses the Knicks out of the playoff picture, they certainly will step up their bid to trade O’Quinn at the deadline and open up playing time for the Spanish center who is Kristaps Porzingis’ best friend.
Willy Hernangomez is desperately waiting for something to give
New York Post | Dec 28