2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. 76ers

After that Marc Berman article, I probably should bring back the David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch, but honestly, after that article, it sounds like it is more like a question of when they fire him rather than if they fire him, so the Death Watch really doesn’t seem to be necessary, as that is more about if he gets fired.

Anyhow, the Knicks host the 76ers, a team that decided to do a rebuild and then continued to collect assets rather than, you know, sign veterans to one-year contracts and refuse to trade cap space for assets. It seems to have worked out okay for them.

But hey, the Knicks just outscored the Raptors in the first quarter, so maybe they’ll surprise me with a win!

Let’s go, Knicks!

NY Post: The Knicks’ failing youth movement is a David Fizdale fiasco

Something that we have all observed over the years is that while Marc Berman is not literally a Charlie Rosen/Phil Jackson-style mouthpiece for Knicks President of Basketball Operations, Steve Mills, he is certainly willing to be the guy that Mills can come to when he wants send a message through a Berman article. We’ve seen it a number of times over the years, most prominently during Phil Jackson’s tenure as the Mills’ predecessor as the PoBO, where Berman wrote enthusiastic things about Jackson early on and then tore him down later on, when Mills’ knife was stuck firmly in the Big Galoot’s back (Phil Jackson was terrible and should have been fired and Steve Mills backstabbed Phil Jackson to get him fired can both be true, ya know?).

So while most media ramblings can be easily ignored, a hit piece on David Fizdale from Marc Berman tends to have a bit more “heft” to it and that’s certainly what this is…

Knicks coach David Fizdale is not just being judged on the won-loss record, according to sources.

Progress is the company buzzword, which means a lot of things. But progress of their young players is the guts of it.

As the Knicks gear up for a Black Friday showdown vs. the 76ers following a brutal rout in Toronto on Wednesday in which they fell behind by 34 points, the advancement of their blue-chippers have seemingly hit a brick wall.

Fizdale’s desperation may have been revealed by staging a marathon closed-door meeting after the game.

The Knicks’ 4-14 record is the same as last season’s clip at this juncture. None of it bodes well for Fizdale finishing out his second season — unless owner James Dolan blows it all up in taking down president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and their staff.

Mills hired Fizdale because of his reputation as a player developmental guru. Firing Fizdale would make Mills and Perry look foolish for erring so famously on such an important hire after firing Jeff Hornacek.


And yes, as an article leaked by Mills shows, the fact that Mitchell Robinson is listed fourth on a “Here’s a snapshot of the eight young players who matter most (eat your turkey first)” list is damning of Mills (and perhaps Perry? Who knows?). Note that the players listed above them are the two lottery picks made by Mills and Perry and the guy they acquired in the Porzingis trade. In other words, players whose success or failure directly affects people’s perceptions of Mills and Perry. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Raptors

After two tough losses, you could expect that the David Fizdale Death Watch might return, but I don’t think they expect anything from the Knicks tonight.

RJ Barrett is back tonight, hopefully he brings the Maple Mojo!

Maybe they’ll surprise us and somehow pull this one out!

Let’s go, Knicks!

NY Post: David Fizdale desperately wants Knicks to play faster

From Greg Joyce:

David Fizdale wants the Knicks to pick up their pace.

Ranked 27th out of 30 teams in pace (98.65) — which measures the number of possessions per game — the Knicks spent Tuesday’s practice working with a 12-second shot clock to hammer the point across.

“We’ve got to get more possessions in the game to get over the hump and give ourselves more shots at the rim,” Fizdale said before the Knicks flew to Toronto for Wednesday’s game against the Raptors. “We’ve got to get to our stuff quicker. We’ve got to get up the floor faster, get into our actions faster. So hopefully there will be some carryover for that.”

The Knicks ranked 17th in pace (100.16) in Fizdale’s first season at the helm, and while it has been a big talking point during his tenure, the results haven’t shown. Fizdale said he didn’t know why they haven’t been able to play as fast as he wants, but he continues to push it as a point of emphasis.

“Once they get in there maybe for whatever reason we don’t play as fast as we’d like,” Fizdale said. “How they measure pace as well is not necessarily conducive to how fast you’re playing. Because sometimes if you don’t get a shot on goal it takes away from what your actual pace is. So the actual speed we’re playing at, I think, is fine.”

Gotta love it when the coach doesn’t know why they’re not doing what he wants them to do. Oh well, it’s not like he’s the coach or anything, what impact can he have on what style of play they run?

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Nets

If the Knicks are going to get up for any game this season, you would think that it would be the Nets, right?

The Nets are playing without Kyrie Irving, but have actually won their last two games.

RJ Barrett is sick, so he will miss the game tonight. The Knicks are hilariously replacing him with Kevin Knox in the starting lineup, so they are, in fact, starting four power forwards along with Frank Ntilikina.

It’s always nice to beat the Nets, so hopefully they do just that.

Let’s go, Knicks!

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Spurs

After their close loss to the 76ers, I am officially ending the Coaching Death Watch for David Fizdale. He might very well still get fired this season, but it’s no longer imminent.

Anyhow, this game looked like a tough one on the schedule to start the season, but the Spurs have completely collapsed since their last game against the Knicks. It’s funny, during that game, I remarked that I was stunned by how I didn’t get what the heck of the point of the Spurs team was, as they looked almost as thrown together as the Knicks, roster-wise. Then, as I was saying that, they went on, like, a 21-0 run or something like that to blow the Knicks out.

But yeah, they still look like a mess and they’ve been losing a ton.

So this is very much a winnable game at home.

Add in Kyrie’s injury and this could theoretically be the Knicks’ first winning streak of the season, if they beat the Spurs and the Nets!

Let’s go, Knicks!

2019-20 David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch: Game 5 – Knicks @ Sixers

Sorry, folks, I thought it was an 8pm game tonight.

Anyhow, I think that if the Knicks win this one, I’ll officially eliminate the death watch, as Fizdale will almost certainly be safe if they win this one. Heck, even if they lose a close game, I’ll take the watch off.

Phew, because I saw some more Mark Jackson reports. A friend scared me on Replacement Yankee Weblog by asking me what I thought about Mark Jackson as Knicks coach. I thought I missed a major announcement!

Let’s go, Knicks!

2019-20 David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch: Game 4 – Knicks vs. Cavaliers

So far, the Knicks are 1-2 since the Fizdale Coaching Death Watch began, but that one win was an extremely exciting defeat of Kristaps Porzingis’ Dallas Mavericks team that probably counted for, like, three wins in the grand scheme of things, so that win bought Fizdale a lot of time.

However, if he’s going to keep his job, the Knicks are going to have to:

A. beat up on shitty teams like the Cavaliers (who are on the second half of a back to back)


B. win at least two games in a row at some point.

They can’t do B tonight, but they can do A and then possibly set up B, as well!

Mitch still coming off of the bench tonight. Hopefully he cracks 30 minutes played tonight!

Let’s go, Knicks!

2019-20 David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch: Game 3 – Knicks vs. Hornets

David Fizdale’s Knicks coaching career got a major jolt from the defibrillator on Thursday, with the Knicks getting a big, big victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the Garden. Two-thirds of the Knicks’ victories this season have hilariously come against a pretty decent Dallas Mavericks team. The Knicks clearly should pretend that every NBA team has offended them, as they are now 1-3 in “revenge games” with their only other win coming in Bobby Portis’ “revenge game” against the Bulls. Portis’ good initial game clearly led to him feeling sated, as he then sucked in the rematch.

Anyhow, if you’re Fizdale, then these next two games are ones you have circled in your calendar as, “Holy shit, these two games might save my job,” as the Knicks get two very winnable games here against the Charlotte Hornets and then the Cleveland Cavaliers. Two wins here and suddenly they’re 5-8 and that’s halfway respectable. I always tend to assume that the Knicks, all things being equal, will always trend towards the middle of the pack, since that’s the worst place to be when it comes to the draft, so I think we’ll see a period here where Fizdale’s coaching career gets off life support for a time.

If Fiz could somehow hold on to the job due to some good coaching on his part, I would be quite grateful, as I don’t want Steve Mills and Scott Perry hiring another coach at the moment, because Keith Smart is a real possibility and Mark Jackson always lurks out there, as well, as a sort of shadowy coaching monster, reading to fuck things up even further.

So here’s to you, Fiz, hopefully you figure some shit out and beat an overachieving Hornets team that is still just 5-7 (some fine coaching from Poppovich coaching tree hire, James Borrego).

Let’s go, Knicks!

2019-20 David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch: Game 2 – Knicks vs. The Team That’s Stuck With KP

How funny would it be if two thirds of the Knicks’ victories this year came against Kristaps Porzingis’ new team? That could easily be the case tonight as the Knicks host the Dallas Mavericks, who previously lost to this here Knick at home, so in the somewhat friendly confines of Madison Square Garden, you would like to believe that the Knicks would have a decent enough chance of beating them this time around as well, right?

Porzingis didn’t have a terrible game in his debut against the Knicks, but nor did he have a particularly great game, either, and he was outrebounded for a key rebound late in the game, leading to him committing a foul that fouled him out of the game. Even with all of that, the Mavericks were one “Oh my god, why are you taking that shot? You fool!” three-pointer from Luka Doncic of going to overtime against the Knicks, so it will be a lot to expect the Knicks to sweep this series.

But it would be really cool if they did so.

Fizdale can get fired some other night. Tonight we can root for the Zinger to have a bad game and the Knicks go 2-0 against him this season.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. can have a great game, too, and at least one dumb reporter will be, like, “Maybe the Knicks won the KP trade just with Smith Jr.!”

Let’s go, Knicks!