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!

158 replies on “2019-20 David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch: Game 5 – Knicks @ Sixers”

Franks’s D caused that TO. Starting out well.

Ominous that both Mitch and Taj got into early foul trouble, if only because it means Portis is going to get more burn.

I’m guessing the Knicks won’t be able to sustain shooting 80% from three.

Randle is due!

Dotson’s handle and ability to create look a little better than they used to be. We’ll see if it translates into anything positive. I loved that Euro step the other night and this last play was nice too.

Very impressed by the effort so far.

Nice to see DSjr looking like a player out there. The shot from 3 definitely looks a bit smoother.

Morris, Randle and Portis so far are poster boys for why analytics don’t favour the mid-range game.

DSJr just had one of his better runs, but I still don’t like his game. IMO, he dribbles too much trying to create. I doubt that what he’s creating for himself or others long term is as good as what we’d get if he just moved the ball more given that the extra aggression also leads to extra TOs and he’s not that efficient.

There’s a lot of talent there. I’m just not sure the BBall IQ will bring it out. Still young though.

why is it a foul if embiid swings his arms into mitchell? Just leave him fucking out there he’s gonna foul out anyhow

Matisse Thybulle may be my favorite NBA name. Though I also like Raul Neto.

Not watching, just checking the boxscore. Randle seems back to his normal, not-playing the league-worst, Cleveland’s defense self.

Frank’s handle and ability to probe around looking for something mid range is taking a huge step up, but he’s still a little gun shy and of course has to shoot better consistently. No doubt he’s getting better though. He’s just coming from such a low base it’s going to take a long time.

I can’t believe how bad the GSW are in a brand new arena…think any season ticket holders are pissed?


If they can’t handle a bad season due to losing their best players to FA and injury after producing a dynasty then the problem is theirs.

Frank got bailed out there, should have passed to Taj, but I guess when you’re feeling it, why not?

Can someone please tell me where the Knick game is? The game I’m watching can’t be the Knick game.

That pick and roll game with Frank and Randle has been there for them dating back to the last game.

Wait, we’re crushing the Sixers with Frank as leading scorer but no assists? Has the universe inverted?

The D is very, very impressive. It’s not like Philly is just missing.

PS I don’t like Philly’s team…very clunky

What a weird line for Frank: 14 points on 6 shots (what?), but 0 assists, rebounds, turnovers, steals, blocks.

Well it probably helps that Philly doesn’t have many options for marginal player that will hit 5 consecutive threes against us.

Sure, maybe Frank has 16 points on 7 shots and is generally playing good D, but he has no rebounds, assists, blocks or steals. All he can do is score !!! 🙂

What the hell is Doncic doing to the Warriors, damn… I kinda wish the Knicks game wasn’t as good as it has been so I could watch it lol. I’ll catch the replays later.

Sure, maybe Frank has 16 points on 7 shots and is generally playing good D, but he has no rebounds, assists, blocks or steals. All he can do is score !!! 🙂

Frank Ntilikina is such an overrated ballhog… REMEMBER WHEN WE HAD MELO!!! (jk, we still do he’s wearing a Morris Sr. jersey)

The Mavs have the best offense in the league. I’m going to go ahead it’s not because of Porzingis or Hardaway. I’m still bewildered that 3 teams passed on Doncic, including SAC for Marvin Bagley?!

Year 2 and Doncic may already be the best offensive player in the league

Morris hasn’t been bad overall but his sustained stretch of selfish chuckery tonight blew the knicks shot at winning.

Watching all these close games come down to the wire with a SF/PF on a 1 yr contract doing all the ball handling and taking all the shots is not optimal in any way except for helping the unintended tank.

This really is so stupid. Its not fun watching a guy with no future on the team whatsoever deciding the outcome of the game while guys like RJ, Frank and even Randle who are potential building blocks watching for the most part.

There have been games where RJ and Randle have done most of the ball handling down the stretch and those losses I could handle alot better than tonight watching the Marcus Morris shit show down the stretch.

Knicks were down 96-95, Morris missed a contested layup when he had a wide open mitch under the basket earlier, philly got a 3 in transition then Morris missed a contested jump shot, Embiid hit a 3 and that was the game. Obviously a lot else happened to get to that point, but he fucked up down the stretch.

Let’s get some “smart” vets who “know how to play the right way” they said

We tried, we just ended up with the wrong Marcus… badumm tsh (I’ll show myself out)

The Warriors manage to outscore Luka Doncic 38-33 in the first half. Too bad for the Warriors that Luka isn’t out there by himself.

If you add in the assists, Luka single-handedly contributed more points in the first half than the Warriors had. That’s gotta be a pretty rare occurrence.

Luka is the first player to outscore, outrebound and out-assist a team in a quarter since 2003.

Does anyone know the last?

I think the biggest bummer of this game is RJB. Forced stuff, turnovers, yuk.

This is the RJ I thought we were drafting when I was initially down on him. RJ’s game is taking it to the basket, you do not want to need to take it to the basket against Philly. Embiid, Horford, Simmons is a bad matchup for RJ.

Luka is the first player to outscore, outrebound and out-assist a team in a quarter since 2003.


Marcus Morris sr. played 40 minutes and was a +5. There would be no stretch if it wasn’t for him.

Btw Spurs in a free fall. 7 straight losses. They should can that no-good coach of theirs.


Yes everyone knows Iverson’s nickname, but who was the last person to outscore, out-assist, and out-rebound their opponent? *Cue Abbot & Costello skit*

Well, it took 134 games, but Frank finally looks like he’s not afraid to shoot.

Encouraging game from him, but I have no idea how a PG plays 33 minutes and gets 0 assists.

Its weird because Morris was actually playing well, the two alley oops he did with Mitch were very well executed… then he decided to be Melo in the next 3 possessions and threw it all away. I just can’t like the guy, he obviously has value for a team that’s going to be in the playoffs, but for us it really doesn’t make sense. I do hope he keeps piling up stats so that the Knicks receive good offers for him next month or at the deadline, but I’m still doubtful as to whether Mills and Perry will be even looking for trades.

Encouraging game from him, but I have no idea how a PG plays 33 minutes and gets 0 assists.

Selfish kid is always looking for his own shot! 🙂

Seriously, it’s hard to imagine, but he WAS probing around for his own shot a little more tonight. He’s more of a ball mover than a guy that’s going to keep dribbling trying to create something for himself or someone else.

As long as the ball and players keep moving, to me, that’s the superior way to play. The “team”will get plenty of assists and good looks. It’s when the ball doesn’t move and everyone is standing around it can get ugly with all the bad ISOs because nothing I’d getting created.

IMO, Morris is skilled, tough, strong, and the leader of the team. He’s piling up boxscore stats but he’s not adding much value. as I’ve been saying from the beginning, he makes bad decisions and his defense is overrated.

He plays hard and tough so people think he’s playing good defense, but most of the time he’s not.

I don’t mind him on the team, but ideally you want someone like him coming off the bench. He’s not a quality starter.

I don’t think we are going to get much for him in a trade if we go that route. Maybe a late future 1st rounder so we can hopefully add a different role player ready to peak in 2027. lmao

Thing is, when the Sixers turned up the D, Frank reverted to his old self and got lost in the offense. Still, he looked more assertive for all but the last 8 minutes or so.


Because the offense constantly devolves into a 1 on 1 isolation game and he doesn’t play that game. Did we even run an actual play in that time? Did we use PnR in that span? Do the bigs ever throw the ball back out when defenders converge on them to perimeter shooters? I don’t see it.

He’s not going to aggressively look to score and create. That’s not what we should even want now. We want him to probe a little and take the shot when they give it to him, but otherwise move the ball or run a set play.

If we want someone to get assists and points, play bad basketball, and help us lose we can put DSJr on the court.

I get where people are coming from, but this is a long process and he’s one of the better players on the team right now even with his limitations.



We have quite a few bad “basketball players” on this team. We don’t play the right way. The ball stops too much and then guys try to create for themselves. We don’t have Steve Nash here. The ball and players have to move.

You need a coach that calls a play, players who cooperate with a play, players willing to catch and shoot, players who don’t ISO the hell out the air in the ball, and general movement of players around the court to umm get more assists.
I mean, I really hate Morris and Randle’s game, but it’s Fiz’s fault that the offense devolves the way it does.
I really do think Frank would thrive in a system- any system

Also- why has Frank not played with Mitch more than 100 minutes? Why can’t they just play a Frank/Dot/RJ/Knox/Mitch lineup? Why has that never happened? Why have Portis, Randle, and Morris all played over 300 minutes so far, and Dot, Trier, and Smith less than 150 minutes each?

The front office overpaid for 15 PF’s, and the coach biases the minutes for the PF’s on top of that! It’s so frustrating!

I also have a feeling that when Frank waves his arms around calling a play, the “vets” just stare at him the way jocks stare at a substitute teacher asking them to participate in a class project.


It wasn’t just Frank either. Barrett took some very ill-advised shots in the game’s last few minutes due to frustration with the lack of ball movement coming his way.

One of the big mistakes with the veteran leaders on this team (Morris, Randle, and Portis) is that they are all me-first guys on offense in this dynamic. They all want to take over games instead of sticking to a team-first style of play and continuing to move the ball. A lot of that is also coaching, but you can’t give Marcus Morris $15M for a year and expect him to go from role-playing grunt to team captain in 2 months. You can’t give Bobby Portis $16M because he has big eyes.

If the Knicks want veteran leadership, they should trade for Chris Paul. He’ll spread the ball, yell at Frank every time he just dumps it down to Julius Randle, punch RJ Barrett in the chest when he misses free throws, and fire Bobby Portis immediately. But what we have right now is some bullshit. Hopefully we trade Marcus Morris for a 1st rounder or a decent young player.

Anybody think Gregg Poppovich would take Dolan’s POBO money instead of just retiring? He could be our version of Pat Riley, but I’m not sure his blunt honesty would work well with Dolan’s ego. I’m just tired of Steve Mills ruining the Knicks. He’s the Marvin Lewis of the NBA.

It’s my fault. All me.
I didn’t post in the game thread. Then, I couldn’t help myself and posted. From that point on the Knicks played like the Knicks. I brought on the bad juju. Self flagellation in progress.

Excuse me. DReality check guys. The 76’ers are a legit contender. They have 3 former all-stars on the roster. They are undefeated at home. It would have been nice to win – a miracle. But just that. Fault? The Sixers woke up and kicked it into gear. Embid got both our centers into foul trouble in the first quarter and was unstoppable. And when he sat they brought in Al Horford. And they had a pissed-off Trae Burke. The Knicks didn’t lose, they were beaten. It was a fun game.

When Frank Ntilikina is our best offensive player in a game there’s really no need to examine much else to explain how we lost.

finished the game a while ago and checking in on the thread from the end and going backwards…

go ny go’s post pretty much says it all…and, now I know who to blame for the loss 🙂

I kind of remember hearing teams coming back from a long road trip will often be sluggish when they get back home…

our defense looks a hell of lot better – especially considering we’re rolling julius randall out there every night – our defense looks a hell of a lot better…

DSJ, randall, knox were all serious liabilities on the defensive end…

if we’re getting lit up from 3, frank and dot need to be out on the perimeter…dot should have played more in the 4th…DSJ and knox should have stayed on the bench…

both frank and RJ are far from perfect on the defensive end, but, seems overall they’re helping a lot more than hurting…

oh yeah, that one shot by mike scott when randall never even raised his arms – that was the end of the game…

I’ve decided to consider this season frank’s rookie year…totally punting on those first couple of years…

one of the things I enjoy most about league pass, particularly the msg feed, is that you get to see more interaction between players and coaches during the game’s in-between time…

frank’s pretty much always by himself – I’m guessing ol’ frank ain’t exactly the coolest guy on the team…especially now that he’s coaches pet…yeah, frank ain’t got a ton of juice on the team – yet…

just like those fans went crazy when simmons hit that three – wait til frank dunks…

frank actually dribbled along the baseline one play…it was kind of shocking…

he’s been the surprise of the season for us…

I didn’t watch much of the world championships (fuck you very much espn)…did watch about 5 minutes of frank, but, nothing really stood out…

nothing in the pre-season really stood out for me either…when I saw him play when things started for real, my first thought was: damn, frank must have got himself some ass this summer

that’s a new man right there, inspired and buoyed by lust…

Is it me, or does it seem like Fiz is coaching better now that he seems to have settled on a rotation?

With Frank’s ws/48 now entering the “Ray Felton Zone” (cue up the Twilight Zone music please) I submit a list of 100 players at age of 21 or less who sported WS/48 of .050 or less and unsurprisingly many were not very good, but surprisingly some are Hall of Famers 🙂 🙂 Interestingly enough…. some 20-21 year olds who are committed can actually get way better at shit!


@153 – I keep posting for this year’s tank 🙂

@156 – Or maybe losing 2 rotation point guards on a team with many new faces made him a bad coach? This is why we say, in the beginning of the year, that we need to wait until at least December to see what this team is. November is pretty much the preseason. If the Knicks had won two of the games it lost, we’ would be (foolishly) talking playoffs.

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