I wrote in last week’s review that Fizdale may not last through the week if the Knicks could not be competitive. Well they were not competitive, they lost by 40 to the Nuggets, and Fizdale was gone. After Fizdale’s firing, the Knicks went on to lose to a Pacers team missing their two best players and the Trail Blazers.
Embarrassing Front Office
As mentioned above, David Fizdale was fired as the Head Coach of the New York Knicks. That by itself is one discussion, but it was the way that it unraveled that left me uneasy. David Fizdale woke up on December 6th and went about his normal routine. He coached the Knicks in their morning practice and he spoke to reporters after the practice as he always does. The only issue is, the Knicks knew at that point that they were going to fire him.
Why in the world would a front office allow a coach to run the practice and talk to the press hours before they would fire him on the same day?! It is incomprehensible and in the mean-time the three stooges (Dolan, Mills, Perry) are all still living their best life.
It will never make sense, but hey, that’s life as a Knicks fan.
Mike Miller Era Begins for Knicks
After the unceremonious firing of David Fizdale and Keith Smart, Mike Miller was named the interim coach. Miller has been with the Knicks organization since 2015 when he was hired to coach the Westchester Knicks. Since then he won the G-League Coach of the Year in 2018 and was promoted to be an assistant for the New York Knicks.
In his first game as acting head coach, Miller and the Knicks hosted a depleted Pacers team. To some it seemed like the Knicks had a little bit more energy under the new coach. To myself, it was a game they should have won against a team missing its two best players. The Pacers have been without Victor Oladipo, but they were also missing blossoming star Malcolm Brogdon. I don’t care who the coach is, this was a game the Knicks should have won running away! It is embarrassing.
They held the Pacers to 15 fourth quarter points and still gave up 104 total and lost. They shot 41% from the field and 32% from the three point line. Both of those marks would be good for the worst average in the league. It is unacceptable and a team with the market and pedigree that the Knicks have should not ever field a team that looks like this.
Another Knicks Embarrassment
With Knicks twitter buzzing after the “high-energy” Pacers game, the Knickerbockers traveled to Portland. This would be the first game the Knicks would play against Carmelo as a Trail Blazer. It went exactly how most realistic Knick fans thought it would go.
The Knicks were down by 10 after the first quarter and 19 at the half. They would go on to lose by 28 in another downright pathetic performance.
In this one they shot a horrid 35% from the field and an even worse 18% from the three point line. The offense is as bad as any NBA offense in the last decade. Teams like the Rockets and Bucks are scoring almost 80 points in a single half and the Knicks put up 87 in a full game. It is inexcusable.
If you fire a coach after losing a game by 40, and then lose another game by 30 four days later, shouldn’t that show everyone that the coach was not the problem? Nope, not the Knicks.
At this point the Knicks are in complete tank mode and are hoping to get luckier in this year’s draft lottery. The only positive that can be taken from the rest of this season is development. Develop the young guys and just let them play. Stop letting Morris and Randle play 30+ minutes per night and get guys like Trier, Knox, and Dotson some time and watch to see if they can get better.
This week the Knicks have Golden State on Wednesday, Sacramento on Friday, Denver on Sunday, and then back home for Atlanta on Tuesday. It is going to be a long rough week, but two games they NEED to be competitive in are the first two. The Warriors and Kings are two teams the Knicks should not lose to by double digits. The NY faithful will not be happy if the Knicks get swept on this road trip.
One thing to keep an eye on over the coming weeks is MasaiUjiri. There have been rumors for a while now that he could very well be running this franchise soon. That has especially heated up after the firing of Fizdale. This would be the biggest move this team has made since trading for Carmelo. This is the kind of guy who can turn a franchise around if given the chance by Dolan. The rumors are saying that the Knicks would have to give up an arm and a leg for him. I say, DO IT! Give up both arms and both legs and let this guy grow them back, because that is exactly what he will do.