With their roster mostly consisting of young faces and veteran role players, nobody sees the New York Knicks contending for the NBA championship or even competing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference this season. However, though the expectations from them aren’t that high, the Knicks seem to be performing worse than the front office expected. After New York suffered another heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, coach David Fizdale decided to address their recent struggle and revealed the major problem with his team right now.
“Message to the team is — trust,” Fizdale said, as quoted by Marc Berman of the New York Post.
“Right now we’re still fighting that fight to trust each other defensively and offensively. First quarter, you saw the ball move without hesitation. We get to the second quarter, guys were holding the ball too long. They have to trust the easy play and the pass. Same thing defensively. If you get beat, you have to trust a guy will be there to protect you and the next guy is going to protect the next guy. It’s something we haven’t done through a full game. We’re constantly fighting for that trust for 48 minutes.”
Trust seems to be a common issue for teams like the Knicks. More than half of their roster consists of new faces that they acquired in the draft, free agency, and the trade market. Continuously losing games, however, may be good for New York as it would give them a better chance of getting another lottery pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
However, if they fail to immediately find a way to end their struggle and won’t show improvement with their performance on both ends of the floor, this could be Fizdale’s final season as New York’s head coach. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, rumors have been swirling that the Knicks may consider firing Fizdale.
Earlier this month, Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews of ESPN reported that the Knicks are angling to part ways with Fizdale. Knicks President Steve Mills is reportedly placing most of the blame on the coach for their recent struggle. Despite failing to acquire the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA offseason, Mills is selling New York owner James Dolan that they have enough talent to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference.
As of now, Fizdale and the Knicks are sitting in the No. 15 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-14 record. After losing to the Raptors, the Knicks are set to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.