Having lost 9 of their last 10 games, Knicks President Phil Jackson has announced today the firing of second year head coach Derek Fisher.
The move comes with the Knicks on a season-worst five game losing streak. Despite nagging injuries to key players Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Lance Thomas, the Knicks play in recent weeks has been marked by poor starts and haphazard fourth quarter execution. Since returning to .500 with a January 12 win over the Celtics, the Knicks have gone 3-11 and now sit at 12th in the Eastern Conference standings.
In his two years as head coach, Fisher has amassed a 40-96 record.
Assistant Kurt Rambis has been elevated to interim coach duties.
It had to be done and I commend Phil for having the guts to sack one of his pupils.
It’s clear that Fisher was unredeemable in areas that are flat out unacceptable as head coach: his rotations, play calling and ability to adjust to the flow of the game. This has resulted in a team that lacks confidence and identity.
No sane Knicks fan believes this team is a contender, but they’re damn sure better than 12th place in the East. Let’s hope a good point guard is the next trick Phil has up his sleeve.
League sources have confirmed that Memphis Grizzlies guard Matt Barnes will serve a two-game suspension for an October fistfight with Knicks coach Derek Fisher at the Southern California home of Barnes’ estranged wife.
Fisher, who had reportedly been dating Barnes’ estranged wife Gloria Govan for several months, made a visit to the home while Barnes’ young children were present. One of the children notified Barnes, who raced to the home and confronted Fisher.
Remember when we were right at .500 a few days ago and seemed ready to fight for playoff contention? Right now the team is playing as bad as last year’s squad. Coming off two losses, you’d think New York would play with urgency. Instead they came out completely flat, mustering just 11 points (5/23, 22%) and falling behind by 18 points at the end of the first quarter.
The embarrassment continued throughout the night. At halftime the score was 60-35. There was a faux run late in the game, but Jazz never let the Knicks get the lead into single digits.
Why did we look so bad? Let’s start with our leader, Carmelo Anthony. He hasn’t looked right in about a week now, and we can speculate whether that’s due to lingering effects of the strep throat illness, banging knees with Giannis Antetokoumpo or a combination of both. He has no lift on his jumpshot nor lateral movement. He mustered just 12 points on 3/11 shooting. The only good thing to say is he played just 25 minutes and should be sufficiently rested. But if he isn’t right physically, I’d rather him sit than aggravate any ailments.
Our second scoring option in rookie Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t much better. He seemed lost trying to cope with the Jazz’s small ball and got yanked after scoring just 4 points (2/8) in 13 minutes of play. I disagreed with Fisher shutting him down like that. When it became clear the game was out of reach, Porzingis should have gotten some time just to learn.
Arron Affalo had been a big help in recent games, but he was also absent in mustering 4 points (2/5) in 21 minutes.
Finally, the Knicks’ defensive switching was again exploited. The constant mismatches allowed the Jazz’s frontline to abuse our guards with easy baskets. Did Fisher find Mike Woodson’s playbook somewhere around the Knicks office? This needs to stop… NOW.
On the Jazz’s side, their lineup outscored the Knicks starters 58-31, powered by Gordon Hayward (24 points) and Derrick Favors (20 points).
Fisher wasn’t forthcoming about adjustment details, but he did mention changing the starting lineup.
After a woeful performance last night against the Bucks, Derek Fisher is mulling a change to his starting backcourt of Jose Calderon and Sasha Vukacic.
The two combined for just 2 points (1/8) in New York’s 99-92 loss to Milwaukee. Although limited to just 3 minutes in the second half, Calderon was at the helm when the Knicks went down by 14 in the first quarter and was a -7 for the game. Vujacic played 27 minutes, including late in the fourth and was a -17 for the night.
“If there’s a decision that needs to be made, we’ll make it based on the team and not necessarily on one guy,” Fisher told ESPN today.”…Whether it’s the same (Sunday), we’ll see. We’ll talk about it today and then in the morning and go from there.”
The Knicks host the L.A. Lakers at the Garden on Sunday.
Thank you Fisher for seeing the obvious. I understand, to a degree, why Fisher has been hesitate to bench Jose and Sasha. Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant have shown great chemistry in the second unit, so it’s risky tinkering with their rhythm and sticking that group with a plodding PG like Calderon. However, the alternative is what we’re doing now and that can’t continue. Fish can mix and match subs as needed, but the game should be starting and ending with your best available players. Right now that group is Grant, Galloway, Melo, KP and Lopez. Barring foul trouble or someone else getting hot, that’s how it should be.
What’s your take? Have you had enough of Calderon and Vujacic in the starting lineup?
Before officially kicking off the 2015-2016 season, the Knicks already have some drama via head coach Derek Fisher, who was attacked by former teammate Matt Barnes over the weekend for dating Barnes’ estranged wife Gloria.
According to a report from The NY Post, Fisher has been dating Gloria for several months. What drew Barnes’ ire was finding out Fisher was staying in his former home. Barnes, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies and was training in Santa Barbara, reportedly flew into a rage and drove 95 miles to L.A. with the expressed intent “to beat the shit outta Fisher.”
Per another source, the two men came to blows with Fisher receiving a “few scratches,” but opting not to press charges.
Fisher was not at Monday’s practice due to “equipment trouble” with his flight. He will be on the sidelines tonight for the Knicks’ debut preseason game against Brazil.
The NBA stated they are “aware” of the altercation but there’s no word on if any disciplinary action will take place.
Leave the married women alone, Fish! Gloria might be “estranged” from Matt, but until the divorce is finalized, you’re frolicking with another man’s wife. I don’t expect this to have any ramifications on tonight’s game, but it’s still the type of unnecessary distractions a team doesn’t need.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if Gloria Barnes of Basketball Wives fame is worth all this trouble, you tell me.
We finally have footage of Derek Fisher’s new role as head coach courtesy of yesterday’s practice for the summer league team. As you’ll see from the YouTube comments, fans are already claiming this clip has more ball movement than we saw all season with last year’s team. Jokes aside, it’s great to see Fish and new assistant coach Kurt Rambis drilling home importance of moving the ball for open shots. Our offense was such a struggle last season on all fronts that the massive change in culture Phil Jackson is attempting to implement needs to start early. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
With his first press conference in the books, Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has started making his media rounds. In this short but informative video, he confirms that the triangle offense will be the his first option, but he’ll be flexible enough to modify or discard it if that doesn’t fit the team.
While most fans and observers are looking to see what the Knicks do in 2015 with sufficient cap room, Fisher has faith in the current roster being a force next season. Do you share his optimism?