New York Knicks: Does David Fizdale Have the Hardest Job In the League?

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

There is a concern from New York Knick fans about a possible Knick locker room explosion. Many believe the Knicks signed too many forwards. Many also believe their personalities don’t mix. Is there a possibility of a personality clash? Of course, there will be personality clashes in practices and locker rooms around the NBA, however, the most important factor is whether or not every individual has the same goal in mind. That mutual goal better is about getting wins by any means necessary, and I’m sure Fizdale already made that message clear to the Knicks.

New York Knicks General Manager, Scott Perry, purposely built an iron sharpens iron kind of culture in New York. These players on the current Knicks roster will push each other to the max, hold each other accountable, and tempers may explode from time to time. However, none of it will be personal, unless one commits conduct detrimental to the team. Fizdale will surely communicate his expectations clearly to each player just like what he’s done in the past with prior NBA teams as a head coach and as a young assistant coach. There is no reason to think Fizdale’s style of coaching will change. It got him this far, so why would he abandon his style? Here’s Julius Randle refusing to back down, letting emotions get the best of him in a losing season.

Might I add that Fizdale possesses a bachelors degree from the University of San Diego in Communications? This man understands how to deal with egos. Perry and Fizdale are on the same page when it comes to contracts and egos, but that’s a topic for another day. Media company Knicksfantv seemed a little concerned when discussing Fizdale and possible future trade deadline developments.

Overall, every coach in the NBA has a job on their hands. Executing playing styles and development of players are important, however, communicating a clear message to your players behind doors and giving the media the sugar bits, in my opinion, is the perfect approach when leading a team of emotional, rugged, and opinionated individuals.

New York Knicks: The Portis, Fizdale Effect

New York Knicks, Bobby Portis
One of the newest New York Knicks has been very outspoken.  Bobby Portis signed with the Knicks this off-season and seems to be an open book.
Portis has been very vocal with his ‘underdog mentality’ and being the ‘leader of the bench’.  He recently tweeted out that he is ready for for the season to start.  Portis is quickly becoming a fan favorite before the season started.
The positive, determined mindset that Portis is bringing is a breathe of fresh air to the organization.
Portis also gave his reasoning for why he signed with the New York Knicks in a interview with David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders.
He said, “Just the feel, they have a great coach in David Fizdale, they got a lot of young pieces out there I think I can come in and fit with.”  Portis continued, “I love that they signed Julius [Randle], that’s another guy that can bang and really play at a high level.  I love everything David was talking about with me in the meeting that I had with him.”
Fizdale has earned respect from numerous players around the league.  He built this reputation after being apart of a 2 Miami Heat championships, which included the likes of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
If a coach is to gain the respect from those 3 NBA greats, he must be doing something right.
However, the first season in Fizdale’s Knicks tenure was tough.  The team had the worst record in the league and received the 3rd overall selection in this past draft, RJ Barrett.   The combo of Portis and Fizdale can be something special for the Knicks.  Their energy for the game is exactly what this team needs.
Despite being the leagues worst team last season, you could still see the passion was constantly present for Fizdale.  He was scene running up and down the floor and cheering for his guys despite only winning 17 games.
The energy, determination and ‘underdog’ mentality will radiate off Portis and Fizdale to the other players.  It will be contagious.  With this new attitude Portis is bringing along with Fizdale’s energetic style, the Knicks will be looking to turn some heads.

New York Knicks: Fizdale Wants Aggressive and Stifling Defense

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

Defense, defense and more defense is what New York Knicks assistant coach Jud Buechler was preaching during the 2019 NBA Summer League. The entire regime from top to bottom is on the same page when it comes to New York Knicks being identified as a tough hard nosed and aggressive defensive team in the open Eastern Conference.

David Fizdale wants the New York Knicks to run often and hard. He wants the fast paced offense to be predicated on forced turnovers defensively. The Knicks certainly have the personnel to push the envelope defensively and stop the most important play in the game right now which is the “Pick-and-Roll”. The defensive terror in the middle for the Knicks by the name of Mitchell Robinson covers a ridiculous amount of ground when hedging and rerouting towards the basket for a devastating and MSG crowd pleasing block at the rim. Even on a “pick and pop” Mitchell Robinson is able to contest and block the shooters jump shot. Isolations against Mitchell Robinson on the perimeter is pretty much a death wish if one is intending to shoot a jump shot over the 7’1″ and 7’4″ wingspan future Defensive Player of the Year. Mitchell Robinson’s block party however might lessen due to the fact Robinson will have to display more discipline while defending the paint and avoiding foul trouble. This means he might have to lessen the amount of block attempts and stay grounded lessening the risk of fouls.

Other Knick players like Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Wayne Ellington, Elfrid Payton, Damyean Dotson, Marcus Morris, Frank Ntilikina, Taj Gibson, and even the second rounder Ignas Brazdeikis will take advantage of their depth and play ultra aggressive defense under Fizdale’s orders. Whoever doesn’t play defense won’t see the court. If executed correctly, the stifling defense will wear down opponents during games. This will cause the Knicks to have a decent home record this season due to opponents dreading the trip to MSG.

New York Knicks: David Fizdale is the catalyst to success

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

The New York Knicks signed numerous veterans to help supplement the inexperience on the team this offseason. The foundation of the roster is young and still learning their roles on the team. Players like RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson will all feature regularly during the 2019-20 season, and while the veterans will be leaned on to make a difference, it ultimately comes down to head coach, David Fizdale.

Fiz is one of the league’s more lax and personable coaches, as he focuses on building trustworthy relationships with his players rather than aggressively dictate over them. He finds that more positive relationships help the players understand his motives and his plan to achieve success.

That factor alone wasn’t powerful enough to land superstars like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. The Knicks sold player development this offseason as their more valuable offering to players, but it only managed to lure in players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris. Both are capable professionals that can influence a game, but their impact is minimal compared to options like KD and Irving.

It’s not difficult to see the Knicks’ struggles over the past few seasons, and a majority of the players they let walk in free agency this year barely earned minimum contracts on other clubs. The only player, the Knicks, were interested in bringing back was DeAndre Jordan, who took his talents to Brooklyn.

“Not to knock the culture the Knicks are creating, but we like what Kenny’s doing and Sean’s been awesome and the organization, from top to bottom, has been great,” Jordan said. “So you want to be a part of something like that, especially when you have a chance to play with other great players and build something.”

The realistic approach towards a successful Knicks team starts from the head coaching position. He’s the catalyst behind convincing premium talent to join the ranks and revitalize a lost organization.


New York Knicks: Will David Fizdale Lead the Rookies Next Season?

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

David Fizdale and the New York Knicks plan to unleash the young lions upon the Eastern Conference during the 2019-20 season. The coach of the New York Knickerbockers will help the youngsters develop next season. As a matter of fact, Fizdale’s already spending time with Knick players in the gym this summer.

The hiring of David Fizdale as coach of the New York Knicks was a very underrated acquisition by Scott Perry and Steve Mills. A young rebuilding team like the Knicks must be in the midst of great talent development, especially with very young NBA players being exposed to correct teachings at the beginning of their careers.

The University of San Diego alumni is not a stranger to communicating to his players about what he expects from them. Fizdale is very direct, straight forward and clear with his message and it doesn’t matter whether a player is an approachable type or not. It doesn’t matter if a player is a star and heartbeat of a team like Marc Gasol was to Memphis a while ago. Every player is guaranteed to be held accountable by Fizdale, and every player will understand that defense is the way to earn playing time under Fizdale’s watch.

It says a lot when veteran players like Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and other high-quality vets respect and vouch for Fizdale. Years of experience in the Eastern Conference playoffs alongside Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley don’t hurt either. This is the kind of culture the youngsters need for growth on the basketball court.

The New York Knicks have a plethora of young talent from Julius Randle (24) to RJ Barrett (19) and Ignas Brazdeikis (20). Young players need reps and will for greatness during the offseason. Fizdale clearly and thoroughly delegating job duties to the young guys and preparing them for the season will be beneficial to each player. It will also be beneficial to the New York Knicks win column next season. Fizdale had the youngest team in the league last year competing for a full 48 minutes and staying close late in games against quality teams earning their respect. Opposing coaches would warn their teams about slacking against the lottery-bound Knicks last season to avoid embarrassment.

New York Knicks: Is the culture finally in the right place?

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

The New York Knicks had one of the more underwhelming free agency periods this offseason; however, they did bring in multiple veterans to help solidify the starting unit and bench. They will also play a part in establishing a culture of experience and discipline.

Players such as Marcus Morris and Julius Randle, who have both been on winning teams, know what it takes to build a roster and have success as a cohesive unit. That will be extremely beneficial for a team stacked with youth.

The New York Knicks are ready to make the next jump:

In 2018, the Knicks only recorded 17 total wins, which admittedly took a toll on the minds of the younger players. The veteran leadership they now have will change their mentality. Head coach David Fizdale will also be a factor in establishing the culture and atmosphere.

Fizdale is a very likable coach and meshes well with players. The turnover on the team this offseason, though, will present a challenge for the coach, and signing players on two-year deals with a team option after the first doesn’t necessarily scream chemistry.

The idea is for the free-agent signings to perform so well that they eventually prove they deserve a second contract/extension. This is the ideal/best-case scenario, and it’s possible for Morris and Randle. The latter especially, who is the team’s most dynamic scorer and will be an instant starter.

Losing out on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant surely didn’t send a positive message towards the Knicks’ culture.

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Veteran center, DeAndre Jordan stated:

“Not to knock the culture the Knicks are creating, but we like what Kenny’s doing, and Sean’s been awesome and the organization, from top to bottom, has been great,” Jordan stated regarding Nets coach Kenny Atkinson and GM Sean Marks. “So you want to be a part of something like that, especially when you have a chance to play with other great players and build something.”



New York Knicks: How will David Fizdale distribute playing time in 2019?

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks are beyond the point of babysitting. They’ve signed multiple pricey free agents and will be looking to utilize their talent instead of prioritizing the development of their youth.

The 2018 season was used as such — allowing options like Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson and more to rack up minutes with no consequences of failure. This upcoming season will be different. The front office wont hold back from playing the best players and we have to be ready to see options like Knox struggle to get on the court.

While we saw good things from Knox this past Summer League, the struggles will emerge again as they did last season. Whether he can fight through them or not is the question. However, just because the Knicks brought in players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris doesn’t mean they can’t rotate frequently to ensure their players are gaining essential experience.

Building chemistry will also be a hurdle they must face head-on. Meshing rookies and youth with veterans isn’t always smooth, it will take playing time together to really help the team develop a cohesiveness.

I anticipate head coach David Fizdale favoring the players with the most potential at this point. He will undoubtedly start Randle, Morris, Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr. The final slot could be handed to Knox, Dotson, Trier, Barrett…

Barrett, a 6-foot-7 winger, will earn his fair share of minutes, but his potential actually poses a problem for Fizdale who will have to floor an everyday lineup with a concentration of talent at power forward. Fizdale has been criticized in the past for his lineups — he consistently played Emmanuel Mudiay over Frank Ntilikina who absolutely ‘needed’ playing time.

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Finding a balance for Barrett, Robinson, Knox, Trier, Smith Jr., Ignas Brazdeikis, and veterans Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson, Morris, Randle, and Bobby Portis will be difficult. They also have Wayne Ellington, a three-point sharpshooter.

The reality of the situation is that the Knicks could very well be a .500 team if they rely on the veterans. However, it’s still important that the youth players earn plenty of time on the court.

Will the New York Knicks Go Over 27.5 Wins in 2019?

New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr.

The 2019-20 over/under for each NBA team has been set, with Summer League coming to a close. According to the BetOnline AG sportsbook, the New York Knicks’ over/under is set at 27.5. In order to get to 28 wins, and thus, hit the over, the team would have to win 11 more games in 2019-20. Can they do that?

With the signings of Reggie Bullock and Marcus Morris becoming official, New York’s fifteen-man roster is likely set.

Here is that first fifteen for the New York Knicks:

Point Guard: Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina

Shooting Guard: RJ Barrett, Allonzo Trier, Wayne Ellington, Damyean Dotson

Small Forward: Kevin Knox, Reggie Bullock, Ignas Brazdeikis

Power Forward: Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson

Center: Mitchell Robinson, Bobby Portis

With this team, the Knicks clearly lack starpower, but will hope to make up for it with depth.

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I think the Knicks will likely hit the over, but not by much. With such a deep team, many of the players are of similar caliber, and so it will be difficult for Coach David Fizdale to manage his rotations. 

That said, New York has a lot of depth, and combined with the young talent, it should push the team to about 30 wins. Part of that will be determined by the play of said youngsters.

If RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson can take a step forward and become legitimate NBA players, this team will get to 30 wins and might push for 40.

It will certainly be interesting to watch the Knicks this year as they unfold what has become known as “Plan B” after the team missed out on the summer’s big free agents.


New York Knicks could still find trade partner for Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks, Frnak Ntilikina

Where will Frank Ntilikina end up after a busy offseason for the New York Knicks?

The Knicks didn’t hold back this offseason from bringing in a plethora of new talent to help supplement the failure of missing out on Kevin Durant and others. Players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris headline the free agent grabs, but the roster has gotten awfully crowded at certain positions.

Specifically, the point guard spot is now flush full of options — Dennis Smith Jr., Kadeem Allen, Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina.

The Frenchman has struggled to reach his potential after two seasons in the NBA. His defense is solid but his offensive production has lacked. Averaging just 5.9 points per game after two seasons is disappointing, and despite the offseason videos of him heaving up shots, Ntilikina seems to falter every time he featured on an NBA court.

Frank’s name floated around in the rumor mill prior to the start of free agency this year, and while he’s emerged unscathed, there’s still reason to believe he could be traded. Whether or not he has a future with the Knicks is undetermined, but considering he’s likely a third-stringer at this point, they might be better off trading him for draft value.

A team looking for a talented defender with promise could be a trade target, but convincing them of this would be the hurdle.

Smith Jr. and Payton offer the most value at the point guard position, as both are offensively fueled. Kadeem Allen has also shown he can provide value in short bursts. A two-way contract put the Knicks in an advantageous position.

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What else could the New York Knicks do with Frank Ntilikina?

Alternatively, the Knicks could try and move Ntilikina to a different position, but the reality is, there’s nowhere to really put him. With the drafting of RJ Barrett, signing of Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock, finding a spot for Frank beyond the PG position is nearly impossible.


Head coach David Fizdale used the Frenchman in the 3 at times, utilizing his defense primarily, trying to take the ball out of his hands. That’s the role I anticipate he will feature in more and more as his offense dwindles. What Ntilikina offers simply isn’t enough to garner starting minutes, but a team looking for an above-average defender might be willing to part ways with a second-round pick — in that case, the Knicks should send him on his way before it’s too late.

New York Knicks: Why David Fizdale Is The Perfect Head Coach For Kevin Knox

The very moment former New York Knicks head coach, Jeff Hornacek, got into an altercation with big-man Joakim Noah, the season and his job were both destined for failure. Hornacek was preemptively fired after a two-year stint in New York, and the Knicks were once again on the hunt to change the narrative of their ever-floundering organization. The man to help get it done, David Fizdale.

The New York Knicks are finally making good business decisions!

Several months after the firing of Hornacek, Kevin Knox was drafted in the first-round with Mitchell Robinson close behind. In addition to the two young phenoms, Fizdale was brought on to help change the course of the Knicks for the foreseeable future. Fizdale was one of many candidates, but his reputability and adaptability with former players was ultimately the deciding factor.

Having a coach that can talk to a player one-on-one and be a friend but also a disciplinarian was the point of this hire. His style of coaching revolves around trust, and he has already begun developing the chemistry with his players. Fiz went as far as to travel to Latvia to spend time with his star forward, Kristaps Porzingis.

Fizdale promised the Knicks he would be different and he has not shied away from that idea:

The level of commitment the Knicks’ new coach as displayed is exactly what was necessary for his players to finally believe in their leader, despite the issues that arose in 2017 with Hornacek.

Fizdale didn’t only go to Latvia to be with Porzingis, but rather to begin showing him how Knox is developing and what he should be looking forward to in the upcoming season. Things are off to a great start, and the talent that’s beginning to bleed through the orange and blue jerseys is becoming apparent.

Knox is a young player, only 18 years-old, with a lot to learn and a ton of support behind him. He has a coach that will pick up him when he’s down and physically will him back to life. Rookie speed-bumps are unavoidable, but having a coach that can lessen the blow of each one is a necessity for a young player to reach their full potential.