Throwing of David Fizdale Under the Bus by Knicks’ Execs Shameful

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Throwing of David Fizdale Under the Bus by Knicks’ Execs Shameful

Courtesy of Knicks

Courtesy of Knicks

Courtesy of Knicks

Courtesy of Knicks

Stephen Lebitsch, Staff Writer

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The New York Knicks are a perfect representation of what happens when you have poor, unprepared leadership that drops the ball during the biggest moments.

When Plan A for the 2019 offseason — trade Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas and pursue Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency with $72 million in cap space—completely blew up in the Knicks executives’ faces, they tried to establish a Plan B to keep their slow but steady progression moving upward. Through the first ten games of the 2019—20, it appears that “Plan B” has also completely failed.

Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry, under the approval of owner James Dolan, who may have been sold a bill of goods, brought in a selection of veteran players, to solidify the roster a bit and make it competitive. While they did not pursue players in the weakest areas, the belief was that these vets, guys like Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, and Julius Randle, would help the young guys in the said weaker positions grow and show progression in winning NBA games.

To their disbelief, while to the expectations of others, this mindset has been anything but inaccurate. The free agent group of power forwards have done almost nothing to improve this roster, as the team stands at a 2—8 record and has lost two of their home games by wide margins to hapless teams.

Now, with the most recent humiliating loss this past Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a 21-point defeat, it is time for Mills and Perry, the co-conspirators of the Knicks’ offseason decisions, to face the music. Instead of doing this, they are looking for someone to dump the blame on and protect their backs from an angry James Dolan.

Their choice of scapegoat: head coach David Fizdale.

After Sunday’s loss to the Cavs, Mills and Perry voiced to the media their displeasure with the direction the team has gone thus far, which they believe comes down to a lack of consistent effort.

“We’re not happy with where we are,” Mills said. “This is not where we expected to be at this point, 10 games in.”

Scott Perry added his thoughts about the Knicks’ effort in the last several games.

“I think the lack of consistency, that for the most part we’ve seen it, but you see sporadic efforts, too.”

It is interesting to note that there is no mention of the players in this excuse. Mills even mentioned that he, Perry, and Dolan are confident in their players’ ability to compete and believe it was a successful free agency, as they got the roster they envisioned during that time.

Whether or not they meant to relate the lack of effort to the players, their comments were vague, instead referring to a deficiency on the coaches’ part. They do not believe that the roster is outmatched, and they’ve been selling that since day one.

Especially when they sneak in their presser while Fizdale is in the locker room with the players goes to show that the execs are trying to undermine their coach. This is not only dishonest; it is also shameful.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowki, Steve Mills has been “angling” and laying the foundation for Fizdale’s firing, which comes as huge news to many following the team.

The real issue with the Knicks’ 2-8 start is not David Fizdale, it’s the performance of the players on the roster.

One is hard pressed to find a few instances, if any, where Fizdale has lacked effort in his coaching and did not do his best to put the team in positions to score and win. His resume as a successful and respected assistant and head coach show otherwise.

The reality is that players in various positions, including some of the free agent signings, have underperformed on the court. The Knicks are currently 29th in the league in points per game differential (-10.1), last in offensive efficiency (99.3), and most of all last in field goal percentage (41.7), per BPI.

Coaching staffs do not put up these numbers, the players do, and these players are not who they were sold to be. They were sold to be talented shooters, yet the shots keep missing and the guard positions remain weak because of negligence to the position.

Steve Mills and Scott Perry failed to convince max free agents to come to New York, or the right borough for that matter, and they tried to patch up with a band-aid-like plan B which also failed. David Fizdale is not worried about his job security, as he told reporters, and there is no reason he should have to be. He is not largely responsible for the New York Knicks’ disgraceful record.

It is a real surprise that Dolan, Mills and Perry don’t realize that actions like theirs are cause for the fans in Madison Square Garden calling for their dismissals.