NBA

Fizdale Fizzing Out in New York

The New York Knicks have gone through a tumultuous time as an organization throughout the past several seasons. However, it seems like rock bottom is really starting to hit in New York after an abysmal 17-65 2018-19 campaign with an inexperienced franchise and a first year head coach David Fizdale. When they traded their franchise player Kristaps Porzingis to create cap space for marquee free agents, there was a bit of hope in New York for improvement and signs of life. But when the Knicks had hoped for the first overall pick, they wound up with the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft missing out on the opportunity to draft the Duke phenom Zion Williamson, and they struck out in free agency as well by missing out on Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving among others.

Knicks fans were digging for hope and found some in a promising preseason from their first round pick RJ Barrett and a solid young core in Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Allonzo Trier. They also signed Julius Randle who broke out last year as a Pelican with an impressive 21.4 ppg (points per game), which is his career high and 8.7 rpg (rebounds per game).

Fizdale as their head coach was supposed to help these players find their niche and their identity. This young core with so much promise and potential playing in front of a restless fan base that is eager for something to cheer for. So far, he has failed to accomplish that. This team has started off with a whopping 2-9 record, returning back to being at the bottom of the east following a 120-102 loss to the Bulls after being outscored in the 4th quarter 35-17.

Take a look where things are going wrong for the Knicks, and look no further than their inability to score the basketball. Although they are 15th in the league in scoring defense, offensively, they have the second worst scoring offense in the league, the worst offensive rating in the league, combined with the third slowest pace in the league as well. For those unfamiliar with what offensive rating is, it is points per 100 possessions. Offensive ineptitude is not an uncommon theme with teams coached by Fizdale. His only full season as coach prior to his tenure with the Knicks was when he coached the 2016-17 Memphis Grizzlies. Although they went 43-39, they also had the second worst scoring offense in the league that year, with the second slowest pace. Last year was his second full year as an NBA coach, and similar offensive woes carried over from Memphis. Fizdale led the 2018-19 Knicks to the 3rd worst scoring offense in the league and had the worst offensive rating in the league with 104.5.

With Fizdale at the helm, the Knicks are not maximizing their ability to push the ball up and down the court and wear out the opposition considering they have the youngest team in the league with an average age of 24.57. They have the athleticism to get to the basket at will and make plays in transition and have failed to do so during his tenure. Rumors of Team President Steve Mills looking to move on from Coach Fizdale have already hit the surface this season and with the inability to score the ball that is paired with an average defense, it is hard to blame Mills for trying to look in another direction. But for now Knicks fans, just buckle up and enjoy the rebuilding ride and hope that sooner rather than later your New York Knickerbockers will give you something to cheer for.

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