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Aug 29, 2018, 12:31
New York Knicks: Top 3 players likely to clash with David Fizdale
By Geoffrey Campbell - 08/29/2018

The New York Knicks franchise has enjoyed a summertime romance with potential, hope, and stability. New head coach David Fizdale has certainly been at the center of it. Fizdale’s charm and candor has fans reminiscing of their childhood Mr. Softee ice cream truck. Always on time, never out of stock, and delivering you what you want with a smile.
Yet, fans know that despite the great quotes and impressive personal presence, Fiz is just a coach. He can’t increase the talent on a Knicks squad that would be lucky to win more than 32 games this year.
For the record, I believe in Fizdale, his tactics, bravado, and the ability to create relationships with his players. From what I’ve researched, he’s extremely detailed and a great teacher of the game of basketball.
However, all of that won’t stop professional athletes from taking to social media, and/or going to the press if they’re not happy with their playing time or the way the season is going.
With that said, let’s take a look at the top three players likely to clash with coach Fizdale in year one. This is assuming Joakim Noah is not on the team come opening night.

Make no mistake about it, Courtney Lee has been a consummate professional since the day the Knicks signed him. But this will be a different year for the 32-year-old out of Western Kentucky. With the Knicks clearly embracing the youth movement, Lee has all but seen the writing on the wall, and he recently made that clear on social media.
Lee will find it difficult to find substantial playing time behind Tim Hardaway Jr. and maybe even Daymean Dotson.
Hardaway Jr. may have a better year and an easier time on defense once he moves back to his natural two-guard position. And with a bevy of forwards like Mario Hezonja, Lance Thomas, and rookie Kevin Knox, Lee may be the odd man out.
Additionally, Fizdale may opt for lineups that include primary and secondary ball handlers, to make the most out of the point-guard heavy roster. This would also make it likely that Lee spends a good amount of time on the bench.
Finally, despite the fact that he has stated in the past that he would be open to a trade, the Knicks want a respectable return for him. For this to happen, the Knicks will have to wait until the trade deadline, when a contender will be looking for a reliable shooter who can defend his position. Once again, this means that Lee sees time on the bench, or in a reserve role, something he may not be happy about.

This may come as a shock to some, but not if you’ve been listening closely to Fizdale.
I’m firmly in Trey Burke’s corner and have loved watching his NBA career rebirth. All signs show that this guy has been working his tail off and wants to be a part of New York Knicks basketball. Sadly, it may just not be enough.
During Fizdale’s introductory press conference, he made a point to call out Emmanuel Mudiay and told him, “We’re gonna get you right.” Fizdale’s fascination with height and length may lead him to feature Mudiay as a lead guard with the Knicks.
Frank Ntilikina, despite his inconsistent shooting, will get minutes because of his impressive defensive skills.
Dig a little deeper into the vault, and Fizdale proclaimed his fondness for Mudiay, even before he took the Knicks job when he was a spot analyst for ESPN.
Burke’s maturation since his stint in the G League has been well-documented. I have respect for the player and the position he has put himself in, yet I’m not sure he will take kindly to a reserve role after the season he just had. I don’t think Burke would ever be a malcontent, but I also don’t think he’ll sit quietly if he starts losing minutes to Mudiay.
Mudiay, standing at 6-foot-5 compared to the 6-foot-1 Burke (and that may be generous), will prove his worth if he can continue to be consistent threat to break down the defense off the dribble. Shooting and defense will be the two main areas fans will look to see if he’s improved over the offseason.
If not, fans will be clamoring for Burke’s patented step-back jumper, which is just one tool is an overall impressive offensive arsenal. I think a lot of people would like to see Burke as a starting point guard for the Knicks, but Fiz may opt for the potential and physical stature of Mudiay.

The gregarious one, Enes Kanter has just about given New York all they can handle with his personality. I believe most people feel Kanter is a fan favorite, even if every now and then the social media antics are a bit much. Regardless, Kanter is a prime candidate to have some sneak-disses in his postgame comments or via twitter/IG aimed towards Fizdale.
Early on Kanter raved about Fiz’s straightforward nature. He even told DJ Sixsmith of CBS New York that Fiz tells you, “what you need to hear”. This prompted the seven-year veteran to start working on improving his three-point shot. Kanter will do his best to take notes from Marc Gasol circa 2016-2017, when the Spaniard took a total of 268 three-point shots, making them at a 38 percent clip.
Fans will remember that previous coach, Jeff Hornacek kept Kanter off the floor during crunch time minutes due to his lack of defense and inability to stretch the floor. Subsequently, Kanter made comments during last season that he was not happy about being on the bench during crunch time or losing minutes to players like Isaiah Hicks when it was clear that the Knicks were tanking.

Enter Mitchell Robinson. The hype surrounding this young man is at times overwhelming. But he is impressive. A long and lean rim-protector, Robinson has the abilities to close out to shooters on the perimeter and all but destroy anyone who feels they can drive the lane against him.
With Kristaps Porzingis projected to miss most of this season, the Knicks may opt to speed up Robinson’s learning curve and throw him into the starting lineup. This would all but leave Kanter out in the cold, and along with teammate Lee looking for a new squad come trade deadline.

In the end, it’s quite possible that none of these players figure into the long-term plans for the Knicks. And despite Fizdale coming through on some of his early promises, he just can’t make everyone happy. It’s not possible.
These players work too hard and have too much confidence in themselves to not have a featured role on their teams. Managing the egos of today’s player is an immensely difficult task. Add on a potential 50-loss season, and you might have a Fizdale mutiny during his first season in charge.


WOW !!!

Aug 29, 2018, 13:42
Hopefully, coach Fix (Fizdale) wont have any clashing from star players if he's smart and let the 3 players mention in the above article (Lee, Kanter, Burke) become the Knicks Starters at the start of the 2018-19 regular season, along with the two FA the Knicks picked-up in the offseason (Hezonja and Vonleh).
By coach Fix running a 10 to 12 man-rotation for the first 20 to 30 games of the Knicks 2018-19 regular season .. plus having a 2nd-unit bench perform the majority of the playing time minutes in the 2nd quarter of the games to gain chemistry inside the Knicks bench role-players PG-Frank/SG-THJ/SF-Rookie Knox/PF-Robinson/and good ole faithful center Joakim Noah's leadership guiding the 2nd-unit lineup in half-court and uptempo offense/defense.
Players like Lance Thomas, Mudiay, and Baker need to sit back grabbing garbage-time at the start of the season saving their energy for hard practices vs the Knicks 10 man rotation, and for their playing-time minutes to go up during the 2nd half of the season to win 35+ games !!!

Aug 30, 2018, 21:34
Ian Begley
ESPN Staff Writer

David Fizdale said in an interview with NBC New York that there is already reason for fans to be optimistic about a potential Knicks turnaround due to president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry's "awesome of plan bringing in guys that maybe didn't work out in the place where they were at before. But they're a high draft pick and under some good player development and some culture, maybe that kid could turn into something close to what he was expected to be." The Knicks have nine former lottery picks on the roster this season. Fizdale also referenced the idea of Kristaps Porzingis returning to the lineup from his ACL injury. "I really feel like we're all in sync and moving in the right direction with this thing and doing it the right way," he said.


I have to give it to coach Fix (Fizdale) .. He do have me being very optimistic bout the upcoming Knicks season having players working-out and practicing during the month of August.

Sep 03, 2018, 23:01
Giddy David Fizdale lays out ‘awesome’ plan for Knicks’ rebirth ;
By Marc Berman

We should all be having what David Fizdale is having.
In a supremely optimistic TV interview from a Manhattan kids clinic Wednesday, the new Knicks coach said he “clicked” with Kristaps Porzingis, calling him “excited” about the team’s direction, adding all Knicks fans should be excited about what is growing at the Garden.
“It’s already happening,” Fizdale said about the franchise’s rebirth in the interview with Channel 4’s Bruce Beck. “Kristaps will come back healthy. He was already having a big-time season last year when he got knocked down. We had an awesome draft with Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Allonzo Trier — our two-way player. Scott [Perry] and these guys are sticking to an awesome plan, bringing in guys maybe that didn’t work out at a place before but are high draft picks. [With] good player development, good culture, they can turn into something they were expected to be. We’re doing it the right way.”
The Knicks are pegged in Las Vegas with an over-under of 29.5 wins, with an industry source saying more money is coming in under. Yet Knicks fans, who have suffered through five straight non-playoff seasons, seem to be buying into the rhetoric.
Fizdale and his wife, Natasha, visited the formerly disgruntled Porzingis in Latvia late last month and got good vibes from a four-day visit.
Porzingis visit is everything Knicks love about David Fizdale
“Oh yeah, Kristaps is excited,” Fizdale said. “I’m telling you right now. We had four days of fun. We talked some hoop. I planned on watching film with him. We had so much fun, we never get to the film part of it. A lot of the conversations was about our culture and the environment we’re trying to create where everyone is held accountable and respects each other. I really felt that clicked with him.
“He likes the challenge of me wanting him to be the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. Real competitors want that. I’m going right at it with him. I want him to look at himself that way.”
Because of Fizdale’s feud with Spaniard Marc Gasol in Memphis, there was concern about how the new Knicks coach would handle another All-Star European. Fizdale knew he had to make the trip, especially because of Porzingis’ prior disenchantment with the franchise’s blueprint.

Sep 03, 2018, 23:26
Mario Hezonja and Fizdale

“It was a must,” Fizdale said of his trek. “That’s just who I am. I’ve never not seen a player over the summer. Wherever they are, I’m going there. For me and my wife to experience his culture and lived day to day in that city and learn how he grew up and things he ate growing up, places he played — for him and his family to share that with us and let us in and show us hospitality — was amazing.”
The Knicks haven’t declared a timetable for Porzingis’ return from ACL surgery, but NBA’s national networks made the Knicks part of their Christmas Day lineup against the Bucks — the club against which he suffered his catastrophic injury. The Knicks are the only lottery team on the 10-team card other than LeBron James’ Lakers.
Fizdale alluded to former lottery picks the Knicks are trying to resurrect, including July signees Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh and returnees Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke. When asked by Beck how he intends to fix the Knicks’ “mess,” Fizdale said: “I don’t like to call anything that was before me a mess. I respect the guys who came before me. They didn’t accomplish what they set out to do. I’m here to accomplish that. I think we can put together something special.”

Oct 12, 2018, 21:53
Should we Knick Fans be optimistic bout the Knicks new head-coach Fizdale ???

Who will be in coach Fizdale Starting-Lineup on opening night?
And how well will coach Fiz rotation perform when all we seen in the preseason games were Iso-offense and Iso-defense?
And not much Knick team-ball in the preseason games?
All that summer-crap bout coach Fiz mixing well throughout the offseason with the Knicks young-core players .. and come to find out through watching the pre-season games that coach Fiz dont have a clue SMFH.... As a Knick Fan who watched all the Knicks preseason games, how come im clueless of who will be the Knicks starting PG on opening night?
I do know inconsistent no-defense Timmy will be a starter (Mills signed him) .. And I do know our 4 straight losing season Mr. Tank-Tank Lance will be a starter .. Kanter's consistent double-double earned him to be a starter.
What players mixed well in the preseason games in a lineup having Kanter, Lance, and Timmy?
Did Dolan/Mills hire another Puppet headcoach?
Now that the season will start in 5 more days .. I do know one thing .. Perry did not sign or trade for any veteran mentors in the offseason for KP return, or 2nd season Frank, or our rookies Knox and MitchRob growth as a Knick.

I am curious about ....
Burke- Does he has the tools to be a starter PG for 82 games?
Mudiaye- Will he fulfill the promise? Will Mudiay & Timmy get the opportunity to be the Knick starter back-court?
Frank- How will coach Fiz improve Franks multi-position talent throughout the season? Will Frank n Burke get the opportunity to mix it up in a lineup each game?
Baker- Will coach Fiz create a defensive hustle lineup to use to close out each quarter of the game?
Timmy- Will Timmy show he learned how to play team-ball in the backcourt and on both sides of the court this season?
Lee- Will coach Fiz go over Mills head to start Lee over Timmy?
Dotson- Does he rate GLeague?
Trier- Will he make the roster and the rotation at the start of the season?
Knox- I think he'll have an up and down, probably inefficient rookie year showing a lot of promising moments (same as rookie KP had) .. Has coach Fiz fixed the Knicks weak (developing youth) coaching-staff.
Mario- I expect him to play.
Vonleh- I expect him to play.
Lance- Will Lance hustle performance ever be effective consistently to win a game?
MitchRob- talent are NBA Ready for the PF position, will coach Fiz hold MitchRob 2-Way talent back in his rookie season?
Kornet and Hicks- Will coach Fiz rotate them in the regular season games?
Kanter- Will the Knicks try to find a better PF than Lance and Tired-KP to put in a lineup with double-double Kanter this season .. like MitchRob ???