Wednesday night's 126-98 loss to the Raptors was certainly disheartening for the Knicks, who have now lost four straight games and dropped to 4-14, tied for the worst record in the East.
Following the game, Knicks head coach David Fizdale was asked about what his message was to his team, a group that was outscored 105-69 in the game's final three quarters.
"Message to the team is 'trust','' Fizdale told reporters. "Right now we're still fighting that fight to trust each other defensively and offensively. First quarter, you saw the ball move without hesitation. We get to the second quarter, guys were holding the ball too long. They have to trust the easy play and the pass."
"Same thing defensively. If you get beat, you have to trust a guy will be there to protect you and the next guy is going to protect the next guy. It's something we haven't done through a full game. We're constantly fighting for that trust for 48 minutes."
The Raptors, of course, are the reigning NBA Champions, and Fizdale said here is a lot his team can learn from a Championship group like the Raptors.
"Nick (Nurse) deserves a lot of credit for what they've done," said Fizdale. "They run the floor hard for each other, they cut hard for each other, they move the ball selflessly, so we can learn a lot from this team and we lost to a better team tonight."
The Raptors were led by Pascal Siakam, who added 31 points in just 30 minutes. Siakam, last year's Most Improved Player in the NBA, is playing at an even higher level this year, according to Fizdale.
"Relentless attack, relentless effort. His conditioning level is second to none," said the Knicks head coach. "He's improved every single year in the NBA. I'm just so impressed with him."
Up next for the Sixers is a Friday night matchup at home against the Sixers, a team that the Knicks nearly beat last week.
The Sixers stand at 12-6, and they pose another test of the Knicks' team trust.
"Bring it on," said Fizdale. "It goes in waves. We played the Sixers to a five-point game in Philly and we were up 17. So we had a lot of trust in that game, but there was a pocket in that game where we didn't take care of business but we had more minutes than not in that game that we showed trust."