David Fizdale likes to break the Knicks' 82-game schedule into 10-game stretches.
Over the team's first 10 games of the year, the Knicks went 2-8. Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics will be the team's 20th game of the season, and currently, the team is just 2-7 in this second 10-game span of the season.
Still, head coach David Fizdale believes that there have been notable improvements during the latest 10-game stretch, despite that fact that the team has just two wins during that time frame.
"We've played better basketball," Fizdale said after Saturday's practice. "It may not show up in wins, but I think overall, consistency, effort, and giving ourselves a chance to win these games has been much better. Other than the Toronto game the other night, I really feel like all other games we've really been right there with these teams."
Following that Toronto game, a contest in which the Knicks held the lead after one quarter but went on to get blown out 126-98, Fizdale spoke about his team's need for trust, and he emphasized that need again on Saturday.
"It's just trying to figure out what little pockets of the game can we tighten up to give ourselves that next chance," Fizdale said. "So, free throws, obviously, is a big one. Not fouling as much is a big one for us right now, and then obviously, fourth quarter, trusting. Just continuing to have the ability to trust each other when it gets tight."
Excluding the Raptors' blowout, the Knicks have dropped their last four games by a combined 20 points. Fizdale knows that his team has played competitive basketball, but he wants them to be able to find that one last extra push that will get them out of their current funk.
"We got thrown for a loop there for about a week and a half, two weeks, personally and professionally," Fizdale said. "We lost some close ones that if it had gone our way, we'd probably be talking about this a lot differently. Talk about guys hitting shots at the buzzer on you or shots with two seconds left to win the game and things like that.
"Those games can go either way, and I think when they don't go your way so many times in a row, it leaves a bad taste. But we could easily be looking at a totally different record in some of those games if we could have just come up with that one stop."
One of those games that Fizdale referred to was the Knicks' 104-102 loss to the Celtics on November 1. After Marcus Morris tied the game with a three-pointer with 4.0 seconds left, Jayson Tatum hit the game-winner for the Celtics at the other end.
The Knicks will look to avenge that loss, and halt their current five-game skid, on Sunday as they host the Celtics.