Despite the Knicks' stumble out the gate of the 2019-20 season's first two weeks, second-year head coach David Fizdale feels support from New York's higher-ups.
Before the Knicks (1-6) tipped off with the Pistons (3-5) Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Fizdale told reporters during the team's shootaround that the likes of president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry have maintained optimism.
Fresh off Sunday's 113-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings (2-5) Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York, the Knicks entered the midweek game against the Pistons with the Eastern Conference's worst record.
"They've been incredibly supportive," Fizdale said of Mills and Perry, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "We talk every day. The beauty of what's happening inside our building is everyone is connected. They all see the work that we're putting in."
Since the Knicks' first and only win of the early season, last Monday's 105-98 victory against the Bulls (2-6), Fizdale felt the team made strides throughout the past week.
The Knicks followed the effort at United Center in Chicago with last Wednesday's 95-83 loss to the Orlando Magic and then Friday's 104-102 buzzer-beating defeat against the Boston Celtics.
But the unraveling on the Knicks' home floor, with the MSG crowd's chants of "Fire Fizdale" echoing throughout the building at one point, drew attention to the poor start.
"I don't think about that," Fizdale said of the chant. "I was more concerned about our performance from my seat. I can't be caught up with how everybody else was feeling."
Veteran forward Marcus Morris, who dropped a game-high 28 points on 64.3-percent shooting and a 4-of-6 mark from three-point range as a bright spot in the Knicks' loss to the Kings, defended Fizdale after the game.
"You give any coach in the league ten new guys and see how good they do with them," Morris said after Sunday's game. "Like I said, he's putting us in the best position to win and it's on us."
RJ Barrett echoed Morris in a sense when asked about Fizdale's "load management" of the rookie guard, who indicated after the Knicks' loss to the Kings that the communication beween he and his coach is open.
"If feel like if I wasn't (good with it), I would've told him," said Barrett, the 2019 NBA draft's No. 3 overall selection, who averages 37.1 minutes through the Knicks' first seven games.
The Knicks are tied with the Western Conference's New Orleans Pelicans (1-6), who have been without rookie forward and top pick Zion Williamson after he underwent Oct. 21 athroscopic surgery on his right knee to sideline him 6-8 weeks.
With the Pistons on deck and Friday's 8:30 p.m. ET game against the Mavericks (4-2) and former Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (2015-19) to follow from American Airlines Center, the possibility of a 1-8 start looms large.
After the two-game road trip, the Knicks return home over the weekend to host the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-5) Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET.