The Knicks lost their first matchup of the season with the 76ers 109-104 on Nov. 20, as the Knicks were up 17 points in the third quarter before the Sixers went on a run in the fourth to win the game.
Sixers star Ben Simmons had 18 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds in the win, including the first three-pointer of his NBA career. Before Friday's game between the two team, Knicks head coach David Fizdale spoke about how his team will try to defend Simmons.
"Unless you got some kind of robot that I don't know about, I'm trying everybody on him," Fizdale said. "The kid can flat out play basketball. He understand the game, he has an incredible I.Q. His motor is second to none. He reminds me of this guy I coached in Miami for a little bit, with that size and that speed. And the ability to see the floor and make other people better."
Standing at 6 foot and 10 inches tall, Simmons is a matchup nightmare for nearly every team in the league, as there aren't many point guards that come even close to his size. Fizdale compares him to LeBron James when he says "this guy I coached in Miami," where Fizdale was an assistant coach during James' tenure with the Heat.
"You just have to have a real toughness against him," Fizdale said. "And you gotta really take the challenge against him. And then the other four guys gotta be ready to do two jobs -- you gotta be ready to help and be ready to close out and get to guys. But the way he's coming along in this league, and the way he continues to get better and better, it's something to see."
"Unless you got some kind of robot that I don't know about, I'm trying everybody on him" - David Fizdale on defending Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/5cY8bCC6qB- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) November 29, 2019
Fizdale also went on to speak about forward Kevin Knox's confidence before Friday's game.
"I think Kevin's OK. I think everybody else is making a big deal about me being tough on Kevin," Fizdale said. "Last year was a different year. This year, we've got some veteran guys who can get the job done and I want Kevin to learn his responsibilities in a different way. And sometimes that's tough love. And Kevin's taking it the right way and he's going about it the right way and he's working the right way."
Knox is averaging just 19.8 minutes per game this season, and has played more than 12 minutes just once over the Knicks last four games.
He has played behind veteran Marcus Morris so far, but you wonder if there is a point in the season where New York (4-14) decides developing players like Knox is more important than its record