(Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale plans to use Julius Randle all over the floor this season. 

"I'm gonna have him handling pick-and-roll. I'm gonna have him setting pick-and-rolls. He'll post and (isolate) and I'll run pindowns for him, cross-screens and pindowns. For a guy like that with that kind of talent I wanna move him around and utilize the skillset from different parts of the floor," Fizdale said Wednesday. 

The coach plans to use Randle as a point-forward at times, asking him to bring the ball up for floor when he gets a rebound. 

"I think he's an underrated passer. I'm going back through his film now and he does a lot of stuff to help his teammates and he makes good plays," Fizdale said. "He understands the challenge I'm putting to him is leadership, defense and making his teammates better."

 

Randle was the Knicks' biggest free-agent signing this summer, inking a three-year, $63 million deal. He's expected to start at power forward alongside Mitchell Robinson at center. 

There's an open competition for the other starting spots. No matter who fills out the starting five, Fizdale says the Knicks will have more diversity on offense this season. 

"More screen-aways, more cross-screens, different motion movements, because, again, we got a lot of different pieces now," Fizdale said. "I want everyone to feel actively involved in the offense."

The Knicks ranked 30th in both points per possession and assist percentage last season. They didn't land a top free agent last summer, they have more offensive talent, so you'd expect those statistics to improve this season. 

Here are a few other notes from Wednesday's practice: 

Coaches encouraging Robinson to shoot from distance: Fizdale said the coaching staff is on board with Mitchell Robinson shooting 3-pointers. 

"We started developing that last year. It can do nothing but help him," Fizdale said. "I don't believe in putting a cap on guys. Mitch isn't going to be bombing four threes a game or anything like that, but I want him to feel confident that he's in the right spacing and that ball finds him that he lets it go without worrying."

Robinson worked on his 3-point shot all offseason and plans to shoot them in games this year. 

"He's a really good free throw shooter for a big, so he's got a nice touch and shooting stroke. The coaches have done a really nice job of working with him," Fizdale said. "I think you've seen when he's out there shooting the ball goes in a lot for a big seven-foot guy."

Nick Young attends scrimmages: Free agent Nick 'Swaggy P" Young was among the veterans to play in the Knicks' informal scrimmages in the weeks leading up to training camp. 

"He can still play," Fizdale said. "He's Swaggy P."

New Net Lance Thomas and Carmelo Anthony also attended the workouts. 

When asked how Anthony looked in the scrimmages, RJ Barrett said, "He was good, he was good. I mean it's Carmelo Anthony, come on." 

Barrett will be competing with Allonzo Trier, Wayne Ellington, Reggie Bullock (when he returns) and others at shooting guard this season.

Here's what Fizdale expects of Trier entering Year 2: "One, I want to see him get his three ball off more and not be so dependent on playing off the dribble so much, being willing to move the ball when the play calls for it. And then becoming a better rebounder from the guard position. Those are things that we've talked about a lot."

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Carmelo Anthony, Lance Thomas, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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 (Fernando Medina)
(Fernando Medina)

On Friday, the Knicks parted ways with head coach David Fizdale and turned the reins over to Mike Miller on an interim basis.

Miller had been an assistant under Fizdale since the beginning of this season, but he hadn't had any NBA exposure prior to this year. 

Here's everything fans need to know about the Knicks' new interim head coach:

- Miller, 55, is a native of Monmouth, Ill. After graduating from Monmouth High School, he played college hoops at East Texas State, helping the team win a Lone Star Conference title in 1984. He graduated in 1987.

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 (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich can often be tight-lipped with the media, though there are always certain topics that he feels the need to speak out on.

David Fizdale's firing fell into that category.

Popovich met with reporters on Friday, after the news broke about Fizdale's firing, and without being asked, defended the former Knicks head coach.

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With the team's record dropping to 4-18 after an embarrassing 37-point home loss to the Denver Nuggets, it was utterly predictable when the New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale in a Friday afternoon news dump. 

Just as predictable was the resounding chorus that cropped up in wake of the move, declaring that Fizdale was not the problem in New York. 

Unquestionably, that is true. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, Noah Vonleh
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Mar 14, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Retired NBA player Metta World Peace smiles before the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Mar 14, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Retired NBA player Metta World Peace smiles before the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Retired NBA player Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, tweeted out his interest in becoming the head coach for the Knicks on Friday afternoon.

"If the @nyknicks is available, I definitely want to head coach there," World Peace said. "I will absolutely bring that street mentality to the garden...This would be epic for all people like me. Straight from the jungles to win a title in NYC."

World Peace, 40, was born and raised in Queens, NY and attended St. John's University from 1997-1999. He played 17 seasons in the NBA from 1999-2014 and then from 2015-2017, including a brief stint with the Knicks during the 2013-14 season. He was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 while with the Indiana Pacers, and won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.

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 (David Dow)
(David Dow)

The Knicks made the firing of David Fizdale official on Friday evening, naming assistant Mike Miller as the team's interim head coach.

Miller, 55, has been an assistant with the Knicks this season after spending the previous four seasons as the head coach of the team's G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. 

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale is out. Here we take a look at potential candidates for the job -- assuming that their interim head coach doesn't coach well enough to do the job. It also assumes that team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry are the execs who hire the next full-time coach (here's a look at why that may not be the case). 

Anyway, assuming Mills and Perry are making the call, below is a look at some potential candidates: 

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks have parted ways with head coach David Fizdale. Now, the focus turns to Knicks president Steve Mills

Mills and Knicks general manager Scott Perry hired Fizdale after an extensive coaching search in 2018. 

The plan then was for Mills, Perry and Fizdale to build a winning culture in New York by developing young players and attracting stars. 

Tags: Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale watches play against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale watches play against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

The Knicks have fired head coach David Fizdale, SNY's Ian Begley confirmed. The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

At 4-18, the club is on pace for the worst season in franchise history and has lost eight consecutive games.

New York fired Fizdale on Friday, a day after a 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets. In their previous game, the Knicks had lost by 44 points to the Milwaukee Bucks.

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Knicks have gotten off to a rough start this season and currently sit at the bottom of the eastern conference at 4-18. With their recent struggles added to what was a brutal free agency for the team this offseason, head coach David Fizdale has found himself in the hot seat.

SNY's Ian Begley reported earlier this week that one member of the organization said late last month that he expected management to fire Fizdale soon. This came after the Knicks were blown out by the Bucks 133-88. Since then, the Knicks were blown out again 129-92--this time on their home floor by the Nuggets.

"I don't think about that stuff, I don't think about it at all" Fizdale said, when asked if he thinks he'll be given the time to turn things around for the Knicks. "I go into everyday as 'I come in here, I see 17 guys that I've got to make better and I see a team in Indiana that we've got to try and go out and beat,' and I take it day-by-day that way."

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Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)
Oct 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the press during the 2023 NB All-Star announcement at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports (Chris Nicoll)

The Knicks are sitting not so comfortably at the bottom of the eastern conference and are in the midst of the worst five-year stretch in franchise history, but don't expect NBA commissioner Adam Silver to step in to help them any time soon.

Speaking to WFAN on Thursday, the commissioner didn't leave any doubts concerning his stance on potentially interfering with the Knicks.

"I wouldn't. It's not my role," Silver said. "Of course, I work for 30 teams. And the 29 other teams want to beat that team. That's not to say me getting involved (would be good) and that I'm in any better position to know what to do. We set the rules. And then we try to have a level playing field for the teams to compete."

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For the first time in franchise history, the Knicks have lost back-to-back games by 30-plus points.

Thursday's 129-92 loss at home to the Denver Nuggets was the fifth game this season that the team has trailed by 30 or more in a game, with three of those games coming at home. 

Perhaps the biggest issue for the Knicks came on the defensive end, as they allowed the Nuggets to shoot a lofty 21-39 (.538) from three-point range on the night.

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The Knicks lost their second straight game in blowout fashion, as the Nuggets came into Madison Square Garden on Thursday and left with a 129-92 win. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Thursday's game

1) The Knicks led by six points with five and a half minutes to go in the first quarter, and while that opening stretch was a noticeable improvement over their last game against the Bucks, things were all downhill from there. The Knicks struggled particularly in defending the three-pointer, as Denver found open shot after shot from beyond the arc. Overall, the Nuggets shot 21-39 (.538) from beyond the arc. This was the fifth game this season that Knicks have trailed by 30-plus points, with three of them coming at home. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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Carmelo Anthony (Chuck Cook)
Carmelo Anthony (Chuck Cook)

Carmelo Anthony has seemingly silenced any and all doubters since making his return to the NBA this season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

After being named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, Anthony has now had his contract fully guaranteed by the Blazers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

The Blazers officially announced Anthony's signing on November 19, signing him to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract at the time.

Wojnarowski notes that the Blazers had until early January to make a decision on guaranteeing the contract, but it looks like they've seen enough from the former Knick to want him around for at least the rest of the season.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

As the Knicks (4-17) prepare to host the Denver Nuggets (13-5) Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York, here are several notes from Wednesday's practice.

With seven straight losses, the Knicks continue to search for their first win since Nov. 18's 123-105 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they should get a big boost in the lineup.

Marcus Morris should return for the Knicks against Denver after missing two games with a neck injury (more on that below). New York should also have Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina vs. the Nuggets.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Allonzo Trier (Noah K. Murray)
Allonzo Trier (Noah K. Murray)

Allonzo Trier finally found his way back into the Knicks' lineup in their blowout against the Bucks on Sunday night after posted DNPs in the previous two. And unfortunately for him, that has been common of late. 

Trier's name hasn't come up a lot for the Knicks, and that is probably due to the fact that he has only played in two of the last 10 games. He had six straight DNPs before David Fizdale played him for seven minutes against the Raptors on Nov. 27. 

In fact, Trier has only played in 10 of the Knicks' 21 games this season, and the logjam in the backcourt is the main reason why. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Wayne Ellington, Scott Thompson
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Mar 28, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Rap artist ”Fat Joe" reacts during the second half of a game between the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 28, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Rap artist ”Fat Joe" reacts during the second half of a game between the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

It's been months since they made their decision, but Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant continue to catch flak for choosing the Nets over the Knicks. This time, the shot comes from rapper and New York's own Fat Joe.

Speaking with Sports Illustrated on Wednesday, Joe said that the two NBA All-Stars didn't want to deal with the pressure of being a Knick, yet still wanted to play in New York. The alternative, then, was to go to Brooklyn.

"You got to understand a lot of players, and I'll call them out: Kyrie, Durant. They didn't want that New York Knick pressure," Joe said. "They didn't want that media attention. They didn't want Sports Illustrated being right in the backyard. They didn't want that, so they said, 'Alright, we want New York, but let's do the lesser of the drama. Let's go to Brooklyn.'"

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Jan 19, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett reacts from the bench during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Timberwolves 114-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)
Jan 19, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett reacts from the bench during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Timberwolves 114-99. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Former Celtics great Kevin Garnett wasn't surprised that Kyrie Irving left Boston in the offseason to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. 

"No," Garnett said during an interview in New York to promote the film, 'Uncut Gems,' which stars Garnett and Adam Sandler and will be released on Christmas. 

Garnett explained why he wasn't shocked that Irving didn't want to re-sign with the Celtics. 

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Dec 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale reacts after a turnover against the Boston Celtics during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale reacts after a turnover against the Boston Celtics during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

We are at about the quarter-way point of the NBA season and the Knicks find themselves with the second worst record in the league and at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

At 4-17, the Knicks have fallen to new lows and are on pace to break the record they tied last season for the worst season in team history. 

Head coach David Fizdale has been in an extremely hot seat ever since Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry held a rare press conference after the team started the season 2-8. 

Since then, the Knicks have gone 2-9.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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The lingering question after the Knicks' 44-point loss in Milwaukee is this: how much longer will David Fizdale be on the sidelines?

We don't have a definitive answer, but one member of the organization said late last month that he expected management to fire Fizdale soon, per SNY sources. The person who expressed the thought isn't someone who would make the decision to fire Fizdale. But the idea that a member of the Knicks believes a coaching change is coming says a lot about the level of uncertainty in New York right now.

As you know, there has been speculation about Fizdale's job status for several weeks amid New York's 4-17 start.

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Dec 2, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots over New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports  (Michael McLoone)
Dec 2, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots over New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports (Michael McLoone)

The Knicks never led in Monday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks and dropped their seventh straight game, 132-88. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) Milwaukee jumped out to a 33-15 lead after the first quarter and coasted the rest of the way to a victory. Khris Middleton's three-pointer on the first position of the game set the tone, and the Knicks were never closer on the scoreboard than they were at the opening tip-off.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kadeem Allen
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Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Frank Ntilikina is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Bucks, the Knicks announced

Ntilikina had been listed as questionable earlier in the day, but with the point guard's status up in the air, the team brought in Kadeem Allen from Westchester. 

Ntilikina played just seven minutes in Sunday's loss to the Celtics before being removed due to back spasms. Dennis Smith Jr. played a season-high 38 minutes in his absence, scoring 17 points, another season high. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Oct 23, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) runs up the court during the first half of the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Dunn)
Oct 23, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) runs up the court during the first half of the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Dunn)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Amid a miserable start to this Knicks season, there have been a few positive developments. Frank Ntilikina has shown that he's -- at the very least -- a capable NBA rotation player in the league. Marcus Morris has shot incredibly well from beyond the arc (52 percent). And, of course, there's RJ Barrett.

On most nights, Barrett has impacted the game on both ends of the floor and played with a poise and awareness that you wouldn't expect from a 19-year-old.

Before Sunday's loss to the Celtics, Boston head coach Brad Stevens offered his thoughts on Barrett: "The first time I saw him in person up close here was the third game of the season and his body, physicality, skill level, all ready for the NBA. I think that's pretty unique for a wing in the league"

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Nov 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Nov 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Knicks will be missing one of their key players when they take on the Bucks on Monday night in Milwaukee, with Marcus Morris (cervical spasms) ruled out.

Morris did not travel with the Knicks to Milwaukee.

Frank Ntilikina, who left Sunday's game against the Celtics early due to back spasms and was later ruled out, is questionable for Monday night.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Danny Abriano
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Last year after 20 games, the Knicks were 6-14. They went on to win just 11 more games. That summer, they spent $70 million in free agency. They didn't sign their top targets, but landed players they felt would improve the team.

It's fair to assume that no one in the organization thought this year's Knicks would be worse than last year's team. But New York will wake up on Monday with a 4-16 record, two games worse than last season and tied with Atlanta for the worst record in the league.

If you're looking for people to blame for the Knicks' awful start, you can point the finger in several directions.

Tags: Enes Kanter, Ian Begley
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The Knicks were outscored 32-14 in the fourth quarter, eventually losing 113-104 to the Celtics at Madison Square Garden. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) Julius Randle led the Knicks with 26 points and five rebounds, but went 0-for-5 from three in the game. The team as a whole went just 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) from three, while the Celtics shot 15-for-41 from three (36.6 percent).

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina will not return to Sunday's game against the Celtics, as he is dealing with a sore upper back, the team announced.

Ntilikina played just seven minutes against the Celtics before exiting the game. He had three points and an assist in limited action.

The No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has been playing some of his best basketball recently as the Knicks starting point guard. He has been averaging 7.6 points and 4.6 assists over the last ten games.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II (20) handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II (20) handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Second-year forward Kevin Knox will start for the Knicks on Sunday against the Celtics with Marcus Morris out, the team announced.

Knox was a DNP-CD on Friday night in the team's loss to the 76ers, and has seen more than 12 minutes in a game just once over the past five games.

Knicks head coach David Fizdale has elected to play veterans like Morris over Knox so far this season. Before Friday's game, Fizdale spoke about Knox's playing time.

Tags: Kevin Knox
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As the Knicks hit their practice courts on Saturday afternoon, there was a special guest in attendance. 

Performing artist J. Cole, who is nominated for four Grammy Awards this year, was on site to watch practice and to speak with the team. 

Born on a military base in Germany, Cole grew up in North Carolina, but moved to New York City after high school, attending St. John's.

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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.

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Nov 10, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr (13) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Nov 10, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr (13) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Knicks will look to break out of their current five-game losing streak when they host the the Boston Celtics on Sunday, but they may without their leading scorer.

Following the team's practice on Saturday, the team announced that forward Marcus Morris is questionable to play on Sunday due to cervical spasms.

The free agent pickup has played in every game this season with the Knicks, and he's taken on the role as the team's leading scorer during his first season in New York. He's averaged 18.7 points this season, easily the highest total of his NBA career. He's also scored 20 points or more in 11 of the Knicks' 19 games. 

Tags: Kevin Knox
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 (Soobum Im)
(Soobum Im)

The Knicks have reshaped their roster over the last year and change, saying goodbye to some familiar faces (some beloved, some not) in the process. We'll take a look at how some of those former Knicks are performing with their new teams as the 2019-20 NBA season is underway...


Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs went 2-1 this week, but Porzingis' shooting woes have started to become a storyline. Since dropping 23 points against the Rockets last Sunday, the Latvia native has had two straight sub-par games. In a 15-point loss to the Clippers, Porzingis was just 4-of-13 from the floor, and he followed that up with an 0-for-8 performance on Friday night against the Suns. The game marked the first time this season that he was held without a field goal, as he totaled just two points in 33 minutes.

The Mavs are back on the court on Sunday agianst the Lakers.

Tags: Courtney Lee, DeAndre Jordan, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Mario Hezonja, Noah Vonleh, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) drives against Brooklyn Nets point guard Shabazz Napier (13) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) drives against Brooklyn Nets point guard Shabazz Napier (13) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

When Kristaps Porzingis was traded to the Mavericks last season, he was joined by Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke on the move to Dallas. 

Nearly a year later, what precipitated to the deal is still somewhat of a mystery. There was a meeting between Porzingis and the Knicks' front office about the direction of the team, and just two days later, the Latvian native was out the door. People have said that Porzingis was so unhappy, he demanded the trade himself.  

But Burke -- now with the 76ers and who was back at Madison Square Garden on Friday for the first time since the trade -- shed a new light on the days leading up to Porzingis' departure.

 

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If you look at the box score of Friday's Knicks-Sixers game, Kevin Knox's DNP-CD makes sense. With Knox on the bench, the Knicks had a chance to win a game against one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.

But if you dig a little deeper, the idea that Knox -- the Knicks' 2018 first-round pick -- didn't play at all Friday night leads to questions about New York's direction this season.

The Knicks, as you know, spent $70 million in free agency over the summer. So they came into the season expecting to be much more competitive than last year's 17-win team.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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The Knicks played their best defensive first half all season, but fell apart in the second half, losing 101-95 to the 76ers on Friday night. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Friday's game

1) The Knicks got out to a 31-18 lead in the first quarter, as the team went 5-for-8 from three point land. It was the first time all season that they gave up less than 20 points in the first quarter. Rookie RJ Barrett led the way, scoring 10 points after playing all 12 minutes.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale watches play against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale watches play against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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."

Tags: Kevin Knox
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Nov 27, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward Carmelo Anthony (00) reacts after his dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Nov 27, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward Carmelo Anthony (00) reacts after his dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

Carmelo Anthony dropped 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting -- averaging out at 81.8 percent, the best single-game clip of his 17-year career -- as he helped the Portland Trail Blazers to Wednesday's 136-119 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Anthony's debut before the home crowd at Mora Center in Portland, Oregon, complemented the Blazers' 20-point trio of guards Damian Lillard (27) and CJ McCollum (22) with center Hassan Whitesite (21) for 89 points between the four starters.

The fifth game of Anthony's Blazers stint followed Monday's 117-94 win over the Bulls at United Center in Chicago, where he lifted the Blazers (7-12) with his game-high 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 4-for-7 clip from three-point range.

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Nov 6, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks up during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Nov 6, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks up during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

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."

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RJ Barrett's Toronto homecoming didn't go the way he may have hoped, as the Knicks fell to the Raptors 126-98 on Wednesday, but there's plenty the rookie can learn from his return to his hometown.

As a team, the Knicks played consistent, team basketball in the first quarter, leading by as many as 10 points and taking a 29-21 lead into the first quarter break. 

But the Raptors answered back, as reigning NBA Champions tend to do, outscoring the Knicks 105-69 over the final three quarters, led by 31 points from Pascal Siakam.

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The Knicks held the lead after one quarter, but Toronto dominated the rest of the way en route to a 126-98 victory on Wednesday night. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) RJ Barrett took the court in his hometown of Toronto for the first time as an NBA player, showing some love for his hometown with his footwear. The rookie did not have a very efficient night from the floor, shooting just 5-of-17 from the floor overall, but he chipped in with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, RJ Barrett
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Hours before Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Knicks shooting guard RJ Barrett revealed during shootaround that he plans to play for Team Canada over the summer after his rookie season wraps up.

Barrett's head coach, David Fizdale, fully supports the move as Barrett aims to help Team Canada's pursuit for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

"I love it," Fizdale said, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I think those experiences really help those guys. It gives them an opportunity to see how other very good basketball players work and you're playing against the best in the world."

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Nov 23, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dunks the ball in front of San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay (22) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 23, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dunks the ball in front of San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay (22) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

RJ Barrett plans to play for Team Canada this summer, he told reporters on Wednesday.

"One-hundred percent. I definitely plan on playing for my country this summer. I'm very proud to say that," the shooting guard said at the Knicks' shootaround at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto ahead of the rookie's first game at home in Canada.

Barrett didn't play for Team Canada last summer ahead of the FIBA World Cup due to injury.

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks rank 29th in points per possession. They also rank 27th in pace. The two numbers don't correlate directly, of course. (The Lakers are bottom ten in pace and top ten in offense.) But you can be sure that the Knicks want to increase their ranking in both categories. 

David Fizdale said his team spent time on Tuesday playing with a 12-second shot clock in an effort to increase their pace. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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The Knicks released an injury report before their contest with the Raptors on Tuesday, and RJ Barrett was listed as questionable with an illness. However, head coach David Fizdale believes he'll be able to touch the hardwood by tip-off. 

"I think it's just a matter of him feeling better in general," Fizdale told reporters after practice on Tuesday. "But I think he'll be ready to go."

Barrett affirmed those remarks from Fizdale, saying that he is feeling better since missing Sunday night's contest against the Nets.

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RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)
RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)

The Toronto homecoming for Knicks rookie RJ Barrett may not be too joyous, as the team announced he is dealing with an illness and is currently questionable to play. 

It would be a shame if Barrett couldn't play in his first game in his home country, especially considering the Raptors are reportedly planning a tribute for the 19-year-old, per The Post's Marc Berman. Barrett has played for Team Canada in the past, while his father, Rowan Barrett, is the GM for the Canadian national team. 

Barrett actually sat out of his first game on Sunday against the Nets with an illness, but it was only as a precaution. If Barrett does have to sit out again, it wouldn't just hurt the Raptors' plans for him, but would hurt the Knicks' production as well.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett
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Nov 16, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) dribbles the ball while being defended by Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 16, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) dribbles the ball while being defended by Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks guard RJ Barrett is the youthful face of Canadian basketball. When he returns to his home country on Wednesday, he's going to get a warm welcome. 

According to a report from The Post, when the Knicks (4-13) visit the Toronto Raptors (11-4) this week, the home team is going to "show a tribute" to Barrett. 

Barrett, 19, will be playing in his first-career game in Toronto. 

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The Knicks did not offer Richard Jefferson a contract prior to either this season or last season, according to a tweet from the team's official PR account.

This contradicts what Jefferson said on the Nets' television broadcast Sunday, when he said he opted to retire rather than finish his career with the Knicks.

"I refused to play for the Knicks," Jefferson said Sunday. "Like, Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin -- they don't really care. Me, I was the one person that said, 'Knicks? No, I'll retire.' That's why I retired. They were the one team that offered me a job. I decided to retire."

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Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) fouls Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) fouls Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mitchell Robinson and Jarrett Allen are both terrific players who should be impact players for the Knicks and Nets in the coming years. But Robinson finds the notion that Allen has emerged as the best young center in New York to be laughable.

After the Nets won on Sunday night -- the second time they've beaten the Knicks this season in as many tries -- @NetsDaily tweeted that Allen had "proven" himself to be better than Robinson, writing:

"In 3-game winning streak, @_bigjayy_ has averaged 17 and 12. He's also the NBA leader in shooting percentage so far this season."

Tags: Jarrett Allen, Mitchell Robinson
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Kevin Durant (Nicole Sweet)
Kevin Durant (Nicole Sweet)

The Nets came away with another close victory over the Knicks, making it two games in a row where Brooklyn took down their crosstown rival this season.  

And though he didn't play, Kevin Durant made sure to rub it in. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE 

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Being a Knicks fan is hard. 

There are some days when things are looking bright for the franchise, whether it's securing RJ Barrett at the top of the NBA Draft or the team hits a small win streak. But, most of the time, anger becomes the primary emotion as the team tumbles to the bottom of the heap for yet another season. 

There are many stages of being a Knicks fan, and SNY contributor Kaz Famuyide is here to show you every single one...

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