Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Early in the third quarter of the Knicks' blowout loss to Sacramento, the home crowd grew restless. There were boos. Loud ones. There was even a brief chant for the team to fire head coach David Fizdale.
If you ask Marcus Morris, though, none of the blame for the Knicks' slow start rests with Fizdale.
"At the end of the day, Fiz is putting us in the best position to be successful," Morris said on Sunday night after scoring 28 points in the Knicks' loss. "I think it's us, we've got to execute the game plan better. He's been nothing but a great coach for us, he's been giving us what we need. Just today, we didn't hit many shots. They were the better team."
Sacramento embarrassed the Knicks on Sunday, building a double-digit lead early in the second quarter and maintaining until the final buzzer. Afterward, Fizdale didn't hide his unhappiness.
"We had nothing, we did nothing right, we didn't execute on either end of the floor," Fizdale said.
But he pointed out that the Knicks have been competitive in 22 of 28 quarters this season.
Is that acceptable or setting the bar too low? It depends on your perspective.
Regarding Fizdale's job status, I think it's way too early to talk about personnel or coaching changes. We're seven games into an 82-game season. And the Knicks are implementing several new players into their rotation.
"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."
"Fiz is putting us in the best position to be successful"- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) November 4, 2019
Marcus Morris says players need to step up and make plays pic.twitter.com/vLdV2YQHBl
Fizdale is in his second season in New York. The first one devolved into a chase for lottery balls in the second half of the season. Player development was more important than wins and losses. After spending $70 million in free agency over the summer, the organization came into the season with higher expectations for his group. No one in with decision-making power will be happy if New York is playing for ping-pong balls instead of playoff position in the second half of the season.
Which is understandable.
The Knicks haven't made the playoffs in six seasons. They've lost at least 50 games in five straight seasons. And they failed to land their top targets in free agency this summer after dumping salary to free up cap space in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
It's time for everyone in charge to show tangible progress this season.
That hasn't happened in the first seven games. But that doesn't mean it's time to make any drastic changes.
Firing the coach at this point would be knee-jerk and counterproductive. The franchise has made plenty of those moves over the past two decades. There's no need to add another one to the list.