Feb 9, 2019; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) shoots the ball against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Feb 9, 2019; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) shoots the ball against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

RJ Barrett has been training for several weeks ahead of Thursday's NBA Draft. And the workouts, with trainer Drew Hanlen, have prioritized two area's of Barrett's game: shooting and the ability to shift directions off the dribble to elude defenders - aka wiggle.

Scouts mention those two areas when discussing things Barrett - who the Knicks will likely select at No. 3 on Thursday if he's on the board and Ja Morant is not - needs to improve upon at the next level.

In a phone interview last week, Hanlen discussed some of the things that Barrett's been working on ahead of the draft:

 

SHOOTING 

Barrett has moved his right hand on the side of the ball for a smoother release, and turned his stance to allow for a more fluid shot. He's also spread his shooting hand, so the backspin on his shot spins tight and lowered his base so he has better rhythm, Hanlen says.

"His pocket slipped up and moved in front of his left eye, so we moved it over and moved his elbow out so he has a good vision triangle," Hanlen said of Barrett, who shot 30.8 percent from beyond the arc last year at Duke.

Hanlen will sometimes ask him to make a certain amount of shots at the end of the workout. Barrett often asks Hanlen not to count one of his makes.

"He'll say, 'I didn't do it perfect' or 'don't count that one it didn't feel right.' Or, 'Hey I need some extra reps because I don't feel like I've mastered it yet.' That's a huge sign of maturity."

SHIFT DIRECTIONS OFF DRIBBLE/WIGGLE

Barrett has tightened his dribble and worked on shifting defenders laterally instead of just being physical in recent workouts, Hanlen said.

"I put him on the exact same shiftiness program that I put Bradley Beal on a few years ago, and it really helped Brad turn into a playmaker," Hanlen said. "With Brad, it was really a two-summer process. We put RJ on it in the pre-draft. It takes time to get shifty and get your body moving, get it to more fast-twitch movement and everything like that. But he's definitely progressing well in both the shooting and the shiftiness categories. We'll keep working all summer to get him as ready as possible for his rookie season."

Hanlen said Barrett has worked with his physical therapist/strength coach to help improve his movement.

"He's definitely moving more fluidly and he's definitely addressed some of the weaknesses that we saw in his game," Hanlen said.

Barrett has also worked on his approach in the mid-range, working on his pace so he's less sped up and doesn't force things, according to Hanlen. He's worked on side-steps, step-backs, and fades so he can improve his efficiency in the half court.

"Like all 19-year-olds, he has a ton of room for growth," said Hanlen, who trains dozens of pros, including Beal and Jayson Tatum. "But I think he was one of the most over-criticized players in college basketball history. He put up numbers that no freshman in the history of the game has put up, and still was criticized because everyone was kind of caught up in the hype."

In a general sense, Hanlen and others say that Barrett is well aware of the areas he needs to improve upon to succeed in the NBA.

"He just wants to be special. He already is special," Hanlen said. "He knows that he has a ton of room to grow and he knows that he's going to have to be more efficient and effective if he's going to be the player that he knows he's going to become in the NBA."

COMFORTABLE IN MSG

If his approach during Duke's win over Texas Tech is an indication, Barrett won't be overwhelmed by the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden. After scoring 16 points in Duke's victory, Barrett said he enjoyed playing on the MSG stage.

"He was like, 'It's electric here, this is great,'" said NBA/NCAA trainer David Zenon, who spoke to Barrett after the game. "It wasn't like the stage was big for him. He was like, 'Alright, I'm just hooping. I'm just feeding off the crowd. I'm just feeding off of Zion (Williamson) and the guys next to me.'"

Zenon, who spent time with Barrett and Williamson at Duke regularly this season but is not Barrett's personal trainer, said the 19-year-old wasn't overwhelmed at all by the idea of playing at the Garden.

"There was never a moment where it was like, 'Oh my first game at Madison Square Garden.' It was like, 'I'm focused and I'm ready to go, '" he said.


BEGLEY: Why Knicks draft target RJ Barrett is built to succeed in New York >> Read More

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Nov 23, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 23, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Marcus Morris has arguably been the Knicks best player so far this season, as the veteran wing is leading the team in scoring with 19.0 points per game.

He signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the team over the summer, and will become eligible to be traded on Dec. 15.

Morris' value around the league could return a first-round pick for the Knicks, and with the team's record at 5-20, they could start to move veterans on short-term contracts.

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Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Television broadcast analyst Jeff Van Gundy walks on the court before a game between the Houston Rockets and the New York Knicks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Television broadcast analyst Jeff Van Gundy walks on the court before a game between the Houston Rockets and the New York Knicks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

With David Fizdale's firing by the Knicks last Friday, the team is now looking for the next head coach to get the franchise back on track.

SNY's Ian Begley has listed some potential candidates to replace Fizdale, and three of those names - Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau, and Mark Jackson - have also been reported as being on the team's short list, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Van Gundy, of course, has prior experience with the Knicks, working with the team as an assistant from 1989 to 1995-96, when he became the team's head coach. 

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Dec 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports  (Stan Szeto)
Dec 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Knicks snapped a 10-game losing streak by holding on for a 124-122 overtime win over the Warriors. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) The Knicks came out of the gates strong against the Warriors, who are without superstars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. New York jumped out to a 10-point lead after one, and they pushed their lead up to 18 points at the half. Early in the third, the Knicks led by as many as 22 points, but the Warriors' defense helped them get back in the game, cutting the Knicks lead to five points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and then tied the game at 89-89 with eight and a half minutes to play.

With the game tied 103-103 with two minutes to go, Marcus Morris came up clutch, knocking down free throws to give the Knicks the lead, followed by a jumper to extend the lead. Thanks mainly to Morris, the Knicks were up by three in the final seconds, but D'Angelo Russell knocked down a three to send the game to overtime. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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Dec 2, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) drives to the basket with a pick set by Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) against Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) in the third quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports  (Michael McLoone)
Dec 2, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) drives to the basket with a pick set by Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) against Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) in the third quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports (Michael McLoone)

As the Knicks continue their four-game road trip on the West Coast, they do so without Dennis Smith Jr.

The point guard is out for Wednesday's 10:30 p.m. ET game against the Golden State Warriors due to illness.

The 22-year-old Smith is averaging 5.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 17.2 minutes through 17 games.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr.
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New York Knicks president Steve Mills speaks to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks president Steve Mills speaks to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A day after their impromptu press conference earlier this season, Knicks president Steve Mills and others with management had a conversation with owner James Dolan.

The Knicks were 2-8 at the time, and management came away from that conversation thinking that their jobs would be safe if the Knicks showed progress. New York has gone 2-12 since that conversation, showing minimal progress in that span.

That's not a good sign for Mills.

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Carmelo Anthony (Jaime Valdez)
Carmelo Anthony (Jaime Valdez)

Seven players in Knicks history have their numbers hanging from the rafters of Madison Square Garden. 

Carmelo Anthony would love to be the eighth.

Before his Trail Blazers handed the Knicks their 20th loss of the season on Tuesday night, Anthony was asked if he would like his number retired by the franchise he called his for seven seasons.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Scott Thompson
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Nov 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) reacts after a three point shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) reacts after a three point shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are 4-20. So it's safe to say that, outside of RJ Barrett, no player will be off limits as teams discuss potential trades over the next two months.

As of last week, New York was looking at several different players who may be available in an attempt to improve its roster.

But the club also could start to move some of the veterans they've signed to short-term deals.

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 (Jaime Valdez)
(Jaime Valdez)

Carmelo Anthony had to wait into November to land back with an NBA team, but on Tuesday night he took on the Knicks for the first time as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 35-year-old may have been playing with some extra adrenaline, as he struggled with his shot, particularly in the first half.

He was aggressive early, attacking the rim and finding space for his jumper, but he never got into an offensive groove in the first half, finishing the first 24 minutes with four points on just 1-of-6 shooting. He missed his only three-point attempt, but did get to the line four times, knocking down two.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony
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 (Jaime Valdez)
(Jaime Valdez)

The Knicks learned that any time is Dame Time, as the point guard went off in Portland to lead the Blazers to a blowout 115-87 win. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Tuesday's game

1) New York did a good job of keeping last week's Western Conference Player of the Week Carmelo Anthony at bay on Tuesday night. The former Knick finished with 16 points amid struggling with his shot -- Anthony went 5-13 from the field. 

But the Knicks forgot that Portland was Damian Lillard's town, and the star point guard made sure they knew it. The four-time All-Star was electric from beyond the arc, hitting 8 of 12 three-point shots and overall shooting 60 percent from the field to finish with 31 points in the win. Lillard still managed to dish out six assists in between lighting it up from three-point range.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller was thrust into his new role less than a full day before having to face the Pacers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. And the Knicks actually came just a Julius Randle made free throw away from tying the game and sending it to overtime.

Since then, Miller and the team have traveled to the West Coast to begin a four-game road trip, which has given the new coach time to implement some of his own tactics.

"Without divulging anything as we go into it, we were working on some things," Miller told reporters on Tuesday at Knicks practice. "Working on the things we need to do, really get a good feel and continue to work on the consistency of how we play possession to possession. That's what our focus is."

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Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) inspects the ball before a game against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) inspects the ball before a game against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Carmelo Anthony will face off against the Knicks tonight for the third time since he was traded from the franchise in 2017. 

A divorce seemed inevitable back in the 2017 offseason, but there was at least one last-ditch effort from the Knicks to keep Anthony at Madison Square Garden. 

One high-ranking Knicks official visited Anthony in person prior to the trade to Oklahoma City to ask him to reconsider his stance and stay with the Knicks, per SNY sources. 

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Nov 5, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon on the bench against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Nov 5, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon on the bench against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Charles Barkley has never been shy when it comes to taking it to the Knicks, so it should come as no surprise that he's warning a potential coaching candidate to stay away from them before the team even begins its search for a full-time David Fizdale replacement.

"Somebody is gonna give her a chance," Barkley told TMZ Sports. "I don't think she should take that job. Don't take a bad job."

If the Knicks move on from interim head coach Mike Miller after the season -- or at some point during it -- Hammon would make sense as a candidate, SNY's Ian Begley wrote shortly after Fizdale's firing.

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Mar 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing looks on against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 2, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Georgetown Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing looks on against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Former Knick and current Georgetown men's basketball head coach Patrick Ewing has joined the list of people expressing their displeasure at the team firing David Fizdale last week.

On his SiriusXM weekly radio show, "Center Court with Patrick Ewing," the Basketball Hall of Famer mentioned how much respect he had for Fizdale and wanted to let him know that he felt for him.

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Dec 6, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) dribble up court during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 136-113. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Wayrynen)
Dec 6, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) dribble up court during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 136-113. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Wayrynen)

Carmelo Anthony knows what it takes to compete with the Knicks. There is tremendous pressure from a rabid fanbase and the New York media alike, which can be daunting for any NBA player. 

It's the reason why he believes Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant didn't sign with them this summer. 

"Not everybody can deal with (playing with the Knicks)," Anthony told reporters. "Not even a star, but role players. Not too many people can deal with what comes with that. I don't want to say pressure, but everything that comes along with wearing the Knicks across the chest."

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Scott Thompson
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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)

Two days after the New York Knicks fired David Fizdale, the organization thanked the former head coach for his time and he how represented the franchise during the year-plus stint at the helm.

The Knicks, who fired Fizdale amid a 4-18 start to 2019-20 after a 17-65 result in 2018-19, shared the following statement with beat reporters such as SNY's Ian Begley.

"The New York Knicks organization would like to thank David Fizdale for his leadership and professionalism over the past two seasons," the Knicks said in the statement. "He represented the organization with nothing but class. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Marcus Morris called a players' only meeting on Friday before practice, and hours before David Fizdale was fired.

"I just called that meeting so we can, as players, talk it out and decide which direction we're trying to go in. At the end of the day, guys stood up, guys said their piece. I think it was a great meeting," he said Saturday.

Added Julius Randle: "It was what we needed. Nobody's going to turn this around for us except us. We just have to keep doing what we were doing (Saturday) and we're going to win." 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale talks with center Julius Randle (30) against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale talks with center Julius Randle (30) against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

After losing to the Pacers 104-103 on a missed free throw attempt with 0.1 seconds to play, a number of Knicks players answered questions on their former head coach David Fizdale.

Here's what some of them had to say after the game:

MARCUS MORRIS

After the Knicks fell to the Pacers on Saturday night, a number of players, including Morris, took the time to speak about their former head coach: "It was tough. Fiz was my guy. We had a great relationship off the court. He was very influential in my decision in free agency. But at the end of the day, it's a business. I know Fiz understands that. We talked afterwards, we talked during the season. If something like that happens, his big thing was you just have to keep going, you still have to work, don't feel sorry for him, and things like that."

Tags: Mitchell Robinson
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

As noted on Friday, the spotlight is on Knicks president Steve Mills in the wake of David Fizdale's firing. 

We detailed here where things stood with Mills and general manager Scott Perry prior to the Fizdale firing. 

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Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts during the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts during the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With a chance to send things into overtime on Saturday night with two free throws attempts, Julius Randle missed the second shot to hand the Knicks their 19th loss of the season. But with the night he was having shooting, it shouldn't come as a surprise.

Looking at Randle's performance as a whole in the loss to the Pacers, it was a solid night for the power forward: 16 points, a team-high 12 rebounds--a whopping seven of which came on offense--and three assists. 

But Randle had a very rough night shooting in this one, going 6-18 from the field on shots that included numerous missed layups.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson
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Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller coaches against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller coaches against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Just a day after David Fizdale was fired as their head coach, the Knicks still had a game to play against the Indiana Pacers, and although they put up a valiant effort, it wasn't enough to come away with the win.

Down 104-98 with 5:17 to play, the Knicks played astounding defense and managed to shut out the Pacers the rest of the way. But unfortunately for New York, they weren't able to get anything going on offense, scoring just five points in that span on 1-14 shooting. 

The game came down to a pair of free throws from Julius Randle after he was fouled with 0.1 seconds remaining and the Knicks down two. After hitting the first one, Randle flicked his wrist a bit to hard and the ball bounced off the back rim and out, ending the game 104-103 in Mike Miller's first outing as interim head coach.

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The Knicks fought valiantly, but a last-second free throw miss saw the team fall to the Pacers 104-103 on Saturday. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) In Mike Miller's debut as the team's interim coach, the Knicks came out of the gates playing well. Marcus Morris and RJ Barrett each scored an early four points, leading to a 14-7 Knicks' lead midway through the quarter. Miller said before the game that he wanted to see more ball movement, and that was the case early on. The Pacers fought back though, led by TJ Warren (25 points)and Domantis Sabonis (19 points).

Early in the fourth quarter, the Pacers pushed their lead to 92-81, but the Knicks didn't let the game get out of hand. New York went on a 14-4 run, spurred on by Elfrid Payton, to get back within one point. Later, the scored stayed put at 104-100 for a long stretch, until Morris hit a floater to bring the Knicks within two points with under two to go.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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Before and after their game Saturday night against the Pacers, Knicks players spoke to the media and reacted to the firing of David Fizdale on Friday afternoon.

Here's what a few of them had to say:

RJ BARRETT

"I appreciate everything coach Fizdale and coach (Keith) Smart have done for me. They were the first ones to give me a chance in the league so I appreciate them. I spoke to coach Fizdale. Wished me the best.''

Barrett added that he spoke with management after the firing, but kept the details to himself: "Oh that's private. I can't talk about what management told me."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., RJ Barrett
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As Mike Miller prepares for his first game as Knicks interim head coach on Saturday night, he met with the media for the first time since David Fizdale was fired.

Here are the biggest takeaways from what Miller had to say before Saturday's tipoff with the Pacers:

Thanking the team

Miller, who spent four seasons at the helm of the Westchester Knicks of the G League before making the jump to an assistant with Fizdale this season, started his press conference by thanking Fizdale and the Knicks.

"I would like to thank Coach Fiz for the opportunity to be a part of his staff and to work with such a great group of coaches," said Miller. "I'm very appreciative there, and [I] would like to thank the entire Knicks organization. I've been here, as you know, this is my fifth year working for the Knicks, and I'm very appreciative to the entire organization for giving me the opportunity to start and work my way up into the organization." 

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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

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

Porzingis is still a big-time contributor for the Mavericks alongside Luka Doncic, but he's continuing to shoot at a poor clip. In three games this week, the 7-foot-3 Latvia native shot just 37.8 percent from the floor, and 35.3 percent from downtown.

The big man scored just seven points on Tuesday against the Pelicans, and was just 2-for-11 from the field. He rebounded nicely on Wednesday with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, but his inconsistency has been worth noting.

The Mavericks host the Kings on Sunday.

Tags: Courtney Lee, DeAndre Jordan, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Mario Hezonja, Noah Vonleh, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

We're basically a week away from the unofficial start to the trade season. On Dec. 15, players who signed contracts as free agents can be moved. 

As that date approaches, the Knicks (4-18) are keeping an eye on potential moves that would improve the team, per SNY sources familiar with the matter. 

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On Friday, the New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale just 22 games into his second season. Unhappy with the 4-18 start to the year, management decided it was time to move in another direction.

What that direction ends up being is anybody's guess, but in the meantime they pegged Mike Miller as interim head coach. That name might not have the punch of a Mark Jackson or Becky Hammon, but Miller may turn out to be exactly what the Knicks need, and should be considered as more of a contender for the vacancy than a stopgap.

Miller hails from the G League, where he coached the Westchester Knicks - New York's affiliate - for four seasons. In that stretch he made the playoffs three times and amassed a .540 regular season win percentage.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Dec 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Wayne Ellington (2) passes the ball against Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) during the first 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 guard Wayne Ellington (2) passes the ball against Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Knicks shooting guard Wayne Ellington is out for Saturday's matchup against the Indiana Pacers with a sore left Achilles, the team announced.

Ellington has appeared in 18 of the team's 22 games this season, but is averaging just over 14 minutes per game in his first year with the Knicks. He's in the midst of the worst year of his 11-season NBA career, averaging career lows in field goal, free throw, and three-point percentage, and has reached double-figures in points just twice.

Allonzo Trier, who fell out of the rotation during the second half of November, has appeared in the last two games and could see more minutes in Ellington's absence. Damyean Dotson should also get more of an increased role when the Knicks tip-off against the Pacers at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony
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Nov 1, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) controls the ball while Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Nov 1, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) controls the ball while Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

After a 37-point drubbing at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, the New York Knicks are in bad shape. They've lost eight consecutive games, and they've lost by at least 28 points in three of their last five contests.

After the Knicks struck out on superstar free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they added several mid-tier veterans. With hopes of being competitive while retaining cap flexibility in the future, the Knicks signed five different players to two-year contracts. 

All five deals featured a team option or a partial guarantee in the second year. That makes those five players essentially expiring contracts in the trade market. Add in a one-year deal for Marcus Morris, and the Knicks have six veterans who will likely enter the free agent market this summer.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson
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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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