Still, fingers can be pointed at one more person as well. Coach Derek Fisher arguably has more on his plate than the aforementioned two combined. He has the most to prove, and he seemingly holds more influence on the Knicks' potential success this coming season as well.
Jackson, to a point, has done his job --- at least as well as he could have with the flexibility provided this summer. Now it's up to Fisher to help him see things through.
Looking back at previous teams, the Knicks over the years have certainly put together rosters with less talent and subsequent production than they had at the start of last season. At the very least, the team looked competitive enough to compete for a playoff spot in the weaker Eastern Conference. At least Jackson and Co. thought so when he asserted as much nearly a year ago, adding that he believed New York would win more than 40 games.
With camp ready to get under way in Fisher's second go-round with this new-look group, Jackson had no predictions about how the Knicks would fare.
Because there were higher expectations for last season's team, the blame for such shortcomings should be placed on Fisher's shoulders -- and arguably the triangle offense, or at least, the poor education and execution of it. It was up to Fisher and his staff to guide a seemingly talented group and get the most out of them, but failed to do so. The team struggled mightily and Jackson was forced to abandon ship and execute somewhat of a fire sale. This all resulted in the worst season in franchise history.
At best, Fisher is still unproven. Perhaps it's unfair to drawn conclusions on his capabilities as a coach following such a tumultuous season. It might not have been all his fault. Still, the more the Knicks began to struggle, the more it became clear Fisher was still very much on a learning curve and had (or better yet, has) a long way to go.
He needs to take command of this team much like he did as a floor general. He has to be assertive with his players and confident in the decisions he makes. Early on, Fisher garnered praise for his calm nature. He's not one to freak out or react harshly in pressure-filled moments. Having said that, on the flip side, he could stand to take charge a bit more, rather than lay back and wait for things to unfold before it's too late with games on the line.
Fisher coached the Knicks during NBA Summer League this past July. Hopefully he's continued to learn from his experiences and/or evident mistakes. Unfortunately for him, there's no more leeway. He needs to guide this team toward playoff contention. If the team fails to compete for over hover near that feat, it will be confirmation that it's Fisher who needs to move on.