The Knicks have started talking about player development again, and the organization will face important decisions in that area in about three weeks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Berman noticed a different tone from David Fizdale in his pre-game press conference yesterday as the head coach discussed the difficulties of building a young team and the model set by his cross-town rivals in Brooklyn.
“We have to grow our kids,’’ Fizdale said. “That’s the biggest thing. And be patient in free agency. It wasn’t that fast [for the Nets]. They didn’t go to it until the fourth year into it. It’s hard starting from a bunch of young guys.”
That’s a stark contrast to the Knicks, who were hoping for an instant turnaround this summer by pursuing free agents such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. Once they all signed elsewhere, New York loaded up on veterans with short-term contracts. That group becomes eligible to be traded on December 15, presenting the front office with a choice about how long they want to keep together the core of a team that has stumbled to a 4-13 start.
There’s more from New York:
- The biggest concerns among the young players are Allonzo Trier and Kevin Knox, who have both fallen out of Fizdale’s rotation after promising rookie years, Berman adds in the same story. Trier sat for the sixth straight game yesterday, while Knox got a start because of RJ Barrett‘s illness, but delivered a 1-for-4 performance in 18 minutes and continued to struggle on defense. “I’m going to continue to hold his feet to the fire defensively,’’ Fizdale said of Knox. “We want to get him where he’s desperate to play. His defensive effort, focus, execution has got to be there for us to be a good basketball team.”
- Some Knicks are insisting the current roster needs more time to develop after so many offseason changes, relays Ian Begley of SNY.tv. “We’ve got 10 new guys. How can you build chemistry with 10 new guys that you just met?” Mitchell Robinson said after Sunday’s loss. “… We played a lot of playoff teams (this season) and we’ve stayed in the game. Think about when we do get that connection? We’re going to be all right.”
- The Knicks’ woes of the past six years can be traced back to James Dolan’s decision to bring in the McKinsey & Company consulting firm prior to the 2013/14 season, contends Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. The team was coming off its best season of the Carmelo Anthony era with 54 wins and a second-round playoff exit, but the new firm proved to be disruptive and led to changes such as replacing general manager Glen Grunwald and coach Mike Woodson and installing Phil Jackson as team president.