Following a brutal start to the 2019-20 NBA season, the New York Knicks have opted to make a drastic change and it comes with their head coach. On Friday, the news came out that the Knicks had opted to fire David Fizdale, just 22 games into his second season with the team.
After coaching the Knicks to a 17-65 mark last season, one of the NBA’s most iconic franchise currently sits at 4-18 just over one-quarter of the way through the year.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
This decision had been the expected outcome for Fizdale in recent weeks, as the Knicks have lost eight consecutive games to this point and nine of their last 10. The struggles for the Knicks go far beyond just coaching, but it appears the front office does not view Fizdale as the long-term answer to help turn the tides.
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Knicks’ Woeful Start Among NBA’s Worst
As of Friday afternoon, only one team holds a worse record than the Knicks, and it’s the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are 4-19 and all but seven total NBA teams have more than double the win total of New York currently.
While it’s surprising to see the Warriors at the bottom of the NBA standings, they have a fairly decent reason for it. Injuries to Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and even Draymond Green at times have left the team shorthanded. Tack on the loss of Kevin Durant in an offseason trade which brought in D’Angelo Russell, who’s also battled injuries, and it’s easy to see why Golden State took a step back.
The same can’t be said for the Knicks, though, as their struggles have come with virtually a new-look roster in comparison to last season.
At the current pace which the Knicks are going, they’d likely finish with fewer victories than last year. The team could opt to be active at the NBA trade deadline, as there’s virtually no question that moves need to be made to help change the outlook of basketball in New York City.
Knicks’ Offseason Moves Not Paying Off
Whether Fizdale is at fault for the current outlook of the roster or not, the team hasn’t been able to come together, even with a few solid free-agent additions and a top NBA draft pick. The Knicks missed on the top free-agent stars, which was widely-ridiculed across the league, but added names like Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris.
Beyond that, New York drafted RJ Barrett and have other young talents in Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton. The front office’s decision on how to approach the roster and what to do with the players mentioned above will be noteworthy as the 2019 NBA trade deadline draws near.
Fizdale’s tenure with the Knicks finishes with a 21-83 record. Prior to this, he was the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies for just over one full season, going 50-51. He was also an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors.