Fizdale explains why he’s been a “mad scientist” with the Knicks rotation

David Fizdale appeared on The Michael Kay Show to discuss the state of the Knicks. He sounded more confident about what he has in his group in terms of deciding rotation minutes and roles going forward. It doesn’t mean things won’t continue to be fluid, but the group is so young, he explained that the constant lineup changes were a result of him trying to learn what the players can do, like an extended training camp.

I really liked this answer Fizdale gave about the process of building up a basketball team compared to other industries:

The difference with [basketball] than in most industries [is] people get to watch it while we experiment, and have to suffer, or go up and down through all of that… I was joking with one of my acting buddies the other day, ‘man, you get to do 100 takes and then come out with a great movie … but they didn’t see all of your screw-ups’ … basketball players are going through the ‘takes’ right in front of you.


  • Michael Kay asked Fizdale if he felt like a “mad scientist” with all of his lineup combinations, to which Fizdale responded, “The mad scientist part was trying to [experiment] early. That’s why I said our training camp was going to be a little bit longer this year because we have so many young players … So if we have to suffer early because of it, before we start playing really good basketball, then so be it … Hopefully, most of my experimentation will start to slow down a little bit and we can start to settling in and playing a little more of a set rotation.
  • Fizdale discussed the team rallying for him in Memphis. They wanted to win for him so badly that they came out tight in the first half, so Fizdale told them to stop worrying about winning the game for him. But Emmanuel Mudiay stepped up and said, “Coach with all due respect, I don’t agree with you, and we are going to go out and compete harder for you.”
  • Fizdale confirmed that Courtney Lee played 3-on-3 yesterday so is getting very close to returning.
  • In talking about Emmanuel Mudiay, Fizdale said, “I saw what Scott Perry was looking at it when he did it, from afar … I alway saw in that kid some similarities to guys I have coached … Put a lot of confidence in him that he can mistakes and don’t look over at me and lead the group … And so far, he has been taking to that.”
  • Fizdale talked about Frank Ntilikina’s offensive struggles, “He is a player in progress … I don’t get frustrated by it … I’m looking at it from the standpoint as an educator. So it’s my job to try to crack the code with him … And I don’t know if people are noticing what he is doing defensively … but he can guard and help our team.”


  1. Cracking the code with Frank should include not parking him in the corner on offense where he never touches the ball and having him run the pick and roll 10 times a game where he seems to be pretty comfortable while you slowly ask him to do other things which he may not yet be comfortable all while benefiting from his defensive prowess.

    Call me crazy.


    1. Agreed. But he has so many guards who can create with the ball in their hands, I don’t blame him for running with them right now. That said, they need to get back to putting Frank in the best possible situation to succeed.


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