New York Knicks: EWB Roundtable – Is Fizdale the right guy?

David Fizdale, New York Knicks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
David Fizdale, New York Knicks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks. Steve Mills, Scott Perry and former players. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Hospital for Special Surgery) /

David Lubofsky, Contributor, Hoops Habit

When it was announced last May that the New York Knicks had hired David Fizdale to be their newest head coach, fans were abuzz at what was perceived to be a home-run signing.

Fiz’ had worked his way up from an assistant role on a trio of teams to manning the Memphis Grizzlies for two seasons. Despite his exodus from Grind City, he was well-respected around the league, with the stamp of approval from the likes of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James who also experienced his fair share of playoff battles, claiming two championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.

The wins have obviously not been present in Fizdale’s first season in the Big Apple, but with a young roster, such struggles were to be expected. Although, since the infamous trade of Kristaps Porzingis, some encouraging trends have emerged.

Since Jan. 31, the Knicks rank 18th in defensive rating, up 10 spots from the months prior and their rebounding percentage has jumped from 25th to 12th as well. New York still lacks the talent to compete at a high level, but at this stage of a rebuild, it’s about building positive habits that will last in the long haul.

As a relatively new head coach, Fizdale still has much to learn. However, in his first run with the Knicks, he’s clearly shown some positives in laying the foundation for something special down the line, and as both he and his players continue to grow, it has the chance to blossom into something special.