After the umpteenth defeat on his home floor Friday night against the Pacers, Knicks coach David Fizdale was asked what's wrong with his team's defense. He had a very definite but simple answer.
"All this," he told Chris Iseman of NorthJersey.com.
The Knicks are penultimate in the defensive standings in the NBA this season at 113.5, and it's not hard to believe with the 10-32 Record team. And Fizdale does not believe it's a casual game from his team, but rather it's the system he's trying to handle.
"We are fighting with concepts right now," Fizdale said. "We really do it, and the biggest is the weak side of our defense and the understanding of how to get out of the cover, which is typical: in my conversations with other coaches who have coached similar teams, it has always been their main problem of the ball, making them share the ball and making them understand how to defend from the weak side. "
This has not always been the problem for the Knicks, though. At the start of the season, they were playing well on the defensive side of the ball. However, as teams begin to see what works and what does not, adjustments are made.
The Knicks were not able to make the same adjustments and this leads to drops.
"In the course of the year, add the most dynamic actions and things like that," Fizdale said. "And as we started moving through the year, we started to see more and more game packs and different things that the teams are doing, nice things that are going to confuse you, how it happened and new situations that arise, he was like, "Oh my friend, I just realized this, now I have to keep these two things that Golden State threw me that I've never seen before" "
But when the Knicks will figure it out, it's too much late in the fourth quarter and another loss is counted in their record. Obviously, the defeats are not the end of the world for this team that is rebuilding and would love an even better draft position than they already have. Starting from Saturday, they own the fourth lottery slot.
Speaking of the fourth, this is also a problem for the Knicks. The fourth quarter was not good with this team that can not close the games when it has the command. Three quarters of solid basketball are played, but when the fourth comes, bad decisions on the offensive part turn into even worse ones on the defensive side.
"These teams bombard you at the gym," Fizdale said. "And your defensive score and your goal defensive percentage in the field and all of these things soar, just because of a patch in the game."
But it's all OK because the Knicks are a young team and they learn along the way, right?
"A round of the championship is usually a big help for many young players just because they can see all the different crap at the end of the year that will be thrown at them," Fizdale said. "And so when it's the turn of the next year, they will not be caught off guard by this."
I hope this is the case for the Knicks next season. But, at the moment, it did not look nice for the Fizdale group and there is still a lot of season to play.