Despite a 9-21 record through 30 games, first-year Knicks coach David Fizdale hasn’t found the need to stage a practice after a back-to-back set — a traditional NBA no-no.
However, his comeback-kid Knicks have never fallen by 56 points. If they had, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
Fizdale believes if he pulled the same stunt that his friend and former Golden State colleague Jim Boylen did in Chicago, his players would have trusted him enough to accept the practice punishment. They would not have run crying foul to the Players Association, as the sad-sack Bulls players did earlier in the week, unhappy with their interim coach.
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Fizdale said Friday. “I can’t think about what’s going on in Chicago — I’ve got a house full of young ’uns that I’ve got to take care of. But you know every coach has got to handle their situation the way that they see fit. I can only speak for my group. I feel like I’ve established a good trust with these guys so they know if I do pull something, it’s probably worthwhile and that they deserve it.
“So that’s how I view when I really want to crack down on them, I’m hoping that I’ve gotten to a place with these guys that they know it’s coming from the right place,”
Even though he’s from the Pat Riley coaching tree, a taskmaster in his day, Fizdale has adjusted to a new day.