Is Derek Fisher the Right Man for the New York Knicks?

Derek Fisher has faced plenty of struggles during his tenure with the Knicks, but has he been a good coach for them? [David Richard-USA TODAY Sports]

NEW YORK– We have seen immediate signs of improvement early on from this year’s New York Knicks team compared to the abysmal 17-65 campaign last year.  There have been a vast number of advancements in the defense scheme and personnel, along with the addition of talent in the front court with the likes of Kristaps Porzingis and Robin Lopez.  If we can disregard the embarrassment that the Knicks were to basketball last year, how does Derek Fisher fair as a coach of this up-and-coming team?

Overall, Fisher has been a decent fit for the Knicks.  Seeing how well Steve Kerr did in Golden State these past 18 months, I’m sure that Phil Jackson regrets not pursuing him harder, but Fisher has not been awful as a first-time coach coming straight from a mediocre NBA career.  

Of course, there have been many questionable decisions during the beginning of this year, mainly the decision to play Jose Calderon an exceedingly large number of minutes, compared to prospects Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant.  Quite honestly, Calderon leaves much to be desired in basically every aspect of basketball.  He has averaged 7.6 points and 3.7 assists per game while playing an average of 27 minutes, looking increasingly worse with every outing.  Fisher claims the reason Calderon is starting is “due to his ball facilitation,” and “leadership.”  Unfortunately, with a frightful lack of speed, strength and tenacity, opposing guards have been running riot on Calderon during his tenure in New York, to the point where fans may even be missing Raymond Felton. (too soon?)  According to the website Fansided, starting point guards have averaged 21.2 points per game against the Knicks up to November 6.  What makes it even harder to take is that the Knicks possess two infinitely better options on the bench in Jerian Grant and Langston Galloway. Galloway put up 11.8 points and 3.3 assists per game and received All-Rookie Second Team in 2014-15, and has played well this season too.  The Knicks are simply a better team without Calderon on the floor, and the fact that Derek Fisher hasn’t acknowledged this is worrying, to say the least.

Even notoriously limited players such as Matthew Dellavedova are grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of being guarded by Jose Calderon. [David Richard-USA TODAY Sports]

Besides other fixable problems such as closing-out games, and executing in the fourth quarter, Derek Fisher has kept a talent-starved Knicks team near .500 throughout the season, which is pretty impressive.  This is an era where coaches get blamed for almost everything, and Fisher has taken a bunch of flak for some of the losses he’s had to endure.  Fortunately, Fisher has taken accountability for the mistakes that have been committed, and has dealt well with facing the wrath of the unforgiving New York media.  Moving forward, we will see how this situation plays out with Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Phil Jackson, gauging how effective Fisher has really been.

Do you think Derek Fisher has lived up to standards?  Comment Below:




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