Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Knicks coach Derek Fisher talks playoffs

LAS VEGAS – Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks can make the playoffs and be a contender in the East, says rookie head coach Derek Fisher.

"My opinion, based on our roster and the things that we're going to do and who we are going to become, we can compete for playing in the playoffs and a championship in the Eastern Conference," Fisher said on Monday after a summer league game.

But there's a catch, for Fisher didn't say this coming season was the year for success in New York.

"When that happens, putting dates on it, how, that's not my job," Fisher said. "That's why [the media] gets paid [to predict]. Everybody can read in to what you say on that. But for me as a coach I believe with the guys that we have, even if nothing else changes, we are good enough to be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference."

The Knicks missed the playoffs last season after making three straight postseason appearances. It was the first time that Anthony missed the playoffs in 11 NBA seasons. The Knicks added point guard Jose Calderon and center Samuel Dalembert while losing center Tyson Chandler and guard Raymond Felton this offseason.

Anthony decided last weekend to re-sign with the Knicks to a five-year deal paying about $123 million. Anthony said in a statement he was looking forward to working with new team president Phil Jackson, "a champion who builds championship teams." Jackson won 11 championships as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Fisher, who played on five championship teams that Jackson coached, expects the Knicks to win next season and beyond with Anthony locked in contractually.

"[Anthony] wants to win. He's a winner," Fisher said. "He's won a championship before [at Syracuse]. He's only missed the playoffs once in his career. That's who I've always been and that's not going to change now that I'm the coach. Eating, sleeping, dreaming about winning."

View Comments (372)