For the second time this week, the New York Knicks found themselves on the wrong side of a double-digit blowout on Thursday night — a growing, consistent trend for the worst basketball team in the league.
The Knicks, fresh off a 44-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, fell to the Denver Nuggets 129-92 on Thursday night, marking their eighth-straight loss.
The Knicks were in it Thursday for a while, too, until a quick Denver 17-1 run before halftime broke the game wide open. The Nuggets eventually pushed their lead to 43 in the fourth quarter, easily putting the Knicks away behind a well-rounded offensive effort that saw eight of their players score in double figures.
Knicks coach David Fizdale — who led the team to a horrendous 4-18 start to the season and was fired on Friday afternoon — had just one word to describe the game.
“Sickening,” he said.
‘I’m still coaching this team’
Many expected that Fizdale’s time in New York was rapidly running out.
Fizdale, who was in just his second season with the Knicks, only won 21 games while at the helm of the team, and looked no closer to reaching the postseason or even finishing with a winning record with a team that hasn’t done so since the 2012-13 season.
Undoubtedly, he was sitting in the hottest seat in the league — especially after team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry held a media conference last month to make their displeasure with the team publicly clear.
Despite the growing noise surrounding his job security, Fizdale insisted on Thursday night that he wasn’t letting up.
“I don’t care about all that,” Fizdale said, via the New York Post. “I don’t even think about that, really. I think about the next team we’re playing, I think about the guys in the locker room and how I can help them. At the end of the day, that’s all I care about.
“I’m still coaching this team.”
Yet while Fizdale may be taking the heat for the Knicks’ struggles, several players on his roster were quick to defend him — including Marcus Morris and center Taj Gibson, who finished with just four points on Thursday night.
“After getting hit and punched in the face a couple of times, take some losses, you’ve got to be man enough to overcome the tough spots throughout the game,” Gibson said, via the New York Post. “You just can’t keep laying down, laying down.
“Fiz is doing a good job preaching and keeping guys in tune, but at the same time we have to do a better job, including myself. He can’t keep taking the bullets for us. We have to step up. We have to grow. We have to mature and mature quickly.”
Ultimately, though, it didn’t matter. Fizdale was fired on Friday afternoon, officially ending his short tenure in New York.
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