Derek Fisher questions ‘character and integrity’ of players after Knicks lose to Kings by 38 points

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The Sacramento Kings are not a good basketball team. But compared to the group the New York Knicks are rolling out these days, this Kings squad looked capable of competing for the NBA title.

The Kings are just 21-37 on the season, which is a win-loss record better than just six other of the league’s teams. But they crushed New York by 38 on Tuesday, in a game where at one point they led by as many as 44 points.

Knicks head coach Derek Fisher was less than pleased with the lopsided result, and was disappointed in his team’s inability to compete, even for small stretches.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“It was definitely not the level of character and integrity this group has been showing in recent weeks,’’ coach Derek Fisher said. “That was the most disappointing part. It’s not necessarily losing the game but just the way as a group, we couldn’t find a way to compete.’’

There’s some of that in a loss this big, but honestly, the team New York is putting on the floor isn’t really capable of much else.

The Knicks starting five in this one featured Lou Amundson, Cleanthony Early, Andrea Bargnani, Langston Galloway and Tim Hardaway, Jr. No one in the group scored more than seven points, and combined for 24 in total on 8-of-29 shooting.

That’s not to say this wasn’t the plan, especially once the team jettisoned Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith in a trade for literally no one in return, and Carmelo Anthony shut it down for the remainder of the season once his All-Star weekend responsibilities were finished.

All the losing will result in more ping pong balls for the draft lottery, so there is a small bright side to enduring what’s going on. But calling out the players — most of whom won’t even be back next season — seems like a waste of energy.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks firing David Fizdale ‘inevitable’

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Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire coach David Fizdale.

One step: Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressing the media after Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers while Fizdale was still in the locker room. Mills and Perry stressed that the team wasn’t meeting expectations, seemingly a veiled shot at the coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

The dismissal of David Fizdale is inevitable, and there was, I think, a bond broken between management and their head coach with how they handled things after that loss Sunday night.

Coaches are hired to be fired, but this sounds far more urgent than that.

As long as Fizdale has his job, he has a chance to save it. If the Knicks start playing better, they could keep him.

But that seems unlikely with this underwhelming roster.

Which is why New York is reportedly also considering a front-office change.

Austin Rivers calls for Doc Rivers to get technical foul (video)

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When Doc Rivers coached Austin Rivers on the Clippers, accusations of favoritism ran rampant. Playing with the Rockets against the Clippers tonight, Austin showed where his loyalties lie.

Not with his father.

The Clippers were letting the game (an eventual 102-93 Houston win) get away from them when Doc argued a call. Austin stood nearby and urged the referee to call a technical foul. The official eventually obliged and ejected Doc.

That’s when Austin really hammed it up – waving off Doc then making the call-me gesture. The disrespect!

Ja Morant hits game-winner in Grizzlies-Hornets (video)

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Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant has had a game-saving block and game-winning assist.

Now, he has the glory of a game-winning shot.

Morant sealed the Memphis’ 119-117 win over the Hornets with a driving scoop in the final second tonight. He led Memphis with 23 points and 11 assists.

P.J. Tucker misses open fastbreak layup, trips on stanchion (video)

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I want to give P.J. Tucker a break. He’s the Rockets’ most (only?) reliable defender. He has such a heavy burden covering for James Harden, Russell Westbrook and just generally undersized lineups.

But this missed layup was so bad. And that stumble over the stanchion really seals the goof.