New York Knicks: New-look roster for David Fizdale intrigues Jalen Rose

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Despite criticisms facing the New York Knicks, Jalen Rose likes the upcoming team, with what head coach David Fizdale has to work with.

Negativity towards the New York Knicks has surrounded them for years, deserved or not. Headlining it: losing seasons, without playoff appearances to take this team to the next level. The most recent, however, was free agency.

The Knicks did not sign any of the offseason’s biggest names, which shifted their focus to signing players like Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris. Seven free agents total agreed to contracts, and none of the team’s own free agents re-signed.

It will represent a new look for head coach David Fizdale to work with, after a miserable 17-65 season in his first year. Perhaps an 82-game honeymoon, he has players with more NBA experience to work with, but that does not ensure success.

ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jalen Rose, who had a brief playing stint in New York, likes what the Knicks put together, though, and praised Fizdale’s chance to shine, as told to Marc Berman of the New York Post:

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"“This is the first roster he gets a legitimate chance to actually coach,” Rose said. “He’s going to have enthusiasm coaching this team. I see him as good at developing young players, and when he realizes people have toughness and work really hard, he likes coaching those guys.”"

Fizdale had his work cut out in Year One, with few veterans and a number of young players, featuring three rookies and second-year talents Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr.

Roster changes also impacted Fizdale’s first year. The Kristaps Porzingis trade overhauled a chunk of the team; Enes Kanter was waived after a tumultuous end; players arrived on late-season contracts to prove their worth. This led to different starting lineups and players rotating from playing to the end of the bench, in the declared “developmental” season.

With that tag removed, there are veterans to work with and young players entering their second season in Fizdale’s system to groom. How he makes these pieces mesh and helps these players take the next step will mean plenty towards his status as the potential long-term coach in New York and where they fall in the Eastern Conference.

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The job was never able to finish overnight. It can’t reach its end in 2019-20, either. Signs of life from a franchise that just tied its franchise low in wins, set only a few years prior, are necessary. If Fizdale can lead the way, he can hold up to Rose’s praise in the extended comments.