Latest Knicks embarrassment highlights team’s long record of failure

Former Knicks head coach David Fizdale, who was fired Friday after the team's dreadful 4-18 start, now gives way to interim coach Mike Miller, the franchise's 13th head coach since the 2001-02 season. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

The Knicks’ latest blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night — a 132-88 drubbing by one of the best teams in the league — came with little shock to anyone.

What was startling, however, was that this was the fifth time this young season that the Knicks lost to an opponent by 20 points or more. It was also the Knicks’ seventh-straight loss, dropping them to a putrid 4-17 on the year. Only the Golden State Warriors — with a 4-18 record — have had a worse season thus far.

Almost equally as disheartening was the lack of confidence that Knicks head coach Dave Fizdale expressed after the blowout in Wisconsin.

“I don’t feel we came in here with the idea we could beat this team,” Fizdale said after the game.

The Bucks (18-3) led by as many as 47 and cruised behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, who pulled down his 10th rebound with 4:43 left in the second quarter for his league-leading 20th double-double.

The Knicks posed little challenge as they shot just 4 of 24 in the first period and trailed 33-15 after one.

“That is what was most disappointing. They got whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. We never took a real stand,” Fizdale continued.

But the real question for the Knicks is, what is there to stand on? Certainly not ownership or management, or outstanding veterans in the locker room to help mentor young talent like RJ Barrett.

The truth about the state of the Knicks is that any positives that the franchise has going right now are on separate islands with no means of connection within the near future.

While it may be the right move, the talk of firing Fizdale just shifts the blame as opposed to connecting the many dots that are unaligned from owner James Dolan on down.

What about continuing to tank for a good draft pick? Ha! Even if the NBA were to award New York the first pick in 2020, why should the current front office — responsible for constructing this roster that’s won just four games this season — be charged with making the selection?

All the dysfunction in the Knicks franchise over the last few years should lead to a complete and immediate rebuild, from the front office on down. New management should be given the complete authority and confidence to do with the roster as it sees fit, both in bringing in new young talent and seasoned veterans via free agency to help build a perennial winner.

It’s been 20 years since the Knicks made an appearance in the NBA Finals, and nearly 50 years since they won a World Championship. From the start of the 2001-02 season through today, they’ve played 1,481 games, winning just 578 of them, a .390 winning percentage. They’ve had just one season with 50 or more wins in the last 17 campaigns. 

The numbers speak for themselves. Such a lengthy track record of failure will not be changed by firing the head coach.

With AP reports

Alex Mitchell