On Dec 6, after 22 games and a dismal win-loss record of 4-18, the New York Knicks management fired head coach David Fizdale and assistant coach Keith Smart. The sacking came after the team lost horribly to the Denver Nuggets, 129-92. Mike Miller replaced Fizdale as the Knicks' head coach. Two weeks later, the Knicks have raised their winning percentage to 50%, winning three out of six games.
There were a lot of controversies surrounding the firing of Fizdale. Sportswriters who support him claim that Fizdale was given an impossible task and was set up to fail. It's too early to know who would eventually be proven right, but it's not looking good for Fizdale. In the past two weeks since then, the Knicks won three games, including two straight games against the Sacramento Kings and the heavily injured Golden State Warriors. They also lost again to the Denver Nuggets, but with a more respectable 111-105 loss.
Last Wednesday, they beat the Atlanta Hawks, 143-120, dropping the Hawks and raising the Knicks as the worst and second worst team in the Eastern Conference, respectively. The Hawks now hold a 6-23 record, one win below the 7-22 Knicks.
According to Daily Knicks, it's clear that the New York Knicks are playing better, especially on the offensive end. They are moving the ball better and initiating motion offense on all sides. Their team assist average was bumped up by four since Miller took over the helm. Miller also raised the Knicks' offensive efficiency to 119 points per 100 possessions, compared to 101.9 when Fizdale was in charge. That efficiency under Fizdale was the worst in the league. The Knicks also averaged 24.8 assists per game under Miller, while they only reached 24 assists twice in the 22 games with Fizdale.
Knicks management got its season goal of "putting a competitive team on the court" in the last six games by merely firing Fizdale and Smart, while using the same player roster. The Knicks are slated to play at home against Championship candidate Milwaukee Bucks this Saturday. It is time to see if the revitalized Knicks can keep up with the dominant Bucks.