Woeful Knicks on slow learning curve under Jackson regime

Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:51pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a season full of hope in the first full campaign under club president Phil Jackson, the New York Knicks are struggling with a new offense, a rookie coach and a frustrated star in Carmelo Anthony.

Coach Derek Fisher, who won five NBA titles as a guard for the Lakers under then-coach Jackson, has been cool and calm in his new role but showed growing impatience against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday when his club fell to woeful 5-22 record.

Just past the halfway mark of a first quarter in which the Knicks trailed by as much as 19, a disgusted Fisher swapped out his entire starting lineup for five reserves.

"The guys who started the game were a disappointment to their teammates," Fisher said.

Anthony said he has never gone through anything like this in his 11-year career, with a seven-game losing streak followed by a 10-game skid, but was not second-guessing his decision to re-sign with the Knicks as a free agent.

"You just gotta believe," Anthony, who was pursued by several teams during the offseason, said after Wednesday's practice. "I have never been a quitter in my life or in my career."

Players have been slow to adapt to the triangle offense, an unconventional scheme that helped Jackson win 11 NBA titles with the Bulls and Lakers and one that Fisher is trying to implement in New York.

Jackson, 69, has been criticized for his first big trade, sending center Tyson Chandler to Dallas in a multi-player deal that brought back point guard Jose Calderon.   Continued...

Oct 8, 2014; Hartford, CT, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) works the ball against Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner (11) in the first half at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports