Are Derek Fisher’s latest comments a sign of vulnerability?

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Following Sunday night’s loss to the Raptors, Coach Derek Fisher alluded to the fact that the question marks surrounding a number of players’ contract situations for next season may not only be affecting the team in the locker room, but on the court as well.

“That’s a reality of this game,” he said. “You have a number of guys that are thinking about how they’re going to provide for their families and where their career is going and whether they’re going to be here or on another team and all the ramifications of those decisions. So that’s not easy stuff to process.

“And then on top of that, they’re being asked to sacrifice more and do less in order to win, so it’s not a great combination for cohesion and team chemistry.”

FisherAside from simply drawing up the X’s and O’s, a main component of Coach Fisher’s job description calls for him to keep the peace in the locker room. He needs to bring the team together and ensure that they conquer any type of adversity that may come their way. A head coach is often faced with aiming to get the most out of his players while overcoming any injuries and/or chemistry concerns that could stand in the way of that.

It’s clear to see that the group the Knicks is sending out onto the hardwood each and every night isn’t the most talented bunch. What’s more, all of the players are learning a completely new system (one that is proving to be difficult, as it so happens) that calls for some past habits to die hard.

Alas, there are plenty of on-the-court reasons as to why New York hasn’t been able to rise above and find success as of yet.

Fisher’s decision to shed some light on the off-the-court concerns of some of his players is certainly an interesting one. This is because, in a sense, it seemingly shifts much of the blame for the Knicks’ troubles thus far from the players to the coach. To read more of this story, click here

Liam Neeson, John Wall star in ‘Taken 3′ parody for Christmas Day game

Nobody messes with Liam Neeson … but apparently the rules don’t apply to John Wall.

In a parody promoting the upcoming movie “Taken 3″ and the Christmas Day showdown between the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards, Neeson and Wall re-enact everybody’s favorite scene from the original “Taken” in which Knicks fans Neeson talks about his particular set of skills.

Wall, however, seems unfazed.

Sam Spiegelman

This is fantastic. Who would have thought Neeson would still be a Knicks fan after this horrendous start to the 2014-15 season?

But other than this promo, who is looking forward to see Wall beat up on the Knicks on Christmas Day? Might as well fill our stockings with coal and hand over empty presents to us.

The Knicks are 5-21 while the Wizards are 17-6, second in the Eastern Conference behind only Toronto, and winners of four straight games. With a little more than a week until Christmas, the Knicks could be 5-25, given the fact they play the aforementioned Raptors as well as Dallas, Chicago and Phoenix over the next five days.

Honestly, I’d much rather watch “Taken 3″ than see the Knicks get lit up like a Christmas tree in that game.

GEICO SportsNite: Tyson Chandler’s return

GEICO SportsNite has the latest from the Knicks as Tyson Chandler returns to the Garden on Tuesday when the Knicks take on the Mavericks.

Walmart is selling ‘Carmelo Anthony’ dolls. Only problem? It’s Jeremy Lin

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Walmart is selling Carmelo Anthony plush dolls on its Website.Linsane

The only problem? Well, there are two.

First, Walmart lists the doll as being “Anthony Carmelo.”

And second, the doll isn’t Carmelo Anthony at all.

It’s Jeremy Lin, who last played for the Knicks in 2012.

The doll goes for $13.88, a far cry from the $22.5 million the real Melo will make this year for a team that’s currently 5-21.

Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider for and You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.

Why the Knicks must be more assertive on the offensive end

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

As a team like the Knicks begins the season at 5-21, it should be relatively easy to pinpoint the team’s on the court difficulties. With a record like that, there should be plenty of negative takeaways to choose from.

USATSI_8203060_110579513_lowresAnd on Sunday night against the Raptors, such struggles were yet again apparent. New York has thus far failed to fully embrace the triangle offense. As they faltered against Toronto during the overtime period, the team didn’t display the same type of assertiveness they did in the fourth quarter. This proved to be their ultimate downfall.

When the triangle offense is carried out properly, it creates spacing and spreads the defense rather thin. If successful, this will subsequently open up things for some of the team’s better offensive players and create easier (and/or higher percentage) shot opportunities.

Sharing the basketball is also undoubtedly a key component of the system, but all of this is done so that someone can ultimately step up and go in for the kill offensively.

Obviously, the Knicks have one of the game’s best scorers in Carmelo Anthony. Even he, however, has struggled to assert himself at times. As he helped the Knicks tie the game up in the fourth quarter, Anthony was successful in attacking the basket. As they hoped to keep themselves afloat in overtime, New York fell flat as Anthony settled for three-point attempts.

Of course, a given game’s specific situation (re: how large a current deficit is, etc.) often dictates what a team does next, but more often that not, a squad should look to capitalize on higher percentage looks.

Perhaps this is why Amar’e Stoudemire has proven to be more successful over the last couple of weeks. With eyes for the basket, he has constantly cashed in on easy opportunities, whether that be by simply putting the ball in the basket or getting fouled while attempting to do so. To read more of this story, click here

Melo says fans shouldn’t boo Tyson Chandler, only the Mavericks

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Carmelo Anthony says Tyson Chandler has taken unfair heat for the Knicks’ struggles last season and that fans shouldn’t boo him when the Dallas Mavericks come to town on Tuesday.

“I don’t think there’s no need to boo him or anything,” Anthony said Monday at practice. “The only reason you boo him is because he’s on another team. If you want to do that, then yeah we should boo everybody that’s on another team.

“I don’t think we should boo him because he left the New York Knicks.”

Chandler will return as part of a resurgent Mavericks club that is 17-8. The Knicks, by contrast, are 5-21 following Sunday’s OT loss to Toronto. To read more of this story, click here