By Brendan Murray @MurraySportTalk on June 12, 2014
The Knicks took a cue from the crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets by hiring a just retired point guard mere moments after he hung up his high tops. Derek Fisher is the new man at the helm of the much-maligned organization, though the figure of Phil Jackson is sure to loom large in the background. Here are five things to look for in Fisher's first year
The Knicks seemed to take a page out of the Nets' playbook when hiring Fisher, as the Nets hired former point guard Jason Kidd soon after he retired last offseason. Look for Fisher to lean on Kidd for advice and for Fisher to announce it publicly. The teams may have a budding rivalry, but the two coaches surely have plenty of respect for each other after their playing careers. Look for these two to cross paths outside of their games this year.
J.R. Smith's stock rocketed to the top two seasons ago as the troubled guard caught fire in the late part of the season and the playoffs. But his play came screaming back to earth last season, and Fisher will undoubtedly debut a plan to get him back to 2013 levels. Don't hold your breath, though, as Smith doesn't seem like the type of player who can consistently produce no matter what Fisher does.
Tyson Chandler is still a fairly accomplished defensive player, but he's a miserable fit in the famous triangle offense. Given the fact that Fisher will likely be running the triangle under Phil Jackson's direction, it seems as though Chandler will not be a Knick by the end of the season.
Derek Fisher will have to find a new No. 1 scoring option after Carmelo Anthony opts out of his contract and signs with another team. It may be for the best for the Knicks, as it gives them plenty of cap room to dig themselves out of the mess they're in.
Despite all of this the New York Knicks will be in the 2015 playoffs. Fisher was a great leader as a player, both on the court and off, running his team as the point guard and leading the players' union. The Eastern Conference is essentially a joke, so look for the Knicks to sneak in to next year's postseason after a successful season from their rookie coach.
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