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Allonzo Trier doesn’t know what the future holds. It’s as big a mystery to him as David Fizdale’s chances of finishing his second season.

The second-year Knicks shooting guard knows the present has not been ideal. The former Arizona star has not played in eight of the last 10 games.

During Monday’s horrific 44-point loss in Milwaukee, Trier made his first appearance in a non-garbage-time situation in three weeks.

Though he scored 10 points in 11 first-half minutes, Trier didn’t see any action during the second half — which was 24 minutes of garbage time.

The embattled Fizdale has not specified why Trier can’t get back in the rotation after his solid rookie season other than saying he has three other shooting guards on the roster (RJ Barrett, Wayne Ellington and Damyean Dotson).

It is believed Trier’s isolation-style game is counter to Fizdale’s attempt to install a move-the-ball offense. Dotson, with his defensive energy and selflessness, is for now the better fit.

During training camp, Fizdale said Trier aimed to remove his nickname “IsoZo’’ from the conversation. Apparently, the Knicks coach still views the 23-year-old in that vein.

Enlarge ImageAllonzo Trier
Allonzo TrierNBAE via Getty Images
Trier is trying to remain patient.

“I come in every day, do my job and work on my game to try to get better,’’ Trier told The Post. “When I get in the game, I try to be a factor. If I’m not in the game, I try to spread knowledge and be a cheerleader.”

Trier, who was undrafted out of Arizona and originally signed with the Knicks as a two-way G-League player before his contract was reworked, will be a free agent this summer. Fizdale has been eager to play the veteran marksman Ellington over Trier, though Ellington is shooting just 30.9 percent from 3. Trier is shooting 51.2 percent overall — 46 percent from 3.

It’s a long season and there’s no telling whether Ellington will be either traded or waived at February’s deadline if the Knicks are out of the playoff race.

SEE ALSO

Knicks shockingly aren’t closer to scapegoating David Fizdale
“You take it head on,’’ Trier said of the demotion. “Be prepared whenever that time is, continue to work and get better and help this team if I’m playing or not. I got to accept that. They tell me to stay ready.’’

It’s a far cry from last season, when Fizdale beat the drum for Trier as a glossy part of a rookie trio along with Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson. Trier was also known as a friend of Kevin Durant’s from his Oklahoma high school days and perhaps the organization viewed him then as a potential KD magnet.

When asked if he feels he will be a big part of the rotation later in the season, Trier became agitated.

“I don’t know,’’ Trier said. “C’mon. How am I supposed to answer that? It’s hypothetical. I can’t tell the future. I’m being a pro and trying to get better every day and trying to take it day by day.’’

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With the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree lit and the Radio City Rockettes kicking into high gear, a grimmer December tradition is coming into focus in the Big Apple: The New York Knicks are in big trouble. Handed their ninth straight loss in heartbreaking fashion against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, the Knicks fell to 4-19 on the year, equaling the record set in 2014 for the worst start in franchise history.

It is familiar territory for the Knicks, as they failed to attract star free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the off-season, with the bright lights and glamour of New York City eclipsed by six consecutive losing seasons.

Even the sudden firing of head coach David Fizdale, intended to reset the team’s trajectory, seemed to backfire, with stunned players lamenting their leader’s departure.

“It’s a family thing,” center Mitchell Robinson told reporters after their 103-104 loss in front of a rowdy hometown crowd. “(Fizdale is) still going to be part of us no matter what. He looked after us besides basketball but as people as well.”

While a gobsmacking 129-92 loss against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday and Monday’s 132-88 drubbing at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks should have foretold the coach’s impending fate, Fizdale’s departure nonetheless “caught everyone by surprise,” according to guard Dennis Smith Jr.

“We didn’t want it to fall all on him,” Smith told a scrum of reporters in the locker room, prior to Saturday night’s contest. “We talked about that actually, like, ‘we’ve got to start taking responsibility,’ because he would stand up in front of y’all and take all the bullets for all of us. It’s not 100% on him.”

Power forward Julius Randle, who missed a second free throw that would have tied Saturday’s game in its final moments, told reporters the team had no choice but to “keep fighting.”

“We’ve got a long season ahead and we have to keep moving on,” said Randle.

The team next flies west to take on the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday, kicking off a bruising four-game road trip that proves there is no rest for weary.

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The old cliched definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is where the Knicks are with Julius Randle. David Fizdale keeps using him the same way. Randle keeps playing the same way. Aside from a blip against the Cavaliers, nothing is changing and it’s not good. Something has to give.

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This is not a matter of the team still getting to know one another. This is not a chemistry issue. Unless Randle makes some kind of personal adjustment that makes a lot more of his shots go in and a lot fewer of his passes go to the opposing team, history is going to continue to repeat itself.

Julius Randle is a very talented basketball player, but he has not been able to utilize those talents to play winning basketball. He struggles to understand what a good shot is and what isn’t. His shots very seldom come in the flow of the offense, but rather on isolation plays. He shoots low-percentage shots early in the shot clock. He has very little feel for the game and what a good basketball play looks like.

NY Knicks
Bill Streicher/ USA Today Sports
The Knicks’ desire to bring Randle in this offseason was understandable. They were a team that lacked players that could score efficiently and create their own shot. Randle averaged 21 points per game last season with a 60% true shooting percentage. The year before he scored 16 points per game with nearly identical efficiency.

His scoring efficiency was so rare that he was only one of seven NBA players last season to score 20 or more points with a True-Shooting percentage of 60% or higher. Who were the others? It is a pretty impressive list: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Karl-Anthony Towns.

If a player can score in volume at that high of efficiency, it makes it much easier to swallow the obvious flaws. Randle was a bit of a ball-hog last season, with his focus on getting his own shot. Despite possessing passing ability, he has never been a good decision-maker. His defense has always been suspect.

The problem is that Randle has shown up this season with all those flaws on full display but without the efficient scoring. His true shooting percentage is down nearly ten points to 50.5%, with his raw shooting numbers a pedestrian .444/.262/.613. Randle is also shooting two fewer free throws per game than he did last season. Some of those numbers, especially the three-point and free-throw shooting should tick up, but the two-point shooting is the real problem.

Randle’s issues have everything to do with his shot selection and how he is being used by David Fizdale. The issues are easy to see when you look at Basketball Reference’s shooting chart that shows where his shots are coming from and how often he is making them.

10% fewer of his shots are coming inside the restricted area when compared to last year, and 20% fewer than two years ago. On those shots, he is shooting 10% worse than two seasons ago, and 6% worse than last year. He’s also shooting fewer shots from within ten feet of the hoop. Those shots have turned into mid-range shots and threes. They are never going to lead to efficient scoring, especially when Randle is not hitting his threes at a high rate.

The other telling number on that chart is the percent of his two points shots that are assisted. This year, a career-low 32.2% of his two-pointers have come off of someone else’s assist. It’s a drop of 17% off his career average. It is all the evidence anyone should need that he is being asked to do too much on his own as an initiator of the offense. It has not worked.

This is where Fizdale has to make his adjustment. Randle is being used as the roll man on pick and rolls and as an off-ball cutter too seldom. When Randle does set screens on the ball, he too often glides out to the three-point line rather than diving to the hoop. Until Randle proves he can be someone you can run an offense through, he needs to be used as a finisher rather than an initiator.

It doesn’t help that the Knicks lack a true high-level playmaking point guard, but Frank Ntilikina has proven an adept pick and roll passer, while Dennis Smith has gotten Mitchell Robinson involved with the second unit. It needs to be tired because the way the team is using him now isn’t working. The Knicks are actually a better offensive team when he is on the bench so far this season.

Fizdale could also try moving Randle to the second unit where he can regain some confidence going against other teams’ backups. Fizdale can easily insert Mitchell Robinson and Damyean Dotson or Wayne Ellington into the starting lineup, and move Gibson and Randle to the second group. It would still leave the first and second units with a good mix of shooting and shot creation.

Something needs to change. Randle needs to shoot better and alter the types of shots he is taking. Fizdale needs to change how he is using him. Until those things happen, Randle will continue to play poorly, his acquisition will look like a mistake, and the team will keep losing games. The Knicks need his efficient scoring. They just need to figure out a way to get it out of him.

You can follow John on Twitter at @Schmeelk for everything Knicks, Giants and the world of sports. You can also check out “The Bank Shot,” his Knicks podcast, on most popular podcast platforms.

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We’ve got answers to the hot-button questions following David Fizdale’s firing:

Q: Is this really Fizdale’s fault? Doesn’t he have a flawed roster?
A: It’s a combination of mediocre coaching and a roster no one in the league believed was playoff worthy. The timing is rough as Fizdale’s Knicks had just faced five straight teams with title-contending credentials (Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, Milwaukee, Denver). The roster is flawed with no No. 1 option, as Julius Randle failed to fill that role. But management saw rookie RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox regressing instead of improving, and a second-to-last 3-point defense that made the same mistakes over and over.

Q: How safe are Steve Mills and Scott Perry?
Owner James Dolan has a strong bond with Mills, but he must see the plan not working, with the Kristaps Porzingis trade backfiring and their free agents not excelling. The pitch to Dolan now is their cap flexibility they can use on trades or free agents.

SEE ALSO

Top NBA coaches take digs at Knicks over Fizdale firing
Q: How soon now before the Knicks start unloading some of their veterans in trades?
A: This firing could be a give-up and a push to either trade some of the veterans at the deadline or just waive them to open roster spots for young guys such as G-Leaguer Kenny Wooten and two-way G-League player Ivan Rabb.

Q: Is there a chance interim coach Mike Miller could get the job long-term?
A: Miller was a proven winner on the G-League level and certainly if he gets this roster to close out in .500 range, he’ll be in consideration. Why wouldn’t he?

Q: Fizdale has now been fired twice in three years. Will he get another head-coaching job again?
A: Fizdale has lots of friends in the NBA and turned down the Atlanta and Phoenix jobs, but is getting the reputation he’s better off as an assistant coach. Fizdale might be best off at the college level with his charismatic personality put to use in recruiting.

Q: Does Fizdale’s firing benefit any player?
A: Maybe the new coach will find a better use of Knox and Allonzo Trier. Knox has been underutilized in the offense and Trier is just buried.

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Knicks forward Bobby Portis isn’t coming to the United Center on Tuesday to play bingo.

Since the Bulls traded him to the Wizards in February, Portis’ agenda has been very simple whenever he faces them: Make them regret the trade every second he’s on the court.

In three games against the Bulls last season, Portis averaged 15 points, nine rebounds and 1.7 blocks — all higher than his averages. In the first game he played against the Bulls after signing with the Knicks during the offseason, he scored a season-high 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and shot 4-for-4 from three-point range.

Portis even let it be known before that beatdown of the Bulls last month at Madison Square Garden that it was coming.

‘‘He was juiced about this game as soon as he came to New York,’’ Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. said of Portis after that game. ‘‘He put it out on social media, looking forward to playing the Chicago Bulls.’’

Now it’s the Bulls’ turn. Or at least it should be. For a team searching for toughness, this rematch against the Knicks should be the ideal fuel for that.

‘‘Should be’’ are two key words for the Bulls. They should be better than 3-7 with the schedule they’ve played. They should be ready for Portis whenever they face him because they all know how personal he can make a game. And they should be taking some pride in playing better in front of a home crowd that has seen only 10 victories since the start of last season.

Carter gets it.

‘‘Oh, yeah, for sure, he did a lot of [trash-talking],’’ Carter said Monday. ‘‘Yeah, no words need to be said. We’re not letting that happen. Bobby, he wants to put on a show. I’m not going to have it. I hope he’s watching this, so he knows I ain’t having it.’’

Carter knows Portis well and considers him a friend. The two hit it off before Portis was traded to the Wizards, but Carter also is starting to get fed up with the losing. He said he and Portis can be cool with each other again after the game.

This is about someone on the Bulls matching Portis’ energy and anger levels.

‘‘He’s always juiced whenever,’’ Carter said. ‘‘For him and for Jabari [Parker, who was traded with Portis], every time we play against those two players, they’re very juiced. They play some of their best basketball. Those are some of my closest friends in this league, so I’m happy for them. They’re doing their thing. But we can’t have no All-Stars when it’s go time. . . . [We] can definitely play better.’’

Carter thinks he and his teammates are closer to playing better — with or without manufactured anger. Beating the Knicks would be a step in a positive direction.

‘‘I feel like we’re definitely one of the most talented young teams in this league,’’ Carter said. ‘‘We just have to play for 48 minutes. I feel like we have great spurts where we’re playing beautiful basketball, and sometimes we lose focus and show our immaturity.’’

Portis will be hoping for that — and letting his former teammates hear about it the entire time.

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Kevin Knox doesn’t have to look very far to learn from another recent top-10 draft pick of the Knicks who spent entire games on the bench during his first two NBA seasons.

Frank Ntilikina went through what Knox experienced for the first time in his career Friday night, having a “DNP-CD” (Did Not Play — Coach’s Decision) attached to his name in the box score of the Knicks’ 101-95 loss to Philadelphia at the Garden.

Ntilikina, the eighth-overall pick in the 2017 draft, has started the past 14 games after spending several glued to the bench during his first two years in the league.

“Sometimes they’ve got to go through some tough love to find themselves and watch the game from 25,000 feet, see it, and see the things that I’m emphasizing,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said when asked about Knox after practice Saturday in Tarrytown. “I was tough on Frank last year and I just feel like Frank has come back with a whole different mindset about how he’s going to go about this season.

“I’ve been so happy with the way he’s played and produced. But I do think a little bit of tough love on some of these young guys isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

SEE ALSO

Knicks sink to new depths as Kevin Knox doesn’t play
The 20-year-old Knox, the ninth-overall selection in the 2018 draft, averaged 12.8 points and 28.8 minutes per game as a rookie, but those numbers have decreased to 7.8 points and 19.8 minutes through 19 appearances this season — all off the bench.

Asked what he learned from a similar experience earlier in his career, Ntilikina responded: “To stay with it and control what you can control. And see how I can affect the team even when I’m not playing, talk to teammates, give advice, be a great teammate and keep working in practice, keep working on your game, and the opportunity will come. Obviously it’s a long season. An opportunity will come. Most of it is how can I be a good teammate and still be part of the team.”

Fizdale added that Knox “will be a consideration, for sure,” to return to the rotation in Sunday’s home matinee against Boston, with leading scorer Marcus Morris listed as questionable with cervical spasms in his neck.

Even if Knox doesn’t play, he can learn from Ntilikina, who took Fizdale’s “tough love” to heart and tuned out any outside criticism from fans and media to find his way back into the rotation — and more recently, the starting lineup.

Enlarge ImageKevin Knox; David Fizdale
Kevin Knox; David FizdaleAnthony J. Causi
“Both of us were under scrutiny from you guys. We lived it together and we talked about it a lot together, that despite what people are saying, we’re going to constantly keep working to try to make him the best pro that he can possibly be,” Fizdale said. “Through all that, you find a bond and you build a stronger relationship.

“Now where we’re at, our connection now is really strong. Like I said, I’m so proud of the way the kid has grown up and the way he’s attacking the NBA now.”

Ntilikina, who did not play at all in the Knicks’ game Oct. 25 against the Nets, is averaging 8.1 points, 4.2 assists and 1.9 steals with just 1.1 turnovers per game over his 14 consecutive starts. The 21-year-old point guard credited a meeting with Fizdale in the offseason for helping him “grow up” and return this year with a different mindset.

“There’s a lot of noise with this team, a lot of expectations. Around this city, a lot of expectations,” Ntilikina said. “Obviously, those expectations are for us to get better. But what we have to understand, too, is we have expectations, and [Fizdale] wants us to get better, and he wants us to be the best team possible. He wants us to be the best possible, that’s the same for every player.

“So I just gotta stay locked in, stay focused on us. It’s not really selfish, it’s just learning with the right mind and being able to perform at the best.”

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Slowly but surely, Damyean Dotson has emerged to grab the Knicks backup shooting guard slot from Wayne Ellington and Allonzo Trier.

It wasn’t long ago Dotson was a complete afterthought in a crowded field after returning from offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and missing the preseason.

Dotson, a second-round pick by Phil Jackson in 2017, started the regular season out of the rotation. He played three minutes in the first four games — in three of those he didn’t play at all — after being the starting shooting guard to close last season.

But in recent games, Dotson is emerging with his hustle, speed, defense and ability to impact the game. In Monday’s 123-105 win over the Cavaliers, Dotson made a big impact offensively with a season-high 11 points, making 5 of 10 shots in 18 minutes. Dotson also had another of his hustle plays, grabbing a loose ball that was going to be a turnover and driving to the basket for a score.

“I didn’t play any training camp, didn’t play any preseason games,’’ Dotson told The Post. “If you were a coach, you’d be skeptical throwing me out there because you don’t know if I’m ready or not. I had to go through a few practices, short spurts in games, to get my rhythm back. I’m still not 100 [percent], but I’m working and trying to get there.”

Enlarge ImageDamyean Dotson
Damyean DotsonAnthony J. Causi
A former high school football player out of Houston, Dotson said he’s still getting his wind. He is considered the fastest sprinter on the team, just beating Dennis Smith Jr. in a race at practice.

“It was all part of the plan,’’ said Dotson, who couldn’t shoot most of the summer. “I still don’t think I‘m my normal self. I’m still getting rhythm back I can’t play as long as I want without getting tired.”

C Mitchell Robinson played with his sprained ankle on Monday, recording 16 minutes, seven points, four blocks and five fouls. Robinson sprained it again versus on Saturday. “I know with him, he’s going to be doing what he does,’’ coach David Fizdale said. “He’s going to fly around.’’… Fizdale admitted on the final Charlotte 3-point dagger by Devonte’ Graham on Saturday, Robinson was supposed to be up at the 3-point line. … Cavs forwards Kevin Love (back) and Larry Nance (thumb) missed the game.

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New York Knicks President Steve Mills’ job is reportedly in jeopardy following Friday’s firing of head coach David Fizdale.

According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, sources believe Mills will either be reassigned or fired because of the Knicks’ struggles during his tenure. Isola added that Knicks owner James Dolan is expected to attempt to lure Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri to the Big Apple once again.

At 4-18, the Knicks own the worst record in the NBA, and they will almost certainly miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.

In 2013, Mills was hired as the executive vice president and general manager of the Knicks. Following the departure of team president Phil Jackson, Mills was elevated to the role and Scott Perry was hired as general manager in 2017.

The Knicks have not had a winning record nor have they made the playoffs during Mills’ tenure. They are also on pace to win fewer than 20 games for the second consecutive season and the third time overall since Mills was initially hired as GM.

There was some level of optimism surrounding the Knicks entering the 2019-20 season since Fizdale was set to begin his second year as head coach and several moves were made in free agency.

New York failed to land any of the big fish available, such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant, so Mills, Perry and Co. instead decided to hand out multiple short-term contracts in order to open the salary cap space back up in the near future.

The Knicks signed guards Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock, and forwards Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson.

While Morris and Randle have both been productive, most of the signings have not worked out as hoped. Also, New York’s young players have not developed as quickly as many expected.

RJ Barrett is enjoying a solid rookie year with 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, but 2018 draft picks Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, and 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina are all averaging less than nine points per game.

With most of New York’s young core failing to develop at an acceptable pace and the pieces assembled by the front office not fitting together properly, it seems like a foregone conclusion that someone will lose their job.

Perhaps Perry will receive the benefit of the doubt since he has only been in his role for two years, but with the Knicks playing mediocre basketball throughout Mills’ tenure, keeping him in an important position any longer may be a tough sell to Knicks fans.

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The New York Knicks’ G-League squad recently played their first game, and Ignas Brazdeikis finally received his first steady dose of playing time.
Ignas Brazdeikis‘ 30-point game for the New York Knicks’ summer league team teased yet another second-round success, following in the footsteps of Mitchell Robinson. All seemed well, until the Knicks filled their roster with veteran free agents, limiting an imminent role once the regular season began.

It is hardly unusual for second-round picks to not receive a full role off the bat. They are not all like Robinson, who shined from the start on a worst-record-in-the-NBA Knicks team. Some of them land in the G League for extra playing time, and that has happened with the Michigan product.

On Monday, Brazdeikis began what will likely be a continuous, back-and-forth trip from the Knicks to Westchester, except his first game happened at Madison Square Garden against the Lakeland Magic. He played 29 minutes, finishing with 15 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals and five turnovers on 6-for-13 shooting and 3-for-5 on three-pointers.

Brazdeikis did not play in Wednesday’s game, but due to the main-roster Knicks traveling to Chicago, where he played two minutes in garbage time.

Look for more Westchester reps for the 20-year-old guard/forward, who will probably not crack the Knicks’ rotation anytime soon, barring a trade or several injuries, even with a 2-9 record, which has shown no sign of improvement. The steady playing time is positive, though, rather than just watching and doing light practices for the next five months.

More G-League notes
Dennis Smith Jr. returned to the court from missed time, at 0-3 from the field, two rebounds, two steals and a -22. He spent two weeks from the New York Knicks, understandably not staying in basketball shape in that time. That opened speculation of the third-year point guard playing in the G League, which coach David Fizdale apparently considered. However, per Greg Joyce of the New York Post, he opted against it:

“We thought about it, but we just felt like it wasn’t an injury that took him out,” Fizdale said Wednesday. “It was more from a conditioning standpoint. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna play him, try to play him in smaller doses to get him back in shape. Obviously he’s doing a lot of court work, three-on-three, two-on-two. Today he had a full practice, which was great. “I don’t see us sending him down. No, he’s back with us now.”

That means Smith will play through his on-court struggles on the main stage, inserting himself into a point guard discussion that includes Frank Ntilikina starting and an injured Elfrid Payton. As long as one misses time, playing opportunities will remain for Smith. Once everyone is healthy, however, that’s when Fizdale’s decision making goes under the microscope, again.

Outside of the NBA links, Andrew White III has played stellar basketball, averaging 29 points in his first two games on 65.6 percent shooting. He had 39 points in Wednesday’s win.

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New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett has given his sentiments regarding the team’s decision to fire head coach David Fizdale and assistant coach Keith Smart.

Barrett, the third-overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, thanked his former coaches for everything that they have done for him as he started his young career with the Knicks.

“I appreciate everything coach Fizdale and coach (Keith) Smart have done for me,” Barrett shared, per Coby Green of SNY.TV. “They were the first ones to give me a chance in the league so I appreciate them. I spoke to coach Fizdale. Wished me the best.”

Rumors of the Knicks’ plan to fire Fizdale came out a couple of weeks ago, but after the team’s eighth-straight loss, they have decided that it was time to make some changes. Mike Miller has been appointed as the team’s interim head coach, thoug he suffered his first defeat on Saturday after the Knicks bowed down to the Indiana Pacers 104-103.

Barrett was also asked if he had any idea on whether the Knicks’ front office had other reasons for firing Fizdale, but the 19-year-old refused to give any details.

“Oh that’s private. I can’t talk about what management told me,” he shared.

It is unclear if Miller will be the team’s head coach for the remainder of the season, but one thing is for sure: Knicks fans will have to continue to endure the franchise’s mediocrity since it seems that it is where they are headed once again.

The Knicks currently have the worst record in the league at 4-19. However, they will have the chance to at least get a win, considering that two of their next three games will be against fellow cellar-dwelling teams: the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday and the Sacramento Kings on Friday.