David Fizdale desperately wants Knicks to play faster

David Fizdale wants the Knicks to pick up their pace.

Ranked 27th out of 30 teams in pace (98.65) — which measures the number of possessions per game — the Knicks spent Tuesday’s practice working with a 12-second shot clock to hammer the point across.

“We’ve got to get more possessions in the game to get over the hump and give ourselves more shots at the rim,” Fizdale said before the Knicks flew to Toronto for Wednesday’s game against the Raptors. “We’ve got to get to our stuff quicker. We’ve got to get up the floor faster, get into our actions faster. So hopefully there will be some carryover for that.”

The Knicks ranked 17th in pace (100.16) in Fizdale’s first season at the helm, and while it has been a big talking point during his tenure, the results haven’t shown. Fizdale said he didn’t know why they haven’t been able to play as fast as he wants, but he continues to push it as a point of emphasis.

“Once they get in there maybe for whatever reason we don’t play as fast as we’d like,” Fizdale said. “How they measure pace as well is not necessarily conducive to how fast you’re playing. Because sometimes if you don’t get a shot on goal it takes away from what your actual pace is. So the actual speed we’re playing at, I think, is fine.”


Though the Knicks lost to the Nets 103-101 Sunday night at the Garden, Richard Jefferson created a stir on the Nets’ YES broadcast by saying he retired instead of playing for the Knicks.

The Knicks issued a statement Monday clarifying the team did not offer Jefferson a contract in the summer of 2018 or 2019, which only added to the mockery the clip was already getting.

Fizdale offered multiple “no comments” when Jefferson’s name came up Tuesday, but was asked if it was unfair the Knicks were being used as the butt of jokes.

“People can say whatever they want to say,” Fizdale said. “All I know is I’m proud to be a part of this thing with these guys that I’m working with.”

Fizdale said last season the perception of the Knicks organization had changed for the better, which he saw as an important part of getting big free agents to sign with the team. They still whiffed in that regard this summer, but Fizdale insisted respect remains high for the Knicks around the league.

“I know how people view guys in this building and what we’re doing. I have friends around the league and I know that throughout the league there’s a high level of respect for us,” he said. “So I don’t get caught up in the noise and 15 second sound bites and things like that. All I think about is these guys in this building and how I take care of them.”


The Knicks listed Frank Ntilikina (contused left quad and sore groin) as questionable and Kevin Knox (contused left quad) as doubtful for Wednesday’s game, but both will make the trip with a chance to play.

Fizdale said that both got “pretty good knees to the thigh” Sunday.

“I could see them both really trying to get back out there to play,” Fizdale said.

For more on the Knicks, listen to the latest episode of the “Big Apple Buckets” podcast:

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