David Fizdale already knows what kind of players he wants. He wants guys that can bring a rugged, tough mindset to the New York Knicks.
David Fizdale has been making the rounds in his first week as head coach of the New York Knicks. He’s providing a look into how he envisions the future of the team through some of the interviews he’s been giving during his honeymoon phase.
Fizdale appeared on ESPN’s Get Up and talked about the kind of player he wants to coach.
“Long and tough. But he’s gotta have an edge to him. I don’t want soft guys here. I don’t want cupcakes. I want guys that have an edge to them, that enjoy defending, that get joy out of locking teams down and seeing their teammates succeed.”
If he wants long, he’s off to a good start with franchise player Kristaps Porzingis and the young point guard in Frank Ntilikina. Porzingis proved this season that he is a force on the defensive end and one of the best shot blockers in the game. KP was leading the league with 2.4 blocks per game before tearing his ACL last season.
Ntilikina showed flashes of greatness defending on the perimeter—more specifically the pick and roll. He finished first in the league in points per possession when guarding the pick and roll according to Synergy Sports.
With two pieces two the puzzle seemingly in place, Fizdale and company could be looking for another guy in the draft that fits his style.
If he’s looking for someone who’s long, tough, and willing to play defense, it would make sense for the Knicks to take a long look at Villanova’s Mikal Bridges. He’s a guy that could come in and find an immediate role. He is a tough defender and he was tough enough in college to bring home two national championships.
Mikal Bridges is just one option in the draft, but he clearly fits the bill for what kind of player Fizdale wants to bring in.