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Knicks coach David Fizdale envisions Lance Thomas, Tim Hardaway Jr. as key cogs for offense

Lance Thomas, Tim Hardaway, Knicks

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale gave some insight into his vision for the team, already looking into potential ways to put this team together and mold to his talent.

“There’s some guys that have some real potential there. I think Tim Hardaway Jr. obviously is a talent. And the way I want to play, he fits it perfectly,” said Fizdale in an interview with WFAN, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. “(Emmanuel) Mudiay has kind of been discarded a little bit because it didn’t work out in the first place he went to but he’s still a (No. 7) pick with a ton of talent.”

Fizdale said he’s found success coaching players who attack and get into the paint like Mudiay in the past, mentioning the likes of Tyreke Evans and Dwyane Wade. Fizdale has publicly admired Frank Ntilikina’s disposition as a defensive presence, as well as his unselfishness.

As far as the style of play, Fizdale, like many other coaches, are looking for the gold standard.

“Lance [Thomas] is Swiss-army knife type of player that can guard multiple positions and you can run offense through him,” Fizdale said during the interview. “I think he can push the ball off the break a lot like Draymond Green plays. Obviously, the thing I’m going to demand from Lance is to pay defense like Draymond and and be a guy that’s pushing to be a first team all defender.”

The Knicks are far removed from the Golden State Warriors, but if Fizdale can put the right pieces together, he could find himself in the middle of something good. The absence of Kristaps Porzingis will force this team to play fundamentally well in order to win, and even if they struggle out of the gate, it’s only bound to get better upon the All-Star’s return.