Twenty-nine games into the season, coach Derek Fisher still doesn’t have a clear handle on which five players to use to close games for his 14-15 Knicks.
Fisher — and most coaches — will tell you finding a closing quintet is as important as a starting five. The pie-in-the-sky is both units being the same.
For now, Fisher has settled on a starting five, keeping the same group since mid-November. But during the recent four-game winning streak, which ended Monday night against the Magic, the coach said the starting five is being evaluated.
Like the starting unit, Fisher should stick to a finishing five. Fisher’s moves down the stretch against Orlando probably cost them the game. Keeping rookie point guard Jerian Grant on the floor over either Langston Galloway or starter Jose Calderon was bizarre, even for Fisher's rotation randomness.
The Grant choice was even sillier than leaving Robin Lopez on the court against Orlando center Nikola Vucevic while 7-foot-3 shotblocker Kristaps Porzingis was frozen to the bench.