Derek Fisher said the Knicks have had some “slippage” in focus lately amid “noise” that they could be a playoff team.
The Knicks have lost six of seven and are 3 ½ games out of a playoff spot. But there has been a lot of hype around them because of Kristaps Porzingis and how much more competitive they have been than last season. But their 97-89 loss to the Celtics last night showed the talk is premature.
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“We’re still a team that’s trying to develop into a consistent high-performing team,” Fisher said. “So focus on process is more important than result. I think that’s worked well for us.
“In recent weeks as the noise has picked up about what we might be able to do three, four months from now, we’ve had some slippage in terms of focusing on one day at a time and playing the game that’s in front of us.”
After last week’s overtime loss to the Thunder — minus Carmelo Anthony — Arron Afflalo said the Knicks are “a playoff team.” They haven’t played like one during this stretch, although they were without Anthony twice, Porzingis once and Jose Calderon (sore right groin) sat out for the fourth straight time.
“It’s hard to walk around the city I’m sure for the guys as though we’re doing a lot when we still have a long way to go,” Fisher said. “We still have to keep those things in perspective and know that, as Kris can tell you, the same people that sometimes boo you, cheer you, and sometimes the same people that boo you will cheer you next week.
“So you’ve just got to stay focused on the process. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Porzingis won his third straight Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Award after averaging 15.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in January. Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns has won it all three months in the West . . . Fisher said Thursday night at Detroit “looks realistic” for Calderon’s return. Langston Galloway started again for him.