GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- It was an overtime win over a good team with a great coach. In a season with so few bright spots, the Knicks' win over Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night is a contender for their biggest win of the season.
Yet, Knicks coach Derek Fisher, who faced Popovich-coached teams dozens of times over the course of his 18-season playing career, knows just how little the game really meant.
"Last night's game was probably the least meaningful game we have ever played against each other," Fisher said with a laugh Wednesday at the team's practice facility.
That's because while the Spurs are headed to their 18th straight appearance in the playoffs, the 14-53 Knicks are vying for the worst record in the NBA. In fact, that's exactly what will be at stake Thursday night at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks host the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are also 14-53 .
Considering this game is one that could impact the draft lottery, it's hard to say whether it's one Knicks fans should want to win.
"I guess it depends on the audience," Fisher said. "Some people would say it's an advantage to lose the game. Others would say it's an advantage to win. All I like to do is win, so that's my answer."
Fisher said that after a quality win against the Spurs, the Knicks have to guard against taking their next two opponents, the Timberwolves and 76ers, lightly.
"I don't know if the guys feel like we should win, but I do know that coming off good wins against Detroit and Toronto a couple of weeks ago, we didn't handle that really well," he said, referring to the Knicks' five-game losing streak after those two wins. "I don't think any of us are in a position to overlook an opponent or disrespect an opponent."
Shved's up play
Fisher had nothing but good things to say about Alexey Shved, who scored 21 points against the Spurs and made a key defensive play in overtime.
"From day one, Alexey was very determined to get an opportunity and make the most of it," Fisher said. "The first day he was here and didn't get a chance to play, he was disappointed. And ever since then he's been on a mission to show he can play in this league even though he hasn't been given that opportunity in other places or when he did have it, he maybe wasn't as prepared for it.
"He's showing a lot of positive signs to us and maybe to other teams. I think he's positioning himself to be in a good spot going into potential free agency."