In his first time on the bench, Derek Fisher hasn't distinguished himself as a young coach on the rise. But his confidence hasn't wavered and he believes this turbulent season will help him become a better coach.
"I think you learn from all of your experiences,'' said Fisher, who signed a five-year deal with the Knicks after ending his playing career last May and saw his team fall to 5-34 Thursday night with a 120-96 loss to the Rockets. "And I think mistakes, failures, adversity can be the best teacher. At least in my past as a player and other areas, I've tried to utilize those experiences to grow from them and get better from them.
"I think whatever arc or trajectory my coaching career takes or goes on, I'll be much better from everything I've experienced so far. I can only assume that anything I experience going forward would always be information on how I can get better.''
Cole a keeper?
Not many Knicks are expected to be back after this season, but Cole Aldrich, who started at center for the 11th time in 12 games Thursday night, is making a case to stay.
"He's taking advantage of this opportunity in a great way,'' Fisher said. "Talk about daily habits and preparing yourself for your opportunity when it comes -- those are the type of pros you want to have in your locker room.''
Asked what he thinks about Aldrich's hook shots, Fisher laughed and said, "I think what Cole does best and what he does well is he's comfortable being Cole. There are a lot of guys in this league who aren't comfortable being who they are and embracing that, and that's why he's playing so well right now.''
In the stars
Carmelo Anthony remains third among Eastern Conference frontcourt players behind Pau Gasol and LeBron James after third returns of the All-Star voting. The top three vote-getters will start in the Feb. 15 game at the Garden.
There's no guarantee Anthony will be able to play. He went through a workout before Thursday night's game but sat for the fifth straight time with a left knee issue that could require surgery.
Former Knick Kenyon Martin signed a 10-day contract with the Bucks, reuniting him with former Nets and Knicks teammate Jason Kidd, now the coach. The Knicks face the Bucks next week in London.