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Interim coach Kurt Rambis wants Knicks to reach playoffs

Interim head coach Kurt Rambis of the New

Interim head coach Kurt Rambis of the New York Knicks points during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 in New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Kurt Rambis already has done something differently than Derek Fisher. Rambis publicly stated he wants the Knicks to reach the playoffs.

Fisher, who was fired Monday, said in a recent ESPN radio interview that he wouldn’t be disappointed if the Knicks missed out on the playoffs and often talked about the process being more important than the results. Rambis, the interim coach, said he addressed the team about the importance of making the postseason.

“I’ve already let them know that we’ve got to figure out a way to get in the playoffs,” Rambis said before his Knicks’ coaching debut. “It’s so valuable for the growth of the team and the growth of the players to be in that sort of intense environment. They’ve got to experience that.

“The quicker we can get them in there, the longer we can get them in the playoffs, the better off we’re going to be as an organization.”

That’s one of the reasons team president Phil Jackson made the coaching move. Unless things turn around the final 27 games of the season, the Knicks could miss the playoffs for the third straight year. That made Rambis’ words musing to Carmelo Anthony’s ears.

“I don’t think that’s even a question for me as far as playoffs,” said Anthony, who reached the playoffs the first 10 seasons of his career. “My goal every season is to try to get to the playoffs and try to win a championship so I think Kurt is spot on when he says that. That should be our goal as a team. It was our goal. It should be our goal now, remain our goal.”

No trade market?

Jackson reiterated on the MSG network that the Knicks are looking to make a trade before the February 18 deadline, but said there’s “very slim opportunity for us.”

Looking for a connection

Rambis said the Knicks have “taken a major step back” in many areas and kept talking about them needing to become more “connected.” He said the best way is to scrimmage more.

Fast breaks

Lance Thomas, who missed the past two games with a mild concussion, returned Tuesday night . . . The Knicks didn’t sign Thanasis Antetokounmpo to a second 10-day contract. It made no sense to do so with this being the Knicks’ last game before the break. Antetokounmpo returned to the Westchester Knicks of the D-League.


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