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'Being good takes time,' Knicks coach Derek Fisher explains

Derek Fisher of the New York Knicks reacts

Derek Fisher of the New York Knicks reacts during the second quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 in New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Derek Fisher went on a mini-rant Friday when he was asked if would consider a lineup change.

The question was on the minds of many Knicks fans concerned over the play of the starting backcourt.

Jose Calderon, 34, and Sasha Vujacic, 31, have looked slow and have been mostly ineffective, especially Calderon, in the Knicks' 1-1 start. They were outscored 38-8 by Atlanta's starting backcourt Thursday night, and their combined plus-minus rating is minus-36.

Next up for the Knicks Saturday night is the Wizards, whose backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal gives even younger, quicker guards more than they can handle.

Fisher noted how quickly it went from sunny after the Knicks' opening-night win in Milwaukee to dark and bleak after Thursday night's loss, and said quick fixes are not the answer when you're trying to build something. "That's the mentality that we have to get out of in this organization," he said. "Everybody. You can't go up and down with the sun and the moon one day at a time. Being good takes time, it's a process. Being great is not easy."

That doesn't mean there won't be changes. With so many young, quick point guards, it seems inevitable, if not logical, that at some point, rookie Jerian Grant or second-year guard Langston Galloway -- or both -- will start. They've played with energy and have made an impact off the bench in the first two games.

Calderon, who is averaging only 18 minutes, could get an early hook again if he struggles in Washington. He has not been able to contain his man and has been nearly as bad on offense. He is 1-for-10 with five points and two assists and is a minus-17 in 36 minutes overall. Atlanta's Jeff Teague got wherever he wanted on the court Thursday night, although long rebounds from Knicks misses led to a lot of run-outs for him.

"I'm trying to find a little bit my legs after I lost months without basketball," said Calderon, who had a calf injury during the second half of last season that limited him in the offseason. "It'll be better. Every day, it will be better. I'm not getting too crazy about it. It's good. But it has to be better."

Vujacic wasn't expected to be the Knicks' starting shooting guard. Arron Afflalo was signed for that role, but he's out with a strained left hamstring. A far better defensive player, Afflalo might have been able to stay with Atlanta's Kyle Korver better than Vujacic did. Korver had 15 points despite taking only eight shots.

Grant and Galloway have played better than Calderon and Vujacic on both ends. Galloway is averaging 12.0 points and 3.0 assists and is a plus-18 in 50 minutes. Grant is contributing 7.5 points and 6.0 assists and is a plus-26 in 53 minutes.

It's not only the starting backcourt, though; the entire starting five has been mostly unimpressive. Every Knicks starter is a minus and every sub is a plus. Carmelo Anthony is shooting 14-for-43 (.326) and is a minus-14.

When Fisher was asked about Anthony's shooting percentage, he quickly switched the topic to the team and building something. "I just think we have to continue to get to a point where we're OK with just the winning percentage," he said. "It's not about anybody's individual field-goal percentage. The more guys we have on our team that are interested in just overall winning percentage, then we can become a good team."


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