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While Steve Kerr eyes playoffs, Derek Fisher all about next season; Knicks fall, 125-94

New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher looks

New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher looks down as he watches his team during the second half of an NBA game against the Chicago Bulls in Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Bulls won 103-97. Credit: AP / Nam Y. Huh

OAKLAND, Calif. - Derek Fisher says he hasn't thought about what he'd be doing if Steve Kerr had accepted Phil Jackson's offer to coach the Knicks.

No doubt Fisher would have had more enjoyable and restful nights. Kerr is sleeping well, as his decision continues to look like a stroke of genius.

He took over a team that won 51 games last season, and the Warriors surpassed that total with Saturday night's 125-94 drilling of Fisher's Knicks at Oracle Arena.

The two first-time coaches with five championship rings as players are experiencing opposite seasons. Kerr's Warriors are an NBA-best 52-13. Fisher has the NBA's worst team at 13-52. He doesn't like looking back, and said it's hard not to look ahead. Who could blame him?

"I think it's difficult to do that no matter what the circumstances are," he said. "It's challenging to just remain present and aware of where you are at the moment. So that's just a challenge that we try to talk to our guys about every single day, and even as we do go forward and grow, that all goes with the challenge.

"Even after we find success, it'll be a challenge to stay in the moment of even where we are then compared to where we've been and where we're going. But the best are able to do so. That's what we're trying to become."

Everything concerning them is about the future. It has to be. Look at their present. They are downtrodden and talent-depleted. They face mismatches nearly every game, and Saturday night was perhaps the biggest.

The Warriors toyed with the Knicks in a 47-point second quarter in which they shot 18-for-23. In a stretch of 22:43 between the second and third quarters, Golden State outscored the Knicks 81-36 and built a 40-point lead.

Klay Thompson scored 27 and Stephen Curry had 25 points and 11 assists. Neither played in the fourth quarter. Andrea Bargnani's 18 points led the Knicks.

Jackson spoke about the future Thursday, saying the events of the season -- injuries and "a losing streak that was untenable" -- forced him to fast-forward and start preparing for next season and beyond. The Knicks could have a top-four pick, roughly $30 million for free agency and plenty of selling to do. He said the Knicks will build through free agency and doesn't believe their record or how the triangle offense has been viewed will affect whether a player wants to sign.

Fisher agrees. "We're selling who we are, and right now that's a part of who we are,'' he said. "I don't think that a guy that knows how to play basketball would be afraid of having an opportunity to come and play basketball here."

The Warriors have been built differently from what Jackson intends to do. Their core players -- Curry, Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green -- were drafted by the Warriors. They added key pieces in veterans Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and David Lee. But they showed patience with Curry and endured some lean years.

The Knicks have only one pick in the next two drafts, so they have to be smart with it and find the right players on the market to fill their needs.

"Resources for us have never been an issue," Fisher said. "So it's more about how we utilize those resources or where we invest them. I think quality people always make what you do special. So we've got to make sure that from top to bottom, we're surrounded with quality people that are striving to be the best in the world at what they do. That's how you build a special team of people that want to accomplish something pretty huge.

"We have the opportunity to do it. The resources are there. Now it's up to the human beings involved to figure it out."

Notes & quotes: Jose Calderon missed his eighth straight game with a left Achilles injury. Fisher said Calderon will be re-evaluated after the Knicks get home Monday.

Kerr said he received three emails from fans who were upset that they spent money on tickets or drove a long distance, only to see Kerr rest Curry and Thompson Friday in Denver. He responded to the emails. "I have great sympathy for those people. I really do," he said. "I can't argue with them. They spent a lot of money on these tickets. You want to see somebody. That's really disappointing. But it's not enough to sway me to send Steph and Klay out there when they desperately need a day off."

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