Derek Fisher: Knicks' offense too 'passive'

NEW YORK -- In trying to run the offense “the right way," some of the New York Knicks have gotten too “passive," according to head coach Derek Fisher.

“We have a lot of guys that aren’t being aggressive and playing with their instincts, and they’re being passive a little bit right now, trying to fit in to the team chemistry,” Fisher said.

The coach made the observation before the Knicks’ 91-85 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. The Knicks probably didn’t do anything to change Fisher’s opinion. New York settled for 30 mid-range jump shots and got to the free-throw line just 12 times.

“I don’t think it’s just passive. I just think, at times, it’s just everybody trying to do the right thing," Carmelo Anthony said. "Sometimes it’s almost to a fault."

Anthony has struggled with his shot of late. He went 11-for-25 against Atlanta and scored 25 points. In the four games prior to that, Anthony had missed 58 of 84 shots.

After the game, the Knicks' star forward talked about fighting the urge to operate outside the triangle when things aren’t going well on offense.

“It’s easy to move away from them when you lose a basketball game and say, I’m going to try to do something on my own, try to do it another way,” Anthony said. “Through this time, we have to continue sticking with what we’ve been taught [and] what we’ve been working on from day one. We can’t alter away from that.”

On one hand, the Knicks should be commended for their commitment to the system. But that commitment can come at a cost.

The Knicks are shooting free throws at the lowest rate in the NBA and have the highest number of mid-range jump shots per 48 minutes. Entering play Monday, they ranked 20th in points scored per 100 possessions.

“These guys are trying to do what we’re asking them to do, and that’s to play the game the right way, think about their teammates first, be unselfish,” Fisher said. “So they’re carrying that out on the floor, sometimes to a fault.”

Calderon return unclear: Wednesday marks two weeks since Jose Calderon missed the Knicks’ opener due to a calf injury. At the time, the Knicks said Calderon would be out two to three weeks.

Calderon said Monday he hadn’t started running yet but hoped to ramp things up Wednesday. He was not sure if he would practice Tuesday.

“Hopefully, I can just go step-by-step, but I don’t want to go too fast,” Calderon said. “I think we’re doing what we’re supposed to, and we’re getting ready soon.”

Shumpert impresses Phil: Iman Shumpert continued his hot shooting on Monday and hit eight of 12 shots for 18 points. He also handed out five assists. Before the game, Phil Jackson said he’d been impressed by what he’d seen from Shumpert.

“I’m really pleased with the way Iman is operating out there at the top of the floor,” Jackson said. “He’s doing a really good job. He had an off-game against Brooklyn on Friday, but other than that, I’ve been very pleased with him.”

Question: Have you noticed the Knicks are “passive” on offense? What do you think they need to change to improve their scoring?

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