Knicks coach Derek Fisher, who was reportedly involved in a physical altercation with Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes last weekend, understands how some would question his focus on the team after he missed Monday’s practice session as a result of his West Coast jaunt, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. “I think we all remember there are a ton of people that work in New York City that have families in other cities or back on the West Coast,” Fisher said. “You work six days, you have a seventh day off. You go back and visit family. You come back to work on Monday morning. That was my plan. It didn’t work out that way for reasons that were not in my control and I can’t change it at this point.”
Here’s more out of the East:
- Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said it was the team’s wealth of power forwards that led to Eric Griffin being waived, writes Aaron McMann of MLive.com. “We thought it would be best for him to sort of give him the opportunity to move on and pursue other things,” Van Gundy said. “I really liked him, very good kid, hard worker, great attitude, really athletic. Certainly has the talent to be an NBA-level defender.“
- Heat power forward Chris Bosh believes that the Magic are poised to make a jump in the standings this season courtesy of the young talent the franchise has accumulated over the past few years, John Denton of NBA.com relays. “I mean, the talent is there, but it’s on them if they want to make the next step now or a couple of years down the line,’’ Bosh said. “That core of Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris, that’s about as young and talented as it gets. You’ve got everything there with playmaking, outside shooting, rebounding and athleticism. And with [coach] Scott Skiles and the new regime in there I’m sure they are trying to pump those guys up and tell them, `We may not be expected to win every night, but we can play hard and win games.’ I’ve been there in that spot before, but I think they will give themselves a chance to be really good this season.’’
- David Lee, who was a member of the NBA champion Warriors last season, says that he sees a lot of similarities between the 2015/16 Celtics and his former squad, especially in the areas of team chemistry and depth, Tales Azzoni of NBA.com writes.