Lou Amundson wasn’t surprised when he heard the news of Cleveland’s firing of coach David Blatt, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “It’s hard for a rookie coach to come in and be in a situation like that where one guy [LeBron James] is such a big influence on a whole organization,’’ said Amundson, who was with the Cavs last season before being traded to the Knicks. “It didn’t feel like it should feel. A team with championship aspirations, that’s not how it was supposed to feel. Teams go through ups and downs, but I just think the atmosphere and energy wasn’t there. It wasn’t a healthy atmosphere.”
As people along the East Coast shovel their sidewalks and dig out their cars as a result of the snow from Blizzard Jonas, stay warm and check out some notes from the Eastern Conference:
- Derek Fisher isn’t surprised that his former teammate, Tyronn Lue, was promoted to head coach, Berman adds in the same piece. “I think relationships are his strong point,” Fisher said. “He communicates well and is clear and articulates what he wants and expects. I think he’ll do a good job. I’m very happy for him, even though it’s an unfortunate situation for coach Blatt.’’
- The record-setting five year, $60MM deal that the Knicks handed team president Phil Jackson is paying dividends, Berman argues in a separate piece. Berman cites the team’s drafting of Kristaps Porzingis and the rookie’s ability to mesh with star Carmelo Anthony in Jackson’s infamous triangle offense as reason for optimism.
- Back in July, Jackson was adamant that new addition Robin Lopez would be a better fit for the Knicks than Greg Monroe, and the prediction is turning out to be correct, Berman contends in that same piece. Monroe chose to sign with the Bucks last summer rather than signing with New York.