The biggest beneficiaries from the Knicks hiring of Jeff Hornacek may be the team’s young point guards, Jerian Grant and Tony Wroten, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Hornacek, whose offense depends on strong point guard play, should immediately improve the team’s woeful backcourt production, Lewis notes. “Jeff played in the league for years, coached in Phoenix,” Grant’s father, Harvey, said of the new coach. “His system was mostly pick-and-roll. Jerian, once he learns the system, he can flourish in that system. And Jeff can tell him the ins and outs of being a guard in this league.”
“Jerian, this guy gets in the gym and he puts the work in,” the elder Grant continued. “You have to be on the floor, you have to be on the floor and you’ve got to work through your mistakes and get that confidence. The last 12, 14 games, the fans in New York got to see what Jerian can do.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Jordan Ott, an assistant coach with the Hawks and former assistant at Michigan State, is joining new Nets coach Kenny Atkinson‘s staff as an assistant coach and manager of advanced scouting, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.
- If Joakim Noah decides to leave the Bulls this summer, the Knicks would have interest in signing him, provided it was at a discounted rate, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report relays (Twitter links). Beck points to Noah’s New York roots and the mutual respect between the big man and team president Phil Jackson as reasons the two parties could come together, but adding that Noah’s potential desire to start could prove problematic.
- Celtics personnel, including president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, took a recent trip to Israel to scout potential top three pick Dragan Bender, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). In a recent poll, Hoops Rumors readers predicted that Boston would select Bender with the No. 3 overall pick.