Carmelo Anthony believes that the trade that sent J.R. Smith to the Cavaliers was the best thing that could have happened to the former Knicks guard, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “I’ve seen him play a couple of games,’’ Anthony said. “He’s playing well. I know the type of game he has and what he can do. He looks comfortable out there, looks like he’s settling in very well. I’m actually happy for him — a change of environment for him, a new thought process, new mindset mentally. It looks like he has some clarity right now. I believe LeBron [James] will help him make that adjustment that much better.’’
Here’s more out of the Big Apple:
- ‘Melo didn’t necessarily dispute Smith’s parting statement that the Knicks’ players were “walking on eggshells” under the franchise’s new regime, Berman adds. “I don’t know exactly what he meant by that,’’ Anthony said. “I’ve heard him say that before in conversations we’ve had. Anytime something is new, trying to incorporate something, everybody’s trying to do the right things, so it can be a tense situation where you can feel like walking on eggshells. Because you don’t want to do the wrong thing. You want to impress the coaches, want to impress the front office, impress your teammates. If that’s what he’s coming from that standpoint, I agree with it.’’
- With 10-day signee Langston Galloway continuing to impress, Pablo Prigioni has seen his playing time wither, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the veteran is done with the team, Berman adds. “I don’t think it’s where we are in the season,’’ coach Derek Fisher said. “It’s just continuing to find ways to help the team be successful. Sometimes that means personnel changes and adjustments. It’s the way it’s working right now. It doesn’t mean it will stay that way. It’s just the way the last couple of games have worked. If I feel it’s something that can stay that way for a while, I’d try to pull them to the side and let them know it’s the direction we’re going.” The Knicks are reportedly looking to deal Prigioni for a second round draft pick.
- Clarence Gaines Jr., team president Phil Jackson‘s top adviser, deserves much of the credit for bringing Galloway to New York, Berman writes in a separate article. Gaines first noticed Galloway during a pre-draft camp last spring, and he believed the undrafted rookie fit the profile of the type of player whom Jackson sought, Berman adds.