Sixers head coach Brett Brown said the franchise reaching out to Mike D’Antoni is unrelated to last week’s hiring of Jerry Colangelo as chairman of basketball operations, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. What’s more, Brown said the team has been thinking about adding a veteran coach “for a while,” Pompey relays. Of course, and as Pompey points out, Colangelo and D’Antoni have a history together. Colangelo is the former Suns owner and D’Antoni went 253-156 in five seasons as the Suns coach. The Sixers confirmed reports that they are talking to D’Antoni about joining the team as an associate head coach, Pompey notes.
“This is a good thing,” Brown said in regards to D’Antoni, per Pompey. “That name is a good thing. How could that not be a good thing?”
Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- The Celtics have been a different team since the arrival of Isaiah Thomas in last February’s trade deadline and the point guard is emerging as a possible all-star this season, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com writes. Boston owns a .627 winning percentage in his Thomas’ first 51 games in Boston, according to Forsberg. After making only one start last season with the Celtics, Thomas has started 21 times this year and is averaging 20.8 points per game.
- In order to turn their season around, the Knicks need more out of Carmelo Anthony despite the star coming off surgery, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News opines. Bondy compares Anthony to Rajon Rondo of the Kings because they are both polarizing figures, and writes that Anthony needs to have the kind of season that Rondo is experiencing before Kristaps Porzingis becomes the clear face of the franchise.
- Kendall Marshall, who played in his first game of the season Friday night, should provide the Sixers stability at the point guard position with his ability to take care of the ball and 3-point shooting, Derek Bodner of Phillymag.com details.