With the Knicks back at .500, it is evident that several of president Phil Jackson’s offseason moves are paying off and a camaraderie has formed despite nine new players on this year’s roster, Marc Berman of the New York Post details. Berman points to the Knicks’ signing of Arron Afflalo as a significant piece of the puzzle since the shooting guard has made a seamless connection with star Carmelo Anthony. The two players, of course, played together in Denver. Afflalo is such a good fit for the Knicks because he does not demand the ball, Berman adds.
“I’ve known [Anthony] for a while,’’ Afflalo said. “He’s very talented in so many ways. He makes players around him better, just by the attention he draws. For us to find a comfort zone, and making sure to stay out of his way so he can stay comfortable with his game, will only allow us to benefit playing with a player like him.’’
Here’s more on the Knicks and the Atlantic Division:
- One major difference between last season and this one seems to be Anthony’s trust in his teammates, Ian Begley of ESPN.com writes. The Knicks missed on a few of their marquee targets in the summer, but retooled with several role players, Begley adds. With that said, Anthony’s willingness to put trust in this group is an especially important aspect of the Knicks’ success, Begley notes.
- Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry applauded the Sixers‘ hiring of Mike D’Antoni as associate head coach, John Reid of The Times Picayune relays. ”He wanted to be in a situation where he thought he could help someone and not just come back in for the heck of it,” Gentry said. ”I think it’s a great situation for Philly and for Brett Brown.” Gentry was an assistant on D’Antoni’s staff with the Suns from 2003-2008.
- Nets reserve point guard Donald Sloan is in line to receive some playing time with Shane Larkin out with a concussion, Fred Kerber of the New York Post explains. The Nets signed Sloan for the minimum salary in August.