Knicks coach Derek Fisher envisions Carmelo Anthony evolving into more of a facilitator from the forward spot in the team’s offense, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. “I think there’s some more playmaking opportunities that will continue to be a part of his maturation in how we play,” Fisher said. “I think there will be times when we can put the ball in his hands more and allow his size and his ability to create shots for other people to be more of a feature. And that’s a part of our offense that we really want to get to. We’re looking forward to being able to play Carmelo at the top of the floor at times. I think he can average a pretty high number of assists because of how aggressive teams are defending him.’’
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The friendship that has developed between Raptors backcourt mates Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan has helped both the players and the team be successful, Jessica Patton of The Toronto Sun writes. “I think when they first got here, I think they looked at each other like ‘OK’, ” coach Dwane Casey said. “But then as things went on and as the games went on and winning went on, they saw that they could co-exist together. I think the trust has been built, the friendship built, and they [have] a good thing going.”
- Nets point guard Shane Larkin is still trying to prove that he belongs in the league amid the team’s difficult season, notes Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com. “I haven’t established myself as a proven backup — whatever you want to say,” Larkin said. “And that’s what I’m trying to do. So every single night I go out there, I have that kind of mentality. And even though lately I’ve been struggling, I’ve just got to stay confident, keep playing and get back to what I was doing.”
- If the Sixers return to prominence in the coming seasons the credit is likely to go to new team executive Jerry Colangelo and not to GM Sam Hinkie, despite the GM having laid much of the foundation, Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine opines in his mailbag. While Hinkie’s plan certainly has its flaws, the GM should share in the credit for any inroads the team makes, Bodner adds.