Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis is taking the next step in his evolution as a budding star by learning what it’s like to play without Carmelo Anthony, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. With Anthony missing the last two games, Porzingis has been the focus of the defense’s attention, Bondy adds. While Porzingis conceded it has been challenging to play as the focal point of the offense, he understands he will benefit from the experience, Bondy notes.
“I have to learn from Carmelo, the way he does it,” Porzingis said. “He always gets the ball whenever we need him to get the ball and those are the things I need to learn.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:
- The Sixers should not trade rookie center Jahlil Okafor because he possesses a superior offensive skill-set that will likely get even better, John Smallwood of The Philadelphia Daily News opines. Smallwood, instead, suggests the Sixers move third-year center Nerlens Noel. While Okafor’s defense needs improvement, his offensive output is so rare for a young center that the Sixers would be wise to build around him, Smallwood surmises.
- The Raptors enjoyed a strong first half despite being without center Jonas Valanciunas half the time and with prized free agent acquisition DeMarre Carroll missing time after recovering from knee surgery, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes.
- Robert Covington has rewarded Sixers coach Brett Brown‘s patience with him by showing improvements in his shot, rebounding and defense, Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News relays.