Atlantic Notes: Fisher, Simmons, Rozier

Knicks team president Phil Jackson opened up to Charley Rosen of about what went wrong in New York with former coach Derek Fisher, noting the two had markedly different philosophies on how to develop and train players. “Almost from the start, this was a difficult time for Derek. Derek did have a situation that took some focus away from his coaching during the preseason, but I never doubted that his focus was on coaching the team,” Jackson said regarding Fisher’s off the court run-in with Matt Barnes. “A divorce and coast-to-coast move with children does put pressure on a person’s life, but that’s the NBA. However, Derek did move the team forward. He was dedicated and he worked hard. The players hustled and, for the most part, stayed as positive as was possible. And Derek did manage to survive last season and to deal with the heavy pressure of the constant losing, which is probably more intense in New York than in any other NBA city.

Jackson also noted that Fisher’s inability to settle on a rotation became an issue, Rosen relays. “When I was coaching, I liked to play a lot of players and usually found a rotation of nine, 10 players to play, but it was hard for Derek to find a workable rotation,” Jackson said. “Nevertheless, the team did develop under him, and we have enough pieces in place to give us a chance to compete every night.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Ben Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft by the Sixers, noted that the league’s mandatory Rookie Transition Program was a great help to him as he kicks off his professional career, Jessica Camerato of relays. “[I learned] a lot, from fans to financial advice, family issues, everything,” Simmons said. “Financially, that’s one of those things I’ve been looking at. I definitely want to be one of those guys who’s not in one of those statistics of not having money. So that’s big for me. You’ve got to look toward the future because you don’t play basketball forever. It’s one of those things you need to take seriously and listen.”
  • The Celtics are hoping the playoff experience that guard Terry Rozier gained this past season will help his development moving forward and allow the player to earn more minutes in the rotation, Josue Pavon of WEII 93.7 FM relays. “One of the things I said before training camp is that I’m smarter [now],” Rozier said. “I felt like I could always play, but I just feel that my opportunity came late obviously in the playoffs [last season]. I got to see that as a rookie early and it made me smarter to just see things. Then, this summer I went over a lot of things and touched on things I could do as a point guard. I think I just became smarter more than anything.”
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