Carmelo Anthony is a prolific scorer, but Derek Fisher sees him being more defensive-minded this season.
Fisher said Anthony “wasn’t able” to play defense the way they wanted him to last season because of his knee problems. But Fisher likes what he’s seen this season.
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“This year, the effort and the mindset has been there,” the coach said. “He’s put more energy and effort into that end of the floor, which will impact your offense. That’s why some guys don’t like to play defense, because it takes away energy on the offensive end.
“I think he’s made a much more concerted effort to do the things on the defensive end. One, because he physically can, and two, I think he’s more comfortable with what we’re trying to do.”
Fisher also said having Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis protecting the paint has allowed Anthony and other wing and perimeter players to be more aggressive defensively.
Impressed with Porzingis
Add Nets guard Jarrett Jack to the growing list of veterans who have noticed Porzingis and see great potential.
“I think he’s a clear case for Rookie of the Year right now,” Jack said. “With all the naysayers in the beginning and then him coming out and, man, just playing hard, I’m sure he has some skills to go with it. But from what I’ve seen, he puts himself in positions to get tip-dunks. I’ve seen him in situations where he’s gotten steals on the break, making plays, and I think that’s just a product of playing hard.
“As a young player, that’s the hardest thing to do on a night-by-night basis and he seems to have adopted that philosophy.”
Fisher on Porzingis winning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month: “I don’t think he thinks much about it, which is good. Hopefully he’s in the running this month as well.” . . . Former Knick Andrea Bargnani, now with the Nets, missed his first game against his old team because of a tight hamstring.