Jerian Grant received a huge confidence boost when Derek Fisher let him finish Tuesday night’s game. The rookie guard rewarded his coach by giving the Knicks a needed boost to get the win.
Grant had his best game as a pro in the Knicks’ 120-114 victory over the Celtics. He played the entire fourth quarter and finished with career-highs of 16 points and eight assists, and no turnovers.
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“I was really just playing,” Grant said. “I wasn’t really thinking about too much. Coaching staff already gave me confidence to leave me in in the fourth and the team was really telling me to get the ball and control the game.”
Grant played 23 minutes, a number he hasn’t reached since Nov. 27. But he played with confidence and ran the Knicks’ offense in the fourth. He had 10 points and six assists in the final quarter.
“Jerian was big,” Fisher said. “He made plays for himself and other people and really impacted the game in a major way. To play against the type of guards that the Celtics put out on the floor and have eight assists and not turn the basketball over, that’s a pretty good effort for a young guard.”
Grant, who played 11 minutes or fewer in six of the last 10 games including one DNP-CD, hopes this can jumpstart him.
“The minutes I got tonight and the way I performed,” he said, “hopefully it gives the coaches and my teammates confidence that I can do it again.”
Kristaps Porzingis is larger than life in his native Latvia.
His hometown of Leipaja honored the Knicks’ 7-3 rookie with two giant billboards with a photo of Porzingis that reads, “Welcome to my hometown.” The town city council’s tweeted photos of the billboard. The tweet, when translated into English, says “Leipaja is sincerely proud of Porzingis.”
Melo can get better
Fisher wouldn’t say this is the best he’s seen Carmelo Anthony play. He thinks the eight-time All-Star can play better. Fisher credits Anthony with being more well-rounded this season and a good leader, but he believes the team is still growing and developing. “To me that kind of puts limits on something as though this is the pinnacle of how he can play or how we can play,” Fisher said. “I think he’s doing a lot of great things, I think he’s making the team better by what he’s doing individually. But there’s still a lot of room for him and our team to grow in terms of playing good basketball.”