48° Good Afternoon
48° Good Afternoon

Knicks coach Derek Fisher allows Derrick Williams free rein -- for now

New York Knicks forward Derrick Williams scores on

New York Knicks forward Derrick Williams scores on a reverse dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half of a preseason game at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Derrick Williams estimates that he only knows half the triangle offense and admits he's "messing up" a lot of the plays. Yet he's still finding ways to be effective and efficient.

Williams has shot 15-for-23 in the Knicks' last two preseason games and 12-for-12 from the line with 44 points. The athletic 6-8 forward said he's playing off his instincts and he's getting results. "I just try to be dynamic," Williams said. "I just try to be all over the court. I think that's what coach wants me to do. I take on the challenge of playing two or three spots. You got to learn all the spots. I want to learn them.

"I want to be on the court as much as possible and show how versatile I am. It's really showing the first couple of games. I just got to keep getting better from here."

Derek Fisher said Williams often is in the wrong place, but he's giving the fifth-year forward the freedom to play. Fisher likes Williams' versatility and doesn't want to rein him in yet.

"A player like Derrick will never really always necessarily be in the right spot because his instincts tell him something else," Fisher said. "We have to trust that and find a balance between giving Derrick, as well as all of our players, the room to be who they are, but have some balance when it's time to format and take some time to execute as a five-man unit. We don't want to take away his individual ability by putting him in a box."

After a disappointing start to his career, Williams could become a valuable scoring option off the bench for the Knicks, who signed him to a two-year, $10-million deal in July.

The No. 2 pick out of Arizona in 2011, Williams has averaged 9.3 points for the Timberwolves and Kings, where he played for four coaches, including three last year. But Williams views the Knicks as a wanted relocation and he plans to take full advantage of his opportunity. "When I got drafted, they picked me, I didn't pick them," Williams said. "I chose to be here. As soon as I was done with the meeting, I called my agent, 10 minutes after the meeting I said I'm signing up. It's been going good."

Williams feels more comfortable here. He said earlier in his career, he felt he was pulled from games when he made mistakes. "I was 19 years old going against grown men," Williams said. "I'm 24 now. I still have a lot of room to grow."

Anthony challenges coaches. Carmelo Anthony said he "challenged" the coaching staff to hold him accountable in video sessions if he's making mistakes on either end, believing everyone will benefit.

"I kind of challenged the staff to kind of push me and stay on me when I'm not doing something," Anthony said. "Call it out in the film session, so everybody can see that and hear that. By them doing that, when that time comes, it kind of forces me to be at the top level of my game on both ends of the court . . . I think it brings the best out of me and if you bring the best out of me I think it will bring the best out of everyone on the team."

Notes & quotes: Fisher said he's considered starting rookie guard Jerian Grant with Arron Afflalo out. But Fisher likes Grant and Langston Galloway together running the second unit.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports