Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle praised the job Knicks president Phil Jackson has done with the roster overall and in surrounding Kristaps Porzingis with the right players and environment to succeed.
Carlisle said the comparisons between Porzingis and Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki are understandable and legit, and is curious to see how he develops.
“This kid has a chance to forge out his own niche,” Carlisle said. “He really has some unusually great abilities and skill. You got to give Phil Jackson a lot of credit for taking him in the draft when he did. He took a lot of heat for it at the time. Phil knows what he’s doing. That’s pretty obvious by the improvement of his team.”
Carlisle also said that Derek Fisher is a good coach for Porzingis because of his experiences as a player.
“It will be interesting to see how his career unfolds,” Carlisle said. “The fact that Derek Fisher is a former championship player, one of the great system players of all time, he has a really great feel for guys coming into the league and what works in terms of development, short term and long term.
“He’s in very good hands here, and he’s got a supporting cast that’s strong. There’s a lot of physical players around him. Carmelo Anthony is still one of the greatest scorers in our game. He’s got a very good situation here.”
n Cuban happy with Deron
Former Net Deron Williams, who was bought out in July and signed with his hometown Mavericks, came in averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 assists. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called New York “a crazy market” and said he is happy that things didn’t work out for Williams.
“It’s been tough on a lot of guys, especially when you’re the guy and the team is going through pressures,” Cuban said. “It makes it tough. He handled it as best as he could.”