Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Knicks head coach David Fizdale address the media ahead of tonight’s Blazers-Knicks contest and both coaches had a lot to say about how their teams are progressing at this point in the season.
Coach Stotts attributes the quick start of his team to the “togetherness” and “character” of his players. Portland is currently number one in the Western Conference Standings with an 11-5 record.
Coach Stotts also discussed how Jusuf Nurkic’s defense this season has made such a big impact for the team’s defense overall.
“Young teams will make mistakes… But number one on our scouting report is they’re going to play hard,” Stotts said of the Knicks as he team prepares for tonight’s contest.
As for New York, the Knicks have been changing up its starting lineup this season.
Here’s tonight’s staring lineup vs. the Blazers—
Emmanuel Mudiay, Tim Hardaway, Mario Hezonja, Noah Vonleh and Enes Kanter.
This young Knicks team is “learning” and “growing” right now and Coach Fizdale feels that with continuing to learn, his team has not been winning as many games as everyone in New York wants, but he says the players “have to learn through some suffering.”
When talking about tonight’s matchup, Coach Fizdale has high praise for the Blazers…
“Two of the elite shooters in this league, elite playmakers,” Fizdale said about the Blazers backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Fizdale also added that the players around Lillard and McCollum “are really solid and they make them better.” For the Knicks defense vs. Portland, “it tarts with the competition on the ball,” coach said.
Once the Knicks get to about 25 games, that is when Coach Fizdale feels he will be able to solidify the Knicks rotation. Knicks Forward Noah Vonleh, who played for Portland from 2015 to early 2018, is averaging 7.7 points and 7.9 rebounds while playing 23.2 minute per game. Vonleh has started 10 of 17 games so far this season.
Terry Stotts addresses the media ahead of the Blazers-Knicks match-up. https://t.co/ywpL2yfane— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) November 20, 2018
Prior to the Knicks-Blazers game, Coach Fizdale addresses the media https://t.co/IzaTxrViWj— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) November 20, 2018
You can find out more about tonight’s matchup on the Blazers Outsiders Pregame Show right here.