Appearing on WFAN New York today with Mike Francesa, Mike D’Antoni was typically honest in his comments on the impending returns of Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony:
There is no reason why Amar’e and ‘Melo can’t both flourish in this system. We all need to do some soul searching if we can’t make this thing work. As for shots, we don’t usually discuss the number of shots [any one player is getting]. I don’t like to coach that way. We let the ball flow, and it finds good guys and open guys. If [the offense] is unbalanced, we will look at it and talk to guys, but if [Lin] is open, he needs to shoot. For any of our guys, if you’re open, shoot. If you’re not, pass. It’s not real compicated.
On Jeremy Lin:
He’s just so intelligent and grounded. I’m sure he’s bound to get emotionally drained and hit some rough sports, but he’s the perfect guy to lead this team. It’s such a good story, so unexpected. For a team struggling, in a city starved for winning basketball, it’s just a perfect storm.
We worked [Lin] out [after he graduated] and we really liked him then. We told [management] back then that if there was any way to get him into camp, we should. Then it became an out of sight, out of mind thing when he signed with another team.
[Watching the tape of the Nets game], you would have thought [the coaches] were on helium in that room. There was the kind of giddiness as if we won the lottery, like oh my gosh. We got lucky with this kid.
D’Antoni also said that Steve Novak is a weapon who he needs to and will play. Francesa failed to ask the coach what will happen if/when Baron Davis returns from injury, but MDA couldn’t possibly have been more effusive with his praise of Lin.