East Notes: Knicks, Tom Thibodeau, Pistons, Wizards

Knicks

Team president Leon Rose said coach Tom Thibodeau is free to manage the roster in the way he sees fit, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

“There’s no edicts,” Rose said, via Bondy. “We love our young players, too. Believe me. Thibs is the coach. Thibs decides who plays, how many minutes, what the rotations are. The one thing I know about Thibs — he’s going to make decisions based on who is going to win us a basketball game. That’s his role and I have full confidence in that.”

The Knicks are aiming to return to the playoffs after missing last season. But Rose indicated it’s not a do-or-die season.

“I don’t see it that way at all. The way I say it is we’re continuing with the plan,” Rose said, via Bondy. “We’re not making any excuses for anything that happened last year. I love Thibs’ phrase — we’re going to win or we’re going to learn.”

Pistons

The Pistons have hired former NBA forward Rashard Lewis and ex-NBA guard Keith Bogans as assistants on Dwane Casey‘s coaching staff, the team announced.

Lewis, 43, was known as a “stretch four” during his playing days from 1998-2014. This is his first coaching stint. Bogans, 42, played from 2003-14, with nine different clubs.

Wizards

Kristaps Porzingis is entering his first training camp with the Wizards and indicated he is confident, playing alongside the likes of Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma.

“For me in terms of my life, I’m more comfortable on the East Coast also because there’s smaller time difference between here and back home — only seven hours, where for example if I’m in LA it’s 10 hours,” Porzingis said, via TalkBasket. “So whenever I’m up everybody’s back at home sleeping.

“So that and also just obviously the most important part to fit the basketball. I think I’m a great fit next to Brad and Kuz. As I said, I’m here to help, here to help win games. I want to win. I’m going to do what’s necessary to win and that’s it. I’m looking forward to tis year. I’m looking forward to exceeding expectations and making some noise.”

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