It's either an example of Larry Brown's penchant for
roster chaos or his genius as a coach. In less than a month, David Lee has gone
from frequently inactive to the Knicks' starting small forward, even though
he'd never played the position until Brown had him try it one day in practice.
The rookie started his eighth straight game at small forward in Friday
night's 105-94 Knicks victory over the Atlanta Hawks at the Garden. After a
sluggish first half (no points and two rebounds), he had four points and eight
rebounds in the second half to lead the Knicks in rebounding.
"It's been a big adjustment," Lee said. "Playing power forward and center
in college is a completely different position. The biggest difference has been
defensively, just learning to guard quicker guys, learning the nuances of
perimeter defense. I think I've gotten a hundred times better since the year
Brown vs. Brown
Even though the Hawks came in 9-24, Brown was not looking forward to facing
them because of his familiarity with their coaching staff. His brother Herb is
a Hawks assistant; the head coach, Mike Woodson, is a Brown prot�g�.
"These are hard games because their whole staff basically coached with me,"
Brown said. "They're friends. They're struggling like we are, trying to win
games. Just anxious to get this game over with."
While chasing a loose ball in the third quarter, the Knicks' Nate Robinson
(17 points) wound up in the third row of fans behind the sideline opposite the
team benches. After returning to the court, he found himself in perfect
position to receive a pass, soar to the hoop and drop in a layup.