SI had a veteran evaluator weigh in on three pressing NBA questions
WHAT HAS MIKE WOODSON DONE TO ENERGIZE THE KNICKS?
"He hasn't changed a lot. They are still running a lot of pick-and-rolls, only now when they come out of them there are built-in isolation plays for Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire (left). It's empowering them and making them happy. Anthony looks much more comfortable on both ends. Defensively they are more aggressive with their traps, which is creating easier offense."
IS VINNY DEL NEGRO THE RIGHT COACH FOR THE CLIPPERS?
"His offense is predictable: a lot of high ball screens, a lot of elbow sets. A high school coach could devise a game plan to defend it. They are passive defensively, which makes it easy for the top point guards to attack. It's not all on Vinny, though. They have made sweeping changes during the season and have had little practice time to get comfortable with the guys they brought in."
WAS DEREK FISHER A GOOD PICKUP FOR OKLAHOMA CITY?
"[Rookie] Reggie Jackson was not ready to play in the postseason, so Fisher will be a better backup to Russell Westbrook. He's a step slow defensively, but you can live with that in a lesser role. Plus, with his ability to make shots, you can play three-guard lineups with Kevin Durant at the four. And Fisher will be a leader in a locker room without a lot of veteran voices."