Tweetable items from Phil Jackson's press conference previewing Lakers-Knicks game
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Luke Walton and Devin Ebank will have increased roles to make up for Matt Barnes' absence.
Jackon's take on the following players: Ebanks ("real athletic kid") Walton ("he knows how to play") Artest ("Ron will look forward to it. I don't think it'll pressure at all. He knows it's been kind of a cruise this year so far, so he'll step in.")
What the Lakers miss without Barnes, who's expected to miss several weeks because of a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee: "His activity. He creates a lot of easy shots. He's a kind of kid we don't have to run anything special for him. He finds things out of the flow with what we do. He runs himself into baskets. Defensively, his activity is helpful."
--Jackson said Phoenix and New York run "mirror images" of each other's high-octane style. He said that Amare Stoudemire has improved his jump shooting.
Jackson said whoever controls the pace will win the game.
With former Dodgers manager Joe Torre in talks for an MLB executive role, Jackson was asked what he'd think about working for NBA Commissioner David Stern: "Thank God for Montana. It's a place I can go hide out."
On New York's resurgancy: "It's helped the scalpers a lot to have them relevant. The reality is it's a team with the kind of personnel Mike likes. It's exciting basketball to watch. It's entertaining. They stepped it up this past week in having a victory over the Spurs. It's given them some credibility.
Jackson also reflected on his days playing with the New York Knicks from 1967-1978.
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