The latest news and notes from around the Atlantic Division on Sunday afternoon:
- Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com speculates about J.R. Smith's next contract. Smith holds a $2.9MM player option with the Knicks for the 2013/14 season, and the team would be able to offer him $5.5MM via early bird rights if he declines it. Zwerling thinks Smith could command more than that on the open market, but notes that he loves playing in New York and may be inclined to take a pay cut to stay.
- Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports that Iman Shumpert is hoping to return to the court in one to two weeks.
- Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes that the Knicks have turned the tables on their long-standing rivalry with the Celtics and now have the upper hand in the matchup.
- Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com breaks down the improvements the Celtics have made defensively since Avery Bradley has returned to the lineup.