Entering the 2013/14 NBA season, the Atlantic Division was generally predicted to contain at least two playoff teams: the Nets and Knicks. So far in the early goings of ’13/14, neither team looked overly dominant. The Nets saw an impressive win over Miami before a 21-point loss to Orlando in their next contest. The Knicks have lost three straight and center Tyson Chandler was just sidelined for at least four weeks. It’s been a rough start for the two teams projected to finish at the top of the division.
Here some notes from around the Atlantic Division:
- With so much attention being placed on the blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets, Zach Braziller of the New York Post points out that Brook Lopez is too often left out of conversations related to the Nets. Lopez, the team’s only All-Star last season, is signed through the 2014/15 season and has a player option for ’15/16. Lopez leads the team in points, blocks, and FG%.
- Jessica Camerato of HoopsWorld notes in her piece on MarShon Brooks that Brad Stevens has been pleased with Brooks’ attitude throughout training camp and the early stages of the season. Stevens’ kind words didn’t stop the Celtics from declining Brooks’ option for the ’14/15 season.
- The Knicks have started out slowly after finishing 54-28 last season and winning the Atlantic Division. Still, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York reports that Mike Woodson is not worried about losing his job.
- LeBron James was asked by a Toronto reporter about the likelihood of joining the Raptors this offseason. “I’m not answering free agent questions,” replied James, grinning. While James almost certainly won’t be joining Toronto for the ’14/15 season, Eric Koreen of the National Post points out that the Raptors will need to stick to playing their best five players if they want to win now rather than enter another rebuilding situation.