Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Stevens, Kirilenko

It may be time for Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony to consider knee surgery, suggests Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Citing Anthony’s troublesome knee pain and the Knicks’ miserable 5-20 record, Begley writes that shutting down their star player for the season might be the best solution. Anthony, whose status is uncertain for Sunday’s game with the Raptors, said he considers surgery a last resort. He is in the first season of a five-year,  $124MM deal he signed with the Knicks after being one of last summer’s most hotly pursued free agents.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite the Knicks‘ lousy start, Anthony isn’t having second thoughts about staying in New York, writes Mike Lupica of The Daily News. “After all the work I did to get here and get back here? If I was to get up and want to leave now that would just make me weak, make me have a weak mind,” Anthony said in response to a question after Friday’s victory over the Celtics. “I’ve never been a person to try to run from any adversity or anything like that so I’m not going to pick today to do that.” 
  • Are the rigors of another losing season taking their toll on Celtics coach Brad Stevens, asks A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. At 7-14, Boston is two wins behind its pace of last season and ranks 28th in the league in points allowed. But Stevens, who built a successful college program at Butler before coming to the Celtics, retains respect around the league. “He runs a lot of good stuff that works for the players they have,” an unidentified Eastern Conference scout said of Stevens. “But other than Marcus Smart, they’re not very good defensively and the Smart kid keeps getting hurt. Most nights, it’s their defense that kills them.”
  • Seventeen months ago, the Nets‘ signing of Andrei Kirilenko seemed like a steal, recalls Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily. The veteran forward, a Russian native just like team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, agreed to join the Nets for less than a  third of the $10MM annual salary he was making with the Timberwolves. But the relationship quickly soured. Back spasms kept Kirilenko off the court early in the year, and he saw limited playing time throughout the season and playoffs. Kirilenko was traded to the Sixers earlier this week.

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