Atlantic Notes: ‘Melo, Porzingis, McConnell, Raptors

Knicks team president Phil Jackson gave Carmelo Anthony some answers he was looking for when they met recently, but the onus is on Jackson to deliver when it counts this summer, Anthony indicated to reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post and Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Jackson said recently that he wants to sign two players of consequence for the team this summer, Begley notes, but New York won’t necessarily have max-level cap flexibility, according to Berman. Still, the star forward wants to see results.

“It’s in their court. The ball is in their court,” Anthony said. “They have an opportunity, we have an opportunity to do something this offseason. We gotta do something. It’s there.”

See more on the Knicks amid a check on the Atlantic Division:

  • The willingness Kristaps Porzingis is showing to play closer to the rim under the tutelage of interim coach Kurt Rambis is a plus for the development of the player in line to succeed Anthony as Knicks franchise cornerstone, Begley opines in a separate piece. Rambis, who’s trying to secure the coaching job for the long term, has endured criticism for the way he’s changing Porzingis’ game, according to Begley. “He’s going to get physically stronger and he’s going to be able to brace himself when there is physical contact and nudges,” Rambis said. “And he’s also going to be able to finish with either hand inside. But it only comes from him attacking the basket and being aggressive.”
  • T.J. McConnell has settled into a backup role after injuries to other Sixers forced the undrafted rookie into a starting role, and while the buzz about him has quieted since his strong performances early this season, he remains a part of the rotation, observes Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly. McConnell’s contract is non-guaranteed beyond this season, so the pressure remains. “I think if I keep the mindset of day by day, fighting for my job every day,” McConnell said, “hopefully it turns out to be a long career for me.” 
  • The Raptors made a whirlwind of D-League moves, recalling Bruno Caboclo from the D-League on Sunday before sending him back this morning, along with Lucas Nogueira and Delon Wright, and finally recalling all three this afternoon, according to the organization (All Twitter links). The trio took part in a midday victory today against the Pacers affiliate.

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