The Celtics have won the Atlantic Division five straight years, but the Nets and Sixers made changes this offseason that they hope will put them over the top. The Knicks have been active as well, and that's the club that wears the bullseye in the mind of Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, as Peter May writes in the New York Times. "My favorite games in this league are going down to Madison Square Garden and beating those guys," Grousbeck said. "We don’t always do it, but that’s my favorite experience of all — going to New York and beating the Knicks." Coach Doc Rivers acknowledged the division will be tough, but says he's primarily focused on beating the Heat, the team that kept the C's from the Finals last season. There's more from Boston and the rest of the Atlantic Division today, and we'll round it up here:
- Ray Allen spoke about his departure from the Celtics, as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel notes. "You always felt you had one foot in, one foot out," he said, referring to trade rumors he'd been a part of during his time in Boston. Still, he said the decision to leave the Celtics was more difficult than the choice he made to sign with the Heat.
- Allen responded to comments Kevin Garnett made to reporters at Celtics media day, including Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com. Garnett said that he no longer has his former teammate's phone number. "That's a shame," Allen told Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com and other reporters following the Heat, saying he still considers Garnett a friend. "I'm a good person to talk to on the phone."
- Nets GM Billy King believes his team's backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson is the best in the league, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USAToday.com, who sizes up the Nets as they begin training camp.
- Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld, writing for USAToday.com, briefly examines the potential impact of Rasheed Wallace, who's expected to sign with the Knicks.