Atlantic Notes: Stoudemire, Valanciunas, Woodson

We heard earlier today that the Knicks assigned Amare Stoudemire to the D-League so he can get some practice time in prior to re-joining the NBA club this weekend.  Mike Woodson isn't sure what his role will be when he comes back, but Stoudemire was confident on Tuesday that he and Carmelo Anthony will be able to play together effectively, writes Ian Begley. The Knicks are the only Atlantic team not in action tonight.  Let's round up the divisional links here:

  • With the Raptors in Cleveland, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was asked about Jonas Valanciunas by Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.  Casey said that based on what he has seen so far, the reward should drastically outweigh the risk of using the No. 5 pick in the draft on a European player who didn't come to the States right away. 
  • Similarly, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun tweets that he asked Tristan Thompson about the 7-foot Lithuanian.  Thompson said that Valanciunas is a great player who should man the middle in Toronto for a long time.  A large crowd of Lithuanian fans turned out in Cleveland for the game, tweets Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer.
  • Woodson gave his first honest answer regarding the departure of Jeremy Lin last night, tweets Marc Berman from the New York Post.  Woodson believes that Lin left the Knicks, not the other way around, but is nevertheless content with how the additions of Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni have worked out.
  • Speaking of Woodson, his 36-12 start as Knicks head coach between this season and last has been the best in franchise history, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (via HoopsWorld).  Not only does his coaching strategy differ from that of Mike D'Antoni, but so does his preference of veteran players, which has been key to the team's success. 

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