Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Celtics, Anderson

According to Zach Braziller of the New York Post, Knicks coach Mike Woodson plans to meet with GM Steve Mills and team brass either tonight or tomorrow to determine the five cuts he has to make before Monday’s deadline. In another piece, Braziller writes about how Carmelo Anthony took it upon himself to have a heart-to-heart talk with J.R. Smith about the importance of staying focused and keeping out of trouble moving forward.

You can find more of tonight’s links out of the Atlantic Division below:

  • Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston notes that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is “very proud” of Rajon Rondo‘s progress in rehab: “I think he’s working as hard as he can. I’ve been very proud of him of how he really wants to get out there and I think he wants to get out there, not for his own benefit, but he wants to really help the team. He sees how he’s missed and he just loves to play. He wants to get back for all the right reasons.”
  • Ainge also elaborated on why he wants to keep the team under the luxury tax: “Right now we’re barely under the luxury tax, so we really have no choice…If there are deals made later in the year, that would open up roster spots and open up to keep us under the tax. But we will stay under the tax this year. We have to. As we’re rebuilding, not just from a standpoint of the financial budget, but as a competitive advantage.”   
  • Yesterday, we heard that James Anderson was one player who had “all but wrapped up” a spot on the 76ers’ roster. Today, Tom Moore of The Intelligencer discusses how Anderson secured a spot in Philadelphia after establishing himself as a starter and the team’s top perimeter threat.
  • Former NBA executive and current NBA analyst Steve Kerr explains why he thinks the Knicks are the fifth-best team in the East (Justin Terranova of the New York Post).
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers took time to defend current Nets Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the criticism hurled at them by LeBron James last week, who insinuated that they had abandoned Boston: “Paul and Kevin were traded…They were traded. Paul was traded whether he wanted to be or not. Kevin was the only one who had to agree to be traded even though he had already been traded. He had to agree to the trade. That’s completely different…You could make more of a case for me leaving than Paul and Kevin” (Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News [hat tip to ESPN Radio in Miami]).

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