Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Stoudemire, Nets

Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly told the team’s coaches before the season that he expects them to win the championship this year, but Marc Berman of the New York Post hears that the owner never said he “expects” a title, and didn’t issue any edict. Dolan nonetheless said recently in a rare public statement that he thinks the team is one of many that could win it all this year. For now, that seems like a pipe dream for the 3-9 Knicks and everyone else in the Atlantic Division, where all five teams are below .500. Here’s more from the division that’s been the NBA’s worst so far:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire wants to retire as a member of the Knicks and tells reporters, including Berman, that he has a genuine affection for Dolan.
  • Garnett told reporters on Friday that, “You’re going to have the business of basketball come into play, I’m sure, and management is probably going to do what they’ve got to do,” and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News sees it as a hint at roster changes for the Nets.
  • Celtics forward Gerald Wallace isn’t as surprised as most that the Nets are struggling, having figured the team would sputter at first without having had much experience playing together, observes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • It’s an awkward fit for Wallace and three other veterans Boston acquired in its blockbuster offseason trade with Brooklyn, but Celtics GM Danny Ainge isn’t concerned they’ll become disruptive malconents, as fellow Herald scribe Mark Murphy notes.
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star answers reader mail and shares his thoughts on the Raptors, believing GM Masai Ujiri will be hesitant to take on much long-term salary in a trade this year.

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