Atlantic Notes: Dolan, Knicks, Raptors, Garnett

Knicks owner James Dolan has been taking the credit for bringing Phil Jackson to New York on his latest PR tour without crediting powerful entertainment manager Irving Azoff for his role in the recruitment, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.  Dolan is enjoying his preseason victory lap but Isola writes that he’s much harder to pin down when things aren’t working out at MSG.  Here’s more on the Knicks and the rest of the Atlantic Division..

  • Center Jason Smith is positively giddy about joining the Knicks this year, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of  “Good energy level, smart, savvy player,” Smith said. “Pick-and-pop jumper, 15-17 foot midrange jumper, really going out there and giving it my all, selfless player, will do anything to help the team win.” Smith averaged 9.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in 26.8 minutes last season but played in only 31 games thanks to knee troubles.  If he can stay healthy, Smith could wind up being a significant contributor for the Knicks.
  • The staff at Basketball Insiders previewed the season ahead for the Raptors and Yannis Koutroupis selected rookie forward Bruno Caboclo as their best new addition.  General Manager Masai Ujiri was mocked for his shocking first-round pick but after watching Cabocio in summer league, it’s evident that the Brazilian is much more NBA-ready than anyone had predicted.
  • Now that we know Kevin Garnett will return to the Nets for the upcoming season, new coach Lionel Hollins sounds committed to giving him a bigger role than last season, writes Robert Windrem of Nets Daily.
  • Julian Edlow of looks at what we can expect from Celtics coach Brad Stevens as the club works its way through the rebuilding process.

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