Point guard Cory Joseph, who inked a four-year, $30MM deal with the Raptors this summer, has been impressing the team with his solid two-way game, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun writes. Joseph said he wasn’t feeling any added pressure to perform up to his new deal, Wolstat notes. “I don’t know how to answer that because I don’t really base my game on what people think,” Joseph said. “I just try to get better every day. I try to maybe prove that I can play within the organization, but outside the organization, I don’t really look at that stuff.”
Joseph’s new teammate, Luis Scola, praises the reserve playmaker’s ability, and predicts good things for Joseph this season in Toronto, Wolstat adds. “He’s a good player, he’s trying to explore his game, take his game to the next level,” Scola said. “I think he’s going to have a lot of opportunities here. He’s in great shape right now, he looks very good, very confident, so, hopefully he can keep that momentum going into the season. We’re expecting a great year from him.”
Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:
- Knicks point guard Jose Calderon noted that there were some teams this offseason that were interested in trading for him, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com tweets. New York was reportedly trying to find a taker for the veteran this summer as the team attempted to free up cap space.
- 2015 first-rounder Terry Rozier‘s place in the Celtics‘ rotation is unclear with a number of players ahead of him on the depth chart currently, but coach Brad Stevens has noted the impact that former third-string point guard Phil Pressey had on Boston teams in recent seasons, a role that Stevens hopes the rookie can fill, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes.
- While injuries have kept Arron Afflalo on the shelf for the bulk of the preseason, the Knicks are banking on his skill as a post player to help him thrive in the triangle offense this season, Begley writes in a separate piece. “Post-ups aren’t as popular of a scoring opportunity in terms of efficiency and points per possession. But we still view it as penetration,” New York coach Derek Fisher said. “The ball is still closer to the basket than it is if you’re standing out by the line. And we believe we have some guys who are good enough to force teams to make a decision on how they’re going to defend us. [We] think Arron’s good enough.“