Atlantic Notes: Nogueira, Young, Atkinson, Anthony

Lucas Nogueira may be able to fill the Raptors‘ hole at backup center left by the departure of Bismack Biyombo, writes Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet. Nogueira’s latest impressive performance came Saturday night with six points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and three steals  in a win over the Knicks. The 7-footer is now averaging 8.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in four games. Nogueira says Biyombo appointed him as his successor when he signed with the Magic over the offseason. “During the summer [Biz] told me, ‘Lucas, your time to shine, go get it.’ I know Biz since I’m 15, playing in Spain against each other,” Nogueira said. “So we have a mutual respect for each other. It’s special, when he’s gone, he told me, ‘It’s your time, go get it.’ And I took it serious.”

There’s more this morning from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics shooting guard James Young had the best game of his NBA career with 12 points in 16 minutes in Saturday’s win over the Pacers, notes Chris Forsberg of Boston recently declined the fourth-year option on Young’s rookie contract and spent much of the summer trying to find a team willing to trade for him. Celtics coach Brad Stevens took note of Young’s effort. “He’s shot it at such a different level than he shot it two years ago when he got here, as far as accuracy in workouts, in practice, and everything else,” Stevens said. “He’s certainly always a capable shooter with a beautiful stroke, but he’s really really worked hard on becoming accurate.”
  • Through the season’s first nine games, the NetsKenny Atkinson has proven he can be successful as a head coach, contends Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily. The longtime assistant has Brooklyn playing far above expectations with a 4-5 record despite losing point guards Jeremy Lin, Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Whitehead to injuries. “It’s just been so mutually beneficial,” Brook Lopez said of Atkinson. “We definitely feed off each other and Kenny’s definitely instilled a lot of confidence within myself. It’s been a great two-way street in that regard. I think we’re continuing to learn about each other more and more.”
  • The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony plans to diffuse the situation with referee Tony Brothers by staying quiet around him, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. After Anthony was tossed from Friday’s game, Anthony’s wife suggested on social media that Brothers has a vendetta against him. “It ain’t personal with me, on my end,” Anthony said. “I don’t have anything to say to him. He refs. I’ll play. I’ll keep my mouth shut next time.”
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