Atlantic Notes: Siakam, Knicks, Smith, Celtics

The Raptors are hoping their championship experience will assist the team when the NBA resumes play in Orlando later this summer, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes.

Toronto, led by star forward Pascal Siakam, kept much of its 2018/19 championship core intact this season, including Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. The Raptors’ strong chemistry and veteran presence are two major reasons why they’ve succeeded this season.

“I feel like there’s chemistry there, we’ve been playing for awhile, we’ve been winning championships together, things you don’t really forget,” Siakam said, as relayed by Smith.

The Raptors held the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 46-18 when the NBA suspended its season, trailing the No. 1 seed Bucks by 6.5 games. The team has solidified itself as a legitimate playoff threat despite losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in free agency last summer.

“To be simple and truthful, I just don’t care what people think of the Raptors,” Siakam said. “I think, for us, it’s been a lot of years caring about, ‘Oh, love me too,’ and I think that’s over, man. We are the champions and if you don’t see it, that’s your problem.

“And for us, it’s about us, we’re not worried what other people think, we’re gonna continue to win games and chase championships. That’s the only thing we care about and whoever feels the way they feel, that’s them and has nothing to do with us. We don’t care about perception.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • For the Knicks, hiring Tom Thibodeau as head coach would likely mean the team wouldn’t acquire Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns anytime soon, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. New York reportedly expressed interest in Towns prior to the trade deadline this season, with Berman noting that the relationship between Towns and Thibodeau was strained in their final weeks together during the 2018/19 season.
  • Former NBA guard and current NBA on TNT analyst Kenny Smith laughed off a question about coaching for the Knicks in an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post. “They know where I am,” Smith laughed, addressing a question about whether he would like to interview for New York’s head coaching job. “They know what I could bring to the table in any capacity. There is a head coach there now (interim coach Mike Miller). … I don’t like to talk about guys’ jobs who still have a job.” Smith also offered his thoughts on racial injustice, the NBA’s restart and more in the interview.
  • Jared Weiss and John Hollinger of The Athletic examine the future of the Celtics, pondering whether there’s a viable path to the Finals for the franchise this season. Boston contains a strong nucleus of Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and others, holding a 43-21 record on the season.
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11 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Siakam, Knicks, Smith, Celtics

  1. Sillivan

    If Celtics and Rockets are not able to win title this year, they are unlikely to do so next 3 years.

    Both teams have the same problems
    Interior defense
    Rebounding
    But they can still win it all if they can make 3 pointers.

    I expect Nets and Warriors to be terrors next 3 years.

    • mcmillankmm

      Celtics have some pieces to play with if they need to make trades…the Rockets would have to try and deal Westbrook or Gordon, and they have already traded away a ton of picks

  2. mlbnyyfan

    Like the Knicks had any chance of getting KAT regardless of who’s the coach. LoL

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Berman wants KAT, and like were suppose to get him. Berman got more nonnews. Than real news. Miller is staying on bench IMO. He’s loyal and still learning. Celts haven’t replaced Horford production. Their core is young. So they still have a chance to get it right. Need to adjust team next yr. Hayward will probably be moved. Celtics have 4 picks this yr. 3 #1 picks, 3 top 30. So they can redo this team right. Really just need solid bigs. A backup PG. Philly and Boston both need to adjust team. They got talent just need better mix.

    • Sillivan

      I was trying to get Okongwu for Celtics but I found out they don’t have any future good picks

      Trade idea

      Warriors get Brown and 17,26,30
      Celtics get Wiggins and Warriors pick

      Warriors can pack Celtics picks with TE for another deal

      • If celtic want to draft okungwu so they dont need wariors pick.okongwu not top 3.maybe they just need to trade for bulls or hawk pick.

    • Don’t worry, if you sweated over the sanity and feasibility of every Knick rumor attaching some star to potentially moving there in the not so distant future, your head would have exploded long ago.

      There’s so much malarkey every day, you would have more than enough stress trying to just focus on the credible rumors. Presumably one exists, but good luck finding it. It’s all noise, perhaps no signal to be found. Especially if you take the Post as a trusted source. I suppose it gets quoted here because of click bait.

  4. steve dolan

    Celtics future:
    Mo Bamba for Javonte Green, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and two 1st rd picks. Or Mo Bamba for Vincent Poirier, Carsen Edwards,Semi Ojeleye and all three 1st rounders. Does anyone think these proposals would generate any interest at all from Orlando ?

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