Atlantic Notes: Thibodeau, Robinson, Noel, Lowry, Davis

Tom Thibodeau‘s impact on the Knicks was apparent in their preseason opener at Detroit on Friday, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. They were energetic on defense, forcing 22 turnovers and contesting shooters on the 3-point line. They also controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Pistons 54-41. The Knicks were relatively quiet in free agency, so their biggest upgrade is seemingly at head coach, Berman adds.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Free agent addition Nerlens Noel started ahead of Mitchell Robinson at center for the Knicks and the early returns were promising, Berman writes in a separate story. The two big men combined for 15 rebounds and four blocks, and Robinson also made four steals. “When you have two bigs that are like that, it’s a big bonus,” Thibodeau said. “And they’re very similar. I’m not sure who I’m going to start, but I like both of those guys, and I’m going to need them to play well to play well as a team.’’ Noel joined the Knicks on a one-year, $5MM contract.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will remain in the team’s temporary home in Tampa this weekend and miss games in Charlotte on Saturday and Monday, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star relays. The team didn’t give a reason for Lowry’s absence, so it’s unclear whether it’s related to the COVID-19 protocols. Lowry, who will make $30.5MM in the upcoming season, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • Terence Davis‘ lawyer is seeking a dismissal of the criminal case against him, Rick Westhead of The Sports Network tweets. The Raptors guard was arrested in New York City in late October and faces seven charges. Davis allegedly hit his girlfriend in the face, then grabbed the victim’s phone and broke it during the incident. The woman’s son also allegedly got knocked down during the altercation. Davis made a court appearance remotely on Friday and was told he must “stay away” from his alleged victim but that he can have contact with his son.
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