NBA Notes: Carmelo says Knicks 'right there'

NBA Notes: Carmelo says Knicks 'right there'
May 20, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks won their first Atlantic Division title since 1994 this season. (USA Today Images)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Some of the players were old, though the New York Knicks say their team is young in its development.

So they feel they need time, not an overhaul, to get further next season.

"We're just fine. I love our team just the way it is," point guard Raymond Felton said Monday. "When you start making too many changes, you can't build on something. If you're going to be successful, you're going to be good, a team has to be a team, has to be together for a while. This is our first year together."

Most of the ones who spoke Monday considered it a good one, though Iman Shumpert said not reaching the Eastern Conference finals made it a failure. To have done that, the Knicks would've needed to win Saturday at Indiana, then win a Game 7 that would've been played Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Instead, they were holding exit meetings at their training center, believing they're not far from being at the level of the Pacers or even Miami Heat, who open the East finals on Wednesday.

"We're right there," Carmelo Anthony said. "When you look back, recap this whole season, just some detail-oriented things that we've kind of got to fix, but we're right there. I believe we're right there as a team."

The Knicks finished 54-28, the second-best record in the East, and reached the second round for the first time since 2000. Their Atlantic Division title was their first since 1994 (see full story).

Pacers' West misses practice
INDIANAPOLIS -- Pacers forward David West is expected to play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at Miami, despite an injured right leg.

Team doctors held West out of Monday's practice with what coach Frank Vogel described as a calf strain or lower leg strain. He did shoot around with his teammates after practice ended. Vogel said doctors thought it would be best to give West a day off.

Pacers center Roy Hibbert had his right thumb taped after getting hit in practice. He finished the workout and it is not expected to keep him out of the Miami game on Wednesday night.

Backup forward Jeff Pendergraph did not attend Monday's workout to attend the birth of his daughter.

Indiana is making its first conference finals appearance since 2004 (see full story).

Jordan changing Bobcats' name
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A person familiar with the situation says Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is changing his team's name to the Hornets.

The person says Jordan will detail the timetable for the change to be completed at a press conference the Bobcats have scheduled for Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because the name change has not been publicly announced.

NBA deputy commissioner and COO Adam Silver previously has said it would take "about 18 months" for the Bobcats to change their name. That means Charlotte could once again become the Hornets by the 2014-15 season.

The Hornets resided in Charlotte from 1988-2002 before then-owner George Shinn moved the franchise to New Orleans. The New Orleans Hornets recently changed their name to the Pelicans (see full story).

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