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Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Crowder, Lopez

The Knicks made the kind of history on Saturday that Phil Jackson probably wants no part of, as Ian Begley of writes. The Knicks dropped their 60th game of the season against the Bulls on Saturday night, the highest loss total in the team’s 69-year history. The “good” news, meanwhile, is that the Knicks own the worst record in the NBA with a few games separating them and the T’Wolves for the league’s worst record. Finishing dead last will guarantee the Knicks to pick no lower than No. 4 in June with a 25% chance at the No. 1 choice, which is a silver lining in this frustrating season. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division..

  • Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe expects the Celtics to extend an offer sheet to Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard this summer.  Boston coach Brad Stevens has praised the pending restricted free agent’s defensive prowess in the past.  Of course, there will be plenty of other teams in the mix for Leonard.
  • Jae Crowder is becoming an indispensable member of the Celtics, opines A. Sherrod Blakely of  Crowder, who was acquired as part of the Rajon Rondo trade, will become a restricted free agent after the season.
  • Brook Lopez has stepped his game up recently and Tim Bontemps of the New York Post believes the center has been key to keeping the Nets in the playoff race.  Lopez holds a player option worth slightly over $16.7MM for the 2015/16 season.  If he continues to play at his currently level, it’s conceivable that he could decline that option in pursuit of a larger deal.  Here’s more from the Atlantic Division..
  • The Celtics are in the playoff chase and that’s thanks in no small part to the progression of second-year head coach Brad Stevens, as Jackie MacMullan of writes.
  • Stevens has full confidence in Celtics offseason pickup Evan Turner, as A. Sherrod Blakely of writes.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

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