The Celtics received an unexpected boost to their playoff hopes today, as the stress fracture in Jared Sullinger‘s left foot that was to have kept him out for the rest of the season has healed so that he can return to game action, at least on a limited basis, beginning tonight, the team announced. The surprising news helps Sullinger, who’s up for a rookie scale extension this coming offseason, as well as his team, which is tied with the Heat for the final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:
- Jae Crowder is grateful to the Celtics for giving him a more prominent role than he had in Dallas before the Mavs sent him out in the Rajon Rondo trade, as he tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The swingman is content in Boston as restricted free agency looms this summer, Bulpett details, arguing that the swingman has done enough to warrant as long of a commitment as possible from the Celtics.
- Knicks team president Phil Jackson praised Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas on Thursday amid his comments about the future to season ticket holders, as Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com points out (Twitter link). The pair will be free agents this summer, and Amundson has said he’d like to re-sign.
- Trading for Thaddeus Young and putting rookie Markel Brown in the starting lineup have combined to help Deron Williams play better since the All-Star break, Nets coach Lionel Hollins asserted in an appearance with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on WFAN-AM (transcription via NetsDaily).