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Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Raptors, Lopez, Jones

After enduring another year of change, the Sixers are optimistic that they are headed in the right direction, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. With training camp wrapping up today, Philadelphia has just four healthy players on its roster — Nerlens Noel, Hollis Thompson, JaKarr Sampson and Jerami Grant — who participated in the 2014 camp. Even though the turnover has been constant since he took over, third-year coach Brett Brown sees hope. “I think the culture is trumping the talent right now,” he said. “I feel like the system of coaches knowing what we all want, what I want. The system of what we do with recovery, how we travel, how we eat, how we act. I think that is trumping the improved talent that we have.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Frontcourt newcomers Bismack Biyombo and Luis Scola are eager to fit in with the Raptors, according to Eric Koreen of The National Post. Both players signed free agent deals in July, with Biyombo receiving a two-year, $6MM contract and Scola agreeing to one year at about $3MM. “I’ve gone from one coach to another one and this and that,” Biyombo said of his experience in Charlotte. “Those are not excuses. But I think over the past four years, I was able to learn a lot of things within those ups and downs. And that’s helped me to grow as a player, and more than anything as a person. Being here lets me show the other side of me.”
  • Brook Lopez is adjusting to a new point guard after the Nets bought out Deron Williams‘ contract over the summer, writes Matt Mazzeo of Lopez, who enjoyed his first offseason in four years without rehabbing an injury, is trying to develop chemistry with Jarrett Jack“Each point guard takes getting used to in that regard,” Lopez said. “It’s just seeing what they like to do, what they benefit from doing and let them play to what makes them successful.”
  • After three disappointing seasons, Perry Jones hopes to break through with the Celtics, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The former Baylor star never established himself in Oklahoma City and was traded to Boston over the summer. “The biggest benefit is he’s a positionless player in a positionless league,” said coach Brad Stevens. “And so to me, Perry needs to soar with the strengths at the position he’s at.”

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