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Atlantic Notes: Larkin, Sullinger, Brown

Shane Larkin spoke of his displeasure with the triangle offense this summer after leaving the Knicks to sign with the Nets, and he feels the results so far this season, in which he’s scored more points in fewer minutes per game than he did last year, prove his point, as Brian Lewis of the New York Post chronicles.

“Yeah, it’s a much better fit for me in a lot of ways,” Larkin said. “You can see my numbers have been better. I’m just playing better overall, because I’m more comfortable in a pick-and-roll system or an up-and-down system, doing different things rather than coming down and setting in the triangle.’’

Still, Brooklyn’s reserves have been one of the NBA’s least effective bench units statistically, Lewis points out. Sunday’s win over the Celtics, which also saw a strong contribution from fellow former Knick Andrea Bargnani, was an exception, as Lewis details. See more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The best is yet to come for soon-to-be restricted free agent Jared Sullinger, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told Chris Forsberg of in a Q&A. Ainge criticized the fitness level that offseason trade acquisition David Lee had at the start of camp but praised Lee’s work since then, and the exec cited his team’s depth for its strong defensive play thus far, as Forsberg relays. Ainge also referred to coach Brad Stevens as “a keeper.” Jared has played really well,” Ainge said to Forsberg. “I know what he’s capable of doing. I think Jared is still so young. I think that his best basketball is still ahead of him. But I do see a lot of great progress from Jared.”
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown wishes he sometimes had more of a veteran presence on the team, but he accepts much of the responsibility that would usually fall to experienced players for himself, observes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Carl Landry is the only Sixer with more than three years of service. “It’s on me,” said Brown, a former Spurs assistant. “I’m privileged to have seen five NBA [Finals] and won four of them. … I like sharing stories like that with my players.”
  • The radical rebuilding plan the Sixers have undertaken comes with no guarantees and requires plenty of patience, but the team has largely controlled what it can as it’s stockpiled the assets necessary to pounce on a superstar when the opportunity arises, argues Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine. Still, it’s possible the team erred when it selected Jahlil Okafor instead of Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 3 overall pick, as Bodner examines.

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