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Atlantic Notes: Thompson, Biyombo, Hollis-Jefferson

Jason Thompson is proving a wise pickup for the Raptors, as his performance amid minor injuries to Jonas Valanciunas and Patrick Patterson shows, opines Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun. The addition, which forced the team to release Anthony Bennett to clear a roster spot, didn’t do Toronto any favors with Bennett’s agency, Excel Sports Management, according to Ganter, who nonetheless believes that having Thompson ready to contribute if needed is worth it. “For me, I just know being in the league eight years, I wanted to let them know I wasn’t coming into here trying to mess things up,” Thompson said. “Obviously this is a very successful team. It’s late in the season. We still have high goals going into the playoffs with a lot of confidence as well so it’s good to see. God forbid anything happens with injuries later down the line, but everyone is ready to go. Even [rookie] Delon [Wright], really played big minutes for us as well. Guys are always ready.”

See more from Toronto and the rest of the Atlantic Division:

  • Bismack Biyombo is a fitting complement in many ways to a healthy Valanciunas, observes Chris O’Leary of the Toronto Star, who, like Ganter in the second half of his above-linked piece, contends the center has given the team value that far outstrips the two-year, $5.755MM contract he signed in the offseason. It would be a tight squeeze for the Raptors, who’d only have his Non-Bird rights, to re-sign him if he turns down his player option for next season, both scribes argue.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will likely play tonight for the first time since suffering a broken ankle in December, according to the Nets, who listed him as probable for the game just an hour and a half after Hollis-Jefferson and interim Nets coach Tony Brown raised the specter of him perhaps missing the rest of the season, notes Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
  • Jerian Grant holds promise, as his 14-point outburst Sunday showed, but the concerns about his jump shot that kept him undrafted until the 19th pick this past year have manifested in just a 28.3% accuracy rate on jumpers this season, Brian Lewis of the New York Post points out. His inconsistency has also been maddening, but Knicks coach Kurt Rambis remains faithful, as Lewis relays.

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