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Atlantic Notes: Lin, Hornacek, Celtics

The Nets signing of Jeremy Lin this offseason has led to improvement on the court as well as off in garnering increased fan support, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “Fans seem to be very accepting, and not only accepting but are encouraged by the new culture, the grit with which the team plays and the hustle. And it’s leading to increased sales,’’ Brett Yormark, the CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, told Lewis. “They see the vision, see where this thing is going, and they’re happy with that direction.”

That’s creating the groundswell. It’s not where it needs to be, but the sales numbers indicate it’s heading in the right direction,’’ Yormark continued. “We’re making real good progress. The culture [GM] Sean Marks and [coach] Kenny Atkinson brought started to resonate and we’re seeing it. And the team is validating that. You can see the team has bought in and is playing each game with commitment. And the fans are enjoying it.”

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:

  • A number of in-season adjustments made by Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek are paying off for the club, notes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The scribe notes that the team’s defensive focus has been much improved since assistant coach Kurt Rambis was placed in charge of the defense and increasing Kristaps Porzingis‘ role on offense has made the team much tougher to defend.
  • Despite missing out on signing Kevin Durant this past offseason, the Celtics feel that the fact that the forward strongly considered joining the franchise speaks to the progress and growth of the team, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald relays. When asked what Durant’s willingness to consider Boston meant, coach Brad Stevens said, “Hopefully it spoke to the fact that the progress is obvious, especially to those who are in it and studying it and evaluating it every day. To be candid, I’d just kind of prefer not to rehash all the recruiting part of it. But what I enjoy is thinking about how people best fit into our situation and how to explain that. The thing that I’m excited about from a general standpoint is that people see the progress and it’s appealing. It doesn’t mean everybody’s going to choose to be here, but, like, Al chose to be here because he saw the progress and it was appealing — on top of the tradition, the fans and everything else. I think you’ve got to have all that. You’ve got to have all that for it to be appealing.”
  • Knicks point guard Derrick Rose says he isn’t concerned about the appeal that was filed by the woman who accused the player and his friends of raping her, Berman writes in a separate piece. “I didn’t know about the appeal,’’ Rose said . “I’ll let my legal team deal with it. I didn’t expect to be sued in the first place but I’ll let my legal team deal with it.’’

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