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Atlantic Rumors: Valanciunas, Knicks, Nets, Celtics

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas will not rush back from his knee injury but he calls it a minor issue, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Valanciunas, who had an MRI last week, has missed the last two games. “We’ve still got the whole season in front of us, it’s not something major, it’s not some big injury, it’s a couple of games, couple of days,” he told Smith. The Raptors are starting rookies Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam at the power positions while Valanciunas mends.

In other developments around the Atlantic Division:

  • Brandon Jennings doesn’t want his Knicks teammates helping opponents get up if they fall on the court, Ian Begley of ESPN.com writes. Jennings wants his teammates to take a tougher approach, Begley adds. “I wouldn’t want another opponent to help me up,” he told Begley and other writers. “That’s just showing too much respect. In between the lines, you don’t have a New York jersey on, then you don’t mean nothing to me.”
  • The Nets are scrambling because of injuries to their top point guards, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports. With Jeremy Lin sidelined by a left hamstring strain injury and rookie Isaiah Whitehead recovering from a concussion, the club is using shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick at the point out of desperation, Lewis continues. The Nets waived injured Greivis Vasquez and his one-year, $4.35MM deal this week and called up undrafted rookie Yogi Ferrell from the D-League.
  • The Celtics, who have been playing without top free agent acquistion Al Horford for the last four games, could make a lineup change, Mike Pedraglia of Greenstreet.weei.com relays. Horford isn’t expected to return for the team’s game against the Knicks Friday. Coach Brad Stevens said could break up the current lineup of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson and Tyler Zeller. “We’ll give thought to lineup change,” Stevens told reporters. “We’ll make the right thing for our team. But the bottom line is the guys that are playing are going to play because of our numbers in some part.”

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