In this morning's round-up of Celtics items, we linked to ESPN The Magazine's 2012/13 NBA projections, which included the Celtics as a No. 4 seed in the East, behind the Knicks (No. 3). While those ranks are somewhat surprising, the team that ESPN and Basketball Prospectus placed directly behind the top-seeded Heat is even more of a shock: The Hawks will be the East's second-best team, according to the magazine's predictions. We've got updates on Atlanta and a few other Eastern Conference clubs, so let's check them out….
- If and when John Jenkins and Mike Scott officially earn spots on the Hawks' roster, they'll be the team's only draft picks in the last five years besides Jeff Teague to do so, says Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- It's been over three months since Ray Allen officially left the Celtics for the Heat, but the veteran's free agent decision is still a hot topic in both Boston and Miami. Allen appeared on WMEN in Miami recently and said he felt the Celtics put him in a position where he had to leave (link via Sports Radio Interviews). Celtics coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, says he's over Allen's departure but is still "disappointed" with the way it played out (link via the Boston Herald).
- Landry Fields told reporters, including Al Iannazzone of Newsday (Twitter link) that he lost some of his confidence and comfort level after the Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony and needed a change of scenery.
- It appears Ersan Ilyasova's new long-term contract with the Bucks has him feeling more comfortable in Milwaukee, writes NBA.com's Steve Aschburner.
- The Cavaliers aren't expected to make their final roster cuts for a few days yet, but it appears one of Donald Sloan or Jeremy Pargo has the upper hand in the backup point guard battle — coach Byron Scott just won't say which, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Sulia).
- Sam Smith fields Bulls questions on Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, and others in his latest mailbag at Bulls.com.