Atlantic Notes: Celtics, J.R. Smith, Nets, Collins

Depth at guard and the resurgence of Jeff Green have helped the Celtics remain relevant in the wake of Rajon Rondo's injury, as HoopsWorld's Stephen Brotherston details. Brotherston ponders the chances of a Heat-Celtics clash in the first round, and believes the Celtics would relish another playoff series with Miami. I'm inclined to believe Doc Rivers, who told reporters yesterday, including Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com, that he's not trying to match up with the Heat."Listen, I’m not that dumb," Rivers said. "I’m not the brightest guy but come on. Really, you would love to avoid anyone (like Miami)."

While we wait to find out Boston's first-round opponent, there's plenty of other news from the C's and their Atlantic Division rivals: 

  • Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com spoke to a pair of agents, an NBA executive and a longtime scout who agree that there's uncertainty surrounding this summer's market price for Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith. The soon-to-be free agent's inconsistent play and reputation as a frequent partier could hold down his value, but a strong postseason performance could help him, Zwerling writes.
  • The playoffs will determine the fate of Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who believes the team won't hesitate to go after marquee names like Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy.
  • The Sixers have already picked up their team option on coach Doug Collins for next season, and all indications are that the decision on whether he'll return will be left to the coach himself, Stein reports in the same piece.
  • Petraglia wonders whether midseason pickup Shavlik Randolph — a veteran of four total playoff minutes — could be a postseason factor for the Celtics.
  • Celtics guard Jordan Crawford clearly has little love lost for his former team. The ex-Wizard twice said, "I don't recall playing for Washington," to reporters Saturday. Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe provides detail.

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