Atlantic Notes: Celtics, KG, Bargnani, Sixers

Celtics big man Jared Sullinger is “shocked” at how well he has rebounded from back surgery, writes’s Chris Forsberg.  The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds over 19.7 minutes per game in seven appearances, not bad for a guy who who underwent season-ending lumbar disk surgery back in February.  Sullinger missed Wednesday’s game against the Bobcats with a bone bruise on his right knee, but hopes to be back in the lineup on tonight to take on the Blazers.  Here’s more from the Atlantic Division..

  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens & Co. tuned out talk from pundits this offseason who said that the club would wind up tanking for a top pick, writes the Associated Press.  “Y’all were talking about the lottery. We didn’t even think about that,” Sullinger said after their four-game winning streak came to an end. “We don’t care about that. We want to win, we want to make the playoffs, and we want to make a run. At the end of the day, that was something that you talked about, not us.
  • As much as prized offseason acquisition Kevin Garnett and others are struggling, Stefan Bondy of the Daily News (on Twitter) still believes that Deron Williams is the key to success.
  • The Knicks have struggled early on this season, but the play of trade acquisition Andrea Bargnani has been a bright spot, writes Alan Hahn of MSG Network (Sulia link).  Since Tyson Chandler‘s injury, the Italian big man has averaged 21.3 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 31.2 minutes per contest.
  • Rich Hofmann Jr. of the Daily News looks at the elements of the Spurs system that new coach Brett Brown has brought to the Sixers.
  • The Kings appear to have some interest in Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, according to a report from’s Marc Stein earlier today.

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