Atlantic Notes: Stiemsma, Sixers, Calderon

It’s rare that a Sunday afternoon preseason game draws much attention, but this Sunday’s CelticsNets game will be an exception. They’ll play 44 minutes instead of the standard 48 as the NBA experiments with a shorter game time, the league announced. Coaches around the league and the NBA’s competition committee expressed support for the idea, as NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn tells Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Boston and Brooklyn volunteered to try it out, Zillgitt adds. Still, Jared Dudley took to Twitter to express concern about the way a shorter game would affect playing time and contract value for bench players. The league has no plans at this point to have another 44-minute game, and the experiment also includes fewer timeouts, and thus fewer advertising opportunities, so I’m skeptical that all parties will agree to 44-minute games in the future.  Still, it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Greg Stiemsma‘s contract with the Raptors is partially guaranteed for $25K, Hoops Rumors has learned. That puts him on equal financial footing with teammates Jordan Hamilton and Will Cherry, who have partial guarantees for the same amount. The three appear to be jockeying for a single opening-night roster spot, since Toronto has 13 full guarantees and a $5MM partial guarantee with Amir Johnson.
  • The history of teams that win 20 games or fewer shows that they almost always bounce back into the playoffs within a few years, and that helps explain the Sixers‘ confidence in their radical rebuilding plan, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News examines.
  • Dwane Casey continues to be fond of Knicks point guard Jose Calderon, whom he coached on the Raptors, and the feeling is mutual, observes Fred Kerber of the New York Post.
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