Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Kirilenko, Karasev

The Celtics are struggling this season and are trying to maximize the talent that they have on their roster, but Boston is a team filled with complementary players and is badly in need of a star, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald opines. The coaching staff’s primary focus right now is to try and get the most from the players they currently have, notes Bulpett. “I think that’s the only way for me to look at it, and that’s the only way to do my job to the best of my ability — coach the guys that are available, coach the guys that are here as well as we possibly can,” head coach Brad Stevens said. “And I think we’re getting closer, as far as playing to our standards more often than not. There’s a reason we’ve been right there, and that’s because we’ve been playing pretty well. The key is now can we get a little bit better, so that we’re better than right there.”

Here’s the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • In an interview with Russian media, Cavs coach David Blatt relayed that he was a big fan of Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, whom he coached when both were members of Team Russia, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily reports. “It is unfortunate that Andrei Kirilenko is not playing, because, from my point of view, he is the greatest Russian basketball player of all time,” Blatt said. “He did so much for Russian basketball and for me personally, and I very much support him.
  • When asked about the possibility of the Cavs obtaining Kirilenko via a trade, Blatt said, “In the NBA, there are very strict rules that prohibit coaches from commenting on such things about players on other teams.  So in this respect, I will not say anything.”
  • Sergey Karasev‘s father, Vasily, spoke about his son’s frustration with his lack of playing time with the Nets in an interview with Timur Rostomov of Sport-Express (translation via the same NetsDaily piece). The elder Karasev said, “One season in the NBA has already passed on the bench, and now, that Sergey is 21 years [old], it’s imperative that he play, not sit. He understands this and is frustrated. He is not interested in salary. He just wants to get on the court, to grow and develop. As I understand it, the coach of Brooklyn, Lionel Hollins, does not see him in the lineup, so it’s difficult for Sergey to influence the situation. He needs to be patient.”

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