Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Butler, Celtics

At Canada’s Lakehead University, coach Scott Morrison took one of the nation’s worst programs and developed them into one of the better teams in just two seasons. Now, he seems to be working a similar turnaround with the Celtics‘ D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, as A. Sherrod Blakely of writes. In his first season as the team’s head coach, Morrison has led the squad to an impressive 20-10 record in addition to leading the “Futures” D-League All-Star team to a 129-94 win over the “Prospects” All-Star team on Sunday.

Learning how to win is what coaching is,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “When you win, that’s fun. That keeps players’ attention; that gives the coach credibility when you win. Scott has guys listening a little bit more because he’s had some success.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division..

  • The Sixers did not sign Tim Frazier to a second 10-day deal, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter).  The Penn State product appeared in three games for the Sixers and started in two of those contests.  He averaged 5.0 PPG, 8.7 APG, and 4.7 RPG in 35.7 minutes per game.  Pompey notes that by not re-signing Frazier, the 76ers now have an available roster spot to take on an expiring contract before Thursday’s deadline.  That could be an indication that the 76ers won’t be inking anyone to another 10-day pact in the coming days.
  • In an alternate universe, Bulls standout Jimmy Butler could have been a member of the Knicks this season, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post writes.  If Carmelo Anthony had decided to go to Chicago, Butler quite possibly would have been one of the pieces coming to the Knicks in a sign-and-trade with the Bulls.  Butler, of course, has emerged as a rising star in the NBA while the Knicks are out of playoff contention.
  • With Celtics coach Brad Stevens and his players making a public pitch for continuity, Chris Forsberg of wonders if Ainge might take the cautious approach at the deadline.  If a team offers a first-round pick for Brandon Bass or Marcus Thornton, Forsberg thinks he should jump on it.  If it’s just a mid-to-late second round pick for a player like that, however, there’s little reason for the C’s to do it, especially when they’ll likely have to take back salary to complete a swap.

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