Eastern Notes: Harris, Biyombo, Lamb

Former Bucks coach and current Magic coach Scott Skiles said he was never in favor of trading power forward Tobias Harris to Orlando, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Sentinel. Skiles didn’t give Harris a lot of playing time as a rookie and second-year player but liked Harris’ potential and attitude, the story continues. Harris was dealt from the Bucks to the Magic on Feb. 21st, 2013 in a six-player swap. None of the players Milwaukee acquired are still with the team. “At that time, we just felt (Luc) Mbah a Moute was a better defender and (Mike) Dunleavy was a better offensive player, and Tobias didn’t get as many minutes. But we were high on him,” Skiles told Gardner. “Not that anybody would have listened to me, but if I would have still been the coach, I would not have been for moving Tobias.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Bismack Biyombo‘s stint as Jonas Valanciunas’ injury replacement is off to a strong start, Lori Ewing of The Canadian Press reports. Coach Dwane Casey likes what Biyombo brings to the starting unit as the new Raptors starting center after he had 11 points and 12 rebounds against the Cavs this week, Ewing continues. “He set the tone for us defensively,” Casey told the Toronto media. “Protecting the paint, talking, being physical, being a deterrent at the rim and that was big for us.” Valanciunas is out approximately six weeks with a hand injury.
  • Jeremy Lamb could be a serious candidate for the league’s Sixth Man and Most Improved Player awards if he continues to produce at his current level, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com write. The Hornets shooting guard is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage. Lamb, who agreed to a three-year, $21MM extension, has surprised coach Steve Clifford with his passing ability, Aschburner continues. “I knew he could shoot — I mean, he can really shoot — but I had no idea how well he could pass the ball,” Clifford told Aschburner. “He can pass off the dribble. He makes good decisions, so he’s a better pick-and-roll player than I thought. And what he’s done for us, he’s given us a lot of drive-and-kick plays that I didn’t know he was capable of doing.”
  • The Celtics have assigned rookie power forward Jordan Mickey to the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, the team tweets. Mickey, an early second-round pick out of LSU, has played a total of just five minutes with Boston.
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