Atlantic Notes: Early, D-League, Sixers

With the shooting of Knicks forward Cleanthony Early on Wednesday, plus a number of other unfortunate player incidents over the past year, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News opined that free agents may avoid signing with New York based franchises going forward. Nets point guard Jarrett Jack acknowledged that living and playing in New York is different than many other NBA locales, and believes players are targets because of the popularity of the sport in the area, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “Since being in New York for a couple years, and how seriously sports are taken in this city, you’re a lot more visible than your typical team. When the Knicks draft somebody it’s headline news, or when they trade for somebody it’s headline news,’’ said Jack.

That’s where New York separates itself from a lot of cities. That can be good and bad, but I think you’ve just got to understand what it is and just take it for what it’s worth. Whenever I go somewhere … day or night, we always survey the crowd,” Jack continued. “We always understand what the crowd is wherever we’re going. Like I said, no matter where you go, no one deserves for that to happen. A lot of people want to say ‘It’s his fault, he [Early] shouldn’t have been [out]. How is it his fault?

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers coach Brett Brown is still trying to figure out how too best utilize Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, and admits the answer to this particular riddle still eludes him, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays.”The four-five, five-four you know it’s still a mystery right now,” Brown said of deciding where to play the two big men. “It really is. And I think we are going to have this conversation throughout the whole year. Trying to grow those two guys is a challenge. So for me, it ends up more matchups than this overwhelming responsibility where it hurts the team. You know we want to win games. How I navigate that is a challenge.
  • The Celtics have assigned power forward Jordan Mickey, point guard Terry Rozier and shooting guard R.J. Hunter to their D-League affiliate in Maine, the team announced. This will be Mickey’s ninth stint with the Red Claws on the season, the fourth for Rozier and the first for Hunter.
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