Atlantic Notes: Rambis, Stevens, Prokhorov

Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis referred to his team as immature and has changed his squad’s practice routine to include more team-oriented activities to help improve cohesiveness, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News writes. “Even though we got some older veteran ballplayers on our team, this is a relatively new team,” Rambis said. “I use the word immature but I don’t mean not having the maturity as individuals but just the growth process and how long these guys have been together and know how to work off of each other and help each other. They are not connected that way yet. You don’t get enough of it just by playing games. We got to be out there on the court so that they can actually work on timing and talk about timing and ‘Hey this is what I was thinking, what were you thinking on that play?’ so they get better communication, so they have an understanding out there.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • While the Knicks may not have as much talent as the teams they are chasing in the standings, Rambis believes improved team chemistry can help bridge some of that gap, Isola adds in the same piece. “They got to think like winners and believe like they are winners,” Rambis said. “I agree with you. We have talented guys on this ball club, but talent is not enough. This talent has got to play together. When this talent is combined with the unity that you have to have out there on the court, then we will be fine. When we are doing it right, we are playing really well. But we can’t just sustain or maintain it.”
  • One of the Celtics‘ strongest franchise assets is coach Brad Stevens, who has quickly developed into one of the league’s best coaches, Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders notes. “I think that’s all overblown with me,” Stevens said of his growing reputation as a high-IQ leader. “I don’t think I have anything to do with that. I think we’ve got really good players that are really smart players. They [were] high-IQ players long before they got here. You look for high-IQ players, and savvy players, period. Because it’s a long year, you see a lot of situations – you have to change on the fly, you have to tweak on a dime.
  • New Nets GM Sean Marks said team owner Mikhail Prokhorov understands the rebuilding process won’t be a quick fix and the Russian billionaire will exercise more patience going forward, NetsDaily relays. “I think he understands now that there’s not a quick fix all the time,” Marks told Evan Roberts of WFAN. “And there’s processes you have to go through and when you skip steps, you potentially wind up paying a lot of money, and it doesn’t work out all the time.”

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