Atlantic Notes: Carroll, Afflalo, Stevens

DeMarre Carroll may not return to action this season from right knee surgery, which underwent in early January, but Raptors coach Dwane Casey still maintains that no final decision has been made regarding the swingman, Josh Lewenberg of relays in a series of tweets. “I expect him [to return]; I’ve heard nothing else other than that,” Casey told reporters when asked if Carroll would play again this season. Kyle Lowry‘s balky right elbow is also a worry for Toronto, but Casey said the point guard’s injury merely involves a bursa sac and added that there’s no reason to shut him down for that sort of malady, Lewenberg writes. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun noted previously that Lowry’s elbow issues were affecting his shot and the team was seriously concerned as the season winds down.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo isn’t thrilled with interim coach Kurt Rambis‘ decision to bring him off the bench and indicated that his role will influence his decision-making process this offseason, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Afflalo has a player option worth $8MM for the 2016/17 campaign. “It’s different, but all I can do is get out there and try my best,’’ Afflalo said. “With seven games to go, I’ll be able to assess what’s best for me as a player. Right now I got to do what the team asks me and play the minutes and role they ask me. Hopefully I’ll have more good games than bad.’’ The veteran also added that he doesn’t expect his role to change before the season ends, Berman notes. “I doubt it. It doesn’t matter to me at this point,” Afflalo said. “If things go well, I have intentions of it going well, [but] if not, I will move on to the next.’’
  • Boston was initially upset when Doc Rivers departed for the Clippers, but Brad Stevens remains the perfect coach to guide the Celtics through their rebuilding process, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. “I would have been into it if I kept the job, obviously, but I just think it worked out the way it was going to work out,” Rivers said. “It’s a great situation for them, but I think it would have worked either way, honestly. But Brad comes in with great energy, with youth. Having had to rebuild twice, this would have been my third, and that’s hard to do. People don’t appreciate that. I mean, talk to Brad. He’ll tell you how hard it is — and in nine years he won’t want to do it again either.” Bulpett notes that Stevens is far better equipped to develop and relate to the franchise’s younger players, having joined the Celtics directly from the college ranks.

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