Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Anthony, Knicks, Kilpatrick

The Sixers haven’t gotten what they expected from the 2013 draft, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia thought it had landed two building blocks for the future when it drafted Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. But three years later, Noel is headed for restricted free agency and Carter-Williams has changed teams twice. A second-round pick, Arsalan Kazemi of Oregon, was released last year.

But that doesn’t mean the draft was a failure. In trading to Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for the pick they used to get Carter-Williams, the Sixers also received a 2014 selection that landed them Dario Saric. And they’re still waiting on the protected draft pick they received when they shipped Carter-Williams to Milwaukee. That belongs to the Lakers and will be transferred to Philly next summer if L.A. doesn’t have one of the top three selections.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks need Carmelo Anthony to become a better and smarter leader, argues Marc Berman of The New York Post. Anthony is under fire for getting tossed from Friday’s game in the second quarter for arguing a foul call. He left the locker room without talking to reporters, but his wife tweeted that referee Tony Brothers has carried on a running dispute with Anthony. Berman says the Knicks, who are off to a 3-5 start despite adding Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah this summer, need Anthony to lead by example.
  • Although coach Jeff Hornacek said it’s too early to panic, the Knicks‘ early problems on offense and defense may last all season, writes Newsday’s Al Iannazzone. The triangle offense remains unpopular with the players, and the lack of effort on defense has continued even though Kurt Rambis was appointed as defensive coordinator earlier this week. “We’re starting off in a hole every game,” Noah said. “We got to get better. We got to get better defensively. We got to get better executing, and stop pressing.”
  • Sean Kilpatrick, who is having a breakout season with the Nets, is thankful to late Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders for giving him his first NBA opportunity, relays Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune. Minnesota was short on healthy players in 2014 and turned to Kilpatrick because he was the best D-League player who could get to Madison Square Garden in time for a game with the Knicks. Kilpatrick lasted just four games with the Wolves, but took advantage of his chance with Brooklyn last season. He impressed the team on two 10-day contracts and was signed for the rest of the year. “He’s grinded through some tough times to get where he is,” said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. “He keeps blossoming. We’re giving him a lot of responsibility, and he has answered the bell. We’re thrilled with what he’s giving us so far.” 
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