Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Knicks, Horford

It doesn’t make sense for the Sixers to bring Joel Embiid back before the end of the season, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The big man has been sidelined for 17 of the past 18 games with a bone bruise and has also suffered a slightly torn meniscus.

At this point all the Sixers will say is that their rookie is out “indefinitely,” an escalation, we suppose, from the “day-to-day” label he’d been sitting under previously. For Embiid, however, the club should just come out and say that he’ll rest for the remainder of the season.

It would be great for us as a unit to have him out there as we continue to strive forward toward winning as the season concludes,” general manager Bryan Colangelo said. “But at the end of the day, the health and performance of our athletes is first and foremost, we don’t want to jeopardize the long-term health.”

In the games that he did see this season, Embiid impressed, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest. He was named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month in the first three months of the season and even won Eastern Conference players of the week once in January.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks have elected to bring back the triangle offense, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The club will use the remaining months of the season to determine which players best fit the system. Head coach Jeff Hornacek tells Ian Begley of ESPN that it will be a part of this summer’s player evaluations, too.
  • It’s clear that the Celtics believe they need two major pieces in order to compete for a title, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. That explains, he says, why the team didn’t jump on opportunities to nab Paul George or Jimmy Butler at the trade deadline.
  • The Raptors‘ defense has been rebranded, writes Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun, and players have already taken notice. “I just know that the defence behind me is strong,” says guard Cory Joseph. “When the pick and roll comes I’m going to get the early calls and will understand exactly what to do. It just allows me to do what I need to do, executing the task at hand and play more aggressively.” The Raps, of course, added Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker prior to last week’s trade deadline.
  • Summer acquisition Al Horford hasn’t been utilized as well as he could be, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. The big man is too often left on the perimeter while the Celtics shoot threes. Washburn writes that head coach Brad Stevens ought to devise better ways to get the center involved now that the trade deadline is in the rearview mirror.
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