Atlantic Notes: Belinelli, Fultz, Mudiay, Hayward

Marco Belinelli should provide a boost to the Sixers‘ offense when he signs with the team later this week, writes Sarah Todd of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Belinelli reached a buyout agreement with the Hawks and was officially waived Friday, allowing him to clear waivers today. He announced his intentions to join the Sixers on Saturday night, throwing in a “TRUST THE PROCESS” tweet for added emphasis.

The 31-year-old has been a deadly 3-point shooter throughout his 11-year career and is hitting at a .372 clip from long distance this season while averaging 11.4 points per game. He was part of a title-winning Spurs team in 2014 and will bring some playoff experience to a relatively young roster. He also has a reputation as a clutch shooter and won’t mind taking a shot with a game on the line.

The addition of Belinelli makes it less likely that rookie Markelle Fultz will return this season, according to Todd. It should also cut into the playing time of Jerryd Bayless and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Fultz’s shooting problems appear to be more mental than physical, suggests Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers‘ top overall pick has missed 49 straight games with a “scapular muscle imbalance” in his right shoulder. However, the Sixers issued a statement on December 9 that the muscle imbalance had healed and Fultz no longer had pain in his shoulder. Another team statement in early January said he was cleared “to begin the final stage of his return-to-play program.” However, there has been no progress since then and no guarantee that Fultz will be back this season.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay posted a double-double and kicked the Knicks into a higher gear in his debut game with the team this afternoon, relates Marc Berman of The New York Post. Mudiay, who hasn’t practiced yet with his new team, put up 14 points and 10 assists in 29 minutes off the bench. Veteran Jarrett Jack kept his starting job, but played just the first four minutes of each half. “When we bring in another point guard and young kid in Emmanuel, we have to look at things,’’ coach Jeff Hornacek said about a possible lineup change. “We have a couple more games before the break. Then when we come back we have a few practices before that first game. If we’re going to do something, that will be the time.”
  • The Celtics still plan to start taking injured forward Gordon Hayward on road trips beginning next month, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Hayward continues to make progress from the fractured ankle he suffered on opening night, but he remains unlikely to return to the court before the season ends.
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12 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Belinelli, Fultz, Mudiay, Hayward

  1. Philly Fan

    I don’t think Fultz was ever injured, just forced to change his shot. The 76ers started changing it as soon as he was drafted, which is why his shot is different during his Washington days and Summer League. They’re trying to quicken his release which messed up his whole rhythm and muscle memory. Playing with an incomplete shot only worsened the situation. He’ll be fine when he comes back next year, with months of shooting practice

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    • thughand

      You’ve got more faith in the him than I do. Kid has the yips and that can be hard to shake for a lot of people. I hope I’m wrong about him.

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    • yoyo137

      Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice posted an article today about Fultz’s shoulder where he looks in depth at everything in the past 6 months with Fultz’s shot, interviews with his trainer, insight on how the 76ers are trying to get him back, and basically about the confusion as to what’s wrong with him in the first place. It’s a great read, you should check it out when you get the chance.

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  2. TheMissing18thBanner

    I love that the Celtics are PROBABLY gonna get Hayward back this season and they’ll have also finessed the league for a DPE. Ainge is brilliant

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    • Rewane

      So you implying Ainge got Hayward injured for purpose? Lol

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      • Surprisingly a Bucks Fan

        No, he’s getting at they got an exception for a player who won’t be out all season. they basically got Monroe due to Hayward being injured.

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        • Rewane

          But it doesn’t take a brilliant guy to apply for a DPE though.

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          • TheMissing18thBanner

            I’m alleging that Ainge has a good idea that Hayward will be eligible to return for the playoffs. By being so public about the injury being season-ending he was awarded the DPE. Viola, Monroe and Hayward for the price of Hayward

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      • dlevin11

        Ainge did not look so brilliant against the Cavs last night. C’s lost by 20 at home against new look Cavs still minus Kevin Love

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        • TheMissing18thBanner

          Look at the overall record and pump the brakes. Teams are allowed bad nights, and we haven’t spent much time game planning against a Hood/Hill/Nance/Clarkson Cavs team

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  3. DannyQ3913

    Sixers management & medical above Coach Brown is a joke

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  4. The #1 overall pick as a G and they had to retool his shot to such a degree that he’s gotten hurt? Not a good sign, if true, regardless of his eventual health.

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