Atlantic Notes: Larkin, Tatum, Lin, Eisley

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said the team is operating under the impression that injured guard Shane Larkin will be unavailable for the entire Eastern Conference finals, per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg (Twitter link).

Larkin missed Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Sixers with a left shoulder sprain. He was expected to be sidelined for the foreseeable future. However, Larkin said to NBC Sports that he still hopes to play in the upcoming series.

“I’m not ruling anything out,” Larkin said. “It’s still fresh, it’s still sore. I can’t really do much. It’s frustrating but you have to stay positive. It’s just an unfortunate thing.”

With injuries to Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart, Larkin saw an increased workload in the first round of the postseason and rotational minutes in the second round against the Sixers. The 25-year-old averaged just 14.4 minutes in 54 regular season games, posting 4.3 PPG. With Smart back in the fold, he and Terry Rozier figure to see an increased workload against the Cavs.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • With the drama in San Antonio involving Kawhi Leonard, there have been reports and speculation that if he is traded, the Celtics may be a strong possibility. The team has several young players to offer in a deal and Boston is always seeking upgrades. ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes that the Celtics are unlikely to deal Jayson Tatum straight-up for Leonard unless Boston gets a clean bill of health and long-term commitment from Leonard.
  • Most of the Nets roster got together for a workout in Los Angeles, Brian Lewis of the New York Post relays. The only players from this year’s team absent from the group workout included Nik Stauskas, Allen Crabbe, and Jahlil Okafor
  • Among current Knicks assistant coaches, Howard Eisley is being “strongly considered” for David Fizdale‘s coaching staff, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. One source tells Begley it’s even “highly likely” that Eisley is retained. However, no final decision has been made as Grizzlies assistant Keith Smart — who the Knicks recently got permission to interview — and Nick Van Exel remain strong possibilities to join Fizdale.
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