Atlantic Notes: Irving, Hayward, Brand, Fultz

Kyrie Irving is calming any concerns the Celtics may have about his condition heading into training camp, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Irving sat out the postseason after an operation to relieve an infection in his left knee, but has looked fully healthy in pickup games with teammates this month.

“He’s worked really hard,” coach Brad Stevens said after watching Irving. “I think he’s excited … it’s good to see that.”

Boston has two All-Stars returning from injury, with Gordon Hayward trying to complete his comeback from ankle surgery. Stevens, who plans a light workload for both players in terms of preseason minutes, said Hayward’s progress has been encouraging to watch.

“He’s been really diligent all the way through his rehab and progressing to each step,” Stevens said. “I watched him go all the way through the steps of working out to 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and now he can play some of the open gyms some of the guys are having.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Twenty-nine-year-old Celtics rookie Brad Wanamaker is trying to earn a spot on one of the deepest teams in the league, Blakely writes in a player profile. Wanamaker comes to Boston with a history of success, capturing all-league honors in the EuroLeague and Turkey and playing on championship teams in Germany, Turkey and the G League.
  • Elton Brand’s meteoric rise through the Sixers‘ front office may convince more franchises to take chances on former players in management roles, suggests Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago. After Brand’s 17-year playing career ended in 2016, he joined Philadelphia’s front office later that year as a player development consultant. He was named GM of the organization’s G League affiliate in Delaware in August of 2017, then was promoted to Sixers’ GM this week. Philadelphia will also continue its unique front office structure, with Brand and coach Brett Brown serving as partners on personnel decisions, which is an approach Walton believes may be adopted by other teams if it is successful.
  • Sixers guard Markelle Fultz talks about the mechanics of his jump shot and a frustrating rookie season in a Players Tribune video that was posted this morning. Fultz, who demonstrates his new shooting form, is joined on the video by Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas, who is also coming off a difficult season.
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12 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Irving, Hayward, Brand, Fultz

  1. Dionis

    Brad Stevens looks like a nerd lol, got to give to him though he’s a genius at basketball.

  2. Ptn18

    Fultz shooting was fine last summer. He lost it when the season started. Stress. He got his touch back. What happens if he stresses out again?

  3. meatmachine

    What the Sixers are doing are how most of the great soccer clubs are run. Coaches need to have a voice in personnel, they know the strengths and weaknesses of their team as well as anyone.

  4. cesc

    Fultz will be an all-star this year, even with the bad season became the youngest ever player to record a TD last season, something that JT & Mitchell didn’t. This year he is gonna be a beast, the 3rd guy to make Philly’s big 3.

  5. Guest617

    fultz’s confidence will be crushed when he plays against westbrook, kyrie, steph, cp3, dame, etc. he shud’ve stayed in school

  6. x%sure

    How can Brand/Brown (“Brownd”) be a model when they haven’t done anything yet?
    Ex-jocks are always overrated in promotion.

    If Embiid breaks, the whole Philly-process thing collapses.

    Fultz still shoots like a little kid. He has to be whyyyyyyd open to get his shot off.

    • dust44

      Whyd? Wide open. Have u ever played or know anything about Elton Brand? Dude went to Duke and got his degree from Duke. One of the smartest ball players in the last decade. And Ben Simmons is easily the most important player in Philly. Not Embiid. Embiid didn’t play back to backs last year and was on a minutes restriction and they still won a boat load of games. Fultz issues were from his muscle issues. Now that he’s fully healthy his jump shot should b ok. Dude can play. Don’t think he’s ever gunna b a top 25 shooter. He’s more of a slasher/scorer. Mitchell is going to b the best guy from that class, but Fultz shouldn’t b far behind him.

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