Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Marks, Tatum, Irving

The Knicks need to keep on tanking to assure themselves a top five pick in the draft, Steve Popper of Newsday argues. The team with the worst record can’t fall any lower than the fifth pick under the new draft lottery rules, Popper notes, and the Suns currently hold that distinction after New York ended its 18-game losing streak. After the top five players, including Duke’s trio of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, there’s an apparent dropoff in talent. The team with the second-worst record has a 20% chance of falling to the No. 6 slot, Popper adds.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have made so much progress over the last three seasons under GM Sean Marks that they’re in play for top-level free agents, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Brooklyn has turned into a playoff-caliber team under Marks’ guidance. “Things surrounding the team probably look a lot more attractive to the outside,” Marks told Lewis. “We’re a more attractive destination. The young guys we know are going to be Nets for the foreseeable future, we’re proud of their development and that’s a pretty good foundation. People have taken notice and said, ‘Hey, I [could] play with that group.”
  • Boston hasn’t played like champions most of the season but one of its young stars says they’ll end up with the Larry O’Brien trophy. Jayson Tatum declared to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (hat tip to Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston) that the Celtics are going all the way. “We’re gonna win the Finals this year,” Tatum said. “Feb. 16, Jayson Tatum says (the Celtics) are going to win the Finals this year.”
  • Kyrie Irving agreed to some extent with Marcus Morris‘ criticism shortly before the All-Star break that the Celtics weren’t playing hard enough or having enough fun, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald relays. Boston won its last two games before the break after Morris’ comments. “Well, I mean, there was some truth into it,” Irving said. “You know, we obviously understand that we have a lot of talent in our locker room, so it’s been a lot to manage. But we’ve come out pretty successful — obviously not as successful as we would like to be, but that’s just overall the attitude that you have to have in order to win in this league.”
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16 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Marks, Tatum, Irving

  1. EvilDeadpool

    I’m happy with the Celtics keeping their picks & young talent. We have the best in that set up. If kyrie walks. Than he walks. Guys leave Boston & become nothing in the end. Well some made life after but not as much. When will players get it. Chemistry fellas.

    • Boston2AZ

      Completely agree. Had it last year. Don’t have it this year, especially during the playoffs. What’s the difference? Hmmmm?

  2. Black Ace57

    How much longer are people going to keep insisting the Celtics will turn things around? People have been saying it since the first week of the season and not much has changed. The team has a bad to mediocre record vs teams with winning teams or that are likely playoff bound. They are the 3rd or 4th best team in the East.

  3. DynamiteAdams

    How do you get the #1 overall pick and be just as bad if not worse then last year? Disgraceful.

      • Z-A

        Suns are trying to get 1 more top-level talent, just like the Sixers did with Fultz. Maybe it’ll work out for them. Maybe they’ll get another Bender, Len, Chriss, or Jackson. Ja Morant should be the guy if they land #2 or #3.

        I think everyone can agree Booker, Ayton, Warren, and Bridges are good. The rest of their team isn’t worth much and the Tyler Johnson trade is puzzling same with Oubre, it does nothing for them LT.

  4. x%sure

    Being a tanking fan, Popper must have been thrilled when KLove came back in time to beat his Knicks. By his logic, the Cavs should have held him out, esp vs a tanking competitor. But maybe the Knicks are the only club playing that game.

  5. Guest617

    raps/sixers got better at the trade deadline.. celt’s not so much. with an open roster spot they should had add someone?

    • whodatcoon

      Celtics are like a puzzle that just doesn’t fit together. I mean they got all these pieces, but most are less valuable than you think. When Kyrie walks, they basically have Tatum. That Hayward contact looks terrible and the other young guys are different levels of good, but the league is filled with good guys.

  6. dlevin11

    Hayward appears to have been much better in the last two games before the All Star break. The real Hayward would be a huge boost for C’s.

  7. Spike4christ

    Celtics can win without their best player not so much for Sixers, Bucks and Raptors. Playoffs is another thing. Kyrie has proven he can end a game.

  8. Stop with the stupid comments!! When was the last time an NBA championship was claimed by an also ran team with no super star???? Answer is NOPE! Kyrie is a beast and Boston needs Kyrie!

    • leostargensen

      Technically the 04 Pistons didn’t really have a superstar when they won the championship

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