Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Irving, Knicks, Sixers

It was just yesterday that we were relaying the latest stories on the dysfunction in Boston, including Jaylen Brown‘s comments from earlier this week on the “toxic” environment created by the Celtics‘ losing. Just 24 hours later, the team appears to be in a better place – at least for now – after hammering the defending champions in Golden State.

Asked about the difference between Tuesday’s showing and some of the Celtics’ other recent performances, Kyrie Irving suggested that a long cross-country flight to the Bay Area provided a good bonding opportunity for the club.

“That long plane ride helped us out,” the Celtics’ star point guard said, per Tim Bontemps of “I’ll just say that. That long plane ride helped us out. We needed it. It was just we were going to get to a point where we were just going to get tired of fighting each other, fighting the outside world. And it doesn’t even really matter. So, we just wanted to come out here and just play basketball. This is our sanctuary. And we have to do everything to protect it. We can’t let anybody infiltrate it.”

While we wait to see whether the C’s can build on Tuesday’s win going forward, let’s round up a few more items from around the Atlantic…

  • If the Knicks‘ offseason plan involves aggressively pursuing Kyrie Irving, the drama in Boston this season has to be viewed as a potential red flag, Mike Vaccaro argues in a column for The New York Post.
  • Count Clippers head coach Doc Rivers among those who believes the trade sending Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas was the right move for the Knicks, as Marc Berman of The New York Post details. “I think they know what they’re doing,” Rivers said of the Knicks. “Who knows why, but I have a feeling they know what they’re doing. Porzingis said he didn’t want to be there. I get that. If you want to be with the team, great. If you don’t … I thought [president of basketball operations] Steve [Mills] and [GM] Scott [Perry] handled it very well.”
  • Tim Bontemps of examines the challenge facing Sixers head coach Brett Brown, who has been tasked with incorporating a pair of newly-acquired stars and developing strong team chemistry within a short window.
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