Atlantic Notes: Russell, Raptors, Tatum, Brown, Knicks

Nets guard D’Angelo Russell claims he’s moved on from his exit with the Lakers, now focused on leading his team to the playoffs this spring, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. The Lakers made a surprising move by trading Russell and center Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn in 2017, bringing in Brook Lopez and the rights to Kyle Kuzma.

“I don’t think there’s anything else to be said from my part,” Russell said, according to Bondy. “Whatever y’all decide to cook up. Whatever quote y’all take, expand on it, good luck with it. But I don’t have any extra emotion.”

Russell was named to his first ever NBA All-Star team this season, rapidly improving as a point guard with per-game averages of 20.2 points and 6.8 assists. His 43% shooting mark from the floor and 36% mark from 3-point range are also career-highs.

Russell has guided the Nets to a 36-34 record through 70 games, good for the sixth best record in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers, of course, wound up drafting Lonzo Ball to fill in for Russell as starting point guard. Los Angeles will host Brooklyn next Friday at Staples Center.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • The Raptors‘ success this year largely depends on what the bench can accomplish, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. Jeremy [Lin], Norm [Powell], OG [Anunoby], Patrick McCaw. What can they give us defensively, first and foremost, and then what can they limit mistake-wise offensively?” coach Nick Nurse said. “That’s what OG has done. He’s been pretty out of the way, mistake-free, made a few shots, made a few cuts gotten on the glass. Patrick McCaw, the same. I kind of like the decisions that Jeremy has made. He just hasn’t made enough of his shots. And Norman, we’ve got to limit the turnovers with that unit.”
  • The Celtics‘ young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are settling into their respective roles just in time, Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com writes. “We know what we’re capable of, and we were close to getting to the championship [last year],” Tatum said. “Now we’re trying to get over that hump and get there.” Boston badly needs the production from Tatum and Brown if they want to compete for a championship, with the team currently holding the fifth seed in the East one month before the playoffs.
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic examines where the Knicks stand entering the offseason, which includes June’s NBA Draft and the start of free agency in July. In addition to having a solid young core, the team will own a high-level draft pick and significant cap space to pursue star free agents on the open market.
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7 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Russell, Raptors, Tatum, Brown, Knicks

  1. CursedRangers

    The amount of young talent that the Lakers moved, or have let go, is pretty astounding. They could be scary good right now if they would have held on to some of their former players.

    • Toyin

      Yup. Lakers let go of a very young nucleus just to draft a a not so better younger nucleus and chase veteran free agents. If they let the young guys grow then they wouldve been veterans with experience.
      I dont understand why teams do get that logic. All young guys cant just step in the NBA and take over.
      It takes time for most players. Lakers took the Knicks blueprint.

    • D$!LLKU$H-og

      Exactly. Imagine Dlo, Randle, BI, Zubac, Bryant and if they planned on keeping Dlo then they absolutely would’ve taken Tatum 2nd overall. My Lord would that have been a nucleus to behold.

  2. benster04

    Sam Vecenie from the Athletic should have said the time he put into writing that article about the obvious facts that everyone knows and all of my is captured by and INSTEAD should have written how once again the Knicks will be left with no big time FA signings, the worst owner in all of sports Dolan, a big misfit box of toys called players, a coach that is all smoke and mirrors and his gimmick sucks and most of all another lost season in 2019-2020!

    • Exactly right. With a different owner and culture, the Knicks would be a desirable location. Young core, potential to get Zion at #1, enough space for two major free agents. Except everyone knows Dolan would meddle and destroy everything.

      If they get Zion, he’ll be traded within two years.

      • benster04

        the Knicks luck or lack there of is all on Dolan…he makes it an undesirable place to play…we won’t get Zion but maybe Barrett but regardless the pick we don’t have the veteran superstars to compete…Dolan’s lies are that he wants to win. in reality he is a multi millionaire who only cares about making more!

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