Atlantic Notes: Hollis-Jefferson, Celtics, Smart, Sixers

Raptors forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is finally making the most of his time during his first season with the organization, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports writes.

Hollis-Jefferson, who signed a one-year deal with Toronto this past summer in free agency, had a slow start to the 2019/20 campaign. His poor play in training camp caused some within the franchise to worry, but the 24-year-old has given strong performances over the last week — including a 16-point, 11-rebound outing in a win against Portland on Wednesday.

“It was tough,” Hollis-Jefferson said of his slow start, as relayed by Lewenberg. “I’m human, I have feelings and I’m a competitor. I’m emotional, I wear my heart on my sleeve, so it was definitely tough. People will tell you that. I’m not one to shy away from it but for the most part I always thought about my (1-year-old) son (Rylen). Just what he would think and how he would feel if he were older. So that kind of helped me get over it. And then just talking to guys. There are some great guys in here who understand the grind and the situation. When you have good people around it makes life a little bit easier.”

Hollis-Jefferson, a proven physical defender at 6’6″, 217 pounds, is expected to be a key cog in the team’s rotation going forward. For his career, he averages 9.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 23.6 minutes per game.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Patrick Dunne of NBC Sports Boston examines the historical significance of the Celtics’ 10-game win streak, which was ended by Sacramento on Sunday night. Boston has lost just two games this season, dominating teams on both ends of the floor despite dealing with various injuries. This was the team’s 29th time achieving a win streak greater than 10 games.
  • It’s time to stop acting surprised about the improved three-point shooting from Celtics guard Marcus Smart, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston opines. Smart posted a career-high in three-point percentage last season (36.4%), with his average gradually improving since his sophomore season in 2015-16. He’s connected on 31 of 76 attempts from behind-the-arc in 11 games this year (41%).
  • The early struggles for the Sixers are baffling for fans and team staffers alike, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “If you’re sick and you don’t know why, then that’s a problem,” coach Brett Brown said after the team lost in Oklahoma City on Friday. “We’re in a tough spot right now. But it’s a long year. I think it doesn’t take much for me to understand where we have to get better, and it’s really that simple.” On the plus side for Philadelphia, the Sixers dominated the Cavs 114-95 on Sunday to extend their record to 8-5.
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7 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Hollis-Jefferson, Celtics, Smart, Sixers

  1. formerlyz

    One thing hurting philly is being 6% worse from the FT line, which is a pretty big difference. Their depth also hasnt played too well, probably b/c of their youth. Maybe move someone to the bench, either Al or Tobias, and try to create more balance on the floor. I felt this would be an issue at some point, but they’re versatile enough to figure it out.

    • dynasty in boston

      76ers just aren’t that good. They have NO depth. Years and years of tanking can do only so much.

      The franchise as a whole is a joke. They’ve been around forever with three rings, the last one in 1983.

      • I give no fox

        Only 11 teams have won a title since the last sixers title in 1983. That means there are 18 “joke” franchises that are worse based on your logic. Keep on hating all you want

  2. Brown Trout Fisherman

    Nice troll job Dynasty. What exactly have the Celtics won lately? Sixers could use more development amongst the “shooters” but are ffffffaaaarrrrr from a joke— see Knicks

    • dynasty in boston

      Rings in 2008, 17 in total. Best team in the league right now, and they aren’t yet at their peak.

      Please do tell me about the last rings your pitiful excuse of a franchise took home

  3. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Brett Brown is always in a tough spot, it is always the same old song. He is a turrible coach

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