Atlantic Notes: McConnell, Hayward, Nets, Embiid

Former Sixers guard T.J. McConnell returned to Philadelphia when the Pacers took on the team Saturday night, marking his first time playing in Wells Fargo Center since changing teams in free agency this past summer.

“It’s good being back, seeing all of the faces and all of the people you build a relationship with,” McConnell said, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s a lot of great people here, and I miss them.”

McConnell, 27, joined the Pacers on a two-year deal last summer after spending four seasons with the Sixers. He quickly earned the respect of his coaches and fans during his stint with Philadelphia, appearing in at least 75 games in each of his four campaigns.

“Starting here, winning 10 games,” he said of the team going 10-72 his rookie season. “Then, at the end of my tenure here, you are one shot away from going to the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s a pretty incredible journey that we went on.”

McConnell has provided consistency and professionalism for the Pacers during the 2019/20 season, averaging seven points, 4.7 assists and 17.4 minutes in 17 games thus far.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division today:

  • Celtics forward Gordon Hayward will have another meeting with his doctor on Monday to determine the next steps in his recovery process, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link). Hayward has missed the past three weeks due to a fractured hand, with his meeting on Monday set to take place over FaceTime, coach Brad Stevens said.
  • Sopan Deb of the New York Times examines how the Nets keep winning without three of their best players, detailing the strong teamwork, camaraderie and togetherness the group has shown in the wake of adversity. Brooklyn is currently without Kevin Durant (Achilles), Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Caris LeVert (thumb).
  • Sixers center Joel Embiid was fueled by his first-ever scoreless game against the Raptors last week, Erin McCarthy of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Embiid finished that game with zero points on 0-for-11 shooting, but bounced back in the contests that followed. He scored 33 points on Wednesday, 27 points on Friday and 32 points on Saturday.
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6 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: McConnell, Hayward, Nets, Embiid

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Signing Hayward for $128M has been a disaster for Boston.

    Of course injuries like his are impossible to predict, but they will be stuck paying him another $34M next season. Poor Celtics.

    • I don’t like the Celtics and really dislike their fans but Hayward is giving them more production than Russ.

      Hayward: 19/7/4 on 55% 44% and 84%
      Russ: 22/7.5/7 on 43% 23% and 72%

      Not to mention Russ takes 5 more shots than Hayward takes has double the turnovers and double the fouls.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Criticizing the Hayward contact is bizarre. There was a list of teams ready to offer Hayward the same exact deal.

      By definition, the guy got paid exactly what he was worth. It’s a market contract, so it’s not any more of a disaster than signing a veteran to a minimum deal and losing them to injury. Injuries are part of the game.

  2. Even at the time the deal was suspect. Like really suspect. Dude put up decent numbers for a wing player but really only had one well above average year offensively (never heard nor thought much of his of defense, always seemed capable but never struck me as a particular strength). The two years before that his shooting was somewhat pedestrian, league average more or less, and then when i think about the makeup of those Jazz teams and the lack of offensive creators they had on the perimeter/wing, its all a little “meh” too me. Like meh you really couldnt pad those stats a lil more? Wasnt a fan of the kemba signing either but heck even he was doing just that in Charlotte and seems to be marketly better return on investment so far.

  3. Celtics should trade Hayward while he still has value. He started the season really strong but he just isn’t worth that pay check.

    I’d swap
    Celtics: Aaron Gordon + Dwayne Dedmon
    Kings: Gordon Hayward + Mo Bamba
    Magic: Harrison Barnes + Romeo Langford + 2 second rounders from the Celtics.

    Celtics get the future and present PF that suits the team and Tatum. They also get Dwayne Dedmon and a rim protecting centre that can space the floor and some picks.
    Kings get rid of Barnes huge deal but have to take on Hayward’s bigger deal. Hayward gives them more production and his deal is less long. They also get Mo Bamba to replace Dedmon and he and Bagley create the future bigs for this team.
    Magic get Harrison Barnes who suits letting Jonathan Issac play PF. He can defend well, shoot it from deep better than Gordon and suits the 3 spot better. Plus the team gets Romeo Langford as a back up to Evan Fournier and some picks.

    Celtics improve defensively with Dedmon and Gordon improves as a player under Brad Stevens. Brown Tatum and Gordon form a nice young trio. Edwards Smart Theis and Kanter make a nice bench. Kings look a lot younger and promising with Fox Heild Hayward Bagley and Bamba. Magic definitely make the playoffs in the East and look good defensively with Barnes Issacs and Aminu.

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