Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Celtics, Watson, Nets

New Sixers head coach Doc Rivers will have to carefully navigate the workload of injury-prone All-Star center Joel Embiid, Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. Rivers signed a five-year contract with the club last week.

Load management became a crucial tool for Rivers this past season with the Clippers, as he strove to tacitly limit the minutes and games played by stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George so that the forwards could be healthy for the playoffs. He discussed his approach with the Sixers in a Zoom call with reporters on Monday. “Load management is so individual-based,” Rivers said. “Every team has to deal with it, and we’ll have to deal with it here, and we’ll probably figure it out.”

There’s more out of the NBA’s Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics enjoyed a relatively successful 2019/20 season, as free agent addition Kemba Walker joined rising star forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to take Boston to the Eastern Conference Finals. John Hollinger of The Athletic examines the upcoming roster and luxury tax challenges confronting team president Danny Ainge in the 2020 offseason. The team could be in line for a $23MM luxury tax penalty with its extant on-court personnel, even before making any offseason additions.
  • Raptors shooting guard Paul Watson, currently on a two-way contract, could be the next development success story for team president Masai Ujiri and the Toronto front office, according to Alex Nino Gheciu and Alex Narvaez of Complex.“He’s gonna be part of our future from what I can see so far,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of the 25-year-old.
  • NetsDaily.com takes a look at the potential assistant coaches who could be joining newly-minted Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash on the sidelines. The team currently has five assistant coaches from interim head coach Jacque Vaughn‘s 2019/20 staff, including Vaughn himself. Hornets lead assistant coach Jay Triano, G League executive Rod Strickland, Lakers assistant Phil Handy, and Thunder assistant Brian Keefe could all be in the mix.

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