Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Durant, Irving, Fall, Knicks

Knicks guard Austin Rivers shined light on the importance of having available players this season, particularly as the league continues to navigate through a pandemic.

New York has mostly received good luck with COVID-19, while several teams (including the Heat and Celtics, who saw their game be postponed on Sunday) are unable to say the same. It’s a major reason why the team has a 5-4 record through the first nine contests of the season.

“The number one skill is availability,” Rivers said, as relayed by Steve Popper of Newsday. “If we can remain doing the things that we’re supposed to do — a lot of it has to do with just bad luck and good luck in terms of getting it. Some guys aren’t taking all the precautions. It’s a crazy thing. Some people touch something and end up getting it.

“With that being aside, if we do our job and we remain available, it gives us a chance to win every night and it gives us an advantage because you see a lot of teams having star players [out]. Just saw Tatum today with Boston go down. You get to see some of these teams missing some of their guys and if we’re fully loaded, it just gives us another advantage. So we’ve got to try to do our part.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Nets superstar Kevin Durant (health and safety protocols) will be available to play today against the Thunder, the team announced on social media. Star guard Kyrie Irving will miss another game due to personal reasons. A Nets win would give them a 6-5 record, while Oklahoma City is seeking its third straight victory.
  • Celtics center Tacko Fall has shown the team he’s ready for an increased role, Jared Weiss of The Athletic writes. Fall, 25, finished with four points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench in the team’s victory against Washington on Friday, logging 19 minutes. “Tacko’s gotten better since the first day that he got here,” teammate Jaylen Brown said. “He’s gotten better. His body has improved. His timing has improved. And he’s ready, as you’ve seen today. He came out, had a great game for us, defended, protected the rim, did everything we asked for, and that was just his first game. I think it’s only going to get better the more opportunity he gets.”
  • The Knicks have hired Nick Restifo to manage coaching analytics, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link). Restifo worked with head coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota as a basketball operations assistant, Vorkunov notes.
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22 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Durant, Irving, Fall, Knicks

  1. Curtisrowe

    It’s interesting to me the Kyrie thing isn’t a bigger story. If it was any other star in the league other than him taking time off because he didn’t like the state of the world people would notice.

    With Kyrie it’s like…

    • Black Ace57

      Imagine it in any other sport too. Imagine if a player went to Belichick or Tortorella or Francona and said “I’m not in the mood to play tonight” they would be in deep trouble. Most coddled adults in sports.

      • Lionel Muggeridge

        Belichick would lose his boot after kicking that player up the keister

    • I for one would support seeing “Kyrie Irving – DNP (personal reasons – studying the curvature of the Earth)” in a box score.

  2. Simmons>Russ

    Kyrie is so soft and I can see Durant becoming annoyed. Durant is soft himself a little bit and although they are mates, his main objective is to win and if Kyrie is over here taking days off cause he wants and saying stupid stuff then I can see him getting tired of it.
    Not to mention you have Jarrett Allen outperforming DeAndre Jordan and he’s going to hit FA. You have Dinwiddie who was close to 6th man of the year now out injured and going to hit FA and you overpaid Joe Harris.
    I can see Brooklyn having a huge locker room meltdown and it not working out.

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      The Nets should trade Kyrie to the Sixers for Tobias Harris.

    • Simmons>Russ

      If im the Nets I’d be looking at Kyrie for Harden.

      Harden and KD the two best scorers in the game plus a good supporting cast.
      Wouldn’t be much of an upgrade personality wise but like what teams stops both KD and Harden?
      Would flip Dinwiddie for Beverly (defence)

      Guard rotation of Beverly Harden and LeVert
      Forward rotation of Harris KD and Prince
      Centre rotation of Allen and Jordan

  3. Jason Lancaster

    Still can’t believe so many teams missed on drafting Fall – his advanced metrics for rebounding and blocked shots were off the charts.

    Sure, he was very raw, but second round picks are random noise anyways. Teams often throw them away on foreign players that will never report.

    The more drafts I see, the more I think NBA teams are drafting with a dartboard.

    Oh, and Thibs hiring his own analytics guy seems like a mistake.

    • Black Ace57

      I agree a lot with this, but I think sometimes teams deserve the benefit of the doubt if they aren’t in the place to develop them. For those type of guys you need spots on the roster and a lot of times it helps if you aren’t a contender so you can give them the development time. It is great though to see teams develop guys like Covington in Philly, Porter Jr in Denver, Fall in Boston, Van Fleet in Toronto, etc who get overlooked.

      • Jason Lancaster

        Some teams – like the Lakers – wanted to draft Fall, but didn’t have a 2nd round pick.

        Some teams – like Denver – didn’t have a pick in the 2019 draft, yet somehow managed to still get a high upside guy in the 2nd round.

        And Sacramento worked out Fall before using the 60th pick on a pro player in Serbia that has never set foot in the NBA.

        So, no. I don’t think it’s every team that missed on him. But a lot of teams did, and Boston is probably going to regret drafting Waters over Fall seeing as how Fall will be a UFA this summer.

    • Nobody missed on him (other than anyone that thought he’d be a good draft pick). Had he been a 2nd rounder, he’d have been an unsuccessful one (to date). Most 2nd rounders that come to the US have played more than 50 garbage minutes and have a real contract by their 2nd year (not still on a 2wc). If the Lakers thought he was worth a 2nd round pick, they’d have bought one and drafted him. Like every other team they decided he wasn’t worth one.

  4. metsie1

    Just imagine calling your boss and saying nah I don’t feel like it today. You would be as good as gone. No one puts up with that without a valid reason. No benefit of the doubt. Just get out.

    In the alternate reality that is professional sports your Coach and GM cover for you. Sometimes they even help with excuses. The media lectures you that just because the guy is making millions doesn’t mean he can’t have some “mental health” time. His teammates say he is our brother. We are with him! Amazing the coddled and privileged life the young wealthy athlete lives.

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    Yeah I’m surprised NY media is not digging into Kyrie missing gms. Nash is still backing him up saying it was ok. Watch when he comes back he’ll test positive. I’ve always said be careful who you sign as max players. At least Durant is playing well.

    Knicks have had nagging injuries. Thats depleted their team. But they also have shot terrible, and bad PG play. They came into yr knowing their shooting had to be upgraded. And their PG situation had to settled. Oh well ! we got till TD to figure it out.

  6. El Don

    One must love how Kyrie lives rent free in the head of all the “so called” hoops fans in here!
    Keep on hating, one day y’all learn some hoops!

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