Atlantic Notes: Simmons, Embiid, Johnson, Watanabe, Knicks

Ben Simmons is keeping a positive attitude — at least publicly — despite the knowledge the Sixers were willing to deal him to acquire James Harden, according to Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Simmons had a triple-double against Miami on Thursday. “I am blessed. I get to play the game I love every day at the highest level in the world, so there’s far worse things going on in the world,” he said. “So I’m in a blessed position. If you tell me I’ll never play the game again, that would be a different story.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers center Joel Embiid will miss the next two games due to right knee discomfort, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Embiid won’t join the team during its road trip to Memphis and Oklahoma City. Embiid only played 24 minutes and was held to nine points and five rebounds against Miami on Thursday.
  • Stanley Johnson and Yuta Watanabe provided a defensive spark for the Raptors on Thursday and could be in line for bigger roles, according to TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. Johnson, who becomes a free agent after the season, played 21 minutes and Watanabe, who earned a two-way contract in training camp, played 15 against Charlotte. “They did a great job of just playing hard,” coach Nick Nurse said. “They were keeping balls alive, they were jarring balls loose on the defensive end, they were limiting them to one shot.”
  • The Knicks shouldn’t deviate from their rebuilding plan despite the splashy moves made by the cross-town Nets, Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post opines. The Knicks are playing harder under new coach Tom Thibodeau and they will get healthier and continue to improve as long as they exercise patience.
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20 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Simmons, Embiid, Johnson, Watanabe, Knicks

  1. The Howler

    Buck up Ben and do what DiVincenzo did when MIL traded him for Bogdan…come out and kick a** and show them how stupid that trade would have been.

  2. Walladipo and Wood

    Simmons should be flattered his team thought he was worth trading for Harden.

  3. Simmons>Russ

    Embiid is a huge loss considering he’s playing like a MVP candidate so far but lucky we have quality back ups in Dwight Howard and Tony Bradley.

    Should try a line up around Simmons with Harris playing small ball 5 with Simmons Maxey Green and Milton.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Howard can hold it down for two gms. Great pickup
    Knicks need to get healthy. Their shooting woes come and go. But the absence of a real PG always shows. Quickly was a great find. We need a general to run offense and get ast. Quickly is still young. So it’s either trade for one. Find one in FA. Or find one in draft. Till then we will always be up and down.

    • formerlyz

      Quickley is a good fit as a catch and shoot option and secondary/third playmaker playing off Randle and RJ Barrett…I liked him right in that range he was drafted as a fit for a team like the Lakers, had they kept their pick

    • Walladipo and Wood

      First of all the Rockets haven’t been a lottery team for 9 years, a longer stretch than any other team in the NBA, and that probably won’t change any time soon. However, even though they won’t have the MVP this season Wood is an extremely strong candidate for most-improved player. And Jae’Sean Tate is playing about as well as any other rookie this season, but won’t get the attention he deserves because no one knows who he is (yet).

  5. Sillivan

    For a huge city like New York or Houston
    The exercise patience is an excuse

    You don’t do full rebuild
    You do partial rebuild
    Full rebuild means tank

  6. Marty McRae

    It’s part of the game and means nothing, every single player in the league is always mentioned in trades, whether it makes the press or not.

  7. formerlyz

    Toronto going to more lineups with Siakam at the 5 has been helpful for them. They had gone away from that previously, but their roster calls for it now, and they can also go to some really strong defensive lineups, with Boucher in that spot as well…Baynes and Len havent worked out for them in that spot, so that might be an areas where they need someone, but they still need shooting at the 2/3 spot

  8. phillyballers

    I don’t think there is a great player available for Ben Simmons trade at this point. Will he improve his game before another becomes available idk. I’m still on the Simmons bandwagon but Harden wasn’t that dude to trade for. Too old.

    • PhillyPhan69

      Yeah, I imagine he would return a good value player perhaps +assets…but there are very few I would trade him for. I am probably Ben’s biggest supporter in Philly. To me – the shot he does everything else at a high level. Watching the last game I am reminded of him drawing a triple team on a drive where he kicks to an open Scott for a 3. For all the talk of him not shooting he still opens the floor for everyone else and his vision, court awareness and passing combined with defensive versatility, he can guard 1-5 although small quick guards can trouble him, and he is not great playing the 5 exclusively (fortunately he does not need to) but he can switch there on most assignments if called for. Him and Jo look great together and I wouldn’t break them up right now.

      • Simmons>Russ

        100% Simmons does so much at a great level, his driving, passing, defending and so on that it makes up for his lack of a shot. If he ever develops the shot which I think he will eventually then he’s going to be a complete player and be able to put up Giannis like numbers. However right now we don’t need that. He’s doing his Hof really well and the offence for once is built nicely around him and Jo. Think Doc Rivers has done an excellent job so far in getting the minds of the players motivated and confident. He also built better rotations which has the team playing better on the court. Having Brett Brown leave was huge to making the Sixers better.

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    Ben is one of top 5 two way players in gm. We all know his shot needs to get better. Needs consistency right. But he’s got to shoot more. He still doesn’t look to shoot. That’s an issue to me. It’s why I put him on the wing. Take him off the point. He will get better looks. Ben is a 16, 8, 8 career guy. On the wing he’s probably a 20, 10 reb, 7ast guy. His FT% has gone up a bit to .62%. Best way to see a player improving his shooting is his FT%. Ben is 24 and this is his THIRD yr playing. He’s almost avg a triple double for his career. You have to be nuts to trade him for an
    “Overweight Lover” (loves strip clubs). I say give Doc a chance to help Ben. If it was me I put Ben on the wing. And get a PG, a scoring PG would be best. I let Milton play the point. Even Seth, Try and get Lowry at TD. Ben is a great passer. You can let someone else run the point. Ben is not Magic at running team. He is more dangerous on offense with a guard getting him the ball. I also bet you his shot will improve. Both he and Tobias can play 3-4. You’ve never really had that on a starting 5.

    • Simmons>Russ

      If you watched games you’d see Simmons largely play the SF role plus handle the ball with Curry and Green the guards. Sometimes they have Green play the 3 and sometimes it’s Simmons but in all who really cares. They are winning games and that’s what matters most

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