Atlantic Notes: DSJ, Knicks, Sixers, J. Green

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau believes the G League will be a great opportunity for Dennis Smith Jr. this season, according to Steve Popper of Newsday.

Smith reportedly asked to play in the G League due to receiving a lack of minutes, a wish that’s expected to be granted. The Knicks’ minor league affiliate team in Westchester is among 18 clubs attending the G League bubble this season, which is set to tip off on Feb. 10.

“I think the G League is a very valuable tool,” Thibodeau said. “I think you see it being used more and more by virtually every team in the league. It’s an opportunity, you can get obviously a lot out of practice, but I think playing time is important, also. So when we have those opportunities, we do want to utilize it. I think it will be great for him.”

Smith has only appeared in three games this season, logging a total of 28 minutes. The former No. 9 pick played 34 games with the team last season, averaging 5.5 points, 2.9 assists and 15.8 minutes per contest on 34% shooting.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic Division:

  • Thibodeau has a decision to make on the team’s starting point guard going forward, Popper examines in a different story for Newsday. New York must choose between veteran Elfrid Payton and rookie Immanuel Quickley, with Payton starting in the club’s first 20 games this season. Quickley has shown flashes of potential, however, averaging 11.6 points in 18.5 minutes per game off the bench. His current shooting marks sit at 39.5% from the floor and 38% from downtown.
  • Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer examines how many All-Stars the Sixers should have this season. Joel Embiid, who’s currently enjoying a career-best season to date, is widely expected to be named to his fourth All-Star Game, but Pompey ponders whether Ben Simmons or Tobias Harris could make cases of their own.
  • Brian Lewis of the New York Post examines the strong production Jeff Green has offered for the Nets. Green, a 13-year NBA veteran, has provided frontcourt depth as a starter and off the bench this season. The 34-year-old is averaging 8.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 25.2 minutes per game, shooting 55% from the field and 44% from three-point range. “He’s been outstanding,” head coach Steve Nash said as part of a larger quote. “He’s been great on the court, his versatility, his experience and his skill has been really important to us. [But] his maturity, his personality, his leadership, he’s really added a ton to our team in that respect.”
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27 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: DSJ, Knicks, Sixers, J. Green

  1. Lil_D_Top_3

    I would start Payton. He knows Quickley is on his back. Rewarding Quickley so quickly would demoralize Payton, and let Quickley think he’s made it. Make him keep working, let him get better, and let Payton learn to be a leader.

    • alproof

      Another couple of weeks to see if Quickley, who really looks great, has lit that desperation fire under Payton. I’d also like to see high-draft-pick Knox get some more time, or even a concentrated stint in the G-League to get him going. Toppin—healthy? What’s up with him?

    • buttholesurfer69

      Or just keep Elfrid as a starter and pump Quickley’s minutes so they play about half each

      Right now Efrid is 28mpg and Quick is 19mpg so not far off

  2. DarkSide830

    that Ben even has a case given how people talk about him on WIP shows how crazy critical this town if of him.

    • It’s pretty ridiculous.
      I believe it has to do with access.
      Ben gives very little to no access to himself.
      Many of the haters believe he’s soft.
      Many hate him because he dated a Kardashian.
      Many hate him because he doesn’t shoot more.
      And if he shot more, they would call him selfish.

      The morons will force him out of town then say “see, I told you he was soft!”

      • DarkSide830

        and then if he leaves and does well they will say “another player doing well elsewhere. fire everyone, they don’t get enough out of the players!”

  3. phillyballers

    Embiid is a given All Star. Tobias deserves consideration. Ben Simmons is not an All Star this year. Beal is my 1st guard. Harden, simply b/c hes technically in the East now. And I’d go Brown 3rd. And Trae Young after that.

    And on the other topic… Knicks need to puff up Payton and trade him and focus on Quickley. They’ve already wasted time on Ntilkina and DSJ.

    • Walladipo and Wood

      Harden may get in on past performance, like a lot of All-Stars usually do every year. But his scoring is down almost 10 PPG this season and he’s not exactly Mr. Popular with the voters. Obviously Beal gets in and probably Brown too, but the rest of the guards in the east are anyone’s guess.

      • Lil_D_Top_3

        Idk hasn’t he had like 3 triple doubles since he joined the nets? He may not have enough minutes but hes been playing well, dare say an all star level…

        • phillyballers

          He’s leading the league in Assists, Minutes Per Game, Top-20 in Points and PER. Hard not to include Harden as an AS in either the West/East.

  4. stevep-4

    Lavine deserves it this year. Vast improvement in shot selection and actually getting some assists thanks to Donovan’s ball-movement offense.

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    Smith should have been playing in G-league yrs ago. Like Thibs said and I’ve said for yrs. Only way to get better, In shape, healthy is by playing. You need gm mins. Good for Smith and a I hope it works out for him n us. Payton can be a solid backup PG for anyone. He is our starter for now. Quickly is not ready and should just concentrate on passing and running team. There’s no rush to throw him in there. I think Thibs eventually moves Payton, Nttilikina, Smith. We still need a traditional PG to make the offense better and work. We can’t have Randle leading in ast. We are one of worst passing team, team offense. I think they will move Randle. He’ll never have higher value than now. The LaVine stories I don’t believe. Bulls would be dumb to move him now. But Knicks do need a scorer like him. We need those 22-24 pts a gm you can count on. Especially if they move Randle. This way Toppin doesn’t feel the pressure to score. And can just develop. I’m pretty sure they will make a move. Just don’t want to rush into anything. We waited this long we can wait for right deal.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Green was a solid pickup. Nets still need to solidify their bench. A defensive big is what they need most now.

  7. Stoop Down Low

    Nice call by Smith Jr. opting for G league action over League no action. He has the hardest job on the court as an undersized point and he always faces the most competition for playing time. Going to G league will sharpen his game. Way to go Dennis.

  8. Northern Expansion 416

    Free DSJ. Why keep a guy if you are not going to play him??? So if a healthy player sits out he gets fined, but if a coach DNP’s a player due to a coaches decision, providing the player is not disciplined then nothing happens???

  9. buttholesurfer69

    Off the top of my head I can’t think of three more disappointing lotto picks on the same team than Knox/DSJ/Frank N.

    To have three lotto picks that are essentially unplayable even a few years in is some kind of bad luck

    (Realize they didnt draft DSJ but he was kind of a centerpiece of the KP trade)

    • phillyballers

      Since 2000: Markelle Fultz, Jhalil Okafor, MCW, Evan Turner… Pre 2000: Larry Hughes, Shawn Bradley. Those are the ones off the top of my head.

      Lot of terrible lottery picks among the tankers tho if you look at the picks. And before tanking was a “thing” the Clippers take the cake.

      Danny Ferry, Bo Kimble, Terry Dehere, Lamond Murray, Lorenzen Wright, Mo Tayler, Olowakandi, Darius Miles, Chris Wilcox and Melvin Ely, Yarsolav Korolev, Al Thornton. I mean just terrible drafting.

  10. Sensitive Fanboy

    I’d hold Quickley back still. He’s having success, let him have it. Tweak his game in the offseason if needed, start him next season.

    Why break him, or push him if he doesn’t need that just yet, and the club is in a position to be patient?

      • KnickerbockerAl

        RJ has been playing more SF under Thibs. I think he’s getting a good look there. It’s why they checked out LaVine. Our offense needs consistent scoring.

        • Sensitive Fanboy

          I like Barrett as a 3 ideally. He’s so capable at both positions defensively, when his shooting comes along, he is going to be a tough cover for anyone.

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