Eastern Notes: LeVert, Simmons, Embiid, Lamb, Bulls

With Kevin Durant set to return on Sunday and Kyrie Irving potentially returning next week, Nets head coach Steve Nash has to figure out what to do with Caris LeVert, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Durant had been sidelined due to the league’s health and safety protocols, while Irving continues to miss time due to personal reasons.

LeVert, widely considered to be the team’s third-best offensive option behind its star duo, has averaged 18.1 points and six assists in 27.2 minutes per game this season. The 26-year-old recently acknowledged that it’s easier to get into sync as a starter, though he hasn’t been given a consistent role to date.

“Yeah, the roles are definitely different when those guys are playing,” LeVert said, naming Irving and Durant. “Yeah, I think so. But for me, just working off the ball is definitely something I’ve worked on a lot this offseason, playing off of players, playing off the ball, playing that 2-man spot, that 3-man spot. That’s where I’ve really improved, and as the season progresses, I’ll be able to show that.”

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Sixers star Ben Simmons will miss Monday’s game against the Hawks due to a knee injury, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. He’ll continue receiving treatment and be listed as day-to-day going forward. Meanwhile, star center Joel Embiid (back soreness) is listed as probable, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne (Twitter link).
  • Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb will travel with the team on its upcoming road trip, Michael McCleary of the Indianapolis Star writes. Lamb, who’s recently been a full-practice participant, suffered a torn ACL in February of 2020, with head coach Nate Bjorkgren waiting for the “green light” to play him. “He’s getting close,” Bjorkgren said, “he’s getting very close to playing.” Indiana has upcoming games against the Kings on Monday, Warriors on Tuesday, Blazers on Thursday and Suns on Saturday.
  • The Bulls are hoping to return several protocol-impacted players soon, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago writes. As Schaefer notes, Chandler HutchisonTomas Satoransky, Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono haven’t been active in almost two weeks. “There’s nothing normal,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “Guys are pretty much just locked up in their rooms, there’s very very little anybody can do. The days are long for these guys. It’s just a lot different.”
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