Atlantic Notes: Nets Injuries, Brown, Raptors, Celtics

Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant remains out for Thursday’s scheduled bout against the Magic, Malika Andrews of ESPN tweets. Durant has suited up for just three games this month, having missed action both as a result of COVID-19 health and safety protocols and – more recently – a left hamstring strain.

Versatile Nets forward Jeff Green will join Durant on the sidelines tonight for a second straight game, as he continues to recover from a shoulder contusion, Andrews mentions in a separate tweet. Guard Landry Shamet is questionable with a chest contusion, Andrews adds. Small forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, listed as questionable yesterday, is now available for tonight, Andrews tweets.

All these absences haven’t slowed down Brooklyn so far: the team is currently riding a season-high seven-game win streak. Of course, the fact that the Nets still have two other All-Stars available in James Harden and Kyrie Irving has helped them weather the storm of other rotation player absences.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The frontcourt-depleted Nets have found success in using athletic 6’4″ guard Bruce Brown as a de facto center in some lineups, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “The guy mostly played point guard last year, and he’s playing — what do you want to call him?” head coach Steve Nash wondered. “Our center? He’s picking and rolling and finishing with two bigs in the lane. His willingness and ability to do that is remarkable.”
  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic wonders whether adding a more effective traditional center than Aron Baynes is the most crucial roster need for the Raptors, should they be buyers at next month’s trade deadline. The team has thrived in small-ball lineups, and could possibly maximize trade leverage by being receptive to adding wings and forwards as well as a center, Murphy opines. What team president Masai Ujiri, himself a potential free agent this summer, decides to do remains in flux. The team is apparently open to sending longtime point guard Kyle Lowry to a contender. Toronto’s 16-17 record currently has the club slotted as a solid-but-unspectacular No. 5 seed in the East, but there is significant parity beneath the conference’s three best teams. Only 4.5 games separate the fourth-seeded Pacers from the current No. 14 seed, the Cavaliers.
  • Though Celtics team president Danny Ainge and owner Wyc Grousbeck both appear open to waiting until as late as the 2021 offseason to exercise the $28.5MM traded player exception they acquired in exchange for now-Hornets forward Gordon Hayward in 2020, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston cautions that such an approach could be risky.
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13 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Nets Injuries, Brown, Raptors, Celtics

  1. Sillivan

    John Collins age and position are the perfect match for Tatum and Brown

    Walker is overpaid

  2. Sillivan

    Excluding the 2020 and 2021 all stars
    I reviewed all 70 players annual salary $12 million or more

    63 players are overpaid

    I don’t want to give you the list because I hope you to think about it
    IMO
    Only 7 of them are not overpaid

    • Marty McRae

      Your opinion isn’t fact. All players are underpaid vs the profit they bring in.

    • Jeff Zanghi

      I reviewed all 100 players making over $10.2M and 77 of them are overpaid. Then I reviewed all 2578 players in the past 10 years making $12M who also had a tattoo vs the 356 players who wore headbands and they were all overpaid too… but I’m not going to tell you anything else because I want you to think about it… lol what does your post even mean!?!? Like based on WHAT!?!?! and for what purpose!?!?! This comment just doesn’t really make much sense… nevermind that this post is about injuries and the Celtics trade exception and has nothing to do with $12M players being over or under paid…

      • andremets

        After I read your comment, I was like, “damn, he’s right. That other comment was so stupid, it’s like someone was imitating Sullivan.”. Then I went back and realized…it was of course Sullivan.

  3. Marty McRae

    I thought “big men were back” and 2021 was “the return of the big man”?? but Nash and Kerr have their teams over .500 after both regularly playing 6’6″ and 6’4″ players at Center, lol NBA media is so silly…

      • WallyWood

        And it’s a far cry from the 5 more consecutive trips to the Finals that he eventually gave up on after realizing how ridiculous a prediction it was. They will have no choice in 2022 other than doing exactly what OKC did last year and blow up the team. Steph will be a free agent so their hardest task will be ridding themselves of Draymond.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    .500 is nice for Knicks in Thibs 1st yr. Good win tonight against Kings. Bench came thru. Really wouldn’t mind Drummond for rest of yr. Just to see what we got.

  5. Buckman

    Small Ball lineups have yet to win a championship so right now it feels like more of strategy from necessity rather than something that exploits a league wide weakness. Should teams make this their main way to play by actively shuffling their roster? Seems like folly.

  6. silhouettesaloon

    Can’t wait until my strategy of running 15x centers on a roster is embraced by the league and each team wins a championship every year for the next 20 years

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