Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Simmons, Nets, Randle, Knicks

Sixers star Tobias Harris defended Ben Simmons‘ recent decision to remain inactive, explaining that it’s important to support Simmons as he privately addresses his situation, Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes.

Simmons addressed the team in a meeting this week that Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer referred to as a “step in the right direction.” The 25-year-old hasn’t appeared in either of the club’s two games due to his ongoing trade request, and his status for future games is unclear.

“I think it’s obviously a good start,” Harris said as part of a larger quote, according to Bontemps. “But as I said, at this time we have to respect his privacy, his space, and we’ve got to be there for him, with what he’s going through and this process.

“It’s easy to look at something on the surface and come to assumptions on a lot of things, especially athletes. In general in this space we’re depicted as superhumans, and you’re not really supposed to have feelings or go through anything. So I think we just have to really understand he’s a human first, and if he’s going through something at times, we have to respect that and go through that as a team, organization, fans, all the way down the line.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division today:

  • The Nets reverted back to small-ball in the team’s victory over the Sixers on Friday, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Brooklyn found success with a lineup that featured Kevin Durant at power forward and LaMarcus Aldridge at center, helping secure a 114-109 road victory. Durant finished with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, while Aldridge recorded 23 points in less than 23 minutes.
  • Knicks star Julius Randle is considering fighting the $15K fine he received for tossing the ball into the crowd after a win this week, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “We’ll see what happens,’’ Randle said. “I didn’t know it was a thing, but it’s fine. That’s really all it was – more celebrating. I didn’t toss it anywhere or in any direction or trying to do anything. It was emotions. Excitement from the first game. And I was happy it was over with. It was two overtimes. Everybody was exhausted.’’
  • The Knicks‘ decision to add more three-point shooting has benefited the team thus far, Ian Begley of SNYtv writes. New York made a franchise-record 24 threes in its victory over Orlando on Friday, receiving strong contributions from newcomers Kemba Walker (3-for-5) and Evan Fournier (4-for-9).
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