Atlantic Notes: Tatum, Raptors, Barnes, Robinson

Jayson Tatum is exasperated by his shooting slump and the Celtics are suffering along with him, Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes. In the first year of a five-year, $163MM extension, Tatum has missed his last 20 three-point attempts. His last miss contributed to a late collapse against Portland on Friday.

“It hurts,” he said. “It bothers you, as it should. But you can’t go back in time. It’s just get back in the gym, watch some film, learn from your mistakes, and try to improve on them.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors intend to be buyers on the trade market, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Ideally, they’d like to add a player, or players, that fit their short- and long-term plans without breaking up their core. Otherwise, they’d be willing to trade future assets, such as first- or second-round picks, to address immediate needs and improve their prospects for this season.
  • The Raptors want rookie Scottie Barnes to be more assertive on the offensive end, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. He did that on Friday, scoring a season-high 27 points. “I just think that Scottie’s a good player who can score, I think he needs to just make sure he stays in that mindset of being aggressive,” coach Nick Nurse said. “I’m just trying to get him to be ultra-aggressive. That’s it. I don’t want him to have those lulls where he’s not looking to score or not touching the ball or finding the ball.”
  • The Knicks have lost three straight but coach Tom Thibodeau sees growth from center Mitchell Robinson, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds against New Orleans on Thursday, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Robinson will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. “I think he’s become very effective with dribble-handoffs,” the Knicks coach said. “I love the way he’s finishing. And then putting the pressure on the rim, that’s always been a gift. And you throw it near the rim, he’s got great hands. He’s going to get it and finish. You just continue to grow.”
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