Atlantic Notes: Banton, Raptors Bench, Horford, Brogdon

With several starters out of the Raptors lineup, Dalano Banton erupted for a career-high 27 points in a victory at Detroit on Monday. The 2021 second-rounder displayed his growth during that performance, Michael Grange of writes.

“He obviously scored it really well,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “He is kind of naturally a point guard but when we have other lineups in there, we like having him off the ball so he’s not under so much duress to make plays all the time. I think sprinkling him on and off the ball helps him set some people up. And obviously he’s shooting the ball really well this year, when he’s catching and faced up, you’re expecting him to make them now, which is a huge step forward for him.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors’ early-season injuries might be a blessing in disguise, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports opines. Nurse has generally leaned heavily on his starters and used a tight rotation since becoming the head coach but now he’s gaining more trust in his bench.
  • Al Horford becomes a free agent next summer and wants to finish out his career with the Celtics, Steve Bulpett of reports. Horford gave an emphatic ‘Yes’ when asked if he wanted to stay in Boston. The 36-year-old forward also feels he has at least a couple more years left. “I’ve thought about it,” he said. “I want to keep playing for two, three more years, for sure.”
  • Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has missed the last three games due to right hamstring soreness, is listed as questionable to play against Atlanta on Wednesday, Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets.
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