Atlantic Notes: Siakam, Milton, Niang, Toppin, Harris

Raptors star big man Pascal Siakam, who has been sidelined with a right adductor strain since November 4, was cleared for contact and fully participated in a team practice on Friday, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (via Twitter).

Lewenberg tweets that Siakam feels that he is improving daily, and remains deferential to Toronto’s medical staff when it comes to managing his ailment.

Toronto has upgraded Siakam’s status to questionable ahead of the team’s game against the Cavaliers on Monday night, reports Marc Stein (Twitter link). If Siakam is determined to be not quite ready for Monday’s game, he could return to the floor against the Pelicans on Wednesday, Lewenberg adds.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers reserves Shake Milton and Georges Niang, both of whom will be unrestricted free agents in 2023, have been playing well in the absence of injured Philadelphia stars James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid, writes Kyle Neubeck of Neubeck notes that Milton, who hadn’t received much playing time of late, has exhibited an enticing display of scoring, ball-handling, and off-ball defense as a fill-in starter that could earn him more minutes long-term. Neubeck adds that Niang’s reliable three-point shot has opened up the team’s offense when he plays.
  • Knicks backup power forward Obi Toppin is hoping to return to his early-season long-range shooting form, per Peter Botte of The New York Post. “I feel like I’m still taking the right shots, it’s just not falling,” Toppin told Botte following a practice on Saturday. “I’m just in a little lull right now, and I’m gonna break out of that real soon. Have to start hitting shots again, and continue making the right plays. But I know I don’t have to shoot good to play good.” Toppin has shot just 16.7% from deep in his last five games. The 6’9″ big man had made 42.4% of his triples during New York’s first 14 contests.
  • Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris has seen his minutes reduced as his three-point shooting takes a dip, according to Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. Harris has shot just 2-of-16 from the floor across his last three Brooklyn games. “We really shortened the rotation,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said. Only eight Nets players logged for 10 minutes or more in a 128-117 Friday loss to the Pacers. At 12:02, Harris played the fewest minutes among that top eight.
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