Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Brunson, Robinson, Stoudamire

Even after emerging as the new betting favorite to win this season’s MVP award, Sixers center Joel Embiid believes he can still take his game to another level this spring, as he tells Spencer Davies of

“I don’t think I’m at my best yet. I think I’m trending towards that. I think I’ve got a lot more to give,” Embiid said. “Defensively, I’m getting there. I’m getting back to myself. Usually, I take another step in the playoffs.”

Embiid’s eye-popping numbers this season include a league-leading 33.5 points per game on .546/.355/.855 shooting. The Sixers have a plus-8.8 net rating when he’s on the court, compared to a minus-0.1 mark when he’s off it.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson, who missed five of the team’s last six games due to what he described as a bone bruise in his left foot, didn’t miss a beat in his return to action on Saturday, scoring 24 points to lead the team to a comeback win over Denver, writes Ethan Sears of The New York Post.
  • Following Saturday’s win, Knicks center Mitchell Robinson wasn’t interested in talking about the Snapchat posts he made on Tuesday griping about his role, telling reporters that he’s “moving forward.” As Sears relays for The Post, Robinson explained on Instagram on Friday that his outburst was related to off-court family issues, and his teammates seemed unbothered by his Snapchat content. “We’re all brothers, so we kinda even joked about it on the plane a little bit,” Immanuel Quickley said. “Mitch, he’s a great guy off the floor. Obviously I think everybody knows that. He’s like, a character. He can be funny and outgoing a little bit. “So we understand who Mitch is and we told him, any time we can help you get the ball a little bit more, we’re gonna try to do that.”
  • Speaking to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, Damon Stoudamire said it wasn’t easy to leave his position as a Celtics assistant as the season enters the home stretch and that he has “nothing but great memories” of his time in Boston. However, he felt he couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to become Georgia Tech’s new head coach. “I think this is an opportunity for me to just see where I stand,” Stoudamire said. “I always want an opportunity on this stage to test who I am, not only as a coach, but test my character, perseverance, and toughness.”
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