New York Notes: Robinson, Brunson, Nets’ Small Ball, Simmons

After Mitchell Robinson vented about his role on social media, coach Tom Thibodeau and guard Jalen Brunson spoke to the Knicks center privately, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Another of the Knicks’ big men — Isaiah Hartenstein — said Robinson hasn’t allowed his frustration to seep into the locker room and onto the court. “It’s not like he’s coming into practice b—-ing,” Hartenstein said. “He’s always there. He’s always interactive. He’s always been a good teammate.”

We have more on the New York teams:

  • Speaking of Brunson, he hasn’t played since March 9 due to what the team describes as a sore left foot. However, Brunson himself calls it a bone bruise, Katz tweets. Brunson went through a full practice on Friday and is listed as questionable against Denver on Saturday.
  • The Nets have gotten stellar results from their small lineup, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. Lacking a backup big, Dorian Finney-Smith has been playing center with Royce O’Neale at power forward when Nic Claxton rests. That small-ball unit has produced a plus-13.5 net rating. “It allows us to fly around,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “If you don’t cover for each other, we’ll get punished: We’ll get punished on the glass, we’ll get punished just by overall strength and the size of dudes that you have to guard. So (you’ve seen) us fly around, cover for each other, really have a tight shell and be in the right spots.”
  • Klutch Sports negotiated Ben Simmons‘ five-year, $177MM extension in 2019 before he was traded to the Nets. Now, the agency and Simmons are parting ways, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN tweets. The enigmatic Simmons is expected to hire veteran agent Bernie Lee, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. Simmons hasn’t played since Feb. 15 due to a knee injury.
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