Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Nets, Bridges, Knicks

The Raptors made a change to their starting five on Wednesday, inserting Gary Trent Jr. into the lineup in place of Dennis Schröder. As Blake Murphy of writes, the previous starters are the only five-man group in the NBA this season that has played at least 175 minutes and been outscored, so a change was overdue.

While the new starting lineup was technically outscored in 10 minutes of action on Wednesday, forwards Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby looked more comfortable operating with additional space on the floor and each scored 20-plus points en route to a blowout victory over Washington. Schröder also thrived in his new role off the bench — he was a game-high +29 in his 28 minutes, dishing 10 assists to go along with his nine points.

Head coach Darko Rajakovic said the new lineup isn’t set in stone, notes Josh Lewenberg of, but it should give the Raptors more information on their roster as the trade deadline approaches. As Lewenberg outlines, the team will get to see whether Barnes and Siakam fit better together with another shooter on the floor, as well as evaluating whether Barnes can hold his own operating as the primary play-maker without a point guard alongside him.

According to Lewenberg, the Raptors don’t really have the personnel to play the way that Rajakovic would like to, so he’ll have to be flexible in his philosophies in order to adapt to this roster — the starting lineup tweak, which he long resisted, is a reflection of that.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Nets essentially punted away Wednesday’s game vs. Milwaukee, the second in a back-to-back set, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. In addition to holding out starters Cameron Johnson, Nic Claxton, and Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn didn’t use Mikal Bridges, Royce O’Neale, or Cam Thomas after the first quarter, giving them a de facto rest day too. “I’ve got to think short term and long term and make executive decisions for the betterment of the group,” Vaughn told reporters ahead of the 144-122 loss. “So that’s where we’re at tonight. Just being smart about what is presented in front of us.”
  • The Nets‘ plan on Wednesday didn’t sit particularly well with Bridges, who extended his games played streak to 423 despite only logging 12 minutes, all in the first quarter, Braziller writes for The New York Post. Bridges said he didn’t want to “just get in there for the streak,” adding that he’s healthy and would’ve been fine playing more. “Didn’t like the choice and whatever that was. But it’s whatever,” Bridges said. “Definitely was not a fan.”
  • Echoing a recent story from Ian Begley of, Stefan Bondy of The New York Post cites multiple sources who say Klutch Sports has “made it clear it’d prefer not to do business” with the Knicks. While Klutch obviously couldn’t stop the Knicks from trading for one of its clients, Bondy suggests that “landmines are set and often detonated if a player or his camp don’t want to be there.” Still, Bondy believes there’s a real chance of peace between the two sides, noting that both Rich Paul and the Knicks are open to meeting to work out their issues. The origins of the beef aren’t known, though Bondy speculates within his story about some possible factors.
View Comments (9)