Atlantic Notes: Quickley, Raptors, Harris, Thibodeau

New Raptors starting point guard Immanuel Quickley is looking to an All-NBA superstar as a point of reference for his expanded role on Toronto, per Michael Grange of Quickley has been watching game tape on Warriors point guard Stephen Curry.

“To see someone 6-foot-3, 190 pounds winning an MVP, it makes you ask yourself: ‘Why can’t I be great? If you have the work ethic, why can’t you go out and accomplish great things?’” Quickley said. “It’s always great to see great players do well, especially players who have the same kind of body type as you, it’s just cool to see that.”

Curry, meanwhile, had high praise for Quickley.

“He’s got so much potential in this league and the change of the scenery will be fresh for him,” Curry said. “He’s got a nice responsibility as a starting point guard now.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • These revamped Raptors are struggling on defense without OG Anunoby or Precious Achiuwa, writes Eric Koreen of The Athletic. In Koreen’s view, one part of the problem is the team’s decision to frequently play Quickley alongside reserve point guard Dennis Schröder, in undersized backcourt lineups.
  • Against the Kings on Friday, Sixers power forward Tobias Harris reminded Philadelphia fans why the team to sign him to a five-year, $180MM contract in 2019, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. His 37-point night vs. Sacramento came on the heels of a 32-point performance on Wednesday against the Hawks, marking the first time in his NBA career he has scored 30+ points in two straight games. With Embiid ailing from a sore left knee, Harris has taken on a bigger role in his team’s scoring attack.
  • After claiming his 500th career victory as a head coach, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau reflected on the retirement of 24-year Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. “Growing up in New England, I appreciate what he brought, and what he did there was just incredible,” Connecticut native Thibodeau said. “That’s the mark of greatness to do it the way he did it for as long as he did. I grew up thinking the Patriots never win and then my nephews grew up thinking the Patriots win every year. So it’s completely different perspective. But I think a lot of coaches learn from him — coaching is leadership. He’s incredible. He’s at the top of my list.”
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