Jaren Jackson Sr.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Celtics, Nets, McCaw, Knicks

The Celtics and Sixers have, at times this season, found themselves shorthanded due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which have required a number of players on both teams to quarantine for positive COVID-19 tests or contact tracing. Heading into their games on Wednesday and Friday of this week, both teams should be a little closer to whole.

As Tim Bontemps of ESPN details, Sixers center Joel Embiid, who missed Saturday’s game due to a sore right knee, is expected to be good to go on Wednesday, per head coach Doc Rivers. And while Seth Curry didn’t practice today, he’s in the final stages of the health and safety protocols and hasn’t yet been ruled out for Wednesday’s game, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said today that Kemba Walker‘s knee responded “great” after his season debut on Monday, and he practiced in full today (Twitter link via Bontemps). Robert Williams, who has been cleared following a positive COVID-19 test earlier this month, also practiced today, per Stevens, and will be available on Wednesday.

Still, the Celtics aren’t at full strength yet. Jayson Tatum and Carsen Edwards both remain in the health and safety protocols and won’t play on Wednesday, though Stevens left the door open for Tatum to return as soon as Friday (Twitter link via Bontemps).

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • John Hollinger of The Athletic expects the Nets to take their time filling their open roster spots so as not to unnecessarily increase their projected luxury tax bill, which is already substantial. Hollinger also suggests that promoting Reggie Perry from his two-way contract would be a good way to fill one of those slots, since Perry – a 2020 second-round pick – would only count for the prorated rookie minimum for cap and tax purposes.
  • Raptors guard Patrick McCaw hasn’t played at all this season as he continues to recover from knee surgery, and it doesn’t sound like he’s close to returning. Head coach Nick Nurse said on Monday that he hoped McCaw would be much further along by this point, but the recovery progress has been slow (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca).
  • The Westchester Knicks – New York’s G League affiliate – issued a press release confirming the previously-reported hiring of Jaren Jackson Sr. as an assistant coach and announcing that Ryan Borges has been promoted to assistant general manager.

Knicks Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist, Jackson Sr., G League, Playoffs

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is fighting for a roster spot with the Knicks and he hopes that his experience will help him make the 15-man opening day roster, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“It’s a talented group — young, active, lots of energy,’’ the former Hornets and Mavericks forward said. “And I’m the vet of the locker room — which is crazy. It’s my ninth year in the NBA. Just being a leader, man, on and off the court.”

Kidd-Gilchrist signed an Exhibit 10 contract after appearing in just 25 games last season.

We have more on the Knicks;

  • The Knicks are expected to hire Jaren Jackson Sr. for a role with the G League team in Westchester, N.Y., Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Jackson played 12 seasons in the NBA and is the father of Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr.
  • Westchester is expected to participate in the proposed G League bubble in Atlanta, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. NBA teams will have to pay in excess of $500K to enter their G League affiliate. The Atlanta “bubble” season would last for one month, likely starting in late January, with a minimum of 12 games that may increase to 15-16 games, plus a potential playoff schedule.
  • Coach Tom Thibodeau believes this season’s 10-team postseason format for both conferences gives his team a fighting chance to end its playoff drought, Berman writes in a separate story. “I think it makes it interesting,’’ Thibodeau said. “Obviously, where we are, hopefully we’ll have a shot at that. It’s something that we have to work towards.”