Alex Barlow

Atlantic Notes: Finney-Smith, Barlow, Knicks, Maxey

Forward Dorian Finney-Smith underwent successful surgery on Wednesday to correct a contracture of his right pinky finger, the Nets announced. He’s expected to be cleared for offseason workouts in about six weeks, the team says.

Contractures are characterized as a permanent shortening of muscle fibers, which reduces flexibility. When people try to move the muscles affected, they become rigid and cause pain.

Considering the injury was on his shooting hand, it likely affected Finney-Smith’s performance this season. After making 39.5% of his three-pointers over the past two seasons, he shot just 33.7% from deep in 2022/23.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Maine Celtics head coach Alex Barlow has been hired by Butler University as an assistant coach, the Bulldogs announced in a press release. Barlow spent eight seasons with the Celtics organization after playing under president of basketball operations Brad Stevens at Butler. “From the day Alex walked on campus at Butler, his goal was to be a coach,” said Stevens. “In his time here, he’s shown he’s going to be a really good one. Though we’ll be sad to see him leave Boston and Maine, I’m excited for him that his first college assistant job will be back at his alma mater. I know he can’t wait to get back to Hinkle.”
  • The Knicks are peaking at the right time and have become a team no one wants to face in the playoffs, according to Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. The Knicks never trailed their series-clinching Game 5 victory over the Cavaliers, Vaccaro notes. “The way this team plays resonates with all our fans,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. “They play hard and play smart and play together. When you play that way in New York it’s always recognized. You need everybody in a situation like that to win on the road and play the way we did and that’s a credit to our entire team.”
  • Tyrese Maxey struggled mightily against Boston this season and that has been the case throughout his three-year career. The Sixers guard expects to be better against the Celtics in their second-round matchup, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I mean, the ultimate goal, it’s not about me. It’s about winning,” Maxey said.

Scotto’s Latest: Muhammad, Murray, Chandler, Maine Celtics

Former lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad is expected to be among the veteran free agents the Lakers host for workouts, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

The 14th selection of the 2013 draft, Muhammad has been attempting an NBA comeback after being out of the league since 2018. He recently worked out for the Kings and said the Mavericks have shown some interest as well.

Still only 29 years old, Muhammad holds career averages of 9.0 PPG and 2.8 RPG on .473/.319/.751 shooting in 278 games (17.2 MPG). He played in China for a couple seasons after his NBA departure, and last season appeared in a pair of G League games during the Showcase Cup before joining a team in the Philippines.

Here are a few more notes from Scotto:

  • Jamal Murray is expected to make his return at the beginning of next season for the Nuggets after missing all of 2021/22 with a torn ACL. He called the prolonged absence a “learning experience and a test of patience,” but he’s ready to be a difference-maker next season. “A championship mindset, a winning attitude, and raising everybody’s level of play,” Murray replied when Scotto asked what he’d bring to Denver upon his return. “That’s what I do best.”
  • Former NBA forward Wilson Chandler, who played 12 seasons in the league, has had “exploratory” discussions with the Timberwolves about joining their front office, according to Scotto, who notes that Chandler had four seasons of overlap under new Wolves president Tim Connelly while the two were with the Nuggets. Chandler had a productive career, averaging 12.5 PPG and 4.3 RPG on .443/.341/.770 shooting in 676 games (483 starts, 30.0 MPG).
  • Boston’s G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics, are promoting Jarell Christian to GM from head coach, while Alex Barlow – Christian’s associate head coach last season – will take his place, sources tell Scotto. Christian was formerly an assistant coach with the Wizards, Scotto notes.