Andrew Cobian

Atlantic Notes: Brunson, Long Island, Petrusev, Sixers

Jalen Brunson faced plenty of questions last summer entering his first season with the Knicks. He not only answered all of the questions, he “raised the bar” for the franchise and now he’ll face a different kind of pressure in 2023/24 as the “unquestioned leader” of the team, according to Zach Braziller of The New York Post (subscriber link).

As Braziller writes, Brunson put up career highs in nearly every major statistical category last season, but teams will be more focused on slowing him down in ’23/24. As Team USA’s probable starting point guard ahead of the World Cup, Brunson hasn’t shown any signs of being impacted by enhanced external expectations — if anything, he seems to thrive under increased scrutiny, which could be a boon for the Knicks, per Braziller.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • The Nets‘ NBA G League affiliate in Long Island recently announced a series of coaching changes. Shawn Swords, who was an assistant last season, has been promoted to associate head coach under Mfon Udofia, while Travis Voigt, Andrew Cobian and L.D. Williams were named assistant coaches.
  • In an interview with Antonis Stroggylakis of, Sixers big man Filip Petrusev discussed signing his first NBA contract, expectations (or lack thereof) for his rookie season, playing for the Serbian national team in the World Cup, and escaping the wildfires in Greece while he was vacationing with his girlfriend.
  • Appearing on NBA Today (YouTube link), ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne says the Sixers are still in a stalemate with former MVP James Harden, with no real trade talks at the moment. Shelburne also says Joel Embiid is motivated to enter 2023/24 in tip-top shape and is excited by the upside of Tyrese Maxey, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract but isn’t expected to receive an extension. It may seem like the franchise is in turmoil from the outside given Harden’s trade request, but Shelburne hears Embiid is in regular communication with the front office. While this season will undoubtedly be vital, next summer might be even more important for Embiid’s future, according to Shelburne, who notes that the reigning MVP is waiting to see what the roster looks like in ’24/25 with so few players under contract.