Atlantic Notes: Nets, Ben Simmons, Celtics, Payton Pritchard, Raptors


Center Nic Claxton indicated the Nets were just waiting to get healthy to leave their somewhat dramatic early season in the dust. Entering Monday, the Nets had won 11 straight.

“We always knew what we were capable of with everybody healthy, but it’s one thing to actually go out and put the plan into action. So it’s good. Our confidence is definitely at an all-time high. We’ve just got to keep things rolling,” Claxton said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

  • Meanwhile, guard/forward Ben Simmons is suddenly making an underrated impact himself, Lewis wrote. “Once I have that confidence to move right with my body, I feel like I can do a lot of things out there to help the team win,” Simmons said.


While it seems some teams are interested, the Celtics appear as if they will hold on to guard Payton Pritchard, per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

That said, teams often use beat writers to relay their own messages these days, so it could be that the Celtics just don’t want Pritchard to think he’s on the outs — even if they do continue to seek out a deal.

Right now, Pritchard is fighting for minutes along with the likes of Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon and even All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the Celtics’ backcourt.

So it stands to reason that the Celtics would see what they could get for Pritchard ahead of the February trade deadline. But for now, they are sending the message that they are unlikely to trade him.

  • For one of the East’s top teams, the Celtics’ 3-point shooting has been fairly unreliable this season, as relayed by Bill Sy of SB Nation.


Coach Nick Nurse has been tougher this season as the Raptors battle through injuries and general inconsistency, as relayed by Aaron Rose of

But the players don’t seem to mind.

“What would you rather have? Somebody rubbing your shoulders and telling you everything’s going to be OK? No,” guard Fred VanVleet said, via Rose. “We’ve got a standard around here that we try to play to, and it’s not even results based. It’s based on performances, and the last couple of performances where we just don’t show up to play, that’s unacceptable.

“It looks bad on us as players, it looks bad on coach obviously, and it’s just not what we’re about around here. I’m rocking with coach. Whatever he wants to do, I’m standing behind him.”

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