East Notes: Knicks, Quentin Grimes, Nets, Celtics


Coach Tom Thibodeau pulled swingman Evan Fournier and shooting guard Quentin Grimes from the rotation for Tuesday’s road win over the surprising Jazz, saying the Knicks needed to mix up the lineup.

“We wanted to see what it would look like and it gave us, I thought, better rhythm,” Thibodeau said, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “That’s why we did it.”

Fournier began the season as a starter, but lost the role to Cam Reddish. His playing time has decreased steadily since.

Meanwhile, Grimes struggled through some injuries at the start of the season and hasn’t rediscovered his form from his rookie season. Interestingly, the Knicks were reportedly unwilling to include Grimes in a potential Donovan Mitchell trade with the Jazz. Mitchell then was traded to the Cavaliers instead.

  • Power forward Julius Randle said the rotation changes don’t have to be looked at negatively. “I think Coach is still trying to figure out rotations, what works best, who works best with who,” Randle said, via Braziller. “But whether guys are playing or not, I think everybody is all-in on the team and that’s a great thing.”


  • Not surprisingly, the Nets’ 153-121 blowout loss to the Kings served as the most points the Nets have ever given up in a regulation game. 
  • The Nets started fairly strong defensively under new coach Jacque Vaughn, but have allowed 134.5 and 54 percent shooting over the last two games — losses to the Lakers and Kings.
  • Vaughn told reporters it’s a matter of effort. “I don’t know if our minds, our bodies and souls are still in LA,” he said after the loss to the Kings. “LA can do that to you sometimes. … We definitely gave maximum effort against the Clippers and we’ve been reeling ever since.”
  • Star forward Kevin Durant added that the Kings just couldn’t miss. “We had great intentions,” Durant told reporters. “They made shots. That’s demoralizing when you see teams making shots. It’s not like we didn’t try. They were better than us.”
  • In case you missed it, a report from The Athletic indicated the Nets are growing increasingly frustrated with guard/forward Ben Simmons. You can check out that full post here.


Spurs center Jakob Poeltl could become a potential trade target for the Celtics, especially given the injury to Robert Williams III.

The question is, ‘Does this team need to go out and get another big man who can defend?’” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective Podcast, via RealGM. “The name that has come up that people have speculated has been Jakob Poeltl from the Spurs. They did a deal with the Spurs last year, obviously, for Derrick White.” 

  • Coach Joe Mazzulla said there is no update on a specific timetable involving center Robert Williams III, via Cameron Tabatabaie of USA Today.  “No timetable has changed as far as where he’s at.” Mazzulla said, via Tabatabaie. “He’s doing good, he’s in great spirits mentally. He’s doing a great job with his rehab, it’s great to see him out there and progressing well.”

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