East Notes: Nets, Kevin Durant, Knicks, Celtics


The Nets have won back-to-back games following the suspension of point guard Kyrie Irving, and forward Kevin Durant said that teamwork has been the trick.

“I think we have rallied around each other,” Durant told reporters after Saturday’s win over the Hornets. “It’s been a tough week for us and it’s good just to get back to the game. Once the ball is tipped (everything else) goes out the window. We were just waiting to get back to playing. We showed some pride.”

  • Guard/forward Ben Simmons said he has the mental health issues that plagued him last season under control, and a big reason for that was the trade to the Nets in February, via Konrad Marshall of The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • “I had a terrible year, so I know how to handle my emotions and what I need to be doing to get on track,” Simmons said, via Marshall. “If I’m worried or sad or frustrated or angry, I feel like I’m better able to deal with that now. It took time, but I’m at peace with who I am and what’s going on around me. I know what my priorities are, and what I need to do every day. Besides that, I just want to be me.”



Guard Marcus Smart said the offense was buzzing and “a thing of beauty” after the Celtics set a franchise record with 27 3-pointers in the win over the Knicks.

“It felt amazing,” Smart said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “(Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla) was just preaching to us, ‘Don’t get tired, we’re playing the right way.’ I think every coach preaches that, but to see it actually happen in action is a thing of beauty. “It’s good for us. It felt good for guys to hit shots, felt good for the team to see how we play when we play that way and the things we can do, so we have to keep preaching that, we have to keep working.”

Mazzulla added that with players such as star wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way, it’s all about balance and spacing.

 “We have great shooters, we have great players. We have guys that can put two on the ball and create,” Mazzulla said, via Tim Sheils of Celtics Blog. “So, when you’re playing a little bit smaller and there’s more space, you got to take the first best shot, and I just think it’s a credit to our guys and that kind of fits our team right now.”

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