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Eastern Conference

Sixers’ Brett Brown Denies Marzelle Fultz Recovery Hindered By Psychosomatic Issues,

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Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown is refuting a report from ESPN’s Doris Burke and Mark Jones, who broadcasted the Sixers/Thunder game on Sunday, that Brown was telling people that rookie Markelle Fultz was dealing with psychosomatic issues.

The two broadcasters said the following, via Matt Haughton of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

“Brett Brown was telling us prior to the game tonight, prior to tip, that he speaks with Fultz, he works with Fultz and there seems to be some psychosomatic issues involved with getting over the hump and getting back on the court,” Jones said. “Brown says he continues to improve and he would expect that he would play at some point this year.”

“I’m worried about the young man,” Burke added. “Nineteen years old. He clearly seems to be shaken where that jump shot is concerned. You just hope his confidence gets back where it needs to be.”

Brown wasn’t at all happy with the report and has fired back at ESPN regarding the comments.

“It was completely misquoted. There was no reference to any of that,” Brown said before Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. “I’ve spoken with ESPN this morning. They’re very apologetic.”

“Markelle Fultz’s injury has been well-documented. I have talked about this hundreds and hundreds of times. The story hasn’t wavered once. His shot has been affected by the injury. We’re trying to reclaim it. There are times when he rises up to shoot that he does feel a bite and it affects him. It’s really that simple.”

 

Detroit Pistons

Pistons’ Ish Smith Out with Adductor Tear

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The Detroit Pistons will be without guard Ish Smith for around 3-6 weeks after he suffered an abductor tear, Pistons head coach Dwane Casey announced, per Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press.

After around 2 weeks, Smith will be re-evaluated, the team announced.

Smith has posted 9.2 ppg and 3.0 apg for Detroit this season.

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Boston Celtics

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown Expects to Come off the Bench

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Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown may be returning to action later this week after missing three straight games due to a tailbone injury, but he expects to come off the bench when he finally does return to the court.

“I believe in my ability,” Brown said, according to MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “Coaching staff believes in my ability. If coming off bench makes sense – people make it a bigger deal than it really is. At end of the day it’s basketball. (Gordon) Hayward came off the bench & had 30 points. It’s a mindset. It’s a choice.”

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Atlanta Hawks

Hawks’ Vince Carter Won’t Enter Slam Dunk Contest

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While NBA fans are pushing for it, Atlanta Hawks veteran guard, and former Slam Dunk Champion, Vince Carter will not be entering this season’s Slam Dunk Content during the NBA All-Star weekend festivities.

“I don’t think about doing it,” Carter said, during an appearance on The Ringer’s “Winging It”podcast (h/t John Chick of TheScore). “We all … go back and talk about the dunk contest from 2000 and what it did for people and where you were and all of that, and I know what it did for me. So I feel like to taint it, 18-19 years later, why?”

Carter had one of the most legendary performances in the Slam Dunk competition back in 2000, in which he put on an absolute display en route to winning the contest.

“I think if I step on the court for someone to see a dunk, the first thing you’re going to think about is 2000,” Carter continued. “And you’re gonna compare that to 18-19 years later. And that’s just too much time in between. What that did for me then, I don’t ever want to tarnish it. And I feel like going out there, I’m just trying to relive something that should be left alone. Just like when we think some of our classic movies, like let’s not reboot or remake, let’s just leave it alone.”

Age is likely the reason Carter would opt to stay out.

“(In 2000) it didn’t matter, I could dunk fresh off the bus, off the plane,” Carter said. “Now, meh, not so much.”

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