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Eastern Conference

Heat’s Hassan Whiteside Frustrated With Role

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The Miami Heat need to turn things around in their 1st round NBA Playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers and their big man wants to be more involved so he can help them do so.

Hassan Whiteside is pointing to a change in his role, mainly on the offensive side of the ball, when discussing what has affected his production this postseason, clearly frustrated with how things are playing out.

“It’s just different, man. I feel like our offense is a lot different. I’m not as involved in as many dribble handoffs as I was and post-ups as I was in the regular season,” Whiteside said after Game 3 (h/t ESPN).

“That’s what coach [Erik Spoelstra] wants. Coach wants me to just be in the corner and set picks. That’s what he wants. I’ve just got to trust it.”

Whiteside is averaging just 3.7 points in the playoffs thus far, a far cry from his 14.0 ppg regular season average, and the center is demanding more minutes so he can produce more.

“I want to get more rebounds out there. I want to get more minutes out there. I’m just going to keep trusting coach’s decision-making,” Whiteside said. “Even with the fouls, I still could have been out there. I wouldn’t have fouled out. I am going to keep trusting coach’s decision-making.”

It’s odd to see Miami take this approach with Whiteside, but head coach Erik Spoelstra says he is focused on finding out what is going to work moving forward.

“He might not necessarily put up the numbers, but it’s part of my job to figure it out and figure out how he can get to his strengths and be an impact player for us,” Spoelstra said.

“It starts with the defense, the rebounding. He has a lot of responsibilities for us offensively. I’ll spend some time working that out in the next day in a half.”

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Out 2-4 Weeks

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without center Tristan Thompson for two-to-four weeks with a sprained left foot, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Thompson exited Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter after he landed awkwardly on the foot of Bucks’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Thompson, 27, is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season for Cleveland.

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Chicago Bulls

Bulls’ Zach Lavine Meets Privately with Jim Boylen

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Amid the division within the Chicago Bulls organization between new head coach Jim Boylen, who took over recently for the fired Fred Hoiberg, and a number of players on the roster, has taken another turn.

According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelbourne, Bulls guard Zach LaVine spoke with Boylen one-on-one following the players boycotting of Sunday’s practice imposed by Boylen, which they felt was excessive.

“You just want to be real with people,” LaVine said, per the report. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.”

“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”

Boylen has said that he has spoken with the team regarding the purpose of the practice on Sunday, but it is clear that the dysfunction runs deep in the organization.

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Eastern Conference

Knicks Could Trade Enes Kanter

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Enes Kanter’s days as a member of the New York Knicks could be coming to a close as the veteran big man could be traded by the Knicks ahead of this year’s NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

If they choose not to trade him, the Knicks could renounce him during the offseason to maximize their cap space so that they could be major players in free agency next summer.

“If the Knicks are going free-agent shopping in July, they will likely do it without Kanter,” Marks speculated. “The impending free agent has a $27.9 million cap hold, and the only clear path for New York to create max room would be to renounce Kanter or let him walk in the summer.

The question leading into the deadline: Will the front office decide to maximize Kanter’s trade value now or keep the center as an insurance policy if they miss out on their free-agent targets?”

Kanter has posted 14.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for New York this season.

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