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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’ Larry Drew Discusses Brandon Knight’s Play of Late

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The Cleveland Cavaliers knew that when they acquired Brandon Knight in a trade deadline deal with the Houston Rockets, that they were acquiring a player that may be a ways away from returning to form.

Knight, who missed the entire 2017-2018 season and appeared in only 14 games this season due to a torn ACL, has been showing signs of a return to form in his short stint with the Cavs, and it has caught the attention of Cavaliers’ head coach Larry Drew.

“I know what he’s gone through over a period with the injury and trying to come back from it,” Drew said of Knight, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

“I know what he’s capable of doing. I know what type of player he is. He’s a fierce competitor. Not only does he do it from an offensive end, but defensively, he’s a tough kid. That addition in our lineup gives us a little versatility as far as we can move people around. … And I know how bad he wants to get back to the Brandon Knight of old. Certainly if he can get back to that, you guys are going to see a terrific player.”

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Eastern Conference

Raptors’ Fred VanVleet Expected To Miss At Least Three Weeks

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Toronto Raptors Fred VanVleet is expected to be sidelined at least three weeks after he suffered a partial ligament injury in his left thumb, according to an official team announcement.

VanVleet will wear a splint on the thumb for around 3 weeks before he will have it removed to be re-evaluated.

The Atlanta Hawks are expected to reach a buyout with point guard Jeremy Lin, who is expected to then sign with Toronto.

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Eastern Conference

Wizards’ Bradley Beal Optimistic About Team’s Direction

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The Washington Wizards are enduring what some would call a nightmarish season, and it may seem like they are on the verge of blowing it all up, but superstar Bradley Beal is encouraged following his meeting with team owner Ted Leonis recently.

“It went really well. I’d personally rather not talk about what we talked about, but it went really well” Beal said of the meeting, according to the Washington Times’ Matthew Paras.

“It was pretty much just talking about what we’re going to do moving forward.”

Washington will have to make some moves this offseason to give Beal some help, and compensate for the loss of John Wall, who is expected to be sidelined for a year.

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