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Eastern Conference

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra Wants Dwyane Wade to be Maestro

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wants legendary franchise player Dwyane Wade to play the role of a maestro as he embarks on the final season of his playing career.

Wade finished his first preseason game with 10 points and 4 assists.

“I don’t need to even overstate Dwyane Wade, but there’s a reason why we all wanted him back and why I was making a big push to get him back,” Spoelstra said after Sunday’s game, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Is there are a lot of really interesting, versatile pieces that we have on this team, and we have a lot of speed, we have a lot of youth, we have a lot of versatility.”

“You need a maestro to be able to bring it all together and that’s what you see. It’s so much more coherent when he’s out there and he’s using his brain and his mind to help the whole team. That’s the genius of a Hall of Fame player.”

Wade knows what he can do for this Heat team moving forward.

“I’m a playmaker,” said Wade. “That’s just in my nature. It’s: Put pressure on the defense. Score the basketball. Play-make first and then score from there.

“It doesn’t change for me. I’m always trying to put pressure on the basket and get to the middle of the paint, make the defense make a decision — either me or the big with help defense — so I can spray to other guys.

“So when I get in the game, right away I just want to be able to draw two, so I can make plays for others and then give myself the opportunity to strike also.”

Chicago Bulls

Bulls Pulling Jabari Parker from Regular Rotation

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It appears that the Chicago Bulls are souring on Jabari Parker, who will reportedly be pulled from the regular rotation, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

The 23-year old Parker came to Chicago via a two-year, $40 million deal during the offseason, and marked a return to his hometown and a chance to re-ignite his career.

Now, it appears certain that the Bulls will decline his option, sending Parker back to free agency next summer.

“Jabari has been great,” Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said, according to Andrews. “He understands. Jabari wants to make it about helping the team win. And that’s what I’ve asked him to do.”

Parker has averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for Chicago this season.

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Detroit Pistons

Pistons Interested in 76ers’ Markelle Fultz

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The Detroit Pistons may be in the market for a point guard and are apparently eyeing struggling Philadelpha 76ers’ point guard Markelle Fultz, according to The Detroit Free Press’ Vince Ellis.

Detroit is reportedly eyeing a young point guard in preparation for the potential departure of Reggie Jackson via free agency following next season.

The report pointed out that in order to take on Fultz, the Pistons would have to move money around to avoid the luxury tax.

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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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