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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.”

Brooklyn Nets

Nets’ Caris LeVert Out Following Surgery

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The Brooklyn Nets will be without swingman Caris LaVert for the next several weeks following surgery to repair ligament damage in his right thumb, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

LaVery suffered the injury during Sunday night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns and then underwent an X-ray exam, followed by an MRI.

LaVert has averaged 16.8 points per game this season for the Nets.

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Eastern Conference

Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas Wants to Find Permanent Home

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Isaiah Thomas

Washington Wizards’ guard Isaiah Thomas is looking to find a permanent home as he gets his career back on track.

Thomas is currently on a one-year minimum contract with the Wizards, and while he didn’t rule out a long-term deal with Washington, he did state his goal is on this long-term future.

“I want to be somewhere I can be three or four years,” Thomas said, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic.

“I was in Sacramento for three years. I was in Boston for three years. Even though that’s not a long time, I was comfortable there. My family was able to build relationships with people around the organization, people around the city. It just made things easier. So, what I am looking for — obviously, I want to get paid the most I possibly can, because I feel like I deserve that, but I also want to be able to be somewhere for a while.”

Thomas is averaging 13.2 points and 6.2 assists per game for the Wizards this season.

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Boston Celtics

Celtics’ Gordon Hayward Undergoes Surgery

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Gordon Hayward

Boston Celtics’ forward Gordon Hayward underwent surgery on his left hand is expected to miss approximately six weeks, the team announced this week.

Hayward suffered the injury during Saturday’s victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Hayward, 29, had been showing signs of a return to form of late, so the injury comes at a bad time.

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