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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.”

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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