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Eastern Conference

Knicks’ Trey Burke Says Team Like Navy SEALS

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New York Knicks point guard Trey Burke compared his team to the Navy SEALS for the way they put their lives on the line when they take the court. While the comparison may seem ridiculous, Burke elaborated.

“It’s a whole level of focus we have to have,’’ Trey Burke said, according to the New York Post’s Marc Berman. “Take the me out of it and it’s we. It’s like Navy SEALs. There’s lives on the line. I know it’s not life and death, but in this league it kind of is. You want to win games. We got to learn to value it. We value just being in the games with these playoff teams. ‘We’re in the game.’ It’s not what it’s about.’

Burke knows that he has to be ready when he is called upon.

When my number’s called, I can’t be something I’m not,’’ Burke said. “I have to be the guard that I am. Coach [David Fizdale] told me to attack. That’s what I’m going to do. I can’t try to please being someone I’m not. That’s what I did earlier in the season. For this team to win, I have to be the Trey Burke everyone knows I can be.”

Burke had to work hard to get back to the NBA, with a strong performance in the G-League earning him a spot on the Knicks roster. While Burke struggled this season, he has started to showcase the ability he had when he lit up the G League last year.

“[I was] being conservative, letting the game come to me,’’ Burke said. “Not attacking immediately. Naturally I’m a scoring point guard. When I attack it’s not always for me to score, it creates for others to. I wasn’t doing that.

“Earlier in the season, I was settling too much for jump shots. Having time to reflect how I was effective last season and different spurts throughout my career, I was always in attack mode and having fun and getting in the paint.

“We didn’t win but it’s a game I can build on,’’ Burke said.

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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