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Eastern Conference

Magic’s Nikola Vucevic Says Team Has to Start Winning Now

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Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic knows that the team’s latest struggles need to come to an end, and is stressing that the team needs to make that step forward to win more consistently.

“It’s on us, man,” Vucevic said, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “It’s really on us to respond, to play the right way, to play well and to try to get some wins. Things turn around quickly in this league. Just like two weeks ago, everything was great for us. We were right there.”

The Magic are currently battling for the 8th and final seed in the Eastern Conference, so a trip to the playoffs is within striking distance.

A win over Atlanta on Monday could be the kickstart that Orlando needs for the stretch run.

“It was nothing crazy,” Vucevic said. “I just told the team that this is it. These next couple of games we have to get some wins. Otherwise, it’s going to be very, very hard for us to achieve our goal to get to the playoffs. I just wanted to make sure that they understand that, that every game going forward for us is a big game. But it has to be done now.

“I felt like tonight we really did that. Obviously, it starts with us, the older guys, to make sure we take the lead. Then everybody else has to follow. So, hopefully, we can keep it up.”

Charlotte Hornets

Hornets Sign Jalen McDaniels

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Jalen McDaniels

The Charlotte Hornets have signed second-round draft pick Jalen McDaniels to a contract, according to an official team press release.

The McDaniel signings comes off the heels of the team releasing Thomas Welsh, which created the necessary roster spot of the addition of McDaniels.

McDaniels averaged 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists last season for San Diego State.

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Charlotte Hornets

Hornets Release Thomas Welsh

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Thomas Welsh

The Charlotte Hornets have released veteran big man Thomas Welsh, according to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell.

Welsh spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets, but was waived in July.

The Hornets picked him up shortly thereafter, but he now becomes an unrestricted free agent if he successfully clears waivers.

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Eastern Conference

Pacers Sign Walt Lemon Jr.

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Walt Lemon Jr.

The Indiana Pacers have signed Walt Lemon Jr. to their 20-man roster, according to a team press release.

Lemon, 27, appeared in five games with the New Orleans Pelicans last season and six games with the Chicago Bulls as well, but has spent the majority of his career in the G League.

It will be interesting to see how the Pacers utilize Lemon moving forward.

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