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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.”

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Boston Celtics

Celtics’ Brad Stevens Praises Kyrie Irving

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After a stellar performance that fueled a Boston Celtics comeback victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 3, Kyrie Irving appears to be in playoff form.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens heaped some incredible praise on Irving for his impressive performance.

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Eastern Conference

Heat’s Udonis Haslem Uncertain About Future

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The Miami Heat celebrated the career of Dwyane Wade this past season, ahead of the future Hall of Famer’s retirement at the end of the season, but another franchise legend may be out the door soon as well.

Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who has spent his entire 16-year career with the Heat, reflected on the celebration of Wade.

“Although nothing on the scale of what Dwyane has done for his one last dance, a lot of people feel like I should take the time to be celebrated at some point,” Haslem said, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Personally, as the person I am, I feel like the Haslem family as a whole deserves the opportunity to celebrate when my career does come to an end. So that has some effect on a decision that we make.”

Haslem also commented on an after party following Wade’s final game, which included all of Wade’s family.

“My stepmom wasn’t there, my father wasn’t there, my wife wasn’t there, my kids weren’t there,” Haslem said. “So that wasn’t my moment. That’s what makes it hard, either way.”

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Charlotte Hornets

Hornets’ Bismack Biyombo Picks Up Player Option for 2019-20 season

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Charlotte Hornets big man Bismack Biyombo has officially picked up his player option for the 2019-2020 season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Biyombo, 26, is now set to make $17 million next season and is coming off a season where he averaged 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

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