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Eastern Notes: Knicks, Nets, Magic

With the Bulls' win over a listless Mavericks squad putting Chicago in position to secure the Eastern Conference's top seed with one more victory or a Heat loss, we'll check in with the rest of the conference to catch up on the latest stories and headlines.

  • Howard Beck of The New York Times says Knicks interim general manager Glen Grunwald deserves some recognition for the way he has rebuilt the roster, perhaps even the NBA Executive of the Year award. Grunwald made the Knicks more defensively viable with the addition of Tyson Chandler, created buzz and excitement through the stellar play of Jeremy Lin and took a risk in J.R. Smith, who has become a solid contributor off the bench as the team's sixth man, among other key moves. Unfortunately for Grunwald, the award typically goes to an executive on a team near the top of their respective conference, not one struggling just to sneak into the playoffs in the season's final weeks.
  • The Nets have many decisions to consider in terms of free agency, the draft and their coaching staff as they head across the Hudson River to Brooklyn, writes HoopsWorld's Alex Raskin. After unsuccessful attempts to acquire talent like LeBron James and Nene, the Nets may look to keep their current roster together and hope to get incredibly lucky during the draft by landing a top-3 pick (otherwise it goes to the Blazers). With regard to Nets head coach Avery Johnson's future, Raskin believes it would be incredibly unfair to judge his performance thus far solely on his record as he should be afforded at least one more opportunity to prove his mettle.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports the Magic are rallying around each other in the wake of Dwight Howard's season-ending injury. Glen Davis has emerged as one of the team's emotional leaders and has brought the locker room closer together as the team has adopted the grammatically-flawed phrase "We all we got." "We can't worry about the media. We can't worry about what's going on. We've got to understand 'all for one, one for all.' That motto and just that saying just puts us in a mind frame of just brotherhood."

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