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Eastern Notes: Heat, Williams, Thomas, Lowry

The race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference continues to become less dramatic by the day, as the Bucks won again on Monday night. Milwaukee now has a seven-game cushion on the ninth-place Sixers, who are at home against the Celtics tonight. If there's any drama in the East, it relates to seeding — the Bucks and Celtics are two of five playoff teams currently separated by just three games in the Eastern standings.

Here are a few Tuesday morning items out of the East:

  • Whether or not Chris Andersen returns to the Heat next season may depend on how much playing time he gets in the playoffs, says Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, noting that Ronny Turiaf left Miami last offseason after becoming an "afterthought" in the postseason.
  • Terrence Williams' contract with the Celtics will become guaranteed for next season if he makes the team out of camp, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • The Bobcats have told Tyrus Thomas to stay home during the team's four-game West Coast road trip for physical rehab and individual work, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Thomas, who has fallen out of Charlotte's rotation entirely lately, remains a strong candidate to be amnestied this July, as I noted last week.
  • Kyle Lowry's first year with the Raptors hasn't been entirely smooth sailing, but after the team traded Jose Calderon, Chauncey Billups had dinner with Lowry and impressed upon the ex-Rocket that Toronto must have plenty of faith in him to hand him the point guard reins (Sulia link via Ric Bucher).

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