Eastern Notes: Wizards, Beasley, Salmons

January 1 at 11:37am CDT By Zach Links

The Wizards have won five of their last six and are fourth in the Eastern Conference, but they’re not about to get complacent.  “We just got to continue to move forward . . . not get complacent with the wins,” Beal said, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. “We’ve got to continue to play as a team and move forward. We’re back where we want to be, but we have to get over that hump and I think we have a great opportunity in front of us to be able to do something.”  More from the East..

  • In today’s mailbag, a reader asks Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel if he sees offseason pickup Michael Beasley expanding his role even more this season. Ultimately, Winderman writes, it comes down to whether coach Erik Spoelstra grows confident enough to start him, which doesn’t seem that likely at the moment.  Otherwise, he still sets up behind Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Norris Cole, and possibly even Rashard Lewis in the reserve rotation.
  • John Salmons is turning into quite the closer for the Raptors, even if they don’t call his number for the big shots at the big moments, writes Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.  Toronto acquired Salmons in December’s Rudy Gay trade with Sacramento.  Meanwhile, the forward is considered by some to be a trade candidate.
  • The Bulls want to keep recent pickup D.J. Augustin in a backup role, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.  He was starting at the one in place of Kirk Hinrich when he was injured, but Hinrich will continue to stay in the first rotation.  The Bulls signed Augustin back in mid-December and, so far, he has impressed.
  • DeMar DeRozan‘s solid play has mirrored the Raptors‘ late-season surge, writes Eric Koreen of the National Post.  Meanwhile, despite Gay’s absence, DeRozan is actually averaging slightly fewer field-goal attempts per game than he was before the trade.
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