Eastern Notes: Magic, Nets, Heat, Cavs

The Magic are only two games back in the race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference after their win against the Hawks on Saturday and forward Tobias Harris credits head coach Jacque Vaughn for the team’s improvement, writes Ken Hornack of Fox Sports Florida. “Coach got on us before the game about sharing the basketball and getting everybody else involved and being unselfish,” Harris said after he hit the game winner. “And that’s what we did, and that’s why we were able to be successful.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets have had their share of injuries this season but the team’s synergy is the reason they have remained in the playoff hunt, writes Roderick Boone of Newsday. Reserve big man Mason Plumlee certainly believes the team is playing well despite the hindrances. “I thought our offense looked great, man,” said Plumlee, who is averaging 16.2 minutes per game this season. “Everybody is going to talk about how well we shot it, but I thought it was because we were moving the ball, we were shooting in rhythm within the offense, and there’s a reason we shot a high percentage tonight. So hopefully we can carry that forward.” Brooklyn currently sits at eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-12.
  • Although many of the team’s players will become trade-eligible on December 15th, the date that most offseason additions become movable, the Heat do not have many assets to improve the team, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.  Winderman notes that trading any key player that was signed this summer would signal a failed offseason, which is something team president Pat Riley is unlikely to do. Because of this, Winderman projects Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts to remain on the roster through this season.
  • GM David Griffin is looking to make a deal and the Cavs need an athletic swingman who can defend, according to Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. With the team in no hurry to deal guard Dion Waiters due to his improved play over the last few weeks, Cleveland’s lack of assets may keep the team from bringing in a game-changer via trade. Finnan suggests signing Andrei Kirilenko as a possible solution since the Sixers are likely to waive him. However, the opportunity to sign the Russian forward may not exist until late in the season due to Kirilenko being absent from the league because of family issues.

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