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Southeast Notes: Miller, Beal, Payton

Former Wizard Andre Miller said he got the “bad end of the stick” in Washington, tweets J. Michael of The veteran point guard was shipped to Sacramento in a deadline-day trade that reunited him with longtime coach George Karl. Miller, 38, implies that the trade was the Wizards’ way of blaming him for their midseason downturn. He was backing up John Wall in Washington, averaging 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in just 12.4 minutes of playing time. Miller also expessed his frustration to Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post (Twitter link): “For a guy to only play 10 minutes a game you figure why would I be the one to get moved,” Miller asked. “But I try not to individualize it.”

There’s more news from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards need more production from Bradley Beal to become a serious playoff contender, writes Michael Lee of The Washington Post. Beal, who recently returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a stress reaction in his right leg, agreed with that assessment. “My game definitely has to escalate,” he said. “And it has to escalate now. I know it starts with John [Wall] and [me]. I have to definitely step up my play. He’s been playing well all year and I’ve been on a roller coaster. I definitely have to be aggressive and be the star that people think I should be.”
  • Elfrid Payton‘s troubles at the free throw line won’t keep him out of the Magic lineup, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Interim Orlando coach James Borrego said he will keep playing the rookie regardless of how he shoots foul shots. “I’m not going to take him out if they keep hacking him,” Borrego said. Payton is shooting 53% from the line and had a particularly bad performance Friday against Boston, making just four of 15 as the Celtics purposely fouled him.

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