The Hawks have no complaints about Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s performance, even though he was assigned to the D-League this week, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Journal-Constitution. Hardaway, who was acquired in an offseason deal with the Knicks, has appeared in just four games for Atlanta, averaging 2.5 points, but coach Mike Budenholzer said the third-year guard has maintained a good attitude. “He has been great,” Budenholzer said. “The way that he has attacked and worked – before practice, after practice, the weight room, his conditioning, getting stronger, all those things. I think he is understanding some of the things we are doing defensively. I’m very happy with his approach to everything.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- It took Heat center Hassan Whiteside several years to make his mark in the NBA, but he tells Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post that he never doubted it would happen someday. After two seasons out of the league, Whiteside became a force in the middle after signing with Miami last season. “No, I never wondered if it was going to work out,” he said. “I just kept praying on it, and you just kind of hope for the best. I look at things day-by-day. I just feel like, you look at things in the short-term and they don’t seem as long. Like I could have looked at it like, ‘Oh, man, I’m this far from the NBA.’ But I just kind of looked at it like if I do something day-by-day to get closer to your dream, something good’s got to happen.”
- Recent visits from the Sixers and Celtics, who are stocked with draft picks over the next few seasons, are a reminder that the Heat are pursuing the opposite strategy, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. This year’s first-rounder is top 10 protected and almost certainly will go to Philadelphia. Miami also owes first-round picks in 2018 and 2021 to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic trade. In addition, four of the Heat’s next five second-rounders are being sent elsewhere.
- This week’s trip to Los Angeles had Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton of the Magic recalling their 2014 pre-draft workout with the Lakers, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. “It just wasn’t fair,” Gordon said. “Basically, we were just taking turns coming off the pick-and-roll, setting picks for each other. We were dominating.”