Southeast Notes: Beal, Morris, Johnson, Hardaway

The Wizards have been bringing Bradley Beal off the bench so he can be available for fourth quarters without exceeding his minutes restriction, writes J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic. The shooting guard, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, has only topped 30 minutes in a game once since the All-Star break. Beal’s minutes are based on a sliding scale that takes into account how much he played in prior games. The restriction was imposed after doctors discovered “the beginnings of a stress reaction in his lower right fibula” in December. “It’s an adjustment still,” Beal said. “It’s kind of difficult knowing sometimes you have to be more aggressive especially when my minutes aren’t as high. … I don’t know what it is. Each night it’s different.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Markieff Morris has adjusted quickly to the Wizards after Phoenix sent him to Washington in a deadline-day trade, writes Keely Diven of CSN Mid-Atlantic. Morris has become an important contributor on both offense and defense, and today registered a plus-22 in a win over the Cavaliers. “I just bring intensity,” he said. “I’m the type of guy, you put me out there and I’ll do anything for the team, whether it’s rebound, play defense, score. I’m just trying to lead by example. And on that second unit, be the guy that you can put on the forward and to stop him, and I think I’m that guy.”
  • Joe Johnson decided to sign with the Heat because he was familiar with several of the players, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). Johnson cited a connection with Dwyane Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire and others as his reason for picking Miami over Cleveland.
  • After a disastrous first half of the season, Tim Hardaway Jr. is starting to show the Hawks what he can do, writes Ray Glier for USA Today. A broken wrist during summer league continued to bother Hardaway as the season started. He was inactive for the opener and barely played during the first half of the season, which included two D-League trips. It wasn’t what Atlanta expected when it traded its first-round pick to New York to acquire him last summer. “We’re happy with the way Tim has responded,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He had an injury that was a little bit understated. … I think he has the athleticism where he can be a good two-way guy. He’s on his way.”

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