The Heat are excited with what they have seen thus far in training camp from rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson, Joe Beguiristain of NBA.com writes. “It doesn’t happen too often, but I put the two young guys on the same team today and they’re very good defensively,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They got after it. They made the veterans work for it. They have a great versatility and energy between the two of them. I was very encouraged by what they brought today. [They were] very competitive in the defensive drills.”
The rookies even managed to impress veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade, Beguiristain notes, with Wade saying, “They enjoy playing defense. That’s half the battle. They’re both two different defenders. Justise is stronger [and] he’s hard to move. Josh is quick, he’s athletic, long. It’s good to see two young guys like that, with Tyler Johnson as well, they were all on the same team. You’ve got three guys who are like that, that like to be on the ball, ball hawk you [and] make it hard on you.”
Here’s the latest out of the Southeast Division:
- Having been criticized by former player Kevin Seraphin and current Wizards forward DeJuan Blair regarding how he doles out playing time, coach Randy Wittman defended his decisions, notes J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic.com. “You’ve got to maintain and be ready at all times, physically, mentally, attitude, all that. You’re not always going to be happy. Even the people you call stars, they aren’t always going to be happy but you got to be professional,” Wittman explained. “I’ve probably got a couple guys [expletive] at me today. … If you’re not happy with playing time you got to force playing time on me. Those kind of things.“
- The Magic are no longer going to use their roster’s relative youth as an excuse for not winning, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel writes. “We’re never saying that ever again,” guard Victor Oladipo said. “It’s over with. At the end of the day, we’ve got to win. We’ve got to stop using that as an excuse. We want to win, and in order to win, you can have no excuses. We’re locked in on winning. The times around here for excuses are done. It’s time to get it done right now. It’s time to win.“
- The Hawks are hoping that newcomers Tiago Splitter and Edy Tavares will improve the team’s offense with their effectiveness in the pick and roll, KL Chouinard of NBA.com relays. “I think we’re going to have just a little more pressure on the rim with both Tiago and Edy, and their ability to roll and collapse the defense and put pressure on the rim and play around the rim,” coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said.