Eastern Notes: Lopez, J.R. Smith, Wall, Harkless

It was a successful night for a pair of teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, as the Pistons blew out the Sixers en route to their first win after an 0-8 start, while the Bobcats dropped the Wolves for their third win in a row, moving to 4-3. The Wizards failed to join that group, and are the NBA's lone remaining winless team after losing to the Mavericks tonight. There's more on Washington and other news from the East right here.

  • After committing to Brook Lopez this summer, the Nets have raised their expectations of the fifth-year center, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt, who says the team signed Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche so they could help Lopez improve.
  • J.R. Smith said in training camp he wanted to start at shooting guard, but now he says he's "loving" his role as sixth man for the unbeaten Knicks, for whom he's off to a hot start, observes Nate Taylor of The New York Times.
  • As the 0-7 Wizards search in vain for their first win, the frustration is mounting for John Wall, who's without a timetable for a return from a stress fracture in his right knee, writes Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. Wall will be eligible for an extension to his rookie-scale contract next summer.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says rookie Maurice Harkless, who missed preseason while recovering from sports hernia surgery, is already starting to show his worth a week after his debut for the Magic.
  • Hedo Turkoglu had hoped to be back from his broken left hand about two weeks from now, but after doctors had to put the hand back in a cast today, he could be out for another month, reports John Denton of Magic.com.
  • Richard Hamilton, whose $5MM deal for next season is only guaranteed for $1MM, could be a free agent next summer, but he's okay with Tom Thibodeau's plans to limit his minutes to keep him healthy, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes.
  • The Celtics are considering a D-League rehab stint for Avery Bradley once he's healthy, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. 

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