Southeast Notes: Stephenson, Heat, O’Quinn

After a month of struggling in Charlotte, Lance Stephenson might be starting to settle into his role on the team, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Some have suggested that the Hornets should part ways with their new acquisition but Bonnell notes that teammates have seen a different vibe from Stephenson recently. “The best thing about him is he was super-positive, playing with energy,”  Kemba Walker observed. “We need his energy. He pushed the pace, he got guys involved. He always makes the right plays. We’ve got to try our best to keep him like that; get him the ball in transition and let him make his plays.”

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • With a record of 9-10, the Heat possess a losing record for the first time this season, but the team realizes that this year is different than past seasons, writes Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald.  Dwyane Wade knows what to expect from the team at this point in the year. “I understand where we’re at right now with the team that we have. Can we get better? Yeah, we can get better. But we’re not at that point yet. This is the kind of team we have, and we got to figure out how to be as good as we can with this unit. We’re all trying to figure it out, players and coaches,” Wade said.
  • Despite the Heat’s early season struggles, the team remains upbeat, writes Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel. “We have to stay positive,” Chris Bosh said. “We have to continue to find our game. The easiest thing to do is to fall apart, blame each other and have every excuse in the book but we’re not going to do that. We’re going to continue to come to work. We’re going to continue to find a way and just really stay together. That’s what it’s about. You have so many instances where teams kind of shoot themselves in foot over and over just because of attitude. Every guy in that locker room has a great attitude.”
  • Kyle O’Quinn has been one of the most productive players for the Magic this season, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Robbins notes that O’Quinn, who is set to become a restricted free agent after the season, could be in line for a big payday due to his high player efficiency rating (26.2 coming into Saturday), age (only 25 years old), and ability to play the center position, which is becoming scarce in today’s NBA.

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