Southeast Notes: Pierce, Hawks, Gasol, Heat

The two best teams in the Southeast Division also occupy the top of the top three spots in the Eastern Conference standings. We’ve got news on both of them below, along with a piece on a struggling Miami club that had lost seven of its last 10 before today’s big win in L.A..

  • One of the biggest benefits that Paul Pierce has provided to the Wizards since signing last summer is his strong leadership in the locker room, as team president Ernie Grunfeld tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. Although Pierce has played well this season, the 17-year veteran says he’s going to discuss with his family whether or not he’ll continue playing beyond 2014/15, Bulpett notes.
  • Part of the reason that many notable free agents aren’t interested in joining the Hawks is the team’s history of less-than-stellar attendance, as one agent relays to Kevin Arnovitz of “All things being equal, it’s not a place you choose to play unless there’s a good reason,” said the unnamed agent. “They just don’t rate.” Atlanta offered Pau Gasol more money than Chicago did last summer, according to Arnovitz, but the big man still opted to sign with the Bulls.
  • Despite inconsistency at the point guard position this season, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel compels Heat executives not to pull the trigger on a quick fix. Taking back salary that inhibits long-term flexibility won’t stand to help the team’s ultimate goal of winning another championship, Winderman believes, even if it helps Miami win a few more games in the interim.
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