Southeast Notes: Heat, Magic, Wizards

The Heat are still working to coalesce on the court, but the team owns a 18-11 record and off the hardwood, the team has chemistry, Ethan J. Skolnick of The Miami Herald writes. New addition Amar’e Stoudemire believes the team’s communication can help them win games.

You are free to say whatever you need to, to a player, without them feeling some kind of way,” Stoudemire said. “If you don’t like someone, and you tell them, get back or stop the ball, they’re going to think there’s another agenda with you saying that. But if everyone gets along with each other, and they know each other, then they won’t take it the wrong way. Which helps the team.”

Openly communicating is something that Miami has done all season long, but the team’s collective mindset has also been key to the its success.
“You’re not bringing in a lot of guys who individually are looking for self, self, self,” Dwyane Wade said. “At this point on our team, the only guy who is looking to make a self-proclaim is Hassan [Whiteside]. To show that he’s dominant and everything in this league. But no one else is really looking for that, so it kind of works from that standpoint.”
That’s an interesting quote from Wade, as Whiteside will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Here’s more from the Southeast Division:
  • Evan Fournier has improved this season, and the 23-year-old has become Orlando’s best closer in crunch time, John Denton of opines. Fournier will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and he reportedly is seeking a deal north of $10MM per season. He turned down a four-year, $32MM offer from the Magic earlier in the year.
  • Coach Scott Skiles‘ decision to include Fournier in the starting lineup is one of the reasons that the team has been successful this season, Denton writes in a separate piece. The Magic own a record of 17-13 in the first season of Skiles’ four year pact.
  • Kelly Oubre has started the last four games in Otto Porter‘s absence, and the rookie is making a case for additional minutes once the team gets healthy, J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes. “The game is slowing down a little bit,” said Oubre. “Trying to make the right plays at the right times. Not settling and just trying to be an all-around player. I don’t want to be subjected to being a certain type of player.”

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