Eastern Notes: Beal, Heat, Raptors, Dolan

Wizards star Bradley Beal is in the midst of a career-best season with the team, one that he’s confident can be sustained when the NBA returns in Orlando later this summer, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes.

Beal, who turns 27 later this month, averaged 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game this season. He shot 46% from the floor and 35% from downtown in 57 games, leading a depleted Wizards team throughout the campaign.

“I feel like something else clicked for me,” Beal said of this season, as relayed by Katz. “I honestly changed my way of thinking in the game. Playing the game, I was honestly just more aggressive. I just had the mindset that I’m the best player on the floor, and I’m gonna go showcase that.”

Washington dealt with various injuries this season and played without All-Star point guard John Wall, with Beal emerging as a much-needed leader throughout the year. The team is currently 5.5 games behind the No. 8 seed Magic and six games behind the No. 7 seed Nets for a potential playoff spot.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra could be facing a difficult roster decision as the team prepares for the league’s restart in Orlando, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in his latest mailbag. Barring an unforeseen change, Miami must choose 13 active players from its notably deep roster, a decision that could leave veterans such as Udonis Haslem inactive entering the postseason.
  • The championship feeling is still lingering for the Raptors, who won their first NBA title one year ago, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. The team still has several key players from its title run, including Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Toronto hopes to use that championship experience to their advantage during the resumed season this summer.
  • Knicks owner James Dolan‘s image has yet to change under brand consultant Steve Stoute, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Dolan was most recently criticized for a delayed statement on racial injustice problems in America, with the Knicks being the last team in the league to release a statement on the topic.
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