Eastern Notes: Hayward, Lowry, Barnes, Duarte, Porzingis

Incorporating Gordon Hayward back into the rotation is a tricky task for Hornets coach James Borrego, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer notes. Hayward missed nearly two months of action due to a foot injury. He had five points, four rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes against Philadelphia on Saturday.

“Well, it’s a challenge, but that’s my job and I’ll figure it out,” Borrego said. “We’ll take a look at the film, look at the rotations. We’ve got two days now to digest and figure out what we are going to do. … I’ll try to bring some consistency to the lineup and try to communicate that to our group, making sure everybody understands their role and what this rotation is going to look like moving forward.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Heat guard Kyle Lowry is impressed by the lottery pick his former team drafted, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Lowry sees Scottie Barnes as a potential franchise player for the Raptors. “He’s a special talent. He’s going to be a cornerstone of the franchise,” Lowry said. “He fits in perfectly here – how hard he plays, how passionate he is for the game. And he’s only going to continue to get better.”
  • Pacers rookie Chris Duarte won’t play during the final week of the season, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Duarte hasn’t played since March 15 due to a left big toe injury. Duarte, the 13th pick of last year’s draft, averaged 13.1 PPG in 28 MPG while appearing in 55 games.
  • The Wizards defeated Dallas on Friday, the first time Kristaps Porzingis played against his former team. Porzingis was grateful for the intensity his new teammates showed, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “What I liked is everybody had my back (Friday),” Porzingis said. “They knew it was, I don’t want to say a personal game, but it’s always fun to compete against your former team. Everybody had my back.”
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