Southeast Notes: Isaac, Beal, Hayward, Dedmon

Jonathan Isaac‘s return to the court on Wednesday, nearly 900 days after he last played in an NBA game, was a success, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Playing on a minutes limit for the Magic‘s G League affiliate, Isaac scored 15 points in just under 15 minutes while also chipping in five rebounds, an assist, and a blocked shot.

The veteran forward – who tore his ACL in August 2020 – referred to the game as a “great milestone” for him, but said he still had some things to work on as he prepares to return to the NBA.

“I’m not going look at it too deep because it was my first game back,” Isaac said. “I’m glad I got a couple of buckets to fall. It was really for my conditioning. I definitely got tired, so that’s something I got to keep working on.”

Isaac will play another game for the Lakeland Magic on Saturday, according to Dan Savage of (Twitter link). Orlando’s G League team hosts the Westchester Knicks on both Friday and Saturday, but Isaac obviously isn’t cleared for back-to-backs yet, so he’ll play in the second game of the set.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • The Wizards announced on Thursday (via Twitter) that star guard Bradley Beal has been cleared to resume full basketball activities after having his left hamstring strain reevaluated. As Josh Robbins of The Athletic points out (via Twitter), when Beal was cleared following a similar injury to his right hamstring last month, he played in a game six days later. Given Beal’s repeated hamstring issues this season, the team will likely be at least as cautious this time around, Robbins says.
  • Injuries have limited Hornets forward Gordon Hayward to just 21 games so far this season, which he acknowledged is “definitely frustrating,” per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Hayward has missed Charlotte’s last five contests due to a hamstring strain, but head coach Steve Clifford is hopeful the veteran will be back within the next week, Boone writes. “He wants to be out there so badly, but we’ve just got to make sure that he’s healthy when he comes back,” Clifford said. “A hamstring is a tricky one. The one thing we don’t want is he comes back a little bit early and it’s a month or it’s five weeks. And we can’t afford that.”
  • After serving a one-game suspension for a sideline outburst, Heat center Dewayne Dedmon will have to take on the challenge of winning back the team’s trust, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. As Winderman observes, several former Heat players – including Meyers Leonard, Dion Waiters, and James Johnson – were traded not long after being disciplined by the team in some form or another.
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