East Notes: Heat, Bam Adebayo, Cavs, Raptors


Center/forward Bam Adebayo is the best defender in the NBA. Just ask Adebayo.

“I feel like I’ve been the best defender in the last two seasons,” Adebayo said, via Mark Medina of NBA.com. “I can guard one through five and I can guard anybody on the court. In past seasons, that’s how I got on the court. Defense is how I got to where I am today. That’s never going to (go) away. I’m always going to have the mindset of wanting to be in the top five on both units.”

  • Coach Erik Spoelstra has been particularly pleased with the defense from small forward Caleb Martin. “His versatility is vital to our group,” Spoelstra said, via Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “Night after night after night, he’s taking on all the different kinds of challenges that this league can present, whether he’s guarding the small, super-quick guys, or whether he’s switching on to centers.
  • The Heat guaranteed the salary of forward Haywood Highsmith over the weekend, as relayed by Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.



Coach Nick Nurse and the Raptors are aiming to make sure small forward Scottie Barnes stays aggressive in the second half of the season, per Aaron Rose of SI.com.

“Barnes has been far too passive far too often lately. He’s been confounded by the hyper-aggressive drop coverage opposing teams have begun playing against him and it’s taken too long for him to find a groove,” Rose wrote.

  • The Raptors topped the Trail Blazers on Sunday, but shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. just missed scoring 20 points for the seventh straight game. He had done so a career-high six straight times entering the day. Against the Blazers, Trent finished with 19.

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