East Notes: Heat, Jimmy Butler, Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Wizards


The Heat are banking on returning to Miami to help close out the series vs. the Knicks. They currently lead 3-2 but lost Game 5 in New York.

“We got to get back home and protect our home court,” forward Jimmy Butler said, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “The only way is up from here. So we will be better coming out next game.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to the crib. Miami’s always good. We’ll be ready to battle come Friday.”

  • For the record, the Heat are 4-0 in playoff games at home this season. “They did their job,” Heat guard Kyle Lowry said of the Knicks. “They protected homecourt and we’ve got to respond on Friday.”


Guard Jalen Brunson was at his best in the Knicks’ Game 5 win, playing all 48 minutes and scoring 38 points, to go with nine rebounds and seven assists.

“What can you say about the guy? He’s just incredible,” coach Tom Thibodeau said, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “All-around player. Great leader. Great toughness. Mental toughness. Physical toughness. Ability to think on his feet. Ability to lead. Ability to connect with people, bring the best out of people. That’s what makes him special, and it’s play after play.”

  • Power forward Julius Randle indicated it was all a matter of staying focused. “Feel like if we went out and did the little things better, executed better, we’d be fine,” Randle said, via Braziller. “We did that tonight.”
  • Brunson and fellow guard Quentin Grimes became the first Knicks duo to each play all 48 minutes in regulation in a playoff game since Walt Frazier and Jerry Lucas in 1972.


The Wizards continue to target Raptors head of basketball operations Masai Uriji in their search for a new general manager, an NBA source told Steve Bulpett of Heavy Sports.

And Uriji may be open to leaving despite what he says, the source added.

“Masai is really, really frustrated,” the source said, via Bulpett. “He’s frustrated with (guard Fred VanVleet) also, because he hasn’t shown him any indication that he wants to stay. So I think he’s really down about that situation. Maybe it’s because everything’s still so fresh, but there’s a lot they have to get done there. It didn’t surprise anyone that (former coach Nick Nurse) moved on. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’ve been hearing that Washington is coming after Masai again.”

  • In case you missed it, coach Wes Unseld Jr. will represent the Wizards on the stage at the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery. We have that full story here.

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