Eastern Notes: Mbenga, Pacers, Pistons

Knicks head coach Derek Fisher had good things to say about D.J. Mbenga, his former teammate with the Lakers who was signed by New York earlier today, Marc Berman of The New York Post reports (Twitter link). Fisher said that Mbenga was a solid teammate who has a good knowledge of the triangle offense, and also added that Mbenga could help the “vibe” out in training camp this month, notes Berman. Berman’s wording of “this month” seemingly doubles down on his earlier report that Mbenga was signed purely for preseason purposes.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Chris Bosh hasn’t spoken with his former teammate LeBron James since James left the Heat to sign with the Cavs, ESPN.com reports. When asked by reporters if he had talked to James, Bosh said, “No. I’m in the mode where I’m trying to lead my team, help these guys out around here. If guys aren’t in this locker room, I don’t have much time for them — if any.” Miami’s first regular season game against LeBron and Cleveland is scheduled for Christmas day.
  • With all of the offseason turmoil the Pacers organization has gone through, Frank Vogel‘s contract extension will provide some needed stability, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star writes.
  • Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, in a video report with CineSport’s Brian Clark, discusses the uncertainties surrounding the Pacers and speculates that while Vogel is sticking around, some of his key players might not be.
  • With Indiana expected to to take a step back this season, it leaves the door open for the Pistons to improve their standing in the Central Division, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio writes in his season preview for Detroit. Amico believes the talent is there for the Pistons to take the next step toward being a playoff team.

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