The Pistons have now won more games this season without Josh Smith than they did with him. This successful run isn’t a coincidence, but there are other factors involved beyond Smith’s departure, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Lee also points to the sudden resurgence of Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks‘ return from injury as major reasons why Detroit is suddenly on a roll.
Here’s the latest out of the Central Division:
- The Pistons recalled guard Spencer Dinwiddie from the Grand Rapids Drive, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced (Twitter link). This was the first assignment of the season for Dinwiddie, and in four games with the Drive he averaged 16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per contest.
- One of the Cavaliers‘ continuing struggles this season has been finding a way to properly utilize Kevin Love, Lee opines in a separate piece. With Love able to opt out of his deal at season’s end, it is imperative that coach David Blatt make the big man feel comfortable in Cleveland’s system, Lee opines.
- Pistons camp invitee Josh Bostic inked a deal with the Belgian club Proximus Spirou, Eurobasket.com reports. Bostic was playing for Detroit’s D-League affiliate, averaging 6.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 15 appearances this season.
- Newly acquired big man Timofey Mozgov brings two valuable assets with him to the Cavs: his ability to protect the rim, and a familiarity with Blatt’s system, Seth Partnow of BBallBreakdown.com opines. Blatt coached Mozgov when both were with the Russian national team, Partnow notes, which will help the big man acclimate to his new surrounding much quicker.
- The cost for the Cavs to add Mozgov to the roster, including remaining salary owed and the luxury tax hit, will be approximately $9.3MM, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com notes (Twitter link).
- In a separate piece, Windhorst broke down all the machinations and moves Cleveland made, beginning with the 2014 NBA draft, which led to the Mozgov deal.
- Cavs GM David Griffin acknowledged the team’s recent deals were costly, but were necessary if the team wanted to contend this season, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “We feel like we’ve done it without completely mortgaging the future,” Griffin said. “People look at the number of picks we’ve given away, and everybody thinks, ‘oh my goodness, you’ve given away the farm.’ Well, we had an unbelievable farm. So we were putting it to work. And we’re really pleased with where we are now.”