Eastern Notes: Brown, James, Pistons

Nets forward Thaddeus Young pulled no punches when discussing the difference in playing for interim coach Tony Brown versus former coach Lionel Hollins, who was fired on Sunday, Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily relays (via Twitter). When asked his feelings about suiting up for Brown, Young said, “When your coach is not panicking and he’s staying positive and he’s continued to motivate us, it’s huge for us as far as an energy standpoint. It makes us continue to want to go out there and continue to play, and it doesn’t keep us thinking about what happened before as much. But Tony’s mentality is, forget what happened before this and let’s try to push and try to win this game. That’s huge for us as a team. It says a lot that he believes in us, that he wants us to compete.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Cavs shooting guard J.R. Smith notes that the team’s excellent work ethic comes from following the example set by LeBron James, whose dedication has rubbed off on his teammates, as Marc Narducci of HoopsHype relays. When asked what it has been like to play alongside James, Smith told Narducci, “For one, he elevates everybody’s game and holds everybody to a higher standard. He makes you hold yourself to a higher standard. This is the first team I have been on where everybody stays after practice to work on their game. Everybody wants to be better every single day and a lot of that has to do with him. He is a credit to that. He holds himself to a high standard. We see how hard he works each and every day. If your best player is working twice as hard as the next person, it gives you enthusiasm and drive to work harder.”
  • Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy is using the Spurs’ track record of consistency as an organization as a model for how he wants to build Detroit’s roster, John Niyo of The Detroit News writes. “I do think, looking forward, one of things we’ve talked about in trying to build this team is we have a chance for continuity,” Van Gundy said. “And I think you see it when you see a team like San Antonio, that over time it allows you to build on what you’re doing.”

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