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Central Notes: Monroe, Butler, Bullock, McCallum

Bucks coach Jason Kidd is defending his decision to use center/forward Greg Monroe off the bench, writes SB Nation’s Paul Flannery. Monroe was Milwaukee’s prize offseason addition, but the team’s disappointing season has led Kidd to shake up the rotation. Monroe was placed in a reserve role, along with former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams. “Our bench has gotten better with Michael and Moose,” Kidd said. “You start those two and our bench gets really thin. With those two guys being unselfish and knowing that they want to start, and we all know they do, for the betterment of the team right now we need those guys to come off the bench.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls got some good news Saturday about injured shooting guard Jimmy Butler, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. The latest MRI on Butler’s sprained left knee “looked good,” said coach Fred Hoiberg. “The swelling is significantly down and now it’s just a matter of Jimmy getting back out there, getting his timing back, getting his conditioning and getting comfortable,” Hoiberg said. “He still hasn’t exploded off the one leg, he’s done some two-foot jumping. He’s done some lateral slides, now it’s about getting him out there in scrimmage-type situations and getting him ready to play.” Butler hasn’t played since hurting the knee on February 5th. He was orginally projected to be out for three to four weeks.
  • Reggie Bullock may have revived his career in Detroit with a 16-point outburst Wednesday, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Bullock, who came to the Pistons from Phoenix in the Marcus Morris trade, was used in 10 of the season’s first 15 games, but offensive problems forced him out of the rotation and eventually to D-League assignments. “Reggie always plays to his strengths and he knows who he is,” said coach/executive Stan Van Gundy. “He’s got to defend and he’s got to make open shots. He certainly made open shots [Wednesday]. Those are the two things that really make him a good player.”
  • Van Gundy has a long friendship with University of Detroit Mercy basketball coach Ray McCallum Sr., which may give the Pistons some interest in McCallum’s son if the Spurs release him, tweets Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The younger McCallum will likely be waived to make room for the signing of Andre Miller.

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