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Central Notes: Brown, Drummond, Gibson, James

Dealing with illness and injury in their backcourt, the Pistons signed Lorenzo Brown today as “insurance,” coach/executive Stan Van Gundy told Aaron McMann of MLive. Starting point guard Reggie Jackson is dealing with a viral issue, while reserve Spencer Dinwiddie is recovering from a deep bone bruise in his ankle. With Steve Blake as the only healthy point guard, the Pistons gave a 10-day contract to Brown, who was playing for the Grand Rapids Drive in the D-League. “I watched Reggie the other night and he was sick, and Spencer’s not 100%,” Van Gundy explained. “You start saying, ‘We might want to get that covered.'” Brown was in Detroit’s training camp before the start of last season had two 10-day contracts with the Suns earlier this year. Van Gundy likes Brown’s familiarity with the Pistons’ system, but he doesn’t plan to use him in a game unless there’s an emergency.

There’s more from Detroit and the rest of the Central Division:

  • Van Gundy lashed out at his defense, especially center Andre Drummond, after surrendering 118 points in Wednesday’s loss to the Hawks, writes David Mayo of MLive. The coach expects better rim protection from Drummond, who will be a restricted free agent this summer after agreeing to pass on an extension. Drummond is considered a virtual lock to stay with the Pistons on a max contract. “He’s not contesting shots at the rim,” Van Gundy said. “You look at the per-minute stuff and he’s 38th in the league in blocks per minute. I mean that’s just — maybe he can’t be in the top three or four but you don’t need to be 38th.”
  • Taj Gibson, the subject of trade rumors before last month’s deadline, has emerged as a team leader as a wave of injuries has hit the Bulls, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com“This is where young guys have to be veterans, suck it up and do the job,” Gibson said. That’s the way we’ve been playing the last couple of years and what I am trying to transfer to the young guys now.”
  • Cavaliers star LeBron James has posted another cryptic Instagram message, according to Luke Kerr-Dineen of USA Today Sports’ For The Win. James put together a montage of photos of him, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and others with the message, “Who cares what others say that don’t agree with decisions we make because it doesn’t matter, this is our journey, the path we was giving and we’ll continue to walk it heads high guarding each others back throughout it all!”

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