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Central Notes: Marjanovic, Ellenson, Thompson

Boban Marjanovic didn’t play at all in his return to San Antonio Friday, which has been a familiar story in his time with the Pistons, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. The 7’3″ Serbian came to Detroit this summer when the Spurs elected not to match a three-year, $21MM offer sheet. He has gotten off the bench in just four of the team’s first nine games and is averaging 4.5 minutes in those. Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said the team wants to see Marjanovic become more aggressive offensively. “In the preseason, he fit well. He’s a very good offensive player and highly skilled,” Van Gundy said. “He’s unselfish, almost to a fault. There’s times he could use his size and be dominant down there offensively, but he really likes to pass the ball — which promotes good team play — but at the same time, we want him to use his offensive skills.”

There’s more tonight from the Central Division:

  • Van Gundy is closely monitoring the progress of rookies Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije, who were sent to the D-League during the Pistons’ western road trip, Beard notes in the same story. The organization wanted them both to get expanded playing time, at least 30 minutes per night, during their time in Grand Rapids. Ellenson was told to focus on his defensive development. “He knows [defense] is his ticket to getting on the floor [with the Pistons],” Van Gundy said. “He’s very confident, as we are, in his offensive skills.”
  • Tyronn Lue‘s lineup juggling is resulting in fewer fourth quarter minutes for Tristan Thompson, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Lue still recognizes Thompson’s value as a defender, but he wants to have more shooting on the floor at the end of games, so Kevin Love has been playing center alongside Channing Frye.
  • The Pacers’ 4-6 start may be a result of all the roster changers over the offseason, according to Jordan J. Wilson of The Indianapolis Star. Indiana traded for two new starters in Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young and added Al Jefferson, Aaron Brooks and Kevin Seraphin as free agents. The team also hired a new coach in Nate McMillan“We’re trying to figure out how to play with one another,” Paul George said. “We’ve got guys who don’t want to step on guys’ toes. It might call for that at this point. We need guys to step up and be confident.”

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