Central Notes: Bulls, Robinson, Cavs, Handy

A spring evening without an NBA playoff game is like a day without sunshine for many of us, but tomorrow, the Central Division champion Pacers will try one more time to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the Reggie Miller era. If they get there, they'll try to avoid becoming the third straight Central team eliminated by the Heat, who already knocked out the Bucks and Bulls. Here's the latest from the division:
  • Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com figures Nate Robinson has played his last game for the Bulls. Derrick RoseKirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague will all probably be around to play point guard, and Robinson's performance will likely make him too pricey for Chicago.
  • Bulls GM Gar Forman addressed the specter of a missed season for Rose with Adam Fluck of Bulls.com, and in spite of an offseason of personnel decisions ahead, Forman identifies simply getting healthy as the team's primary goal this summer.
  • Bulls president and COO Michael Reinsdorf praised the work of Forman and executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson, as Fluck passes along in a separate piece.
  • If the Cavaliers wind up picking third, their current position in the pre-lottery order, Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer expects the team to target a small forward, and take a backup big man with the 19th selection. 
  • Boyer also reports in her piece that the Cavs have hired Phil Handy, an assistant coach with the Lakers, to serve as an assistant under head coach Mike Brown. The Cavs have yet to make an official announcement.
  • Former Cavs assistant Nate Tibbetts joined the Blazers staff this week, a move one executive classifies as a "home run hire" for Portland, notes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The Bobcats had been interested in Tibbetts for their head coaching job.

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