Central Rumors: Boozer, Billups, Pistons, Pacers

The Central Division representatives in the playoffs are in a world of hurt, with the Pacers stunningly behind the sub-.500 Hawks in their series and the Bulls facing an 0-2 deficit and heading to Washington for their next two games. Here’s more from a division that’s seen better days:

  • Carlos Boozer‘s anger at Tom Thibodeau over a lack of fourth quarter playing time has intensified in the playoffs, a source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Still, it hasn’t become a problem in the locker room, Cowley writes, praising Thibodeau for deftly handling the situation and pointing to the coach’s comfort with the Bulls as another reason to suggest he won’t head elsewhere this summer.
  • Sam Smith of Bulls.com answers Chicago-centric questions in his latest mailbag column, and also suggests that Chauncey Billups undermined former Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks in an effort to curry favor with ownership. Billups has expressed interest in a front office role with the Pistons.
  • The schedules of many potential Pistons front office candidates make it a tough week for the team to make progress on its search for a GM, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Ellis gets the sense that the Pistons aren’t too concerned with having someone in place in time for the draft and free agency.
  • Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard dismisses the notion that Frank Vogel‘s job is on the line in the playoffs, but Vogel should take the fall if the team goes out early and he doesn’t bench struggling center Roy Hibbert, opines Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star.
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