Paul George is looking at the remaining games on the Pacers‘ schedule as a “test drive” to see how well he has recovered from the devastating leg injury he suffered last summer while scrimmaging for Team USA, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes. “That’s exactly what it is [a test drive], it’s just seeing where I’m at and then getting ready for more rehab this summer and getting ready to build off these last couple of games of the season,” George said. “It’s been tough. There were days when I told myself I wanted to shut it down and get ready for the summer. But it’s great having the staff that we have here to push me here and keep my going. I’ve had days when I’m sure they hated me. And I hated them. But we got through it and they did a great job with being in my corner.”
Here’s more out of the Central Division:
- Veteran big man Nazr Mohammed has been making his presence felt on the Bulls with his vocal leadership, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com writes. Mohammed’s spark and guidance was integral in snapping Chicago out of its stupor after a terrible second quarter against the Heat last night when the Bulls were outscored 33-12, Friedell adds. “I think you got to be accountable and you got to play for each other,” guard Aaron Brooks said. “I think one thing that Naz brought up was you’re letting your teammate down when you’re not getting back or you’re not helping. You’re not letting the coach, you’re not letting the fans. You’re letting your teammate down, and you got to have your brother’s back.” The center is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
- The Pistons are likely to target a forward in the first round of this year’s NBA draft, David Mayo of MLive.com opines in his weekly mailbag. Detroit currently is in line for the No. 8 pick, according to Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings. Potential targets at that spot for the team could include Justise Winslow, Stanley Johnson, and Frank Kaminsky, Mayo notes.
- Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy hopes to go to Spain after the NBA season ends to get a first-hand look at guard Mario Hezonja and power forward Kristaps Prozingis, both of whom are projected top 10 picks this year, Mayo adds.