Central Notes: Drummond, Felicio, Cavaliers

Pistons center Andre Drummond is cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances heading into the 2015/16 campaign, John Niyo of The Detroit News writes. “I feel like now is the time for us to really do what we set out to do every year,” said Drummond. “We say we’re gonna do one thing, and then one thing leads to another and we don’t do it. But I feel like now, this is our time. We’re on the rise, and we’re gonna do it.” The young big man declined to make a specific prediction for Detroit’s fortunes in 2015/16, but he did say, “It’s just words until you do it. I hate losing. I can’t stand it. It’s the worst feeling. People laughing at our team, that’s not a good feeling. I want to rub it in somebody’s face that we’re a great team.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • With the Bulls already carrying 13 players with fully guaranteed deals, power forward Cristiano Felicio, who is in camp on a non-guaranteed pact, could be a victim of the numbers game in his quest to make the regular season roster, but the team is extremely high on his potential, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune tweets. Coach Fred Hoiberg raved about how strong the 23-year-old is, Johnson adds.
  • Cavaliers coach David Blatt said that the team intends to carry the maximum of 15 players on its regular season roster, so all of the camp invitees have a shot at making the final cut, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com relays (via Twitter).
  • Expect Kevin Love to have a more prominent role in the Cavs‘ offense this season, McMenamin writes in a separate piece. LeBron James noted that Love’s importance to the team was illustrated after Love went down during last year’s playoffs with an injury, McMenamin adds. “I think him being out showed even more of what he means to this team, more than him being on the floor for those three and a half games,” James said. “It would’ve been huge for us obviously if he was in the lineup, but it gave him the opportunity to put things in perspective and see what his presence can mean to our team. Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to see how important you are.
  • The addition of Steve Blake, who came to the Pistons via a July trade with the Nets, makes perfect sense given the uncertainty surrounding the health of Brandon Jennings, who isn’t expected to return to action until December, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes. “It’s exactly what we wanted,” president/coach Stan Van Gundy said. “A guy that’s good enough to come out and be your everyday backup and mature enough that, when Brandon comes back, that if there’s not as much or any minutes there, can handle that role.

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