Central Notes: Jennings, Monroe, Bulls, Williams

The Pistons hope to have Brandon Jennings back by Christmas, according to Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The point guard hasn’t played since rupturing his left Achilles in January, but coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said he is “doing about everything” in practice, which includes step-back jumpers, running hard forward and backward and making moves before shooting. However, Jennings hasn’t been in a competitive situation or done any defensive drills. “They’ve given us sort of Christmastime, sort of tentative, very general, though, before or after so I think there’s a reasonable chance he could play in a game before the first of the year,” Van Gundy said.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Several former Pistons teammates who also played for Milwaukee helped convince Greg Monroe to sign with the Bucks this summer, writes Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports. Assisting Monroe in making his decision were Jennings, Caron Butler, Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton, whom Monroe had Thanksgiving dinner with last year. Middleton joked that he called or texted Monroe “every five minutes” to recruit him for Milwaukee.
  • If the Bulls decide to go with a full roster of 15 players, Cristiano Felicio is a good bet to grab the final spot over Jordan Crawford, speculates K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The Brazilian center played on Chicago’s summer league team and is in camp on a non-guaranteed contract. Johnson believes he would be good insurance with Joakim Noah and maybe Pau Gasol becoming unrestricted free agents next summer.
  • The offseason addition of Mo Williams, combined with J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, gives the Cavaliers three of the toughest players in the NBA, according to Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group. “Nobody is going to punk me,” Williams said. “Nobody’s going to punk anybody who I stand with, so that’s just a motto that I have and I feel like my teammates should have that same motto.”
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