Central Notes: Bulls, Pistons, Bucks

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is not sure when rookie Bobby Portis will start to see consistent time on the court, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link) relays. The Bulls drafted Portis with the 22nd pick. Portis has not played in six of the Bulls’ first seven games, with his only appearance coming in a lopsided contest. Portis, according to Hoiberg, is not letting a lack of playing time derail his work ethic. “He says practices are his games,” Hoiberg said. “He’s getting out there, stirring things up. He’ll continue to do that every time he steps on the court.”

Here’s more from around the Central Division:

  • It’s Hoiberg’s first season with the Bulls, but the group is exhibiting one of the same problems it had under former coach Tom Thibodeau and that is a lack of effort, Friedell writes in a full story. With Thibodeau as its leader, Chicago was known as a hard-nosed defensive team, but this year’s Bulls have yet to discover their identity, Friedell adds, and that has contributed to the inconsistent start.
  • The Pistons need to acquire a power forward before the trade deadline or via free agency next summer, David Mayo of MLive.com opines in a mailbag response. Ersan Ilyasova is under contract through 2016/17, but Anthony Tolliver is set to be a free agent after this season, as Mayo points out.
  • The long-term success of the Bucks largely depends on Jabari Parker and how the small forward comes back from his injury, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes in a detailed piece. The Bucks have a talented young roster, but they are hoping Parker, who was the second overall pick in the 2014 draft, develops into a star after his rookie season was cut short by the knee injury in December.
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