Eastern Notes: Pistons, Hornets, Celtics

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has made strides on the defensive end and his team is taking notice, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. “Phenomenal. That kid is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league — KCP locks up,” teammate Reggie Jackson said. “It’s not a fluke. What KCP does on defense night in and night out is not a fluke.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Steve Clifford, who recently agreed to an extension with the Hornets, believes he is lucky to work for Michael Jordan because Jordan has perspective that most owners do not, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com writes. “There are things that we do that I feel we’ve improved on because of input I’ve gotten from him. But he’s great,” Clifford said. “I think he may be the easiest owner to work for, and because he has a feel for what four [games] in five nights is, what five in seven nights is, I could give you five or six examples of situations where things have gone badly, where he — because he played — he’ll call and be much more reassuring than, ‘Why did we play so poorly?'”
  • With Marcus Smart expected to miss a couple weeks, rookie Terry Rozier could see an increased role, A.Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “He’s a guy that I have faith to put in,” coach Brad Stevens said. The Celtics have excellent depth on their roster, but if Rozier can prove he belongs in the rotation, the team could look to trade one of its veterans to open up minutes for the Louisville product, although that is merely my speculation.
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