Central Notes: Morris, Noah, Pacers

With increased minutes this season, Marcus Morris is making the most of his opportunity with the Pistons after being acquired by Detroit in a summer trade with the Suns, Rod Beard of the Detroit News details. Morris is a focal point of the offense and has been a workhorse, Beard writes. Morris is playing 37 minutes per game this season. In comparison, he saw 25.2 minutes per game last year, which set a career-high for the 26-year-old. Morris has played well lately and is averaging 14.8 points per game. There is a strong chance the trade turns out to be the Pistons’ best move of the offseason, Beard adds.

“Marcus can do a lot of things and I have to create more and more things for him. He’s a [expletive]-good passer too. We’re really fortunate to have him,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We thought he was good when we got him and he’s better than I thought he was.”

Here’s more from around the Central Division:

  • Joakim Noah, a 2016 free agent who is now coming off the bench for the Bulls, has had a string of solid performances for the first time this season, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune writes. “I’m still trying to figure it out,” Noah said. “I just stay positive and keep my focus on what I can control. Overall, I think I’m in a good place and I just have to keep building.”
  • Pacers rookie shooting guard Joseph Young has played in only seven games so far this season, but the former Oregon star isn’t frustrated about being left out of the rotation, Tyson Alger of The Oregonian relays in a Q&A. “I asked coach, ‘Coach what do I need to do to get in the rotation?’ And coach said, ‘Son, you’ve done everything you need to do to get in the rotation. But right now, we need to play the players we’re paying,'” Young told Alger. “He’s saying that he’s got to get Monta Ellis 30-plus minutes. Rodney Stuckey, you got to get him minutes. They’re paying them and they want to play them. I’m a rookie. I just got to keep working hard and my time is going to come. Just paying my dues.”
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