Central Notes: Butler, Christmas, Dinwiddie

The Bulls have gone 10-4 since Jimmy Butler made his controversial remarks about Fred Hoiberg‘s laid-back coaching style, and the team appears to have rallied together while playing some of its best basketball of the season, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes. “We’re just playing good basketball,” point guard Derrick Rose said. “On the offensive side the ball is moving. It seems like we know who is getting the ball at certain times. On the defensive side, it’s all about rebounding. If we rebound it’s like a 90-some percent chance we win the game. So it’s all about just communicating when we’re out there and getting rebounds.”

Rose, who has reportedly been at odds with Butler on occasion, was asked if the swingman was the most talented teammate he’s had since arriving in the NBA, to which Rose responded, “I think so, man. Who knows how good he can become? I just love his patience right now. He’s playing with unbelievable patience. He’s not rushing anything, he knows what he’s getting whenever he’s in the pick-and-roll or whenever he’s in the isolation. He’s reading everything the right way now.

Here’s more from out of the Central Division:

  • Free agent Dionte Christmas, whom the Cavaliers waived shortly before the season started, has signed with the Greek club AEK Athens, the team announced (h/t to international journalist David Pick). The 29-year-old shooting guard averaged 6.8 points in 19.9 minutes per game over four contests in the preseason for Cleveland.
  • The return of Brandon Jennings from injury has created a bit of a logjam at point guard for the Pistons, but according to coach/executive Stan Van Gundy, it’s far from the worst thing a team could be faced with, notes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. When asked if dividing minutes between Jennings and Reggie Jackson could become a problem for him, Van Gundy said, “It will become an issue I’m sure. Anytime you’re dealing with the issue of trying to get enough minutes for more good players, that’s a good issue to have.
  • The Pistons have assigned point guard Spencer Dinwiddie to their D-League affiliate, the team announced via press release. Dinwiddie has appeared in nine games for Detroit this season and is averaging 4.4 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 12.3 minutes per game.
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