Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is downplaying the possibility of a major deal before next month’s deadline, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. “We’re comfortable with this group,” Hoiberg said. “Unless something earth-shattering comes up, I don’t anticipate anything happening.” Chicago’s trade prospects have been limited by the shoulder injury to Joakim Noah and the acute appendicitis that struck Nikola Mirotic.
There’s more tonight from the Central Division:
- Cavaliers GM David Griffin thought Tyronn Lue had the potential to become a great NBA coach ever since Lue’s first interview, according to Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. Griffin decided to go with 54-year-old David Blatt over Lue, who was 37 at the time, but that first impression stuck with Griffin when he decided to make a coaching change last week. Pluto also notes that Blatt’s problems relating to players carried over into this season, and many players believed Lue was ready to be the head coach.
- The Pacers have established an identity by making rookie big man Myles Turner a starter, writes Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star. After spending the first half of the season working toward a small-ball approach, Indiana replaced Lavoy Allen with Turner in the starting lineup Thursday and responded with a blowout of the Hawks. “It’s something I believe will be good for us,” said coach Frank Vogel. “We dominated the glass, dominated with defense, and I think this team will be able to score the ball better than any team we’ve had.”
- The Pistons are suffering from “midseason malaise” and coach Stan Van Gundy’s abrasive style is starting to wear on the players, David Mayo of MLive writes in his mailbag column. Mayo says the players and Van Gundy could use some time apart from each other, but the team has a crowded schedule until the All-Star break. The columnist also credits GM Jeff Bower with making the bulk of the personnel decisions, leaving Van Gundy free to concentrate on coaching.