Central Notes: Williams, Van Gundy, Dunleavy, Noah

No one in the Cavaliers organization has corroborated Mo Williams‘ claim of a partially torn ligament in his right thumb, writes Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com. Williams announced the injury Friday after visiting with a hand specialist in New York. The team had called it a sprain and didn’t issue a release, which Haynes notes is customary with injuries of this type. Williams, who has undergone two prior surgeries on the thumb, said it should heal on its own within six weeks without another surgery. “It’s just peace of mind, knowing I didn’t rip it off or anything,” he said about the second diagnosis. “It’s just a little partial tear, no different from like when you sprain your ankle real bad.” The injury coincides with Williams’ loss of playing time since Kyrie Irving‘s return. Williams sat out his third straight game Friday in Minnesota.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons have improved by becoming a Stan Van Gundy team, according to Paul Flannery of SB Nation. Van Gundy built his kind of team over the past year, Flannery writes, trading for Reggie Jackson at last season’s deadline, dealing for Ersan Ilyasova and Marcus Morris and adding free agents Aron Baynes, Steve Blake and Anthony Tolliver over the summer and drafting Stanley Johnson. “It’s pretty clear what Stan wanted to do over the last 15, 16 months with spacing the floor with skilled fours,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “When you think about how impactful Ilyasova and Tolliver are, it may not be on the stat sheet, it’s the fact that those rim runs are a little bit more open by those bigs and the guard driving. It just puts you in such a predicament.”
  • Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg says injured forward Mike Dunleavy is still about a month away from returning, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Dunleavy has yet to play this season because of back problems.
  • Coach Jason Kidd, sidelined with a hip injury, joined the Bucks for a shootaround this morning at Madison Square Garden, tweets Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Kidd will meet with his doctor in New York tonight to have X-rays taken on the hip. The coach has been out of action since having surgery December 21st.
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