Cavs coach Tyronn Lue asserted his authority in a recent meeting with LeBron James in which Lue told the superstar small forward to cut out the distractions, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports. Lue’s challenge came in the wake of James’ recent actions, including comments about his desire to play with Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony and cryptic messages on social media, Windhorst continues. James has lifted his game since the meeting, averaging 28.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 9.6 assists over the past seven games as Cleveland has solidified its status as the Eastern Conference’s top seed, Windhorst adds.
In other developments around the Central Division:
- Andre Drummond‘s woeful free throw shooting is making it increasingly difficult for Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy to keep his star center on the court at the end of close games, David Mayo of MLive writes. Drummond was on the bench during the closing minutes of Detroit’s crucial win over the Bulls on Saturday night after Chicago began intentionally fouling him. Drummond, who made just one of 10 free throw attempts during that game, is shooting a league-worst 35.4% from the foul line. “In a close game like that, back and forth, we can’t be playing hoping for one point, at most, when they’re playing for two or three,” Van Gundy told Mayo and other media members. “You can’t do that. You’re putting way too much pressure on your defense.”
- The latest design proposal for the Bucks’ new arena received approval from Milwaukee’s planning commission on Monday, moving the $500MM project forward for groundbreaking this summer, Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The development plan also requires Common Council approval, Daykin continues. The arena is scheduled to open by the 2018/19 season, Daykin adds.
- The Pacers recalled power forwards Shayne Whittington and Rakeem Christmas from their D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to the team’s website. Whittington played in 40 games for the Mad Ants, averaging 12.1 points and 7.9 rebounds, while Christmas appeared in 48 games, averaging 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds.