Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg believes it’s a different era now than when he played in the NBA in regard to how players communicate in the offseason, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com writes. Hoiberg notices that players are forming relationships with each other at the AAU level and its impacting free agency.
“Really since, shoot, going all the way back to eighth or ninth grade the way it is now,” Hoiberg said “Then just the relationships they build over the summers. These guys all seem to get together in L.A. or Miami or wherever it might be. So they build those relationships, they play together with Team USA now and they do build those special bonds. So yeah, it probably is a little easier to reach out. You see some of the superteams now that are being created, and I think a lot of that has to do with relationships that are built over the summer.”
Here’s more from the Central Division:
- Reggie Jackson said he feels “real good” and hopes to be back on the court soon, James Hawkins of The Detroit News relays. “I feel a lot better. Getting stronger, getting more timing, getting my cardio up,” Jackson said. “Trying to get more implemented into practice and just trying to do whatever I can within the limits of protocol.”
- Stan Van Gundy isn’t happy with the team’s performance lately, but he doesn’t want to mess with the rotation too much before Jackson returns, Hawkins passes along in the same piece. “I don’t really think we know who we are. I was talking to [owner] Tom [Gores] last night and it’s a lot farther into the season you would like,” Van Gundy said. “We’ll be 30, 35 games into the year before we really can make any real estimations of the team, because you figure it will have to get to that before Reggie has a dozen, 15 games back. It’s going to be a long time in where we’re going to have to do it with our defense and continue to try and get better. But to really firm up rotations and all of that is going to take some time.” The Pistons are 6-9 on the season.
- Greg Monroe hasn’t lived up to expectations since joining the Bucks during the summer of 2015 and his role could be further marginalized going forward, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. The team has used more small-ball lineups lately, leaving Monroe on the court for only about 10 minutes over the last three games.