The Pistons will need Reggie Jackson to be at his best when he returns from knee and thumb tendinitis, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy is hoping to have his starting point guard back in the lineup in another week or two, just in time to face a challenging schedule. Ten of Detroit’s 16 games through the end of December are against teams with winning records. “Reggie will help our offense be a little better,” Van Gundy said. “We’re the only team in the league that’s played without their leading scorer every single game — that tends to affect your offense a little bit.”
There’s more news from the Central Division:
- Van Gundy continues to search for a reliable backup to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at shooting guard, relays Keith Langlois of NBA.com. The original plan was to use second-year player Stanley Johnson, but the coach didn’t like his inconsistent performance. Reggie Bullock got the next shot, but he suffered a torn meniscus and is sidelined indefinitely. Darrun Hilliard took the spot in the Pistons’ last game, and rookie Michael Gbinije is another candidate. “Nobody’s been bad,” Van Gundy said. “Everybody’s sort of been OK, but not great. You’d like to have somebody step up and really grab that spot and say, ‘Hey, give me the minutes.’”
- Matthew Dellavedova, an important reserve on the Cavaliers‘ championship team, is settling into his new role as a starter with the Bucks, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Cleveland entered the summer planning to match any offer to the restricted free agent, but decided the four-year, $38MM agreement he reached with Milwaukee would have placed too great a strain on the salary cap. “It was tough to decide to leave because you’re coming off the highest of highs and I loved my time in Cleveland,” Dellavedova said. “Fun team, great group of guys, great organization and fans, obviously. But I had an opportunity here that I couldn’t pass up to see how good I could be as a starting point guard and really challenge myself. You never know if or when that opportunity will come along again.”
- Bulls forward Doug McDermott met with doctors Monday, but still hasn’t been cleared for contact, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. McDermott participated in the non-contact portion of today’s practice, but will miss his seventh straight game on Wednesday. He hasn’t played since suffering his second concussion of the season November 12th.