The Pistons have trotted out Stanley Johnson as a starting small forward and have been pleased with the returns, Rod Beard of the Detroit News. While Johnson has done a fine job chipping in offensively, it’s with his defense that he’s justified the promotion.
Johnson, Beard writes, is learning first-hand the highs and lows of the job. Being in the Pistons starting lineup means that he’ll have less of an obligation to initiate his own offense but will typically line up against opposing teams’ best forwards.
“Playing with the first unit, you have better scorers and options,” Johnson said of the adjustment on that side of the ball. “You have Andre Drummond — that’s the biggest difference between any team and [the Pistons] — and he creates so much attention.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Despite having seen just 36 minutes of action prior to the Bucks‘ last game, Jason Terry figures to become a bigger part of Milwaukee’s rotation, Matt Velasquez of the Journal Sentinel tweets.
- While Derrick Rose‘s fate lies in his own hands, former Bulls counterparts Taj Gibson and Tom Thibodeau have faith in the Cavaliers guard. “Derrick is a good thinker,” Gibson told Nick Friedell of ESPN. “He thinks a lot. He’s a real smart guy, so if he needs to get away, let him get away, let him adjust, and he’ll come back. He’s a tough guy. He’s from Chicago, man.“
- The Pistons have been pleased with their production off the bench this season, thanks to a deep roster loaded with multiple skill sets. “We thought going into the season that depth would be one of our strengths because we thought that everybody on our roster had a chance to contribute,” head coach Stan Van Gundy told Ansar Khan of MLive. “We still feel that way and it does allow you to do different things in different situations.“