Central Rumors: Griffin, McDermott, Markkanen, Oladipo

When Blake Griffin was traded by the Clippers to the Pistons in late January, many people wondered how motivated and happy he would be leaving sunny L.A. for chilly Detroit. In fact, Griffin is glad he was dealt just months after signing a long-term max contract, as Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times details. Griffin is averaging 24.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG and 5.1 APG for the Pistons this season and has endeared himself to his teammates and people around the organization, Woike adds. “Yeah, I’m glad it happened,” Griffin told Woike. “I’m not saying I don’t miss certain people. There were some awesome fans that I got to know and I felt like I was very close with them. And there are some people you miss over there, but it was just time for a fresh start.”

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Pacers coach Nate McMillan vows to make better use of sharpshooter Doug McDermott, Mark Monteith of the team’s website reports. McDermott was signed to a three-year, $22MM contract as a stretch four over the summer. He is in the rotation but has averaged just 4.6 PPG this month while making 32.1% of his long-range attempts. He’s scored six points or less 13 times this season. “In the flow of the game you have to know who (the shooters) are,” McMillan said. “It’s like playing with a Reggie Miller. The bigs should look to get him open, it doesn’t have to be a set play. … Doug’s going to be OK. We’re going to get him better opportunities.”
  • Lauri Markkanen is close to returning from the right elbow injury that has sidelined him all season, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune and other media members. Markkanen has been medically cleared and will go through a full practice on Tuesday after participating in Monday’s non-contact morning shootaround. If he doesn’t have any setbacks, the second-year power forward will most likely return on December 4th.
  • The Pacers feel they are better equipped to handle situations when star Victor Oladipo can’t play, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star. The team went winless in seven games without him last season. Oladipo missed his fourth consecutive game on Monday due to a right knee injury. He suffered the injury in the opening minutes against Atlanta on November 17th and the Pacers managed to win that game. They were 1-2 without him last week. “For us, it really doesn’t make a difference who’s out on the floor. We want to play the game the same way,” McMillan said. “Play the game with a lot of energy. Play the game together. We want that ball movement regardless of who is in the lineup.”
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9 thoughts on “Central Rumors: Griffin, McDermott, Markkanen, Oladipo

  1. Ptn18

    Oladipo has a sore knee, but hasn’t done anything with it in a week. Sounds like more than a sore knee to me. Turner and Sabonis are banged up to. They have 4 games out west. Thankfully Mitchell is out for Utah. Bogdonovich has been getting 19 a game while Oladipo is out, but nobody else is stepping up.

          • Ptn18

            Him and Turner were listed as questionable for tonight. Both him and Turner are dealing with ankle injuries. They beat Utah by 27 last week. They need Evans to step up. They are considering replacing Collison with Joseph in starting lineup. See Fox59 News-Indianapolis about Turner and Sabonis.

            • Yeah I know they were both a bit banged up with minor ankle injuries. That stuff happens all the time in the NBA though, and they both look perfectly fine. Actually this is the best Myles has looked all year, and Sabonis looks just as dominant as he’s been all year.

  2. the dude

    Dont compare mcdermott to reggie. Dont even compare him to pancake sam perkins.

  3. all in ad

    Doug McBuckets showed last night. Find him!! Rookie Holliday is a baller…he needs minutes….collison can sit. Turner is not a long range shooter…keep his butt down low….rebound!

  4. McD had the same issue at his 3 prior stops. He’s more than just a 3 pt specialist, but perhaps not a top of the rotation guy. Hope they find a niche for him. He’s a guy that score a bunch without volume shooting or ball stopping.

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