Central Notes: Mitrou-Long, Markkanen, Griffin, Drummond

Injuries have thrust Pacers two-way players Naz Mitrou-Long and Brian Bowen into action more than anticipated in the early going, Mark Monteith of the team’s website notes. Backcourt injuries forced Indiana to play Mitrou-Long 14 minutes on Saturday one night after he scored 28 points for its G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Bowen made a five-minute appearance in the loss to Milwaukee.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen hasn’t reached the 20-point mark since scoring 35 points in the season opener and shooting guard Zach LaVine is looking to change that, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “He just doesn’t seem in rhythm right now man. It’s a new offense. And I think it has a part to do with it,” LaVine said. “We’ve just got to help him find it.”
  • Injuries to Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose have contributed greatly to the Pistons’ 4-9 start. With some days off and both stars back in action, coach Dwane Casey is hoping to get things back on track, Keith Langlois of the team’s website writes. “We’ve got three or four days we can practice,” he said. “Before, there was one day in between.  … Sounds like an excuse. But it’s going to take a while for our guys to jell together, work together, learn each other. With Blake and Derrick back, for them to learn each other. It’s going to be a marathon.”
  • The Pistons will have to consider drastic changes if they don’t break the cycle of mediocrity soon, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. The trade for Griffin hasn’t resulted in a huge uptick in the team’s fortunes, Beard continues. Andre Drummond, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, hasn’t impacted winning significantly enough to warrant another long-term deal in many people’s minds, Beard adds.
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12 thoughts on “Central Notes: Mitrou-Long, Markkanen, Griffin, Drummond

  1. raz427

    I rarely post on here anymore but I read someone a few days ago that said “There’s not a player on this roster that would be starting on a championship caliber team”. That hit me. Lavine is not a franchise caliber player. I’ve seen enough players in my lifetime since 1989 when I first started watching that he’s a one trick pony. He’s not a great leader, he cannot make his teammates better, otherwise Mark wouldn’t be struggling or having problems getting his shots. Lavine cannot fascinate an offense thru him. He’s a better 6th man than he is as a starter. He has a cheap reasonable contract gives by today’s NBA standards. If I’m ‘Dumb and Dumber’ I would try to find trade bait on him. My career comparison is Jamal Crawford. Great scorer, cannot defend, cannot make his teammates better. Lavine could fetch you an unprotected 1st round pick to a STRUGGLING team. There’s no excuse why Mark shot attempts have drastically declined in the month of November. This is all on Boylen as well, usually when assistant coaches get promoted, they bring either offensive/defensive specialist tag towards them. I can’t figure out what Boylen’s was or is. He needs to go. He runs this team like it’s a HS team. No real FA will ever come here if he’s still the coach. That’s why GarPax traded for OPJ, because outsiders in the game know how terribly the Bulls have been ran since 1998. No reason to sign Thad Young to a 2-3 year deal when this team wasn’t ready to contend. No reason to trade for Satoranksy when you need to know what you have in Dunn and White during these growing pains. They should have signed a veteran guard for the minimum like a Raymond Felton to show those two guys the ropes of what it means to be NBA pro’s. It’s just mind blogging that everyone not named Jerry/Paxson/Forman see how comical this team has become. They have become the Celtics after Bird retired, until 2007-2008 when they traded for KG and Ray Allen.

    • steve

      I would wager to say mark should be shopped as well. I dont watch them i could be wrong but having a big 7 footer as your pf who only seems to rebound well isnt a guy you wanna throw big money at in FA. Given his weight seems like hes built like a center who isnt athletic enough to defend the rim, spreading the floor is nice, but alot of guys can do that at the fg% and 3p%. Over 3 years he shoots it at roughly a league average rate and puts up the numbers id expect. Nows not the time tho and your right Levine would be the guy id move this year, hed have to be shopped around tho to get an unprotected pick altho by the deadline that asking price may come to fruition. Still wouldnt be surprised if it gets like a top 5 protection on it, since hes a bit of a known quantity. Mark obviously shouldnt be sold at a low value and i would keep him this year because i would atleast want to get feelers on what he may be looking for in RFA. If he signs a reasonable extension he’s A keeper, if not i wouldn’t break ths bank for him.

      • raz427

        Great points. I do agree Mark has been very stagnant in his growth as a player. I like him and see his ceiling still relatively high. He isn’t a rim protector but neither was Dirk. I know it’s blasphemy to compare him to Dirk but there has been tons of stretch 4’s that were not rim protectors. I believe he needs AtLeast 15-20 FGA per game to be effective. I’m done with Lavine, he can’t be counted on as a leader or someone this team can progress with. You’re best best is to ship him for a pick, problem is outside of anthony, wiseman, ball, theres no real franchise altering team. Boylen is on the clock being critiqued every game and needs to win and show he can have player progression or else he’s gone. I prefer a guy like Sam Cassell who has respect around the league and has won titles and been an all star in the league.

        • x%sure

          Some people prefer scrubs and common first names.
          Porter for instance started elswhere to max effect.

        • U r right.lavine isnt a good player.only good in scoring.but suck in defense.he stop the offense flow when he got ball.always forced to scored event when he doubled team.but bulls dont need to trade him for 1st round pick.better if bulls trade him for an allstar player.maybe trade him plus sato for jrue holiday.or maybe give more player.im sick with lavine.

          • steve

            I like Cassell. im kinda surprised he took whatever roll he took this year and not sign not a lead FO job or assistant gm job. I feel like he general manger of a g league team or something i could be wrong tho. Hed be perfect.

        • steve

          I like Cassell. im kinda surprised he took whatever roll he took this year and not sign not a lead FO job or assistant gm job. I feel like he general manger of a g league team or something i could be wrong tho. Hed be perfect.

  2. Think you meant Brian Bowen. Thought the same thing when I hear the last name Bowen though!

  3. jump shot

    Has Bruce seen some guys he wants to stick his foot under on corner 3’s?

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