Central Notes: Bogdanovic, Middelton, Lopez, Haliburton

The Pistons may have the league’s worst record, but that won’t deter Dwane Casey from proclaiming that Bojan Bogdanovic deserves All-Star recognition, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News writes.

“I hope people don’t look at our record as a rebuilding team and punish him for that because to me, Bogey’s an All-Star,” the Pistons’ head coach said. “I’ve coached a lot of offensive players in my career when you talk about (Dirk) Nowitzki, (DeMar) DeRozan, a lot of those guys, Kevin Garnett. Offensively, he’s right up there with those guys as far as scoring the basketball.”

Bogdanovic, who signed a two-year extension with the Pistons early this season, is averaging a team-high 20.8 points.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks forward Khris Middleton made his long-awaited return from wrist surgery early this month, but now swelling in his knee has sidelined him, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. “I would say way better than I was last week when I stopped playing,” Middleton said Saturday. “A lot of swelling in my knee went down. Just taking it day-by-day. Just trying to make sure the next time I go back out there I’ll be out there for the long run.” Middleton missed his fifth consecutive game on Sunday, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets.
  • Bucks center Brook Lopez was sidelined much of last season due to a back injury. Lopez has not only been healthy this season, he has emerged as a candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award. He told Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated that he’s humbled to be in that discussion. “Absolutely it would mean something, it would be a great honor,” Lopez said. “I’ve had a very interesting career arc. The changes I’ve had to make to my game to stay in the league, I’m proud of that and I’m proud of the player I’ve become. It would definitely be an honor.”
  • Tyrese Haliburton was held to one point the first time the Pacers faced the Heat this month. The rematch was way different, as he erupted for 43 points and set a franchise-record with 10 3-pointers on Friday. Haliburton felt he had something to prove to Miami, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star relays. “Last time we played these guys, they really had me in check,” he said. “I just had to come out here and respond the right way.”
View Comments (1)