Central Notes: LaVine, DeRozan, Caruso, Pistons, Garland, Mobley

Zach LaVine used to be the player the Bulls called upon to take the last shot in a close game. DeMar DeRozan has usually taken those shots since joining the team last season and LaVine is fine with that, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

“You understand what he’s done in his career. He’s made a lot of those shots,” LaVine said of his Bulls teammate. “I’ve also made a lot of those shots. So you live with the decision. I ride or die with him every time he takes a shot like that because I’ve seen him make more than he missed.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls are in the middle of the pack in terms of defensive rating and guard Alex Caruso believes they’re capable of guarding with more consistent effort, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “I think we have the right intentions with it,’’ Caruso said. “Obviously we’re not doing it every single possession, but I don’t think that anyone in the league is capable of that. Coaches have put us in a good spot. It’s about taking the information they give us and executing it on the floor. Like I said, the details. We’ve shown that could lead to some good things.”
  • The Pistons have become quite reliant on their bench and the second unit has produced, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Since Nov. 18, the bench is averaging a league-best 48.1 points per game. Detroit had five reserves in double figures when it defeated Minnesota on Saturday. “We have a lot of character guys on that group,” coach Dwane Casey said.
  • Cavaliers star guard Darius Garland (right thumb sprain) is listed as doubtful to play against the Bulls on Monday, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic tweets. Cleveland forward Evan Mobley (right ankle soreness) is listed as questionable.
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