Central Notes: M. Williams, Grimes, Rivers, Mitchell, Garland

After blasting the officiating following Monday’s loss to New York for “the absolute worst call of the season,” Pistons head coach Monty Williams stood by his comments on Tuesday, according to a report from ESPN.com.

I think I said enough last night,” Williams said before Detroit’s win over Chicago. “I’m not of the mindset of creating or building up an argument against the NBA or the officials. I was talking about an isolated incident last night, and I’ll stand on what I said and what I saw after the game. As I told our guys today, we have to move past it but learn from it.”

Given that it’s been nearly two full days since Williams aired his grievances about the officiating, it looks like the NBA has elected not to fine him for those comments.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Pistons wing Quentin Grimes, who was acquired from New York at the trade deadline, could help solve some of Detroit’s issues, says James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. As Edwards explains, the Pistons previously had a couple of very good wing shooters in Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks who struggled defensively. Grimes, on the other hand, is younger, more athletic, and far superior on defense compared to those two departed veterans, while still being able to space the floor. Edwards highlights (via video) some of Grimes’ impressive defensive techniques and instincts, and thinks the 23-year-old could be a long-term fixture in Detroit moving forward.
  • Speaking of upgrades on defense, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer details how head coach Doc Rivers has had a positive impact on the Bucks since he replaced Adrian Griffin. According to O’Connor, Milwaukee looks like a much more cohesive unit defensively under Rivers, with game plans that change depending on the matchup. The Bucks only held opponents to under 100 points once in 43 games under Griffin, but have done so four times in the past seven games with Rivers at the helm, O’Connor notes.
  • Various injuries — including a broken jaw — have led to a frustrating season for Cavaliers guard Darius Garland. As Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes (in a subscriber-only story), fans have been critical of Garland since he returned to action at the end of last month. After Sunday’s victory over Washington, in which Garland made some key shots to help turn the momentum around, Donovan Mitchell defended his backcourt mate. “The kid has done a lot here,” Mitchell told Fedor. “So much. For it to be devalued all for a few games is complete B.S. It’s not fair to him. He’s done so much for us as a team. Before I got here. While I’ve been here. He’s going to get back to his form. The kid is 24 years old. It’s not always easy to figure out a fit. He has done a phenomenal job of it and will continue to get back to it. Come playoff time, he will be right there with us. We have his back.”
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