The Detroit Pistons look to gather some December momentum, with a Brandon Jennings reunion on the horizon, but there is trouble along the way. Today's links feature all the Pistons news you need, including Andre Drummond's free-throw woes, Van Gundy's satisfaction with where his team finds himself, Stanley Johnson looking more comfortable on the basketball floor, how Kristaps Porzingis fans are going to screw Drummond out of a starting spot in the All-Star game and the Sixers winning(!) a game against the Lakers(!!). This would be the same Lakers team that dispatched the Pistons earlier this year(!!!). This is also the same Pistons team that has already beaten the Cavs, Bulls, Heat and Hawks.
Andre Drummond's toughest opponent has become himself -- Today's Fastbreak
Move over a few more columns, and you'll see it. Drummond attempted 18 free throws and made four. Ten of the misses came in the third quarter, including nine in a hideous stretch of basketball where the Rockets intentionally fouled him on six straight possessions.
In just over two minutes of game time, which seemed like hours in actual time, Drummond shot 12 free throws. He made three before Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy resorted to having his team commit a foul so that he could get his franchise center off the floor.
Van Gundy will take Pistons' .500 record so far -- Detroit Free Press
If it weren't for KCP, where would Detroit be right now?
KCP's defense: Steph Curry, Bradley Beal, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook and James Harden have combined to shoot 34.3% against the Pistons.
The primary defender was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
He added to his résumé Monday night by holding Harden to 6-for-15 shooting — although the Rockets star did score 29 points by getting to the line 17 times.
But the fouls came from teammates giving help; Caldwell-Pope had only two fouls.
He played an iron-man 43:47, including the entire second half, with Van Gundy choosing to keep him matched up against Harden (42:22) at all times.
Pistons' rookie Johnson more comfortable in staggered rotation -- Macomb Daily
Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson said Johnson is starting to figure things out less than 20 games in for the 9-9 Pistons and he expects the rookie to only get better as the season goes on.
"He's playing tremendous," Jackson said. "He got some questional calls down the stretch. I felt he was really being aggressive, taking on challenges, trying to get stops for us in the fourth. I like the way he came out really tenacious at that end. Offensively, he's finding his groove. He's just finding open shots, he's not pressing. He's using his god-given talent to help the team get shots and also help himself. He's progressing. We're 18 games in and he's making strides already so we're happy to get what we're getting out of a 19-year-old. I think the sky's the limit for him."
Predicting who will make the 2016 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team -- Sporting News
Kristaps Porzingis will probably be the East's starting center. He's definitely having a superb rookie season, but starting over Andre Drummond?
Find out why here. But I'll provide the cliff-notes version just below.
Kristaps Porzingis has New York City behind him. And New York City has 8.4 million people. And most of the NBA fans among those 8.4 million are Knicks fans, with all due respect to the Nets.
Kristaps Porzingis also has Latvia behind him. And Latvia has 2 million people. And most of those 2 million people — NBA fans or not — are Kristaps Porzingis fans.
Kobe Bryant gave 76ers fans everything they could've wanted and more (Vine Highlights) -- USA Today
Those 76ers won a game finally, albeit against the hapless and nearly unwatchable Lakers.
He (Kobe Bryant) had 20 points and five rebounds, but he was 7-of-26 on field goals ... and 4-of-17 beyond the arc. None of it's surprising. His past 13 games have been ugly. As they say, father time is undefeated.
You know who's also going to be undefeated? Detroit on this home stand. Three more starting tonight. Bring it!