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Pistons Links: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is on the rise, and some superstar and rookie rankings to entertain you all

More sweet offensive signs from Caldwell-Pope and the rest of the gang in a victory over the Rockets Wednesday night. Links ahead!

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday's uncomfortable walk and line-up drill fun aside, it was not a bad all around evening from the Pistons against the increasingly unpleasant and unwatchable Rockets.

Wait, uncomfortable fun? Yes, uncomfortable fun.

Fun only because Detroit won.

Something like that.

To some good reads and lists we shall go.

K.J. McDaniels' active night with 5 fouls in 9 seconds

Earning his paycheck. Check out the vine for all the action.

Caldwell-Pope and Stan Van Gundy seem to be all better now

Good to know KCP and SVG made up and I'm sure it won't happen again, or at least not any time soon. Both took responsibility for their mistakes and that's what proper adults need to do. Anyway, we didn't expect anything less from these two professional individuals. It's done, over.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Is Starting To Live Up To His Potential -- BBall Breakdown

We don't know how good KCP will end up down the road, but KCP will certainly get everything possible out of his body and talents. He's not going to leave anything behind. No regrets. That's really fun and calming to think about, and fans (and coaches/players) should be aware and not forget this. When KCP's struggles do resurface again this season, let's preach patience.

Below is a sound thought.

The fact that he's still finding his shot is less a cause for concern than a reason for optimism. It suggests there's still plenty of untapped potential. Caldwell-Pope might top out as a 3-and-D wing, but he could also still become a special player. Despite this being his third year in the league, he's not even 23 years old yet. The timeline for the Pistons' return to relevance was sped up and he has responded by settling into the role he's expected to fill this season, but he's far from a finished product.

KCP in nine games since Jan. 1? 16.9 points per game on 48/40/83 shooting. (H/T Lazchance and B-Ref).

NBA Superstar Rankings 2016: Stephen Curry Doing It All to Top League's Stars -- BR

#22, Andre Drummond (full post here)

Andre Drummond's offensive game is developing, and he's clearly been the NBA's best rebounder this year. Both those factors push him just slightly ahead of DeAndre Jordan, even if the Detroit Pistons big man still hasn't maximized his talent on the defensive end.

#21, Reggie Jackson (full post here)

Per 36 minutes, Jackson is averaging 22.6 points and 7.6 assists in the Motor City, which puts him in a rather exclusive group. Among qualified players who log at least 25 minutes per game, only one has matched both those numbers this season: Russell Westbrook.

Fun to see the other spots on the top 25 list.

Kyrie Irving at #25

Tim Duncan at #20

Chris Bosh at #16

John Wall at #14

DeMarcus Cousins at #13

NBA Rookie Power Rankings -- CBS Sports

I don't watch enough of the Heat to comment on Winslow's 'elite' defense, or whatever kind of words are being used to label his defense so far -- so, I shouldn't comment further on if it's a crime that Winslow is ranked ahead of Johnson in most of the power rankings that I see. I'm going out on a limb (not really) to write that many of these analysts/writers thinking Winslow is playing better than Johnson haven't watched enough of Johnson yet.

Evidence of my low knowledge base for most things regarding the Heat is already on full display, as over a week or so ago in a links post I said they were the most ready team to give the Cavs a run for their money in the East. Since then, they've become especially banged up (down two point guards) and are slipping in the standings quickly. Seems it still can get worse for them too. More bad news is that Hassan Whiteside, one of their relative bright spots throughout the entire season so far, left Miami's game Wednesday with a left oblique strain.

Back on point -- here are some rookie rankings:

7. Devin BookerPhoenix Suns (#4) -- Booker had two subpar games last week including a 22-percent shooting night against the Celtics on Friday. But then he exploded for 32 points (FG: 9-16, 3PT: 6-11), the most by any rookie this season, against the Pacers on Tuesday. A knockdown shooter, Booker is shooting 42.9 percent from three and 47.7 percent overall.

8. Justise WinslowMiami Heat (#6) -- Without his defense, Winslow would be near the bottom of this week's rankings. This will be a constant theme for Winslow, who is averaging 5.3 points while shooting 38 percent and a dreadful 24 percent from three. Winslow did have a nice eight-point, four-rebound performance in a win against the Nuggets on Saturday.

9. Stanley JohnsonDetroit Pistons (#5) -- Johnson hit five three-pointers and scored 19 points against the Grizzlies on Thursday. But that offensive firepower would only be for that one game. Overall though, a solid week for Johnson, who averaged 11.7 points, three rebounds and 1.3 steals over Detroit's last three games.

10. Myles TurnerIndiana Pacers (Unranked) -- After missing a big chunk of the early season with a wrist injury, Turner is back and playing quite well for the Pacers. Turner had the best game of his season against the Nuggets on Sunday, scoring 25 points, blocking two shots and grabbing seven rebounds in just under 29 minutes. If Turner can provide that type of production consistently, he will surely be earnig more minutes as the season goes on. Over Indiana's last four games, Turner is averaging 14.7 points and five rebounds.


The weekend is drawing near, folks. So no foul moods today, no matter what life throws at you. Take life on with positivity!  (and proper defensive technique in appropriate situations)