Van Gundy: Andre Drummond lacks focus
Consistency had earlier been a focal point of Andre Drummond's training at the beginning of the season, and while the Pistons' pivot has certainly improved on that front, there is one he is still lacking -- focus. As a collective group, DBB readers have been quick to notice and point out the young center's lack of interest in the game during certain contests. While some, namely former teammate Khris Middleton, have offered up a hint as to what leads the ex-UCONN Husky to tune out of the game, his overall lack of focus seems to affect his energy more than anything. At least that is what his coach thinks, per The Detroit News' Rod Beard:
"We need Andre's energy. When he's playing with energy at both ends of the floor, that's probably the most important thing for us."
"He's in very, very good shape. It's a focus and everything else," he said. "I don't question that he wants to do it, but you've got to consciously focus on doing things: running the floor, protecting the rim and being active defensively. It's got to be a conscious thing."
Stan Van Gundy's comments came after the Pistons' shocker against the New York Knicks, where Robin Lopez manhandled Drummond on defense, while his hustle and energy helped Derek Fisher's squad on the offensive end as well. Despite Andre besting his counterpart in most statistical categories, Lopez still finished the night with six blocks and an energy level that SVG called "tremendous". The same can't be said of Dre, who looked like he mentally checked himself out of the game during multiple defensive and offensive plays.
"(Lopez) posted hard, he made forceful moves, he screened, he rolled hard, he contested everything. It was a high-energy, high-effort night. He is usually a high-energy, high-effort guy and that was one of his best games. He did an outstanding job and I don't think Andre met the challenge of his energy as well as he could have."
While its good that Van Gundy has been able to identify one of his star center's biggest flaws, it will be interesting to see how he responds to them. Prior to the draft, Andre's motor had been questioned on more than one occasion, leading to his drop on draft-night, but it hasn't been as much of a problem up until this season, where it could limit Drummond's during his breakout season, and, potentially his career.
Marcus Morris discusses brother's situation, takes opportunity to diss Phoenix
In what has almost become a monthly affair, Marcus Morris has yet again taken aim at the Phoenix Suns organization while talking to the Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis about his brother Markieff's position on the trading block. The embattled Suns forward has featured heavily in trade speculation, with the Houston Rockets expected to make a serious offer prior to the deadline.
Until then however, he is begrudgingly playing for coach Jeff Hornacek -- that is when he isn't getting suspended for throwing a towel at him. Anyways, with the elder Morris' rocky relationship with Phoenix seemingly coming to a close, Marcus chose to weigh in on his brother's situation, per the Freep:
"One thing about Keef is he's always positive," Marcus said. "Some stuff might happen a little, but he's always positive. He's still looking to get out of there, still looking to go somewhere else. Right now he has to be a pro and continue to take care of his business on and off the court."
"I know he's doing that day in, day out regardless of the suspension and what's going on. He's a hard worker, and so he will continue to be ready when his number's called. If he gets traded, he'll be able to contribute to any team in the league."
And as for Phoenix:
"It's self-explanatory," Marcus Morris told the Free Press on Tuesday before the Pistons' 108-96 loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. "You see what's going on. Sorry to say it, but it's self-explanatory.
"I don't know what's going on over there. It's like a (clown) show right now."
After calling out the front office and former teammates on more than one occasion since his arrival in Detroit, this last jab might seem a bit more petty. but you can definitely expect to see more of them as the Marcus Morris Saga continues.
Jennings' name actively featured in New York Knicks' trade rumors
The press in New York has been working overtime to peg Brandon as the team's primary trade target as the February deadline draws near. After the New York Post's Marc Berman started the rumors midway through December, there were apparent whispers around the League that multiple NBA teams had their eyes on the point guard. Now, with the 26 year-old having hit the NBA hardwood for the first time since January last year, the rumor mill seems to have roared to life -- well at least in New York it has.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News explores Jennings' availability, discussing how the point guard's successful rehabilitation and his expiring deal could make him a solid acquisition for the Knicks -- at the expense of one Jose Calderon. Berman in a separate piece for the NY Post looked at the possibility of adding Jennings to the roster during the offseason, recalling some apparent mutual interest in both parties prior to the 2009 draft, culminating in Brandon ripping into New York after they passed over him, selecting Jordan Hill eighth overall instead.
Of course, as the deadline looms, you will no doubt hear more rumors of the League's interest in the Pistons' backup point guard. Realistically, there is a good chance Jennings could be traded, but what exactly would you want in return? A pick? An expiring contract? A veteran on a good contract at a position of need? Have your say in the comment section below.
Tweet of the Week
Enjoyed every second of the interview with my man @WojVerticalNBA. Gotta it out #bestinthebiz #Woj https://t.co/EGzK0W92MG— Reggie Jackson (@Reggie_Jackson) December 29, 2015