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NBA Links: Pistons hanging around, same could be said for DeMarcus Cousins and the Celtics, too

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Almost time for Reggie Jackson’s return.

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One

13 encouraging signs from NBA's first month (10. Detroit Pistons hanging around)

James Herbert at CBS Sports (written before the win over Charlotte):

The Detroit Pistons are hanging around

Despite a road-heavy schedule and the absence of the guy who makes most of their plays, Detroit has kept afloat with an 8-10 record by winning the games they're supposed to (and stealing one from the Los Angeles Clippers !) at home. Reggie Jackson participated fully in Monday's practice and, when he returns, he will join a group that ranks sixth in the league in defensive rating.

Six players who could be on the move

Just hoping that Cousins doesn’t end up in the Eastern Conference. C.J. McCollum too (yes, Portland could consider).

Here’s Fran Blinebury of NBA.com:

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings: Yes, he’s arguably the best center in the league. Yes, he’s only 26 years old. Yes, the Kings have to take a step back and begin another rebuilding project without "Boogie" in the middle of their lineup. But how does that really make them any worse off than in the current predicament? Cousins has gone through coaches like pairs of sneakers and while he keeps putting up big stats, he does nothing to pull the team or organization together. So far this season, there have been no locker room blowups and no problems with new coach Dave Joerger. Yet there has also been little indication that 2016-17 will wind up any different than the first six seasons of Cousins’ career, where the Kings have never won more than 33 games. It makes absolutely no sense from a sheer talent standpoint, but the clock keeps ticking toward Cousins’ free agency in the summer of 2018 and his trade value is is only going to get lower as the time on his contract dwindles.

Reaching next level no small feat for Celtics

Good read over at the Boston Herald:

It is a given that the Celtics will look quite different than they do at present should they ever reach the level they seek.

Though they have played just four games with their full rotation and still have 66 to go beginning with this evening’s affair in Miami, they are, in the words of Dennis Green, who we thought they were.

And who they know themselves to be.

From all indications speaking to team sources around the league, Danny Ainge is still after the major trades the C’s president of basketball operations knows are needed. And no doubt he’s loving each story calling the 2017 draft one of the deepest and most talent-laden in many years, understanding that such talk could raise the value of the Nets’ pick that can be theirs.

The 2017 NBA draft class is great, so why aren't more teams tanking?

As college hoops season slowly heats up, NBA interest begins to wane a bit (well, here at DBB it won’t, but this season I will make it a habit to keep y’all abreast of the particular college players to keep on the lookout for).

OK, back to tanking:

ZILLER: The Wizards need to surge ASAP if they want to stay in this. We saw what happened last year when they waited too long to get it together. Scott Brooks gets leeway as he learns his roster, and injuries continue to play too big a role. But I just can't fathom why this team is so much worse than the playoff team from a couple years back. The other piece is that it's unlikely the Wizards can conceivably be bad enough to get a top-five pick.

I wonder if the Pelicans are in that position, too. It looks like their highest Brow-era pick will be Buddy Hield. That's not optimal. I'm assuming they'll end up around the No. 10 pick at this point; it's hard to get an instant franchise player that low, and New Orleans doesn't have all the time in the world. But with Jrue Holiday back and Anthony Davis putting up historic numbers, they aren't going to be bad enough to get a Fultz or Jackson. Why couldn't last year's draft class be this good?

Traveling and double-dribbling all in one play, refs cool with it

Nets beat the Blake Griffin-less Clippers in double-OT on Tuesday.

Credit: Dime Mag

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Have a lovely end to your November, Pistons fans — you really deserve it.