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Pistons Links: Andre Drummond's February defense compared to Hassan Whiteside's, decision on Justin Harper, plus more

Let's get to those links before the weekend hits.

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Pistons' Van Gundy leaning toward re-signing Harper -- Detroit News

Decision time is nearly here for Justin Harper as his 10-day stint with Detroit expires this weekend.

Van Gundy noted he gauges Harper's value on how the team plays with him on the court and although the plus-minus doesn't show Harper's full contribution (minus-23 in three games), the eye test tells a different story.

Marcus Morris, whose Kansas team played against Harper's Richmond squad in college, also has seen how Harper has made the transition to the NBA without missing a beat.

Morris' best advice to Harper was just to remain himself and not try to do too much because he has a role on the team and the opportunities will present themselves for him to excel.

February's top defender: Hassan Whiteside -- ESPN

From a few days ago. The whole article is worth a look.

Bold is my emphasis:

Just as he did in each of the first three months, Whiteside again led the NBA in blocks in February. And in keeping with January's theme, Miami's defense was again more stout with Whiteside on the court, allowing 98.9 points per 100 possessions compared with 103.8 points per 100 possessions with him off the court.

A similar case could be made for Drummond, who had a similar impact on the Pistons defense in February and who also had slightly more defensive win shares.

And although Drummond has slightly more defensive rebounds than Whiteside per 36 minutes (12.1 to 11.9), both rebounded 27 percent of contested rebound opportunities, according to

Whereas Drummond enjoyed a slight edge in defensive rebounding, Whiteside's rim protection is the trump card for February. Whiteside allowed opponents to shoot 41 percent at the rim compared with 52 percent for Drummond. The Heat center did it while contesting 10.8 attempts per game, which ranked second in the NBA, despite playing less than 28 minutes a night. On a per 36-minute basis, Whiteside contested more than five more shots at the rim than Drummond.

Offseason commitment foretold major year for Detroit's Andre Drummond -- USA Today

As the Pistons' offense improves, Van Gundy wants to use Drummond as a facilitator. "We can use him more and I think he would actually enjoy it. I think we can use him more as a trigger guy. I think he can pass out of the post," Van Gundy said.

Speaking of that, I remember one particular play against the Spurs Wednesday night where Drummond made a nifty post pass to Baynes for an easy score.

Drummond has developed a good relationship with owner Tom Gores and said the two are in constant communication.

"Andre has made me a better owner," Gores said in an e-mail to USA TODAY Sports. "He's gotten me closer to how players think, the things that are important to them, the ways I can support the team. I'm proud that he is representing our franchise with those qualities and good old fashioned Detroit toughness as well."

The Notorious S.V.G: Detroit's rebuild motors up a gear -- The Roar

An Aussie wrote it -- so there. Crisp, fun read and a little about geometry. The Baynes signing got knocked a bit too. #aussiewar

As Pacers wave goodbye to Chase Budinger, team reportedly welcomes Ty Lawson -- Indy Star

Probably a nice move for the Pacers as there still might be a bit of uncertainty with the recently reactivated Rodney Stuckey injury situation. Though it's risky since Lawson has been bad this season -- and risky for other reasons.

However on the court, Lawson can bring a unique element to the Pacers' offense. Though the team now plays with two bigs on the floor, there's still the desire to play faster. Lawson, with coast-to-coast speed, checks that box and more.


Last links post, prior to the Spurs game, I wrote that KCP will get 20+ in the win. Neither happened, and it wasn't close. I'm upping the ante this time. KCP will score 25+ against the Knicks on Saturday in a Pistons win. Cue my Howard Dean scream, YEEAAHH!