Should Kentavious Caldwell-Pope be an NBA All-Defense candidate?
He leads the team in minutes played, and comes in fourth overall in the League in the category, he routinely is assigned the opposing team's biggest offensive threat and has given the likes of Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook a run for their money. Touted as the team's premier perimeter defender, as well as one of Stan Van Gundy's favorite Piston players, could Kentavious Caldwell-Pope find himself earning a spot on the NBA's All-Defense team?
"He should get consideration, for sure," Van Gundy said. "I think that every night he draws our toughest perimeter assignment, and he's played absolutely huge minutes. It's not easy to do. It's not like you can go out there and just use all your energy for 6 minutes and get a rest.
"Put those two things together, and I think he should definitely get consideration."
As the Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis explores, Pope definitely has all the attributes to make it into the team. While many people question the third-year guard's offensive ability, his inconsistencies on that side of the ball won't matter, as Tony Allen's four Defensive Team nominations can attest to. Although KCP's defensive stats don't pop off the page (1.4 steals and 0.3 blocks per36), his ability to stick to his man and force them into tough shots has certainly helped the Pistons on more than one occasion.
Compared to last year's All-Defensive teams, Pope doesn't have the reputation, stats or accolades that some of those players have, but if he could garner some considerations now, at the ripe age of 23, it could set him up for future attempts at cracking that exclusive group of players. The last Piston to grace the list was Tayshaun Prince in 2007-08, but with an intriguing defensive core of Pope, Stanley Johnson and Andre Drummond, there could be more red, white and blue making the cut in coming years.
Pistons weigh in on D'Angelo Russell, Nick Young incident
How 'bout them Lakers? As the locker-room drama in Los Angeles continues to entertain the media, players have been asked which side they take on the matter, with several Pistons weighing in on the situation. If you are unaware of the trouble brewing in LA, it comes down to this: D'Angelo Russell secretly filmed teammate Nick Young discussing his infidelity all the while being engaged to Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea. Russell denies leaking the footage, and is still unsure as to how it featured on TMZ and other celebrity gossip mediums.
So, what is worse? Violating your teammates' trust or that of your partner? The issue has split many players and fans on who is at fault, with Detroit's squad also debating the issue, as the Freep's Vince Ellis relays. Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson were quick to criticize the Lakers' rookie:
"I'll probably never say another word to him," Pistons forward Marcus Morris said Thursday. "You're around them all year, and I'm pretty sure Nick Young knows some things about him that he'd never say. It's unfortunate, and it's something you don't want to see in the NBA," Morris said. "It's a brotherhood, and personal business should stay personal. You build relationships with guys, and you hear certain things, and I think that was one of those things. ... It's tough, real tough."
Would somebody (like that) be welcome at your job?" Jackson said. "You gotta be careful," he said. "You gotta watch yourself at all times."
Fellow rookie Stanley Johnson on the other hand, offered some support:
"D'Angelo is a good guy. He plays around a lot. I don't think he'd ever intentionally do that to anybody," Johnson said. "He's a way better person than that. He was raised better than that. His family's better than that. He made a mistake."
The issue is sure to gain more coverage as the Lakers limp into the summer break, as various parties continue to debate who is in the wrong, luckily for us, with the Pistons making a playoff push we have more basketball-related news to feast on.
Van Gundy: Assistant Coach Bob Beyer more than ready for head coaching opportunity
Stan Van Gundy has gone to bat for more than one NBA coach or assistant coach over the course of his career, showing support for the likes of David Blatt, Patrick Ewing, Jacque Vaughn, Tyron Corbin as well as many others. However, while SVG usually gets fired up about the treatment of coaching personnel around the League, he has decided to flip the script and shower praise on his lead assistant, Bob Beyer. Per MLive's David Mayo:
"He's certainly good enough (to be a head coach), that's for sure. I hope so. I would love that if he were. He's outstanding. I mean, in every aspect. He's a great X-and-O guy; he's a great teacher; really organized; knows the league; and he's got great rapport with the players. So there wouldn't be a single negative holding him back. You know, it's always hard for guys who weren't NBA players, it's always hard, especially outside of your own organization (the one that originally hired you). Now it's happened, and when it's happened, with Tom Thibodeau and Steve Clifford, and guys like that, there's been a lot of success. But it's hard to get yourself known and get your name out there. And to me, that's the only issue with Bob, because he's very deserving and certainly more than ready. He could have done it five, six, seven years ago, he was ready. So if he ever gets an opportunity, he'll do a great, great job."
Beyer, along with Brendan Malone and Charles Klask, was brought in by Stan in 2014 when he took over the team. He has extensive coaching experience, dating back to his first seat on the bench with Alfred University in 1983; after helping coach a myriad of college basketball teams, he got his NBA break in 2003 with the Toronto Raptors. Since then he has appeared on the NBA sidelines with the Orlando Magic (under SVG), Golden State Warriors and the Charlotte Bobcats.
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