Central Division news and notes:
- The Bucks are the only team above .500, the Bulls are right there at 5-5, the Pacers are struggling in a number of ways, and the Cavs and Pistons are young teams that lack enough talent and depth to get anywhere.
- Brandon Jennings was torching opponents the first week of the season, but has come back closer to earth with averages of 17 and 8 with over 3 steals a game. Michael Dunleavy continues to be a solid all-around role player off the bench.
- Joakim Noah wants to be an all-star. Despite a lackluster game in a loss to the Clippers, Noah has been doing it all for the Bulls. He’s averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and over a steal a game. His teammates have filled in when and where they can, but Noah is the leader and catalyst for this Rose-less Bulls team.
- Anderson Varejao had a ridiculous game against the Brooklyn Nets dropping 35 and grabbing 18 boards, he’s doing it all as well for the Cavaliers and has settled into averages of 14 and 13 with 3 assists. Kyrie Irving has been the other relevant player for the Cavs averaging close to 23 points and 6 assists. The rest of the Cavs are young and inexperienced, or just plain overmatched.
- What is wrong with the Pacers, other than everything? They held the Raptors to 5 4th quarter points and still lost. Roy Hibbert, their 7’2” center is shooting less than 40% and scoring less than 10 per game game. Give some credit to Paul George for coming out every night, as well as David West and George Hill. But with no Danny Granger and a stiff like Roy Hibbert, the Pacers aren’t going anywhere.
- Greg Monroe posted a triple-double and has improved on all his numbers from last year, save for his shooting percentage, a respectable 49%. Expect him to keep putting up about 17/10/3 with a block and a steal. He continues to be the workhorse for the Pistons as he patiently waits for his young teammates to develop and his bosses upstairs to help him turn this team around. It could be a while.