Central Notes: Stewart, Theis, Bucks, DeRozan, LaVine, Allen

According to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, 6’8″ starting Pistons center Isaiah Stewart has been a crucial leader for a 9-28 Detroit club this season. According to Edwards, the star point guard Cade Cunningham has been sidelined indefinitely, therefore the 21-year-old third-year big man has assumed the role of the team’s de facto leader.

Journeyman Detroit shooting guard Rodney McGruder told Edwards, “I’ve been sitting back and simply observing his improvement, his progress on the floor and as a leader.” He speaks up more during timeouts, huddles, and in the locker room.

Stewart and McGruder have discussed the need to manage Stewart’s physical behavior when playing carefully.

Stewart said to Edwards, “For me, there’s another growth step in terms of not showing that body language.” “I do believe that helped me in some way in terms of knowing how to communicate with my teammates. You can communicate with some colleagues in a certain way, but not with all of them. I’ve benefited from that element.

Stewart is averaging a career-high 11.7 PPG through 30 games in 2022–2023 on shooting splits of.467/.373/.742. Additionally, he is receiving 7.8 RPG and dispensing 1.2 APG.

There are other results from the Central Division:

Daniel Theis, a reserve center for the Pacers, appears to be getting better as he continues to recover from a preseason knee scope, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. During on-court shootarounds, the 6’8” big guy, 30, was observed, according to Jeremiah Johnson of Bally Sports Indiana.

According to Eric Nehm of The Athletic, the Bucks’ 139-118 drubbing by the Celtics on Christmas night had many similarities to the Eastern Conference Semifinals playoff series from the previous year. Nehm points out that Boston routinely managed to free up All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum for offensive mismatches that may be taken advantage of. He made a lot of difficult shots last night, and at some time, it will be up to me to possibly switch things up and give him a new look, but credit to Jayson tonight.”


Chicago All-Star DeMar DeRozan objected to Milwaukee shooting guard Grayson Allen’s strong forearm to his back during Friday night’s 119-113 overtime Bulls victory against the Bucks. There was a brief altercation while play was halted. According to Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago, DeRozan and Zach LaVine both expressed displeasure with Allen’s conduct following the game. Chicago’s players remained dissatisfied despite the fact that a video review showed that Bulls forward Patrick Williams initially fouled Allen before he slid into DeRozan. DeRozan stated, “I didn’t know if that was on purpose or what happened. “All I felt was a hit. That was all there was. LaVine also offered her opinion. We are aware of Allen’s prior performance, LaVine stated. Pat committed the foul, but DeMar received a back elbow instead



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