East Notes: Pistons, Alec Burks, Bulls, Hornets


Coach Monty Williams took the blame after the Pistons’ close road loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday — a game in which Cleveland guard Donovan Mitchell saved the day with 45 points.Alec Burks

“We just didn’t execute with good coverage on Donovan, and that’s on me,” Williams said. “This is the formula for us to win games, but we have to be much better. And that falls on me.”

  • The Pistons continue to listen to trade offers for forward Bojan Bogdanovic and guard Alec Burks. They’re more likely to be able to work out a trade involving Burks before the deadline, a source told Hoops Wire.


Guard Coby White gave perhaps his best showing of the season in Wednesday’s road win over the Hornets, scoring 35 points and passing for nine assists. He finished 12-of-22 shooting with four 3-pointers to boot.

“I personally don’t think he was happy the way he played (Tuesday) night,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “And that’s the one thing I admire and respect about him is he’s very introspective. He can course correct pretty quickly. … He was really aggressive, he got downhill and did a lot of really good things and opened up things for himself and our team.”

White scored 27 points in his previous stop in Charlotte on Jan. 6. “We couldn’t stop Coby White,” Hornets forward Miles Bridges said. “Coby White, Vuc (Nikola Vucevic), they had a good two-man connection going. We couldn’t stop Coby in the clutch. If we got like three stops on Coby, we win the game.”

  • Guard Zach LaVine, who’s been the subject of trade rumors all season, may be out until after the Feb. 8 deadline. We have the latest on that right here.


For the Hornets, it’s been an ongoing theme. They did a poor job defensively in Wednesday’s loss to the Bulls, and that’s been the story of the season (along with some key injuries, including again to point guard LaMelo Ball).

“We couldn’t guard,” coach Steve Clifford told reporters after the loss. “They were just in the paint every pick and roll. … We’ve been having problems just because our principles are bad and stuff. But those guys are terrific offensive players. They played well, and sometimes that happens.”

  • The Hornets are considered by many to be the team most likely to have a fire sale at the trade deadline. One opposing scout told Hoops Wire they only need to keep Ball and rookie forward Brandon Miller. “They just need to start over,” the scout said. “It’s that simple. They’re losing what little fanbase they have left.”

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