Should Detroit Pistons’ fans go running for shade because the season apocalypse is rearing its head?
No. Do not overreact and do not put too much stock into the sloppy game play of both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons in the exhibition opener on Friday in Auburn Hills. This was just the rigors of the shortened training camp showing its face to all who actually felt as if it would not present any player, especially the younger ones, an issue.
If you are a fan that will take the preseason game for more than what is was worth, then you would have become an avid believer that Brandon Knight is not the man we thought he was. The reports on his excellent work ethic and improving shooting skills were not really translating on the court.
Even though he contributed nine points in 22 minutes, he also produced a team-tying high four turnovers and racked up five fouls. If Detroit, a city that is as sketchy in fandom as the bandwagon Miami heat fans, has any chance of staying behind the draft pick, he must clean up.
The starting five was as follows:
- Damien Wilkins
- Charlie Villanueva
- Greg Monroe
- Ben Gordon
- Will Bynum
However, the only player(s) that I see advancing in that starting lineup into the regular season is Charlie Villanueva, against all greater judgment, and Greg Monroe. No disrespect to Ben Gordon, but after the Rodney Stuckey signing and a bit of Knight’s improvement he will be poised as a backup more than anything. Stuckey and Knight’s combination could prove to be deadly if both players put in the work to make it …work. This move will subsequently place Will Bynum on the sidelines as well.
Not playing Tayshaun Prince seemed more like a resting option for the veteran Pistons forward. A lot of franchise’s leading leaguers were getting some bench time during the first exhibition matches and the trend will probably extend into their second. There is no need to push them onto the court right now when these games only matter to those who need to prove themselves to the franchise. Coach Lawrence Frank was simply testing the waters.