Random thoughts on last night's win:
• We've spent a lot of time talking about Detroit's four-guard rotation, but Atlanta might just have an answer: Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague. Granted, Bibby failed to score last night, Crawford didn't play with a calf injury and Teague missed eight of 11 shots, but there's a ton of talent there.
Despite his shot being off, Teague looked solid -- he had eight assists to one turnover in 31 minutes last night, and it shouldn't be long before the Hawks regret giving Bibby a three-year extension this summer. In the meantime, the Hawks are a legitimate No. 4 in the East, certainly behind the Big 3 of Cleveland, Orlando and Boston but ahead of the rest of the pack. On to the Pistons ...
• Don't spend too much time staring at the box score. For one, the Pistons are experimenting with some pretty funky lineups, including several combinations that feature multiple rookies, which almost certainly won't happen in the regular season.
(That's not a slight on the young guys; it's just a numbers game: this rotation might go 10-deep with veterans alone; Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko look like they belong, so that's 12, meaning DaJuan Summers and Deron Washington may not even dress for much of the year.)
Plus (as Quick Darshan pointed out), there's been a lot of three-guard lineups on the floor -- Rodney Stuckey seemed to spend more time at small forward than he did point guard, which helps explain why he tallied one assist last night (and three in three preseason games). Consider: between point guard and shooting guard, there should be 96 minutes (48 x 2) to split up, right? Well, Rip, Stuckey, Gordon and Bynum combined for roughly 105 -- and that doesn't include the 7+ from Chucky Atkins.
I'm not a huge fan of the ultra-small lineup (Bynum, Gordon, Stuckey, Tayshaun and Maxiell) Kuester used for a stretch -- Josh Smith tore it to bits on both ends of the court -- but in the right matchup, who knows? My point, though, is that guys are playing out of position, so don't read too much into low rebound/assist totals. Instead, focus on Detroit shooting 49.3% and Atlanta just 39.5%. That's been the trend: through three games, the Pistons are shooting 50.9%; the opposition, 39.9%.
• After going 0-for-5 from the field, Tayshaun Prince is now 4-of-18 (.222) for the preseason. Probably nothing, right? Perhaps, but it's not a good start considering he's in a fight to be anything better than the team's sixth-best offensive option (behind some combination of the four guards and Charlie V.).
• Ben Wallace ... potential starter? It could happen, especially if Villanueva doesn't return soon to stake his claim. Kuester talked before the game about how Ben helps set the tone defensively, and I spoke to Ben about the possibility of him starting after the game. At the bottom of that FanHouse post is bunch of random Pistons notes, including Austin Daye's reaction to his suspension, Kuester's thoughts on Jerebko and Kuester talking about the three buzzer beaters to end the first, second and third quarters. In other words, check it out. Consider it Part II to this post.