Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye, both coming off of their worst professional seasons, said their struggles were in the past and they were ready for redemption. But in early preseason action both are as bad as ever.
We've already talked about how Charlie Villanueva had transformed his body in the offseason. He's in the best shape of his life and ready to put his struggles behind him.
We've already discussed how perhaps the reasons for Austin Daye's struggles last season were REALLY about how he played overseas during the lockout and lost too much weight to be effective when he came back to the big-boy league. Now, he is more committed than ever and ready to drain 3s as the team's newest "stretch four."
A make or break season for both players, this was a year for redemption. To silence critics and help propel the Detroit Pistons into the playoffs.
It is still a long way until the season kicks off on Halloween, but three games into the preseason the results look frightening.
Combined, the two players are 7-of-35 (20%) including 0-for-13 from 3-point range and a combined -21 plus-minus rating in 73 minutes of action.
Yes, it is too early to make final pronouncements but both players are digging themselves (or shooting themselves) into a hole that will be mighty difficult to get out of.
Both players were on the outside of the playing rotation looking in when preseason began and they only have five more games to show that they should see the floor at all this season. Daye is on the last year of his deal and Villanueva is a prime amnesty candidate following this season so it will be easy for the team to put the players out of sight and out of mind.
And they also happen to be competing for minutes at the team's most well-stocked position. Fans might joke about a plethora of small forwards but power forward is really where the action is. Jason Maxiell is the incumbent starter and Jonas Jerebko has cemented himself as the first big man off the bench.
And if Andre Drummond continues to take advantage of his minutes and fights his way into the starting rotation at center that will mean that Greg Monroe, the team's best player, will slide into the starting power forward slot and take 30+ minutes with him.
Honestly, a few more performances like this and the team might just cut its losses with Austin Daye and could pull a Jamaal Tinsley on CV. The better to make room for Ben Wallace and another backup point guard.
What do you think, DBBers, how many games will these two play in a Pistons uniform this season?