The 1-2 preseason Pistons are back at The Palace to do exhibition battle with the 0-3 Orlando Magic Tuesday night. We've seen some encouraging things in the first three games -- namely Andre Drummond -- and some of the same, expected things. What we haven't seen is Lawrence Frank's regular season rotation. That will materialize over the final five preseason games:
"You’ll get a little more normalcy," he said of his substitution patterns now compared to how he will use players in the regular season. "For tomorrow, you may see some different combinations so I can evaluate what they look like. But each game, you get closer and closer. Maybe not tomorrow, but starting maybe past that is look at what a first-half rotation would look like and to build it so by (preseason games) seven and eight, then you can look at what a real rotation would look like. There’s still a lot of competition and things are always fluid."
Langlois says "it would be an upset" if the starting lineup isn't the same that ended last season -- Greg Monroe, Jason Maxiell, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight -- and Jonas Jerebko and Corey Maggette are "pretty safe bets" to be the first two off the bench. Beyond that, it will be interesting to see how Frank finds time for Drummond and the other rookies, all of whom have played well in their respective minutes [MLIVE]:
"Basically what we do is put together the practices and the games," he said. "Every day I rank every single player. This is now practice 13 with three exhibition games. I look at where my rankings are now and start to make some adjustments accordingly.
"Every day is separate but you see if there are some common trends there."
- A starting tandem of Drummond and Monroe can't come soon enough for me. Frank says we "definitely may" see it at some point:
- The Pistons also plan on using Jerebko more at small forward, which is a good thing.
- Brandon Knight's advice to Drummond is to continue working hard.
- Knight's working hard himself to shed the shoot-first reputation.
- Despite the 1-2 start in the preseason, Rodney Stuckey insists that the Pistons are on the right track and could be a playoff team this season.
- Joe Dumars also sees promise in the Pistons, as you'll read in a fine Adrian Wojnarowski article. Hat tip to Piston Powered for pointing out the article and that at least two teams tried to hire Dumars prior to the sale of the team to Tom Gores. Dumars, loyal to the Pistons, refused to meet with them, much to the chagrin of some DBB faithful.
Shootaround the NBA:
- What do you do when you're dealing with confidence issues? Steve Kerr would grow a goatee and write bad words on his shoes.
- Delonte West was suspended by the Mavs, reportedly for locker room outburst.
- Ivan Johnson shattered the backboard at Butler University during a Hawks practice.
- League has given Derek Fisher freedom to return to Lakers if opportunity presents itself.
- Andrew Bynum will receive another knee injection before the season starts.
- Monday's highlights in 2 minutes.
"At some point you definitely may see it. The problem we're in now is we have four power forwards and we have to give each of those guys a chance. Based on what we see in practice, we have a pretty good feel of where each guy is at. At some point that combination could definitely come about, but we still have to evaluate our other fours and compare."
Through his first three exhibition games, Knight appears to be making an effort to shed his reputation as a shoot-first point guard. He has been trying to get his teammates involved, knowing his offense will come later.
"I'm just trying to get the guys to know that I'm going to be looking for them early," Knight said Monday. "It's just making the right play.
"If I got three guys around me, I'm going to have somebody open all the time. That's what it is: to give guys open shots. If I get a lane, nobody steps up, lay-up."