Who loses minutes when Corey Maggette returns to lineup?

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Pistons reserve guard/forward says he is close to returning from his calf injury and hopes to play on team's upcoming West Coast swing. But who is going to be the casualty to make room for Maggette in the rotation?

Corey Maggette says he is close to returning to the lineup and could play during the team's six-game, nine-day west coast trip.

The team is noncommittal, but it does say he is "day-to-day."

I'm glad to see that Maggette's close to returning, but at the same time the situation has me a little worried. After all, if and when Maggette returns someone else is going to have to lose time to accommodate him.

So who is going to be displaced from the playing rotation?

Let's take a look at the minutes from Detroit's guards and small forwards during the opening-night loss at Houston:

Tayshaun Prince -- 32 minutes
Brandon Knight -- 37
Rodney Stuckey -- 37
Kyle Singler -- 16
Will Bynum -- 13
Kim English -- 14

First we must acknowledge that, yes, the reserves largely outplayed the starters against the Rockets, but no, the starters will not see a significant reduction in playing time.

I would also say that as good as the reserves performed on the floor, it would have been helpful to have a veteran who could slow the game down, keep things humming and maybe get to the free-throw line during the times when the offense was either stagnant or the players were all over the place and there was no cohesion.

So who loses minutes? My preference would be the starters but I think that is unrealistic.

If the team could shave off the minutes it allocated to the starters by five minutes each for Knight and Stuckey and maybe two minutes for Prince that already opens up 12 minutes to give to Maggette or others.

But I'd be surprised if Maggette only played 12 minutes and expect it would be much closer to 20. It's less likely that Bynum loses any minutes because he is the team's only backup point guard.

That means both Singler and English, who played well against Houston, stand to lose significant time, or perhaps English falls out of the rotation completely.

A lot will be based on defense -- the defense provided by Knight and Stuckey in the starting lineup and the defensive matchups in the game.

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