Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may stick in Pistons starting lineup

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The rookie impressed Maurice Cheeks with his energy in Friday's win in Sacramento.

Mo Cheeks likes what he saw from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in his first career start Friday in place of Chauncey Billups, who sat with tendinitis in his left knee. It's not yet clear how long Billups will be sidelined, but Cheeks suggested that KCP will stick in his starting five for the immediate future, while allowing himself some wiggle room to change his mind in the future. From Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News:

"I’m never gonna lock myself into doing this and then you guys kill me later on," said Cheeks, smiling.

[...] "I liked him. He does what he’s expected to do," Cheeks said. "Energy, defending, getting up and down the floor. I’m never surprised at the things he does. Knocking down the shots is a bonus. The way he defends and runs the floor is something he’s done since day one."

Caldwell-Pope played 21 minutes and change, scoring all seven of his points in the opening quarter when the Pistons took a six-point advantage and set the tone for a 97-90 win. The Pistons have frequently had sluggish starts to their games, so even though KCP didn't score another point the rest of his game, his energy early was certainly critical to helping them avoid yet another early deficit.

Check out the rest of Goodwill's article to see Cheeks' high praise for Rodney Stuckey, who finished Friday's game with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes.

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