Amir Johnson and Will Blalock will be getting a lot of playing time ... for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The duo was sent down to Detroit's NBDL affiliate this past weekend. From the Argus Leader:
According to Skyforce coach Mo McHone, the two will play in tonight's home game against Fort Worth - they had been scheduled to arrive in time for Sunday's game - and, depending how soon the Pistons can lock up their playoff position, may remain with Sioux Falls through the end of March. ...
As for Sioux Falls' assignees, the 6-9 Johnson played six games with the club earlier this season, averaging 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. Having appeared in only four games this season with Detroit, the 19-year-old has reportedly been asking Pistons GM Joe Dumars to be returned to the Skyforce.
The last time, Johnson was sent to Sioux Falls: Pistons vice president John Hammond said on the Pistons' Web site: "This is a great opportunity for Amir to get playing experience. He's going to play for a very good coach in Mo McHone, a coach who has won championships at the minor-league level. He's working on everything here. We can give him everything he needs here, but the only thing we can't give him is playing time."
For Blalock, the 6-foot rookie from Iowa State has played in 13 games for Detroit, averaging 1.8 points, 1.3 assists and 1.0 rebounds per game.Veteran guard Lindsey Hunter's recent return to health and Detroit's decision not to make a move before this week's trade deadline prompted the assignment.
"He's definitely at NBA player," McHone said of Blalock, like Johnson, a former second-round draft pick. "What I think Will is going to bring to the table is something we really, really need and that's a straight push the ball, run the offense type of point guard that will allow us to give Frank (Williams) more rest."
I'm sure Johnson and Blalock are looking forward to the extra playing time (if not flying commercial). We'll try to keep tabs on their progress while they're down there.