The Pistons' bench has scored a whole lot of points over the last few games, outplaying the starting five by a wide margin. They erupted for 41 points in the second quarter against the defending champs on Friday night and have averaged 62.2 points in the last three games. Will Bynum has been at the center of the bench's surge, scoring 31 points in Atlanta on Wednesday night and 25 against the Heat.
In the veteran guard's explosion in 27 minutes vs. Miami, he also had 10 assists opposite two turnovers, taking over PG duties for the injured Rodney Stuckey, who has averaged 6.1 assists and 2.2 turnovers per game off the bench in the month of December. Naturally, Bynum would like to keep a heavy ball controlling role when Stuckey returns from his injury (which is expected to be New Year's Day, by the way). In order for that to happen, Stuckey would need to be out of his way.
Back in the good graces of just about everyone due to his recent play, Bynum spoke out about what he'd like to see Lawrence Frank do with the team's rotation: [via Keith Langlois]:
"I would like to see Rodney starting at the point and Kyle coming off in the unit with us," Bynum said. "Two different looks, and it would be hard to deal with from other teams. And then BK can just score."
Lawrence Frank says he's going to keep an open mind about it:
"You always have to be open to everything," he said. "I can’t say that it will never happen. You have to balance the chemistry of that second unit. Can they sustain it? That may impact your decision."
To me, it seems Frank is between a rock and a hard place. Stuckey and Bynum are clearly the best facilitators on the team, so starting one or the other would certainly make sense in the Pistons' current confusing, unsuccessful and apparently "transparent" win-now plan. But Stuckey has requested Frank to stick with him coming off the bench and Bynum seems content playing with the second unit.
Further, making such a move and "relegating" 21-year-old Brandon Knight to shooting guard curbs the organization's other, contradicting plan of Knight being the team's point guard of the future, as Joe Dumars has claimed him to be since drafting him. You can't expect a project to develop if he's not playing the position, so the move either becomes a full-on admission he's never going to be an effective point guard or completely
Stuckeys stunts any potential for development there until later, which may or may not come and has admittedly been minimal through his first 90-some NBA games.
For a lot of Pistons fans, Bynum's vision is the desirable move, but it may also be a lateral one for the Pistons.
Thanks to tads for posting this in the FanPosts, too.