With Rodney Stuckey, Brandon Jennings, and Chauncey Billups out, Maurice Cheeks turned to his fellow Chicago native Will Bynum to start at point guard for the Pistons second game of the preseason. Bynum went into MFWB mode for the new coach (that's Mellow Fisherman's Walleye Barbeque, for those new to DBB), leading the team in minutes, points, and hero ball.
The defending champ Heat had trouble staying in front of Bynum, as he dominated the ball for much of the Pistons offense on his way to 28 points and 6 assists alongside 7 turnovers.
Andre Drummond put up a nice line with 21 points on only 11 shots and 11 rebounds, including a chippy encounter with LeBron James.
Drummond and Greg Monroe helped keep the Pistons in the game by dominating the boards, pushing the Pistons to a 55-29 rebounding advantage. Moose struggled mightily in the rest of his game with only 13 points on 2-11 shooting (he did a great job at the line, going 9-12) and 3 turnovers with 3 assists.
Josh Smith looked annoying early on with some long misses, but wound up with a nice night at 12 points on 5 shots.
Jennings was held out for trouble with wisdom teeth. But more significant was Stuckey's injury, a broken thumb from slamming the tip of it in his car door. It's going to take surgery to fix, which is a major bummer for Stuckey as he's in need of making a statement this season.
No word that anything's wrong with Chauncey, sounds like it was just a night off.
Unfortunately, losing a guy was the biggest statement in the battle for the starting shooting guard spot. Kyle Singler shot the ball well, putting up 8 points on 5 shots, but also had 4 turnovers and 6 fouls. Not good for a guy who gets minutes by being Mr. Reliable. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was decent with 9 points and 5 rebounds, making up for an ugly field goal percentage by doing a nice job getting to the line.
Jonas Jerebko got his first minutes of the preseason and made them count, putting up 10 points and 12 rebounds - he was especially tough in the pick-and-roll. Charlie Villanueva was awful in his 21 minutes, offering 0-6 shooting. Luigi Datome didn't see the floor, and Josh Harrellson and Tony Mitchell didn't get enough time to really show anything - though Harrellson gave reason to increase his minutes next time out.
Next up for the Pistons as they continue the preseason is Saturday night in Brooklyn to take on another renovation project.