Despite missing the entire preseason, Italian sharpshooter Luigi Datome is inching closer to seeing game action. From MLive.com's David Mayo on Monday afternoon:
Cheeks said Datome "looked good" in his first practice since missing almost four weeks with foot and hamstring injuries, but added that the Italian import would need a similar showing Tuesday to have any chance of playing against the Wizards.
"Gigi has to go through another practice," Cheeks said. "Games are totally different. It's unfortunate that he didn't get a chance to play, because it would be good to see him, because he looks like he's a very good shooter. You know, time will tell on those things."
Datome practiced Tuesday, as well:
Two practices in a row with the team! NBA starts tonight, we will open tomorrow night at the palace vs the wizards...Who is coming? #pistons— Gigi Datome (@GigiDatome) October 29, 2013
It still seems like a stretch to think he might play in the season opener, though, especially with this assessment from Will Bynum. Again from MLive.com's Mayo, this time from Tuesday afternoon:
"He still looks every bit of 60-something years old, so I don't know if he's ready to play or not," Bynum said.
I'm curious if Datome looks limited because of his conditioning or because he's still injured. Regardless, he's impressed his teammates with his shot:
"That he can shoot it," Will Bynum said when asked what he had learned about Datome in two practices this week. "He can shoot the hell out of the ball. I didn't know he could shoot it the way he's shooting it. I knew he could shoot but not like that."
[...] "He's been good," Greg Monroe said. "He's getting up and down. He looks like he's moving fine. Obviously, the shot is there. He made a lot of shots. He's definitely going to add another shooter. If he's in the rotation, he's going to help us out."
So is he moving like a 60-year-old man or is he moving fine? Maybe Bynum and Monroe simply have different standards of athleticism. In any case, my completely unplugged-in hunch is that Datome will sit for another first week before he's truly considered available. I'd love to be proven wrong, though; I'm excited to see him in action.