Stan Van Gundy has demanded accountability from his players early this season. Case in point: he blasted his team's effort in the third quarter against Minnesota, and he limited Brandon Jennings to just 35 minutes combined in the first two games.
That said, he also realizes that he's sometimes to blame, as well. Speaking about the second loss of the season, in which the Pistons tied the game with two minutes remaining, Van Gundy accepted responsibility for not managing his rotation, playing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope the entire second half and Caron Butler and D.J. Augustin the final 18 minutes. From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
"If you're going to put your three perimeter guys out there running on fumes, you're going to have a hard time closing the game with the energy you need to do it," Van Gundy said after [Sunday's]. "I've got to take responsibility for that."
On Saturday, Van Gundy admits it was a mistake playing Josh Smith 44 minutes while giving Jonas Jerebko a DNP-CD. From Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News:
"Forty-four minutes, far too much," Van Gundy said of Smith's minutes. "The tendency is, you want to ride them. The problem is there's still six minutes to go and you have exhausted people on the floor."
It's been easy for Van Gundy to ride the hot hand at point guard, with a capable reserve D.J. Augustin backing up Jennings. But for KCP? That's been more difficult, with Jodie Meeks still sidelined for more than a month and Cartier Martin (who was unable to practice Tuesday) still unable to play.
But there's really no reason not to use Jerebko — we'll have to wait and see if SVG's admission turns into meaningful minutes for the Swede, who could also help with the team's struggles beyond the arc. Now your thoughts.