Is Spencer Dinwiddie ready for consistent minutes?
With three of the team's four point guards out for the opening preseason game against the Indiana Pacers, Spencer Dinwiddie had the chance to make a statement, and could have shown Stan Van Gundy he was ready for consistent minutes during the 2015-2016 season.
Unfortunately for him, he wasn't able to put the pieces together, putting up four points on six shots to go along with four assists (opposite three turnovers) and four rebounds in 25 minutes. Although the Colorado product had better games against Brooklyn (seven points, four assists and two steals) and Milwaukee (10 points, eight assists, one turnover), the question remains whether or not the second-year player has what it takes to contribute consistently during the regular season.
Stan Van Gundy seems to be backing the sophomore guard so far, not blaming him for his inconsistent performances. Per The Detroit Free Press' Perry A. Farrell:
"He didn't play real well," Van Gundy said. "Again, it's a first game. Because of the injuries to the other guys he has had to play major, major minutes. Even in practice. He never gets a blow. That's been really difficult and I think it's starting to wear on him. I think the fairer just of him is when we get everybody back and he gets in a more normal schedule.
"You're going five hours a day and the guy never gets a break. It's not easy stuff."
Spencer has certainly had an up and down offseason. After a revealing rookie year where he showed some promise as a playmaker despite shooting poorly overall, and some solid performances against John Wall and Derrick Rose, there was hope that Dinwiddie would be able to claim the backup point guard position during Summer League play. However, a very poor performance in Orlando led the Pistons to trade for Steve Blake -- and it seems Stan Van Gundy was right to pick up an insurance policy.
A reserve role might be what is needed for Dinwiddie, who still needs to work on his decision making and shooting stroke. An extended stint with the Grand Rapids Drive could be in the cards for the young, raw floor general.
Reggie Bullock making a case for a roster spot
Eric Griffin was the first victim of the preseason roster cuts, leaving only four players to be sent packing by the end of October. Could an injured Danny Granger find himself looking for another team? Is Adonis Thomas going to find himself back with the Grand Rapids Drive? Does Jordan Bachynski have what it takes to stick in the NBA? Will Cartier Martin survive the roster decisions? What about Reggie Bullock?
As the questions swirl around who will and will not still be a Piston come opening night, Reggie Bullock has slowly made a case to stay in Detroit, according to Pistons.com's Keith Langlois. Even though the guard had a quiet game against Indiana, shooting 40 percent from deep on his way to six points and four assists, he didn't come off the bench against the Nets. Then, he dropped 14 points on the Bucks in Saturday's win.
Bullock has been impressing the coaches in training camp -- which could prove to be the difference.
"He's done everything he can possibly do for us to think about him because he really goes out and defends," Van Gundy said after Wednesday's practice following the preseason opener in which Bullock caught his eye. "He plays with high energy. I think he stepped up last night and did a good job."
Bullock started the third quarter against Indiana in what Stan Van Gundy described as the team's best defensive unit (Drummond, Morris, Caldwell-Pope, Bullock & Johnson), getting an opportunity to translate what he'd done in practice onto the hardwood. At 24, the Maryland native certainly has the potential to become a solid bench piece for the Pistons after making an appearance in only 79 games over the course of two seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. Stan Van Gundy is hoping that the third-year guard will develop into a three & D specialist, a skill that could prove to make Detroit home for the former Tar Heel.
Tweet of the Week
SVG on #Pistons 117-88 win with 25 assists at MIL & 7 in double figures. "What they created tonight is a blueprint of how we want to play."— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) October 11, 2015