Like most anyone fighting to find a live stream or radio broadcast of Pistons preseason action, I've been most struck by the play of rookie Stanley Johnson and third-year pro Reggie Bullock.
Reggie entered training camp on the outside looking in toward a roster spot, and now it's hard to argue that he doesn't deserve serious consideration for a place in Stan Van Gundy's rotation. I explored this difficult but welcome roster quandary in Detroit Bad Boy's latest piece for the Detroit Free Press.
Please read the piece in full, comment and share on social media so the Freep knows they're lucky to have our particular brand of analysis.
Through four preseason games, it's not just stars Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond who are exciting the Pistons fan base, but less heralded players like rookie Stanley Johnson and NBA vagabond Reggie Bullock. Instead of a mish-mashed collection of parts, Detroit finally seems like it has a team that fits and enough talent to make roster decisions difficult and minute allocations painful.
If Van Gundy decides Johnson deserves minutes right away and Bullock eventually claws his way into the regular rotation, it could mean Cartier Martin gets released, and Jodie Meeks and Anthony Tolliver could see reduced roles.
Johnson was supposed to be good eventually, but he's impressed right out of the gate. The lottery pick currently leads the team in minutes and is second among all NBA rookies in both points and minutes per game. He's had his ups and downs, and he'll get even lower once the grind of a real regular season hits, but he seems poised to grab a place in rotation from the beginning.
While Johnson, by virtue of being a lottery pick, came to the team with high expectations, Bullock was practically an afterthought. He was a late first-round pick just two years ago and shined at North Carolina, but when you're on your third team in two years, the shine tends to wear off just a little. Most assumed he was simply a throw-in as part of the Marcus Morris trade, it seems Van Gundy believed he had a bona fide prospect on his hands.