Leading by 30 points with less than four minutes to go, the Pistons were afforded the opportunity to get their third string some game time. Their offensive performance was horrible, shooting 0-for-5. But that's fine as the game was already put away. With Brandon Jennings back and these blowouts hopefully being more regular, it is in the Pistons' long-term interest to dress and play Spencer Dinwiddie instead of Steve Blake in these instances.
After suffering a concussion in the preseason, Blake has taken some time to get back into the rhythm of the game. In the 10 games prior to Jennings' return, Blake was shooting 46.7-percent from distance on three attempts a game while dishing out a 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. That is nice work from a backup in just under 18 minutes a game, especially a 35-year-old. But he is just that, a 35-year-old.
Blowouts are never planned, and neither are injuries. Therefore, a coach would prefer to dress his top 13 players. However, Van Gundy shouldn't completely ignore beyond this year. Blake could very likely retire after this season or find employment elsewhere. Jennings is not guaranteed to re-sign with the Pistons. The Pistons will need a decent backup point guard next year, and right now there is nobody we could call that on the Pistons roster.
Darrun Hilliard has played some point guard in the past, but he is more of a shooting guard. Stanley Johnson played some point guard in the preseason, and he played well. However, it would probably be best to keep him at the small forward and shooting guard positions.
Dinwiddie has not shown much in his short career, but he also has not been given much opportunity to. He's played in 43 games and only started one. He's played a total of 566 minutes. In that time, he's shot horribly. Last year he had a shooting line of 30.2/18.5/91.2. This year is not much better. In his small, nine-game sample size, he has a shooting line of 41.2/14.3/57.9. His best stat is his 117 career assists against his 38 career turnovers, a 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
But we're talking about garbage minutes. Time that Dinwiddie could use to boost his confidence, regain his shot. Dinwiddie's contract is not guaranteed next year. By playing him garbage time, the Pistons will gain a better idea on his value, maybe they can even trade him for a second round pick or just let him walk after the season. However, they won't know if they don't play him.
Dinwiddie is expected to play for Grand Rapids in the upcoming D-League Showcase, where he struggled last time. The Pistons host the Nets on Saturday night.