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Detroit Pistons finally alter starting lineup

Feb 5, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Singler

After weeks and weeks of everyone clamoring for the Pistons to change their starting lineup, they’ve finally done it.

But Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummondwho excel in pairs, just not as a trio – will still be starting together in the frontcourt.

Instead Kyle Singler will replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at shooting guard against the Magic tonight.

Arron Afflalo has given Caldwell-Pope trouble. In the 34 minutes they’ve shared the court this season, Afflalo is 12-for-17 for 29 points. And Caldwell-Pope was already on a short leash with Maurice Cheeks, getting pulled just two minutes into the Pistons’ loss to the Heat on Monday after Dwyane Wade worked him.

But Caldwell-Pope has been the Pistons’ best perimeter defender this season. Singler, who played more shooting guard last season, is just too slow to cover most shooting guards well.

In the 42 minutes Singler has played with Smith, Monroe and Drummond, the Pistons have yielded a whopping 125.0 points per 100 possessions. The lineup’s offensive rating of 86.8 is also awful.

That’s obviously a very small sample, but it only confirms the eye test. Singler is not cut out to defend starting shooting guards.

Caldwell-Pope has had issues against some of the league’s better twos, and that includes Afflalo. But the rookie is the best in a pool of imperfect options. When Caldwell-Pope joined the Pistons’ starting lineup, it went from horrendous to merely below average defensively.

That was at least progress.

There’s a chance Singler takes the Pistons further – and one game against the meager Magic won’t prove it one way or another – but this is not the significant change to their starting lineup many anticipated.

  1. alexbebeastin - Feb 5, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    What Detroit need to do is alter the whole front office and roster.

  2. 1forest1 - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    They should cut their losses and trade one, preferably Monroe since no one is going to want Smith’s contract

  3. weaselpuppy - Feb 5, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Damn you Cheeks…you are one sorry SOB….

  4. savvybynature - Feb 5, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it didn’t work at all considering the Pistons were just blown out by the Magic, and Singler was a game worst -22 and Afflalo a game best +18.
    The Pistons just need to trade someone and then hire Lionel Hollins. It’s their only hope.

  5. onlyavoice - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Dumars can not ever hire a decent coach.
    99% of his hires are duds.

  6. asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Singler at SG? Yeah that will work well.

  7. oasis511 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    The problem as I’ve seen it is Cheeks’ decision every game to put Josh Smith at power forward and leave Singler in during the fourth quarter while Greg Monroe sits on the bench. He does this even in games when Smith is shooting horribly and Monroe is playing well. He seems to think Smith will get it done defensively, but all this really does is leave them without a reliable offensive player in clutch time.Then Brandon Jennings ends up trying to take over the game, and that’s never a good thing.

    Jennnings was 2-13 in the second half of last night’s game, and 0-6 in the fourth quarter. His only two assists in the fourth were on a dunk and a layup that Smith cut for. THAT is why they lost. Especially considering he was 2-10 on three’s and is now below 33% on three-point shooting for the season (6-24 in just the last three games!).

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