The Detroit Pistons continued the preseason schedule against the Milwaukee Bucks at home. Since it’s just preseason, I just want to look at the three things I highlighted.
1.) The shooting guard battle
2nd year player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got the start tonight after Jodie Meeks missed the game with back spasms. KCP was efficient, knocking down his open shots and playing with energy. KCP finished with 20 points on an efficient 6/9 shooting. So far so good for KCP after a strong summer league and 2 good preseason games and with Meeks being hurt and missing tonight’s game, he’s in the lead for the starting 2-guard spot.
2.) Closing out games
This game, they took care of business. They beat the Bucks by 14 and they really took control in that 3rd quarter. They didn’t have any problems closing out an inferior opponent. Here’s my 2nd favorite thing about tonight, Brandon Jennings had only 1 turnover. That’s only 1 turnover through 2 games. Nice start for Jennings in the turnover department, more calm out there.
3.) The power forward spot
I’m renaming this issue “the power forward spot”. Josh Smith got the start again with Greg Monroe at center and Andre Drummond coming off the bench. I don’t anticipate Drummond coming off the bench this season so don’t read into that other than it’s just preseason. Smith had a better game than he did on Tuesday against the Bulls. Most of Smith’s shots were in the paint and he rarely drifted outside for jumpers, that’s a good thing as a lot of Pistons fans would love to have Smith closer to the rim. Monroe had a rough offensive showing, but he did attack the boards relentlessly and showed effort. Smith finished with 12 points on 5/11 shooting and 9 rebounds, Monroe had 10 on 3/9 shooting and 9 rebounds, and Drummond had 15 and 16 off the bench.
Overall, good preseason win. The Pistons won 94-80 and KCP continued the momentum from summer league. I’m a big believer in KCP and I hope that he can validate my faith in him this season. 2 games down in the preseason, 6 more to go before opening night in Denver against the Nuggets on Oct. 29th.