Detroit Pistons’ backup point guard situation appears to show promise


Within a few days, the pistons had question marks at the backup point guard and received some very positive signs of their future at the position.

That’s how fast things can move in the NBA.

After Delon Wright’s groin injury was announced, they appeared to be at odds with second-round rookie Saben Lee and recently acquired Dennis Smith Jr. Two games later the question arises, which ones begin, how do the minutes divide, and how What happens if Wright comes back in a few weeks?

Oh, and don’t forget first pick from Killian Hayes, recovering from a torn labrum in his right hip and could be back in April.

Lee was electrifying in Tuesday’s win over Orlando Magic, with a season high of 21 points on the 8-of-11, including all three of his 3-point attempts. This is a massive production from a two-way player who hadn’t played Magic in almost two weeks before Sunday’s 12 points.

“It’s difficult but he’s not your typical newbie,” said coach Dwane Casey. “He is not involved in situations where deer are in the spotlight. He’s not overwhelmed by the NBA or the excitement of the NBA.

“That in itself carries something. He is a very intelligent young man and he does not get insecure. He understands the basics of the game. “

It’s noteworthy that Lee found a level of comfort so quickly and didn’t make a lot of mistakes – just four turnovers with nine assists.

With Smith, who hit a season high of 14 points on Tuesday, it’s an encouraging development to see that he finds a level of comfort as he gets more playing time. Casey said Smith is the starter for now but it’s a good problem trying to find the playing time for both of them amid the other injuries.

“(Smith’s production) is overshadowed by Saben, but I thought Dennis did an excellent job of bringing the game to life,” said Casey. “He didn’t force anything and did an excellent job defensively. He set the tone up to the speed of the game and pushed the ball in transition. “

The Pistons also found a few minutes in Tuesday’s game for their fellow two-way player Frank Jackson. Casey has said he wants to find more playing time for the young players so they can be accurately assessed and the coaching team can determine which players are part of the core that is evolving.

Just getting to the end of the month and the time when Wright can return and build stability is the immediate goal, but in the meantime, it won’t hurt to get more minutes for Smith and Lee.

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Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard


Dusty Kennedy