Austin Daye appears likely to start Detroit Pistons’ season opener

Last Thursday, Pistons coach John Kuester addressed some of his preseason lineups. Chris Iott of MLive:

How long will the experiment last?

"Through the weekend," he said.

The weekend has come and gone, and Austin Daye is still starting. He started the Pistons’ win over the Wizards last night and had 10 points and four rebounds in 29 minutes.

I think this is Daye’s job to lose. And with only one more game before the preseason opener, he probably doesn’t have time to relinquish it.

Stuckey probably a starter, too, but maybe less likely

Daye’s chief competition, Charlie Villanueva and Greg Monroe, also played against the Wizards, so that makes Daye’s start pretty meaningful.

We didn’t learn quite as much about Stuckey’s starting prospects, because Will Bynum sat out with a sore right hamstring. With 34 points on 18 shots and seven assists, Stuckey certainly played well enough to start.

But that doesn’t mean everything. Iott on last night’s pregame conversation with Kuester:

Kuester downplayed the importance of starting, then brought up — without prompting — how well point guard Rodney Stuckey played Saturday night. Stuckey came off the bench for 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in a 97-94 loss to the Bobcats.

“Starting the game is not always finishing the game and playing quality minutes,” Kuester said. “We saw something in the Charlotte game with Stuckey coming off the bench. He had a wonderful game.”

I still think Stuckey starts. He wants to be a leader, and that’s tougher to do coming off the bench. Starting carries prestige and respect.

For what it’s worth, Stuckey said the right things to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

"If I’ve got to come off the bench, I’ll come off the bench," Stuckey said after his best game of the exhibition season.

"I ain’t tripping; whatever it takes to make this team win. If they need me to come off the bench, I’ll do it."

I think there’s about an 85 percent chance Stuckey starts the opener. But what a crazy world where it’s more likely – let’s say 90 percent – Daye is a starter.

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Tags: Austin Daye Charlie Villanueva Greg Monroe John Kuester Rodney Stuckey

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