Charlie Villanueva could be playing his way into a starting job

Nothing is imminent, of course, but Vince Ellis of the Free Press raises the possibility that Charlie Villanueva could start a power forward for the Pistons if he continues to play at such a high level:

Although he won’t admit it publicly, he would prefer to start. If Kuester were to make that move, it would stop the Jason Maxiell-Austin Daye juggling act at power forward. Then Maxiell and Daye could be regular parts of the second unit, where Daye could get settled at his more natural small forward spot.

But if Villanueva keeps performing, Kuester might feel it best to leave it alone.

So Villanueva could start for the Pistons. Unless he doesn’t. Admittedly, that doesn’t bring much clarity to the issue, but it’s pretty clear Villanueva has been the Pistons best option at power forward all season so far. He’s out-played every other candidate at that position, and he did say before the season started that he’d like to be a starter. Ideally, I’d like to see Villanueva get rewarded for his obvious commitment to improving and good attitude with the starting job if that’s what he desires.

But the positive thing is that he’s been closing games, whether he starts them or not. He’s been one of the Pistons’ best (if not the best) crunch time players this season.

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