Before injuries wreaked havoc to the Pistons’ backcourt, Maurice Cheeks told Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press a maximum of four guards would make the rotation. That’s despite Detroit having five rotation-caliber (give or take) guards:
So which would have gotten left out if all five were healthy? Cheeks on Bynum, via Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:
“It probably wasn’t him, anyway,” Cheeks said.
We can somewhat safely deduce it was Caldwell-Pope, who hasn’t played particularly well in summer league or preseason. He did OK against against the Bulls last night, making 3-of-4 3-pointers, but 18 points on 17 shots is hardly efficient.
That leaves just Caldwell-Pope as the odd man out.
But he should get a shot with Jennings and Stuckey out, though as far as I’ve seen, Cheeks hasn’t ruled out using fewer than four guards. Caldwell-Pope gives good effort on defense, and that should make playing preferable to giving extra minutes to Billups, Bynum and Kyle Singler at guard.
Caldwell-Pope’s biggest shortcoming is experience, but due to injury, he could get an opportunity to get some. His 40 minutes against Chicago certainly indicate he will. Any maybe by the time Jennings and Stuckey return, Caldwell-Pope will be comfortable enough to deserve to stick in the rotation.