The Detroit Pistons have not met expectations this season–neither national nor their own. With tensions as high as they have been all season, a change in the starting lineup could have mixed results.
The Detroit Pistons have reached their boiling point after losing to the Pacers at the Palace last night by double digits–a disappointing trend of late.
Double digit losses to the Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards, and Indiana Pacers has lead Stan Van Gundy to entertain a lineup change for the second time this season.
#Pistons SVG hints there could be changes to starting lineup.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) December 18, 2016
Embarrassing losses and inconsistent play is merit for a lineup change, particularly for a talented team like the Pistons.
But would a lineup change really make sense?
If you’re going to make a change the time is now. The players recognize there is a problem and the team is losing. Whichever starter or starters that gets benched–particularly if it leads to a more consistent product on the court–would likely understand the move.
But who’s the odd man out? Reggie Jackson, a player the Pistons invested $80 million in who’s trying to work his way back to the level we saw him play last year due to injury?
Let me follow that question with another:
You’re talking about a short-term move (no one thinks Smith is better than Jackson) that could have catastrophic ramifications to relationships.
Then there is Marcus Morris, a player who I think is a perfect fit off the bench. Van Gundy could sell that move to Morris. Jon Leuer has been playing well off the bench and the second unit could use a guy who can create his own shots.
Morris would also be playing more minutes with Ish Smith, someone Morris has said is the best teammate ever.
But again, we are talking about egos here and from Morris’ perspective, I doubt he thinks he should be the odd man out. After all, he’s been the Pistons most consistent two-way player and has had a chip on his shoulder since having to come off of the bench in Phoenix.
The other side of the coin is Morris was the guy who took the most ownership in the players only meeting. The best way to lead is by example, and if Morris was the player to sacrifice for the sake of the greater good, perhaps it would have a resounding effect on the team moving forward.
There are other other players that could potentially be swapped out (Tobias Harris), but the risky involved are similar.
I don’t know that making a change to the starting lineup now makes the most sense given Jackson’s recent return, but if there was a change to be made, I think the most impactful and least risks would involve Morris for Leuer.