Detroit Pistons: Time for new starting lineup

Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

After some slow starts, Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey has said he may start tinkering with the starting lineup. Here is a version.

Since Killian Hayes has been unable to play due to a torn labrum, the Detroit Pistons have been getting beaten soundly at the start.

The last four Pistons games:

  • Down 15-7 to Milwaukee
  • Down 32-12 to Utah
  • Down 52-31 to Phoenix (which Detroit won)
  • Down 12-4 to Milwaukee

There is a famous saying credited to Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Detroit coach Dwane Casey can see a scoreboard just as well as anyone else.

Since Hayes’ injury, Delon Wright has been the starting point guard, after starting most of the season as the shooting guard. Josh Jackson, except for when a foot injury sidelined him for a couple games, moved into the ‘2’ guard slot.

The way Jackson had been playing, it was a deserved promotion. But Jackson has not played at the same level since returning, a factor in the slow starts.

Hayes was a rookie and he made plenty of mistakes. But he had, before the injury, turned into a capable ballhandler and a solid defensive player. Hayes’ offensive game needs plenty of work, but the bottom line is, the Pistons were a better team when he was a starter.

Related Story. Why patience is imperative for Killian Hayes and the Detroit Pistons. light

What will the Detroit Pistons new starting lineup look like?

Factoring in that Blake Griffin and Jerami Grant are definite starters in any lineup, here is the starting five that Casey might go with in the future:

This shakes things up.

1. Point guard: Saben Lee

The theory was to throw Hayes into the fire as a rookie as Detroit’s starting point guard, and let him learn. The same should apply to Lee, also a rookie, albeit a second-round pick, not No. 7 overall like Hayes.

But the bottom line is, the team was not responding to Wright as point guard, and Casey likes Derrick Rose off the bench. You’re up Rook.

2. Shooting guard: Saddiq Bey

Bey is one of the best three-point shooters on the team. So far, he has had more trouble with shooting twos than threes, so moving the 6-8 Bey to shooting guard might be a better fit.

Defensively, Bey might have some problems but he is a heady player and with his length will learn to adjsut.

3. Small forward: Jerami Grant

This is pretty obvious. Grant has set a club record by scoring more points in his first 10 games than any other Piston. He is the only proven consistent scorer this season they have  … by a long shot.

4. Power forward: Blake Griffin

Sorry Sekou Doumbouya fan club. Griffin is being paid $36.8 million and it is not to be a backup. He is also a leader the younger players look up to. Hard to look up when the guy is sitting right next to you on the bench. Also, he has not been that bad. He just has not played like Blake Griffin.

Finally, if Detroit has any chance to trade him, he would have to continue starting.

5. Center: Isaiah Stewart

It is not that Mason Plumlee has done a bad job, but the starting unit needs some energy and the 6-foot-9 Stewart is an Energizer Bunny when it comes to that. Additionally, Griffin and Grant are not great rebounders, so someone who hits the boards hard is needed.

Stewart is an undersized center, but his is strong and has a long wingspan. It is not like Plumlee going 1-on-1 was a great defensive stopper. If Casey wanted to instead roll out a more veteran player like Jahlil Okafor, that might work as well, as it would force defenses to guard him down low and open up the perimeter.

The new Detroit Pistons bench

This new starting lineup now allows Detroit to come in with stronger reserves. You now have Plumlee, Wright and Josh Jackson coming off the bench. Combined with Derrick Rose and Svi Mykhailiuk, the Pistons would have some pop when Casey starts substituting.

Of course, the danger is that the new starting lineup could be overwhelmed. But, as the students sections say during games: “Scoreboard!” The starting lineup the Pistons were using got totally outplayed.

Next. Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey is in elite company from 3-point range. dark

Really, what does Detroit have to lose when you think about it?