Detroit Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks has probably discovered by now that he has to make some lineup changes for the Pistons. One of those should be giving Luigi Datome more playing time. It’s not that Datome deserves to be a starter, but with how poorly other starters like Chauncey Billups and Josh Smith have been performing lately, it might not be a bad idea for Datome to be tried as a starter a few times.
In Tuesday’s 113-95 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Datome was one of the few bright spots in 10.5 minutes of action. He was 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-4 in 3-pointers for 10 points. There’s no guarantee he’ll do well every time he’s on the court, but perhaps it is worth trying him for awhile.
The Pistons didn’t sign him with the idea that he’d be their main star, but they thought it was worth the gamble to see how much talent he could display in the NBA. In four games, he’s averaging 10.5 minutes, 4.5 points and 1.3 rebounds a game and shooting 38.9 percent from the floor. The performance against Golden State indicated that he’s capable of doing some good things for the Pistons, who need a lot of players making key contributions right now.
But he also needs to play some defense, something not many of his teammates are doing.
The season is only seven games old, but the Pistons can’t be messing around for too much longer. Cheeks has to go with the hot hand. That’s why Datome should get more playing time. Right now, the Pistons have nothing to lose.