The Pistons have been starting their No. 1 pick, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but have been getting mediocre results, at best. It’s time they put him back on the bench, determine who else they should start, and see if Caldwell-Pope can generate more offense in this regard. Rodney Stuckey is playing well from off the bench, but may eventually need to start. Chauncey Billups may eventually work his way back to the starting lineup as well.
In Tuesday’s 115-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, in 17 minutes of action, Caldwell-Pope was 1-of-6 from the floor and 1-of-2 from the line for six points with one assist and one steal. For the season, Caldwell-Pope is averaging 7.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 23.4 minutes per game, but it’s his shooting percentage that continues to limit Caldwell-Pope’s value to the team; he’s at 36.6 percent from the floor and 31.7 percent from the three-point area. At 77.8 percent, his free-throw shooting has been fine, and he’s also been taking care of the ball.
Caldwell-Pope does have some value to the Pistons. There was a lot of second-guessing the Pistons when they drafted him, and he had a shaky summer league performance. In many regards, he has shown that, as an NBA guard, he can get the job done. However, he’s only a rookie, and for now, he should not be starting, but should instead come from off the bench. He would be more effective for the Pistons in that capacity.
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