Pistons hope to improve assist numbers
“Would we like to be higher? Of course,” Pistons coach John Kuester said. “We don’t have selfish players. That’s one thing I will say straight out. We got guys that want to make plays (and) are trying to help each other out. We would like to get better in that area, there is no question, but we’re not selfish that’s for sure.”
Injuries to Richard Hamilton, who had four assists in his only game this year, and Tayshaun Prince, who averaged 2.3 in three games, have hurt the Pistons assist total.
Backup point guard Will Bynum leads the team in assists with 4.1 per game, starting point guard Rodney Stuckey is second with 3.7 and Ben Gordon is third with 3.3. Next is Ben Wallace, who averages just 0.7 per game, no other Piston averages more than 0.3 per game.
“We’re getting more comfortable playing with each other,” Bynum said. “We are getting better and better everyday. It’s a learning process. I think in due time our assist number will definitely go up. We just have to keep learning how to play with guys and we got incredible one-on-one players. That’s probably it too.”
Stuckey and Bynum are both young point guards, who are also talented offensively and look for their own shots at times. Stuckey’s 118 field attempts leads the team and Bynum is fourth with 68 attempts.
Kuester has been known to spend extra time after practice talking to his young point guards and Bynum even joked he’s been in Kuester’s office so many times he knows all the pictures on the wall. But Bynum knows it’s for the good and appreciates Kuester’s attention to detail.
“He’s always positive all the time,” Bynum said. “He’s always on me. He’s always on me, but that’s a good thing though. When the coach is not saying much to you, that’s when you should be worried. When he is always on me, I know that he wants me to get better and better.
“He’s always on me about film (and) body language out there on the court,” Bynum added. “Teams could not have scored on that possession when we watch film, but he’s still on me about the small things, being in the right position. I could be an inch or two from being in the right position and he’s making sure I know that I’m right there. That’s big for me.”
Kuester believes a big key to the Pistons offense right now is controlling the tempo of the game. With two starters out due to injuries, Kuester wants him to team to choose when it runs and not get into a shootout.
“We gotta control it right now,” Kuester said of the tempo. “When you are down in numbers, you have to make sure that the pace is the way you need it, depending on the game situation. I feel very strong that, if we got into a rat race right now with our group right here, it wouldn’t be to our advantage. We are trying to make sure we control the pace of the game and making sure we do run when the opportunity presents itself, but in the same token (make sure) we get a good quality shot each time.”
For the most part, Detroit has limited opposing team’s good looks and is tied for second in the league in field goal percentage defense (41.7 percent).