Pistons bench struggling
Detroit’s bench has been outscored by its opponents in six of its last seven games, going 2-5 in that span.
“It’s hard because we are pleased with what’s going on with the first group,” Pistons coach John Kuester said. “The second group, we just got to get them to play at a different level for us to continually play well.”
Detroit’s three main offensive weapons off the bench, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Will Bynum, are all coming off a horrible month of February.
In February, Gordon averaged just 9.7 points in 22.3 minutes, Villanueva averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in just 16.8 minutes and Bynum averaged 5.5 points and 4.1 assists in 18.8 minutes. All numbers well below their season and career averages.
“Getting that second group to play better or keep things at status quo in regards to coming in, sustain the lead or increase the lead, it’s so important to have a second group that does that,” Kuester said.
“That’s where we just need them to try to play better and play through this thing. I know they want to play well. There is no question in my mind. It’s just a matter of all of a sudden the execution isn’t as crisp and teams have taken advantage of us lately.”
Kuester mourns his father
Tuesday’s game against Boston came just a day after the funeral of coach Kuester’s father.
The Pistons head coach missed Monday’s practice, but didn’t miss any games after his father’s death on Feb. 20. Kuester said the games have been a welcome distraction.
“I think it’s healthy for me,” Kuester said. “(Monday) was a great day for my family in regards to celebrating my father who was a wonderful man. I’m very touched by the response of so many people that hit me over the last week or so.”
Jerebko earns rookie of the month
Jonas Jerebko winning the rookie of the month award for February is a result of him winning the respect of the rest of the league according to Kuester.
“This son of a gun can play,” Kuester said. “He is somebody who is gaining the respect of a lot of the teams in the league and his teammates, which is so important.”
Jerebko averaged 10.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and shot 56.4 percent in the month of February. Jerebko is able to get his numbers despite not being a focal point of the Pistons offense.
“He's always going to be up and down because we don’t run plays for him,” Kuester said. “Here’s a guy that gets rookie of the month and we don’t run any plays for him at all. That speaks volumes for a young man like that, to be able to have a player like that who doesn’t demand the basketball but yet by the same token finds a way to score.
“All right, coach, if you ain’t gonna run a play for me, I’m going to find a way to get an offensive rebound. I’m going to do something, spot up, and do other things.’ It’s just been a breath of fresh air to coach him.”