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Sunday, November 3, 2013

PISTONS NOTES: Caldwell-Pope out of rotation Sunday

AUBURN HILLS — Brandon Jennings made his Pistons season debut Sunday and with Jennings in the rotation that meant someone was likely out. That someone turned out to be rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The No. 8 overall pick did not play in Detroit’s 87-77 win over the Celtics as coach Mo Cheeks stuck with a nine-man and four-guard rotation.

“It’s going to be tough to play five guards,” Cheeks said before Sunday’s game. “They would be ran in and ran out, and it wouldn’t be to their advantage to try and play five guards at those two positions. It wouldn’t be right and just wouldn’t make a lot of sense. He has played well and we’ll just have to figure out how to get him out there.”

Caldwell-Pope was solid in Detroit’s first two games averaging 11 points, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals in nearly 23 minutes per game.

The University of Georgia product will likely get some minutes when veteran Chauncey Billups rests and there is a shot he could see time at small forward too, depending on matchups. Kyle Singler has been the primary backup three thus far.

“Depends on who the other guy is,” Cheeks said of Caldwell-Pope playing small forward. “We’ll have to figure it out during the course of the game. Who he can play against or play with.”

Turnovers a problem

The Pistons had a season-high 21 turnovers in their win over Boston. Detroit is averaging 19.3 turnovers per game through three games and it’s something Cheeks wants to see cut down.

“I am very concerned about the turnovers,” Cheeks said. “It’s something that we’ve been discussing. You can’t recover. Some of the turnovers we make, we can’t recover. Our defense is usually pretty good, but when we have turnovers the way we have them it’s tough. It’s tough to get back and defend the way we have (turnovers). It’s a topic of conversation. It’s something we talk about and we just have to keep working on it.”

Every team is going to have turnovers, it’s part of the game, but it’s the way some of the turnovers are occurring that is bothering Cheeks.

“Some of them were careless turnovers and it’s something that we can correct,” Cheeks said. “A lot of our turnovers we can correct and we have to correct. There are good turnovers and bad turnovers, and I would be fair to say we had a lot of bad turnovers.”

The Pistons have eight new players on their roster so there is an adjustment period and veteran Chauncey Billups expects the number of turnovers to go down once the team gets accustomed to each other.

“There’s not a quick turnover switch, it’s comfortability,” Billups said. “There is a lot of new faces in here. You’re trying to figure out who likes it where, who can make this play, who can make that play. In the course of trying to figure that out you’re going to have some misreads and some turnovers. I think it’s just over time, gradually we just have to make a real effort to cut down on our turnovers.”


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