Rodney Stuckey benched. Five winless games in, are the Pistons imploding?

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Things are not good in Detroit.

No, we’re not talking about the economy (but no, that is not good). We’re talking about the Pistons… and no, not jut that they are now 0-5 on the season after a loss to Atlanta Wednesday. Although that’s not good either.

We’re talking about players and the coach feuding. Just five games into the season. The latest incident was with point guard Rodney Stuckey last night, as explained in the Detroit Free Press.

Early in the third quarter, (Pistons coach John) Kuester called for Stuckey twice during a stoppage in play and Stuckey didn’t acknowledge him.

Kuester immediately summoned DaJuan Summers from the bench and replaced Stuckey at the 9:04 mark of the quarter. Stuckey was done for the night after playing only 13 minutes. He finished with five points and three assists on 2-for-6 shooting…

All Stuckey would say in the Philips Arena locker room afterward is: “It is what it is.”

This came the day after Tayshaun Prince fired back at the coach after Kuester questioned the leadership on the team.

There appear to be some real issues here, the kind GM Joe Dumars may need to deal with one way or another. But with ownership in flux — Karen Davidson is reportedly selling the team to Mike Ilitch — there may be a lack of strong leadership coming down from the top. Basically, nobody who can threaten jobs is calling down and asking what the heck is going on.

Because something certainly is going on. And it’s not good.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?