Pistons seemingly narrow starting shooting guard options to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rodney Stuckey

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The Pistons have essentially four starters locked: Brandon Jennings at point guard, Josh Smith at small forward, Greg Monroe at power forward and Andre Drummond at center.

That leaves shooting guard, where there seemed to be several contenders.

  • Chauncey Billups
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Kyle Singler
  • Rodney Stuckey

Now, halve that list, Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks indicates.

David Mayo of MLive:

Cheeks, one day after saying he would use multiple starters at shooting guard during preseason, said the ultimate decision probably comes down to Caldwell-Pope or seventh-year veteran Rodney Stuckey.

I didn’t consider Singler a strong contender, even though he started a large portion of last season at shooting guard.

But I’m surprised Billups isn’t more firmly in the mix. Really, I thought he’d initially win the job before eventually being replaced by Caldwell-Pope, the No. 9 pick in the 2013 Draft.

The Pistons aren’t afraid to start a rookie. Singler, Brandon Knight, Monroe and Jonas Jerebko have started in each of the last four seasons. I just figured it could shake Caldwell-Pope if he was thrust into the starting lineup and it turned out he wasn’t ready. Better to wait until he clearly deserves the job, because it’s much more palatable to go old to young rather than young to old.

Why Billups and Caldwell-Pope ahead of the other Singler and Stuckey? Billups and Caldwell-Pope both shoot well from beyond the arc, a skill the Pistons need, because they have no quality outside threats in their starting frontcourt. Smith, Monroe and Drummond all excel near the basket, and a good shooting off guard could help them get space in the paint.

That’s not Stuckey, who made 30.2 percent of his 3-pointers last season and is shooting 28.8 percent from beyond the arc for his career.

In a vacuum, Stuckey might be the best shooting guard Detroit has, but he wouldn’t be starting in a vacuum – and it’s still questionable whether he’s the best, anyway. He seems to be a poor fit, which should give the edge to Caldwell-Pope.

Then again, I never thought Stuckey would have gotten this far in the competition, so who knows?

Did Gregg Popovich leave a $5,000 tip at a Memphis restaurant? (PHOTO)

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Gregg Popovich seems like a nice, considerate dude with a good head on his shoulders. The San Antonio Spurs coach made headlines this season as a leading advocate against many of the political changes occurring since the election of Donald Trump. He’s a thoughtful guy.

Popovich is also apparently a big tipper. A photo recently surfaced via Reddit and MySA.com that showed Popovich’s signature on a bill that had a $5,000 tip on it.

Nope, not a typo. $5,000.

Via MySA.com:

If you’re ever waiting on Pop, be sure to come back to refill his water as much as you can. It looks like it might be worth it for you.

Reports: Rajon Rondo “preparing to attempt to play in Game 5” but may wait until Game 6

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So you’re saying there’s a chance….

The Bulls have been lost at the once since Rajon Rondo went out with a fractured thumb — Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams have been abject disasters to the point Isaiah Canaan was brought out of mothballs (and played fairly well in Game 4). The smart play would be a no point guard lineup with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler as the ball handlers, but that will wear those guys down and will only work for stretches.

What the Bulls need is Rondo back. And that could happen for Game 5 Wednesday, if not maybe for Game 6, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports, and Marc Stein of ESPN.

Rondo is tough, he might be able to play through this, although it likely would limit his effectiveness, particularly when he has the ball.

The Bulls will take whatever he can give. The Celtics woke up the last two games, and it’s going to be difficult to turn the tide without better play at the point.

Rockets owner appears to leave seat, yell at refs during matchup with Thunder (VIDEO)

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The Houston Rockets are in control of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and were up 3-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5 in Texas.

That did not stop what appeared to be Rockets owner Leslie Alexander from complaining to NBA referees. During gameplay. While standing directly next to an official, some 20 feet from his courtside seat.

Via Twitter:

Congratulations are in order to Bill Kennedy, the official in question, for keeping his cool. Or perhaps he just was so surprised by some dude yelling in his ear from right next to him he didn’t know how to react.

Brandon Jennings no fan of the NBA’s new Awards Ceremony event

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Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)

The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.

Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:

Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)

There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).

It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.