Saturday night Maurice Cheeks benched Josh Smith for the entire second half of another Pistons loss. Smith took great offense.
But apparently the two sides have made up, as reported by the Detroit Free Press (via SLAM).
“Y’all the only one who got a problem with it,” Cheeks said. “Me and Josh are fine. Josh and I are fine.”
Thanks for correcting the grammar, Mo.
The Pistons had two ugly losses over the weekend and in those games Smith didn’t play well, but I’d like you to find the Pistons player that did. This is a team that is 14-18 this season (which amazingly is good enough for seventh in the East).
Maybe Cheeks was trying to make a point, singling out the team’s highest paid player for extra punishment. Still, that comes off as a gimmick for a coach who has struggled to find lineups that work well this season.
Especially if he tries to play Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe together — they are -6.4 points per 48 minutes when paired this season, they are -8.8 points per 100 possessions. Amazingly, this group struggles defensively — when paired the Pistons allow 109.7 points per 100 possessions. That is 5 points per 100 more than the team average.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.