There are a lot of things not working for the Detroit Pistons right now. A lot.
But Austin Daye may be the most glaring. Last season coming primarily off the bench he gave them a solid if not spectacular 13 minutes a game, but you could see the athleticism and potential.
Then in the preseason he seemed to have tapped into that and may have been the best Pistons player — he was a classic stretch four hitting 50 percent of his threes and leading the team in rebounding. He earned a starting role.
Now that the games matter, it has been ugly. Through three games Daye is shooting 24 percent, his rebounding is off and he just looks overmatched. Most telling stat: His PER of 12.8 last season has fallen to 0.29 so far. Three games, small sample size, we get it. But three bad games.
Is it starting? Is it positioning? (Last season, despite being 6’11”, Daye was played more as a three than a four, now he’s mixing it up with the big guys.) Is it the poor play of the Lions?
Daye remains confident and told the Detroit Free Press his shot will come around.
“Obviously you think about it when you first miss it, but the shot’s already done, so I just move on to the next play,” Daye said.
It doesn’t get any easier. Tonight the Pistons get the Boston Celtics while facing more injuries — Rip Hamilton has an injured foot and probably will not go, Charlie Villanueva is a game time call with a sprained ankle. They join Jonas Jerebko, Terrico White, Will Bynum and Chris Wilcox on the sidelines. If everyone sits, coach John Kuester will have nine guys at his disposal tonight. Daye will be matched up on Kevin Garnett, never something good for the shooting percentage.
Detroit needs the preseason Daye back. Fast. Because things are getting ugly in Detroit.