Saturday night Maurice Cheeks benched Josh Smith for the entire second half of another Pistons loss. Smith took great offense.
“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.