The Detroit Pistons made quite the splash this off-season in free agency, bringing in players such as Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings to help turn around a franchise that hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2009. Unfortunately not much has changed in the win column so far, as the team is 2-5 after a beat down from Steph Curry’s Warriors, 113-95.
But the bigger story from the game was more so who didn’t play much, specifically Detroit’s talent new $54 million swingman Josh Smith. Smith finished with 2 points as he only played a season low 19 minutes. While the younger Smith may have had something to say to the media about the benching, a more mature Josh seemed to not be phased by the lack of playing time. He had this to say via the Detroit Free Press.
“I just got to cheer my teammates on,” Smith told reporters, according to the Detroit Free Press. “You can’t really focus on the decisions that people make higher than you. You just have to be able to adjust around it.
“As long as I’ve been in this league, that’s what I’ve been willing to do.”
“I’m not a selfish player, so I’m not going to go in there and demand plays be ran for me. I just kind of look around and see what in the game is being forced my way, or given my way, and just work my way around it.”
For all the speculation that might come from this move, head coach Maurice Cheeks let it be known after the game that Smith hadn’t necessarily done anything wrong.
“It’s about trying to change some things up,” Cheeks said, according to the Free Press. “It wasn’t about sending a message; just trying to change some things up to see if we could get some things going.”
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out down the road. Whatever ends up happening, the Pistons were picked by many as a playoff squad coming into the season.
It’s early, but they have a lot of work to do before they start to resemble a playoff contender.