As Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks formulates a rotation for the regular season, he made it clear how players would earn minutes.
"If you're a shooter you have to shoot, if you're a rebounder you have to rebound," he said before Saturday night's preseason game against Brooklyn.
"If you're not shooting and making shots then eventually you have to find somebody who can shoot. If you're not rebounding you have to find someone who can rebound."
In the first two exhibition games, both rookie guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (3-for-20) and forward Charlie Villanueva (5-for-16) have struggled with their shots. Because he has shown the ability to defend, Caldwell-Pope has a chance to still get on the floor. Villanueva's career has been linked to being a shooter and someone who still needs work on rebounding and defending.
"His (Caldwell-Pope) game isn't built on making shots," said Cheeks. "His game is built on playing hard and playing defense. He had been making shots for awhile and he had been pretty good at that. Fortunately for him the way he plays, he plays both ends of the floor. Unfortunately for him he has missed some shots, but fortunately he plays defense."
Caldwell-Pope struggled early during the summer league making shots, but got better as he adjusted to the professional game.
"I suspect he'll adjust here, too," said Cheeks, "but his game is just not based on making shots. He has proven he can play a little bit at both ends. That's what's going to take him a long way in this league. The ability to play defense is always a plus, but you have to make some shots at some point."
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