Calderon, Pistons can’t catch Nets
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Jose Calderon era with the Pistons has had an inauspicious beginning.
It’s likely to get better, but probably not overnight.
The Pistons will also need a healthy Andre Drummond and someone else to come to life offensively for it to translate into more victories.
Drummond said he fell on his tailbone against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. The injury limited him to two points, five rebounds and one block in just more than eight minutes Monday in New York.
During Wednesday’s 93-90 loss at home against the Brooklyn Nets, Drummond was all wrapped up in heating pads early in the game. He came in late in the first quarter, when Jason Maxiell picked up his third foul.
It was quickly apparent that Drummond wasn’t himself. He lasted just 4 minutes, 41 seconds and two blocked shots.
“It’s tough that I couldn’t be out there to help my teammates (Wednesday night),” Drummond said. “I’m just going to take care of the situation, and I’ll be back in no time.”
Officially Drummond is listed as day-to-day, so there’s a chance he could play Friday against the San Antonio Spurs.
“Andre’s a big part of this team, and he and Will (Bynum) have that chemistry on the pick-and-roll,” Rodney Stuckey said. “We really missed him (Wednesday night).”
Drummond might have been able to get the Pistons over the hump against the Nets.
They’re 0-2 with Calderon and 18-32 overall.
Calderon made his presence felt in the third quarter, when he dished out seven of his nine assists and the Pistons took a 73-69 lead.
“We’re talking about a guy that’s been in the league eight years,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. “It’s just going to be a matter of feel — his and also the other four guys playing with him and understanding what his strengths are.
“We’re going to go through a ripple effect. When you make a change, it doesn’t just affect the guy coming in. It affects everyone else. Whether it’s a certain guy moving different positions, there’s going to be a ripple effect. It’s short-term pain for long-term gain.”
While Calderon gets to know his teammates and they get to know him, someone other than Greg Monroe needs to get going offensively. Monroe had 23 points and 10 rebounds for his 21st career double-double
The most likely candidates to score more are Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva.
Knight, probably the most affected by the acquisition of Calderon, had 12 points and four assists.
Stuckey and Villanueva didn’t have great nights on offense. Stuckey had four points on 2-for-7 shooting, and Villanueva had two points and two rebounds on 1-for-8 shooting, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.
When Villanueva is hitting shots from the perimeter, it opens things up for Bynum to drive to the basket.
“Really, we’re looking for different offensive sources,” Frank said. “We couldn’t find it.
“You’re just searching. We had guys that missed some open, makeable shots. But that’s why you’ve got to grind that much more.”