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Injuries a factor in Austin Daye’s lack of playing time

Many in the comments have assumed that Austin Daye‘s disappearance from the rotation has solely been because he’s struggling with his shot. Terry Foster of The Detroit News reports that Daye’s ankle has also been a reason why his minutes have dwindled:

Daye, however, is hobbled by a right ankle that is black and blue and has played a role in diminished playing time. He wants to play anyway because he wants to show his coach he is a better player than he’s shown. He wants to help a slumping team that is tumbling through a dismal 3-12 season heading into tonight’s game at The Palace against Memphis and Saturday’s contest with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Daye can’t find playing time because his ankle is sore. His game is damaged, too. Daye is averaging career lows in points (2.5 points per game) and rebounds (1.8). He is shooting 20.4 percent from the field and has missed all 13 of his 3-point attempts.

The Pistons can’t afford to just bury Daye on their bench, and until this report, the impression was that Daye had just lost his rotation spot for simply not playing well. I’m certainly not happy that he’s injured, but I’m glad to see that the decline in minutes doesn’t mean the team is not committed to playing him to figure out if he can develop into a useful player.

Foster also notes that Daye is “lost” defensively and that Lawrence Frank has been spending a lot of time looking at film with Daye to help him improve, particularly when it comes to collapsing on the post to help Detroit’s often over-matched frontline. Hopefully Daye’s ankle gets better and this time spent sitting has given him a chance to get a better idea of what the coaching staff expects of him on the court.


  • Jan 20, 20122:10 pm
    by Mr.Blockedshot


    I think the worst thing about Daye since he joined the Pistons is his mental weakness. He´s so fragile he can be healthy and not be able to hit shots. But well, that´s something we will have to live with if he´s staying here … Anyway I think his stats right now are awful, no matter the reason. 10/59 from the field (several missed layups included) and 0/13 from beyond the arch has much more to do with lack of confidence, minutes and maybe skills  than with the injury. It seems a decade ago when he was on fire and hit 10 consecutive threes…

    • Jan 20, 20126:02 pm
      by labatts


      mental weakness?  I think that’s a bit over the top.  What is an example?
      IMHO, a more apt analysis is:  Daye sucks because he is 6’11” and plays smaller than Ben Gordon.

  • Jan 20, 20122:40 pm
    by basketpappan


    Ouch! seems very much like the CV ankel problem, get well quick.

  • Jan 20, 20125:06 pm
    by frankie d


    injuries are a factor, but a slight factor.
    this sounds like one of those planted stories that joe d puts out in the media mainstream in order to address concerns that have bubbled up among fans.  he’s smart enough to know how incongruous it is to have one of your main young players not playing at the same time you are beginning to try to sell the public that you are “rebuilding”.
    so those facts have to be reconciled in some fashion, no matter how weak.
    foster writes this sentence:
    “Daye can’t find playing time because his ankle is sore.”
    that categorical statement is simply not true.
    the entire story contradict that categorical statement.  later foster touches on one of the real issues: the resigning of prince.  but he conveniently does not mention the signing of another veteran SF who has taken time away from the young player.
    reading daye’s actual quotes, i don’t hear anything about his injuries hobbling him to the degree that he cannot play.
    in fact, what he says sounds a lot like what i’ve been saying over the last few weeks.
    “I heard a Hall of Fame player say, you only play as well as a coach has confidence in him,” Daye said. “The more Coach is willing to put me out there for situations the more comfortable I will feel. I just got to come out and make shots as well. It is not just about my minutes, but I got to make my shots. It is tough, though, when you don’t know when you are going to be in and out.”
    whether that is true or not is debatable, but it is clearly what daye believes.   and it is exactly what i’ve argued.
    more PR from joe’s designated media spokespeople.   it’s not a big deal, but just another example of the local media doing its best, in large and small ways, to protect joe d from criticism.

    • Jan 20, 20125:13 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Haha. Conspiracies abound!

      But seriously, I would have a hard time criticizing any coach for sitting a dude who is shooting 20 percent on largely open looks. I’d also have a hard time getting to excited about a player who can’t beat out Damien freaking Wilkins. If you’re a player with Daye’s talent, here’s how you beat out Wilkins: play harder. That’s literally the only thing Wilkins can do better than Daye. If Daye was shooting bad but not lethargic and lacking energy on the court, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. This is the second coach who has had that same issue with Daye. He misses shots and he shrivels up and has no confidence. Time to toughen up.

      • Jan 20, 20125:40 pm
        by frankie d


        @ patrick
        just a question…do you think that someone on the pistons monitors fan forums that discuss their team?

        • Jan 20, 20128:48 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          I don’t have any insider info or anything, but my best guess would be no. Media/PR/community relations staffs usually aren’t that big, and there’s so much out there, it would be really hard. I know they check out the main Pistons blogs and are familiar with what’s out there, but I honestly don’t think they’d have the time to actually evaluate what’s being said in comments and forums. It’s possible under a new ownership group trying to get a handle on the fanbase like Gores’ group has been that they’d hire some sort of consulting firm to take a look at that sort of thing for them and report some findings, but I’d be really surprised if regularly monitoring forums/comment sections/blogs/etc. would be a regular part of anyone’s job.

  • Jan 20, 20126:02 pm
    by frankie d


    i guess there is a chicken or egg question here.
    imho, the lack of PT has an impact on every aspect of a young player’s game, even “playing hard”.  often, “playing hard” leads to errors that would not happen if a player was more cautious.  but if a player knows that he can “play hard” and make errors and still stay on the court, he is more likely to play with the aggressiveness you are talking about.
    as i noted, daye appears to agree with the view i’ve argued, for better or worse.
    bottom line however is really very simple: what good comes from playing a vet like wilkins even for 6 minutes a game?
    none.  that is why it is ludicrous for the team to continue to trot him out, for 6 or 10 or 15 minutes.  
    he should be an emergency player who comes into games when no other choices are available.  unfortunately, he is, like many “hard working” vets, a security blanket for coaches who can always console themselves that their schemes were followed, even if they were not effective. 
    also, as someone who has worked with young people in teaching situations, one clear lesson is that you can never, ever treat two young people the same.  every person responds to different approaches and it is the JOB of a teacher or a coach or any person in the position of trying to get the best out of your charge to figure it out.  if you’ve not been able to figure out how to reach a talented person who is your responsibility, it is largely a reflection of your own failure.  
    and just because joe d has been dumb enough to possibly hire not only one, but possibly two, incompetent coaches does not lessen that failure.  
    is frank as incompetent as kuester?  who knows, but so far the results have not been favorable.

  • Jan 21, 20126:14 pm
    by frankie d


    “I know they check out the main Pistons blogs and are familiar with what’s out there, but I honestly don’t think they’d have the time to actually evaluate what’s being said in comments and forums.”
    well, that is exactly what i am talking about.  i didn’t mean to imply that there is someone who lurks all day on the site.  i simply mean that they do exactly what you indicated and check out the blogs and are familiar with what is out there.  and i would guess that checking out the comments section is just part of checking out the main blogs.
    i worked for a short time for a major national corporation that shall go nameless, but they did exactly the same thing.  in fact, a couple of employees were ultimately fired and they sued and the company countersued based on what had been posted in the comments section of a major blog related to that company.  it was pretty much standard business, and my understanding is that it is standard business nowadays.  in fact, most employment apps and contracts have a specific clause related to posting info online, and obviously the only way they can enforce those clauses is to monitor what happens online.  again, not sitting at a computer everyday, looking at each comment on each post, but keeping tabs on the general nature and tenor of fans’ comments.

    • Jan 21, 20128:33 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      My hunch is that if you asked someone on their PR team, they could name the handful of top Pistons blogs/forums out there. What I don’t know is how seriously they take them. Honestly, they’re likely to ignore things like comments sections and forums. I’m sure you know that people within a profession tend to look at the criticism of outsiders cynically. If I had to guess, I would guess that the organization probably pays little attention to what is said in forums/blogs/talk radio/etc. Not that I think that’s smart on their part, I just think it’s the reality. NBA franchises are huge money businesses and huge money businesses are rarely all that responsive to criticism.

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