Auburn Hills — Pistons forward Kyle Singler appreciates every minute he spends on the floor. He knows he’s earned it.
Singler is such a big part of the Pistons rotation that there is talk he might start soon if the Pistons cannot figure out how to thrive with Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Greg Monroe clogging up the middle.
Singler did not have a solid game during the Pistons’ 110-108 victory over the Phoenix Suns Saturday night. He finished with six points and a season high eight rebounds but was in early foul trouble while coming off the bench. But he will get more playing time because he earned it in practice and in games by hustling, hitting jumpers and doing whatever he is asked.
“There wasn’t any question I was going to get playing time,” Singler said. “I am doing what the team needs me to do and for the betterment of the team and for the team’s success. So whatever that is. If they need me playing 30 minutes or whatever. I am not going to go to (coach Maurice Cheeks) searching or looking for playing time. I am going to put my work in and if I am ready to go out and play how ever many minutes. That is good for me just as long as it is for the betterment of the team.”
The Pistons’ rotation is in flux. Coach Maurice Cheeks shortened the rotation for the Sixers game and it is a mystery what guards will play and with whom. But Cheeks has minutes reserved for Singler. He has averaged 23.5 minutes a game for the season, but 30 minutes the past four games.
“Kyle is like for a coach you know what you are going to get,” Cheeks said. “You never worry about the things he is going to do. It is not a day-by-day or a game-by-game. I am pretty confident when I call Kyle’s name I know what I am going to get.”
Cheeks was asked what type of player Singler is.
“I get a little bit of everything,” Cheeks said. “When he is making his 3s you get his shots. He is going to run the floor. He can defend two, threes and some fours. You get a variety of things. I am always OK. I like having him on the floor. For the most part he is going to give you what he’s got.”
That’s the goal for Singler: to give all he’s got.
Brandon Jennings tied a franchise record for assists in a quarter (11) and a half (16). Isiah Thomas had 16 assists in one half against Dallas in 1985.
... Josh Smith excited the crowd with a block of Suns point guard Goran Dragic, who was cruising on a breakaway. It wasn’t quite Tayshaun Prince against Reggie Miller, but it was fun to watch.
... Twice the Suns deliberately fouled Andre Drummond to take advantage of his poor free throw shooting. He made two of four shots and stared at the Suns’ bench after making his second free throw. Drummond is shooting 38 percent from the line.