Auburn Hills — The good news came with a smile. Pistons rookie guard Spencer Dinwiddie will play in his first professional game Thursday night when the Pistons play host to the Philadelphia 76ers at The Palace.
He was very giddy when he heard the news, letting out a little spicy language. Coach Stan Van Gundy said he would limit Dinwiddie to 18-20 minutes in the exhibition game.
Dinwiddie, whom the Pistons drafted with the 38th overall pick, has not played since tearing his ACL his junior season Jan. 12 at the University of Colorado. He declared for the draft and vowed to play this season. Van Gundy wants to get a look at him because of his size (6-foot-6) and injuries to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jodie Meeks.
"It is just to go out there and play," Dinwiddie said. "It is the same way it has been in practice. I just go out there and play and try to compete. Obviously I might make mistakes and be out of position and whatnot, being my first game back, but I will be prepared to win."
Dinwiddie said he's felt better than expected but understands rust might hurt him Thursday.
"I think it is coming very well," he said. "CB (Caron Butler) said that I did not have as much rust. It is a sign I am playing well and am fluid out there. I think I have done pretty well in practice. I am going to go out there and win."
Tanks, but no tanks
Van Gundy said the Pistons voted no on a lottery proposal that would have given teams with the four worst records an equal 12 percent chance of getting the top pick, starting with the 2015 NBA draft. Currently the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance of getting the top pick, which many believe gives teams an incentive to tank.
The NBA is looking for more parity in the league, but Van Gundy believes it is looking in the wrong area.
"I think teams look at it is their only way to get good is to lose games and get high draft picks'" he said. "I think the thing that has been one of the biggest impediments to parity in the league is the individual maximum on player salaries. By artificially limiting the best players' salaries is what has allowed people to put two and three stars together."
Pistons (4-2) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (2-4)
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Palace of Auburn Hills
TV/radio: No TV/105.1 FM
Outlook: This is the final exhibition game for both teams. Caldwell-Pope is close to coming back and worked out with the team Wednesday.