Caldwell-Pope denies fatigue is affecting his shot

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope insists he’s fine. He hasn’t hit a wall despite logging a lot of playing time.

But during a two-game tour of Florida, Caldwell-Pope shot 8-for-35. Before the trip, he was one of the hottest shooters for the Pistons as they shook off a 10-game losing streak and rebounded by winning four games in a row.

“I thought Andre (Drummond) and KCP could handle the minutes,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Maybe I overplayed (Caldwell-Pope). That may have been one of the reasons he was 8-for-35 on this trip. We haven’t given him much rest. We are going to have to take a look at that.”

Caldwell-Pope played a combined 80 minutes the last two games. The biggest factor in the finale of the trip might have been guarding Dwyane Wade, who scored 40 in a 109-102 Heat victory on Sunday.

“I’m fine,” Caldwell-Pope said. “If coach wants to rest me I am fine with that as well but I’m good to go.”

He insisted tired legs didn’t contribute to his poor shooting.

“I just missed shots,” her said. “I am wide open. I have to knock them down.”

And that begins tonight against the East’s best team, the Hawks, at The Palace. And then again Wednesday on the road against the Hornets. The Pistons also have back-to-back games Friday on the road against the Bulls and Saturday at home against the Heat.

Slam dunks

The Pistons are 41/2 games behind the Nets for eighth in the East, but the Celtics, Pacers and Hornets are ahead of the Pistons as well.

Still, Van Gundy hasn’t given up hope with nine games remaining.

“When you get to a point where in your players’ mind it doesn’t matter, then there is no player development,” Van Gundy said. “To me that’s a tantamount to pick-up games. You have to play meaningful games and winning has to be important to develop players, so from that standpoint, that has been very good for us.”

... The Pistons have scored 100 or more in five consecutive games.

. . . The NBA announced that ESPN has picked up the Pistons home game against Boston on April 8 and moved the start time to 7 p.m. …..The game will also be televised locally by FSD.

Hawks at Pistons

Tip-off: 7:30 Tuesday, The Palace, Auburn Hills

TV/radio: FSD+/WMGC

Outlook: The Hawks enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the East for the first time since 1993-94. ... The Hawks have lost four of their last six. ... The Hawks played at home Monday against the Bucks.