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Dinwiddie replaces struggling Blake as backup point

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Spencer Dinwiddie isn’t officially the backup point guard for the Pistons. But he was expected to play that role for at least one night, Tuesday against the Cavaliers.

Dinwiddie replaced struggling Steve Blake (3.1 points, 3.1 assists) during Sunday’s loss to the Lakers that ended a six-game West Coast swing. Dinwiddie finished with 17 points and four assists in 24 minutes and initiated ball movement coach Stan Van Gundy wants.

“That is part of being a professional,” Dinwiddie said. “You come to work every day and do your job. It is not easy and every situation may not go that well, but I was blessed and fortunate to have a good game that day.”

Dinwiddie played the fourth quarter after starter Reggie Jackson was benched following his fifth turnover.

“It’s still kind of a fluid situation,” Dinwiddie said of his backup status. “I think I’m going to play because I went through the walkthrough, but other than that nothing is promised.”

Said Van Gundy: “We’ll see how it goes. We’ll see how guys are playing.”

Dinwiddie, at 6-foot-6 and in his second year, could lose some time when Brandon Jennings returns from an injury around Christmas.

But, until then, he’s giving the coaches something to think about.

Pistons, Jackson try to address lack of assists

“I played pretty well in my first regular-season action,” Dinwiddie said of the Lakers game. “It makes me feel good and it is vindication but I don’t think the coaching staff lost faith in me.”

Dinner time

The Pistons will take part in the fifth annual Thanksgiving dinner at The Palace, where more than 750 meals will be served by coaches, players and staff.

Families were selected by Forgotten Harvest from Wayne and Oakland counties, and the meals are sponsored by the Pistons and Meijer.

The Pistons also will be joined by 30 uniformed military personnel as part of the NBA’s Hoops for Troops campaign.

LeBron no UM fan

“The Game” is in two weeks, but noted Ohio State fan LeBron James already is offering bulletin-board material.

The Cavaliers superstar was asked about the Buckeyes games this Saturday against Michigan State Nov. 28 against Michigan in Ann Arbor during shootaround.

Specifically, he was asked about Jim Harbaugh’s arrival at Michigan giving the rivalry a “bump” in excitement.

“It doesn’t matter who’s the coach over at Michigan,” James said in a video posted on “It’s always a rivalry. ... We really don’t care who’s at the helm over there.”

Given James’ deadpan delivery, it was obviously a barb meant in fun.

James also was asked about the Buckeyes’ game this weekend against Michigan State. The winner will be in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten East Division title.

“... I think (Ohio State coach) Urban Meyer will prepare the team to do their job in all three facets of the game: offensively, defensively and special teams,” James said in the video. “They’ll be ready to go.”

Slam dunks

The Pistons have shot 41.2 percent during their four-game losing streak, but more disturbing is that they have shot 27.6 percent on 3-pointers. Two of the worst shooters have been Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (26.3 percent) and Jackson (22.7 percent)

... Van Gundy, on playing so soon after an 11-day, six-city trip (they landed Monday morning after playing in Los Angeles on Sunday night): “I am not going to worry good or bad. It is the schedule. It is who we play. There is no sense talking about it or thinking about it. The game is scheduled for tonight. Get ready to play.”