Johnson, Baynes show they can be No. 2 Pistons' duo
Auburn Hills — Running the pick-and-roll has been a familiar staple between Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond.
It's no secret the Pistons go to it almost every trip down the court — and it's been the calling card for coach Stan Van Gundy.
But during last weekend's loss to the Pacers, Van Gundy might have stumbled onto another combination that can utilize the two-man game: rookie Stanley Johnson and big man Aron Baynes.
"I try to look for opportunities every once in a while to give Stanley a play and a chance to make a play," Van Gundy said Monday. "We rode it more because it was working well. It's not like we went into the game planning to run that as much as we did. But it worked well and we went back to it."
Baynes had 10 points — one off his season high — and Johnson (six points, two assists) was effective.
"I was really happy with Stanley and the plays he made," Van Gundy said. "He's making passes and he's not playing just to shoot the ball every time. I've been happy with that development with him making plays."
In December, Johnson had one of his best stretches, scoring in double figures three times in four games, including 16 points in a four-overtime victory over the Bulls.
Van Gundy has had to exercise some patience, but now is recognizing some of what he's teaching is starting to sink in.
"It's a willingness and it's a learning. You get so upset at these guys at times but you forget he's a 19-year-old rookie," Van Gundy said. "You've got to teach it and he's got to do it and he's got to see it on film, then it starts to click. He's made a more conscious effort to make plays."
After being listed as questionable for Monday's game against the Magic, Jackson participated in shoot-around and started.
Jackson twisted his left ankle late in the fourth quarter against the Pacers. He hobbled around after twisting it, but finished the game with 12 points in 28 minutes.