Pistons sit Johnson in effort to spark offense

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — For the first time this season, Stanley Johnson didn’t play for the Pistons. There’s no injury to report. Coach Stan Van Gundy just is searching for a way to jump start the offense.

And he felt playing Reggie Bullock over Johnson was worth a shot.

Bullock finished with five points and provided a spark several times in the Pistons’ 94-92 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night at The Palace.

“Look,” Van Gundy said. “I played him (Friday) night as a three, not as a two. Tonight, Marcus (Morris) and Tobias (Harris) were playing well there. There just wasn’t a reason to go him at at the three.

“So that was the reason. That’s sort of where I am with him right now. He’ll play some backup three minutes.”

Johnson, the Pistons’ first-round pick in 2015 out of Arizona, hasn’t scored more than six points in any of his previous six games.

That’s after he scored in double-figures in back-to-back games Nov. 5 against Denver and Nov. 7 against the L.A. Clippers.

Van Gundy was asked if this was his way to try to motivate Johnson.

“All I am trying to do is win,” Van Gundy said. “I’m not trying to get anybody going. I’m trying to get us going.”

Slam dunks

After the game, Andre Drummond took control of the locker-room music, putting on a smooth-jazz, music-only rendition of “Let’s Stay Together.”

The Pistons are facing their first real adversity of the season, having lost three games in a row.

... The Pistons were the last team in the NBA to lose a home game. Their 5-0 start at home was their best since 2002-03.


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