Van Gundy derides value of players-only meeting
Chicago — Stan Van Gundy didn’t want to hear about it.
The team meeting after Saturday’s blowout loss to the Pacers seemed like lip service more than a call to action.
And the Pistons followed the meeting with another dud, this time, a 31-point loss at Chicago.
Van Gundy snarled at the notion that a players-only meeting might be the salve to what ails the Pistons now. The problems run deeper than just ball movement or shot selection.
“Team meeting my ...,” Van Gundy fumed. “Like I said before, that stuff means nothing; it’s what you do on the court. Talking is easy.”
Van Gundy said he’s worried about the players not hearing his message — and at 14-16 and in the midst of a three-game losing streak, there’s going to have to be some drastic moves to turn things around.
That could entail changing the starting lineup, which is looking for consistency after going 3-6 in the nine games since Reggie Jackson’s return from knee tendinitis issues. He’s spoken the past couple of days about potentially altering the starters, but Monday’s lackluster performance was the last straw.
“It’s just a matter of who now,” Van Gundy said. “I guarantee you on Wednesday night (at home against the Memphis Grizzlies), we’re not trotting that (starting five) out there again.”
Center Andre Drummond, who had nine points and four rebounds in 23 minutes on Monday, shared the frustration. He spoke after Monday morning’s shoot-around with optimism that some of the discussion in the team meeting might make a difference.
Now, because of inconsistency, there might be some big changes coming.
“I don’t control what the lineup is. If I’m out there, cool; if I’m not (it’s OK),” Drummond said. “If he feels that he needs to make a change — if it’s me or Tobias (Harris) or anybody down the list of the starting five that needs to be changed, we have to do it for the betterment of our team and put our egos aside to find new ways to win.
“As of right now, the lineup that’s out there right now isn’t producing.”
The most likely change would be putting power forward Jon Leuer into the starting lineup for either Marcus Morris or Tobias Harris. Leuer led the Pistons with 16 points and five rebounds on Monday, after missing Saturday’s game because of back spasms.
Van Gundy also could consider shuffling the time at point guard, giving Ish Smith more minutes instead of Reggie Jackson.