Failed Uprising? Embattled Pistons Coach John Kuester Has “Full Support” Of Team’s GM
If several members of the Detroit Pistons really did band together in a concerted effort to undermine coach John Kuester, it looks like they failed. Just a few days after half the team missed all or part of a shootaround, leading the team to use just six players in its next game, Kuester, who looked dead in the water as recently as Saturday, today received the "full support" of Pistons GM Joe Dumars. That changed quickly.
One likely contributing factor: the Pistons' 120-116 bounce-back win over the Jazz on Saturday night. As the linked article about Dumars' vote of confidence says, the Pistons, despite being 22-39, are just 5.5 games out of a playoff spot. Sure, that's a lot of ground to make up in 21 remaining games, but things could be worse - like they are for a certain other team we're thinking of in the Pistons' division.
Another: despite the initial reports based on information given to "multiple media outlets" that several Pistons did indeed stage an anti-Kuester boycott (led by benched veteran guard Richard Hamilton), ESPN's Ric Bucher essentially reported over the weekend, "Not so fast":
Sources say, though, the idea of a team boycott is "overblown" and that only Hamilton missed the shootaround without explanation.
In our original post on this muddled mess, we touched on the fact that the Pistons provided explanations for most players' absence/tardiness. However, we also said that we had a hard time believing such absence/tardiness was actually excused, considering the mass benchings of Friday night. It appears, though, that the team is moving in the right direction - for Saturday's win, they played a much-more-normal nine players.
Also, there's this: Kuester and Hamilton say they've made up. If that's true and Kuester actually starts playing Hamilton again, he'll be a nice addition for the Pistons down the stretch...and maybe that playoff push isn't so far-fetched.
Indeed, the best-case scenario for the Pistons now is what happened with the Heat earlier this season amid reports that LeBron and his team were plotting to get the Heat organization and coach Erik Spoelstra to give in to their every whim. The Heat stood by Spoelstra, just like the Pistons are apparently doing with Kuester, and the team responded by winning 21 of 22 games. And while we wouldn't expect the Pistons to quite replicate that run, the fact that the potential exists at all is more than we could have imagined two days ago.
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