The Pistons’ first-round pick in 2019 has not played more than 13 minutes in the team’s first four games. Dwane Casey said that Doumbouya has to deal with the fact he’s backing up Blake Griffin, who missed Friday’s game against Boston with a concussion.
“Blake’s going to get the majority of those minutes and (Doumbouya’s) got to make his minutes count. If Blake’s not going, (Doumbouya’s) minutes will get ratcheted up,” the Pistons head coach said. “It’s that situation, where he’s behind an All-Pro guy, and that’s his challenge right now.”
We have more from the Central Division:
- Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes has struggled thus far as the starting point guard and Casey isn’t surprised, Beard writes in a separate story. The lack of practice time due to the shortened offseason put Hayes in a difficult situation, since the Pistons are intent on giving him experience. “We threw him in the fire — which was really unfair to him, because there’s no Summer League, there’s no August or September (workout time),” Casey said. “You’re going right from working out in Florida to going against NBA players.”
- The Cavaliers have lost two straight after starting out 3-0 and coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes his young unit is still learning to handle adversity, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “There was doubt as a unit. There was doubt as a team. And you can’t survive playing against good teams without that belief,” Bickerstaff said. “We have good players. … When they play together, with confidence and a belief, they can be a good basketball team. And that’s what we have to get to. But it takes time.”
- The Bulls defeated Washington on Thursday despite being shorthanded and Zach LaVine feels the team is showing more resolve, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. “This team is tired of being labeled losers and underachieving,” LaVine said. “Everything is not going to be perfect. We’re not going to go out and win every game. But our demeanor has been a lot better than it has been the last couple of years.”