Monday, October 12, 2009

Villanueva Awaiting Pistons Debut

The Pistons are 3-0 in this exhibition season, and they've done it without power forward Charlie Villanueva.

Villanueva, who has an injured hamstring, has yet to even dress for one of Detroit's preseason games. He's a key free-agent addition and has been expected to start this season in the team's frontcourt.

In his absence, the Pistons have used Ben Wallace at power forward with Kwame Brown playing center. It's a combination that has offered little production offensively but a major staple on the defensive end. Despite his age, Wallace is proving his value as a savvy defender capable of guarding not only post players but perimeter players as well. Brown - at 6'11", 270 pounds - offers a big body around the rim who has contributed at both ends of the floor.

It's to the point now that head coach John Kuester is actually considering starting Brown and Wallace together during the regular season. Ideally, the Pistons would like to get Villanueva healthy enough to gauge how valuable he can be as a defender. However, if he's not able to play in the next couple of preseason games, he might not have enough time to convince the team he deserves to start over Wallace or Brown.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine