Injury Bug Bites Detroit Pistons Shooting Guards
With a lot of injuries piling up even before the NBA’s 2015 season has started, the injury bug has made its way to the motor city of Detroit.
Clueless on What Happened
Detroit Pistons shooting guard Jodie Meeks will be out for at least two months with a “stress reaction in the lower back.” The injury was confirmed after Meeks had a CT scan on Monday after being diagnosed with lower back spasms last week.
According to Pistons Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, they have no idea how the injury happened. Van Gundy said that Meeks didn’t take a hard hit or fall during practice. He added that the 27-year old guard felt some tightness in his back after playing his first preseason game. When Meeks decided to have an MRI this Monday, the problem was discovered.
Need for Three Point Shooting
The Pistons signed Meeks to a three-year deal last July after the former University of Kentucky Wildcat had a career season in 2014 while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Meeks averaged 15.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game during the 2014 season. He shot .463 from the field and a .401 from the three point territory.
Last season, Meeks ranked 19th in the NBA with 2.1 three pointers made per game while his .401 accuracy was 22nd overall. Meeks was primarily brought in to improve the Pistons’ three point shooting which just ranked 29th in accuracy and 27th in three point field goals per game.
Another Injury at Two Guard
Before Meeks was injured, another shooting guard got bitten by the injury bug.
Second year guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suffered a knee strain after slipping on a wet spot underneath the Washington Wizards’ basket in the third quarter of their preseason encounter last Sunday. Caldwell-Pope did not return to the game and did not play against Charlotte last Wednesday. He is not expected to travel to Orlando and Atlanta for the Pistons’ next two preseason games.
An MRI on Caldwell-Pope was “clear” according to Coach Van Gundy, who said it was just a case of “muscle irritation” and is not “long term.” However, Caldwell-Pope is still listed as day-to-day.
An Expanded Role
The Pistons are hoping that KCP will be back soon as he is expected to play an “expanded role” with Meeks’ two month absence. Meeks was the expected starter at shooting guard with Caldwell Pope as his chief back up. But with Meeks’ injury, Caldwell-Pope will have to play more minutes when the season starts.
The former 8th pick of the 2013 draft played just 19.8 minutes per game last season and averaged just 5.9 points per game. But he was off to a hot start in three preseason games before his injury, averaging 16 points and shooting 7 out of 15 from three point distance in 24 minutes of playing time.
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