By David Mayo | firstname.lastname@example.org
on December 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM, updated December 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM
ATLANTA -- The Detroit Pistons are using the player groupings they think give them the best chance to win. But at 9-21, when might that change to a youth movement?
The answer appears to be not yet, and doing so would require a meeting of the minds that hasn't occurred, head coach Lawrence Frank said.
"That would be an organizational move," Frank said. "We haven't even discussed that. But that's an organization decision."
The Pistons already play several younger players "because we think they help us win," Frank said.
Rookie Kyle Singler has been the starting shooting guard for more than a month. Rookie center Andre Drummond's average playing time been on a steady uptick all season.
To fans who already have abandoned the season, a position the Pistons haven't taken, they want to see even more of Drummond, as well as rarely used young teammates like Kim English, Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov.
That change could happen before the season ends -- though, if last year was any indication, not necessarily until the Pistons are eliminated mathematically from playoff contention -- and Frank said when a team makes such a move, the key from a public-relations standpoint is forthrightness.
"If you were to get in a mode where all you're going to do is play your youth, you need to be very transparent about it," he said. "For us, we're playing the guys that we think give us the best chance, whether young, veteran, regardless. Like I said, we haven't even had a discussion about that (but) you'd be very transparent about it."
The Pistons return from three days off tonight to play the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
After that, the Pistons return home for eight of their next 10 games, which also span the Jan. 17 neutral-site game against the New York Knicks in London.
With one true road game the next four weeks, the Pistons' direction the rest of the season largely could be determined by those results. Frank, true to his ethic of staying in the present, declined to view it through that prism.
"My focus is so much on the now, I haven't even come close to labeling it anything," Frank said. "We just want to continue to progress and get better."