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Stan Van Gundy says he’d play Steve Blake over Brandon Jennings right now


the Detroit Pistons the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Stephen Dunn

Brandon Jennings is playing in the D-League and plans to play for the Pistons next week.

But how quickly will he crack the rotation?

Pistons coach Van Gundy, via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

“I don’t think at this point I would play him ahead of Steve,” Van Gundy said.

That’d be Steve Blake, Detroit’s backup point guard averaging 4.3 points and 3.1 assists in 16.1 minutes per game. Blake, who’s shooting 37.5% from the field and 32.8% on 3-pointers, has played better lately, but he’s still pretty limited at age 38.

The Pistons are lousy when Reggie Jackson sits, posting offensive/defensive/net ratings of 92.3/102.0/-9.7. The difference between Blake (96.2/102.4/-6.2) and Spencer Dinwiddie (77.6/100.3/-22.6) being on the court is only a matter of degree.

That’s not all the backup point guards’ fault. Detroit’s reserves largely lack punch. But a healthy Jennings, comfortable as a high-volume playmaker, could take the lead off the bench and ease pressure on everyone else.

My guess is health is the only reason Jennings isn’t yet ready to supplant Blake. Once Jennings has his legs under him, I bet he takes Blake’s backup job pretty easily.

The Pistons need someone like Jennings. It’s only a matter of time until they have him.