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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Daye makes Villanueva pay

After a disappointing 2009-10, Charlie Villanueva committed the offseason to improving his game, becoming a gym rat while staying in the metro Detroit area in anticipation of the 2010-11 campaign.

It wasn’t good enough, apparently.

Pistons coach John Kuester announced that second-year forward Austin Daye will start at the four in Detroit’s season-opener with the Nets in New Jersey on Wednesday.

Daye, who is over 30 pounds lighter than Villanueva, dazzled the Piston coaching in the preseason. His 15.9 points per game was second-best on the team’s roster, trailing only Rodney Stuckey’s 16.1 average. He also added 5.6 rebounds per contest.

Don’t expect Villanueva to be down forever, however. Unless Daye has some unknown stamina built up, it’s hard to imagine an undersized 22-year-old in his sophomore stint to meet starting requirements for 82 games. Kuester admitted this today and even hinted that Villanueva could earn his starting job back at some point during the season.

Based on today’s news, the preseason was a huge factor in determining the lineup. If that’s the case, Villanueva should still feel pretty good about his job despite losing it to start the season. He put up 12.3 points per game and added 3.9 rebounds.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.