Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pistons' Josh Smith says he isn't upset about benching during loss to Golden State

Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith says he was not upset at his noticeable lack of playing time in Tuesday's loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Smith, who signed a $54 million deal to join the Pistons in the offseason, scored just two points in a season-low 19 minutes Tuesday. But Smith insisted he did not take the benching personally.

Josh Smith played a season-low 19 minutes in the Pistons' 113-95 loss Tuesday at Golden State.

"I just got to cheer my teammates on," Smith told reporters, according to the Detroit Free Press. "You can't really focus on the decisions that people make higher than you. You just have to be able to adjust around it.

"As long as I've been in this league, that's what I've been willing to do."

Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said he was disappointed in the team's effort against the Warriors, who raced out to a 35-16 lead after the first quarter and led by as many as 29 points.

Smith was subbed out with 1:39 remaining in the first quarter and did not return until midway through the third quarter. But Cheeks said he was not trying to deliver a message to the high-priced forward.

"It's about trying to change some things up," Cheeks said, according to the Free Press. "It wasn't about sending a message; just trying to change some things up to see if we could get some things going."

When asked whether his lack of playing time was meant to send a message, Smith told the website, "You never know."

"You can't really let it affect your thought process," Smith told the website. "You just have to roll with the punches.

"I'm not a selfish player, so I'm not going to go in there and demand plays be ran for me. I just kind of look around and see what in the game is being forced my way, or given my way, and just work my way around it."

Despite his low output Tuesday, Smith has averaged 15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for the Pistons (2-5), who are mired in a four-game losing streak.

"I think I can be effective offensively but, you know, it might be somebody else's night," he told the website. "You never know what it is. Like I said, I can't focus on things that I can't control."

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