Josh Smith Takes 'Real Offense' to Pistons Benching Him for Second Half of Loss

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Josh Smith #6 of the Detroit Pistons rests on the bench against the Golden State Warriors on November 12, 2013 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Detroit Pistons were trounced by the Washington Wizards, 106-82, on Saturday night, which forced head coach Maurice Cheeks to take some drastic measures during the second half of a second consecutive beat down. 

Forward Josh Smith saw only 18 minutes against the Wizards, and was benched in the second half, which led to some tension in the locker room after the fact, according to's David Mayo

"It's an honor for me to play, you know what I'm saying?  So when anybody challenges -- or anything about the fact that, you know, about me not wanting to play -- then I take real offense to it," Smith said.

AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 05: Head coach Maurice Cheeks looks on while playing the Indiana Pacers at the Palace of Auburn Hills on November 5, 2013 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Indiana won the game 99-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agre
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Smith totaled just four points on 2-of-7 shooting, but Cheeks mentioned that he would have liked to have taken more drastic measures after watching his team surrender 62 first-half points to a Washington team that entered the night scoring 99.1 per game. 

Per Mayo: 

He admitted he would have liked to bench the entire starting five to begin the second half.

"If I could have, yeah," Cheeks said, when asked that question.  "The way the first half went, yeah.  But the way the first half went, I really couldn't."

Saturday night marked the second straight game in which the Pistons were thoroughly outplayed.

On Friday night, the Orlando Magic defeated the Pistons 109-92 behind five double-figure scorers during a game in which Smith managed just five points on 2-of-13 shooting. 

Based on what's transpired over the last two nights, it's easy to draw the conclusion that Cheeks' patience is not just wearing thin with Smith, but the whole team as well. 

Dating back to Dec. 20 the Pistons have lost four of their last five, including three against teamsCharlotte, Orlando and Washingtonwith losing records.

The month of December has not been kind to Smith either. The Pistons' $56 million man is shooting just 41.4 percent from the field in 15 games this month, and has converted on a lowly 39.4 percent of his attempts while averaging 13.9 points in the team's losses this season.

Smith and Cheeks will have a chance to smooth things over when the Pistons host the Wizards in the second leg of a home-and-home on Monday night against Washington's 16th-ranked defense.