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Archive → April, 2010

Jonas Jerebko named to NBA’s All-Rookie second team

Jonas Jerebko has been named to the NBA’s All-Rookie second team, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

As I wrote previously, I think that’s where he belongs.

Voting

From a Pistons release:

2009-10 T-MOBILE NBA ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM

Player Team First (2 pt)   Second (1 Pt)  Total
Tyreke Evans    Sacramento      29      -       58
Brandon Jennings        Milwaukee       29      -       58     
Stephen Curry   Golden State    29      -       58
Darren Collison New Orleans     20      6       46
Taj Gibson      Chicago 15      11      41

-more-

2009-10 T-MOBILE NBA ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM


Player Team First (2 pt)   Second (1 Pt)  Total
Marcus Thornton New Orleans     6       19      31     
DeJuan Blair    San Antonio     6       18      30
James Harden    Oklahoma City   4       14      22
Jonny Flynn     Minnesota       4       14      22
Jonas Jerebko   Detroit 2       18      22

      Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first place votes in parentheses):

Wesley Matthews, Utah, 16 (3); Omri Casspi, Sacramento, 13; Chase Budinger, Houston, 8; Ty Lawson, Denver, 7; Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia, 7 (1); Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City, 6 (1); Toney Douglas, New York, 2 (1); Rodrigue Beaubois, Dallas, 1; Sam Young, Memphis, 1; DeMar, DeRozan, 1.

Someone had Toney Douglas on the first team?!

Keep your ankles away from the Pistons at all costs

Andrew R. Tonry of Portland Roundball Society penned an interesting article about Andre Miller’s 617 straight games, best among active players.

Apparently, Miller does very little keep that streak going. He doesn’t work out in the offseason, and he doesn’t eat right.

He’s just lucky or blessed or something – except:

Against the Pistons in November, Miller twisted both ankles. The pain was enough to leave him writhing around on the court.

Not only did the Pistons have to lead the ankle injuries this year, the bad juju was so great, it engulfed their opponents. I’m pretty sure Will Bynum just rolled another ankle getting out bed today.

Ben Gordon has surgery, a sign he will be better next season

From a team release:

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons announced today that guard Ben Gordon underwent a successful surgical procedure performed by Dr. Art Manoli to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his left ankle. The procedure was performed at St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, MI.

Gordon’s left ankle will be placed in a cast for three weeks and rehabilitation will begin immediately following removal of the cast.  He is expected to make a full recovery prior to the start of training camp in October.

The 6-foot-3 guard appeared in 62 games (17 starts) for the Pistons last season averaging 13.8 points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game.

How often after a player has a subpar season do you hear that he was more hurt than you realized? I think it’s usually true when you hear it, and I think most players’ games recover the following year when that’s the case.

Sometimes, I think it’s just an excuse to cover for a lousy year, though. And when that’s the case, it’s not really an indicator the player will bounce back next year.

But when it’s just an excuse, the player doesn’t have a surgery most outsiders didn’t expect he needed. So I’ll say it:

Ben Gordon was injured more than we realized last year, and that affected his play. I think he’ll bounce back next season.

Pistons are in the market for a starting point guard

From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

More than one person around the league has said the team probably will be in the market for a starting-caliber point guard. That’s a bit surprising considering the amount of public support the Pistons have given to Rodney Stuckey.

Ellis explains the Pistons still like Stuckey as a shooting guard (which likely means, peace, Richard Hamilton and/or Ben Gordon). Will Bynum is also in the cards as a backup point guard.

I think Stuckey is better-suited to be a shooting guard. But – barring landing the No. 1 pick and drafting John Wall – I think it makes most sense to keep him at point guard in the short term for a couple reasons.

Why Rodney Stuckey should remain at point guard

1. The Pistons definitely need a big man.

If they use the mid-level exception to sign a point guard, they can’t use it on a big man. If they trade Tayshaun Prince or Richard Hamilton for a point guard, they can’t use those pieces to land a big man.

A big man is a much, much more pressing need than a point guard, considering Stuckey is adequate there.

2. The Pistons already have a lot of money tied to shooting guards Gordon and Hamilton, both good players. But they’re stuck at shooting guard. They can’t switch positions.

If Stuckey becomes a shooting guard, that leaves a hole at point guard. Detroit is already set (at least set enough for now) at shooting guard. I’d rather take a chance Stuckey develops into an excellent point guard. If he doesn’t, you can always mover him later.

In defense of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva

I admit, I was pretty excited when the Pistons signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva last summer. They were talented and young – an enticing combination. Sure, they had flaws, but they would at least upgrade Detroit’s aging core.

Instead, they turned the Pistons into a laughing stock – at least that’s the common perception.

I can’t remember one Daily Dime Live chat where I wasn’t asked about Gordon and Villanueva disappointing. “Do the Pistons regret signing Gordon and Villanueva?” Over and over and over.

My common response: “Probably a little, but mostly because of injuries – which is based on hindsight. I’m willing to call this year a wash and evaluate them next year.” I want to explain that thinking with a little more depth.

Whether Gordon and Villanueva will work out in Detroit is a complex question, and I plan to analyze the nuances throughout the summer. But here’s a simple case for why both players are better than performed this year, based on just six numbers for Gordon and five for Villanueva.

Ben Gordon

  • 40.5
  • 43.5
  • 41.3
  • 41.0
  • 41.0
  • 32.1

That’s Gordon’s 3-point percentage each year of his career.

The only other players to make at least 40 percent of their 3-pointers each season between 2004-05 and 2008-09: Raja Bell and Steve Nash. It’s a pretty exclusive club.

I really doubt Gordon forgot how to shoot 3s this year. I think this year, not the previous five, was the aberration.

It’s clear his injuries messed with his head. Gordon missed twice as many games this year as his previous high. He didn’t look comfortable on the court post-injury and showed no confidence in his shot.

Hopefully, a summer off will clear his head. Judging by Gordon’s strong play the last four games (26.5 points per game and making 44.8 percent of his 3s), he’s on the right track.

Charlie Villanueva

  • 13.5
  • 13.6
  • 15.0
  • 14.7
  • 12.0

Those are Villanueva’s rebounding percentages each year he’s been the league.

A knock on Villanueva has been he doesn’t do anything but shoot. He certainly has room to improve his all-around game, but he’s a pretty good rebounder.

I really think his plantar fasciitis prevented him from showing it this year. He just didn’t have the same lift or ability to move in the paint he showed early in the season.

Rebounding percentage usually doesn’t vary much for a player. For example, Andray Blatche has a career rebounding percentage of 13.8 in five seasons, same as Villanueva. His career low was a 12.6 as a rookie.

So, as with Gordon’s 3-point shooting, I think this year – not the previous four – is the aberration. Let Villanueva’s foot heal, then evaluate his rebounding.

Conclusion

Gordon and Villanueva are young and have plenty of room to grow. But Gordon is a good 3-point shooter and Villanueva can rebound – even if they didn’t show it this year. Add those major pieces to each of their game’s, and the signing won’t look so bad.

My 2009-10 awards ballot

We recently announced the TrueHoop Network Awards. Here’s my ballot:

Most Valuable Player

1. LeBron James

Nobody else was even close.

2. Kevin Durant

His offense is better than it was last year, but his defense went to a whole new level. That’s why the Thunder were so good.

3. Dwight Howard

He’s a dominant defender, and although I was a fan last year, his offense is really gaining recognition.

4. Dwyane Wade

See the All-Defensive teams below for more, but his defense is the main reason I placed him this high.

5. Kobe Bryant

Want to criticize this one? Go for it. I was really unsure about who deserved this spot, so I went with the guy who has the best track record.

Rookie of the Year

1. Tyreke Evans

As Zach Harper (Cowbell Kingdom/ Hardwood Paroxysm) pointed out in the TrueHoop Network Awards, Evans’ magnificent production came against opponents’ best perimeter defender every night.

2. Stephen Curry

We all knew he could shoot, but his all-around game is so much better than I expected. How does he do it with such a small frame?

3. Brandon Jennings

I almost went with Darrenn Collison or Marcus Thornton from the New Orleans Hornets, but Jennings’ defense gave him the edge.

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Dwight Howard

Nobody in the league makes opposing offenses account for him more than Howard.

2. Gerald Wallace

Read Henry Abbott of TrueHoop’s account of Jared Jeffries. Multiply by 100. That’s Wallace.

3. Josh Smith

Smith can defend inside and outside, and that’s becoming increasingly valuable in a league that’s phasing out positional identity.

Sixth Man of the Year

1. Jamal Crawford

He scores at a great volume and efficiency. He provides exactly what Atlanta needs.

2. Anderson Varejao

He’s an excellent defender, and his plus-minus is great. A lot of award votes are based on scoring, but hopefully Varejao shows why you should buck that trend.

3. Manu Ginobili

The NBA only requires players to come off the bench in a majority of their games to be eligible for this award, so Ginobili qualifies. But it’s also for the player who plays best off the bench. Ginobili was better as a starter, so I bumped him down.

Most Improved Player

1. Kevin Durant

He went from good to great in one season. Don’t underestimate how tough that leap is.

2. Zach Randolph

He finally realized he could sacrifice some personal numbers for the sake of winning. And in ironic twist, his numbers were great, too.

3. Josh Smith

Bret Lagree of Hoopinion covers it: Smith stopped shooting 3-pointers, which allowed him to take advantage of his passing skills. And his rebounding improved for good measure, too.

Coach of the Year

1. Scott Skiles

Rookie point guard, finesse center, top player out for most of the year – and Skiles turned the Bucks into one of the league’s grittiest teams.

2. Larry Brown

He should get a vote for this award most years. The Bobcats have a talented, but flawed roster. Still, they’re “playing the right way.”

3. Scott Brooks

I like the job Brooks did. His team improved. All his players improved. He incorporated a bunch of rookies into the lineup. The circumstantial evidence is all there.

But I don’t know Brooks did a great job. What marks Scott Brooks’ style? You know the Bucks and Bobcats fit their coach’s vision. I’m not sure the Thunder’s success is due as much to Brooks as it is to their good players growing up naturally.

Executive of the Year

1. Daryl Morey

He’s on a different level. Without Yao, I was sure the Rockets would be terrible. Instead they were in the playoff race late. And he added a premier scorer, a talented, young big man and two first-round picks at midseason.

2. John Hammond

The Bucks remind me a lot of Rick Carlisle’s first Pistons team. It’s such a piecework roster, but Hammond ensured Milwaukee had enough ingredients to make it work. This team doesn’t have the talent to be great, but it has the pieces to be good – and that’s the first step.

3. Sam Presti

This is an example of why this award is tough to pick. He made a lot of good moves over the last few years that have made the Thunder good this year.

Sportsmanship

1. Grant Hill

Since he left Detroit for Orlando, I’ve wanted to root against Grant Hill. First, his injuries made it hard. And now, his class keeps me from booing him.

2. Al Horford

He seems like a class act. Plus, his brother is going to Michigan. So, that’s cool.

3. Luis Scola

I respect his workmanlike approach.

4. Antawn Jamison

He was the face the Wizards wanted fans to see. Unfortunately, his influence wasn’t great enough to outweigh his younger teammates’ blunders.

5. Chauncey Billups

I obviously like Billups, but he complains to the refs a little too much to match up with the others on this list.

6. Ray Allen

How did he make the cut? He’s constantly clawing at opponents to get an edge (not that there’s anything wrong with that). He just doesn’t scream sportsmanship to me. Although, to be fair, maybe it’s just the name on the front of his jersey.

Citizenship

1. Samuel Dalembert

He was the face of the NBA’s relief contributions in Haiti.

All-NBA

First team

  • G- Dwyane Wade
  • G- Kobe Bryant
  • F- LeBron James
  • F- Kevin Durant
  • C- Dwight Howard

See my MVP votes. They happen to stack up by position.

Second team

  • G- Deron Williams
  • G- Steve Nash
  • F- Dirk Nowitzki
  • F- Carmelo Anthony
  • C- Tim Duncan

You could make the case for Josh Smith over Melo, but these five players seem to fit here pretty perfectly.

Third team

  • G- Rajon Rondo
  • G- Manu Ginobili
  • F- Josh Smith
  • F- Chris Bosh
  • C- Andrew Bogut

Maybe I counted Ginobili’s late-season surge too much, as opposed to his entire body of work. But who else should’ve made it?

All-Rookie

First team

  • Tyreke Evans
  • Stephen Curry
  • Brandon Jennings
  • Darrenn Collison
  • Marcus Thornton

Second team

  • DeJuan Blair
  • Taj Gibson
  • Ty Lawson
  • Jonas Jerebko
  • James Harden

I’ve already covered my All-Rookie thoughts. Nothing has happened in the last couple weeks to change what I wrote there.

All-Defensive

First team

  • Dwight Howard
  • Gerald Wallace
  • Josh Smith
  • Dwyane Wade
  • Anderson Varejao

As John Hollinger pointed out in his All-Defensive teams column, the Heat have the NBA’s fourth-best defensive rating. Look at their roster. Wade has to be doing something right.

Second team

  • LeBron James
  • Andrew Bogut
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Ben Wallace
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

I went back and forth on whether Varejao or LeBron should be on the first team. I still don’t know.

And it’s a shame Ben Wallace doesn’t get more recognition. The Pistons allowed nearly eight points fewer per 100 possessions with Wallace on the court than without him.

Pistons lose lottery tiebreaker to 76ers

The Pistons lost the lottery tiebreaker to the 76ers today.

If no teams pass them, the Pistons will pick seventh. They could also pick eighth, ninth or 10th.

This tiebreaker doesn’t affect Detroit’s chance of landing a top-three pick (18.3 percent).

Joe Dumars says John Kuester will return, but does he mean it?

Rick Carlisle

The Detroit News’ Bob Wojnowski, interviewing Joe Dumars (May 30, 2003):

Q. You don’t see any reason why (Carlisle) wouldn’t come back?

A. None whatsoever.

Wojnowski (June 1, 2003):

Dumars, considered bold and classy, put both reputations on the line by firing Carlisle Saturday, which makes no sense by any normal measure.

Larry Brown

The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky (June 26, 2005):

Dumars has said repeatedly that he wants Brown back and would allow him to work this out on his own timetable.

McCosky (July 13, 2005):

Brown has maintained all along that he plans to return to the Pistons, if healthy.

Multiple league sources said the Pistons are not going to wait much longer for an answer.

During today’s meeting, Brown will likely be given a deadline to make a decision.

Flip Saunders

McCosky (June 2, 2008):

We were all wrong. All of us who speculated that the Pistons’ loss in Game 6 to Boston spelled the end of Flip Saunders’ coaching life in Detroit were wrong.

Saunders met briefly with Pistons president Joe Dumars on Saturday and all indications are that he was told he will be back.

McCosky (June 4, 2008):

The Pistons fired Saunders on Tuesday after three seasons in which he compiled the highest winning percentage (.715) in franchise history.

Michael Curry

Justin Rogers of MLive.com (April 29, 2009):

The Associated Press has reported Michael Curry will be back as the Detroit Pistons’ head coach next season.

According to MLive.com Pistons Insider A. Sherrod Blakely, Curry’s job was never in question.

Detroit Pistons release (June 30, 2009):

Joe Dumars announced this evening that Michael Curry will not return next season as the team’s head coach.

John Kuester

Larry Lage of the the Associated Press (today):

The president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons says John Kuester will be back to coach the team next season.

Tomorrow?

Detroit Pistons lottery rundown: April 15, 2010

Here’s what we know: the Pistons will get a top-10 pick, and it won’t be the fourth or the fifth pick. Here are a few other numbers:

  • Odds of getting the No. 1 pick: 5.3 percent
  • A top-three pick: 18.3 percent
  • The sixth, seventh or eighth pick: 80.8 percent
  • The ninth or 10th pick: 1.0 percent

As always, if anyone has any questions about the lottery, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer. If you’re unsure about something, I’m sure someone else is, too.

Yesterday’s key games

  • Detroit Pistons 103, Minnesota Timberwolves 98
  • Orlando Magic 125, Philadelphia 76ers 111

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Standings

  • No. 6/7 seed: Detroit Pistons (27-55)
  • No. 6/7 seed: Philadelphia 76ers (27-55)

Odds

image

  • No. 1 pick: 5.3 percent
  • No. 2 pick: 6.0 percent
  • No. 3 pick: 7.0 percent
  • No. 4 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 5 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 6 pick: 22.0 percent
  • No. 7 pick: 45.2 percent
  • No. 8 pick: 13.6 percent
  • No. 9 pick: 0.1 percent
  • No. 10 pick: 0.0 percent (Landing this pick is possible, but the odds round to zero.)

Charlie Villanueva answers questons on twitter, read them here

Say what you want you want about Charlie Villanueva on the court, or even off it for that matter. But he’s excellent at connecting with fans, and yesterday was a great example.

Villanueva answered 31 questions on twitter (to match his uniform number). Here are the questions and his responses:

One

@Law_Junky: How hard do you commit yourself in the off-season? Rumors are your lazy and don’t take the training to serious, is that true?

1) How hard will I commit this off-season? Like never before! This will be my first off-season staying in my NBA city.#31REPLIES

Two

@EC_Rapsfan: yeah, you seem real humble guaranteeing a win last night. I used to be a fan of your personality and your game, did both fall off?

2) Regardless of our fallen season I’m still Charlie. I’ve said b4 that this has been a humbling experience for me.#31REPLIES

Three

@LowellAhee: if we get top 5 pick. Who is ur wish….(you can list them out of order)

3) When it comes to the NBA draft… I think we should select the best player available regardless of position.#CV31REPLIES

Four

@DetroitBuckets: Are you disappointed in the role coach has asked to to play? Do you feel you should have been a bigger part of the game plan?

4) I was okay with my role, anything to help my team win. Though I expected much more for myself, performance.#CV31REPLIES

Five

@4tny: Yoo CV…hows ur time in Detroit? Do you regret signing?

5) I don’t have any regrets signing with Pistons. I LOVE Detroit. I purchased my house here. My career will Excel here.#CV31REPLIES

Six

@PistonsLover22: since u answering questions…Do u and coach kue really get along or yall jus play for the cameras?

6) Honestly, Coach Kue & I had some difference but with communication all is good now. He demands the best.#CV31REPLIES

Seven

@gkenning: Do you think you’d be happier had you never left Toronto?

7) Would I be happier not leaving Toronto: I believe everything happens for a reason. My son is Canadian, I’m happy!#CV31REPLIES

Eight

@Topher78916: which do u believe ur game is more geared towards playing on the perimeter or in the post? Who’s ur favorite @MLBplayer?

8 ) My game is stretch to both perimeter & post play whatever coach wants I’ll do. Oh my favorite MLB player: A-Rod#CV31REPLIES

Nine

@Smokeydabear123: what specifically can u do to address ur weaknesses this summer?

9) This off-season I have HIGH expectations. I intend on working on all aspects of my game. Toughness is key#CV31REPLIES

10

@gstash1800: How tough was this season for you? Also , where do you think LBJ ends up?

10) Unfortunately this season was a bit of a rude-awakening, but I must learn from it. And LeBron James will stay!#CV31REPLIES

11

@Keefe15: How upsetting is it to you that you chose Detroit over Cleveland?

11) I don’t regret choosing Detroit over Cleveland. God always has a plan. This experience has matured me. Believe.#CV31REPLIES

12

@SteveKaysNBA: Hey CV, what’s the #1 you plan on working on this summer?

12) Hey Steve, I’m staying here in Detroit this off-season; going to be working closely with our coaching staff.#CV31REPLIES

13

@nbarocksstc: we all know this has been a dissapointing season, but pistons will have a great year next year, right?

13) My guarantees are rough right now :( but I’ll promise a coming better year for Detroit. Determined Challenge!#CV31REPLIES

14

@JoannePistonFan: Fave restaurant in the Detroit area?

My favorite restaurant in the D right now has to be brunch hours at Bravo Cucina in Rochester Hills. Love it!#CV31REPLIES

15

@BIGGESTGRINDER: is it cool not having to shave and stuff??

15) You know me having this skin condition Alopecia Areata, its the best not having to shave or haircuts, LOL.#CV31REPLIES

16

@TShrine: celeb crush?

16) This question is dangerous, lol, but I had a serious crush on Alica Keys, wooow :) #CV31REPLIES

17

@Philip_McD: Who is your "sleeper" pick to win the finals?

17) The Champion contenders are obvious with Cleveland and LA leading the pack, but my sleeper is Miami or Phoenix. #CV31REPLIES

18

@christinelam: whats your favorite tv show?

18) My favorite TV show has to be The First 48. I love the reality solving of the homicide cases. It’s deep.#CV31REPLIES

19

@MrStamm: what is your biggest need this off season to not only make the playoffs but to contend

19) It’s likely a move may be done this summer but I honestly think with the team we have know we can find success.#CV31REPLIES

20

@dvnmtthws: wats yo fav car u own

20) I’m not crazy into cars but I do have 3 of them. My favorite by far is the Bentley GTC convertible. It’s sweet.#CV31REPLIES

21

@nfbp77: What is your greatest moment as a piston (so far)

21) My greatest experience as a Pistons has to be the bonding I’ve developed with my teammates. We went through it all.#CV31REPLIES

22

@easyskanking28: fav rapper?

22) My favorite rappers right now, likely a cross between Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne. I listen to whatever is good.#CV31REPLIES

23

@iwaslikeuknow: aside from the disappointment of having a losing season [bc of injuries] how was the team chemistry off court?

23) Our team chemistry off-the-court was great. I love my teammates. I get along with all of them. Mi familia.#CV31REPLIES

24

@killercore: Do you think Twitter has caused more problems than positives for you this year?

24) Twitter causing problems? Not at all. Twitter gives us athletes direct connection with the fans. I value it.#CV31REPLIES

25

@dodo95: who is your favorite actor?

25) My favorite actor continues to be Denzel Washington, even though I wasn’t a big fan of that "Book of Eli" movie. #CV31REPLIES

26

@lon1617: Can you call this your lowest point of your bball career?How do you plan to turn this thing around next season?

26) Yea this has been my lowest career year terms of production (pts, rbs, min) but it has been a learning experience.#CV31REPLIES

27

@matthewllondon: I heard somewhere you have alopecia. Is that true? If so, how long have you had it?

27) Yea I’ve had alopecia areata (complete hair-loss) since like 12. Its was tough then, but I embrace it now.#CV31REPLIES

28

@kasha831: did you now if Joe is come back or no the are say the Joe is do now

28) I have complete respect for Joe Dumars. I think he’s the best, genius. I would be shocked if he goes anywhere.#CV31REPLIES

29

@injektilu: who would you choose to be the starting Point Guard for the Dominican National team if you where Head Coach?

29) Hmm that’s a tough question, pur Dominican Rep. team does need a purer point guard. I don’t know, R.Stuckey LOL#CV31REPLIES

30

@abosch927: Do you and the rest of the UConn guys on the team get together on game day to catch the old alma mater play?

30) I always try to get together with my former UConn guys. We’re like any other family, love for all. UCONN4LIFE#CV31REPLIES

31

@Need4Sheed_com: Who would win in a Cage Match – Tayshaun Price or Austin @Adaye5

31) Who will win a cage match btw Tayshaun Prince & Austin Daye, LOL, Hum, hmm… Prince! Cuz AD still a rookie #CV31REPLIES

Which answer do you find most interesting? Share your thoughts in the comments.