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Baseless prediction: Will Bynum is going to be the Detroit Pistons’ starting point guard by season’s end

A lot of people are going to read that headline and assume this is a rant about Rodney Stuckey. It isn’t (Laser will handle that in the comments).

Stuckey is a fine NBA player who I think is perfectly suited to backup both guard spots and get about 30ish combined minutes per game off the bench for virtually any team. If the Pistons cleared a guard (preferably Rip Hamilton, but whoever is more movable between he and Ben Gordon) out of the equation, I’d love for him to fill that role in Detroit. Stuckey plays hard, he’s tough, he has the tools to be a great perimeter defender, he’s very good at getting to the basket (even if his finishing needs work), he improved at drawing contact and getting to the line last year and while he’s not a pure point guard, he can competently man the position for a good team in limited minutes. I would never be ashamed to have Rodney Stuckey on my favorite team.

But I think the Stuckey-as-full-time point guard experiment has run its course. Perhaps in a different system or with different players, Stuckey could excel as a starting point guard playing big minutes. But as the roster is constructed, with the coaching philosophy that’s in place, Stuckey isn’t going to find that situation in Detroit.

Thankfully, the Pistons have an in-house solution: Will Bynum.

This isn’t the first time I’ve broached the topic of Bynum as the team’s better option as a starting PG. The genesis of that belief lies in Bynum’s background: he’s a Joe Dumars-kind-of-guy.

Let’s face it … even for a guy like myself who’s a pretty regular supporter of Dumars, I can face some basic facts: Dumars has made some moves lately that haven’t worked out spectacularly, and he seems to be in a bit of a slump, lacking a clear vision. It happens to the best of us. Human nature is to stagnate, to lose focus, to need something to help make you remember what made you successful in the first place. I believe Bynum is that memory-jarrer for Dumars.

The Pistons 2004 title team, and quasi-dynasty in the 2000s, was built upon picking up under-the-radar talents, castaways, guys with talent who were misunderstood or didn’t fit elsewhere, and most importantly, guys who felt they had something to prove or were openly hostile about teams giving up on them early in their careers. Check out his quote from Bynum:

“I don’t think for one second that the money I’m making makes me a reserve. I just want to clear that up from the beginning. I think that the money that I’m making gives me the opportunity to excel, and I’m trying to do it.”

That sounds like a guy who has something to prove. Bynum was undrafted while luminaries like Travis Diener, Alex Acker, Roko Ukic and Orien Green managed to get picked. He had to play overseas before getting a NBA shot. He had to flee a night club in Tel Aviv because his brother got stabbed. The man knows adversity.

Dan Feldman has already chronicled some of Bynum’s defensive limitations, but this is another reason it makes some sense for him to play with the first unit. With Ben Wallace in the middle, that will make opposing guys less likely to penetrate, so having a weaker perimeter defender paired with Wallace won’t be as big a factor as it would be if Bynum were on the second unit with Charlie Villanueva and Chris Wilcox protecting the rim.

Offensively, Bynum is far from a perfect point guard, but he does two things better than Stuckey: he’s much better at passing out of traffic than Stuckey and, despite being shorter, is a more explosive and craftier finisher. If the roster stays as-is, it’s a good bet that Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince will be starting, along with Wallace. Several players could vie for the PF spot, but I’d wager that based on his contract, if Villanueva comes into camp aggressive and in shape, he’ll be given every opportunity to seize that spot.

A common argument in Pistons land is that Hamilton plays better next to a pure point. Bynum isn’t what I’d call a pure point, but he’s a little purer than Stuckey.

Prince, for all of the criticisms he receives (pipe down Laser), actually had good numbers the last quarter of last season, particularly from three-point range. From Ball Don’t Lie’s Kelly Dwyer:

This could be a huge stretch for Prince, but a good part of this ranking is spurred on by the way he finished the season. Prince averaged well over 15 points per game in the season’s last three months, shooting a good percentage and bringing the usual stout D. He also hit around 40 percent of his 3-pointers during that run …

If Prince continues to shoot the three near that clip, if Villanueva and his long-range threat are in the lineup, and if Hamilton is more in line with his 35 percent career three-point shooting than the 29 percent mark he put up last year, those guys should provide sufficient space for Bynum to operate and get inside, while taking advantage of his ability to drive and kick by knocking down open looks.

Stuckey, meanwhile, gets to play on the second unit with some combo of Ben Gordon, Austin Daye, Tracy McGrady, Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe (and occasionally Jason Maxiell and Wilcox). He’s also surrounded by shooters (Gordon, Daye and McGrady), but more importantly, has several guys who will want to get out and run with him.

The other advantage to viewing Bynum as a long-term piece and potential starter is cost. Bynum’s extension is really reasonable for a starter. Financial bargains were a common theme of Dumars’ early Pistons teams. Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace, the two best players on the 2004 title team, made about $10 million combined. With Dumars’ recent contracts to Gordon, Hamilton and Villanueva, he’s gotten away from that bargain shopper, search-for-hidden-value philosophy that made him so great in the first place. Bynum could be a return to that thinking, both in cost and attitude.

If Bynum stays healthy and is as productive in 25-30 minutes a game as his per-minute numbers suggest he could be, he’d be a great asset as a reliable starter. The Pistons don’t have much financial flexibility in the quest to get better. They have serious deficiencies at center and point guard. The best hope for the Pistons to take a big leap and contend would be Bynum winning the job and supplanting Stuckey as a starter. That becomes one less position Dumars needs to worry about upgrading immediately, and if Bynum can prove to be a reliable starter for the next three years at his cost, it means the Pistons don’t have to extend Stuckey should he prove to be too pricey and the savings on the PG position can be invested in shoring up other weaknesses.

I like a good portion of the talent on the Pistons roster while at the same time having serious reservations about how it all fits together. With the contractual obligations and the difficulty the team could encounter trying to move some of those pricey deals, solutions have to come from within, and with his work ethic, it’s not hard to envision Bynum becoming at least a reliable full-time player. If he can do that, it will make sorting out who stays and who goes much easier for Dumars.

62 Comments

  • Aug 23, 201011:25 pm
    by Bill

    Reply

    I guess with months to go still before the season starts you have to analyze something but the whole Stuckey isn’t a pure PG thing is so boring.
    Stuckey was our best player last year, period. Yet all he does is catch shit from Pistons fans, I don’t get it. He deserves to start on a healthy Pistons team for an entire year.
    I love Bynum, but if you put him in the starting role you’ll all be complaining about how defenders blow past him, he can’t stop bigger point guards, etc. Little PGs like Nelson and Brooks are fun to watch but get abused in the playoffs.
    Stuckey was #1 in AST, STL, PTS and top 5 in FT, DREB(!!) for us last season. Give the guy a consistent healthy starting five to pass to and watch those turnover numbers go down.
    If after next season (which is a wash no matter who is starting) Stuckey has proven me wrong then let him go and hand the keys to Bynum so we can all start complaining about him. Just please stop complaining about how he’s not a “pure point” it’s so tiresome.

  • Aug 24, 201012:47 am
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    @Bill – I agree with your comments about Stuckey.  One item to add is that this is the first year that Stuckey is coming into training camp with the same head coach and the same system.  So that also should help the turnover numbers go down.  Let’s see if he improves this year.
    Regarding Bynum, I love the fact that he plays with “heart”.  Both he and Affalo gained a new fan with the way they competed in the 2009 playoff series against Cleveland when it looked like the starters had mailed it in.   However, I much rather see him come off the bench to change it up some.

  • Aug 24, 20101:47 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    this article seems like a talking point drummed up in a pretty boring offseason. that being said i’m not sure i want bynum as my starting PG. he’s small and lacks defensive capabilities. then again i’m not sure i want stuckey as my starting PG either. but if your a proponent of trading rip and starting bynum simultaneously that means you want a bynum/gordon starting backcourt and that is scary. 36 year old big ben isn’t going to be on the court the whole game to deter players from entering the lane, if he even still has that effect. this is just a bad deal all around and there isn’t a win-win combination on the roster. if bynum starts it is because stuckey is traded imo. your stuckey argument i’ll agree with though. he would make a great bench combo guard, i just don’t think bynum is the guy you want supplanting him as the starter.
    @bill. stuckey was not the best player i’m not sure what games you were watching. prince was the best player. and big ben was the MVP. i think you can have the MVP not be your best player. stuckey was worse last year than the year before. in fact so was rip, gordon, and cv. practically everyone the pistons counted on had their career worst seasons last year. hopefully it was a result of injury/fluke occurrence and not of just poor makeup/chemistry.

  • Aug 24, 20102:07 am
    by Jared DetroitRed

    Reply

    Maybe you have nothing to write about, Stucky was the best player last year for us. He hasnt played with the same guys and coach for 2 straight years…. Year 1 Billups, Sheed, and Saunders, Year 2 A.I., Dyce, and Curry, Year 3 Gordon, CV, Kuester…….. Get off of him, he will start through the year, unless he’s traded for a top pg and I said top not Nelson, Calderon, or Brooks

  • Aug 24, 20102:14 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    hayes, you crack me up. and here i was starting to feel like i was wearing out my welcome (cough*toolate*coughcough).
     
    i agree with basically everything you wrote. and you sell your argument short by calling it baseless. “baseless” is the argument for trotting stuckey out there for another year to look completely lost on the floor. your argument, one that i’ve been pulling for, has teeth. i don’t think it’s going to happen, but that’s because i think this organization is dead-set on making every wrong move there is.
     
    bynum works better with the starting five, he is a good decision-maker and passer (anyone who feels this way about stuckey should keep their thoughts to themselves). the problem with being a stuckey fan is that he’s never done anything on the court on anything APPROACHING a consistent basis to make his shortcomings defensible. “but he’s so big!” ugh. save it. to bill above, stuckey deserves nothing. you think you’re bored with people saying he isn’t a pure* point guard, imagine the boredom of another year of actually watching him “run” the most stagnant and impotent offense in the history of professional basketball. he hasn’t a playmaking bone in his body. he needs to be a role player and scorer to be a true asset. i agree with hayes that stuckey could be a great role player on a great team, but you’d have to be insane to put him in charge of the offense. heck, look at his rookie playoff run. third guard behind two great players, he could play a little with either or both, and he brought something new. now that “something new” is the same old thing he does every game where he penetrates and tries to put up a shot no matter how many bodies clog the paint (and it’s usually at least three or four) and he gets blocked with no whistle. if that play worked forever, i’d let stuckey play 48 minutes every night. but it doesn’t so he needs a limited role until he can improve his play. he’s the one guy who’s done nothing and proven nothing, and still he’s anointed and given a leadership role and 35 minutes a game, no matter how much of a disaster he is as a floor leader.
     
    i concede that the “pure point guard” talk annoys me too, but for a different reason. the game is changing, and point guards are becoming scorers, but the bottom line is that a point guard should make his teammates better. rodney stuckey makes NOBODY better. he’s good at ballhandling, good at scoring. that’s about it. that’s a role player, a third guard on a legitimate team. let’s try to popularize a phrase other than “pure point guard” for a player who makes his teammates better. then we won’t have to be annoyed by that dusty old phrase. how about: “playmaker?” rodney stuckey is not a playmaker. that sounds good to me. let’s go with it.
     
    naturally i’ll close with a few nitpicks, because i’d hate to disappoint my detractors: wilcox is a lock for the inactive list, along with summers and white it seems. don’t get excited about seeing any of them play, because it’s going to take a devastating run of injuries for them to dress for games. the only chance i could maybe see wilcox ever suiting up occasionally is if they wanted another big body, but that puts daye on the inactive list, so i don’t see it happening much. and nobody, i mean nobody is going to be “surrounded” by a group that includes daye unless they’re surrounded by all the guys on the bench. the bench is daye’s new home now. give up all hope of him playing at all. with stuckey, bynum, rip, gordon, t-mac and prince on the perimeter and wallace, jerebko, villanueva and monroe up front, you’re looking at a BARE minimum rotation of 10. and that’s only if daye and maxiell never touch the court. if you account for all the question marks in the frontcourt (wallace’s age, jerebko’s size, monroe’s experience, can you count on charlie villanueva to contribute anything?), i think there’s a better chance max squeezes into the rotation. so if daye gets playing time, odds are we’re going 12 deep. it’s completely within the realm of possibility.
     
    and were you hinting at me criticizing prince or defending him? the man’s a saint, and i think i’ve been a pretty outspoken advocate, so hopefully that’s what you meant. though it wasn’t entirely clear.
     
    also i think bynum averaged 26 minutes last season. there’s only 24 minutes apiece available for he and stuckey and rip and tay and t-mac and ben gordon. so nobody better bank on logging major minutes. i’m  sure rip’s going to love that. or he’ll prima donna his way into 35 minutes and squeeze bynum or gordon out completely, even though he figures to be the worst fit of all.
     
    also, having “serious reservations” about how all these players fit together is the understatement of a lifetime. nobody’s ever tried anything close to what they’re trying to pull off here. the only way i can make sense of this is that joe wanted to fix the team, but he handcuffed himself, so he snatched up tracy mcgrady as a distraction while he tries to find a way out of the team’s situation. team’s in the news, there’s certain to be a lot of drama with this much competition for minutes (anyone who says this competition will only make everyone better is an idiot) and this blurry of a pecking order. every single backup will have good arguments to support why they should start. stuckey/bynum, rip/gordon, prince/t-mac, jonas/charlie v, big ben/monroe. who’s the starter? not a slam dunk in the bunch if you asked 100 people.
     
    good problem to have? the pistons media machine will DEFINITELY spin it that way. all the pistons have had lately are good problems to have. every damn one. allen iverson? good problem to have. too many shooting guards? good problem to have. lots of shabby, pick-your-poison depth at PF? good problem to have. well i looked back on the past two seasons, and they weren’t good problems to have. they were very, very bad problems to have. these problems stink, and i’m sick of them.
     
    can someone just trade rip so we can move on and at least have a glimmer of hope that things will be alright?

  • Aug 24, 20102:53 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    why are so many people brainwashed into thinking stuckey was or is our best player?
     
    @laser – quite the rant you had there i enjoyed it. i think the argument is ‘baseless’ because of the lack of evidence that it is going to happen, but drawing that same parallel yes running stuckey out there and expecting the offense to be good is also baseless, as it lacks just as much evidence. neither option is a good option. pick your poison. it’s like that at most of our positions with the exception of prince and wallace. i don’t expect daye to see a single second of time on the court, barring a trade. wilcox either. max should see some minutes because he can play both front court positions. don’t worry though, our bench is practically as good as our starters, if not better. it’s a great problem to have, or it would be if our starters were actually good.

  • Aug 24, 20104:33 am
    by Zeiram

    Reply

    I disagree in a way, yeah Bynum might be the better solution, but he isn´t THE solution.
    Truth is we need a better playmaker, someone who makes sense of the team and imprints a certain style. We need a pg who runs the pick and roll efficiently.
    I don´t know if there is anyone out there but for a lack of a better options I´d say let´s get Calderon or Ford.
    Both are horrid defensively but at this point that is a trade-off we need to do.

  • Aug 24, 20108:23 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    I’m all for starting Bynum, and I’m all for a sign and trade when it comes to re-signing Stuckey. Stuckey might be our most viable option for getting us out of our backcourt logjam…

  • Aug 24, 20108:45 am
    by sop

    Reply

    You  made a common error when you assumed that he Pistons have a “second unit” that comes in and plays together. They don’t. I think everyone agrees that Rip needs to be dealt, that Stuckey needs to improve his point skills, that Bynum works hard and that he can’t be paired with Gordon. This whole article is so tired. The real point is that Hollinger and Broussard picked he Pistons as the 29th WORST TEAM next year and if the Pistons win 30 games, as the rest of ESPN predicted, they will be very lucky. Somebody give me a legit exit strategy from the East’s basement.

  • Aug 24, 20109:41 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Wow. So much hate. I’m going to give it right back, one by one.

  • Aug 24, 20109:48 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Bill:

    This is not an indictment of Stuckey’s PG skills. Honestly, I don’t even believe point guards exist in the NBA outside of the handful of elite ones. Virtually every “point” guard is some kind of hybrid. Stuckey’s issues — among his many strengths, which I listed above — are his finishing, his outside shooting and his passing. Bynum is a better finisher and passer who would compliment the starters better than Stuckey does, so it would make more sense for him to play most of his minutes with them.

    Your stats are meaningless. Guess what? Stuckey also led the team in minutes played. How about his per minute stats? He was fourth on the team in points per 36 minutes, he was third on the team in assists per 36, and he was second in steals per 36.

    He was their healthiest player, other than Wallace he was their toughest player, but to say that he was or is their “best” player is not using sound logic.

    As for your last line, “Just please stop complaining about how he’s not a “pure point” it’s so tiresome,” I didn’t complain about him not being a “pure point.” I complained that his skills don’t mesh well with the skills of the probable starting five (if the roster says as-is). There’s a big difference.

  • Aug 24, 20109:52 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @C-Foe:

    The coaching thing is a good point, but it was well-documented throughout last season by all three beat writers that Stuckey would much rather play in an up-tempo system. As we saw, John Kuester is an anti-up-tempo coach. As I said in the post, I like Stuckey’s skillset, but unless the personnel around him or the coaching philosophy drastically changes, we’re going to see a Stuckey who is confined by a traditional offense. His skills beg for a non-traditional coach, in a less structured offense that doesn’t rely on the guy who has the ball in his hands all the time to be a great playmaker. Stuckey is actually much better moving without the ball than he is creating off the dribble.

    And for all of the people throwing around the “this is such a tired post”, C-Foe’s “Bynum needs to be the change it up guy” meme is about the most tired cliché out there. Bynum has statistically, on a per-minute basis, out-performed Stuckey the last two years. At some point, if he stays healthy, he deserves to be rewarded for that.

  • Aug 24, 201010:01 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @nuetes:

    “if your a proponent of trading rip and starting bynum simultaneously that means you want a bynum/gordon starting backcourt and that is scary”

    I am a proponent of clearing one perimeter player out via trade. But I am also assuming that isn’t going to happen before the season starts, and that the Pistons have to go into the season with the roster as-is.

    The team’s two best defensive guards are Hamilton and Stuckey. The two worst are Bynum and Gordon. Those two are also the shortest. It makes some sense to split them up, and since Stuckey can handle both guard spots, he makes sense as a guy to bring off the bench with Gordon.

    All four Pistons guards have flaws, but they also all have different strengths, giving the coaching staff, if it gets more creative, the ability to play with the rotation and play the best matchups on a game-by-game basis.

  • Aug 24, 201010:06 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Jared RedDetroit:

    “Maybe you have nothing to write about, Stucky was the best player last year for us. He hasnt played with the same guys and coach for 2 straight years…. Year 1 Billups, Sheed, and Saunders, Year 2 A.I., Dyce, and Curry, Year 3 Gordon, CV, Kuester…….. Get off of him, he will start through the year, unless he’s traded for a top pg and I said top not Nelson, Calderon, or Brooks”

    Re-posting the whole thing because it’s so ingenious. If you’re going to defend the man, at least spell his name right (Stuckey).

    Also, if you’ll read my response above, it’s debatable whether he was their best player last year. Personally, I think Wallace and Jerebko were their best two players.

    And also, that last sentence is gold. Let’s trade Stuckey for Steve Nash. Done and done.

  • Aug 24, 201010:08 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @laser:

    Haters and non-haters are all welcome. Just expect to get hated right back.

    And I only called the post “baseless” because nowhere have I read that Bynum has any shot at winning the starting job. I think he should, but I can’t find any source that would say that’s an actual possibility, so in that respect, it’s just my own baseless opinion.

  • Aug 24, 201010:14 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @nuetes:

    That drives me nuts when people say “he was the best player” last year. He was on the court the most. He often had to be the go-to guy because all of their scorers were out. Those things don’t make him the “best” player. It’s an insult to Ben Wallace and Jonas Jerebko to say that Stuckey was the “best” player.

    Say that he was the most durable, or even the toughest, or the best perimeter defender, but if people say that he was the best player, they just don’t know basketball.

  • Aug 24, 201010:18 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @zeiram:

    “I don´t know if there is anyone out there but for a lack of a better options I´d say let´s get Calderon or Ford.”

    Calderon solidly runs an offense and is a very good shooter. I have made the case that he could be an OK fit. Ford would be terrible. He’s a shoot-first PG who’s not a very good shooter, he sulks if he doesn’t get huge minutes and he’s not better than Stuckey or Bynum at getting in the paint.

  • Aug 24, 201010:20 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @brgulker:

    I agree with you. I know you have your problems with Stuckey, but he’d be the best third guard on a majority of teams in the league.

    People always take this as a criticism when I say it, but Stuckey’s ceiling is being a combo guard off the bench for a good team. He’d be very, very good in that role.

  • Aug 24, 201010:24 am
    by Quin

    Reply

    Doesn’t Bynum have the most assists by a Piston in the last 20 years or so?  And the most points in a quarter?  In garbage games, sure, but I watched those couple of dunks he had in an early season game and got excited.  Point is, I think he’s someone who can offer some energy and leadership.  Why hasn’t this happened already?  Well, if you tell the rest of the team, “This is our guy,” I think it will.
    And, I think after he knows he’s the guy, he’ll relax some and become more of the “pure” point guard everyone wants, meaning he’ll dish better.  That’s my prediction, provided he becomes a starter.
    @Laser: I don’t write a blog on the Pistons, I comment in the comments area.  If you want to chat with pros, go write your own blog and get invited on a panel to do so.

  • Aug 24, 201010:27 am
    by Josh

    Reply

    I think its clear that Stuckey is not a long term solution at point guard.  His style and size fit better at the shooting guard position.  Bynum would bring stability to the point guard position, but does he have the durability?  Bynum has shown the leadership skills and talent to be a very effective point guard in the NBA, and I think the Pistons are in the perfect position to test this option.  They are a bubble playoff team at best and have a long jam at shooting guard and small forward no matter what they do.  A trade is the only solution for that problem, but it seems more and more likely a trade wont be happening until the deadline.
    http://puremichigansports.com

  • Aug 24, 201010:29 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @sop:

    Your whole comment is so tired. And dumb. Line by line:

    “You  made a common error when you assumed that he Pistons have a “second unit” that comes in and plays together. They don’t.”

    Uh … they have five or six guys who will get minutes off the bench. That is a second unit. Obviously with new players like McGrady and Monroe in the mix, no one knows what that unit will look like. Am I saying that they sub in five guys at a time together as a unit? No. But I am saying that the backup PG tends to play more minutes with the backup SG than the starting SG. The starting PG plays more minutes with the starting SG, etc. So yes, the Pistons do have a second unit.

    “I think everyone agrees that Rip needs to be dealt,”

    I don’t think “everyone” agrees on that. Most agree that the Pistons need to move a guard, preferably for another big. If the best deal for the team’s future that they get is for Tayshaun Prince or Ben Gordon, I think most people would be OK with that as well.

    “that Stuckey needs to improve his point skills,”

    I don’t agree with this. Stuckey needs to work hard and improve just like any player. But Stuckey is best suited to be a combo guard. He can play the point guard position, but he’s also a scorer. I think people need to stop defining Stuckey as solely a point guard and put him in a multi-dimensional role where he can flourish doing multiple things pretty well rather than saying “you HAVE to become a point guard.”

    “that Bynum works hard and that he can’t be paired with Gordon.”

    I don’t think John Kuester agrees that Bynum can’t be paired with Gordon. They were paired together fairly often last season when both were healthy.

    “This whole article is so tired.”

    That’s not an argument.

    “The real point is that Hollinger and Broussard picked he Pistons as the 29th WORST TEAM next year and if the Pistons win 30 games, as the rest of ESPN predicted, they will be very lucky.”

    Wow. You read Hollinger AND Broussard? You are so edgy and cool.

    “Somebody give me a legit exit strategy from the East’s basement.”

    Be better than Toronto or Indiana. Shouldn’t be too hard.

  • Aug 24, 20103:12 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    “second unit” is really just a way of saying the backups. rarely do you actually see an entire unit of bench players on the court at the same time (for one, you don’t usually have ten men in the rotation in the first place, and you probably don’t trust them all enough to play without your starters). phoenix did it last year, and it worked out well. it’s completely within the realm of possibility (perhaps likely) that we’ll have five bench players on the floor at the same time for significant stretches.
     
    i’m all for moving any shooting guard. i’d love to trade stuckey if he could get us anything in the world. but rip is clearly the odd man out. he’s a half-court straight shooting guard who doesn’t handle the ball well or excel at getting his own shots, and the rest of our guards are combo guards who are basically freelancers who don’t excel at getting their teammates shots. nobody who knows anything would think rip is a good fit with the rest of these guards.
     
    and hayes, don’t go running to vegas and betting on the pistons being better than anyone. and i mean anyone. no reason to think they won’t finish with the worst record in the league. for the present and the future, i don’t think there’s a worse roster in the league. loads and loads of talent, but the whole is so much less than the sum of its parts that it’s pathetic.
     
    one of the sad little facts about this team is that they’re actually going to miss kwame brown. when’s the las time the pistons didn’t have “shaq insurance?” a big body to throw at the biggest centers for stretches. (yes, i know. now it’s “dwight” insurance, but you get the idea.) dale davis, theo ratliff, kwame. right now we have a full roster, and the closest thing we have to dwight insurance is chris wilcox, who’s a poor defender and will be perpetually inactive.
     
    as for stuckey, the people who think he’s our best player just plain don’t know basketball. he had a strong rookie season, but he was in a role that suited him well (third guard behind two all-stars), and he excelled. i’ve always maintained that i think another year playing behind chauncey would have done him a world of good. but it didn’t happen, and i don’t see any evidence that stuckey is ever going to be much better than he is now. it’s only “potential” for so long when you’re in a consistent role for years showing no improvement. why anyone thinks he’s on an upwards trajectory is beyond me. it’s just people who don’t understand the game. we need a floor leader, not a scorer, as our starting PG.

  • Aug 24, 20104:01 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    what? you think the pistons have the worst roster in the league? the worst team in the league? granted, i don’t think they are any good, but if you think they are worse than the wolves or raptors we are on a different level here. those are bad basketball teams. the pistons have one of the worst looking futures in the league at the moment though. they don’t really have the ability to get better with all the contracts, and being just good enough not to give themselves enough lottery balls to get lucky doesn’t help. i think they win more games than last year, but not many. maybe 30-35 wins in there somewhere. that shouldn’t make them the worst team in the league, and maybe that is a tad unfortunate given the current situation.

  • Aug 24, 20105:33 pm
    by markbutter

    Reply

    I think Stuck deserves a chance to prove himself this year.  As has been said, he’s had 3 coaches in 4 years and went thru the MCIAFI & AI experiment.  Let’s see what he can do with a full year of Kuester (since Q signed up late last June).

    Plus, as people have alluded  to, if he was our best player last year because he was  on the court so much, it stands to reason he didn’t have many people to pass to.  Passing is the easiest part of an assist, making the shot typically the hardest.  16 pts, 5 assists, 4 rebs & 1.5 steals in his fourth season when the team shot a combined 44.5% from the floor with numerous injuries – what more could he do?  sure, add in another 1 or 2 assists and a rebound or 2 we’d all like. 

    But remember, last season Pierce & Allen shot their highest from the floor (or second highest) in their career, Garnett 52% (only 5th time in his career over 50%) and Tony Allen shot over 51% from the floor, that has more to do with rajon averaging nearly 10 assists per game than it does anything rajon did.  I still say give him the entire year to see some improvement from one year to the next under the same coach and offensive scheme.  If he doesn’t improve, not necessarily numbers wise but also including leadership and basketball sense, then we can talk about other options.

    I disagree with article in that Bynum’s  deficiency on D can be compensated by Wallace starting.  That’s a recipe for foul trouble.  Ben might be able to block a shot or two, but relying  on a 36 yr old 6’8″ center to man the middle is not a recipe for success in the long term (meaning, for the whole game). 

  • Aug 24, 20107:03 pm
    by jerome

    Reply

    ok…….all of you say that to make the pistons a better team they need to start bynum (an upgraded version of mateen cleaves) at the point, trade their best player hamilton(a reggie miller duplicate) and start gordon at the 2?…….sounds great!!!……their backcourt players would be smaller than most high school  teams……the only thing they would be better at is a shot at the #1 pick next year!…maybe even have the record for most losses in a nba season!!! ……in todays game, gaurds are much bigger than they were before……if  joe d and isiah were in todays game, one of them would be traded because they’d be too small as a tandem…………and bynum and gordon aint even close to being as good as them!! 

  • Aug 24, 20107:16 pm
    by Josh V

    Reply

    I read these articles like it’s going out of style mostly because I’m a student of the game, and I’m a passionate Pistons fan.  Laser, I really don’t understand why you get so damn heated in regards to the current state of affairs, did you honestly think our squad was going to be near the top 2-3 of the Eastern Conference for longer than the 7 or so years we were?  Sports operate in cycles, very, VERY few teams are able to perpetually perform at a championship level and for any of you to get this angry about the Pistons is ridiculous.
    Lets face it, the Pistons aren’t going to be good next year, we have an inexperienced coach at the helm, and pieces that simply do not fit together.  We will get a lottery pick and hopefully we will repeat the last 2 years in regards to drafting solid pickups.
    In regards to starting Bynum, I find that to be an intriguing idea, but (and you might want to pay special attention here Laser; I doubt you’ve ever laced up for any professional squads) Stuckey has never had the same coach, or the same players to get the ball to.  Stuckey is not a pure pg, he never will be, but if he had a teacher that was there for 3-4 years he may actually learn something and if he was in the same system his opportunity to improve would be legitimate and if he still did not improve we could all hop onto Lasers train of “thought.”  However, he has worked hard and stayed relatively healthy and been asked to run an offense with pieces that virtually change on a nightly basis.  Not exactly easy.
    Look at the better performing teams in the playoffs in recent times.  Derek Fisher, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Jameer Nelson.  Each one of them is at the very least considerably better than Stuckey, but each of them have been in the same system with the same coach (Nash has endured a few new coaches though) and surrounded by (for the most part) the same players.  Nelson wasn’t always worth much, neither was Rondo, and Fisher realistically ONLY runs the offense (cannot score consistently).  The only one from the top 4 teams that has been solid for years in regards to PPG and APG is Nash.
    Before your heads explode allow me to elaborate.  Stuckey will never approach the level of Rondo or Nash, but I definitely see him reaching the productivity of Nelson and Fisher if he is put with the right complementary pieces and allowed to grow within a good system under a good coach.  I’m not sold on Kuester OR his system, but Stuckey has (at the very least) earned the right to start and to continue developing under this system.  His outside shot, ability to finish, court vision, and passing are all sub-par, but; AGAIN he has never been in the same system twice.  Go ahead and play that one down Laser, despite the fact that I think if you looked at that logically and you understood the game at the pro level that is saying a lot.
    I want to see Bynum get more PT, he’s also earned it and if nothing else can be said, the man dished out 20 assists last year late in the season.  A backup pg, dishes 2o assists… that is one of the very few reasons why I believe this article holds any weight whatsoever.  He has displayed a scoring touch, but I believe if he had more PT teams would key in on him and given his size he’d have a hard time scoring.  Frankly with as many people talking about how big Stuckey is, Bynum is far too small to be relied upon as a starter.  He would play better with Rip or T-Mac on the second squad (and yea, I think BG should be starting), and I think Stuckey would play well with BG and Greg Monroe due to Monroe’s uncanny passing ability for a big man.  It’s not realistic to start Monroe however, so I would like to see Stuckey play more with the second unit as well; but again, I think he’s earned his starting spot.
    Ultimately, we need to move Rip, Tay, AND Stuckey to help solidify the frontline and acquire a bigger pure PG with the ability to guard at the perimeter.  But for the time being we have to make due with what we have and moving Bynum into the starting spot would not work long term.  He is a great backup PG, and his skill set is intriguing given his playmaking abilities, but he cannot play high level defense.  Put him with Rip, and Rip will score more often and Bynum’s APG will stay solid.  That’s all short term though, these guys have to get traded because they’re not going to work within this system and we have far too many guards (which you are all well aware of).
    I’d like to see us hold onto Gordon because he his a killer instinct and hasn’t had the opportunity to fully showcase his skill.  Rip needs to go to a contender that con offer us cap relief with an expiring contract or a big man.  Stuckey needs to go and should be paired with Maxiel in a trade for a starting caliber pure pg.  Tayshaun could stay or leave because I think he has a lot left in the tank; but I think I’d prefer to see him replaced with a more offensive threat.  Bolster the front line with defensive minded low post players, get a pure PG, and allow people like Jerebko, Daye, Monroe, and White (please watch the dunk contest he recently participated in) to develop.  Until BG gets a good 50-60 games under his belt injury free; forget about judging him.  Villanueva could stay or go; if a team is willing to give up anything of value I say pull the trigger.
    Keep Bynum, BG, Jerebko, Daye, Big Ben, Monroe, and T-Mac as viable options.  The rest of the squad should be actively shopped and Dumars needs to be more aggressive in his pursuit of starting caliber players.

  • Aug 24, 20107:20 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Jerome:

    I don’t know about the record for most losses in a season, but you definitely set the record for the most unnecessary periods in a comment.

    I didn’t read that if the Pistons start Bynum and trade Rip they’ll magically be better. I didn’t write anything remotely close to that. This is my argument:

    - As presently constructed, I would like to see Bynum play more minutes with the first unit. I believe he compliments Hamilton/Prince in particular better than Stuckey does.

    - I didn’t say the Pistons should trade Hamilton. They need to make a deal to clear out a perimeter player though. And because of his age and contract, I think Hamilton is the guy the team would most like to move. I don’t, however, think they will be able to do that at least until the season has started. If there’s a better deal out there for Gordon or Prince that makes the team better, I’d be all for that trade as well.

    - I don’t know about your small backcourts point. Thomas and Dumars would’ve been fine together in today’s game. There are plenty of small backcourts out there — Cleveland had Mo Williams/Delonte West as their primary guards the past two season, PHX had Nash and Jason Richardson (who’s much shorter than the 6-6 he’s listed at), the Clippers start Baron Davis and Eric Gordon, Utah started Deron Williams and Wes Matthews,M Milwaukee started Brandon Jennings and Charlie Bell for a long stretch last season, Chicago during the 2000s made the playoffs several times with Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon as their primary backcourt.

    There are a growing number of big guards, but you’re wrong to say that many teams don’t still use small backcourts.

  • Aug 24, 20107:25 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @markbutter:

    You and others who harp on the “give him a chance to work with Kuester for another full season” continually miss an important point: Stuckey has said himself that the halfcourt offense isn’t a good fit for him, that he very much prefers to play a wide-open, fast style. What part of John Kuester’s offense makes you believe that there’s any potential free-wheeling, running or fast pace to it? He’s a staunch advocate of the slow-it-up and choke the life out of the ball game, which works great if you have a team that buys in defensively and a disciplined PG who can keep the ball moving and prevent things from stagnating on long possession after long possession. Stuckey is going to spend another year miscast in this offense, another year slowing himself down and being less aggressive in the interest of trying to run Kuester’s offense.

    Another year in Kuester’s offense doesn’t mean anything.

  • Aug 24, 20109:57 pm
    by David Brewer (piro4lions/pistons)

    Reply

    Keep up the good work Patrick! I miss your articles being on M-Dive!  Also good points on starting Bynum and I couldnt agree more about the idea of Stuckey being a GREAT combo guard coming off the bench.
     
    No vote of confidence on Terrico White becoming the next great Piston PG? LOL

  • Aug 25, 201012:12 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    @nuetes: i won’t go so far as to say they’re the worst team in the league, but i don’t think there’s any reason to believe they’ll be better than anyone. and i mean anyone. raptors and wolves included, and especially the cavs. i’ve heard so many pistons fans saying “LOL FART at least we’re not the cavs!” bad news, people. the cavs don’t look any worse than we do right now. look at that frontcourt, and at least they’ve got a balanced, if mediocre, team. i’d pay for a mediocre team right now. and at least they have an excuse for how far they figure to fall this year.
     
    @markbutter: stuckey deserves nothing. he was given a silver spoon as soon as he landed in the league, and he’s never done anything to prove he was worth everything we’ve invested in him. joe dumars went all-in on stuckey, and look where we are. so yeah, if we’re talking about what he deserves, it’s the boot. he’ll continue to get chances, but i don’t know how long “potential” and physical tools are going to get you when you’re in your fourth, fifth, sixth years in the league. i would have traded him a year and a half ago when he was worth something. and don’t put stuckey in the same conversation as rondo. you look silly. how can someone have any kind of basketball mind and type what you just did?? you think those celtic shooting percentages happened by accident? rondo SETS HIS TEAMMATES UP. that’s how you get easy baskets and good percentages. i’m not going to say anything more about it. stop skewing the facts to make stuckey look respectable. you want him to get another chance this season? he will. and he’ll be as bad a floor leader as ever. and you’ll find new excuses.
     
    @jerome: you’re compiling a list of separate suggestions. i’d never in a million years put bynum and gordon in the starting lineup together. heck, i think it’s idiotic to have them come off the bench together. if we’re keeping this sorry roster as-is, i want bynum to start alongside rip. if we can trade rip, (A) slide gordon into the starting lineup or (B) start bynum and stuckey and bring gordon and t-mac off the bench.
     
    @joshv: i understand that sports teams run in cycles, but this organization has been so miserably mismanaged that in positively infuriates me. i’d be physically violent with joe dumars if i had the chance and knew there would be no consequences. yes, teams run in cycles, but usually with good reason. there’s some luck involved, players leave via free agency, players age, sometimes there’s payroll issues, particularly in small markets. nothing lasts forever (least of all in sports), but from a management perspective this team has been atrocious. and i get upset with fans who shrug off this team’s problems with an “everything goes in cycles.” joe dumars hasn’t made a good personnel decision in five years, and he’s been an unqualified disaster for two solid years. i can handle a team that’s not great, but this is ridiculous. the team makes no sense whatsoever. we collect multiple replacements for rip and tayshaun but never move them, we load up on the wings instead of up front and at the point, where good teams are formed. this is a team designed to LOSE NOW and LOSE LATER. we’re supposed to be “rebuilding” but we’re terrible AND we have no flexibility? how many teams can say that? and how many of those teams were put in that position solely by one person’s bad choices? what kind of backwards-ass rebuilding process STARTS with handing out a bunch of bad contracts?? that’s what CAUSES teams to start rebuilding. the fact is that i’ve never seen more talent on a worse team in any sport ever. which translates to a bad team. joe dumars’s options were unlimited when he started rebuilding (tons of tradable assets, young talent, expiring contracts, roster flexibility galore) and he turned it into this. if he was facing financial problems (new orleans), lost a superstar to free agency (cleveland) or was rebuilding the right way (okc) i would be singing a different tune. but the man gets off the hook too easy from fans like you who chalk it up to “you can’t be on top forever,” because there was never a reason to be this bad. keep chauncey one more year to foster stuckey’s development, offer david lee a contract last season, trade for tyson chandler when you actually had the chance, draft a f***ing point guard in the deepest point guard draft ever, pick up avery johnson instead of consecutive rookie coaches, don’t hand out almost $40 million to an aging shooting guard. there’s a hundred things he’s done wrong, and nothing he’s done right lately. don’t give him a free pass. have some respect for yourself.
     
    stuckey doesn’t deserve a free pass either. sure there’s been turmoil and inconsistency, but he’s been the constant; you’d think if he was a competent leader maybe the team wouldn’t quite struggle so much. consider me playing what you said down. i could give a damn about his coaches and systems. big deal. if he had any instinct to run an NBA offense he’d have kept the team a little more stable over the past two seasons. i don’t care who’ calling the shots. that gets overblown. kuester and curry both said that often they just put stuckey out there without calling a play and let him operate. so much for that. the kid STINKS at everything we need him to do. bynum’s had the same coaching and team situation, and he’s consistently outperformed stuckey with less playing time. take a jab at my basketball IQ all you like, if you look at these two guys and can’t see the difference you don’t know anything. bynum has a feel for the game, looks to pass, penetrates AND KICKS! he flat-out looks like a basketball player when he’s out there. in control, confident. stuckey, on the other hand, dribbles feebly around the perimeter for 20 seconds and/or drives into the paint against four defenders and doesn’t consider passing for a second. i can’t wait to hear everyone’s excuses for him this season. it’s possibly the only thing i’m actually looking forward to. i’m bored with joe dumars apologists; the stuckey apologists are about to get hilarious!
     
    @hayes: amen, brother. this is just the hot new excuse from the stuckey apologists, but it’s not the only point these jokers are missing (see above). i blame my close, personal friend and pistons.com editor keith langlois for this. but it’s his job to create excuses for the team and try to build enthusiasm for the team while distracting everyone from the team’s abysmal present and future. it’s the fans’ responsibility to think for themselves and question what the pistons spin machine spits out. i love the guy, but the only thing more frustrating than reading his bogus excuses is reading them regurgitated from flag-waving apologists parading as fans.
     
    @davidbrewster: y’know, you’ve touched on one of the lower profile problems with this team right now. white looks like a more athletic stuckey, but even though we have nothing to win this season, the organization is going to deny itself the opportunity to see what he’s really made of. all in the interest of (A) selling tickets and jerseys in the name of t-mac, and much less likely (B) establishing value for t-mac to trade him for something.

  • Aug 25, 201012:44 am
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    @Patrick: There’s no “hate” here regarding your article. I believe fans can have a discussion/debate without “hate” and can agree to disagree. That being said, I think “Josh V” articulated my feelings about Stuckey and Bynum better than I did.
    Regarding Stuckey, Joe D. has given interviews stating that he was looking for players who can get to the basket. He felt that the Pistons bogged down offensively in the Conference Finals when the 1st and 2nd options were not there. After watching D.Wade and LeBron attack the basket and get rewarded, I think he felt that a change was needed. So Stuckey is drafted and told to “be aggressive” with the hopes that he could put pressure on the defense and make plays. The reason I say give him the start this season is because he was part of 19 starting lineup changes and no starting lineup he was on played more than 12 games together. I can’t see how there could be any chemistry with those changes regardless of whether he likes to play up-tempo or if Kuester wants a slower tempo. I liken it to evaluating a QB who gets a new coach, a offensive system to learn and has 2 different sets of WRs and a new O-Lineman every 2 weeks. So let’s evaluate him in a more stable environment and if he doesn’t show improvement, then I won’t argue with starting Bynum to see if the team improves.
    Regarding Bynum, I won’t debate your point about him getting more PT if he’s earned it. Many of us as fans see his height and weight (6’0 -185) and think defensive liability especially after being spoiled by Chauncey(6’3 – 200) . I don’t think fans question his skills or his heart. If my GM has mandated that the team will get back to being physical and committed to defense like we were before then I have to ask, “Can Bynum’s body handle that for 30+ minutes for 70+ games against other starting lineups?”
    @Laser:  How can you write the statement, “one of the sad little facts about this team is that they’re actually going to miss kwame brown.”?
    Huh???   You think they will miss Kwame “I got beat out by a 35-year old Ben Wallace” Brown?  Miss Kwame “I have more dropped passes than Terrell Owens” Brown?  Miss the poster child for the NBA’s ”Go to college” campaign?   My fellow Piston fan, I think that’s why Greg Monroe was drafted.  :-)

  • Aug 25, 20104:01 am
    by Jay

    Reply

    For all the shit you guys give Laser, he is the one that makes the most sense out of anyone here.  His rants are not only thoroughly entertaining but they are enlightening on the true state of affairs in Detroit. This was a well-thought out article Patrick and I agree with the majority of it.

  • Aug 25, 20108:42 am
    by sop

    Reply

    Wow Hayes don’t take it so personally.
    Trade Rip for Eric Dampier and a lottery protected 1st round pick.

  • Aug 25, 201012:27 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @c-foe: (regarding stuckey)… 1) the football comparison falls flat. football is so much more complicated than basketball as to render most any comparison moot, and basically anyone you ask will tell you QB is the hardest position in sports. 2) as i’ve said before, if stuckey was the leader we need our starting PG to be, his lineups wouldn’t matter that much. it’s not like he’s a damn rookie; this is his fourth year for crying out loud! i’m not going to go sifting through a list of his starting lineups, but the 12 game figure has to be misleading. it’s a convenient number, because on the surface it sounds significant, but what’s the real difference if your frontcourt is comprised of jerebko, wilcox, max, kwame brown or ben wallace? it’s not like you’re running plays for those guys anyways. and there’s a lot of overlap between ben gordon and rip hamilton’s game. and at small forward, you probably couldn’t find a pair of guys easier to play with than tayshaun and jerebko. it’s a deceptive stat, and i don’t give it much credence. if he was a capable floor leader the team would have had more stability in the first place, because he’s been the one constant. 3) bynum’s had the same roster and fewer opportunities, PLUS he’s been bounced from backup to starter, and he’s consistently outperformed stuckey. if stuckey were some kind of defensive juggernaut, maybe the arguments for him to continue starting might hold some water, but he’s not. what he really has amounts to defensive potential. heck, everything he has is potential. he has all of the physical tools to succeed, but he lacks the mental makeup and playmaking instincts to run an NBA offense. obviously some people are willing to give him eternity to develop into the floor leader we need him to be, but he’s never shown any real progress to warrant that faith. and don’t throw stats at me to try to say he has; i’ve watched almost every game of his NBA career, and he looks lost out there. bynum plays with confidence, looks to pass, blah blah blah, does everything better than stuckey except “be as big.” 4) stuckey was most effective by a mile when we had him starting at SG. heck, he practically carried the offense for stretches, because the one thing he’s good at is scoring. you don’t bog a guy like that down by making him go against all his scoring instincts and forcing him to get everyone involved. he stinks at that. he’s good at scoring. why are there people who still don’t get this?
     
    (and regarding kwame)… yeah i know it sounds crazy, but i acknowledged as much when i said it. what i’m saying is this: we have a full roster and NO “big bodies,” the low-skill bruisers you throw at big centers for stretches. nobody really thinks about the dale davises, theo ratliffs, or especially kwame browns, but these are important role players on a well-rounded team. they don’t play much, but you really miss them when you don’t have them anymore. we’re so perilously thin up front that almost anyone with size who can defend would be a huge improvement. for the same reason, as a different example of our sorry state, i’ve pointed out that darko milicic would be an upgrade at this point. deny it all you want, but i think it’s hard to refute. feel free to try. right now our power players are a 36 year old, a rookie, a small forward, a power forward who’s three inches shorter than said small forward, a corpse and an expiring contract with a beard. you gotta figure ben wallace plays 20-some minutes a game (and, heck, he’s undersized himself), so who plays center behind him? wilcox is a lock for the inactive list, max is MAD undersized and figures to be the fifth big in line to crack the rotation, and you have no idea what to expect defensively (and otherwise, really) from monroe. somewhere down the road he could be a defensive presence, but you can’t count on that now. everyone says he needs to bulk up. maybe there’s an outside chance you throw wilcox at a big opposing center, but he’s a poor defender. even though he’s got size, i’d rather take my chances with max. the bottom line is that darko and kwame would both be upgrades to this frontcourt. it’s sad but true.
     
    @jay: thanks, man. that was a nice surprise. i sure think i make a lot of sense, and i try to support my arguments as much as possible. i do seem to catch a lot of undeserved crap around here, don’t i? ha.

  • Aug 25, 20101:03 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    oh yeah just thought of something else. this one’s for anyone who says “stuckey hasn’t had any stability, he’s had so many different teammates and lineup combinations and blah blah blah… give him a year with some stability and set lineups before you judge him on three measly years of basketball.”
     
    look at this lineup, people. do you honestly think this is going to resemble a “stable” environment?? we have nine perimeter players, six of which are veterans who will push for minutes, three of whom are young and need minutes to develop. and there are no clear winners in the bunch; everyone has their issues. rip has trouble getting shots for himself, nobody else on the perimeter excels at setting teammates up*, bynum and gordon are undersized and could be defensive liabilities, three of these guys are coming off of significant injuries. none of these guys are head-and-shoulders above the rest. there is going to be a season-long competition for minutes, roles and probably starting positions. and it’s no better in the frontcourt. ben wallace figures to be your starting center, but PF is wide open. jerebko might be the best guess, but i think charlie v gets first crack to earn the spot, and it might end up being greg monroe. heck, maybe it starts out jonas, and charlie v or g-money wins the spot!
     
    (*obviously i think bynum does, but if history is any indication his minutes will suffer the most from the competition, regardless of his production, for reasons i don’t understand).
     
    if you’re looking at a rotation that includes stuckey, bynum, rip, gordon, tayshaun, t-mac, ben wallace, charlie v, jerebko and monroe, which would appear to be our bare minimum (tell me who gets squeezed out, how that works, and if you think it’s more likely that one gets squeezed out than added in), we’re talking 24 minutes apiece. of course counting ZERO minutes total for daye, summers, max, white and wilcox combined. this sounds like a recipe for stiff competition, lineup shuffles, instability, turmoil. certainly doesn’t sound like any sane person could foresee stability. who even knows how long it could take to develop consistent lineups, rotations and roles? who’s to say it happens at all?
     
    oh, and let’s not forget the possibility (certainty?) of a midseason trade. tayshaun is a great candidate, since he’s one of our best trade assets. rip’s not a bad candidate, since he’s the worst fit in an overcrowded perimeter. maybe t-mac fetches something if he can stay healthy. heck, even stuckey could get moved. you’d have to be insane to foresee stability this season.

  • Aug 25, 20102:21 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    laser – don’t get me wrong i enjoy your opinions, but i think i might enjoy them more if you could make your point in less than 5000 words.

  • Aug 25, 20103:07 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    eh. just skim them and look for stuff that sticks out to you. or don’t, i dunno. it’s how i write. i may be verbose, but i’m confident my writing is at least coherent.
     
    also, if i’m addressing you directly i start it with an “@nuetes,” and i always read posts directed at me. so we can exchange ideas that way and you can always ignore the rest.

  • Aug 25, 20107:01 pm
    by Josh V

    Reply

    Laser-
    I agree with a lot of what you tend to say, except for throwing Stuckey under the bus.  Until we have someone that can replace him at the PG position, he has earned that position.  And who ever said that the PG HAD to be the leader?  Look at Kobe, MJ, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Paul Pierce/Garnett, Dwayne Wade, LBJ… etc.  It is completely unfair the rap that Stuckey gets, and I’m not even one who is a big Stuckey supporter!  The fact is that the only suitable replacement we have currently and have had in the past 2 years is Bynum; who is incredibly undersized.  He will never be a starting PG on a quality team, nor should he really be starting for any sub-par squad either.  He has everything that Stuckey needs in regards to running an offense, you are absolutely right there, but his size is a HUGE weakness that we cannot afford to have.
    So; until we pick up a pure PG with size or trade him, Stuckey should be starting.  Anyone who says that Bynum should overtake the spot needs to understand what a liability he would be if that was the case.  Unfortunately I don’t really think we’d be any worse/better regardless of who is starting between the two; neither one of them is going to significantly affect our win-loss ratio.  I already said he needs to be moved for a pg/pf/c, so I guess I don’t understand what your beef is with my perspective other than just that you hate the guy.  And as for the “have some respect for yourself” comment, maybe it’s those comments that make the rest of us so negative when discussing things with you; but I digress and it’s not a big deal.
    In regards to drafting a PG this draft, we DESPERATELY needed a big man, and I believe the Monroe pick was a solid one.  Terrico White was also a good pick IMO because of his upside, but without moving Rip and Stuckey, we’ll probably never know.  I think you and I actually agree on more than disagree, but I do happen to think until a suitable replacement arrives Stuckey deserves the starting position if for no other reason than his aggressive play style offensively and defensively.  Sure he doesn’t make enough FT or finish well enough, but it beats having an under 6′ tall PG getting torn to shreds by the opposing guards and overworking the front line defensively to make up for it.  I fail to see how my reasoning is bad, although I’m sure you’ll be able to point it out.
    Joe Dumars cares about this team, he gambled way too much with Chauncey, and over paid Villanueva.  With how much money being spent in the current offseason though it’s a fair assessment IMO that Ben Gordon was not over paid nor was he a bad pick up.  The last two drafts have also been very solid IMO too; so to say that every move he has made in the last few years has been terrible is fairly asinine and blowing the situation out of proportion.  This isn’t a GM trying to fill seats, this is a GM trying to make a team better and failing.  For all the good luck and perseverance that Joe D possessed early on with the 02-08 years, the current state of affairs is easier to swallow.  He does not deserve to be run out of town, nor does he deserve the terrible rap he’s gotten.  Is he a top-tier GM?  Hell no.  But he’s better than quite a few out there; and what matters most to me in a GM is having the GM legitimately care about the organization he’s working for.
    Go ahead and tell me I’m a Joe D d*ck rider, and that I don’t have any respect for myself because I believe Stuckey should start; but for as upset as you get, I’ve yet to see you or anyone else propose a line-up or GM that makes more sense.*
    *The coach you mentioned in Avery Johnson was a great point and I was saying that before Kuester ever got the job.  I was also thinking Mike Brown would be a good pick as well given his success.  You are on the money there.  And for the record, if I insulted your bball IQ, my bad; it’s nice to see passionate Pistons fans, I just wish more people thought long term and were willing to roll with the bad years just like the good.  It will get better, I have no doubt of that; I think Joe D will turn it around in the next 2 years.  That, or he’ll be looking for another job.

  • Aug 25, 20107:48 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    when/if prince leaves were going to have a major hole at SF to figure out. i think practically all the positions need to be considered in next year’s draft. the best player you can get because this team needs upgrades at just about every spot.
     
    i can see the argument for bynum starting a little clearer now. it makes sense but only if the current personnel are on the team. if rip gets traded stuckey would instantly have to go back to starting because a bynum/gordon backcourt just scares me. fact is stuckey is most likely the starter until he’s either gone or a real good option presents itself not named bynum.
     
    as far as trading prince. i could go any which way on this. imo he is the pistons best player right now. if the return isn’t of equal value or better then the team is going to be even worse, and i’m ok with that right now because the draft is one of the very few avenues this team has available given their cap situation. i wouldn’t trade him for a player with a long-term contract unless that player is really good. and i wouldn’t trade him for say dampier because it just makes no sense, unless the only goal is to see how many lottery balls you can acquire. prince is our best trade asset, but he’s also going to be the most difficult to trade because you need the right return for him. rip or gordon i wouldn’t be as picky about.

  • Aug 25, 20109:16 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @josh: we’ll have to agree to disagree about stuckey, but you’ll see how he performs, and if the past is any indication it will be “not well.” i’m not throwing him under the bus as much as advocating that he be put in a position to succeed, and that’s NOT as a starting point guard. true, there are cases where the PG isn’t the leader, but NEWS FLASH! we don’t have a kobe or a lebron or a paul pierce or any of the other HALL OF FAMERS you’ve listed! what kind of argument is that, man? and besides, isiah was a point guard, so i’m not sure what his name is doing on that list. it’s possible you just don’t know what you’re talking about. but a point guard is the guy who runs the offense. in the absence of a superstar, he’s the guy who has the ball in his hands, makes decisions, sets people up. the guy who’s supposed to do all the things stuckey STINKS at. just because you say he’s earned the chance doesn’t make it so. what’s he ever done? he came out of the draft, had a promising rookie year in a role he was well-suited to, and was handed the team outright. he hasn’t won anything, and he hasn’t proven anything besides that he can score. will bynum is a better option. better suited to play with our starters, better at making plays and decisions. too big of a deal is made of bynum’s size. you know what? ben wallace is kind of a big guy. why not let him start at point guard? imagine the suffocating defense and hustle! yeah, let’s go with that. you want to talk about players “earning” roles. bynum has earned a chance to start. from day one he’s showed heart and been in control when he’s running the team. and if you’re worried about defensive limitations, imagine pairing him with ben gordon with the two of them coming off the bench together. and while you’re at it, plug in t-mac at small forward. they’ll never stop anyone. if stuckey was a great defender i’d give this argument some thought, but he isn’t. he has the physical tools to be a great player, but the same could be said about thousands of guys who’ve never amounted to anything in the NBA.
     
    i’ve said before, i think stuckey could be a very good contributor as a third guard on a good team. he excelled at that role playing behind chauncey and rip his rookie year. but he’s painfully miscast as the guy who’s running your offense. and if the team stinks, which it has and will continue to do, i don’t see the harm in giving bynum a chance. too much is made of his size. how many guards in the league are going to be a major mismatch? no more than the number as the small guards who tend to blow by stuckey with their quickness. i’ll meet you halfway in this regard: if, at minimum, stuckey took advantage of his gifts by actually passing out of the paint after he penetrates and draws an entire team of defenders, i wouldn’t have so much of a problem with him. but his song and dance is so old. it’s the same move every time. it was nice in 2007 when we hadn’t seen someone penetrate like that, but he’s so predictable and uncreative it’s a joke.
     
    ben gordon would have been a good pickup if joe hadn’t just committed almost $40 million to rip over three years in a contract that seemingly, and without good reason, can’t be moved. so we’re disagreeing again. and i’ll disagree vehemently with this one. and FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, man, you’re so damn concerned about bynum’s size, but you want ben freaking gordon, who gives up WAY more size on average and is a much worse defender than bynum out there, making more than $10 million, no less? give me a break. have some respect for yourself (see what i did there?). ben gordon is a nice player to have, but you’re paying him eight figures to play 20 minutes and take ten shots (that’s what he did when rip was healthy), and his contract overlaps with rip’s for four (4) years. all-in-all, a very bad signing unless you can move rip right away. one year of overlap to see how poorly they play together is tolerable; four years of this would be unforgivable. but riddle me this: what good moves has he made recently? if giving a rich, long-term contract to an undersized backup shooting guard in a wildly overcrowded backcourt is the GOOD move joe made, you’ve said it all. even if you like the signing, it’s not like you got a bargain. the absolute nicest thing you can say is that we didn’t overpay. but we CERTAINLY did not get a bargain. and there’s not even enough room for him to play. you can’t look at these moves in a vacuum or else the t-mac signing was the pickup of the century.
     
    no harm done with respect to the the b-ball IQ thing. i know i’ve got a good b-ball IQ, so snap judgments by strangers mean very little. and i’m prone to saying stuff like “have respect for yourself,” but only when i think you said something crazy. ha. nothing personal.
     
    as for a lineup that makes more sense. start bynum, rip, tayshaun, jj and big ben. scoff at it all you want, but think about the defensive nightmare you have on your hands with bynum and gordon playing together (and worse, alongside t-mac) for significant stretches. anything you can do to break that up is a good thing, even if it means you have a shrimp starting (and it’s not like the guy’s earl boykins or something). worst case scenario, if he’s getting torched, you insert stuckey. this team is so absurdly deep with completely average ball players that you can sub for anyone at any time depending on how the game’s going. and, for the record, i’d be just fine with stuckey and gordon starting, but rip’s just not coming off the bench. and it’s in everybody’s best interest (IMO of course) to pair bynum with rip and stuckey with gordon. bynum’s more equipped to set rip up, and we got gordon to compliment stuckey in the first place.
     
    i don’t see anything turning around in two years unless we get some great draft picks by being one of the historically bad teams in the history of the game. it’s within the realm of possibility, but that’s no way to get to the top. it takes no skill as a GM whatsoever to stink for years and collect top picks. if that’s how we get back on top, it will be nothing whatsoever to be proud of. in two years rip will STILL be on the books, and so will charlie v. we’ll be without ben wallace. in all likelihood, terrico white will never have dressed for a game. daye will suffer from having rotted on the bench for so long. summers will be long gone and probably kicking ass for someone after we let him walk because we never had a speck of PT for him. if history is any indication, we’ll have signed stuckey to a long-term extension, and we’ll still be waiting for him to break through (i can see it now: “but he’s only had the same coach and system for three years! look at all the roster moves he’s had to endure.” ugh.) yeah, we may be good. but if so, it’ll be through the lottery. yuck.
     
    @nuetes: i say we probably draft for talent unless it’s a SG. we have holes everywhere, but we’ve got too much depth at SG for our own good. not enough minutes or shots for all these guys. if we trade prince, i think jj becomes the primary SF, and we could do a lot worse. you speak of this void like we’ve got no options. for all we know daye will be very good in a year. i mean, we took this guy in the middle of the first round, same pick a stuckey. and we passed on some PLAYERS. you gotta figure he gets a shot at filling the void tayshaun leaves.
     
    and regarding dampier, i think there’s a chance we win the same number of games this year with dampier or tayshaun. which is to say, not many games. if the world was ending after this season, you could do worse than replacing tayshaun with dampier. he would certainly help up front, and even though tayshaun is our best player (we agree on this, and really, who else is even in the conversation? stuckey? LOL right.), we have depth at his position. adding dampier could conceivably lead to more wins. but it’s a short-term “fix” to a long-term problem. i put “fix” in quotes because the trade certainly isn’t a talent-for-talent upgrade and leaves another hole, albeit a smaller one.

  • Aug 26, 201012:44 am
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    @Laser:  I’m not saying Stuckey has to be the starting PG for all of this season or the season is lost.  If we get 3 games into the season and it’s obvious that he still hasn’t adjusted then I will happily back starting Bynum over him.  Patrick made some valid points about his effectiveness when he’s in the game.   I just believe that chemistry and continuity count  just as much as talent towards a team’s success.  

    How is the PG vs QB comparison moot?  I’ll say that playing PG is complicated also because he typically relays the offensive sets, should know what everyone does in that set, and also relays the defensive schemes.  Both are two positions considered the extensions of the coach and both rely on chemistry with their teammates.    Name one starting PG in the NBA last year who was successful dealing with lineup shuffling?   Andre Miller?  He had Roy and/or Aldridge each time he started.  Deron Williams?  He had Okur and/or Boozer for almost the whole season.  These guys are talented but there is also a comfort level with their teams.    If you can name a PG, I will give credit where credit is due. 

    Regarding the QB postition, here is one player that was in a similar position as Stuckey:  Drew Brees.   Remember San Diego had given up on him and drafted Philip Rivers when Drew had a great year.  You can argue if  ”he figured it out” or if “he was afraid of losing his job”, the end result was he played well after a couple of years of being in the league.  I’m not saying that this will happen to Stuckey, but it’s possible.
     
    One correction from my other post, the “12 games” I mentioned was the total number of consecutive games for one starting lineup in 2009-2010.

    Now here are some points that I do agree with you:
    -  I also thought the McGrady signing was very odd given our team makeup.
    -  Keith Langlois @Pistons.com does put positive spin on a lot of Pistons’ news.  I guess that’s part of his job.  I like the site but sometimes he really reaches with some his mailbag responses.
    -  We overpaid for Ben Gordon.  I’m not saying that based on what happened last year.   Honestly, I would have rather kept Affalo.
    -  I agree with your assessment of Wilcox.  He probably won’t see much PT (if any) unless the injury bug strikes again.   

    (regarding Kwame):  I was having some fun with your statement, that’s all.   I really thought he would figure it out working with Rasheed, Dice, and Big Ben.  Oh well.

  • Aug 26, 20104:20 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    uh, so you think he’s going to suddenly do in 3 games what we’ve been waiting for and seeing no sign of in 3 years????
     
    i won’t commit to finding a PG in the league who excelled at dealing with lineup shuffling, because i’m not certain which teams had significant lineup shuffles in the first place. and even if i found one (uh, i dunno, brandon jennings? darren collison? maybe plenty of others…), who knows, and who cares? i maintain my stance that if stuckey was worth a damn as a floor leader, he would have been a stabilizing force. we had no stabilizing force, because he stinks at running a team.
     
    and you meant 12 consecutive games?? i wasn’t particularly compelled when i thought you meant 12 total, so imagine how little sympathy i feel for poor stuckey whose job is too hard for him. these guys were all healthy for training camp, and so what if they had 12 consecutive, then 5 without one guy, then 10 consecutive. these people are basketball players. stuckey is not a rookie. get off his jock already. just wait til the season starts. if he’s taken that magical leap he’ll never take, we’ll see it. and if he is who we think he is, which he will be, we’ll see it. let the kid focus on scoring or trade him already.
     
    i would have kept afflalo as well. we gave him away for NOTHING, and he would have been the ideal fourth guard for us. hard worker, able to contribute in however many or few minutes you give him, big athletic body to pair with bynum, good defender, versatile (plays 2  and defends 3 positions). perfect fourth guard for us. ten times cheaper, and aside from all that, as if he needed more in his favor, he outperformed gordon too! giving him away was a VERY underrated bad move in an ongoing series of bad moves by dumars. how does dumars still have supporters??
     
    it’s like my dad says (mostly in reference to tigers GM dave dombrowski), you can’t shake a reputation. whether good or bad, you just can’t do anything good or bad enough to shake it. people are sheep.

  • Aug 26, 201012:31 pm
    by DoctorDaveT.com

    Reply

    Hey, PP,
    Let’s consider changing the title of this blog to “EZ Prediction: Bynum is playing Starter’s Minutes by Christmas.” That’s “Staples Easy” (is that a trademark infringement? I hope not).
    Why is that prediction so easy? There are only two point guards on this team: Bynum & Stuckey. Question: how many “2″ guards are on the team? Answer: half the roster! It’s easier to talk about who is obviously NOT a “2″ than who obviously is a “2″. A better question might be “Who is the best ’2′ on the team?” And that’s where it gets interesting.
    TMac? Probably sized to be a ’3′ on this team. TWhite? Probably not going to see much court time outside of PRAC-tice (imagine hearing Iverson say that word, please). Summers? Ditto.
    If you leave Prince & Daye as ’3′ players (although they both could be ’2′s’ depending on team structure & personnel), now we’re down to the nitty gritty: Rip, Gordon & Stuck. “But Wait!” you say. “You had Stuckey as the ’1′ Guard!!” I think that is now the problem. In my humble opinion, if you consider health, age, production-in-this-system, and recent stats, Stuckey is this team’s best ’2′ guard.
    So what does that mean?
    I don’t think Kuester/JoeD will have Bynum starting; it puts one too many other players on the bench. But with the frailties of an aging Hamilton, and Gordon’s health issues last year, teamed up with my thoughts that the best ’2′ guard on this team is Stuckey anyway, that leaves a gaping hole at the ’1′ guard spot when Stuckey ain’t playing it. And who is the only player left on this roster? The only ’1′ guard other than Stuckey?
    Will Bynum.
    By Christmas time, when Rip & Gordon are popping Advils like my sons eat SweetTarts, there is going to be a TON of playing time for Stuckey at the ’2′, and therefore Bynum at the ’1′.
    To be quite honest, I’m a “Stuckey For Starting Point Guard” guy. But I know quite well that Bynum is going to get a TON of minutes this season, and we’ll all get a chance to see what he can do in LOOONG stretches.
    As currently constructed, this team is fine at the ’2-3-4′ positions. Like just about every NBA team, the Pistons needs are ’1-5.’ Unless Bynum can show that he can handle starter minutes as, well, as a starter.

  • Aug 26, 20102:23 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    well i sure disagree with basically all of this. i’ll spare you a drawn-out explanation of why you’re off-base. just tune in next season, and see how many of these perimeter guys end up playing a TON of minutes. the answer will be “none of them,” but regardless of position and performance, bynum will be no better than fourth in line (behind stuckey, tayshaun and rip, at a bare minimum. plus i really don’t see bynum geting more minutes than gordon, no matter how worthy) for the extra minutes you’re alluding to that we won’t have. if you’re banking on rip and gordon to be injured for some reason, it’s based on nothing. gordon’s like 26 and doesn’t have a history of injury before last year. you’d have to repeat last year’s string of injuries to free up these “bonus” minutes. and you don’t think daye would be a candidate for a little PT? whatever’s whirring around in your head that prompted this faulty analysis and prediction needs to stop.
     
    tune in next year to see how wrong you are. this team doesn’t have enough minutes for anyone on the perimeter to play a TON. and bynum’s been subjugated from the moment he got here, no matter how many minutes he deserved.

  • Aug 26, 20106:33 pm
    by Josh V

    Reply

    Laser-
    You mentioned nothing about the good draft picks from the last two years in regards to how terrible Joe D has done.  But, I’m the idiot with no respect for myself throwing out wild accusations….?  Honestly, talking about putting Big Ben at point?  You attempt to seem intelligent and then shoot yourself in the foot by just insulting whoever you disagree with; which defeats the purpose of a bball discussion because few intelligent people will discuss any topic with you if they know very little information is coming out and mostly just berating others is what you’re actually doing.  Until you can come up with a better scenario than Bynum replacing Stuckey I think we’re done here playboy.
    Perhaps I can discuss something with some of you who prefer to keep their comments as informative and not so inflammatory and disrespectful?
    Why is it that so many Piston’s fans are this quick to write Ben Gordon off?  Anyone remember him torching the Boston Celtics in the playoffs a couple years ago??  That was supposed to be arguably one of the best defenses the league had to offer (even with a gimpy Garnett) and he averaged 24.3 ppg against that squad.  He has one bad year in regards to injuries and people are worried he’s done… I don’t get that; and he is only 27 years old.  Am I the only one that thinks he will have a solid year as long as he stays healthy (which is a pretty good bet)?
    In regards to the T-Mac signing, I think he will play minutes in both the 2 and 3 spots, which should help when (which I’m crossing my fingers on) Tay gets traded.  Tayshaun is our most coveted asset and we need to move on him the second we are offered anything resembling a starting caliber PG or C/PF.  The bottom line with Rip is we will have to hold onto him until closer to the trade deadline to move him to a contender missing one last piece.  Ultimately I’m afraid we’ll have to settle for an expiring contract and maybe a role player or draft pick for Rip.  I refuse to believe that NO ONE will be interested in acquiring a proven shooter with loads of playoff experience.
    I would like to see Jerebko play the 3 spot as well with the second unit (which should be ran by Bynum) to free up minutes to get Greg Monroe some PT.  I think it would be best to have Stuckey starting with Gordon because Gordon can get his own shot and wouldn’t rely on a PG to get him the ball.  Rip has said in the past coming off the bench isn’t an issue, and given his age I think it would be best; and it would also allow Bynum to get him the ball (who is [as you all know] a superior playmaker).
    A starting line-up of
    Stuckey, Gordon, Tay, Jerebko, Wallace
    backed by
    Bynum, Rip, T-Mac, Villanueva/Monroe, Monroe/Max
    That’s what I think would be halfway decent (given our roster), while getting Daye in at the 2, 3, or 4 (if we’re matching up to a small opponents lineup).  That leaves the only players lacking in any PT as Summers, Wilcox, and White.  The only player I’m really interested in seeing get a chance out of that group is White.  I say that only because I think we may be able to get something legit for a trade involving Summers (given his solid play in summer league and preseason play).
    I think the first unit would be defensively solid and a legit offensive threat (on a good night) with the second unit having defensive liabilities.  If the 2nd unit is getting ripped insert Jerebko and Maxiel at the 3 and 4 spots.  Monroe may also be quite a stretch at the 5 position, but Max did have limited success at the 5 last year.
    If Villanueva can have a career year I say we put him starting with Ben to make up for his lack of defense, and put Jerebko playing the 3/4 with the second unit hopefully getting him somewhere around 30 mpg (but I don’t think Villanueva is going to do much consistently).  I think Daye still needs to bulk up before he can be relied on for anything more than 15-20 mpg, and what T-Mac can actually do remains to be seen, but hopefully he can provide ~25-30 mpg and average somewhere around 12 ppg.
    This season will be tough, but we have some good young talent and we just need to make PT for them.  If we can get lucky with a couple good trades we might be back in the playoffs in a year or two (with the team the way it’s currently constructed playoffs are much much further down the road if at all).

  • Aug 26, 20107:32 pm
    by DoctorDaveT.com

    Reply

    Hey, Laser,
    so, you disagreed with “basically all of…” what I said? That we have too many ’2-3′ players and not enough “1′s”? You disagreed that we have only two point guards – and one of them is a better ’2′ than a ’3′?
    We like it when people have opinions, but how can you disagree with that? The whole premise of my blog was Bynum may not be starting, but since he’s the only other point guard on the team, he’s going to get his minutes.
    If there is another Point Guard on this team, who? You didn’t really mean Wallace, did you? (I think Prince could have been a “point forward” at some point earlier in his career, but that never/rarely happened, and it’s too late now.)
    ***
    Hey, Josh V,
    I may be writing Mr. Gordon off prematurely. It isn’t that he’s a little older and liable to get hurt; he just plays like it.
    And as for Rip coming off the bench and liking it? I don’t see that happening – which is why I think he’s got to go. He’s not even the second best ’2′ on this team.
    ***
    The ’1′ and ’5′ spots on this team are real problems. But there is good news (other than just switching over to Geico…). JoeD has stockpiled ’2-3-4′ positions, and there are some real tradeable commodities here. I don’t know that a good ’1′ or a ’5′ will come for some combination of our ’2-3-4′s, but we have some stuff folks want (I think).
    Prince & Rip would be great to a contender – either could be “the piece” for a championship run (can you say ‘Sheed ’04?). We also have some intriguing young guys that might be appealing to someone (Stuckey, Daye). Not to mention a couple of expiring contracts (Maxie & Wilcox).
    So perhaps not be opening night, but expect some changes prior to Valentine’s Day – when JoeD will be everyone’s Sweetheart.

  • Aug 26, 201010:11 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @josh: “playboy?” right. yeah, sorry i’m not more respectful. you certainly have the moral high ground on this one.
     
    first, let’s get this out of the way: ben at the point was an outrageous exaggeration to illustrate the point that size does not a good point guard make. did you think i was proposing we do it? i really hope not. as for my “insults,” i call it like i see it. that’s all. the internet gives everyone a voice, and that leads to a lot of well-meaning, clueless people speaking out. some things are just so insane you have to tell the person who wrote it that it’s insane. you don’t like me, i don’t care. nobody has to read anything i say.
     
     
    ok, about the drafts. it’s a mixed bag, and as with most of dumars’s moves, the good moves are each paired with bad ones. for instance, he gets three good players in the draft last year, but there’s hardly any room for them to play. ostensibly he was looking to replace tayshaun, but he passed on some good, and much-needed point guards, and tayshaun is still here. he gets a good player in stuckey and proceeds to overestimate him and attempt to rebuild around him. and we all see how that’s going. he gets a hell of a player in afflalo, and he gives the guy away for nothing. absolutely nothing. he gets no credit whatsoever for monroe, because it was a no-brainer pick and he got lucky the guy fell. also he drafts terrico white in the second round, probably a steal, but a lock for the inactive list, and when exactly are we going to get to see him play behind the parade of guards we have? so he’s been utterly average in the draft, negated some of his best picks, and deserves no praise. and i’ll be the last one to criticize him for darko, because that was a consensus pick that didn’t work out. it would be like bashing him for taking monroe if monroe ends up a bust and aminu is the next lebron. i’m nothing if not fair.
     
    and in the same breath as that “playboy” gem, you say i’m fresh out of luck until i come up with a better scenario than starting bynum. there are plenty of people who think bynum should start. there are plenty of arguments for it (pairs well with rip, good playmaking instincts, strong finisher, takes some pressure off stuckey and gives him more freedom to play his game, allows stuckey to play more with gordon), and the only concrete argument i’ve heard for stuckey is that he’s bigger. bigger and dumber. strong argument, that.
     
    on to ben gordon: you’re doing one of those things that gets me to be rude to people, or whatever it is that’s got you all hot and bothered. you’re looking at something in a vacuum, ignoring the context completely. ben gordon is a fine basketball player. he did a great job with the celtics. but in a system like ours with so many guards, including two scorers ahead of him, his talents are wasted here. in chicago he was a primary scoring option and had a point guard setting him up. here he’s the third or fourth (fifth?) guard and an offensive afterthought. when rip was healthy, gordon played less than 20 minutes and took about 8 shots. that’s not what we signed him to a $58 million contract is it?? you can’t just say, “i like ben gordon. he’s great. just move rip to make some room and this will work out just fine.” because rip’s still here. and as long as rip is here and first on the SG depth chart, ben gordon is being wasted here. get rip out of here, and ben gordon becomes a welcome addition and our top scorer, our go-to guy, but as long as they’re both here it’s a disaster. you can’t have more than 1/3 of your payroll tied up in two non-all star shooting guards and expect to be successful. that’s the problem with gordon. rip looks unmovable, and ben’s only under contract for one year longer than rip. extending rip and signing ben gordon was mind-blowingly idiotic. so if ben can be moved and rip can’t, you gotta do it. how long do you want this team to stink?
     
    good luck trading rip to a contender at the deadline, btw. that’s sure likely to happen. bet on it. (*snicker*) if i was a respectable GM, i’d jump at the chance to pick up an old, recently injured mid-range jump shooter who doesn’t make his own shot, for 2.5 years and $30 million.
     
    and you just suggested we bring rip off the bench. statements like this obliterate your credibility. you think rip’s going to swallow that?!?!?! did you see what happened the last time we tried that??!?!!?!?!?! “he says he doesn’t have an issue coming off the bench.” WTF?!?!? he made a stink like a baby when he had to come off the bench, feuded with curry, probably went a pretty long way to getting curry fired (not that i’m complaining). and you think he’ll just smile and play his role?? right. no, you do sound smart.
     
    and then you project jj playing SF in a crunch and daye playing 15-20 minutes?!?!!?!??! 15-20 minutes!?!?!??! that’s what BEN GORDON is going to play. if stuckey, bynum, gordon, rip, tayshaun and t-mac were the ONLY perimeter players who played at all (so, uh, no jj at SF and zero minutes for daye), those six would only average 24 minutes. austin daye will be lucky to take the floor at all playing behind all those veterans.
     
    see, you’re not looking at the big picture. like, ever. gordon’s a great player, he’ll have a career year. hey, let’s put rip on the bench, i’m sure he’ll be enthusiastic about that. everyone will have plenty of minutes, but we better not push daye in too quick; let’s limit him to 15-20 minutes.” 15-20 minutes! and 25-30 for t-mac!?>!?>?!?!!??! hahahahahaha.hahahah. that’s rich, man. hahahahaha right. that’s– hahahahahahahahahhaahh. and rip on the bench. ooh boy. right. too bad you don’t want to interact with me. you’ve got such bright ideas. i really hate to miss out on gems like that. how many minutes do you project for stuckey? 35? and 33 for rip, 40 for tayshaun. hahahahhaahahahhahahhhh. man, you really do “get it,” don’t you josh. whoooooooooo. take a breath, laser. thanks for that. i needed a good laugh.

  • Aug 26, 201010:50 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @doctordave: as for the “i disagree with basically everything” garbage. i did cover my bases with the word BASICALLY, but here’s a list of things i disagree with, since you asked so nicely…

    DISAGREE: 1) the notion that it’s “staples easy” that bynum will be playing starter’s minutes at any point. look at all of our perimeter players. there’s a better chance that NONE of them average “starter’s minutes” (which, i’d say is certainly more than 30 minutes) than that bynum does. far from a lock. he and tayshaun would be at the top of my personal pecking order for this team, but i’m not running the team. he’s 5th or 6th depending on what t-mac can do. even if they let him start, his chance of playing starters’ minutes is slim. 2) stuckey is the team’s best 2 guard. i’ll take gordon personally. and rip’s probably a better overall player (though this has a lot to do with instincts, a foreign concept to stuckey). i like him better as a 2 than a 3, but i think his best role would be as a backup PG playing alongside someone like gordon. he’d certainly be one of the best backup PGs in the league. 3) there will be a “gaping hole” at the 1. there won’t. stuckey and bynum will split time there. there’s only 48 minutes to go around at that position, and those two will split those minutes. again, you and i do agree that stuckey should be playing off the ball, but look at all of the shooting guard minutes and the shooting guards. you have rip and gordon, and there aren’t enough minutes for those two guys. add in t-mac and you can only pray that stuckey plays off the ball ever. 4) rip and gordon will be “popping advils” by christmas. no reason to assume either will be unhealthy. rip keeps in good shape, and i don’t expect his string of injuries to continue (we should be so lucky. god i’d love to see this team play without him). and gordon’s like 27. that’s not old. and he never had a history of injuries before last season. also he came back too soon because the team was so shorthanded and re-injured himself. if he’d been careful and smart he would have missed less time, and i don’t see him being injured again. we should be so lucky as to have injuries at SG, but it’s far from a sure thing. 5) likewise, the TON of playing time for stuckey at the 2 or bynum at the 1. nobody gets a TON of playing time on this team. you can count on that. 6) stuckey should be our starting point guard. 7) we’re set at the 2-3-4 positions. not even close. we have too many 2′s, so we’re not “set.” we need to get rid of at least one of them for everyone to benefit and get the TONS of minutes you want these guys to somehow play. and we’re far from set at the 4, dude. we have jonas, who’s really a “tweener” forward, and certainly not a legitimate 4. he’s just the best thing we have going. also charlie v, who has a lot of work to do to earn anyone’s confidence, least of all mine or kuester’s. he was a corpse last season, and for all his talent and our desperation for scoring up front, couldn’t stay on the floor. we also have monroe, who’s an unknown quantity and probably needs to play lots center with our lack of interior size and ben wallace’s age. and max, who probably is considered a backup option on the roster and may never crack the rotation. and chris wilcox. yeah, so uh… we sure have “quantity,” so if that’s enough for you to think we’re set, god bless you. but we aren’t.

    so, uh, that’s “basically” everything you said. you also said we have a lot of SGs, and nobody could disagree with that. so uh, we agree on the thing you said that you couldn’t argue against. buddy, just because you said it and think it’s true, doesn’t mean people aren’t free to disagree. i’d love to get into details every time, but then people complain that i go on too long. so i just have to disagree with “basically” everything. hope that’s ok.

    BTW how many minutes do you think there are in an NBA game that affords all these guys so many TONS of minutes?? do you think all 15 of our players will log major minutes and that games just go on forever until everyone’s tired? highly likely we don’t have a single player who gets a TON of minutes.

    and gosh, man. you’re so happy about this stockpile of 2-3-4 guys. like it’s some sort of blessing. all these tradable assets. right? SO WHY NO TRADES??? where are the trades??? everyone knows this team needs work. lots of work. joe  makes a big noise about upgrading the frontcourt, making the team tougher and grittier, and he did NOTHING. brought back two free agents. bravo. if we’re so rich with tradable assets, why no trades?? the fact is that most of the contracts we have are LIABILITIES. the opposite of assets.

    sheed 04 was 30 and on the last year of his contract. he was also one of the most unique and talented players in the game. shoot some 3′s, unstoppable in the low post, good defender, smart player in the prime of his career. and if he doesn’t work out, he’s gone. rip’s, what, 32? he’ll be 35 when his contract expires. he’s a skinny mid-range specialist who can’t create his own shot, and he gets paid like a franchise player for three more years. the tayshaun-sheed comparison is highly appropriate, but rip? no. not close. and max is NOT expiring. try three more years at $15 mil. where’d you get that idea?

    fingers crossed for a new look roster by valentine’s day, but i’m not holding my breath. because i’m not insane.

  • Aug 27, 201012:08 am
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    @Laser:  Then we agree to disagree on this point. You believe our struggles last year were partly caused by Stuckey’s leadership/PG skills, which I understand.   I believe that no leader/PG could thrive with the amount of changes the team had last year.   As you said, we’ll see how this plays out.
    The “3 games” I mentioned wasn’t meant to be a literal deadline.  It was a way of saying that if he hasn’t improved after training camp and pre-season games and he is still struggling early in the season, then replace him as PG.  If moving him (to SG, to the bench, to another team) brings wins then they should do it.  So I’ll take the hit on that one, I should have been more clear.
    Because we don’t see eye-to-eye on this, why do I have to be on “Stuckey’s jock”?  I’ve never said (or believe) that the team was crap when he wasn’t the starting PG or the team was better with him as the starting PG. I’m just stating my reasons why I think we shouldn’t give up on him as starting PG just yet.
    This will be my last entry as part of our debate on this topic so we can move forward and discuss/debate other Pistons topics.  I’m looking forward to it.  So Laser, you get the last word.  I’ll log in later to view any comments or replies.
    @JoshV:  With regards to Gordon, I’ll share my view. I’m not holding his injuries last year against him when I say the Pistons overpaid.  He’s a SG who is a good scorer as you mentioned.    However, critics were questioning his commitment to defense, which is what Detroit believes in.  I would have rather kept Affalo to watch him continue to grow. Laser’s description of Affalo is exactly what I see: “hard worker, able to contribute in however many or few minutes you give him, big athletic body to pair with bynum, good defender, versatile (plays 2 and defends 3 positions). “   I became a fan watching him during the Cleveland series in the 2008-2009 playoffs. He played within the system, took the challenge of guarding LeBron and didn’t seem intimidated by him.  That’s who I want as a Piston. I feel you have to have guys who are willing to do the little things.  So I wished we would have used some of that money to reward him and let him have that guard spot because I think he earned it.
    Lastly, I’ll leave you all with this link from an ESPN story about Chauncey Billups last year.  I think some of the statements/criticisms sound familar.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=090511/billups

  • Aug 27, 201012:50 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    no leader/PG? none? steve nash, rajon rondo, chris paul. none of these guys could have been a stabilizing force and made the season noticeably smoother?? sure, none of these guys make us a contender, but any of them (plus many, many more) would have made a noticeable difference.
     
    the 3 games thing was confusing, because it’s a bizarre timeline. you’ll almost certainly get your way with stuckey starting, but i’m pulling for bynum and crossing my fingers he at least gets a chance. if you’d said 20 games or something, your point would have come across loud and clear. and i said you were on his jock because you were defending him so much. people act like he’s earned this starting position just because he’s had it for two seasons. the guy hasn’t earned anything, as far as i’m concerned.
     
    amen on afflalo, even though i know we already agreed on that. joe talks about toughness, grit, defense, hard work, commitment. afflalo had all that. on a team that’s got stuckey and rip already on it and going  nowhere, i’d rather have afflalo over gordon straight-up. even at the same price. but $10 mil for gordon and like $2 for afflalo?? gag me.

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