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First practices might be a clue that Jonas Jerebko could start for the Pistons

Commenter brgulker raised a good point about Jonas Jerebko in the comments earlier today. Here was his take:

I think we’d all do well to remember that Jonas is on the 2nd year of his rookie deal — and that deal doesn’t pay much, relative to other NBA salaries. In addition to fighting for a starting spot, he’s fighting for a contract, for his career.

My opinion is that Jonas’ future is at SF, whether that be with the Pistons or somewhere else, and apparently, he does too. Obviously and appropriately, he worked on the pieces of his game that would make him a more viable SF in the NBA.

DetroitPCB also had similar sentiments:

Long term, JJ is probably a three in this league, though he will play the four this year. And a three has to be able to put the ball on the floor. Even at the four, his quickness and mobility gives him an advantage over the bigger players he will be matched with if he can put the ball on the floor.

I don’t really disagree with anything either said. Who might disagree though? The Detroit Pistons. Here were how the teams were divided in scrimmages the first day of camp, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

Based on what color practice jersey players were wearing when reporters were allowed in to see what was left of practice – a few shooting drills – it appears the Pistons lined up in these five-man units: Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Jonas Jerebko and Tayshaun Prince on the white team; Tracy McGrady, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Will Bynum and presumably Ben Gordon on the blue team – Gordon had peeled off his practice jersey and was wearing only a gray T-shirt; and Terrico White, Austin Daye, Greg Monroe, Chris Wilcox and DaJuan Summers on the red team. Ike Diogu had on a white jersey, perhaps indicating he’ll be splitting time with Ben Wallace to allow Kuester to give Wallace, 36, a reduced workload in camp while also getting a good look at Diogu.

I get that it’s the first practice session and things could change. But over the past couple seasons, very early practices have been a good indicator of who would win starting jobs that were up for grabs. Two years ago, under Michael Curry, Amir Johnson was playing with the first teamers from the get-go, long before it began being reported that he’d open the season as a starter. Last year, it was Ben Wallace (and remember, most fans viewed Ben as only a symbolic signing and someone who wouldn’t contribute much before the preseason started and he showed he was healthy) playing with the first unit early on and keeping that job over other vying for it — remember, it seems like eons ago, but when John Kuester took the Pistons job, he came in as the world’s biggest Kwame Brown fan, and it appeared as if Brown might get that starting spot.

I’ve already stated my belief that the Pistons would be better off if Charlie Villanueva earned and kept the starting power forward spot. Dan Feldman firmly believes it will be Jerebko.

I bring up brgulker’s comment in this discussion simply because whether Jerebko is better suited to be a three or a four, it’s clear that if he’s going to play big minutes again, it’s going to have to be at the four.


  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PistonPowered Feed, Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: First practices might be a clue that Jonas Jerebko could start for the Pistons: Commenter brgulker raised a good p… http://bit.ly/9t2FMS [...]

  • Sep 29, 20108:23 pm
    by brgulker


    Thanks for the shout out! I have no doubt the Pistons do not agree with my player evaluations :)

  • Sep 29, 20108:35 pm
    by gmehl1977


    Correct me if i am wrong but wasn’t Jerebko reported to be a good & consistent outside shooter before the pistons drafted him. Hopefully it is all true and he as a good year offensively but just like Charlie, what will keep him on the floor is how good he is defensively.

  • Sep 29, 20108:36 pm
    by Odeh


    If Jerebko is the starter, then we are in for another 27 win season.  With him and Ben Wallace on the floor it limits us offensively and the opposing teams big men can rotate off their man to help guard our perimeter players thus making us one of the worst offensive teams in the league again.  I know Kuester emphasizes defense and thats why Jerebko and Wallace will get the start but if you can start players that compliment each others playing styles then chemistry will ensue and in turn team defense.  The starting lineup should be Stuckey, Gordon, Prince, Villanueva, and Wallace.  And the bench is going to have to fight for minutes.

  • Sep 29, 20109:25 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    No worries. It might behoove the team to pay a little more attention to your evaluations.

  • Sep 29, 20109:26 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    He was. The scouting report was that he had range out to the three-point line. He can certainly knock it down I guess, but it is far from what I would call a reliable shot.

  • Sep 29, 20109:29 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    The flip side to this is it’s possible that Kuester could just be keeping that lineup intact right now because that was last year’s first unit. Maybe he’ll mix and match as camp goes.
    I just thought it was interesting. It really reminds me of the Amir Johnson situation, albeit that was under a different coach. Amir was the guy on that team the Pistons were really banking on to make a big leap. I think Jerebko is the guy on this team they are hoping can drastically improve. It’s not unreasonable to think that he can I guess.

  • Sep 29, 20109:37 pm
    by nuetes


    I’ve come to the conclusion I have no problem with Jerebko starting at PF. I have no problem with CV starting either. Whoever starts better earn it. For all that has been said about CV’s summer I wouldn’t short-change Jerebko on the work he put in either. He tore up that euro-league he was playing in. He was the lead man on that team. He was like their Lebron James, which after watching Jerebko last season isn’t something anyone could have envisioned. Good mid-range game is great for a big man. Laettner, Mcdyess, and even Garnett have made careers out of draining mid-range shots. Better ball-handling skills can’t hurt. I’d rather have him play PF than SF.
    Anyways who saw the Washington owners gaffe about the CBA negotiations? $45 million hard cap. Stern said that is one of the points in the plan. What are the Pistons going to do? They are going to have to break up this dynasty already I can’t believe it.

  • Sep 29, 201010:11 pm
    by brgulker


    @ Odeh:
    It’s a common misconception that our offense struggles when Jonas and/or Ben Wallace are on the floor (especially together). However, Ben and Jonas had two of the highest Oratings of anyone on the roster last season. In other words, our team scored more points per 100 possessions when those dudes were on the floor than almost any other players on the team.
    Higher than Rip, higher than Stuckey, higher than Gordon, higher than Villanueva, and Jonas is the same as Tay, while Big Ben surpasses Tay by 3.
    When those two guys are on the floor, our defense was better. That’s intuitive, and most would agree. But, when those two guys were on the floor, our offense was actually better as well. Not very intuitive, but, true nonetheless.

  • Sep 29, 201010:15 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    I’d also add: great defense makes your offense better. You get several more easy baskets when you are forcing misses and rebounding the ball than when you are pulling the ball out of the basket and giving the defense time to get back and set up.

  • Sep 29, 201010:17 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    Better than the Leonsis gaffe was this from Nick Collison on Twitter:

    David Stern’s doom and gloom takes a $100 million hit – ESPN http://es.pn/bd8Cnb

    Stern would definitely fine Collison for that, if he knew who the hell Nick Collison was.

  • Sep 29, 201011:23 pm
    by detroitpcb


    They get a lot of extra posessions when Ben and JJ are on the floor.

    Hey Patrick, how come no love? I said the same thing as @brulker and my post preceeded his. I didn’t mention contracts but i thought my evaluation was on point.

  • Sep 30, 201012:35 am
    by Patrick Hayes



    My fault man. Just added it.

    brgulker’s comment just happened to coincide with me reading the Pistons.com article that I linked to, so it was fresh in my mind. No disrespect intended. Your contributions here are much appreciated.

  • Sep 30, 20108:58 am
    by Adam


    @ Odeh… I agree with you 100%… JJ do not give the Pistons the offense they need. He is only good for hustle plays.  The Pistons have a lot of talent and they need to used the properly. With JJ in the starting lineup, they will lose many games. The lineup should be:
    Stuckey          Will
    Gordon           Rip
    Tay                  T-Mac
    CV                   Max
    Ben                  Wilcox

  • Sep 30, 20109:21 am
    by nuetes


    @adam – The Pistons are going to lose many games no matter who’s in the starting lineup. Jerebko isn’t just good for hustle plays. He was a high percentage shooter and decent rebounder. Better than CV. He cuts through the lane and is active on offense and defense. He doesn’t just stand there. If he can develop a solid shot and better ball handling skills, and he said he’s worked at both this summer, then he could be a pretty decent player in the NBA.

  • Sep 30, 201012:22 pm
    by brgulker


    JJ do not give the Pistons the offense they need.
    Ignoring facts for the win.

  • Sep 30, 20103:33 pm
    by detroitpcb


    Adam, yr nuts to include Wilcox in the rotation and ignore JJ. Also. if Greg Monroe doesn’t beat Wilcox out for the fifth big man slot we just wasted a #7 pick.

  • Oct 1, 201011:04 pm
    by Laser


    if they want to develop chemistry between rip and ben gordon, why not put them on the same practice squad? sure that squad will get killed every time, regardless of who else is on either team, but these two have to develop chemistry some time or another, and better for it to happen in practice than in games.

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