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Detroit Pistons blow third straight fourth quarter lead in loss to Chicago Bulls

Well, after three games, a theme has emerged.

The Pistons cannot hold a lead. Against New Jersey and Oklahoma City, the problems were at the defensive end. In Saturday’s 101-91 loss to Chicago, the problems were at both ends of the court as the Bulls out-scored the Pistons 34-9 in the fourth quarter and erased what was at one time a 21-point Pistons lead.

It was the third straight game the Pistons should’ve closed out, the third straight team the Pistons did enough right to look like a competent NBA team and the third straight game we watched with a helpless feeling, sensing what was coming as Chicago chipped and chipped away at that lead without any sign of a response from Detroit.

After three games, it’s safe to ask. Why does the team look so good at times, good enough to build leads against two sure playoff teams, yet can’t hold on?

They are in games because their bench, offensively at least, is going to be superior to virtually every team they play this season. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva (and Will Bynum when he’s healthy) will come in and abuse virtually any second unit player on any other team at their respective positions. Against the Bulls, the Pistons bench topped 40 points for the third straight game. Gordon couldn’t miss in the first half, Villanueva hit a couple big threes. They’re both streaky and will have some off nights shooting, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll also keep the Pistons in a lot of games by simply out-scoring the opponent’s bench.

The starters, on the other hand, will struggle to score most nights. None are what I would call poor players, but it’s going to be rare that any of the five starters on the Pistons will be better offensive players than their positional counterparts. The starters play better defense as a unit, they turn it over less as a unit, but they will inevitably rarely outscore the opposing starters.

The simple answer is, “Why not flip Gordon or Villanueva to the starting lineup?”

Well, the Bulls game proved why that won’t work. Gordon and Villanueva were very good in the first half. Gordon was being guarded at times by Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson. Villanueva was matched up with Brian Scalabrine for a long stretch. Hard not to look good against those players. But then Chicago adjusted in the second half and shortened their bench. When Gordon and Villanueva came in in the third, Chicago left Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah in up front for a bit. They also left Derrick Rose in, meaning Gordon would have to guard him some when Rodney Stuckey went out of the game.

It wasn’t pretty. Gordon didn’t make a shot in the second half and had three turnovers during a key Chicago run. John Kuester went back to Rip Hamilton, who didn’t have a good game offensively, for most of the fourth, and despite some beat writers protesting on Twitter — “But Gordon has 21 points and Rip only has five!!!” — Kuester had to do it. Hamilton wasn’t shooting it well, but at least he wasn’t booting the ball all over the court when he tried to put it on the floor the way Gordon was. Gordon also struggled to get shots off when Keith Bogans or James Johnson guarded him in the second half.

Villanueva shot it well through three quarters, then when Gibson started guarding him in the fourth, Villanueva went 0-for-6 from the field in the quarter.

Austin Daye had another non-existent game as a starter, and I’ve written previously that I think Villanueva has out-played him and will eventually supplant him as a starter. Although I still feel that Villanueva is the better option at the four right now, putting him in the starting lineup, or putting Gordon in the starting lineup, would eliminate really the only advantage the Pistons have right now, their bench scoring.

The Chicago meltdown was by far the ugliest to watch, made worse by the fact that I had to watch the game on League Pass and listen to Stacy King and whoever Chicago’s other broadcaster is blather on and on about nonsense. The Pistons were once again competitive. But unlike the OKC and NJ games, which were back-and-forth all game long, the Pistons were firmly in control of this game and lost it. Good teams sometimes lose games like the ones the Pistons lost in their first two. But bad teams always lose games the way the Pistons lost against Chicago.

Monroe’s first minutes

Pat Caputo can rest easy: Greg Monroe has finally played in a regular season game. With the Pistons in control in the first half, Monroe played seven minutes, made his only shot and had three rebounds. Not bad. But he also had three fouls in seven minutes and turned it over once, setting an illegal screen. I’ve written it often, but rookie big men generally take longer to adjust to the NBA than other rookies. There’s much more contact in the post, players are stronger and it’s simply hard not to foul a lot. Monroe looked comfortable and hopefully he’ll build on the little bit of time he saw tonight.

McGrady’s first bucket

Through three games as a Piston, Tracy McGrady has looked a little reluctant to shoot. That’s never a sentence I thought I’d write about McGrady. He shot 1-for-3 and scored his first two points of his Pistons career and also had four rebounds and an assist. The bad? Three turnovers in 17 minutes. McGrady has a long ways to go (if he has anything left) to be a helpful player to the Pistons, but I do appreciate that he hasn’t tried to force things when he’s been on the court. He had one nice play where he drove past Korver and found Jason Maxiell for what would’ve been a dunk had Max not been fouled. Unfortunately, he also had one of his shots deflected by Korver (not sure it can be called a block … it was an awkward play and Korver kind of got his hand on a shot that appeared to slip out of McGrady’s hand a little bit), which is another sentence I never thought I’d write about McGrady.

Stuckey’s point guard progression

Rodney Stuckey has been the biggest positive for the Pistons through three games. Stuckey has 23 assists and only four turnovers, he’s making good decisions and he’s getting to the line a lot. Including his 11 free throws against the Bulls, Stuckey is averaging over seven attempts per game. He didn’t shoot it well in the second half against the Bulls — going just 1-for-6. I believe Stuckey should be a 47 percent or better shooter this season, if it’s going to be called a successful season for him, and he’s at 46 percent right now. With his improved decision-making, however, he’s been the most important player on the court for the Pistons, particularly with Bynum out, making Stuckey the only point guard-like player on the roster.


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  • Oct 31, 20106:55 am
    by Laser


    i’ll comment on this after i watch it tomorrow. suffice it to say i was on my way to a halloween party tonight… when i was at thirteen and northwestern the pistons were up by 13, by the time i was at woodward and 9 mile we were behind 4 points. but i wasn’t that surprised. no doubt in my mind will bynum finds a way to get someone a bucket in one of those dozen-or-so consecutive scoreless possessions, but that shouldn’t be enough to satisfy anyone.
    stuckey’s stat line looks ok (shooting % aside), and it appears he’s making better decisions, but he should be the guy who takes over at the end of these games. rose had as many assists as stuck and seven time as many turns! but the bulls brought him in halfway through the fourth and took control. obviously he shouldered a lot of the scoring burden, but he was efficient and got the W. we need a guy like that. something tells me gordon was shut down because he was forced to go one-on-one; tough to stop a guy when he’s getting free and his point guard finds him open.
    daye is a dud starting at PF. plain and simple, and for many reasons. you’re not fooling anyone, kuester. pull the plug already before it’s too late. and this idea of “bench points” is meaningless. so your bench outscored theirs by 40, but your bench also outscored your starters, and you also lose the game. but congrats on that bench! …give me a break. villa’s earned the chance to start by outplaying daye in three consecutive games that actually matter. don’t forget, if they play daye at PF off the bench for some reason, he’ll probably score a little better to pad that absurd stat. it’s not like entire benches go at each other head-to-head very often.
    something needs to be done with these players. this can’t last, can it?

  • Oct 31, 20109:44 am
    by Alan


    Three games and three upsetting losses, each loss more upsetting then the last.  This sets the table for us to come out with a flat, heartless effort against Boston.  Tuesday night should be the worst loss yet.
    Times like the 4th quarter, you want Stuck to step up and lead, get the offense going and be patient for a good luck.  I know that stat line shows a great game but this loss comes down to a lack of leadership.  The Bulls were down by 21 and you watched Derrick Rose start scoring, he didn’t give up.  I’m not suggesting Detroit gave up but there was nobody home to step-up and respond.  You could watch this game from the very start of the 4th quarter and predict the Bulls would come back.  As Patrick writes, the only thing worse was having to listen to Stacey King and that knucklehead-excuse for a broadcaster.

  • Oct 31, 201010:01 am
    by detroitpcb


    lets talk about the other constant that has emerged: bad game coaching.

    i am not saying Q does not have a system or does not prepare his players. You can obviously see from the first half at Chicago that they have a plan and can execute it.

    But at New Jersey Q’s decision to keep Ben Wallace in the game cost them. At home against OKC Q’s ignorance of a game situation cost them a timeout that would have been crucial if they still had it at the end. And against Chicago, when the Bulls switched taller players on Ben Gordon and trapped him every time he got the ball in the second half Q made no adjustment. He never changed defenses when Derrick Rose started to go off in the second half. From the radio play by play, Rose was doing whatever he wanted to. Why didn’t the Pistons trap him and get the ball out of his hands and make someone else beat them? Coaching.

    Q is not a good game coach. He does not manage the clock well. He does not make adjustments. So foar his rotations have been ok but that is all.

  • Oct 31, 201010:15 am
    by detroitpcb


    Laser you need to stop dogging Stuckey for what he is not and appreciate what this kid is doing so far: he is taking care of the ball, making the easy & right pass for the assist, scoring efficiently (46%) and getting to the line.
    and Patrick is right – put Cv in the starting lineup and watch his stats and efficiency go down.  The other night against OKC when Patrick thought he had a good game with 4 offensive rebounds he looked like a bowl of jello out there. He’s skilled but he is not strong enough to be a starting four. Since Daye is not playing well, i guess we could start Max or Monroe. Just spare me having to watch Wilcox. When he enters the rotation, that is when i stop watching this train wreck of a season

  • Oct 31, 201010:39 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    “he should be the guy who takes over at the end of these games”
    Agree 100 percent. The one thing I didn’t like about Stuckey’s game was he deferred too much down the stretch, letting Prince, Hamilton and Villanueva take poor shots. The weakest defender in the Bulls’ crunch time lineup (Rose, Bogans, Deng, Gibson, Noah) was Rose. The Pistons should’ve went to Stuckey more in isos. The plays they were trying to run for Prince and Hamilton just weren’t working because Bogans and Deng are dogs defensively. Stuckey’s few fourth quarter shots came basically as an afterthought at the end of possessions.
    Other than Gordon on the second unit, Stuckey might be the Pistons best offensive option. And unlike Gordon, Stuckey’s been able to attack and be aggressive without turning the ball over a ton.

  • Oct 31, 201010:42 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    “The Bulls were down by 21 and you watched Derrick Rose start scoring, he didn’t give up.”
    Why they didn’t just give Rose jumpers from 15 feet and out all night, I will never know. I know he hit a few threes in the third quarter, but his jumper is still shaky at best, and the Bulls really didn’t start doing damage until Rose started steamrolling into the lane on every play. All of the perimeter defenders were crowding up on him and consistently getting beat off the dribble. Before they got aggressive with him on defense, Rose just seemed content to launch jumper after jumper.

  • Oct 31, 201011:13 am
    by xerowattbulb


    hooray! Stuckey is becoming one of the Pistons’ best players just in time for the team to NOT sign him to an extension.  Sure he’s a restricted free agent, but if he plays like this all season, the Pistons will have missed the chance to save some money.  I also love how the Pistons drafted a center that they thought was one of the top three big men in the draft (Joe Dumars’ words, not mine) and then on this 0-3 team he has only gotten seven minutes.  Players get better playing.  This isn’t quarterback in the NFL, where two or three years on the bench can be good.  Get the players you are going to build through on the court.

  • Oct 31, 201011:56 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    Some issues with your statements:
    - Yes, Monroe was the third best big man prospect in this draft. There was a pretty wide gulf, however, between big men 1 and 2 and big men 3, 4, 5. Monroe is going to be solid, but he’s not in the same class as Cousins/Favors, and if you’re going to measure his success by comparing it to theirs, you’re going to be disappointed.
    - Did you notice that in those seven minutes, he picked up three fouls? He’s going to get spot minutes right now because he hasn’t proven he’s better than any of the big men playing in front of him yet. He’ll get there, but he’s not there yet. If they’re going to put him on the court, letting him struggle and making the team less competitive isn’t going to do anything for his development. Teams that just play their young guys, regardless of whether they’ve won a position with hard work and good practice habits, stay losing teams for long periods of time and foster a sense of entitlement among those young players — I should play simply because I have potential kind of attitude. That’s not good for an organization in the long run. Better to have guys earn their spots.
    - Just because Stuckey hasn’t been extended doesn’t mean he won’t be. Look at his draft class. I believe Noah and Durant are the only players from that class who have been extended. It makes much more sense to let players like Stuckey, who have shown flashes but not consistently put together enough to show they are cornerstone type players, hit free agency. Even if Stuckey has a great season, I’m not sure he’s going to pick up a huge offer on the free agent market. And if he does, fine. Don’t match. If he doesn’t, the Pistons can re-sign him to a reasonable extension. The team has all the power here. Even guys like Jeff Green, a much better player than Stuckey from that class, are going to be allowed to hit free agency. It’s really in the best interest of the team to do that.

  • Oct 31, 201011:58 am
    by Mike


    Pistons really need a big man to be competitive.  Wonder if anyone would take T. Prince’s expiring contract and provide a rebounder?  Reggie Evans flew under radar last year but tearing it up for Toronto so far.

  • Oct 31, 201012:00 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    “He’s skilled but he is not strong enough to be a starting four.”
    Though he is stronger than their current starting four. I think they’d get more out of the position with Villanueva starting over Daye, but I also think it would weaken the bench a lot. Part of me wants to see guys who out-play other guys get rewarded with starting spots. Part of me thinks that if Gordon and/or Villanueva leave the bench, then the Pistons will lose their only advantage. There’s really just no workable solution.
    And with Gordon, even if he averaged 40 a game, they can’t bench Hamilton at this point. Their only prayer of trading Hamilton is to have him regain some semblance of form on offense. To bench him now would be publicly admitting defeat to the rest of the league. Maybe if they keep running him out there as a starter a contending team that’s not paying attention will mistakenly think he’d be better on a better team and make some type of offer. Even a bad offer. Short of Arenas or Joe Johnson, I can’t think of a contract I wouldn’t take in return for Hamilton’s

  • Oct 31, 201012:07 pm
    by Mike


    Laser – Charlie V. is a chucker.  He is more talented than Daye but how many guys firing up shots do you need on the court at the same time?  Daye is better role player.  He and Wallace pass up the rock to Stuckey, Rip, and Prince.  Then Charlie V., Gordon and Bynum come in for the 2nd unit and get the shots.
    Charlie V. may get a shot to start soon.  We’ll see what happens.

  • Oct 31, 201012:09 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    I’d love Reggie Evans. But he’s also valuable for Toronto. He’s their only presence on the boards, since their starting 7-foot center Andrea Bargnani had 1 (!) rebound in about 35 minutes the other night.
    Toronto is also pretty loaded on the wings (by ‘loaded’ I don’t mean ‘good’, but their two young upside guys they view as building blocks are Weems and DeRozan), so I can’t imagine they’d be interested in flipping Prince for Evans.
    The Pistons are going to find a big market of suitors for Prince. At the deadline, contending teams always want to add two types of players: big men and smart, veteran perimeter players who defend well. Prince fits that second description perfectly. Any team that fancies itself a championship contender would love to have him and I’m sure will call the Pistons about him.
    The problem will be that no team is going to give up what the Pistons need most: a big man who defends and rebounds. If they trade Prince to a contender for picks, they aren’t going to get high first round picks in return. They might be able to get a late first rounder and a second rounder for him. Value, I guess, but not much value.
    If they trade him to a losing team that wants salary relief, I would be shocked if any of those teams would give up a big. Look around the league the last few years. I can’t think of any trades where a team gave up a big for a small (other than Memphis getting Zach Randolph for basically nothing, but Randolph was considered damaged goods at that point).
    The Pistons have to hope that Monroe becomes a good player and they have to hope that another talented big man falls to them wherever they draft next year.
    Also, hopefully Dumars is calling David Kahn on a daily basis. I’d give up anything on the Pistons roster for Kevin Love if things continue to not work out for him in Minnesota.

  • Oct 31, 201012:11 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @Mike again:
    “Daye is better role player.”
    Not at the power forward spot though. Villanueva has rebounded better than Daye at that spot so far and been more of (though neither have been very good) a defensive presence. I like that Daye has played, but he hasn’t played well enough as of yet to keep that starting spot. Not sure how long he’s going to be given.

  • Oct 31, 201012:24 pm
    by xerowattbulb


    @Pat Hayes
    -I said IF Stuckey plays this well all season.  And IF he does, he will have made himself worth a LOT more.  I don’t think there’s any way to argue against that.  The Pistons have insisted all along they believed in Stuckey, even when the fans were screaming to play Bynum, and by not extending him sooner, they POTENTIALLY have cost themselves that much more.  It would be insane to think his agent isn’t increasing his demands with each game played right now.
    -I would argue your statements on Monroe at several points. One: You’re saying that the Pistons, a team with the most glaring need at the 4 and 5, doesn’t have more of a need for Monroe on the court, and I argue that turnover prone or not, they need him on the floor.  Remember, he also had 3 rebounds in those seven minutes. Two: The Pistons are NOT a good team, last year or this year, and if the ultimate goal is a championship, then playing Monroe NOW and letting him develop is more important in the big picture.  If Dumars’ goal is to sneak into the 8th spot of the playoffs and get knocked out in the first round, then by all means, stay the course.  Because we all know that if the team stays healthy they can PROBABLY be the 8th seed (maybe). Three: This is a rookie, who by most accounts has huge upside.  I’m not sitting here arguing for more playing time for Wilcox, a player that has reached his peak and has nothing to do but go down.  This is a rookie, and the only way to evaluate him and develop him isn’t in practice, it’s on the court during games.  Hey, I think a guy should play himself into the lineup, too.  If you’re a good team or if we’re talking about the late eighties.  The Pistons sat on Darko and Amir Johnson, and look where that went.  They played Stuckey, and look where that went.  Four:I disagree about teams that “just play their young guys” are bad teams because that’s what Atlanta did.  That’s what the Grizzlies did.  That’s what the Thunder did.  That’s what the Trailblazers did.  That’s what the Bulls did.  Yes, there are growing pains, but if you are going to grow through the draft and plan for the future, it’s the only way to go.  I’ll say it again- Players get better Playing.  I doubt that the Pistons will be better three years from now by sitting Monroe all season and riding Ben Wallace and Jason Maxiell at center.
    I’ll also make one other comment about Monroe. Daye, with all his preseason success, hasn’t been very good at the 4 in the first three games.  I would MUCH rather see Monroe start there and get 20 minutes a game (if he doesn’t foul out before that).  Yes, for the short term the team might take a step back, but this team is NOT winning a championship this year.  They have to get these guys on the floor playing.

  • Oct 31, 20101:18 pm
    by nuetes


    Rip – all washed up.

  • Oct 31, 20101:33 pm
    by Alan


    I agree that Rose’s jumper is weak.  Last night, however, he was hitting everywhere.  He hit the 3s and we came out to stop him and he drove.  He has one of the best drives I’ve ever seen.  He gets to the whole so quick and its almost impossible to keep in front of him.  Somebody has to step-up and stay in front of him and have an answer for his playmaking on the other end of the floor.
    I feel weak calling out Stuckey since, by all means, he’s having his best start to the season since becoming a Piston.  But its not enough to be good.  He has to be better than good.  Is this HIS team or not?

    PS - I can’t stand the Bulls announcers.

  • Oct 31, 20102:26 pm
    by Mike


    Patrick – when I said Daye was better role player – I just meant he was more willing to pass and not shoot a 3 at every opportunity.  Charlie V does give more size and Pistons do need more size.
    I might try Max at the 4 for the first 4-6 minutes to let the backcourt get into the flow – yes he’ll be attacked but he’s bigger than Daye.

  • Oct 31, 20102:59 pm
    by Laser


    1) daye has been chucking plenty so far and has been a MAJOR drag. minimally, villa is a power forward, and that’s enough for me.
    2) the problem is how the organization has treated stuckey, like the anointed heir to the pistons throne. the problem is that rip hamilton is single-handedly standing in the way of whatever joe dumars planned for this team. is the advertised “future core” of this team (monroe, daye, jerebko, stuckey) enough to put up with three years of this? they’re all promising players, but that just looks like a good young core, not one that’s so alluring as to throw away a bunch of seasons so all these shooting guards can play together and lose a lot of games. in my opinion, someone has to go. i don’t care who it is, but stuckey would be the easiest to move and would net the best return. next would be gordon, but i don’t think you get fair value for him, and rip’s probably unmovable. but having rip and bg and stuckey and paying them $30 million total annually?? sigh…

  • Oct 31, 20106:10 pm
    by Laser


    ok just watched it. it’s like this: 85% of our offense was isos. when things were going well for us, it’s all a ben gordon iso or tay or stuck. once in a while someone found charlie open for a shot (when they weren’t iso’ing him), but he didn’t shoot the ball well. the only difference between the first half and second half is that the shots were falling in the first half. they weren’t really “good” or high-percentage shots, but they fell.
    rip spent most of the game (or at least the ineffective limited minutes he played) getting his own shot off the dribble. because that’s sure his game and well worth $12.6 million/yr. starting to look like, with stuckey and gordon being so aggressive and this “one-on-five” offensive system we’re running favoring them and bynum and villa and tay MUCH more than rip (not that it really favors any of them), there’s a decent chance rip, an average defender capable of being above average for stretches when he’s focused, could very well make a million dollars per point per game.
    i reject the notion that the first half was the best half the pistons have played in the kuester era; it was the same sloppy one-on-one offense we’ve been playing for what seems like eternity now, only it seems worse this season. a bunch of guys running in circles, passing the ball all over the place, trying to find the open man and taking turns either jacking up a quick shot or running an iso. it’s disgusting. even when we were winning it didn’t look sustainable.
    and for at least the last two games, it looks a lot like the opposing teams are taking unnecessarily bad shots. our defense has been “ok” in stretches, but our opponents have really made us look a lot better than we’ve been. and in crunch time, nothing.
    three games, three well-deserved losses. the better team’s won each time, and no injustices have been done, regardless of what keith langlois’s “analysis” says.
    and speaking of which, check out his latest gem. these True Blue Pistons blogs are going to sound like a broken record all year. note how langlois points to “circumstances” and “the hand detroit’s been dealt” rather than blame the GM, coach, players (that’s where the blame belongs in descending order). he treats it like some kind of mystery why this team can’t win games it doesn’t deserve to win. also, he brings up injuries. yes. because chicago sure was at FULL F***ING STRENGTH, right?? no notable DNPs there… like someone who would have single-handedly eaten our frontcourt for breakfast. give me a damn break.
    plus, he points to something like 1-8 free throw shooting in that atrocious fourth quarter. first, we lost by more than seven points. second, we’ve been one of the league’s worst free throw shooting teams since we traded chauncey, so don’t bother pointing to that stat. just accept it as a given and try to make up for it in other ways, or WORK ON YOUR FREE THROWS.
    also, note how when there’s an “open competition” for point guard, stuckey’s the clear winner and bynum never stood a chance and stuckey’s so wonderful and bynum will never be anything but a sub in this league. then after a loss like this that featured a 19-2 run, bynum’s suddenly a game changer at both ends and a guy who could have led the charge and facilitated buckets when we needed them. gag me. has there ever been a loss in NBA history that came down to not having your backup PG?? like, ever?? stuckey was invisible at the end once again. i’m actually with langlois that bynum’s probably the difference at the end, but he’s also probably a difference throughout the game, since he actually knows how to RUN THE OFFENSE. but you’ve got rodney “the golden boy” stuckey (who “won” the “competition” running away and has been handed the franchise), plus $25 million worth of other shooting guards, and you’re pointing to a guy you’ve relegated to the bench who probably won’t register 20 minutes most nights.
    and this complaining about jerebko being out. yeah, he’s a valuable player, but you’ve still got five professional athletes out there who should be able to pick up the slack in categories like “energy,” “extra possessions” and “defensive intensity.” it’s not like you’ve lost, say, a carlos boozer, who’s good for 20 and 10 (against daye and villa, more like 40 and 20?), has a post game, demands a TON of defensive attention, and would create a matchup nightmare when paired with noah up front. right, but let’s make excuses for the pistons for being short bynum and jerebko.
    i hate this losers’ mentality. how long can these excuses keep up? i’m guessing “all season.” can’t wait for february when joe does nothing, claiming that patience is a virtue and no offers have knocked his socks off (like that’s EVER happening with any of the names on this roster), and if that impact big man comes along he’ll jump at it. right. keep on waiting, joe. i’m sure we’ll all have limitless faith in your vision. let’s make excuses forever and blame chance and luck. who’s with me?

  • Oct 31, 20106:16 pm
    by Laser


    sorry. also, where was stuckey’s fabulous defensive potential? looked to me like derrick rose got anything and everything he wanted. and he once again turned in a stat line that looks good enough, particularly the AST-TO numbers, but if you’d asked me i would have guessed he picked up his customary 4 AST. he was virtually invisible for most of the game, especially when we really needed him. when in desperate need of a bucket, he can break down the defense and get to the cup much better than gordon or tayshaun. where was he?

  • Oct 31, 201011:21 pm
    by JoshB


    I’m just kinda curious about something. I really am a fan of Bynum, but what exactly statistically backs up the fact of Bynum running the offense any better than Stuckey? None of his stats seem to support this line of thinking. If anything the only reason I see to start him is if he was alongside Stuckey in the starting lineup, since they seem to play well together. Both guys are flawed in my opinion, but neither is really the problem. As long as we don’t have any bigs that can post, or finish in a pick n roll/pop scenario, our offense is gonna look like crap. We can argue until we’re blue in the face about starting guards, but until we can solve our problem with our bigs it won’t matter.

  • Nov 1, 201012:06 am
    by Rodman4Life


    For me, the big issue in that loss was setting the pace.  That is the beauty of a 15 point lead in the fourth.  We can be a flawed team, we can have major shortcomings, mismatches.  But when you have a 15 point lead and the other team starts a run, you call a timeout, talk a little strategy, talk about controlling the pace, getting to the right spots on the floor, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    Question: would you rather have a quality big man for a more traditional starting lineup, or would you rather have a 15 point lead starting the fourth quarter of every game?  30 of 30 teams would say the 15 point lead.  We blew it, and that is execution and coaching.  I would actually call myself a fan of Q, but after these first 3 games, I don’t know now.

  • Nov 1, 20102:07 am
    by Laser


    @josh: have you watched the two play? if you’re a stat guy: bynum had a 4.5:1.8 AST-TO ratio to stuckey’s 4.8:2.2 in about eight fewer minutes and spending much of his time playing with the second unit. stands to reason that his numbers would look better if he were playing alongside starters. he also shot a MUCH better FG%. per 36 minutes, bynum scored 6.1:2.5 AST-TO to stuckey’s 5.0:2.3. there’s not a huge statistical difference, but there are other angles to look at. aside from stuckey having a built-in advantage as the starter, there’s something about being handed the reins and told “this is your team.” bynum never got that chance.
    also, and most importantly for me, i’ve watched them play. stuckey just doesn’t pass the smell test. he’s experienced ZERO success since they handed the franchise to him, and he just plain doesn’t run the offense. he doesn’t make anyone better. before this season, he regularly made bad decisions with the ball; he has an incredible knack for getting to the basket, but when he gets inside he’s been a terrible finisher, and he never EVER uses his penetration to kick the ball out to open shooters. plain and simple, he’s the most predictable player in history. in the first few miserable games of this season he does seem to be finishing stronger, but that’s really just pulling him closer to bynum, who tends to finish strong. and he still doesn’t kick it out. and worse of all, stuckey’s been a complete non-factor when winnable games are on the line. three games in a row now, and counting…
    bynum, on the other hand, is a good and willing passer. he generally makes better decisions with the ball. he sets his teammates up, kicks the ball out after he penetrates. he does everything stuckey does better than stuckey, aside from being four inches taller. he’s a gutsy and scrappy player, and he led the team to a bunch of victories at the end of last season in games they never should have won. and his record when starting and playing major minutes, the few chances he’s gotten, is great. he’s a winner, plain and simple.
    @rodman: i’ll take the big man. 100% of the time. this team will lose bigger leads than that in the fourth, if they’re lucky enough to build them. and they’ll do it regularly. did you watch this game? they had no offensive cohesion whatsoever, even when they were building a 21 point lead. for an “offensive guru,” his offensive scheme through three games this season has been: everyone runs around in circles and moves the ball until someone jacks up a jump shot or runs an isolation play. that literally and specifically what happened for the duration of the chicago game. everyone worked their ASS off for every iso shot they got; nobody got easy buckets for their teammates. a small handful of times someone fed charlie for a 3, but he did not shoot the ball well overall. this will not do. WTF is there to like about q?? you gotta be kidding me.

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