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Did ‘open competition’ for starting positions on the Detroit Pistons materialize in the preseason?

When Pistons coach John Kuester declared early in training camp that starting positions were ‘up for grabs’, his statement elicited its share of “Psshh … we’ll believe it when we see it” responses.

With a veteran-dominated team virtually every year of the Joe Dumars era, and a starting lineup that has had a minimum of three (and as many as five) spots set in stone for the last nine years or so, it’s understandable why many wouldn’t possibly believe that players like Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince or Ben Wallace would be in any danger of not starting. And although he doesn’t qualify as a member of the championship core of veterans, the team’s commitment to Rodney Stuckey at the starting point guard spot has been unwavering for the last two seasons, making him seem like a virtual lock for the starting lineup as well.

With all four of those players presumably starting the season-opener, joined by first-time starter Austin Daye, it’s conceivable to believe that this ‘open competition’ was more coach-speak and didn’t actually materialize. In reality, four of the five starting spots had clear winners, and the fifth had both candidates perform poorly. Here’s a breakdown:

Point Guard

The Candidates: Stuckey, Will Bynum

The Preseason Stats:

  • Stuckey: 8 games/27.9 minutes/16.2 points/3.1 rebounds/4.8 assists/3.0 turnovers/1.0 steals/47 percent shooting/15 percent three-point shooting/90 percent free throw shooting/- 10
  • Bynum: 6 games/30.3 minutes/10.3 points/3.2 rebounds/5.0 assists/2.7 turnovers/1.0 steals/48 percent shooting/36 percent three-point shooting/78 percent free throw shooting/+ 1

The Per-36 Minute Stats:

  • Stuckey: 20.8 points/4.0 rebounds/6.1 assists/3.9 turnovers/1.3 steals/6.6 free throws attempted
  • Bynum: 12.3 points/5.9 rebounds/5.9 assists/3.2 turnovers/1.2 steals/4.5 free throws attempted

Key stats for Stuckey: His per-36 numbers in the preseason were very strong, although he was helped greatly by closing the preseason with two fantastic games offensively. But one stat that was consistent for him throughout the preseason: he’s getting to the line very frequently. If he can continue getting to the line six or more times per game, that will be a huge plus for him. And his overall 47 percent shooting in the preseason was a very good sign. For a guy who gets so many of his points inside of 15 feet, his career shooting percentage is way too low.

His 1.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this preseason was bad. Even with the positives Stuckey can bring if he’s shooting a better overall percentage and getting to the line, the Pistons desperately need him to get better at making plays for teammates. That doesn’t mean he has to be Steve Nash, but if he can get that ratio up to 2.5-to-1ish range, that will be a huge improvement for him.

Key stats for Bynum: Bynum rebounded the ball better than Stuckey this preseason, which is pretty strange considering Bynum is really small and Stuckey, for some reason, has been labeled as a good rebounding guard even though it’s not backed up statistically. Bynum was also pretty consistent — he didn’t have any really great games or really poor ones, whereas Stuckey started slow and finished really strong.

He also improved drastically from the perimeter. He’s not going to be a three-point threat, but he can now knock the shot down enough that he can’t be left wide open out there.

Like Stuckey, he didn’t have a great assist-to-turnover ratio, something the Pistons desperately need out of whoever is their primary point guard this season.

The verdict: Stuckey is going to start, and it’s hard to argue, based on preseason, that he’s not deserving. Bynum had a stronger start, Stuckey had a stronger finish, and with Bynum sitting out the last two games, it’s pretty easy to see that Stuckey won this job.

Shooting Guard

The Candidates: Hamilton, Ben Gordon

The Preseason Stats:

  • Hamilton: 6 games/22.0 minutes/8.0 points/1.8 rebounds/3.0 assists/2.0 turnovers/39 percent shooting/31 percent three-point shooting/91 percent free throw shooting/- 6
  • Gordon: 8 games/25.3 minutes/11.2 points/2.3 rebounds/2.3 assists/2.4 turnovers/51 percent shooting 43 percent/32 percent three-point shooting/96 percent free throw shooting/- 3

The Per-36 Minute Stats:

  • Hamilton: 13.1 points/3.0 rebounds/4.9 assists/3.3 turnovers/3.0 free throws attempted
  • Gordon: 16.8 points/3.0 rebounds/3.2 assists/3.4 turnovers/4.3 free throws attempted

Key Stats for Hamilton: The only number I’m concerned with after watching Hamilton in the preseason is the 39 percent shooting. Hamilton’s a slow starter in his career, so typically a mediocre preseason is nothing to worry about. But his shooting percentage has been plummeting the last two seasons, and the preseason didn’t do anything to show he has his stroke back. His per-36 assist numbers were very good, and the Pistons generally have better movement and fewer isos when he’s on the floor because of his activity, but if he’s not hitting a high percentage of his shots, his value will continue to plummet.

Key Stats for Gordon: Gordon’s shooting stroke, on the other hand, looked like it was back at times. He shot the ball very well, finishing the preseason at 51 percent. (ED: Scratch that. Gordon only shot 43 percent in the preseason).His three-point stroke didn’t seem to come back either. Gordon only shot 32 percent from three-point range, which isn’t a good sign coming off a career-low last year in three-point percentage. Gordon also had more turnovers than assists in the preseason.

The Verdict: Virtually every statistic favors Gordon here. But as I mentioned above, Hamilton’s motion is a good fit on the floor whether he’s shooting well or not, whereas Gordon can be more of a ball-stopper. The Pistons also desperately need a bounceback season for Hamilton if they intend to trade him at some point. Taking away his starting job before the season started wouldn’t be the best way to convince team’s he’s healthy and ready to be semi-productive again. This is the only case in the starting five where there is a really strong case that the person who is likely to start may not have actually won the job in camp.

One number inverted in a spreadsheet can certainly mess things up. Hamilton and Gordon both shot poorly in the preseason. Hamilton shot slightly worse, but had more assists, turned it over less and is a better defensive player who doesn’t have to have the ball all the time on offense, unlike Gordon who doesn’t move without the ball the way Hamilton does. Basically, the Pistons need one of these two to be much more productive than they were in the preseason.

Small Forward

The Candidates: Tayshaun Prince, DaJuan Summers

The Preseason Stats:

  • Prince: 7 games/26.7 minutes/9.1 points/3.6 rebounds/2.7 assists/1.0 turnovers/48 percent shooting/56 percent three-point shooting/73 percent free throw shooting/+21
  • Summers: 8 games/15.0 minutes/6.1 points/1.9 rebounds/0.4 assists/0.6 turnovers/40 percent shooting/36 percent three-point shooting/80 percent free throw shooting/-44

The Per-36 Minute Stats:

  • Prince: 12.3 points/4.8 rebounds/3.7 assists/1.3 turnovers/2.9 free throws attempted
  • Summers: 14.7 points/4.5 rebounds/0.9 assists/1.5 turnovers/4.5 free throws attempted

Key Stats for Prince: Prince was the steadying influence he always is this preseason. He shot it well and he showed he’s the most efficient player with the ball that the Pistons have, with a per-36 assist-to-turnover ratio of nearly 4-to-1. The only real gripe (and it’s a minor one) is that with Daye playing at power forward, I would hope Prince’s rebounding numbers go up since Daye will need all the help he can get down low.

Key Stats for Summers: As his per-36 numbers suggest, Summers can provide a reasonable amount of scoring, and he does it in a variety of ways. He also shot a poor percentage from the floor, he was an astounding -44 for the preseason in just 120 minutes of action and he averaged less than one assist per-36 minutes.  Summers just doesn’t do much of anything except for score, and in the preseason, he didn’t do that efficiently.

The Verdict: With Tracy McGrady out and Daye getting pushed into the PF competition with the injury to Jonas Jerebko, it was hard to call this a competition. Summers never had a chance to unseat Prince, and even with Prince cruising through the preseason preserving his body for the regular season, he still easily out-performed Summers at the three spot.

Power Forward

The Candidates: Daye, Charlie Villanueva, Greg Monroe

The Preseason Stats:

  • Daye: 8 games/28.0 minutes/15.9 points/5.6 rebounds/1.5 assists/1.3 turnovers/47 percent shooting/50 percent three-point shooting/71 percent free throw shooting/+23
  • Villanueva: 7 games/22.9 minutes/12.3 points/3.9 rebounds/0.6 assists/1.3 turnovers/45 percent shooting/32 percent three-point shooting/79 percent free throw shooting/-25
  • Monroe: 8 games/25.3 minutes/7.8 points/4.9 rebounds/2.3 assists/2.0 turnovers/1.5 steals/41 percent shooting/71 percent free throw shooting/-20

The Per-36 Minute Stats:

  • Daye: 20.4 points/7.2 rebounds/1.9 assists/1.6 turnovers/0.8 steals/1.1 blocks/2.7 free throws attempted
  • Villanueva: 19.4 points/6.1 rebounds/0.9 assists/2.0 turnovers/1.1 steals/1.1 blocks/4.3 free throws attempted
  • Monroe: 11.0 points/7.0 rebounds/2.7 assists/2.9 turnovers/2.1 steals/0.5 blocks/5.5 free throws attempted

Key Stats for Daye: What else can be written about Daye? He was the most exciting player in the preseason, his confidence has grown tremendously since last year and as his per-36 stats show, he’s capable of doing a little bit of everything. His three-point shooting, over 50 percent in the preseason, will be a welcome addition to the lineup. Gordon and Villanueva never provided the shooting they were supposed to last season, and having a long range threat in the game is vital to unclogging some driving lanes for penetrating guards.

Key Stats for Villanueva: Villanueva started the preseason slow and finished strong. His scoring and shooting numbers were positive, and he the offseason talk about him being in great shape appears to be accurate as he looked healthy and mobile when he was on the court. His rebounding numbers were still poor.

Key Stats for Monroe: Monroe played a lot of minutes in the preseason, which is good. He also showed the passing skills that were hyped so much at Georgetown and, although it could be a preseason anomaly, he averaged nearly two steals per game. But there were also negatives — he shoot horribly for a big man (41 percent), he turned it over a lot (nearly three times per-36 minutes) and he often appeared timid as a rebounder.

The Verdict: Daye might be playing out of position as a future wing player in this league, but he’s too good to keep off the floor, and he clearly beat the other candidates at this position. Villanueva and Monroe are both used to playing down low, and Daye was a better rebounder than both of them. There’s a lot of debate as to whether playing out of position will be good or bad for Daye’s career or whether his slim body can hold up, but he’s young, smart and if his teammates provide good help for him defensively, Daye getting minutes that didn’t appear to be there for him when camp started will be a net win for the team.

Center

The Candidates: Wallace, Jason Maxiell

The Preseason Stats:

  • Wallace: 7 games/19.4 minutes/3.7 points/6.3 rebounds/1.3 assists/1.0 turnovers/1.1 steals/0.3 blocks/63 percent shooting/29 percent free throw shooting/+20
  • Maxiell: 5 games/21.0 minutes/5.4 points/4.2 rebounds/0.0 assists/1.6 turnovers/1.1 steals/1.4 blocks/45 percent shooting/58 percent free throw shooting/-19

The Per-36 Minute Stats:

  • Wallace: 6.9 points/11.6 rebounds/2.4 assists/1.9 turnovers/2.1 steals/0.5 blocks
  • Maxiell: 9.3 points/7.2 rebounds/0.0 assists/2.7 turnovers/1.7 steals/2.4 blocks

Key Stats for Wallace: Wallace’s per-36 rebounding and steals numbers are about what should be expected of him. Those numbers were very solid last season as well. It’s not a great idea to play him 36 minutes a night, but it’s clear he’s going to be their only rebounding presence and only good post defender this season.

The surprising number for Wallace is in blocks. Hopefully it’s just a preseason thing, because the Pistons could really use a shot-blocking presence with so many average or below average perimeter defenders, and Wallace has traditionally provided that.

Key Stats for Maxiell: Two categories jump out, one good and one bad. Maxiell blocked a lot of shots in the preseason, 2.4 per-36 minutes. Also, he played 105 preseason minutes and didn’t pick up a single assist.

Maxiell will provide good activity, some spectacular plays and some good games off the bench. He didn’t do anything in the preseason to really suggest he should get more or fewer minutes than he’s ever received in the Detroit rotation.

The Verdict: This was another positional “battle” that wasn’t very close. Wallace might be the Pistons best player overall, and he’s still easily their best big man. Chris Wilcox didn’t factor into the competition here, either, as his -19 in just nine preseason minutes will attest. You can pretty much mark down Wilcox for a -5 in the +/- category the second he steps on the court, before he even does a thing.

Conclusion

Injuries certainly made some of the positional battles a little anti-climactic, but I think it’s hard to argue that the players who performed the best in the preseason are starting for the Pistons. It’s impossible to tell if Kuester would’ve actually went through with the ‘open competition’ promise if Bynum had significantly out-played Stuckey in the preseason or if McGrady were healthy and out-played either Prince or Hamilton. Those were the two wildcard scenarios that could’ve led to a shakeup of the lineup, but neither played out and the Pistons starting lineup (except for Daye) will be a familiar one on opening night.

20 Comments

  • Oct 26, 20104:02 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    i wouldn’t want to risk playing austin daye out of position if i thought we had a reasonable chance at a low playoff seed; being that i think we’re all but certain to end up in the lottery, i think it’s unconscionable. we’re supposed to be putting guys in a position to succeed, after all, right? i’m not sure we can do that for anyone on this roster besides maybe tayshaun, but this smells like a mistake to me. a recipe for shaking his confidence and getting the kid injured.
     
    the only think i have to disagree with in this piece is the premise that “his teammates will help him defensively.” it’s not like we have a good defensive team that can afford to help constantly and cheat off their man. once again, just because the pistons are saying it, doesn’t make it true.

  • Oct 26, 20104:14 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:

    They’re not good defensively, but the starting five has guys who can help him. For example, I’m more confident with Daye starting at the four playing next to Ben Wallace then I’d be if Daye were playing up front with Villanueva/Wilcox/Maxiell.

    And Prince and Hamilton are both solid defensively still. Not lockdown by any stretch, but smart and certainly willing defenders, even if both have lost a step. Stuckey is potentially good defensively. Whether he tries all the time at that end of the floor is another matter. But yeah, I feel more confident with Daye playing with this group, even if it is out of position, than I would with the ragtag group on the bench.

  • Oct 26, 20104:53 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    I’m a fan of win score because I believe it correlates most to wins and losses as a stat so I’ll expand this argument using it. WS/48 argument based on preseason stats.
     
    Stuckey 0.099 v. Bynum 0.121 = Bynum wins
     
    Rip 0.053 v. Gordon 0.039 = Rip wins
     
    Prince 0.166 v. Summers 0.080 = Prince wins
     
    Daye 0.218 v. CV 0.170 v. Max 0.146 = Daye wins
     
    Wallace 0.344 v. Monroe 0.139 = Wallace wins
     
    Most glaring thing there is that our weakest position happens to be SG, which also happens to be our most expensive position. Wonderful. Wallace and Daye were our two best players. Seems about right. 3 worst players in the rotation are Gordon, Rip, and Summers. Also seems about right.

  • Oct 26, 20105:38 pm
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    Hey Patrick,
    Not sure what source you checked for Ben Gordon’s preseason numbers, but they don’t look right.  I have him with 28/65 FG’s, which puts him at 43% shooting, not the 51% shown above.
    http://www.nba.com/playerfile/ben_gordon/game_by_game_stats.html
    That 8% drop in shooting efficiency might change your verdict a bit, I believe.

  • Oct 26, 20105:49 pm
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    @Laser:
    I’m with you completely.  In a discussion yesterday at DBB, I suggested that playing Austin at the 4 is dangerous in terms of defense and durability– especially for a kid who was slated for the lottery but fell out due to concerns about injuries.  Playing him in a position where contact is common is a terrible risk, especially since Austin Daye is currently our only small forward on contract for 2011-12.  Why risk the future in this manner?
    I give you Tayshaun Prince:
    The way we play defense and a lot of rotations and things we do, if you’re playing the four, a lot of times you’ll end up guarding the five,” Prince said Monday. “And that’s the problem…
    The first thing I think of when I read this is DeMarcus Cousins.  And I wet myself.  Please, DeMarcus, don’t ruin our Daye.

  • Oct 26, 20106:31 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Good catch Mike.

    Not sure how, but the 2-for-10 performance in Charlotte got left out of my spreadsheet I was using. That’ll do it.

    As for Daye, I certainly don’t want to see the kid take a beating at power forward. But it’s not like he wouldn’t be taking one at small forward either. I mean, would guarding Chris Bosh really be less bruising on him than guarding LeBron? At least in the post, guys aren’t going to get a running start at him before contact. Sam Young plowed him repeatedly in the Memphis game, whereas when he was guarding Randolph, the Pistons were having Daye basically front Z-Bo on every possession. It’s still physical for sure, and it could increase his risk for injury, but if the Pistons are smart (and I’m not convinced they will be, but I hope so), they can at least try different schemes to help him not get beat up too badly.

  • Oct 26, 20107:09 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    see, bosh is basically an oversized shooting guard. lebron is more physical than bosh. but that team is one of the exceptions. in most cases, you’re looking at MUCH more of a bruiser at the four than at the three. and i’m also worried about all the switches where daye’s forced to cover the opposing center. i don’t like this one bit. i hope i’m wrong about all of my predictions for the season (since none of them are good), but none more so than this one.
     
    also, hayes, since nobody ever seems to go back and look at old comments. to add to the discussion of patting kuester on the back for a nice preseason. even langlois had this to say:
     
    “Largely because of the same bugaboo that undermined their 2009-10 season – injuries – the Pistons didn’t come close to answering all the questions they carried into training camp four weeks ago to the day.”

    …and that’s what the preseason’s about. check out the blog. even langlois agrees that they accomplished very little.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MotorCityFan, Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: PistonPowered: Did ‘open competition’ for starting positions on the Detroit Pistons materialize in the preseason? http://bit.ly/d7Eb4M [...]

  • Oct 26, 20107:26 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    You make it seem like I said they clinched a playoff berth in the preseason.

    These are things I feel they accomplished reasonably well:

    - Minutes for Monroe and Daye. Both played a lot. That’s a good thing.

    - Giving Bynum at least a fighting chance to show he was deserving of the starting PG spot. He played 30 minutes a game. He played OK. I wish he’d done more to be honest, but I’m glad he got so many minutes, even if he didn’t make a convincing case that he should start.

    - Got injury-prone vets in the swing while also being mindful of their minutes and resting them appropriately. And whether positions were really up for grabs or not, everyone had ample opportunity to showcase themselves for starting jobs, whether they took advantage or not.

    It’s reasonable to me to call those things positives. Doesn’t mean I think they’ve fixed significant problems.

    And I disagree with the Langlois comment you quoted. They had one significant injury — Jerebko — and one guy who missed a lot of time who I don’t think anyone outside the team spokespeople expects to contribute in McGrady. They came out of the preseason with a clear five guys who should be starting and a clear 10-man rotation with Bynum, Gordon, Maxiell, Villanueva and Monroe. If McGrady is ever healthy, he’ll probably slide into Monroe’s or Maxiell’s spot in that group. Not a murderer’s row, but how is anything about what their rotation will look like still up in the air?

  • Oct 26, 20107:43 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    With Daye, it is obvious that !) he won the position in training camp 2) the Pistons are a better team when he is on the floor 3) he is a better rebounder than anyone on the Pistons not named Ben Wallace 4) he has to see regular minutes this season

    At the two guard which i think would be his best position, he is blocked by Rip and Ben Gordon, and also the lineup when Q slides Stuckey to the two spot and lets Bynum run the point – no minutes there
    at the small forward he is blocked by Prince – other than Daye the best player on the team and maybe also by a resurgent T-Mac – no minutes there unless T-Mac is still injured and a bust
    So while i share Laser’s concern about the toll playing the four will take on Daye’s body – without a trade, this was the only way the kid would get on the floor for regular minutes.

    How it effects his confidence will be interesting to watch. Some people think it might hurt him. If his body holds up, i think his psyche will be fine. It might just toughen him up and turn him into the kind of player you build a franchise around
     

  • Oct 26, 20109:16 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    Q won’t start Daye when Detroit is matched up against a ferocious banger like Cousins or Howard.  He’s already stated that Wilcox will play against the bigger lineups – not that this produces Ws, but we’re talking about preventing Daye from injury. For the most part, Daye will be forced to guard centers in the Central division – Noah, Verejao, Bogut, & Hibbert.  I think Hibbert is too big for Daye.  Boguts a big mismatch but more for Andrew’s skills, he’s not a banger.  I think Noah and Verejao are more bangers but not very dangerous offensively.
     
    Two other thoughts.  First, I think the PF spot will be a revolving door all season-long.  So, Daye will the start the season at PF and not necessarily play there for the duration of the season.  The same goes for each and every game within the season.  Second, just as Jerebko was moved to the 4 upon Tay’s return ,we could see Daye moved to the three if Prince departs.

  • Oct 26, 20109:57 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Best lineup the Piston could put on the floor might be with Daye at SG right now, and CV at PF.
     
    Prince also said:
     
    The difference is he’s 21, so he might not feel it right away. He should be all right.

    And that’s the thing. Yes he’s young, but he’s also not coming straight out of high school either. He’s old enough to where you should expect something out of him. He’s not a baby. Injuries aren’t preventable. You might be able to reduce the risk, but you can’t prevent them. I’d rather have him play PF than not play at all. He’s one of the best players on the team get him on the court. Dumars sent out the memo the team is in the market for a big. I doubt anyone calls, but it’s no mystery the team is hurting for front court bodies. Daye is playing PF out of necessity at the moment. I’m fine with that.

  • Oct 26, 201010:05 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @nuetes:

    Agree 100 percent with everything you said.

    And let’s not forget: Daye’s been a PF/C his entire basketball career pre-Detroit. Now Gonzaga is not a powerhouse by any stretch, but they play solid Division I competition and my guess is that Daye was routinely going against players who were much stronger than him at that level.

  • Oct 26, 201010:48 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    let us hope that Wilcox does not play against bigger players. Let us hope that Wilcox does not play. period.

  • Oct 26, 201011:13 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @pcb:

    Totally agree. Wilcox can’t help them. He hurts the team every time he steps on the floor. They’d be better off playing Villanueva, Monroe or Maxiell in any minutes (if any) Wilcox was slated to receive.

  • Oct 27, 20102:35 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    @pcb: prince isn’t the best player on the team “besides daye.” he’s the best player on the team “period.” put away your boner and give the kid a chance to play a regular season game for crying out loud.
     
    @hayes: t-mac and wilcox didn’t get to play in the regular season, yet the organization is higher on them than rasheed wallace is right now. wilcox had some amazing camp and was part of the first unit at open practice before injuring himself. t-mac is apparently the steal of the offseason. so i think you’d be nuts to rule these guys out, especially once the losses start to pile up. and even if we were down to the ten guys who will play (and we certainly aren’t), how we use them (and in what combinations) remains a mystery to everyone. read langlois’s blog; injuries kept the team from learning anything except that austin daye is ready. ready to play at the four? i doubt it, but we’ll see. i defy you to give me a fair prediction of how these rotations are going to work out based on this preseason.
     
    @alan: i agree that the PF spot will be a revolving door. i think a lot about this team will be “revolving,” because when you lose as many games as this team’s about to lose, you make adjustments. even if it’s just going from one bad combination to another, like we’ve been doing for the past two seasons straight without an end in sight. the notion that this collection of wing players (and big ben) is going to be a formidable starting five isn’t realistic. and, sadly, as this article so nicely points out, the case could be made that it’s our best option.
     
    @nuetes: i’m not sure whether i’d rather see him play spot minutes as a backup 3 or major minutes at the 4. yes he needs minutes, but i don’t like the idea of risking such a big piece of our future on collecting 30 wins instead of 20.

  • Oct 27, 20102:41 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    sorry, one more thing. this one’s for hayes again: your original assertion was that kuester did a nice job with minutes this preseason. my rebuttal was that he did not and that we accomplished nothing (besides the part about daye being a stud). but your counter to langlois’s own admission that we learned and accomplished very little is that we pared the rotation down to ten…
     
    right. the ten guys who PLAYED AT ALL in the preseason. wilcox and t-mac sat the damn thing out, in case you forgot. and summers has been an absolute lock for the inactive list since he got drafted. so by process of elimination, we’re left with those other ten guys no matter what. at least meet me halfway with shortcomings keith flippin’ langlois is willing to admit!

  • Oct 27, 20108:46 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @laser:

    I don’t understand what everyone expected to “learn” from preseason, first of all.

    Secondly, as for rotation, I’d guess something like this:

    PG: Stuckey 27/Byum 21

    SG: Hamilton 22/Gordon 26

    SF: Prince 32/Hamilton 10/Gordon or Stuckey 6 (in small lineups until T-Mac plays)

    PF: Daye 25/Villanueva 23

    C: Wallace 30/Monroe 8/Maxiell 10

    Something like that, give or take a couple here or there when guys play well.

    As for Wilcox, I don’t believe he will play. Just don’t see it. Again, just to reiterate, the guy damages the team simply by stepping on the court. Plus/minus is not perfect, but Wilcox was the proud owner of some of the most ridiculous +/- lines I’ve ever seen last season. So no, I don’t believe he’s going to play no matter who started at the open practice.

    Same with McGrady. I’m not convinced he’ll be satisfied coming off the bench for a bad team, even if he himself is pretty bad. At some point, the Pistons are probably going to cut ties with him. I don’t know that for sure, but he has a ton of miles and microfracture surgery is not exactly easy for older players who rely on athleticism to bounce back from (ask Penny Hardaway). I would be very, very shocked to see him play much for the Pistons. Maybe they give him a chance initially, but I think it will quickly become apparent that they will be better when he’s not on the court.

    Stop with the Langlois stuff. It’s dumb. “Even Langlois admits this but you can’t! You’re a moron!” Give me a break. I have differences of opinion with people all the time. My point is simply that I have no real questions about what the team is capable of, what the rotation will look like, who will play and who won’t, etc. entering the season.

  • Oct 27, 20106:16 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    we’ll see, hayes. wallace broke down at the end of last season playing fewer minutes than that and being a year younger. and i don’t think we can dream of a world where max plays just ten. i don’t see how you can play a frontcourt that doesn’t include one of the two for very long. no combination of monroe/villa/daye is going to be able to stop anyone.
     
    and obviously the jury’s out on t-mac and wilcox. apparently someone on this board saw something from kuester saying he’d play against bigger frontcourts. and how could he not when you look at the alternatives?
     
    as for what you’re supposed to accomplish during the preseason, there are a few things. i think the main thing is to fine tune lineups and rotations. also see who can contribute. but most teams don’t go into a preseason with the kind of question marks this team has. usually teams go into a preseason with a rough idea of who the main contributors will be, and they just have to figure out who’s going to be the supporting players and what their roles will be. nobody knows how these pieces are supposed to fit together here.
     
    what do you think the preseason was for? wasting players’ time? selling a few extra tickets? adding a few extra minutes to everyone’s legs?
     
    and stop with the “you’re a moron!” garbage putting words in my mouth. all i’m saying is that langlois’s JOB is to sugarcoat things. so if he’s willing to admit they accomplished very little in the preseason (the one thing he and i agree on), i’m surprised you maintain that it was a success. you can bet if the team considered it remotely successful, langlois would have had a glowing write-up.

  • Apr 23, 201412:23 am
    by play wartune

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