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The Big Question: Austin Daye

With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pistons, we wanted our Pistons preview series to capture that. So for each Piston, Patrick Hayes and I will identify and explain what we each see as the biggest question surrounding him entering the season.

DF: Is he really mentally stronger?

At media day, Austin Daye didn’t look any bigger or stronger than he did last season, but I’ll take the Pistons’ word that he gained 10 pounds of muscle. My bigger question is whether Daye has grown mentally.

To be honest, I don’t think he has the edge necessary to compete in high-level situations. Maybe he’ll develop it, and he’ll have time. The Pistons won’t have many crucial moments anytime soon.

Still, I’d like to see at least some progress in that regard this season.

PH: What will he learn from T-Mac?

Austin Daye is not strong enough, athletic enough or good enough for us to expect him to ever have Tracy McGrady-like production. But he, like McGrady, is a really tall wing player, has a nice jumper and can put the ball on the floor pretty well for a guy his height.

If I could choose any player for Daye to watch offensively, it would be T-Mac, simply to learn how McGrady effectively uses his body on drives and takes advantage of his height to get pretty clean looks even on contested shots.


  • Oct 13, 20107:35 am
    by Dave


    what exactly was the point of this? why even bother posting this when it’s 200 words of vague spit spat?

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PistonPowered Feed, Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: The Big Question: Austin Daye: With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pisto… http://bit.ly/bYN3vI [...]

  • Oct 13, 20108:13 am
    by detroitpcb


    completely agree with Dave. Feldman’s posts are generally vague drivel.

    Get a clue, Feldman. Daye is the most talented offensive player on this roster. When you are 6’11″ with a 7’2″ wingspan, you do not need eye popping athleticism. From what i have seen the kid competes. Does he have the edge to be the man at the end of the game? That is an unknown. He was a rookie last year, and a very young player. His body was not ready for the challenge of the NBA but he still had some good moments. Personally, i think he has that quality but you cannot expect to see it until he gets regular & significant minutes including 4th quarter, end of game minutes.

  • Oct 13, 201010:15 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    I’m (rest assured) going to be back later to dismantle both of these comments later. But for now, just sticking to the basketball issue, PCB:
    “Daye is the most talented offensive player on this roster.”
    Really? I mean, that’s really what you’re arguing? Not maybe the most “upside offensively” or something along those lines? That’s an insane comment. He was inconsistent last year and was, at times, overmatched. He was the third or fourth best player on a mid-major team at Gonzaga. He had some nice moments in summer league and this preseason. If he ends up being the fourth best offensive player on the team this year, the Pistons will be thrilled. I love Daye’s game, but damn … nothing like ratcheting up the expectations on a kid.

  • Oct 13, 201012:46 pm
    by detroitpcb



    Tay is the best player on the team as the roster currently stands. Are you telling me that Tay has a better offensive game than Daye? I really don’t think it is close. Daye is a better 3 point shooter, a better mid range shooter, and better off the dribble while facing the basket. Tay has a better back you down off the dribble move.

    Is Ben Gordon a better offensive player? Maybe. He is a great shooter but often is forced to settle for high degree of difficulty shots because of his lack of size or explosive quickness. I personally think Daye can get a better shot than Gordon given similar circumstances on the floor (both being guarded by the opposing two, same shot clock, etc)

    Is Rip a better offensive player? Maybe. He has improved his three point shot. He is still the best in the league off screens, has a great midrange shot, but you really don’t want him putting the ball on the floor in the clutch – he does it sometimes and suceeds but from what i have seen of Daye so far – Rip has nothing in his game like Daye’s little glass shot off the dribble.

    Is CV a better offensive player than Daye? Cv is so inconsistent i don’t see how you can make an argument for him. During a good stretch of a game, yes. But other times he might as well not be on the floor. And i am sure the coaches share that opinion.

    Please remember that i was the one all last season arguing that JJ deserved the minutes he got and that Daye – for all his upside – was not ready physically or mentally or emotionally for extended minutes. But before he got hurt in summer league, he was the best player on the floor – and not just on the Pistons. And i believe his skill set is such that he can carry that over to the regular season. Is he going to be an all star this year? No. But in 2012 i will be shocked if this kid is not averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds and throwing his name into the ring for all star consideration.

  • Oct 13, 20101:08 pm
    by nuetes


    This whole series has been a bunch of vague opinions with absolutely no stats or facts to back it up. And ya know I’m fine with that. It’s like the goal was to jot down something off the top of their heads about each player and go with it. They are just opinions after all.
    First off how are you going to start defining good offensive players? Is it by scoring the most points, or shooting the most efficiently? Prince is the most efficient player on the team. He shoots over .48% and over 37% on 3′s. He never turns the ball over and can handle it and dish it here and there. If efficiency is your thing Prince is your man. He doesn’t make many negative plays. If scoring is your thing then I’d have to say Gordon is your man. He’s the only one capable of absolutely lighting up the scoreboard and going off for 40 or 50 points if he was feeling it. Again, if he was feeling it, which was certainly rare last season.
    Daye is capable of becoming the best offensive player on the team. He is. His shot is amazing, he moves well on the offensive end and gets open for easy buckets, he posts up, spots up, and shoots it off the dribble. He’s tall enough to shoot over most anyone. He has the makings of a good scorer. He’s never going to be a guy that beats his man with a crossover and drives past him and attacks the rim though. He’s not going to get to the line a ton. In other words, he’s never going to be Mcgrady. But I could see him being a 20 ppg/6 rpg player, which is pretty good.

  • Oct 13, 20101:32 pm
    by detroitpcb



    Personally i think Daye will be able to go off on people the way Gordon sometimes can while being as efficient as Prince.

    I love Tay, no disrespect at all, but he is not a player you build your offense around. He is the perfect complementary player. I think Daye can be more than that. His post game is improving, he can put it on the floor (i have seen him but a nasty crossover on people), go to the basket, shoot the midrange & the three & shoot on the move. I like his game and am expecting big things from this kid. 

  • Oct 13, 20101:53 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    But the point is simply that upside is different than reality. 20 points per game from Daye would be nice. But let’s wait and see what he does playing NBA competition rather than the collection of fringe roster guys, backups and D-Leaguers who get big minutes in the preseason.
    His skillset is diverse and fluid. That doesn’t always translate though. If Daye goes out this season and gets 13ish with 5 rebounds and a block or two, then the conversations can be different. He’ll legitimately be improving. I guess I’d just rather temper my enthusiasm for now. He looks good. I like the way he plays. But I still don’t know if he’s ready to be a consistent, full-time, reliable contributor.

  • Oct 13, 20102:10 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    Alright, I promised Feldman I’d wait until 2 p.m. to respond to your comment to give others a chance to comment first. Well, it’s after 2 now. So here we go:

    Commenters like you ruin every blog/news site/forum/etc. Your comment, seemingly, is to suggest that this post served no purpose/contributed nothing/was a waste of time. On the contrary, my friend. It is your comment that is a useless waste of time.

    We have several different things we try and do at this site — cover the team, compare stats, offer analysis, link to other good analysis, etc. But at the base of what we do is try to start conversations.

    Every team blog in the league does some form of “player preview” stories before the season starts. For ours, we figured we could either blather on for 800ish words with analysis on a player that might turn out to be completely wrong, or we could simply do this: think of a question that comes to mind with each player that we feel is important. Then commenters can chime in with their own important questions/issues surrounding each guy. And before you know it, you have a conversation flowing with a lot of different opinions. Like, for instance, the conversation in this thread between people who have differing, but informed and interesting, opinions on Austin Daye.

    So I guess I’ll just  conclude by answering your question — “what exactly was the point of this post?” — with a question of my own: What exactly is the point of you being here? There are plenty of places for you to read. If you don’t like what we do here after reading one of the many, many posts we have on this site, then you’re free to go. As Jay said, “On to the next one…”

    If that’s the tact you take in commenting on blogs, then what you have to say couldn’t mean less to me.

  • Oct 13, 20102:20 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    I don’t want to give you the same dickish reply that Dave got, but I was equally annoyed with your first comment. You’re a major contributor to this site with your typically insightful comments, so I was pretty surprised by it to be honest.

    I don’t need to defend Dan’s work. It speaks for itself. He’s written some of the most detailed and interesting stuff out there among the sea of Pistons coverage over the last couple seasons.

    But what I want to stress to everyone: if you disagree with something someone writes, don’t be childish. Don’t say, “Yeah … he’s totally a terrible writer LOLZ!!” Make a counter argument. Hell, make a passionate counter argument that exposes everything you believe is flawed thinking. But don’t resort to that stupid BS above. Having to stop and address stuff like this takes away from what the point of this blog is supposed to be.

    I get it’s the internet and people can say what they want. But there aren’t a lot of sites out there where the people writing the content will get in the comments and banter back and forth. The reason they don’t is because there’s nothing more infuriating to a writer than working on a piece, publishing it and seeing someone post something like what Dave wrote in his moronoic comment or the first line of PCB’s comment. Most writers would just rather ignore the comments section altogether, and sometimes, I don’t really blame them.

    I want the comments section here to be loud and unruly and obnoxious and funny. But I also want there to be a basic level of etiquette. Don’t insult people with broad generalizations that aren’t backed up by any kind of fact and certainly don’t do what Dave did.

  • Oct 13, 20103:02 pm
    by detroitpcb



    i think 13 and 5 from Daye is a reasonable expectation for this season. I agree that my opinion does not yet have numbers to validate it. I am just looking at an exceptional skill set and projecting a future.
    with regard to Feldman, i don’t know what he has done in the past. But i think we can agree that the writing and analysis in this”The Big Question” series has been off the cuff, half assed, and generally unsupported casual opinion. I expect better. You guys have a forum to initiate discussions. Setting a high standard for those discussions is your responsibility. I agree that personal attacks are not useful but i don’t think my comment was out of line if i had just said this posting and series have been vapid, rather than generalizing and saying all Feldman’s writing is drivel. I’m sure it is not. I appreciate your willingness to enter the comments section and engage the people posting. I think it adds depth to the site.

  • Oct 13, 20103:10 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    Like I said in another comment, this series is not to provide analysis. It’s to engage and start discussions. Previewing each player in-depth is both kind of boring to write and hard to do on a team with so many question marks as far as rotation, trade rumors, injuries, etc.
    I think this is better. We’re just tossing something out we think of with each player, and hopefully you guys follow suit and run with it in the comments, like you did with your Daye analysis.
    There is plenty more meaty content on the site, and will be throughout the season. These are just supposed to be a quick, laid-back break from that.

  • Oct 13, 20106:20 pm
    by Laser


    ok now i see why the next Big Question was met with such a weird opening reply. you gotta admit, hayes, these guys make me look like a gem.
    as for daye, i think he’s certainly mentally stronger and more aggressive, and insanely talented. i can’t wait to watch this guy play on a real basketball team. maybe we’ll have one next year (fingers crossed).
    as for t-mac, the only lesson i think he’ll have to teach is to joe dumars about his philosophy that “the more offensive weapons = the better.” not when they’re all at the same position. if anything, daye is in the process of teaching everyone a lesson about signing t-mac. bynum, stuckey, rip, gordon, tayshaun and daye are more than enough for this backcourt. we don’t have enough minutes for those guys as it is. and i just can’t imagine what t-mac is going to bring if he can’t play more than one game and 8 minutes in the preseason. once we trade stuck and/or tay, plug summers in for backup minutes at 3 and terrico for backup minutes at the 1-2.
    problem is that some people (i won’t call them pistons fans) wanted to see t-mac come here, and they sold some jerseys. so dumars is going to piss people off either way. but i’d have cut him the second i saw what daye was capable of. and once he was deemed unfit for exhibition games, forget about it! $1.3 mil down the drain. there’s no need (or room) for t-mac on this roster. stay tuned and you’ll see.

  • Oct 14, 20102:15 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Detroitpcb, I certainly won’t agree this series has been “off the cuff, half assed, and generally unsupported casual opinion.” I’m sure you’ve thought different questions than the ones we posed were most key. That’s great. I hope you’ll talk about that in the comments. But I don’t think you can say either Patrick’s or my questions have been unreasonable. That’s because we didn’t half-ass this.

    A lot of our posts are longer. A lot of our posts have more research. This series is different. I think different is good.

    Sometimes, when we do different, everyone will love it. Sometimes, everyone will hate it. Most of the time, and I suspect that to be the case here, the reviews will be mixed. We’re always looking at what our readers like, and we’ll try to cater to that.

    If people only want long, stats-heavy posts, that’s what we’ll do. But because that’s what you want, don’t assume everyone else does, too.

    At the bottom of each post in this series is a tag to the player’s page. If you want to see the stats-driven analysis that led to our question choices, click that tag to read previous posts about the player.

  • Oct 14, 20108:28 am
    by Patrick Hayes


    I agree with your T-Mac assessment. Honestly, rather than have to potentially cut him down the road, I would’ve thought the Pistons would put him through more rigorous testing to see if his knee could hold up.

  • Oct 14, 20101:10 pm
    by Laser


    would have been nice, huh?

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