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The Big Question: Will Bynum

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: Did his ankle injuries rob him of his all-around game?

At the beginning of last year, Will Bynum did an excellent job of scoring, passing, rebounding and even defending. Then, he was hit with a pair of ankle injuries. When he came back, he was more the one-dimensional scorer he appeared to be the season before.

So, I want to know whether that early-season production was skewed by a small sample size or derailed by injury. Bynum says his ankles are fine, so we should know the answer early.

PH: Can he win the starting point guard job?

The Pistons maintain that there is open competition at all spots. Rodney Stuckey is the presumed starter at point guard, but the Pistons have also expressed a desire to “return to their roots” and focus on the blue-collar style that has won the franchise three titles.

Bynum, the unheralded guy who has had to fight for everything in his career, better embodies that philosophy than Stuckey, the first round pick who was handed a starting job two years ago and shown little improvement.

12 Comments

  • Oct 13, 201011:26 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    I will save everyone the time:
    “Rabble rabble rabble … why post something that’s 200 words? … rabble rabble rabble … you guys are terrible writers … rabble rabble rabble … Austin Daye and Greg Monroe are future MVPs … rabble rabble rabble.”
    That about sum up the comments that were going to be posted?

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PistonPowered Feed, Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: The Big Question: Will Bynum: With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Piston… http://bit.ly/9FMMVF [...]

  • Oct 13, 201012:57 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    In his last line Feldman makes a valid point that Stuckey has shown little improvement over the last two seasons at the point.

    Ankle injuries just take time to heal. A bad ankle sprain will last all season, which is what happened to several Piston players last year. Believe me, if you have ever tried to play professional ball at any level on a bad wheel – it is hard to do. You lack explosiveness on offense, have problems changing direction, and cannot move laterally on defense. I expect Will to be  fully recovered this season.

  • Oct 13, 20101:12 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    @Bynum homers & Stuckey haters,

    It’s easy to like Bynum (amazing story) and it’s also easy to bag on Stuckey (reason we dumped Billups).  Let’s be objective, how do you think Stuckey would fare scoring on an opposing teams 2nd unit?  Also, how do you think Bynums defense would stack up against Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul?

  • Oct 13, 20101:20 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Alan:
    Stuckey would be a great second unit guard. He’s strong, athletic, can play either position in a pinch and is potentially a very good defensive player. Perfect third guard for a good team, actually.
    Bynum would do about as well defending those guys as the entire league does: not very. But would the Pistons offense run more smoothly with him as a starter? Would the ball movement be better? Yes and yes.

  • Oct 13, 20101:32 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    It’s interesting how in every article in this series feldman and hayes come up with completely different things to point out. I’m not sure if that was on purpose or just because that shows how different each one is thinking.

    As for Bynum, I’m so conflicted. He’s so small and he takes way too many chances on defense and it allows his player to beat him badly. He needs to back off and force his man to stay on the perimeter. Make him take jumpers because everyone on the defense is too slow to react once someone gets broken down. The defense looks so helpless in those scenarios. Bynum is certainly more enjoyable to watch on the offensive end though. Being that this is Stuckey’s contract year I don’t think Bynum is going to win the competition, I suppose that would mean there is no competition in reality, but Dumars has to decide whether to keep Stuckey at the end of the season or not and I would imagine he’d want to give him one last shot to see if it’s worth it.

  • Oct 13, 20102:39 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Detroitpcb, I’m not worried Bynum is healed. I’m worried the injuries weren’t the reason Bynum’s all-around game disappeared. He showed that game in a small period of time. Maybe it was just a fluke.

  • [...] How good is Will Bynum? Good enough to supplant Rodney Stuckey? Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)NBA Playoff Preview: Celtics look [...]

  • Oct 13, 20104:30 pm
    by Steve Kays

    Reply

    Totally agree Patrick re: Stuckey. He’d be a great combo guard off the bench. My favorite comparison would be Delonte West – a tall guard who can score, pass, defend, get to the FT line, etc. One difference is that West is a much better outside shooter than Stuckey.
     

  • Oct 13, 20104:35 pm
    by Steve Kays

    Reply

    Totally agree Patrick re: Stuckey. He’d be a great combo guard off the bench. My favorite comparison would be Delonte West – a tall guard who can score, pass, defend, get to the FT line, etc. One difference is that West is a much better outside shooter than Stuckey.

  • Oct 13, 20106:10 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    re: that first comment. jeez hayes, i don’t know what’s up with you lately. even i’m not as grumpy as you seem to have been the past few days. lighten up.
     
    i fully agree stuck would be a nice third guard, spark off the bench, come in and be in attack mode, all that good stuff. and i’d give the “bynum can’t defend” argument some credence if stuckey was a good defender. he isn’t. the kid’s been brimming with “potential” (both offensively and defensively) since he got in the league. and by all indications he’ll be brimming with potential when he’s ready to retire.
     
    to me the Big Question with stuckey is what we do with him this season. as with tayshaun, we can’t rightly afford to keep him (somebody’s going to hand him a contract that starts at something like $7 million), we’ve already sacrificed too much to accommodate him (trading billups, surrounding him with expensive, unmovable guys who dumars hoped could complement him), and if it came down to a decision between the two, tayshaun is the easy keeper no matter how much more he’d cost. but with almost $30 million committed to the perimeter already, we can’t likely afford to keep either, and certainly not both (or maybe dumars thinks a $50 million perimeter is a good plan, and maybe he does). so we really should be trading these guys at some point rather than let them walk for nothing. was that a Big Question? i dunno, but you get the idea.

  • Oct 13, 20109:34 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    @Patrick,
    I think you get what I’m after.  It’s kind of like being the back-up QB for the Lions (pre-Stafford).  I mean, everyone hates the starter and begs for the backup.  I’ll never forget Joey Harrington being booed off the field in favor of Garcia.  Then, being cheered back on for his replacement.

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