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Dallas Mavericks don’t need much to beat Detroit Pistons

In case you missed the game, here’s a quick recap:

  • The Mavericks took an early 11-0 lead while showing significantly more effort and focus than the Pistons
  • The Mavericks played lousy, and Detroit climbed back in the game.
  • The Mavericks continued to play lousy, and Detroit took a 12-point lead.
  • The Mavericks played, at best, averagely for them and took control of the game.
  • The Mavericks won, 88-84.

Really, this game wasn’t really about the Pistons. They’re not good enough to influence Dallas. The only suspense came from how the Mavericks would decide to play.

Tayshaun Prince powers, but falls short

Tayshaun Prince showed an assertiveness that has been lacking for much of this season.

He scored a season-high 19 points and made shots on three straight possessions late in the fourth quarter, including a nifty pump fake and drive past Tyson Chandler where he hit a layup while being fouled.

But as great as Prince played offensively down the stretch, his defense was lacking. He was a big reason Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry lit up the Pistons late.

One play stood out, when Prince left Terry to help inside. That wasn’t a bad decision, but standing near the block and merely watching Terry shoot an open jumper rather than scrambling to challenge it was.

Prince can’t keep settling. His late buckets helped Detroit, but that wasn’t enough. He needs to bring it on both ends of the court, or his job might be in jeopardy…

…Because Tracy McGrady showed more signs of being back

I haven’t seen Tracy McGrady look this explosive this season. Earlier, he showed lift when the defense gave him room, and that was encouraging. Tonight, he forced the action a bit.

I wrote above that the Pistons got back into the game because Dallas played poorly, and I stand by that.* But if there was a reason on Detroit’s side, it was McGrady.

*Why wouldn’t I? It was only a few paragraphs ago.

McGrady made a couple non-open jumpers by lifting above the Dallas defender and drove baseline for a dunk in traffic. Sprinkle in his four assists, four rebounds, a block and a steal in 20 minutes, and it’s clear he’s taken another step.

On the down side, he went 0-2 on free throws and 0-2 on 3-pointers and had three turnovers and three fouls. There’s obviously still room for him to grow, but he has one thing working for him.

It’s no secret John Kuester and Tayshaun Prince aren’t huge fans of each other. McGrady might give Kuester a chance to do something about it by benching Prince.

For the record, I don’t expect that to happen. But slightly more likely: motivated in part by Prince’s feud with Kuester and McGrady’s resurgence, Joe Dumars feels more inclined to trade Prince.

Dirk Nowitzki dominates

The Pistons had no answer for Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 42 points.

Early, he shot jumpers over the shorter Jason Maxiell and Ben Wallace. Then, Charlie Villanueva didn’t have the proper awareness to stick with him. Late, Tayshaun Prince wasn’t physical enough with him.

Nowitzki is a matchup for any team, especially one with the league’s 25th-best defense. But I just didn’t like the strategy of sticking Maxiell and Wallace on him for much of the game. They didn’t do anything wrong. They just were too short to disrupt Nowitzki’s high release.

Even if Villanueva would have been frequently lost, at least he had a shot to defend Nowitzki if things went right.

Maxiell motors

Jason Maxiell didn’t let his struggles defending Dirk Nowitzki impact the other areas of his game.

Most of the time Maxiell scores, it’s because he’s done a ton of work before the shot – either putting himself in position to receive a pass from his teammates or grab a rebound. That effort was on full display tonight.

Maxiell made 5-of-7 shots for 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Monroe blocked again

Greg Monroe had two shots blocked tonight. As ESPN’s David Thorpe explained, that should be no surprise:

He’s getting blocked by bigs in front of him because he’s not challenging them with any fakes or anything that will throw off their timing — and when he does fake, it’s in slow motion.

Since reading that, I’ve been watching his shots a little more closely. I disagree with the first part of Thorpe’s evaluation, but I think he’s right on with the second part.

Ironically, Monroe gets his shot blocked too much because he’s too worried about his shot being blocked. He has a tendency to bring the ball down and pump fake multiple times without evaluating, allowing his defender to size him up and gaining no advantage.

It’s a concern, but not a long-term worry. In time, Monroe will see defenses develop and not rush things.

On the bright side of Monroe playing recklessly, he grabbed eight rebounds in 19 minutes. Hopefully, that doesn’t go away when he begins to process things better on offense.

Quick notes

27 Comments

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  • Nov 23, 201011:53 pm
    by gozone

    Reply

    This loss stings guys and girls. They should have won this game, bottom line. Why was Bynum playing so much, he came in when they were up 10 and they were down or tied when he left. I hate to rip on the guy but man, the offense was brutal when he was running the show. Also we needed something out of CV, BG or Rip tonight and it would have been a win.

  • Nov 23, 201011:56 pm
    by gozone

    Reply

    I disagree with your comment
     
    “Really, this game wasn’t really about the Pistons. They’re not good enough to influence Dallas. The only suspense came from how the Mavericks would decide to play.”
     
     
    I think this was a winnable game dude. The Mavs are not a very good team. Yes, they have a superstar but most of their other players are completely washed up. The Pistons should have won the game and I think they have enough talent to beat teams like Dallas

  • Nov 24, 20104:26 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    @gozone. no it doesn’t, and no they shouldn’t. the game summary said it all, and i’ve been saying it all season: all a good team needs to do is keep the game relatively close and play fundamental basketball, and the pistons can’t do a thing about it. the key here is that dallas wasn’t even particularly good down the stretch when they casually erased that 12 point deficit.
     
    the game was “winnable,” sure. but that doesn’t mean we SHOULD have won. dallas is the worst “good” team ever, but “good” was more than enough. this game was a variation of the golden state loss (and we’re sure to see more variations throughout the season), but it looked to me like they got comfortable early and settled for a bunch of bad shots in a row. then that snowballed and they just couldn’t get it going. dirk stopped being aggressive because he was afraid of missing a shot, and they got all out of sync. it’s not like we did anything particularly right in that stretch; we just hit some shots. the important thing is that this team executed the formula for any good team to beat the pistons. i’ve laid it out for you, and we’ll see other teams execute it plenty. get used to it.
     
    i really think you’ve got to be a serious homer to think we should have won last night. the team that usually deserves to win is the one who gets it, and i don’t see why this game should be an exception. dallas was and is better. bigger, deeper, more talented, they have go-to scorers, the players have roles, they have a sensible rotation that includes men at every position. meanwhile we’re starting two shooting guards and two undersized non-scoring centers.
     
    seems weird to point the finger at bynum again, since i didn’t think he stood out as being a problem at all. not that i take your account seriously, since the guy was a +2 for the game. stuckey, on the other hand, was a -6 and scored the hollowest 19 points of his career, dropping just three dimes (a number exceeded by one piston and three mavs), and was generally a dud; we get the message, he’s not stepping up for this team ever. charlie took as many shots as will and scored 1/3 the points. gordon was a dud, too, but who could blame those two coming off the bench in this system? tayshaun, by all accounts, played a great game but led the team in negative efficiency with a -10. so go figure. but make no mistake, we earned this loss just like the rest. only this loss is on dumars alone for assembling a team that cannot seriously compete with any consensus playoff team. bynum is the absolute least of the team’s worries.
     
    sorry to break it to you like this, gozone, but our team is terrible. just terrible. irredeemable and outmatched almost every night. sandwiched between a blistering start and a competent finish, dallas put on one of the worst performances i’ve seen from any team (outside of the pistons) in a very very long time, and they recovered comfortably with plenty of time for a reasonably decisive W. make no mistake, the pistons certainly do not have the talent to beat teams “like dallas,” whatever that means…

  • Nov 24, 20106:40 am
    by Rob Wessels

    Reply

    Go Dallas, the coach of Dallas s the best in the world. Next year he’s gonna go to Miami I heard.

  • Nov 24, 20108:20 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @Laser

    you are nuts. Stuckey played a damn good game – getting to the line and making all 10 free throws – playing good defense and flying all over the place rotating on those last two Dallas posessions when your boy Tay didn’t come up with the crucial rebounds. And Stuck stepped up and hit that crucial shot in the lane. He played a good game.

    i would love to see Stuckey play on a team that pushes the ball. I just hope it is the Pistons because we are wasting a talented young player. Stuckey is impossible for people to stop in the open court. He is too fast and too strong. And he makes good decisions. And he is getting calls. If somebody on the first team would run with him, the Pistons would be dangerous.

    @Patrick

    not just the failure to rotate to Terry in the corner, but also how Prince failed to stop Terry from turning the corner on the high screen and basically got in Rip’s way, or how Prince didn’t box out or come up with a big rebound,

    Monroe had two crucial turnovers down in the low box with his back to the basket. He is not comfortable there and gets ripped easily. So the question becomes: why does Q keep putting him in that position? He should be at the high post – he can find a good lane to rebound from there.

    He was/is a rebounding machine. He has a motor on the glass. He is going to be a nice player.

    T-Mac looked great in the first hallf – very poor in the second half which is a pattern i have noticed. I don’t know if he stiffens up after halftime but his performance and body language in the second half of games has been consistently weaker.
     
    Max played well, but he was not the right matchup. I am really sick of Q

  • Nov 24, 20108:33 am
    by Steve

    Reply

    The Pistons were more active defensively than most games this season. If it’s a sign of things to come, they might actually win some road games. If they sulk, expect another losing streak.
    Saying the Pistons aren’t good enough to influence Dallas is selling the Pistons a bit short, considering their defense was solid at least in the 1st half.
    The Mavs missed a ton of shots in the 2nd which allowed the Pistons to take a lead. The problem was that the Pistons missed many open looks too. So, instead of a 15-20 point lead, they had to settle for a 4-6 point lead. It may not have made a difference down the stretch, but it certainly would’ve helped.

  • Nov 24, 20109:13 am
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    @Laser
    C’mon man, I want more specifics! From my vantage point, the Pistons did about as well as we can hope, they just didn’t seal the deal.  I agree with you that, especially on the road, the Pistons will need to play a near perfect game to win.  Well, they set themselves up nicely, but in the fourth someone would have to get “hot” on the offensive end and they would have to continue to be physical on the defensive end.  Nobody got hot, and they got into the penalty way too quick and that stifled their aggressiveness.  They are overmatched, but you can’t throw out the blanket response and expect to retain your clout.  What did they do so terribly wrong in this game?  I think they really set themselves up to have a chance and that is about the best we can expect.

  • Nov 24, 20109:39 am
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    @PCB
    I agree that McGrady has a second half letdown.  But that first half was impressive.  He not only had a swagger, but he really directed the defensive attention where he wanted it.  Good sign to see.  But I don’t agree with getting Stuckey in the open floor.  He is a tremendous finisher, but he doesn’t seem to be effective unless HE starts with a finishes with the ball, aka a one-man fast break.  To me it’s too predictable, and if teams are willing to take a little pain, he’ll rack up offensive fouls really quick.  Just my opinion.
    How about Villenueva’s effort despite the poor shooting night/foul trouble?  7 boards in 17 minutes!  Those are good numbers for Charlie.

  • Nov 24, 201010:59 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:

    Haha … is Will Bynum your son or something? He is the Austin Daye to your DetroitPCB. It’s impossible for you to say anything bad about him.

  • Nov 24, 201011:04 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @gozone:

    “The Mavs are not a very good team.”

    They aren’t playing well right now, but their top two– Dirk, Kidd — are better than anyone on the Pistons roster.

    And their role players — Terry, Butler, Chandler, Haywood — are better than nearly everyone on the Pistons.

    I think they’re significantly better than Detroit talent-wise, even if they have struggled a bit this season.

  • Nov 24, 201011:05 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:

    I think your comments are directed at Dan. He wrote last night’s post, not me.

  • Nov 24, 201011:07 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Steve:

    “The Pistons were more active defensively than most games this season.”

    I’m not sure I agree with this. Certain Pistons were active defensively, certain Pistons weren’t.

    I think Stuckey played reasonably well on defense, as did Ben Wallace (other than the fact that Dirk can shoot right over him).

    The Pistons did a terrible job of finding Jason Terry and Dirk. Greg Monroe inexplicably left Dirk at the three-point line on a break, running beneath the basket as if a big part of Dirk’s game is not stopping and pulling up for threes on the break.

    Dallas has open shots most of the night and just missed a lot of them.

  • Nov 24, 201011:08 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Rodman:

    Villanueva has been rebounding much better of late, another sign that perhaps he’s ready for an audition in the starting lineup.

  • Nov 24, 201011:53 am
    by gozone

    Reply

    laser, your whole post makes zero sense. bynum played terrible. stuckey was aggresive as hell last night. did you even watch the game? you must not understand what an aggresive player looks like on the court. wow. also, any team that had a 10 point lead in the 3rd quarter should have a decent chance at winning the game. to say that the pistons were going to lose no matter what makes zero sense. they were up ten points dude, hello????  also Max and Ben played Dirk very tough in 2nd andd third, obviuosly you didn’t watch the game cuz you would have seen this. where was Ben in the 4th? he was not in the wash game either just fyi and I think that is on kuester. Ben is still a shutdown defender and rebounder. He should have played more last night. Monroe is terrible by the way as laser suggested, his new nickname is alligator.

  • Nov 24, 201011:55 am
    by gozone

    Reply

    i totally agree with detroitpcd, stuckey played a great game, even though he missed a huge lay up. i really do not understand your post laser but that is why there are comment sections, peace all

  • Nov 24, 201011:58 am
    by gozone

    Reply

    also, I want to add that I am not suggestig that Monroe is going to be a bust and he does hit the glass hard. I am just not impressed with him at all. he doesn’t go up with authority and loses the ball way too much, he is very frustrating to watch play basketball.

  • Nov 24, 201012:54 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Like Greg Monroe, Ben Gordon had a couple of huge turnovers in that 4th quarter. There are times when he just doesn’t seem to care about protecting the ball. He was playing great at the start of the year but has cooled off since Q put him back on the bench.

    personally, i would never go small with that Max, Prince, Rip, lineup that Q is using to close games. You have to have either Wallace or Monroe in the game to get rebounds. Last nights game was easy to go offense/defense substitution on timeouts. I really do not know what Q is thinking.

    @rodmanforlife

    yes, T-Mac looked great in that first half. He has done that in a couple of other games too. I think he is continuing to improve and gain confidence in his knee. But so far, he has not given the Pistons the same energy in the second half of games. Not sure why. It may be a physical thing – just getting tight on the bench by the time the late 3rd quarter rolls around.

  • Nov 24, 20101:02 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @pcb: nope, stuckey was a dud. make no mistake. he was INVISIBLE during that stretch where the pistons went scoreless through the first seven (7) possessions, and the big problem is that he has ONE move. if i have to spell it out for you, you can’t be paying attention. but since you’re praising stuckey for yet another ineffective near 20-point showing, there’s a good chance you aren’t paying attention, so i’ll explain it. it’s the one where he bulls his way to the basket along the right side and tries to pay the ball up. it’s his go-to move. it’s his only “move.” everything else is secondary at best in his game.
     
    the problem with stuckey, the reason i really hate the guy and would love to see him in any other city, is that he MUST be held to a higher standard than anyone else on the team. he’s supposed to be the offensive leader, he never stops jabbering season after season about how he’s going to step up and take that next step, but it never happens. in the opening possessions, he’s constantly deferring; crossing the time line, passing the ball to someone else and disappearing. in crunch time, the ball’s usually in tayshaun’s hands. stuckey cannot make plays, and that’s what we need from our point guard. he’s a dud. he can’t be treated like just another shooting guard. this team needs a willing and skilled passer/playmaker running the point. we have more than enough guards who can score. where is stuckey at the end of all these close games? invisible.
     
    the sad thing is that he should be a very good, very exciting player, but we don’t need him to score 20 points on this team. we’re loaded with shooters and scorers. we need him to dish assists. three assists in a loss just doesn’t cut it, no matter how much he made it to the line. we’re not short on scoring options, we’re short on leadership and playmaking. and that should be stuckey’s responsibility. i wish they could move him off the ball and make scoring his primary role. if that happened, he’d be fun to watch, i’d root for him, he might average 20+ ppg, and his go-to move would be a GOOD thing. but when that’s the one thing your point guard does well, you’re going to lose a TON of games.

  • Nov 24, 20101:09 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    It was a close game, definitely a winnable game.  The margin of error was very small and a few things stood out.  First, the Mavs took care of the ball and we did not.  Second, we missed enough free throws such that free throws alone could be the difference.  Speaking of which, why is that these Pistons are such a bad FT shooting team?  I mean, usually Guards are the best free throw shooters, than wings, forwards, and bigs.  Because we are filled with wings, we should be above average.  Right?  Third and lastly, we never got a player with the hot hand going.  In all of our wins, we could identify a player with the hot hand – Rip, Gordon, Villanueva, Prince, etc.  Who was on last night? 

  • Nov 24, 20101:14 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @steve: you’ve brought up another misconception. the pistons’ defense seems to get praised any time the other team is missing shots, but sometimes teams just take bad shots. they’re not forced into anything, but they have a healthy lead and don’t want to work that hard for buckets. happens all the time. the team got praised for their “strong” defense against golden state during that comeback effort, but the warriors were just taking quick, bad, undisciplined shots since the game was already won in the second quarter. similar thing with dallas. they went through a prolonged offensive drought, but it’s not like the defense was suffocating. the pistons had one of their better offensive games, but that’s not saying much. dallas got the shot they wanted for the most part, but they just couldn’t get it going. and we all saw what happened when they “turned it on.” for some godforsaken reason we went small at the very end and dirk punished tayshaun (and kuester and you and me) for it. it resulted in a good mismatch where tayshaun put the moves on chandler but good, but i’ll take the dirk advantage over tayshaun any day.
     
    hey anyone remember that game two years ago where we had amir on dirk and sheed on dampier? and they went to dirk over and over and over in the first half and amir couldn’t bother his shot once? meanwhile sheed’s babysitting dampier, as if we’re worried about getting beaten by dampier. so i’m thinking curry’s smart enough to make the adjustment, put sheed on dirk and force dampier to beat us. then, sure enough, the second half starts with amir on dirk and dirk bashed amir’s brains in. what a game that was!

  • Nov 24, 20101:53 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @alan: it’s tayshaun. tay was the hot hand BY A MILE. but that’s not saying much, since everyone else stunk up the place.
     
    @everyone: this was a good example of why charlie should start. by the time he took the floor things were already looking pretty grim. dallas had asserted themselves and we couldn’t buy a bucket. dirk would have gotten his, but at least charlie could have taken it to him a little. as soft as charlie is, dirk is softer. max and austin are both recipes for disaster paired alongside ben. max can’t spread the floor, so there are no lanes whatsoever, and austin just isn’t stout enough.
     
    @rodman: what do you mean by “more specific?” the pistons did all that could be expected of them, but they fell well short. the team just can’t beat a consensus playoff team unless catastrophe strikes. good teams just have to play reasonable basketball, and we may as well not show up. i didn’t know i had “clout” here, but i’ll always argue my points. in this case, like i said in my initial post, this game was lost by joe dumars. the pistons didn’t stand a chance. i think i counted 11 teams in the league that the pistons don’t stand a chance against, barring an act of God, and dallas is one of them. what they did wrong was have too many shooting guards and small forwards and not enough of anything else to compete against good teams. it would be very hard to pinpoint a way for our team to have pulled out the W, because i think we’re just plain not good enough. if i was kuester, i would have started gordon and villa (it’s time to pair rip with bynum and stuckey with gordon), i would have put ben on dirk right off the bat and forced chandler to beat us, i would have played daye at some point. i dunno. the team still probably loses, but maybe they give themselves more of a chance. but, heck, i guess it’s still 0% chance.
     
    @hayes: i have a soft spot for bynum, sure. but i freely admitted he laid an egg against golden state. it’s not a PCB-daye love affair thing, but i like the guy. he generally makes good decisions, he’s a good passer. i cut him some slack for coming off injury lately and being so marginalized in this system (#6 on our perimeter depth chart), but i also said i wouldn’t mind cutting him out of the rotation right now. at this point i’d rather see bynum sit than daye. bynum’s not going to get his due in this system, so why put him out there for a handful of possessions each half, sharing ballhandling responsibilities with everyone else? but the conversation you’re referencing has less to do with me liking bynum than with him getting unnecessarily bashed. he has such a small role and so little is asked of him, i don’t see him having much to work with. that’s all. it seems very weird to me that people would point the finger at your team’s ninth or tenth man as the reason you’re losing games. i’d stand up for anyone in a similar situation. but for the record, my favorite pistons are tayshaun, bynum and, yes, jonas.
     
    and, hayes, i’d probably say dallas, like most teams, probably has three players who are better than anyone we have (terry being the other). tayshaun has to be the worst “best player” on any team. but dallas is the worst good team in the league, and has been since i started watching basketball. even when they were winning 70 games and going to the finals and dirk was winning MVP. there’s just something about dirk i don’t like. it’s so bizarre to me that the shots he WANTS to take are the turnaround fade-away jumpers. he’s soft as lace, almost never goes towards the basket, doesn’t make it to the line. i just don’t respect his style of play very much. as good as he is offensively, i watch him play and feel like he’s the softest player in the league.
     
    @gozone: yes, he was aggressive. he bulled his way to the basket and drew fouls. but he doesn’t make any of his teammates better. and that’s what i expect from a point guard. i don’t think jason kidd played a particularly good game, but he dished 10 assists (ONE shy of the entire pistons team) and got the W. i don’t know how you can say that a pistons team that got 11 assists and 15 turns “deserved” to beat a better team. unless of course you’re just being a homer. which is fine, but you’re just probably a homer. you want them to win, and that’s fine. but i’m a big picture guy. wins right now are meaningless. the team needs major changes before i can start worrying about wins and losses. this team, as constructed, is going nowhere. you have my word. ask around about my predictions for the season; you’d think i was some kind of prophet. but i’m not, i just know the game and i know this team. zero percent chance of success.
     
    it’s like this, and i hope this doesn’t sound condescending. but basketball is a funny game. it’s not like baseball or football where for the most part, as long as the game is in the balance AT ALL, teams are going to absolutely pile on the punishment. good baseball offense will absolutely pound bad pitching, good pitching will carve up inferior hitters, etc. in basketball, there’s just a different flow. teams turn it on and off. the pistons are going to be up by 10 in the third quarter in games they have no chance of winning MANY more times to come. it’s relatively meaningless, because ten points can be erased with ease in two minutes. the bottom line is that the pistons can’t compete against good teams. doesn’t matter what the score is at any given moment, even midway through the fourth, as long as a good team can keep it relatively close and buckle down in time. and that’s exactly what dallas did. i mean, look what happened to our late 12 point lead in that game, and dallas isn’t even very good. the pistons just suck in a special way right now.
     
    @everyone again: if you’re happy with stuckey right now, you’re part of the problem. he is a dud. put him alongside a point guard and i’d probably adore the guy, but he’s shown consistently over his career (and we’re in season FOUR right now. FOUR!) that he can’t run an offense. so he was aggressive. big deal. aggressively trying to score. that’s what a shooting guard or small forward are supposed to do. this loss is on him as much as any other player. three assists in a loss JUST DON’T CUT IT. you guys need to raise your standards.

  • Nov 24, 20102:06 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @laser:

    “i’d probably say dallas, like most teams, probably has three players who are better than anyone we have (terry being the other). tayshaun has to be the worst “best player” on any team.”

    Prince isn’t the best player on the team. He doesn’t get to the line, he’s shooting a really low FG percentage and he doesn’t make threes. At this point, I think Gordon, Villanueva, Wallace and Stuckey are all better than Prince. Stats show it too.

    Win shares: Prince seventh on the team

    True Shooting Percentage: Prince eighth on the team

    Rebound rate: Prince eighth on the team

    Offensive rating: Prince eighth on the team

    Defensive rating: Prince 11th on the team

    PER: Prince ninth on the team

    I know you’re not a huge fan of advanced stats, but seriously, every single one shows that Prince has been one of the least productive rotation players on the team this season. That’s not an anomaly. He’s really overrated. The only people who don’t seem to get that are the Pistons, who run plays through him as if he’s their best player. In reality, he’s not. They are a worse team because he has such significant playing time.

  • [...] One Pistons expert believes Tracy McGrady had his best performance of the season in Tuesday’s close loss at Dallas. Also: Greg Monroe is getting rejected a [...]

  • Nov 24, 20104:01 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    @Laser,
    Tayshaun Prince made some nice plays down the stretch.  What I saw last night was more of Tay taking advantage of a mismatch on the perimeter with Tyson Chandler more so, than say, he had the hot hand.  Just my opinion.  Also, as well as he played. Tay missed the FT on the 3-point play (was 1-3 on the game and has been awful all season from the charity stripe) that would have changed the shape of the game down the stretch. 

    Like you, I also don’t care for advanced metrics.  There’s so much in Tay’s game that doesn’t show up in stats.  That said, I think Patrick has a point in saying that Wallace, Stuckey, Villanueva, and Gordon have been [as good or] better for the Pistons as Prince. 

  • Nov 25, 20102:16 am
    by gozone

    Reply

    laser
     
    I am not an idiot, the pistons suck this year. I know that, saying that, they should have played better down the stretch against Dallas. Bynum should not have touched the floor. He’s terrible, he overdribbles and creates a cluster muck.

  • Nov 25, 20105:20 am
    by Laser

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    @hayes/alan: yes, i could not possibly care for stats that distort what i’m watching every game. and i’m not relying on who’s been more productive so far this season. remember, this is last year’s team and i’ve got one hell of a memory. i’m familiar with these players and what they’re capable of. i can’t ignore the intangibles that advanced stats can’t calculate, and i can’t ignore what each player’s role is supposed to be, which is FAR outide the realm of any advanced stats.
     
    but overall, i just think he’s our best player. sure as hell isn’t stuckey. not as long as what’s asked (i can’t really say “expected” anymore, can i?) of him is to run the offense, direct traffic, get his teammates involved, make other guys better, create easy shots. he stinks worse than anyone at all that. he’s great at bulling his way to the basket along the right side and attempting wild shots. if that was the only standard by which to judge a basketball player (and if, by some chance, joe dumars is reading this: it isn’t), he might be the greatest of all time.
     
    villanueva’s off to a relatively hot start, but you’d have to be a raving lunatic to think he’s a “better basketball player” than tayshaun. gordon and wallace are certainly worth discussing, but neither plays both ways. they’re basically one-dimensional, and i can’t say either is nearly dominant enough in that area to be the best player on the team. one ben’s the best defender, the other the best shooter, but tayshaun does a little of everything and does them well. he’s been brutal at the stripe, but so has the team collectively, though not as bad as him. but through 14 games (they haven’t yet added last night’s stats on nba.com), he led the team in minutes played, was third in fg% with a solid .471 (.571 behind the arc), and fourth in scoring behind three guys who really only score. he’s generally made good decisions, the ball has often (usually?) been in his hands down the stretch, he’s often guarding the best player on the opposition. plus he’s the picture of consistency, and i’m judging everyone on a track record and total body of work. it would be tough to judge anyone’s individual merit on this season alone, considering how much worse stuckey makes the team by being awful.
     
    stuckey may “produce wins,” but the ball is in his hands most of the time and all he does is score. so he’s been scoring well. big f***ing deal. we have more than enough scoring options on this team, and a point guard/floor leader/”whatever you want to call it that stuckey isn’t” is supposed to run the offense. only stuckey doesn’t make good decisions, doesn’t get his teammates involved, doesn’t make anyone better ever. he is a dud. if he were playing shooting guard, as God intended, he would be a valuable player. as a point guard, he is a liability and a shining example of why advanced stats are meaningless to me. he’s been invisible at the end of close games, and he’s the most predictable player in the league. he squanders his physical gifts and the golden opportunity he was handed for no particular reason. he’s just a dud. i don’t need advanced stats to show me how much of a drag he is on this team by doing one thing and one thing only. and if you can’t guess what that one thing is, i’ll give you a hint: it sure as hell isn’t passing. he does lead the league in one thing. no other starting PG has a greater percentage of his shots blocked. gee, i wonder how these opposing defenses are able to somehow predict what he’s going to do with such regularity. perhaps advanced stats could tell us.

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