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Detroit Pistons take one-on-one basketball to a whole new level in loss to Grizzlies

It has been no secret that the Pistons are an isolation heavy team on offense. Mostly out of necessity this season, the team has had to put the ball in someone’s hands, clear out and hope that guy can create a shot for himself. It’s not that the scorers on the team are particularly good in isos — they aren’t really. It’s just that the Pistons have no one who creates shots for others on a consistent basis, so minus that element, they try to turn guys who aren’t playmakers into playmakers. Sometimes it works OK, a lot of times it ends up being really ugly basketball.

Well, in Wednesday’s 105-84 loss to Memphis, calling how Detroit’s offense played ‘ugly’ is an insult to the term ‘ugly.’

Rodney Stuckey scored 13 points in the first quarter, then didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, with his shot selection getting progressively more atrocious as the game went on.

Charlie Villanueva scored 11 points in the second quarter and basically could’ve called it a night, since he didn’t score the rest of the way, including a 3-point attempt from one wing that sailed about two feet past the rim.

Rip Hamilton scored 12 points in the third quarter and then really did call it a night, getting ejected for the second time this season.

By the fourth quarter, the score was so lopsided that Austin Daye actually got to play, seeing the court for the first time in a game he didn’t start.

If the Pistons’ loss last night to Dallas was demoralizing, this loss to Memphis is infuriating. Dallas struggled most of the game last night, turned it on late, and edged the Pistons, who gamely tried to stay in it but came up short.

Detroit led at the half tonight thanks to Rudy Gay being comfortable launching jumpers and Memphis inexplicably refusing to dump the ball into Marc Gasol more than a handful of times. The game was close basically because Mike Conley continuously got inside and Zach Randolph punished Detroit in the paint. Then in the second half, there was nothing ‘game’ about the Pistons effort. Gay and O.J. Mayo started attacking the basket a little, Randolph continued being Randolph and the extremely efficient Gasol got some touches.

Memphis pushed the lead to double digits in the third, then aided by the Pistons game of “Who can take the most terrible shot?” in the fourth quarter, several possessions had two or fewer passes, lots of dribbling and lots of terrible contested shots going up.

Austin Daye not getting in was ridiculous

By the time Daye got on the court, Detroit was completely out of this game. I don’t know if Daye playing earlier would’ve changed anything, but it might’ve helped.

First of all, the Pistons were on the second night of a back-to-back, coming off of a tough game last night in Dallas. Daye didn’t play in that game, so he was fresh. The Pistons starting frontcourt wasn’t good. Jason Maxiell shot 1-for-6 and Tayshaun Prince was 2-for-7. In the second half, driving lanes that were open for Stuckey closed off because Memphis just packed everyone in the lane. Daye’s greatest strength right now is that he stretches the floor. Perhaps putting him in the game in the third quarter would’ve either resulted in some open threes for Daye or some more room for Stuckey, since one of the Memphis bigs would’ve had to come out and guard him.

Hamilton deserved to be ejected

Hamilton knows the technical foul rule. Hell, everyone in the league has pretty much adjusted to quick technicals by now. And Hamilton can’t make the case that he wasn’t given leeway tonight. Minutes before picking up his second, Hamilton thought he was fouled when he absorbed a bump at the other end. Memphis went down and scored, then Hamilton spent the entire trip back up the court demonstratively complaining to an official, who let it go. Then, on the next Memphis possession during a deadball, Hamilton was replaced in the lineup and walked to the bench, still chirping, which is when he finally got tossed.

The league is not softening its stance on this rule for Dwight Howard, so they certainly won’t for Hamilton. He’s going to keep getting tossed and keep hurting the team if he doesn’t get it under control.

Monroe gets aggressive on offense

Greg Monroe’s final stat-line — 6 points, 8 boards, 2 assists, a block and a steal — are pretty solid considering how badly he’s struggled. He still only shot 2-for-6, and a couple of those attempts were feeble ones around the rim that have got him in trouble this season, but he didn’t have a shot blocked in the game, which is progress. He also had a couple nice plays on offense that were unexpected. The first one came when he stole the ball in the Memphis end, then looked really comfortable dribbling three quarters of the court and finishing inside.

His other basket was a nice face-up jumper from about 10-feet. Gasol gave him space and Monroe confidently knocked it down. Monroe also was 2-for-2 at the free throw line, a good sign considering how badly he’s shot free throws this season.

Other notes

  • Tracy McGrady passed the ball really well, finishing with four assists and no turnovers. He continues to be the only Piston who consistently looks to move the ball.
  • Will Bynum showed signs of breaking out of his slump. He had too many turnovers (three), but he shot the ball well and, in the second quarter, he did what Bynum does best: he sped the game up a bit for a few possessions and he brought some energy into a stagnant game.
  • Have a nice Thanksgiving everyone. We’ll get back at it on Friday.

22 Comments

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  • Nov 24, 201011:38 pm
    by Carter

    Reply

    What the hell is this for Detroit? 9 Players who played 20+ minutes? What is this the rec league?

  • Nov 25, 20101:53 am
    by frankiie d

    Reply

    the team needs a real point guard.
    someone who knows how to facilitate shots for others and who is not concerned with getting his own shot.
    stuckey, despite his talents, is not that person.
    what is happening is not stuckey’s fault.
    he is a talented player who is simply being asked to do something that he is not well-suited to do.
     

  • Nov 25, 20102:14 am
    by gozone

    Reply

    ONE WORD
     
    PATHETIC
     
    RIP = disgruntled employee

  • Nov 25, 20103:46 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    @frankie d: i place stuckey third on the blame chart. joe d gets top honors, then kuester. normally i’d shrug off his play since we know who he is by now and it’s not a point guard, but he hasn’t done himself any favors by coming out all the time and insisting he’s going to step up and lead. i don’t know what else he was supposed to say (“sorry, guys. i just can’t cut it.”), but he put himself out there and needs to face criticism for it.
     
    on the game: i’ll keep it brief for now since i only watched the first quarter, but hot damn. stuckey comes out GUNS-A-BLAZIN’ and positively dominates the ball. he does the only thing he ever does, and i’ll be damned if i’ve ever seen him do it so much in so short a stretch. keith langlois said this about that first quarter: “It was all Stuckey as the Pistons took a quick 7-0 lead. But other than Stuckey, the first unit struggled to score and Memphis led 24-21 after a quarter…” as if to say stuckey was the only one who could get a bucket. i’m sorry, but once again we have a situation where langlois is somehow scratching his head about the team’s inability to score when the point guard won’t stop shooting. 13 infuriating points in the first quarter, where he REFUSED to get anyone else involved. then no more scoring until the game was over (which wouldn’t be a problem if he was actually facilitating, but i don’t need to watch the game to know that didn’t happen), and he had one (1) assist for the game. one. is there anyone out there who’s still defending this guy?
     
    he also scratched his head about another third quarter collapse after the pistons “appeared to have a decent shot” at halftime. uh, did they? last i checked, memphis is a good team and THE PISTONS STINK. they could have been up twenty (20), and i’d say they had an “outside chance” of pulling out a victory. better point play, better team defense, better inside presence BY A MILE. the pistons don’t belong on the same court as memphis.

    as for the game, i can’t imagine it was infuriating. stuckey’s play, maybe, but not the result. i guess i just can’t relate to anyone who thinks the pistons are a decent team built to compete. they’re utter rubbish, and this has to change. this type of blowout loss was precisely what this team needs, and i thank the grizz for it; basketball tends towards close games, because the season’s too long and grueling to give maximum effort at all times. this often creates the illusion that a team is more competitive than it really is, when the other team’s just taking it easy. the worst thing that could happen to this team is for them to always be close, because people who are deeply entrenched in the organization will buy into the illusion that the team is FAR better than it is. because they just don’t want to face the alternative.

    i’ll watch the final three quarters tomorrow and maybe bave something to add. but i’m sure i won’t see anything new or surprising. a game that looks competitive, the grizz keep it close and come out of halftime actually trying, we collapse like a house of cards.

    but seriously, how has kuester not tinkered more here? maybe it’s too much to expect one of bynum or gordon to become a starter, but how about a spot start for monroe or charlie v at PF? is that too much to expect? i was over the moon when t-mac and gordon started that one game, but we’ve been stubbornly sticking to these horrendous starting fives. is it because these close (yet nigh unwinnable) games have tricked kuester/dumars into thinking the team can be competitive?? it would be a real shame if i understood the game of basketball (one i’ve only been watching for seven years and playing for less than two) better than them, but god i just gotta wonder… i don’t think it’s my pure, unadulterated pessimism that lets me see what’s happening here. it seems rather obvious, and i’ve been shouting it from the rooftops in different variations since last season.

    one last bit: the pistons publicly talk all about how bad they are up front, and it’s certainly as bad as they say, but point play is every bit as big a problem with this team. if they can’t add the big man we so desperately need, they could at least address the DESPERATE need for a playmaker other than the physically limited tracy mcgrady and the severely marginalized will bynum. and their third major MAJOR problem is this glut of wing men. daye sitting may be as bad an option as him starting at PF. is it even WORTH a look at him playing some backup PF?? for crying out loud!

    oops sorry one LAST last thing: on the plus side, our bench TORCHED theirs. positively torched ‘em, guys!! 45-41, advantage PISTONS! that’s like a 10% edge. if you extrapolate those numbers to a standard 100 point game, that’s practically a DOUBLE DIGIT win. i’d hate to be the memphis bench after getting humiliated like that. matter of fact, if i’m not mistaken i think our bench is undefeated! how sweet is that?? i’d much rather have the top scoring bench in the league (which we somehow still don’t) than a starting lineup that makes any sense at all. i wonder if league rules would allow us to move all our players to the bench, start no one, and call a timeout after the other team scored that first layup to insert our first wave of bench players to wreak havoc on the other guys. not only would we have a MASSIVE head-start, since we’re inserting five bench players in within seconds of tip-off (if that’s what you’d even call it. would there still be a tip-off if there was only one team on the floor?), plus ALL our points would be bench points!! just imagine it. opposing benches would be shaking in their boots. we’d break all bench records for sure!

  • [...] Detroit Pistons take one-on-one basketball to a whole new level in … [...]

  • Nov 25, 20109:06 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @laser

    let me see – the point guard is the only player who pushes the ball down the floor (in the first quarter) and you are complaining that he shoots it? get a grip and look at that first unit. Big Ben who teams do not even play; Max who is not going to score on Gasol unless it is on a offensive rebound; Rip who is very streaky these days; and Tay who is  black hole when he gets the ball. And you complain about Stuckey. Who is he supposed to pass to?

    If you put CV & Day & Ben Gordon in the starting lineup you stretch the floor, open driving lanes, and if the Pistons move the ball – get wide open threes.

    That sure would look better than this ugly offense that Q is running.

    and quit whinning about Joe D. If you added Zach Randolph to this roster and subtracted Prince & Max the Pistons would be the 4th best team in the East.

    Greg Monroe ontinues to impress me with his board work. This guy can rebound. nd his defense is improving every time out. Right now on offense he needs to be put in a position were he is facing the basket. And when he gets a rebound down low he should do what Rodman always did: pull it back outside. But in a year or two, when Monroe gets stronger and learns the angles he needs to use – he will finish ok. Don’t think he will ever be a Zah Randolf – his shot release is too slow but this kid is capable of giving you 13 points and 10 boards every night

  • Nov 25, 20109:16 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    the Darko watch – 22 points, 8 rebounds 4 assists 5 blocks – against Tim Duncan and the Spurs.

    Trade Rip to Boston. Ainge has coveted him for years. And West just broke his wrist and is out for the year. Rip for Big Baby.

  • Nov 25, 20109:27 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @Patrick

    not every player has the confidence and will to win of a MJ or Kobe. Some players need the support of their coaches and teammates to give them confidence.

    In Germany, one of my teammates was a tough physical player who did not back down from anybody on defense. He also worked the glass. And he might have been our most talented offensive post player as well. But if he missed a shot he would hang his head and not take another one. He did not have the same psyche on offense that he had on D – he felt he was letting his teammates down when he missed and needed lots of reassurance to keep shooting.

    Darko always was one of those players. He finally has a situation where the coach is going to leave him on the floor and encourage him. That is what the word means – to give courage. Some players need that. That is a big part of coaching – recognizing which players need criticism and the bench to improve their play and which players need encouragement and time on the floor to gain confidence.

  • Nov 25, 201010:31 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @frankie d:

    Sorry, I don’t buy that. Maybe Stuckey isn’t a natural point guard. But that’s not an excuse for him to have horrible shot selection. On three straight possessions in the fourth quarter, no one but Stuckey touched the ball. He dribbled for about 10-15 seconds and then launched either contested jumpers or tried to force his way to the basket. Poor possessions like that are absolutely his fault.

    I’m not expecting him to be Jason Kidd. But there’s no reason he can’t make smarter decisions with the ball, even if he’s playing out of position.

  • Nov 25, 201010:36 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:

    “13 infuriating points in the first quarter”

    And there we have the other extreme with Stuckey.

    He was 4-for-8 in the first quarter, aggressive and took good shots with the exception of one he had to force with the shot clock running down.

    He had a good matchup. Conley is smaller and weaker than him. It was good that he went after him. The problem was as the game progressed, Memphis made adjustments to keep him out of the paint, yet he still kept going in and shooting shots that became contested rather than making adjustments.

    Also, I enjoyed this line in your comment:

    “i’ll keep it brief for now”

    And then you proceeded to write something longer than the initial post. Well done sir.

  • Nov 25, 201010:39 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:

    “Greg Monroe ontinues to impress me with his board work. This guy can rebound.”

    I actually think his lack of athleticism has helped him as a rebounder in the NBA where it hurt him in college. In the Big East last year, he wasn’t considered a great rebounder because there weren’t many natural bigs in the conference. Monroe went against a lot of smaller, quicker guys playing in the post, and I think it was harder for him to consistently get a body on people.

    The physicality of the pro game suits him better since he’s mostly a below-the-rim player. He just needs to get stronger now, but his rebounding has been really impressive and an added bonus that I don’t think teams considering drafting him thought they would get.

  • Nov 25, 201010:44 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB again:

    It’s pointless to talk about Darko. If he finally finds the discipline and commitment to realize his potential, good on him. But it’s like eight years since Detroit drafted him. They couldn’t really sit around and wait for him to figure it out.

    Minnesota is a good situation for him. Since they gave away Al-Jeff, they had no option but to play Darko. And he has good big man mentors in Laimbeer and Kurt Rambis. But I don’t fault Detroit for cutting ties. Also, Darko was in three other organization (Orlando, Memphis, NY) and couldn’t figure it out. He was given consistent playing time in Orlando and didn’t produce enough to justify staying on the court. Memphis signed him based on his potential and did everything they could to try and play him big minutes his first year there.

    I don’t buy that he “just needed encouragement.” Maybe that was part of it, but his biggest needs were maturity and a work ethic. He didn’t have either of those things in Detroit. I’m glad he found it. It will be a great story if he ultimately takes his name out of the “greatest draft bust in history” conversation. But Detroit had to cut ties. He had plenty of chances to prove he was ready to play, and he didn’t do it.

  • Nov 25, 201011:55 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Hey I didn’t even watch the game, but reading Hayes’ recap I can see it all unfold before my eyes. The Pistons, like usual, get smoked in the 2nd half, ya know, when other teams actually care.
     
    How about giving Wilcox some minutes? I don’t know how though this team is too messed up. Max, CV, Wallace, and Monroe for the front court. Wilcox and Daye can’t get minutes. What if Jerebko was healthy? Jeez.
     
    I’m so sick of this team. If there is anything I’ve learned over the last 2 season of watching the Pistons it is that a team needs roles. A team needs player tiers. You can’t have a team full of equally talented guys. You need a tier of good players and a tier of role players. That helps define the roles. The Pistons are a disaster. I’m asking for Chris freaking Wilcox to get minutes! And I can’t even find him any because Jason freaking Maxiell already has them. Really? Blow this thing up.

  • Nov 25, 201012:14 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Oh wait somebody mentioned Darko, my favorite subject. I love me some Darko. Lets trade for him back right now. Prince for Darko. Prince and Stuckey for Darko, thats even better, Darko can play PG. He can do it all. He’s like the new Chris Webber and whatnot.
     
    No though Darko was 17 when we drafted him. 17! Looking back I feel bad for actually expecting him to perform when he got in a game. It was going to take him a few years no matter what. People were calling him a bust by the time he was 19. Thats insane. He’s only a year older than Stuckey right now. And he was never given a good chance to develop or succeed until he got to Minnesota. He started off this year terribly as well, but it takes time. It looks like he’s finally, just now, getting comfortable on the court. Maybe if he got playing time earlier or was nurtured a little better he would have developed earlier, but 25 is still fairly young. If he keeps it up he still has plenty of years left.

  • Nov 25, 201012:18 pm
    by Odeh

    Reply

    I now hate John Kuester more than I hat Rich Rod.  I am not even going to call him a Coach because he does not deserve that title.  12 guys play. No one plays over 27 minutes.  Stuckey kills it in the first quarter but he is benched while he’s hot instead of riding him out.  This iso heavy offense is the absolute worst offense to run with this talent.  Nuetes hit it on the head.  You need defined roles for any team and Kuester does the exact opposite by playing different combinations and inconsistent lineups.  I GUARANTEE he is not back next year.  Bring  in Marc Jackson!

  • Nov 25, 20101:06 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    This article is extremely well written, and sums up the Pistons night perfectly.
    Of course defense, rebounding and interior points are crucial, and are holding us back each and every game. But, creating plays on offense is just as important for this squad.
    We are NOT and should NOT be an ISO team. We have no one who can truly play ISO ball, aside from Ben Gordon – which when he’s matched up against a bigger SG, he’s going to have a tough time.
    We need to create offense, and with the lineups we’ve been putting together, we simply aren’t utilizing the strengths of our players. Stuckey has played better this year, but he cannot be our leading scorer every night, unless he has 10 assists to go along with it. For a starting PG in this league to finish a game with 1 assist, is just unbelievable. It should NEVER happen.
    This team needs some help, and needs it fast. I can’t put all the blame on Stuck, because Kuester clearly needs to create some offensive plays. Can’t believe this guy was supposedly “Known for his offensive schemes”.. Maybe for Cleveland, when your offense consists of giving the ball to Lebron, and letting him ISO. No wonder we’ve become an ISO team, unfortunately we have no Lebron on our team!!!!
    If we can pull off a trade, and get a legitimate PF for Stuckey to feed down low, for Kuester to design plays for, we can make progress.. But with this team as is, we are heading for lottery…

  • Nov 25, 20102:46 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @pcb: 1) yes he pushed the ball, and had an unusual number of opportunities to try to score in transition, but it would be nice to see him actually run the offense. all he does is score and i’m f***ing sick of it. you say, “who’s he supposed to pass it to with this starting lineup?” but do you realize what you’re saying here? that he’s the only guy who can put the ball in the basket; rip’s “streaky” because he’s constantly forced to create his own shot, and it’s not my fault someone thinks max and ben are a good starting front court. i’d start gordon and villa, too. but you can’t criticize our starters’ offense without taking into account our shoot-first, shoot-second, pass-never point guard. 2) i most certainly will not let joe off the hook. until he turns tay and max into randolph (or something similar, and only a serious homer would convince himself that makes us a 4 seed), we’ve got one of the worst teams i’ve ever seen. 3) rip for big baby doesn’t come CLOSE to working under the cap, smart guy. don’t fancy yourself such an expert and waste your breath on garbage ideas like that.
     
    @hayes: i actually noticed the “keep it brief” bit and considered excising it. but i was referring to my postgame analysis, which was only three paragraphs. that’s restraint for me! as for darko, he was a larry brown rookie/sophomore. i was new to basketball at that time, so i didn’t pay attention to “little” things like player development, but he never stood a chance here playing behind all-stars for a coach who paid less attention to player development than i did.
     
    @nuetes: sorry, wilcox is out of the rotation at the moment. kuester has spoken, and i’m sure he knows what’s best. “stay the course!” and, yes, darko would be a massive upgrade right now.
     
    @odeh: john kuester is the worst person on the planet after joe dumars, and i’d defend hitler and child molesters before i’d defend him. his rotation, rotationS, and minutes distribution have all been deplorable, and even though he could never turn this team into a winner, he may have absolutely minimized the talent he has to work with. but it’s tough to pick apart the distribution of minutes in this kind of blowout. criticize his distribution of minutes in all the close games we played.
     
    @jason: yeah i’ve made some references to kuester’s reputation as an offensive guru. what a joke. i have never seen a worse NBA offense in my life. and i don’t care if we had tim f***ing duncan on the floor, i don’t see stuckey “feeding” anyone. make him a shooting guard, instant offense off the bench, or trade him.
     
    also, happy thanksgiving, all.

  • Nov 26, 20108:01 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @laser

    Stuckey can pass the ball. I have seen him make some very nice dump off passes in the lane and some good kick outs. The problem is that he is a one man break. Nobody on that starting five pushes tempo with him.
    It would be a mistake to trade Styckey. He needs to play uptempo. Isn’t it the coach’s job to evaluate talent and put players in a position to maximize their skills? Q is the worst coach in the league.
    We need to dump the vets and give the young guys the team. The starting lineup should be Stuck, Gordon, Daye, CV, and Ben. If Joe can convert Tay, Rip, Max, Wilcox into a frontline player who can either score in the paint and rebound or intimidte, block shots, and rebound – we will be fine. Monroe is going to be a good NBA player. JJ, if he comes back from injury the same as before, is going to be a good NBA player. The cupboard is not bare like you claim.  

  • Nov 26, 20102:05 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    uh, “some” very nice dump off passes in the lane and some good kick outs? sure. like FIVE of each in his career, and he’s in his fourth year. and i wish this was an outrageous exaggeration, but it isn’t. he had ONE (1) game this season where he dumped it off and kicked it out multiple times in the same game, and i was actually a bit optimistic that he’d decided to change his ways. but that was 4-6 games ago, and it was an aberration.
     
    you say it would be a “mistake” to trade stuckey, but a bigger mistake BY A MILE would be to keep rip, gordon and stuckey together. minnesota moved al jefferson for some bad draft picks just so kevin love would be able to shine. we MUST make a similar deal (if we can’t get more than bad draft picks) so that two of these guys AT MOST is on the roster. this town just isn’t big enough for the three of them. and stuckey would net by far the greatest return. these guys aren’t getting better, and we’ve seen more than enough of the three of them for ten lifetimes. one of them has to go ASAP. rip would be the ideal choice, but if we can’t get rid of that contract, we need to unload one of the other two.
     
    and stuckey doesn’t need to “play uptempo” fore the team to succeed; hell, he’s not good enough decision maker to run an offense at a SLOW pace. what he needs is to play off the ball. he’d be an excellent #1 or #2 scoring option as a shooting guard or maybe even instant offense off the bench. but he’s bogged down in this offense by having to make decisions with the ball. the only decision he knows how to make is “score,” and everyone else has to create their own shots.
     
    GOOD point guards like rondo and nash and chris paul treat their teammates as weapons. this thought has never occurred to stuckey once. he has one weapon and it’s himself. that’s not a point guard; that’s a scorer. the only time i ever liked the guy was when he was playing the two and carrying the offense along with charlie v early last year. we tore off five straight wins, some in games we should have lost, and it was largely on the strength of his scoring ability. the heat moved wade (the guy stuckey modeled his game after) off the ball and he became one of the best scorers in the league. after ONE season the kings made the determination that tyreke evans (another player much like stuckey) would better serve the team as a shooting guard, and he’s probably a better playmaker than stuckey is now. joe locked up two other shooting guards, and we can’t just ignore that for the sake of keeping a player around who is an asset on paper but a liability on the floor.
     
    i can’t stand when people say stuff like, “if joe can turn player X, Y and Z into a solid big man, we’ll be a great team!” because joe’s been gabbing about turning his perimeter depth into front line help forever now, and he’s done NOTHING. it’s like a fat chick saying, “once i lose 50 pounds i could finally be a supermodel.” i’ll believe it when i see it. lose the damn 50 pounds and we’ll see if you’re right, but if all you’re doing is talking about it, it’s a hollow promise. if joe can’t make these moves (and god knows how rip, who’s a significant liability on the books, max or wilcox could net us anything positive), we’re still just one of the worst teams in the league.
     
    i never said the cupboard is bare, and if joe could magically turn our liabilities into assets, fine. god bless him. but he hasn’t done sh*t yet, besides talk and make empty promises. you may have limitless faith in him, but i don’t. let’s see who turns out right. tayshaun should get us a good return, but will it be enough? no matter what the roster looks like, stuckey rip and gordon can’t coexist on a very good team. period.
     
    i think if we’re looking towards the future, as we should be right now and should have been since last season rather than trying to scratch out meaningless wins with a rubbish team, we should target players, assign them roles and see what holes/roles need filling. here’s a good start: a nine man core rotation. PG, backup PG, two SGs, SF, PF, backup SF/PF, C, backup PF/C. how’s that look? we can fill a good number of those needs, too. bynum or stuckey could be our backup PG. two of rip, gordon or stuckey could be our SGs (meaning one of these four absolutely must go, and it’s not as easy as saying “ok so dump bynum because he’s the worst” because you must consider what you’re getting back for him. if stuckey gets you a JUICY draft pick or young project big man and bynum gets you nothing, you gotta consider what you’d rather have). daye can be our SF, monroe our PF, and jonas our backup SF/PF based on matchups. ben would start at C for now, but we need to find his replacement. maybe it’s monroe and we need to find another PF, but either way we need a good big man. and no matter how you slice it, i think max would be a decent backup PF/C. he’s a good player, his contract is fair, and i don’t think he would really get you anything in return. so you have…
     
    PG: ???/bynum or stuckey
    SG: rip/gordon
    SF: daye
    reserve PF/SF: jonas
    PF: monroe
    reserve PF/C: max
    C: big ben
     
    i think that’s a reasonable formula for a team that, if not spectacular, can compete most nights. but there are two GAPING holes, and they’re at the most important spots. point guard and another big man. stuckey is probably the only movable piece on the entire roster who can get us pieces to fill those holes. (i’m not counting daye, jonas or monroe as “movable,” since moving them would create even more holes to fill). so the cupboard’s far from bare, but until we can get these pieces moved, we are one of the absolute worst teams in the league.
     
    at some point you’ve got to look at stuckey and realize he is who he is by now. he’s 23, a four year veteran, and he’s been the picture of consistency: he looks to score. now’s the time to pull the plug on this point guard experiment/disaster, while he’s still on his rookie contract and could fetch us even more than his fair market value in return. certainly more than his value on this particular roster, where we’ve got all the scoring guards we need and then some. you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  • Nov 26, 20106:36 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    “and stuckey would net by far the greatest return.”
    I don’t get the reasoning. Stuckey is still on his rookie deal, so I don’t think a one-for-one trade with Stuckey nets them much. I can’t see any team giving away a big on his rookie deal (which would suggest he probably still has some upside) for Stuckey. There’s always the potential to include Stuckey in a bigger deal, which might help the Pistons get an impact player in return or entice a team to take on a bad contract, but that seems doubtful too.
    I think the perimeter player who would fetch the biggest return talent-wise right now is Daye. He has by far the greatest upside, but like Stuckey, would have to bring back another guy on a small deal if it’s a one-for-one trade.

  • Nov 26, 20106:39 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    one more element to add: salary. stuckey’s about to be an expensive player, no matter where he ends up. he probably lands a long-term deal starting at somewhere around $7 million, at the cheapest. with what we’ve already committed to gordon and rip, that’s too much to pay for a good backcourt. and we’ve all seen enough of these three to know they’re not a winning combination.
     
    i don’t know who the new owner will be or their willingness to spend money, but the pistons under bill davidson (widely considered one of the best owners in professional sports) were constantly just under the tax line. right now that’s around $71 million. we just plain can’t afford to commit half our payroll to three shooting guards, even if they played well together. and these three obviously don’t.

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