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Rip Hamilton, Charlie Villanueva and Greg Monroe all make key plays as the Pistons get their first win of the season

The 2001-02 Detroit Pistons were one of the ugliest offensive teams I’ve ever watched closely. Their offense consisted of iso after iso for Jerry Stackhouse, choking the shot clock down to about three seconds each possession and occasionally tossing it inside to Corliss Williamson or letting Cliff Robinson and Chucky Atkins launch threes.

My point is not that this version of the Pistons can repeat what that team, which was far superior defensively, accomplished, but as they showed in Friday’s 97-90 win over Charlotte, the team can run an offense that is going to be boring and predictable, yet still win games by being opportunistic, tough and playing with consistent effort, just like that upstart team in 2002 did.

Rip Hamilton had a terrible shooting night, yet still had a game-clinching three-point play with less than 1:30 left after Charlotte had cut the lead to three. Greg Monroe had another solid all-around effort, yet his best play was simply slapping the ball out of Derrick Brown’s hand as Brown lazily tried to bring down an offensive board with one hand late in the game. Charlie Villanueva did basically the only thing we should rightfully expect Charlie Villanueva to do at this point: he hit threes and provided an offensive spark, including a buzzer-beating three in the third quarter that pushed the Pistons lead back up to nine after the team had blown what was once a 23-point lead and allowed Charlotte to tie.

Anyone who has read my work for a while knows that I’m a sucker for redemption stories. I fall for them every time (it’s why I’ve always had that pesky infatuation with perennially-in-need-of-redemption Allen Iverson). And the Pistons have no shortage going on right now. Tracy McGrady is on the verge of re-inventing himself as a smart, efficient role-player. He started at point guard, helped the Pistons establish an unselfish style early with his expert passing, he relied on craftiness rather than freakish athleticism to get to the rim and finish and he wasn’t too bad defensively, guarding the physical Gerald Wallace, picking up two steals, and helping limit Wallace to a quiet night overall.

And how about John Kuester’s redemption game? Kuester was faced with a tough decision. Rodney Stuckey openly demeaned Kuester’s authority in front of the team, the opposing team and everyone watching that game. Kuester was 100 percent right to take him out and not put him back in, even if it meant losing. But heading into the Charlotte game, Kuester and the team obviously felt Stuckey deserved more punishment than just missing the rest of the second half. The problem, however, is that Stuckey was the only healthy point guard on the team (Will Bynum returned to the lineup, but is obviously not close to 100 percent yet). Do you take a stand against Stuckey, taking a major risk that him sitting out could lead to another loss, more rumbling among fans, more impatience? Or do you let him play and risk, once again, making Stuckey look like he’s above the rules because he’s been treated as some sort of franchise savior since he arrived in Detroit, no matter what his production suggests? It’s obvious that the right call was to sit him out, but it’s also a difficult call for coaches in Kuester’s shoes.

Kuester didn’t play Stuckey, and the Pistons rewarded him with their best beginning-to-end effort of the season, they rewarded him by not folding when Charlotte mounted a run and they rewarded him by playing like they were actually having fun playing with each other for a change. Kuester didn’t push all the right buttons against Charlotte, and no coach ever does, but how he handled this situation could go a long way in him re-establishing some control that many perceived he’d lost.

And who’s next for redemption? How about Stuckey? He sat and watched his team, the team he’s been given the keys to for the last two seasons, go out and win without him. They played most of the game with small forwards McGrady and Tayshaun Prince running the offense, and the ball moved as well as it has all season with those guys in control. He watched Bynum gut it out, playing through pain, jumping over big guys to grab a key offensive rebound and get a put-back inside late in the fourth quarter and just generally playing like a team leader, a point guard, is supposed to play.

So Stuckey can learn from this experience, see what two guys who, like himself, aren’t natural point guards, did to be semi-efficient in that role and keep teammates involved, he can grow as a player and teammate and he can use his immense physical skills to help the Pistons pursue more gutsy, hard-earned wins like this and ultimately find that redemption, or he can pack it in, learn nothing and continue to play his mix of sometimes brilliant, sometimes inefficient, sometimes selfish basketball and contribute to the Pistons continuing to lose. What should he do? (Just so you know: that commercial will never get old. Everyone should have a ‘What Should I Do?’ commercial)

Monroe should start soon

This is no knock on Austin Daye (commenter DetroitPCB/president of the Daye fan club is sobbing somewhere). He was pretty good shooting the ball against Charlotte, knocking down two triples in the first half and helping the Pistons build a big lead early with his good shooting, and he was a robust +17 for the night. But the Daye-as-power-forward bit has about run its course. Daye again struggled holding any kind of position on defense, but luckily Nazr Mohammed and Boris Diaw (And seriously, how huge is Diaw now? That dude played point guard in Phoenix and now he’s on his way to becoming Eddy Curry) are terrible, so they weren’t making shots. But make no mistake, Charlotte’s starting post players were getting great position, and against better competition, those shots will go in.

I like Monroe on the second unit. He’s able to build confidence against lesser bigs, and that’s really shown. He gets more assertive each time he steps on the court. I’d love for him to play 20-25 minutes off the bench all season, get great experience and learn behind veteran bigs who teach him the ropes. The Pistons don’t have that luxury though. Monroe is the Pistons second best rebounder (He’s averaging nearly 13 boards per-36 minutes, the second best average on the team behind Ben Wallace. No other player on the team is averaging more than seven per-36), he’s shown the feistiness that Kuester was looking for and he’s simply the most important player to the future of the team right now.

Daye would be fine off the bench, where his versatility will come in handy and he can help at multiple positions.

McGrady should keep starting

McGrady also continues to impress. He’ll never be anywhere near the player he was pre-injury, and that’s the impressive part. He’s really re-inventing his game. He’s bigger now than when he was in his mid 20s (aren’t we all?), and he’s really impressed me with how he uses his body, gets good positioning and creates angles where it’s hard for guys to block his shots even though his explosion is noticeably lacking (his two drives to the basket tonight would’ve been dynamic dunks four years ago). Not every player can do what it looks like McGrady is trying to do. It might be a little early for this lofty a comparison, but Antonio McDyess relied on athleticism and explosion pre-injury and changed his game to a below-the-rim, intelligent role player post-injury. McGrady can become the guard version of McDyess.

As far as why he’s great for the starting lineup, he creates a matchup problem. At point guard, opponents will have to put a wing player on the ball, and as we saw with Gerald Wallace tonight, he wasn’t entirely comfortable having to guard a guy at the top of the key, handling the ball a lot. Wallace is great chasing guys off screens and the clutch-and-grab physical defense stuff that is typical for a wing defender, but forcing him out top made him leave his comfort zone.

Plus, at McGrady’s height, he can still see and make passes through traffic even if he’s being tightly defended. Since the Pistons don’t have a point guard who is an elite passer, McGrady fits that bill better. He set the tone nicely, he had the team playing under control and, if my belief that Monroe should start over Daye ever comes to fruition, Daye can simply move into McGrady’s backup small forward spot and continue getting minutes off the bench at that position.

But what about Stuckey?

The unfortunate thing with the Pistons lineup is that any time a player is moved into a spot where he’s more useful, it bumps a guy out of the lineup. If McGrady continues to start at point guard, Stuckey doesn’t have a spot. After his incident with Kuester, it’s plausible that he could lose that starting job, but it’s also hard to take him out of the rotation completely. If you play him as the backup point, Bynum gets squeezed. If you play him at shooting guard, Ben Gordon or Hamilton gets squeezed out.

Kuester is still not in an enviable position when it comes to deciding who is going to be out of the lineup now that everyone appears to be back and healthy. But the positive about the last two guys is some players are starting to separate themselves. McGrady and Monroe have made the case for more minutes. Gordon has clearly earned the starting shooting guard spot over Hamilton. Kuester handled a major test with Stuckey pretty well, it will be interesting to see how he handles things with healthy players who expect to play but might be getting beat out for those spots.

30 Comments

  • Nov 5, 201010:50 pm
    by Ryan

    Reply

    It’s funny that most prognosticatrs had/have Charlotte as the 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs this season.  All along I felt Detroit had a 5-8 win superior team than Charlottte.  Should be interesting to see who starts at point from here on out.  Stuck or Bynum or neither, though surely you can;t have Rip, Bynum and Stuck all coming off the bench at once.

  • Nov 5, 201011:06 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Ryan:

    I think people underestimated how much Charlotte will miss Ray Felton. I certainly did, though I didn’t think they were necessarily a lock to get into the playoffs.

    As far as the PG spot, the Pistons have looked pretty good with McGrady there. Big decision for Kuester on that front.

  • Nov 5, 201011:26 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Monroe is NEVER going to start. They refuse to play him at PF, I have no idea why he would actually start at PF. I’m going to have a conniption about this.

    And yes Charlotte is the result of giving away two average players and replacing them with below average players. Felton and Chandler aren’t that good you say? Well guess who really isn’t good? Augustin, Kwame, Diop, and Nazr. I didn’t expect them to make the playoffs, I’m not sure why so many people thought they would. The NBA is a unique entity. One player can play such a big percentage of total minutes. If you downgrade even slightly at one position it can have a big effect on your overall effectiveness. In this case Charlotte downgraded at 2 positions. And they got absolutely nothing in return for either Felton or Chandler. Good job Bobcats. Thanks for the victory.

  • Nov 5, 201011:36 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @nuetes:

    Never? That’s crazy. He’s going to start at some point this year. He’s rebounding nearly as well as Wallace right now. He’s going to play his way in.

    And as for Charlotte, I think people simply thought they could make the playoffs because of Larry Brown. LB and that fact that most didn’t realize how much Felton actually improved the last couple years.

  • Nov 5, 201011:44 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    He should start. He just won’t. They haven’t even put Monroe and Wallace on the court together in the game yet. Until I see him play PF at all I’m going to assume to only plan ever is to have him play center and nothing else.
     
    Certain things I’ve given up on – 1. Rip will never be traded. 2. Monroe will never play PF. 3. Stuckey will never be good. 4. CV will never rebound 5. Me complaining about any of the previous things ever again.

  • Nov 5, 201011:47 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Ergh. Ok i messed up that list. I’ve had a few but take out the ‘nevers’. still, you should get my point.

  • Nov 6, 201012:10 am
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    @Patrick:

    Wow, after reading your section about Stuckey and Kuester I would like to support the “Start Will Bynum at PG” movement.  I’ve defended Stuckey on this site, thinking he would figure it out with a stable line up around him.  However, if you demean your coach after starting 0-5 then you deserve the DNP-CD or you deserve to come off of the bench (at best).  I’m not saying that Kuester is the next John Wooden, but it’s his team and you do what he asks.  So until Stuckey figures that out I say give Will his shot.  If he produces, then it’s his job to lose. 
    Okay, I just saw that my leader in assists tonight was Ben Wallace with 4. *sigh*

  • Nov 6, 20101:13 am
    by bg8

    Reply

    i think they should start bg, tmac, prince, daye, and wallace. and have the bench team be bynum, stuckey, rip, cv, and monroe. of course with bynum playing the least of the bench team since bg will need 35-40 min a game

    im all for monroe starting at pf, but then that just screw up the bench team, you really can’t play daye and cv together up front and have rip at sf too. so ill just say keep daye starting

  • Nov 6, 20104:50 am
    by Oats

    Reply

    If McGrady stays as the starter at the point, the SG will have to guard opposing PGs. That also needs to be incorporated when considering who to pair with him. Rip has lost a step, and I think a lot of PGs would give him problems. Gordon is physically capable of doing it, but defense hasn’t exactly been one of his strong points in his career. Stuckey, if he ever gets his act together, is theoretically our best option to play at SG while defending opposing PGs. I’d give it to Gordon though. He is playing the best, and he isn’t a bad choice defensively. Whatever the case, McGrady looking like a basketball player makes our back court even more crowded, unless of course Stuckey continues pouting and keeps racking up DNP-CDs.
     
    I missed the game, but imagine my shock when I saw the box score. Charlotte shot 55% from the field, was +7 rebounds, and +14 assists, but lost in large part to Detroit being +16 on FTA, and +19 on FTM. Charlotte having those stats and losing is a head scratcher, but so is Detroit even having that kind of free throw advantage without Stuckey playing. How the heck does Rip get 11 free throws?

  • Nov 6, 20109:11 am
    by frankdog

    Reply

    awesome, well-rounded honest write-up patrick…the stones have a real problem in stuckey right now. what to do what to do. the fact that they won their first game and showed late-game composure for the first time without their dumars-annointed saviour is downright mindblowing. could it be that we´re better without him? i know it´s just one game, and against the bobcats, but doubts seem to be obvious. and i totally agree on the improvement/development of tmac. after the iverson debacle i had a hard time believing tmac could grow into a role player but he seems to be doing just that. amazing to think that he could be the leader the team lacks. i say too, start him again. and yes yes yes start monroe. he is proving he can be the guy we need.

  • Nov 6, 201010:15 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    I disagree. Monroe should stay with the second unit. Patrick notes that he can develop confidence against the other team’s backup and i would add probably draw fewer fouls. I believe Cousins is in a similar situation in Sac and welcomed a move to the bench.  Monroe is also our only “big” off the bench with size and rebounding ability. And while Monroe weighs enough to get by without the crutch of playing alongside Bew Wallace, Austin Daye does not. You could not pair him with CV or Max and expect any interior defensive presence

    While i was the first person to criticise Q for his (lack of) game management, i want to be fair and point out what a good job he is doing handling the young players on this team. He gave Monroe two DNP’s to motivate him and since Monroe has run the floor and shown a consistent motor. The bench is the only real leverage a coach has with players and Q has used it well.

    Q also rewarded Austin Daye for his great preseason performance with a starting role though it is out of position. He has shown patience with Daye’s erratic shooting, but not with poor shot selection or turnovers, as long as Daye makes his defensive assignments and boxes out. The way he is managing the kid is giving Daye the confidence to take shots even after he has missed – which is crucial. He also brought Daye back in the game last night with 2 minutes left showing the kid he has confidence in him in crunch time (it was Daye’s first appearance in the 4th quarter).

    And benching Stuckey after what transpired was necessary. We all know the real problem is that Stuckey is a two guard. But Ben Gordon obviously has to start given his hot hand and Rip has to play given that he his the vet leader and also to establish and trade value if we want to move him. Personally, i have to believe that Joe Dumars will make a move after the ownership situation is resolved (if he is retained).

    It is interesting to watch roles develop on this team. Prince has become the Pistons go to guy – their defacto low post player. The Pistons have been running that iso for him on the right wing for a while but now they are going to it whenever they need a key bucket. So far, Prince has been responding though he is becoming something of a black hole out there. He did make that pass for the clutch three however.

    Finally, i saw CV do two positive things last night – the same two shots you all saw. That was it. He is being paid way too much for what he does. I would move him.

  • Nov 6, 201010:34 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    unless cbs’s box score is mistaken chris bosh finished with one rebound in 34 minutes against okafur last night. that is a CV stat.

  • Nov 6, 201010:43 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    How is Monroe gaining confidence going against 2nd units? He’s not going against 2nd units. Kuester has this thing so jacked up it’s beyond belief. Monroe played the full 4th quarters (crunch time, against the oppositions best), in both of the last two games, and Wallace didn’t play at all. Let’s think about that for a second. Your best player is sitting on the bench while your playing a rookie, and your wondering why 4th quarter leads are falling like dominoes?
     
    I don’t care who starts I guess. I care who finishes, and Wallace not being on the court in the 4th is a bad bad fire-able coaching offense if there ever was one. Put Monroe and Wallace on the court in the 4th. Close games out. Put your best players out there. It’s the 4th quarter! Get with the program Kuester.

  • Nov 6, 201011:07 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @nuetes

    seems to me the lead evaporated in the 3rd quarter when ben was on the floor – not the 4th with monroe. The pistons played even ball in the 4th. and i am not blaming ben for that 3rd quarter collapse. Larry Brown made some adjustments at halftime. Q didn’t respond. T-Mac was pretty ineffective in the second half because of what Brown did – so in that 3rd quarter the Pistons reverted to not moving the ball and taking bad shots. Daye had a bad 3 minute stretch missing a couple shots and making a horrible turnover – and Q promptly benched him for the turnover which was great. It was like saying “young fella, you can shoot it, but if you don’t take care of the ball, you don’t play”.

  • Nov 6, 201011:23 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Yes but Atlanta abused the front line in crunch time. And it was shaky in the 4th against Charlotte. They outscored the Piston in the 3rd and 4th. Monroe is holding his own, but Wallace is better. And combined they would be able to hold 4th quarter leads so much easier. It’s not so much that Monroe is on the court as it is that CV or Daye are on the court. The Pistons got outrebounded and CV had 1 rebound in 24 minutes. If you combine CV and Daye you got 3 total rebounds from the PF position last night. That’s pathetic. Monroe and Wallace should both be on the court in the 4th. That gets your worst players (CV/Daye) off the court and puts your best players on it.

  • Nov 6, 201012:53 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Atlanta went at Cv every time down the floor in the stretch. as i have mentioned before, i would like to see an offensive/defensive substitution pattern from Q using Ben on defense and Cv on offense. But maybe they don’t think Ben’s body will handle coming into the game cold. Or maybe Q is just not a good game coach.

    we do have to be real. Wallace cannot be on the floor at the end of a close game or a game were the Pistons have a lead if the other coach is going to use the hack-a-ben.

    i have no problem with Monroe being on the floor. Maybe they could go offense/defense with Monroe & CV. I am assuming that you want Cv on the floor at the end for his 3 point shooting.

    Daye may have only secured 3 rebounds but his man is not getting any offensive rebounds. Daye does a very good job of boxing out and letting other Pistons get the rebound. I value that.

  • Nov 6, 201012:55 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Daye was not on the court last night during the 4th quarter until Q put him in around the 2 minute mark.

  • Nov 6, 20101:53 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    No Daye and CV combined for 3 total rebounds – for the entire game! We are getting murdered at the PF position on a nightly basis. I’d be shocked if there was a worse PF rotation in the NBA. It would make sense to put Monroe there, or Ben, either one, but have them both on the court at the same time wouldn’t it? Of course with Wallace/Monroe our center position is fairly strong now. But it’s not enough to make up for the negative production we’re getting at PF.

  • Nov 6, 20104:40 pm
    by Ex-Rocket-Fan

    Reply

    Disagree with the comparison of McGrady to McDyess and how McGrady can reinvent himself into an effective player without explosiveness.  McDyess is a big man, McGrady is a perimeter ball handler.  A big man can get by without explosiveness, but a perimeter ball handler without explosiveness is a liability.
     
    When McGrady gets the ball on the perimeter, the offense grinds to a halt because he’ll sit there and stop the ball, unsure of what to do because he no longer has the ability to make an explosive move.
     
    I’m probably spoiled from following his career him pre-injury, but I need to see a lot more from McGrady to be impressed, sorry.

  • Nov 6, 20104:46 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    Stuckey has had a lot of chances, can’t help myself, and he’s going to get one more.  If this doesn’t work, then its time to trade him.  a couple of potential trades
    Stuckey for Jordan Hill
    Stuckey, Prince for Josh Smith
    Stuckey, Maxiel for Pryzbilla

  • Nov 6, 20105:01 pm
    by Ex-Rocket-Fan

    Reply

    It baffled me why the Charlotte guards didn’t pressure McGrady whenever he brought the ball up as PG.  It’s painfully obvious that he still can’t move well, yet the other team just lets him off the hook.
     
    I think teams will figure this out quickly.  If McGrady is at PG bringing the ball up, pressure him and he’ll fold.  And even if he manages to get past the defender, it’s not like he has the ability to consistently capitalize on openings.  Not yet anyway.

  • Nov 6, 20107:35 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @patrick

    i am president of the Monroe/JJ/Daye fan club. The Pistons have three young players in place for their next run. All they are lacking is that intimdating inside rebounding, shot blocking and defensive presence. If they get that player in the next draft, watch out in two or three years. They will be back in the finals.

  • Nov 6, 20109:00 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:
    “Patrick notes that he can develop confidence against the other team’s backup and i would add probably draw fewer fouls. I believe Cousins is in a similar situation in Sac and welcomed a move to the bench.”
    Different situation though. I’d like Monroe to start b/c he’s the team’s second best rebounder. If Daye isn’t hitting shots (and he’s only had two good shooting games), he’s useless as a starter, the Pistons get killed on the boards early and they’ll be playing from behind all season that way. Monroe gives them a chance to be competitive on the boards.
    Cousins’ backup was Sam Dalembert. If the Pistons had a Dalembert-caliber big to play instead of Monroe, I’d be all for Monroe coming off the bench. He’s the second best frontcourt player on the team right now, and I think he’ll be starting fairly soon unless Daye gets dramatically more consistent right away.

  • Nov 6, 20109:02 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Alan:
    I wish man. Can’t see any of those teams having interest though. And Atlanta said that Smith is not on the market, as had been reported.

  • Nov 6, 20109:11 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Ex-Rocket fan:
    “McDyess is a big man, McGrady is a perimeter ball handler.  A big man can get by without explosiveness, but a perimeter ball handler without explosiveness is a liability.”
    Nah. Mike Finley, Matt Harpring, Morris Peterson, Charlie Bell, etc. There are tons of guards who are semi-effective role players who aren’t explosive. Even guys like Joe Dumars, when he played, Chauncey Billups, J-Kidd — they don’t get by on explosiveness and athleticism.
    McGrady is fully capable of doing that. First of all, his height is a major asset as a passer. He still hits his perimeter shot well enough. He’s played hard defensively so far. He hasn’t forced shots.
    My question with McGrady has never been, “Can he be a role player?” He absolutely can be a very good one. My question was always, “Is he willing to be a role player?” Stars don’t always take that on very willingly. So far in Detroit, he’s been unselfish, he’s been efficient and the team has played well when he’s been on the court for extended minutes the last two games.
    No (rational) Pistons fan is expecting a miracle. But McGrady can absolutely be a smart, crafty wing player minus athleticism.
    And you’re wrong about Charlotte not pressuring him. Gerald Wallace picked him up at halfcourt twice, and both times McGrady drove around him, got to the basket and finished.
    He’s lost a few steps, no doubt. He’s still an OK NBA player though, and he’s run the team pretty well when he’s been pressed into playing point guard.

  • Nov 7, 20106:36 am
    by Kaneda

    Reply

    Sorry for the off topic comment but I would love to get an article on whether it’s worth it for the Pistons to try and trade for Arenas giving up Stuckey and Rip.
     
    Under the current circumstances I think it is a risk the Pistons should be willing to take.

  • Nov 7, 20108:14 am
    by Zeiram

    Reply

    As some have said before, Mcgrady proving he isn´t Iverson and actually being capable(and willing) to play any role the pistons give him means we have to do that trade and fast. Between Bynum, Stuckey, Gordon, Hamilton, Mcgrady and Daye that´s just too many backcourt/wing players.
     
    I would love the pistons to get rid of Hamilton and Stuckey for a real pg. Reason being that Hamilton is of no value on a rebuilding team and stuckey is not a good pg and trails Gordon in usefulness at the sg. I would love to get a young pg like Maynor or Bledsoe but it´s unrealistic. So just salary dump the hell out of those two and draft a pg in the future.
     
    @Kaneda
    But it´s something the Wizards wouldn´t do. Remeber they cap freedom not two players they have to get rid of again.

  • Nov 7, 20108:53 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @Patrick

    then please tell me who we will bring off the bench to anchor the second unit? CV? Max? Daye? Wilcox?

    I cannot think of a worse move right now than starting Monroe.

    Ben Wallace is our Dalembert. The vet who starts an anchors the team defense.

  • Nov 7, 20101:30 pm
    by Kaneda

    Reply

    @Zeiram
    the Wizards would be freeing up some cap space immediately. Stuckey’s contract is up in a year and Rip will have 2 years left on the contract compared to Arenas’ 3 years and about 5 million less in payroll. Also Rip would be a fitting piece, imo, for this Wizard’s team… and find a coach he has successfully played under for 3 years.
     
     

  • Nov 7, 20104:39 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:
    Any of those guys really, although preferably not Wilcox.
    Sacramento is starting two guys who can rebound in Dalembert and Jason Thompson. They also have Cousins and Hassan Whiteside, both legit young bigs. Detroit has two big men who are even competent on the glass right now.
    Sorry. Daye’s 6.9 boards per 36 are just not good enough. Not even close to good enough to justify starting him at the four. And sadly, those pathetic numbers (for a four) are better than Maxiell’s and Villanueva’s right now. It’s not Daye’s fault, he’s playing out of position and doing the best he can. But Monroe would give the team a better chance to win games, which, according to the organization, is their stated goal.

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