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Ben Gordon, Will Bynum, DaJuan Summers and Tayshaun Prince make cases for bigger roles in the Pistons’ satisfying victory over the Hornets

It was a strange night at The Palace.

  • The Pistons became the third Detroit team, along with the Lions and Red Wings, to play overtime today.
  • Tayshaun Prince smiled on the court (after blocking Jason Smith).
  • Ben Wallace played nearly 14 minutes before grabbing a rebound.

Perhaps strangest of all, the Pistons won. For just their first victory this season over a team with a winning record and all five starters healthy, the Pistons beat the Hornets, 111-108.

This was the Pistons’ most satisfying win of the season. Ben Gordon, Will Bynum and Tayshaun Prince made the obvious plays, and Jason Maxiell made the small ones. Everything came together perfectly.

Instead of griping about lesser-of-two-evil lineup changes, we can hold enjoyable debates – like did Gordon or Bynum do more to show they deserve larger roles? Heck, DaJuan Summers and Prince made cases for enhanced roles, too. This game will be just plain fun to unpack.

Ben Gordon angles for a bigger role

Ben Gordon comes off the bench for two main reasons – a true professional, he never complains about it and his production throughout his career has been nearly identical either way.

But until joining the Pistons, he’s always had a clear role. He was the Bulls’ scorer, and that didn’t change whether he started or not. Now, if Gordon comes off the bench, he’s treated like a backup. Now, starting makes a difference.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened to Gordon if his 0-for-7 first half had come in a game he didn’t start. Would he have stuck with it like he did tonight? Keep in mind, most of those seven shots were good shots. And despite the misses, Gordon was rebounding. He was in this game from his first possession.

Still, Gordon hasn’t shown this type of focus and determination during the course of a full game when coming off the bench this year. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

After halftime, Gordon turned into the player I thought ranked on the fringe of the league’s best scorers. He scored 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the final 29 minutes. It was a complete scoring performance – shooting from the outside, driving inside and getting to the line.

Especially after the first half, I thought this season – the losing and coming off the bench – may have damaged Gordon’s psyche. I’m not sure whether the second half showed he was fine or fixed him, but it doesn’t matter.

This is the Ben Gordon the Pistons signed. I think you’ll look back at this game as a turning point for him.

I don’t expect Richard Hamilton to regain his starting job anytime soon.

Will Bynum angles for a bigger role

After Austin Daye, Will Bynum was the second Piston removed from the rotation this year. Unlike with Daye, nobody really complained about the move.

Until tonight, Bynum had a couple solid games, a bunch of bad ones and no very good ones. He played very well tonight – making 8-of-10 shots for 21 points and dishing nine assists. He managed the offense like he’d shown he could in previous years and wasn’t afraid to take big shots late.

Whatever was bothering him earlier in the season clearly didn’t show up tonight.

Detractors will point out his five turnovers and inability to get through screens quickly. For them, I have two words: Chris Paul. The best point guard in the game stole the ball from Bynum twice and pressured him much more. And getting through a screen in a timely fashion proves much more difficult when the speedy Paul is using it.

Bynum wasn’t perfect tonight, but his plusses substantially outweighed his minuses.

DaJuan Summers angles for a bigger role

With Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey out and Tracy McGrady going down during the game, John Kuester looked at the very end of his bench.

Playing his first meaningful minutes since against the Hawks on Nov. 3 and in just his sixth game this season, DaJuan Summers provided the spark the Pistons needed. He made an ultra-efficient two 3-pointers and a dunk in four shots.

His seven minutes played a key part in the Pistons’ victory.

Tayshaun Prince angles for a bigger role

After Tayshaun Prince blocked Chris Paul’s shot to end regulation, I tweeted:

Tayshaun Prince’s block capitalizes what might be his defensive performance in years.

J.E. Skeets replied:

No doubt. RT @PistonPowered: Prince’s block capitalizes what might be his defensive performance in years.

If Skeets said it, it must be true.

At his best lately, Prince took responsibility for his own man. He didn’t appear to show interest in rotating and helping his teammates. Tonight, he was all over the court.

His man-to-man defense played a large part in Trevor Ariza shooting 2-of-11 with five turnovers. Prince, who blocked three shots and added a steal, also did whatever he could on rotations.

It wasn’t just a defensive focus. It was a mentality. Prince also had 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

The numbers don’t always have to be so spectacular, but that’s how I’d like to see Prince play every night. The Pistons used to rely on Prince to defend the opposing team’s best wing, no matter what. That’s no longer the case, but the way he played tonight, Prince could do it again.

Rotation going forward

I’m not advocating Ben Gordon, Will Bynum, DaJuan Summers and Tayshaun Prince all get bigger roles. That would be impossible. All I’m saying is they played tonight like they deserve more.

Summers is the easiest to discount. He’s played like this before, but he doesn’t belong in the rotation. This team has enough better players that he’s still on the outside looking in.

I hope Prince can take on a larger role, because his wouldn’t involve more minutes. Sadly, I’d be surprised if he does. I’m not sure he desires to play like this every game anymore. That would take a lot of effort, and after competing for a title for so many years, I don’t think he’s that invested in this losing team.

Gordon showed he’s on the right track. It would be a shame to spoil his progress by sending him back to the bench. The Pistons ate that 0-for-7 first half in order to let him shoot his way back into a rhythm, and I understand that’s a sunk cost, but it just wouldn’t feel right to banish him to the bench again.

Bynum is the most interesting case. McGrady has proven himself capable of running the second unit, and I think everyone who plays benefits from a shorter rotation. So, if Richard Hamilton misses an extended amount of time, that could open the door for Bynum to keep playing. Otherwise, Kuester has a difficult decision to make. I won’t use hindsight to criticize him on this one, because no clear-cut solution exists.

Jason Maxiell’s quietly stellar day

Jason Maxiell had a prime cases of the box score* not telling the whole story.

*For the record, two points, no rebounds, an assist, a turnover, two steals and a block in 21 minutes.

Maxiell didn’t enter the game until late in the third quarter. As is often the case when a player enters so late, Maxiell had a singular assignment – slow David West.

West still scored, but with Maxiell playing the game’s final 21 minutes, Westworked a little harder for his game-high 32 points.

West gave Maxiell some difficulty outside the paint, but when West went down low, Maxiell pushed him from the spots West wanted. That led to either a forced shot or the Hornets going away from West.

On the down side, such a focus on West hurt Maxiell’s rebounding. John Kuester removed Maxiell from the rotation because Maxiell doesn’t always focus on boxing out. That happened again tonight.

So, in all, a great effort from Maxiell for giving the Pistons what they needed tonight – but not the type of effort that will earn him more playing time.

Regardless of whether he plays more, this was an awesome way to all but seal the victory:

Richard Hamilton’s absence

I covered most of Richard Hamilton’s semi-suspicious absence in an earlier post. But just to confirm a small detail, here are a couple in-game tweets.

Justin Rogers:

@vgoodwill @Chris_Iott @Stareagle Was the Gordon start strictly because of Hamilton’s illness, or did the two happen to coincide.

Dave Hogg:

@justin_rogers Pure coincidence. The T-Mac start was the one due to a late injury.

Me:

@Stareagle Just to be clear, you’re saying Gordon would have started even if Hamilton was healthy?

Hogg:

@PistonPowered We’ll have to ask Kue to be 100% sure, but there’s good reason to believe that.

Short nights for Ben Wallace and Greg Monroe

Fans often blame John Kuester for sticking with his comfort zone rather than what’s working. Overall, I think that’s a misperception, and tonight was a good example.

Neither Ben Wallace nor Greg Monroe showed they had much going, and both got quick hooks. Wallace played just 18 minutes, and Monroe saw just 15 minutes.

Sunday, Sunday

I hate to end this on a down note, but I think it’s necessary. What I wrote in the game preview still holds relevancy:

Speaking of pride, Michael McNamara of Hornets247.com alerted me to an interesting trend.

The Hornets are just 1-3 on Sundays. Although two of those losses came to the Spurs, neither was close. The Hornets’ loss to the 76ers wasn’t close, either. And New Orleans’ win came by just four points over the Kings.

As Pistons fans should know, Sunday losses might not be a coincidence.

I hope we look back at the end of the year and see the Hornets went 9-4 on Sundays, and this slow Sunday start is just pure coincidence. But the way the blew a 10-point halftime lead today, don’t count on it.

This win might mean as much as it appears to mean.

59 Comments

  • Dec 19, 20109:22 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Will Bynum is back. I would love to see him get a couple of starts.

    And where are you Frankie D? Look at your man Summers playing semi-productive basketball!

  • Dec 19, 20109:38 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Has a team ever shot better from the 3pt line than the free throw line in a game?
    We were close and it almost cost us the game:
    3pt:
    10-23 (43.5%) Free throw: 13-23 (56.5%)
     
    Full props to Laser as he wanted Stuckey & Hamilton out of the rotation and to tell you the truth they didn’t look that bad. Very happy for Summers too!

  • Dec 19, 20109:54 pm
    by Regan

    Reply

    How can you guys be saying Bynum deserved a larger role? While he made some good plays on offense, he made a lot of bad TOs by dribbling to the wrong spots and holding onto the ball too long.
    And don’t ignore the fact that he was absolutely wrecked on defense. Almost every possession seemed to go like this.
    A.
    -Chris Paul beats Bynum off the dribble
    -Big man rotates to defend Paul’s shot
    then either
    - pass to David West for easy basket
    - bricked shot which leads to easy West Offensive Rebound, as the big man couldn’t possibly box his man out.
    B.
    - Pick and Roll
    - Bynum completely disappears from the play
    - Open jumpshot nailed by Paul

  • Dec 19, 201010:04 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    I didn’t watch too much of this due to a christmas party, but I’m not really sure where to start. Huge nights from Bynum, Gordon, and Prince. Charlie V was trying to shoot us out of this thing, and I don’t even know what to say about Maxiell. If he didn’t make that steal and dunk at the end I might have to tear him a new one. What purpose is he serving on the court? If it wasn’t for that last second play Maxiell’s stat line would have been 0 shots, 0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 turnover, 2 fouls in 21 minutes. Seriously?
     
    It took 3 extraordinary performances for the Pistons to pull this one out. After the Atlanta game I’m holding my excitement about this one. I’m not falling for it this time. They’re gonna have to do more, because I was all pumped after that Atlanta game and they flat got demolished by the Clippers. Bynum and Gordon played well, but I’m taking the one game fluke approach until they prove otherwise.
     
    Here’s a stat line. Well, we got killed on the glass but the perimeter out-rebounded the front court 25-12. Good job front court.

  • Dec 19, 201010:07 pm
    by Odeh

    Reply

    Bynum had a nice stat line but he made some very bad plays.  BG and Stuckey should start along with Tay, CV, Big Ben.  Most people have been calling for this starting unit and we still havent seen it although there is strong evidence that this will be our best lineup.  I continue to maintain that Summers is the best rookie out of our 09 class.  He has the prototypical physical attributes of a
    SF. He does not send mixed signals on what position suits him.  He’s moves his feet great on defense and has a nice looking jumper on offense.  I would hate to see him leave Detroit this offseason and bite us in the ass when he is a starter on another nba team.

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  • Dec 19, 201010:12 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Regan:

    21 points on 8-of-10 shooting with 9 assists is extremely efficient any way you slice it. Yeah, 5 TOs was a bit high, but Bynum made plays all night by constantly getting in the lane and creating open threes.

    I’m not going to nitpick him for not having a good night defensively vs. CP. It happens to most guards in this league.

  • Dec 19, 201010:15 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Odeh:

    The issue with Summers is that he doesn’t rebound or pass well. Or I should say at all. When he’s shooting it well, he has value, as he showed tonight. But he still only grabbed one board in 9 minutes.

    I think he should be a good defender with this size and strength, but again, just because he looks like he should doesn’t mean he’s shown it, even at Georgetown. He’s a physical specimen and an athlete, which makes him intriguing, but he doesn’t do any one thing particularly well.

  • Dec 19, 201011:08 pm
    by BIG MARV

    Reply

    I think rip will be traded by this week the bobcats have high intrest in him and we can knock off some of their expiring contracts I’m guessing either by the next game or after christmas. BG looks good enough to be a starter his game arrives slow but he does get it done in the end, he has a fire that has to be unleashed BG is a scorer no doubt these guys are showing that they can play hard and win without the bad seeds bye bye rip thanks for the memories.

  • Dec 19, 201011:12 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    @patrickhayes,
    hey, i’m mad.  i was busy today and didn’t get a chance to see the game.
    right when my guy finally gets a chance to play and i guess he had a pretty decent game.
    i’m going to watch nbatv gametime tonight and hopefully they’ll have at least one or two of his shots.
    hey…he’ll make everybody forget mark aguirre, if he gets his shot!!!

  • Dec 19, 201011:27 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    a few bullet points as i anxiously await further analysis:
     
    1) this was our first GOOD win of the season. when i’m rooting for the team to win, you know they’re playing good, sensible basketball (both in terms of rotations and execution). aside from the fact that our other two wins against “good” teams (milwaukee and atlanta) occurred without their best player (bogut and johnson, respectively), those teams played like complete shit, and those were not “good” wins. neither was a good team on those nights when we beat them. new orleans played well tonight and got beat fair and square.
     
    2) this feels MUCH better than any 25-point meltdown against a bad team, even though it will mean nothing in the big picture. the pistons organization will spin it that the team is so deep it can win DESPITE losing so many “key” contributors, when the truth is that we won BECAUSE of that fact. i’ve been saying for a very long time that the team would be much better off with two (2) fewer guards. but the second everyone’s healthy, we’ll be back to stuckey starting, the doomed rip-gordon balancing act, bynum relegated to an absurdly limited role on a team badly in need of point play.
     
    3) will bynum is not perfect by any means, but he played his little heart out tonight and was a MAJOR part of this win. hard to pick and MVP because they were so damn good as a team. he was efficient as hell, made plays all day, but guy can’t catch a break. somehow he’s doomed to catch shit from clowns like regan. so he turned it over some, big deal. guy hasn’t been given the chance to put his stamp on a game ONCE, and the first chance he gets, he matches stats almost identically with chris paul and got the win. how did stuckey fare the last time he matched up with paul, hm? i’m sorry, but you’d have to be a complete jackass to pick apart the mistakes bynum made in his first meaningful action all season after he played like that. give me a damn break. some people. and you wanna talk about his defense on CP3?? dammit, do you want to be taken seriously or not?
     
    @odeh/hayes: summers also suffers from poor shot selection, apparently. and anyone who says he’s the best of last year’s rookies can’t really expect to be taken seriously, can they? talk about his potential all you want, say he deserves to play, but don’t go nuts. but all this “doesn’t do anything particularly well” routine is bogus. that’s what the pistons spout out to justify his perpetually inactive status and excuse themselves for taking three small forwards in the same draft while holding onto their veteran 35 mpg starter and adding yet another one this past offseason. what is that one thing, exactly, that rodney stuckey does particularly well?? make promises to step up and be a leader? penetrate and get his shots blocked at the rim?? gimme another damn break. i’d give DJ summers (i call him DJ) minutes because he’s got the best eyebrows in the league. that’s one thing he does well, so there.

  • Dec 20, 201012:03 am
    by jk281

    Reply

    This is the problem with this team. A few players play great one game, and the next game they are given a larger role, play like crap and lose. Then the next game a different couple of players play great, and get a larger role the following game, play like crap and lose.

    This team is filled with inconsistent above average players, which is the worst combination because you never know which are going to be great or terrible from game to game. And because they are only above average, they need multiple guys to have great games all at once to have a chance to win. The odds of both those factors taking place in the same game are slim, about 32% I guess, as is the Pistons winning percentage thus far.

    The need to find soem consistent players. I’ll take a bunch of consistent average players over inconsistent above average players.

  • Dec 20, 201012:22 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    Wow jk281 just jumps in and tells it like it is. Absolutely right. But I’m sure Langlois or Dumars or someone would come out and say this is a good problem to have. Every night were getting a contribution from someone else, but usually we aren’t getting enough from everyone. These guys are mostly all capable of putting up big games, but none of them do it consistently.
     
    There isn’t really one player you can rely on and say I know what I’m going to get from this guy on a nightly basis. Prince and Wallace come the close, but the rest it’s a crapshoot. It’s not like you need players to go out and play great all the time, but the floor has to be higher. When Prince and Wallace have bad games they still usually make a contribution, but when Stuckey, Gordon, Rip, CV, etc have a bad game it’s a flat out dud that absolutely hurts the team. That’s more along the lines of the consistency that I’m talking, you don’t have to be great, but you can’t just do nothing. I’d rather have players that never do anything great so long as they never lay eggs than have players that either do one or the other.
     
    I still can’t get over Maxiell. He’s the hero, and that last play was awesome. But the other 20 minutes and 50 seconds sucked beyond belief.

  • Dec 20, 20101:29 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    for the record, i don’t think jk is right at all. there are plenty of problems with the team, but i don’t think it’s as easy as: “nothing they can do matters because they can’t maintain consistency.” i think defined roles and a sensible rotation with guys who HAVE POSITIONS AND ROLES would do the pistons a world of good. bynum and t-mac sharing point duties, stuckey attacking the basket, gordon hitting outside shots and coming off screens for mid-range jumpers, tayshaun doing a little of everything (and being the ONE guy who’s charged with that task), charlie working inside and outside and committing flagrant fouls, ben and max defending and rebounding, greg monroe hustling and rebounding and working on his game. hopefully unload some guys so daye can play. this isn’t a LOST CAUSE, and i think jk has a sh*tty attitude. pick a rotation that makes sense, give everyone sensible roles and minutes, and stick with it long enough to get guys comfortable and see what they can do.
     
    the season’s probably lost already, but the story of this team isn’t, “A few players play great one game, and the next game they are given a larger role, play like crap and lose. Then the next game a different couple of players play great, and get a larger role the following game, play like crap and lose.” shorten the rotation with the RIGHT exclusions, let playmakers run the offense, don’t play a thousand shooting guards…

    and as for max, that pick he set when bynum made that clutch basket at the end was BIG, and max does stuff like that all the time that goes unnoticed. how can you complain about any of the guys who played today? this was a fun game to watch for once, i was rooting for them for once, and they got a great win. this team is destroying its fanbase little by little.

  • Dec 20, 20102:15 am
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    David West was killing the Pistons, but then Max came in and it seemed that West was more tolerable.  Max’s role tonight, stats or no stats, was to limit David West and hamper what he does.  Maxiell did an effective job of that.  Good game.

  • Dec 20, 20109:43 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Neutes, I think most people count the small forward as part of the front court. So, that means the front court outrebounded the backcourt, 25-12.

  • Dec 20, 20109:45 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Odeh, Summers is the third best player from Pistons’ 09 draft class, and it’s not that close. Jerebko is clearly No. 1, and Daye is clearly No. 2.

  • Dec 20, 201010:12 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Laser, your No. 2 was the most predictable comment on this post.

    The argument that DaJuan Summers shouldn’t play because he doesn’t do one thing well is valid. He and Stuckey have different roles. Stuckey is capable of playing a large amount of minutes, and in that case, it’s helpful to do many things well. When you’re in Summers’ position, fighting to play 10 minutes per game, specializing is helpful.

    I don’t understand your gripe about spending three picks in the same draft on small forwards. If I remember my statistics correctly, using 82 Games’ expected-performance-by-pick chart, the Pistons odds of landing one start with their three picks was 10 percent, and landing a solid player was 27 percent. That’s a 37 percent chance of getting a starting-caliber small forward by using all three picks on them. Why is that a poor strategy?

  • Dec 20, 201010:33 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    lets be real fellas – Gordon looked terrible in that first half and if Rip was available probably would not have been on the floor much in the second half. Will Bynum had his best game of the year but you can see all the problem he has – i would point out that he shot an air ball, got double teamed and ripped on the next possession and then missed a key free throw. His problem is simple – size. He cannot see over a double team, he always has to go into the air to pass, and for some stupid reason he tries to split double teams when there is no room (see the play where he ran into Ben Wallace’s back as an example. I like Will, he plays with heart, but he is certainly not the answer long term at the point.

    Tay had his best game of the year. Other than the first 4 possessions of the game, he actually moved the ball a little bit. He played good defense, took the right shots, and rebounded the ball. A beautiful game from the Palace Prince.

    I kept wondering why Q kept Max in the game - Max didn’t seem to be doing much of anything on the court except dropping passes underneath the basket but he was the only player with the quicks and strength to bother West and he set that great blind pick that allowed Will to get to the basket at the end.
    Summers came in and played well. Those three pointers were key. If we move some vets it would be interesting to see what he can do.

  • Dec 20, 201010:55 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:

    It’s really silly to complain about Bynum shooting an airball when he shot 8-for-10 for the game. I’m OK with an airball under those circumstances.

    And as for him trying to dribble through double-teams, you could make that same criticism of Stuckey. I can’t remember which game (Clippers or Raptors maybe), Stuckey actually tried to split three defenders at midcourt, which led to him getting stripped and the other team having a 2-on-0 fast break.

    I agree Bynum may not be the long-term answer at PG, but I also think he’s never really been given a shot to prove that he can’t be either. There’s no harm in giving him a prolonged look with a lot of playing time to see if he gets better results.

    And Maxiell played because he did the best job defending David West of any Piston. He didn’t do much else, but he made things tougher on West than Monroe/Wallace/Villanueva did when they all took turns on him.

  • Dec 20, 201010:58 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    PCB, to me, the question isn’t whether Will Bynum is the long-term answer at point guard. He certainly isn’t.

    The question is whether he deserves to be part of the rotation this year. Most of his season to date suggests no. Last night suggest yes.

  • Dec 20, 201012:05 pm
    by David

    Reply

    I thought I would never say this, but…….It’s time to trade Hamilton and Stuckey.  Hamilton needs a good traditional point guard to be effective. Billups knew where Hamilton would be during a certain time during a play. Iverson couldn’t do this with Rip and neither can Stuck. Stuckey is a 2 guard and commands the ball. The lineup tonight seemed as if people knew their roles and were more motivated. Prince still has a bit left in the tank and showed that he can still defend. Trade Stuckey and Hamilton and lets work from there.  Thanks Rip for everything, maybe you’ll go to a team where the point knows when to give it to you for the spot up midrange.

  • Dec 20, 201012:25 pm
    by Jacob

    Reply

    @BIG MARV
    Do you have inside info on that potential Rip trade? Or just speculation. These days when it comes to a trade involving the Pistons I take an “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach.
    Anyway, sounds like a great game last night, I couldn’t watch it, was traveling, but maybe Q and the coaching staff can work out some kinks this week with the days off.

  • Dec 20, 201012:29 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    I”m not into counting SF’s as front-court players. They play on the perimeter, but I can’t call them backcourt players either, so I just call them perimeter players.
     
    I’m confused about one thing, that you argued Monroe and Wallace didn’t have it so they should have been pulled, yet Gordon’s first half was brutal, and clearly letting him play through it was beneficial. But Wallace and Monroe shouldn’t have been allowed to play through it?
     
    Eh, Ok. Something not touched on yet is the pace. The Pistons played at a ridiculous pace with Gordon and CV jacking up shots left and right. I was going to try to calculate the game pace to provide some proof of what I witnessed but the formula for calculating that is more work than I want to go through. Is there anywhere you can find individual game paces? I’ll have to look.
     
    I’m not buying Max’s contribution. If it doesn’t show up in the box score it doesn’t exist to me. :)

  • Dec 20, 20101:07 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    NM, found it. they only played a slightly faster pace than average.

  • Dec 20, 20101:15 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @feldman: A) calling a comment “predictable” sounds disparaging, but did i say something incorrect? just because it’s predictable, doesn’t make it wrong. it seems clear you’re talking about my issues with the injuries, but this team has proven time and time again that our overabundance of perimeter players is a serious burden. if i ever seem like a broken record, it’s probably because i’m right but the organization refuses to change course.
     
    B) as for summers, i don’t think you’ve offered a compelling argument. seems to me like stuckey was drafted with a silver spoon in his mouth and, as a result, is the least hungry piston since darko. the greatest strength each possesses is scoring. stuckey’s logged hundreds and hundreds of minutes because the organization is dead-set on making him the face of the franchise, regardless of how poorly he’s answered the call. on the other hand, they’re very comfortable burying summers for reasons both private and public. but the bottom line is that summers lays an egg and he won’t see the floor for months, stuckey lays three eggs in a row and he still starts and plays 33 minutes. and on the flip-side of that, summers comes in and plays a key role in a TRUE “signature win.” a potential turning point game and the first good win of the season, and he’ll be inactive the second we have 13 healthy bodies. if they force-fed summers minutes the way they do stuckey, he could very well have developed into the player odeh thinks he is. we’ll never know.
     
    C) you’ve twisted my point about drafting three small forwards in the same draft. perhaps it was unintentional, but you’ve ignored several aspects of my complaint. i said, “that’s what the pistons spout out to justify his perpetually inactive status and excuse themselves for taking three small forwards in the same draft while holding onto their veteran 35 mpg starter and adding yet another one this past offseason.” see, i understand the logic of drafting three guys at the same position. but when it’s institutionally impossible for all three to excel, you’ve done something wrong. jerebko proved a capable replacement if we didn’t have tayshaun at all, and i suspect daye and summers could have combined to eat up the backup minutes. but tayshaun’s STILL on the roster, and instead of thinning out a crowded perimeter this summer, we added t-mac knowing full well that he’d squeeze minutes from last year’s rookies. i remember someone commenting over the summer that summers was going to be a casualty of the t-mac signing, but there were no minutes for summers BEFORE t-mac, no matter how well he played. obviously if daye is a frequent healthy scratch, he’s the one who’s suffering because of t-mac. all of this adds up to the organization making it impossible for all three picks to pan out. i’m not the only one here who would rather see all three of last year’s rookies get minutes to see what we have, since we’re not winning games anyways. but the organization staunchly refuses to field a promising young team that could be very good and financially flexible in the near future. it would rather lose games with a mismatched squad of veterans.

  • Dec 20, 20101:34 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    i had to laugh when i read the comments about summers.
    so…
    when a guy gets a chance to play, and he plays well, that means that he shouldn’t get an opportunity to play again?
    and the reason is?….
    i’d argue that there is a clear need for a player with summers physical presence and skills at the 3 spot.  (or at the 2 spot, and occasionally, at the 4 spot)
    the pistons have had a screaming need for a physical small forward who could compete with the “power 3′s” like lebron and caron butler and ron artest and paul pierce and danny granger, guys who typically run roughshod over tay and whoever else the pistons have trotted out to try to match up with them over the last few years.
    can summers fill that role? who knows, cause he doesn’t get a legitimate chance to either prove or disprove that he can do so.
    are there better players – at his position – than summers on the team, as you state?
    maybe…arguably…
    tay is obviously a better all around player.
    for a period of a few minutes and within a limited context – his injuries, his repeated knicks that have kept him out at times – mcgrady is obviously a better player.
    daye is a better player in the sense that he is more skilled, but his physical frailty limits his all around effectiveness.
    JJ is certainly a more effective player, though summers is undoubtedly more skilled in many ways.
    but of all of those players, only JJ has the ability to physically match up with the aforementioned power 3′s who have killed the pistons over the last few years.  and, unfortunately from this fan’s perspective, the team appears intent on making JJ into a PF, and not playing him at the position where he could be a dominant defensive force, small forward.
    and he just had a pretty serious injury.
    so while there may be “better players” none of those players bring to the court the very important physical presence that summers brings to the court.  he fills a specific need for the team and, imho, is capable of playing a crucial role on the team.
    we’ve seen in recent weeks how maxiell has been able to come into a game and cool off certain rampaging big guys simply because he can bang with them and doesn’t shy away from the physicality of the match up.  (that last second steal and dunk, the one in the video above is a great example of that ability.  there is no way a guy like tay or daye competes in that physical way with an opposing player.)  summers may be able to provide the same kind of presence at the “3″ spot.  when one of those guys – pierce or butler of lebron or danny granger, for example – are physically abusing tay,  summers could be the guy to cool them off.  or at the very least prevent them from playing like a water buffalo in a china factory.
    the next time the pistons lose a game when one of those guys goes off and torches the team, fans should wonder why a guy who MIGHT be able to defend that player is not even given a chance to do so.  role players are supposed to come into a game and play a specific role – maybe hit some 3 pointers, or defend a specific type of offensive player – and the idea that a guy who appears capable of filling that role is not given a chance to fill that role, when there is a clear need, is puzzling.

  • Dec 20, 20101:47 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    about bynum, to put it as simply as possible: he isn’t perfect, and he probably isn’t a long-term solution at the point, but he’s never been given the reins of a healthy pistons team to see what he can do. he was the starting PG last year with the “patchwork” pistons who closed out last year’s lame duck season, but that’s not the same as joe and kuester sitting him down and saying, “here’s your shot. go start games and orchestrate the offense. this is your team for as long as you want it.” it’s not the same as a scorer who just comes in shooting, or a defender who just comes in and slows the hot hand; running the offense and dictating its flow is a completely different situation.
     
    i cringed a little when bynum made mistakes on consecutive possessions, and i’m not going to make excuses for that airball and turnover when he got mugged. but the airball was only his second miss, and he was aggressive as hell. “not afraid to take big shots” is dead-on. the team’s been BEGGING stuckey to take the lead and be aggressive, but he never EVER steps up like bynum did last night. ever. i was so happy when he made that last drive and turned a broken play into an and-one opportunity, even if he missed the free throw (we never make our free throws).
     
    as much as i hate stuckey, i’d never take anything away from him if he played with that much heart, made good decisions, took control at the end of a game to play a KEY role in a big win. what i’d do is say, “good work, stuckey. you’ve lived up to what joe dumars keeps insisting you are FOR ONCE. now go do it tomorrow and maybe i’ll start changing my mind about you.” and he’d get that chance. heck, it’s happened a few times in his career… he just reverts to type every time. i’m not sure how many consecutive GOOD games he’s had, but it’s certainly in the “not nearly enough” range.
     
    stuckey isn’t known for his instincts or decision making, so when he tries to be aggressive, it translates into recklessness. he’s crashing the lane and putting up shots when he draws 3, 4, sometimes 5 defenders. bynum has the court vision to make passes when defenses collapse. he found a lot of guys for decent looks tonight. be as skeptical as you want, but he deserves a chance to run this team. the ship has been sinking since stuckey took the helm. and stuckey would probably be more effective coming off the bench to provide an offensive spark than worrying about setting up his teammates (since he doesn’t do that anyways). he’d certainly be hungrier.

  • Dec 20, 20103:28 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    Stuck, RIP, and Summers traded to the Nets for Jordan Farmar and Troy Murphy.

  • Dec 20, 20103:41 pm
    by jk281

    Reply

    Jason, is that fact or rumor????

  • Dec 20, 20103:50 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Yeah Jason, is that just your wishful thinking or is there actually a rumor floating about it?

  • Dec 20, 20103:52 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    It’s plausible — Melo and Rip are friends or there’s a perception that they’re friends. Maybe NJ would do it to entice Melo into agreeing to a trade/extension?

  • Dec 20, 20104:02 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    jason, i would cry tears of joy if that trade went down.

  • Dec 20, 20104:08 pm
    by jk281

    Reply

    Just checked, and it would work in the trade machine, salary-wise, but I cant find anything about it online anywhere, not even as a rumor.

    If it were true, I guess from the Nets perspective it would allow them to include Harris in a Melo deal, having Stuckey to replace him, and Stuckey, Rip, Favors, and Lopez would be a pretty enticing starting 5 for Melo to join as the final piece.

    From the Pistons side, maybe giving up Stuckey is the cost needed to get rid of Rip’s contract, and if they aren’t going to re-sign him anyways, I guess it would be better than getting nothing for him. Farmar could be an upgrade over Stuckey in the “true PG” category, and Murphy an expiring contract for Rip.

    It seems like they could get more for Stuckey, but I wouldn’t be mad at this deal if it were true. We get out from Rips contract, and get true PG on reasonable contract for a player that we may lose at the end of the season and would be left nothing.

    Can anyone confirm Jason’s statement?

  • Dec 20, 20104:10 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Nah … I’ve been searching Twitter, Google, ESPN and Yahoo and there’s nothing.

  • Dec 20, 20104:13 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    yeah i also went on a interslice searching rampage and came up clean. dumar’s trades do tend to just pop up out of the blue though. nobody saw that billups/iverson trade or the sheed trade’s coming, and poof. tight lips around the palace. but still, this would be freaking great.

  • Dec 20, 20104:16 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Damn you Jason! How dare you post cryptic yet definitive sounding trade scenarios and then just walk away. Way to ruin my afternoon!

  • Dec 20, 20104:27 pm
    by jk281

    Reply

    yeah Jason, WTF?

  • Dec 20, 20104:31 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    OK … this is what I could find:

    - Report from two days ago with a “source” saying that Murphy would be traded in the near future, either in a deal for Carmelo Anthony or someone else.

    - Report that Avery Johnson is not enamored with Jordan Farmar.

    Also, Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow is out for 3 weeks with an injury, so they do have an opening there. They also have an owner looking to make an impact trade after striking out in the offseason. They also are attempting to convince Carmelo Anthony to accept a trade and sign there, and I’d expect Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey would be more appealing teammates to Anthony than Farmar or Murphy.

    Again, all complete speculation. But there are some reasons it makes sense.

  • Dec 20, 20105:12 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    why check news sources when some anonymous guy called “Jason” who usually doesn’t make much sense in the first place is on the case?
     
    come on guys, is it really that easy to start a frenzy over here? if it’s a trade rumor involving stuckey, you better do a LOT of double-checking before you get excited. jesus, guys…

  • Dec 20, 20105:17 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    I have been double-checking. This is what he posted:
    “Stuck, RIP, and Summers traded to the Nets for Jordan Farmar and Troy Murphy.”
    That’s not saying, “I think they should do this …”
    I’m trying to figure out if he found it somewhere, because I sure as hell can’t.

  • Dec 20, 20105:30 pm
    by jk281

    Reply

    Laser, I think its just the fact that Stuckey and Rip both suddenly missed last nights game, combined with Dumars hinting he had something on the table, that led a lot ppl to think they might wake up to a trade today, including myself. I’ve read a lot of fan comments online about rumors that “might” be in the works, but its not too often that ppl come out and make definitive statements that someone was traded for no reason. So I think its worth a little investigation, because the proposed deal does make some sense, and it got me excited at first, but now I think Jason is full of it.

  • Dec 20, 20105:36 pm
    by jk281

    Reply

    btw I asked Justin Rogers over at mlive if he heard anything and he said, “I’ve heard nothing about that, and I highly doubt it.”

    Just noticed a link on mlive too about a new interview with Joe on espn radio talking about Rip that you guys might be interested in.

    http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2010/12/joe_dumars_on_espn_961_if_rip.html

  • Dec 20, 20105:37 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    yeah i mean you combine everything, rip/stuck missing the game, with the news about jersey patrick found, the rip/melo thing, and then you get some definitive sounding statement with the words ‘traded’ in it, and i think you have to look into it.
     
    now i’m sure this is just BS, but there is that small shred of something in the back of my mind saying please let this jason fella be privy to some info that we aren’t. please. pretty please. if not whatever. good one jason.

  • Dec 20, 20106:00 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    Wow, had absolutely no one of my trade “Proposals” would take off so quickly!
     
    Sorry to have commented and ran!
     
    Unfortunately, it was just wishful thinking on my part.. Although, I think it’s a deal that would seem to work on both ends..
     
    Troy Murphy is the highest paid NET and yet he was DNP 3 of the last 4 games, and never gets any playing time.. It’s not because he isn’t good though – the guy had career seasons the previous two years, averaging over 10 rebounds, and around 15ppg.
     
    From that standpoint, it could be a good fit for the Pistons, and should they like what they see out of him – they can offer him a contract in the offseason. Farmar obviously gives the Pistons a good playmaker to compete with Bynum at the PG slot, and Gordon and Daye can finally get expanded roles with Rip gone..
     
    Aside from that, the Nets have a need for a good SG, which Rip fills that void. Stuckey and Summers expiring deals would be attractive as well, and either player could actually see a good fit within Jersey’s system.
     
    Overall, it would be a good trade for both teams in my opinion, and both teams really don’t have a whole lot to lose at this point..

  • Dec 20, 20106:10 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    And @ Laser and his ridiculous comment – “Someone who usually doesn’t make a whole lot of sense” – that’s up for debate my friend.
     
    I give sensible opinions about things the Pistons could do to be a better team. Sometimes that involves crazy trade proposals like the above, sometimes it’s a new roster proposal. You may not always agree with what i’m saying, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make a whole lot of sense.
     
    For instance – I’ve been saying for weeks that we need to bench Stuckey, bringing Gordon, Rip, Mcgrady, Villanueva, and Wallace to the starting rotation.
    We pretty much saw this lineup yesterday, of course swapping Rip for Tayshaun – which could go either way in my book.
    Regardless, the idea was to run the ball through T-Mac and Bynum – making Stuckey the backup SG, (Where his aggressive style would actually be beneficial to the team).
     
    Many people called me crazy, but it seems to be the most logical situation WITH THE CURRENT roster. Of course, this isn’t preferred – i’d like to see a trade go down that defines roles much more clearly, but this is what we have to work with.
     
    To me, its all about allowing your best facilitator run the offense, AND making sure your highest paid players aren’t sitting on the bench.
     
    Anyways, long story short – I wouldn’t say comments like these are quite logical, given the Pistons current circumstance – to the contrary of what you have suggested, Laser.

  • Dec 20, 20109:23 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    Troy murphy?
    One of the worst defenders in the league. He can’t guard anyone. I might trade rip for him but only to dump rip’s contract. The idea of trading stuckey and summers and rip for a non-defending guy who gets numbers makes little sense.
    Farmar?
    How much of an improvement over stuckey is he? Hard to say, but he certainly isn’t a player I’d clamour to obtain. Medicrity personified.

  • Dec 20, 20109:42 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Frankie:
    Any trade that dumps Hamilton’s salary for an expiring contract isn’t just a good trade, it’s a great trade.
    You’re right, Farmar and Murphy aren’t going to make the team title contenders. But this hypothetical trade accomplishes a lot:
    - Not only would the Pistons shed the more than $30 million or so Rip is still owed on his contract, they wouldn’t have to address the Stuckey extension. I mean, what would you do with him? He’s having his best season. But is it still good enough to make him worthy of a long-term investment when they aren’t sure if he can play point guard at a high level and they already have Gordon locked up at the two? If Mike Conley got $9 million a year in Memphis, you’d have to think Stuckey’s agent will ask for something in that neighborhood since they are statistically very similar players for their careers.
    Are you ready to invest long-term in a Stuckey/Gordon backcourt? I certainly am not.
    - Farmar is an average NBA player. But he’s also signed to a modest contract. Between Farmar and Bynum, they give the Pistons two competent options at the point while they search for a long-term solution.
    - Murphy isn’t a great defender, you’re right. But he is a great rebounder, and the Pistons are currently one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. So maybe Murphy is not the long-term answer up front, but he is an obvious upgrade for the short run, he’ll help on the boards, he’ll make shots at a high rate on offense and his contract will expire at the end of the year. In the short term, he makes the roster more balanced. In the long-term, he provides significant financial relief when swapping him for Hamilton’s albatross of a deal.
    - Summers is simply a throw-in in this scenario. I know you like him and think he can play, and maybe he can. But it’s pretty clear that the organization is higher on two young guys who basically play his same position in Daye and Jerebko. Summers very well may develop into a solid NBA player, but there just aren’t minutes for him in Detroit.
    - The trade would open up minutes for Daye at backup shooting guard and allow Gordon to start. It would give the rotation another solid big man, even if there are some holes in his game. And if you figure, conservatively, that Stuckey will probably get at least $30 million over 5 years in an extension, that money, combined with Hamilton’s contract, saves the Pistons significant money down the road and possibly allows them to sign an impact free agent next season.
    It’s a totally hypothetical scenario, since I’ve heard nothing about NJ being interested in such a deal, but the Pistons would be crazy to pass on it if this offer was made.

  • Dec 20, 201010:29 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    I was going to respond, but Patrick summed it up perfectly.
    Murphy would likely not be a Piston after the season, unless of course he blew management away through the rest of the season. Regardless, with Tayshaun expiring, and Rip’s contract gone – we can go after a guy like Zach Randolph.
     
    I still think aside from the financial aspect, for THIS season even – it could prove to be just what the Pistons need. Our identity problems would instantly be solved with Hamilton no longer on the roster. Gordon starts, and Daye finally gets more minutes between both the 2/3 spots.
     
    And as Patrick noted, while Murphy isn’t a “Great” defender, he had averaged of 10 rebounds per game for the past 2 seasons, while still managing to score over 14 points per game. The Pistons could surely use a 10 rebound per night guy this season.
     
    Even Farmar would immediately solve our HUGE dilemma with Stuckey. Again, yes he is having a great season “Individually”, I as well as many Pistons fans realize he simply isn’t built to be a starting PG. He would be a great SG, especially off the bench with his aggressive style of play. He wouldn’t have to attempt to become a facilitator, rather focus on his strengths.
     
    Farmar is at least accustomed to winning, has experience in playoffs/clutch games in his LA days – and is much more of a traditional PG – Just what the Pistons need. Getting rid of Stuckey alone will free up that many more shot attempts to guys who were brought to this team to score – Gordon, Villanueva, Monroe, etc.
     
    Again, yes this is somewhat hypothetical – but there was a lot of reason behind the proposal as well. Murphy isn’t getting any playing time in Jersey, and is being paid way too much money not to be. If Jersey can get a contributing SG out of it, what do they have to lose?

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