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Pistons and Rockets learn relying on Tracy McGrady not a winning formula

Tracy McGrady was the Pistons’ most important player tonight.

The thousands of Rockets fans who booed McGrady know how that story ends. For years, they couldn’t rely on him. Neither could Detroit tonight in a 97-83 loss.

Unlike Houston fans, Pistons fans shouldn’t resent McGrady, though. He fought valiantly and did the best he could. The loss isn’t on him.

The loss is on the rest of the team for putting the Pistons in a position where they needed to rely on a role player whose conditioning prevents him from playing big minutes.

McGrady – joined by Ben Gordon, Austin Daye, Chris Wilcox and Greg Monroe* –  led the Pistons’ 19-5 run in the first 6:16 of the second quarter. McGrady controlled the tempo on offense, making the smart passes that ensured Detroit took good shots. Defensively, he was always in the right spot, collecting three rebounds and drawing a charge.

*John Kuester hasn’t changed the starting lineup much, and he stuck with a rotation that wasn’t winning for too long. But credit him for experimenting the last few games. That lineup looks nothing like what Detroit had shown so far this season.

After McGrady left the game, the Rockets promptly went on a 6-0 run. The Pistons looked lost offensively and defensively, turning the ball over twice and allowing a layup, dunk and two free throws.

McGrady returned 1:34 later, but the damage was already done. The Pistons’ rhythm and poise had completely disappeared.

The Rockets’ 6-0 run became a 20-2 run and gave them a nine-point halftime lead. The stretch was UGLY. It featured:

  • The Pistons shooting 0-for-11 from the field (their only two points were McGrady free throws).
  • Detroit turning the ball over four times (a rate of more than 33 turnovers per 48 minutes).
  • Richard Hamilton picking up two technical fouls (his third ejection of the season, but more on that later).

I figured the game was essentially over at halftime. But with McGrady on the court, Detroit crept back into the game in the second half.

McGrady even dribbled into a 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring to bring the Pistons within one with 8:17 left in the game. That’s as close as they got, because as I said above, you can’t rely on a on a role player whose conditioning prevents him from playing big minutes to carry you to victory.

McGrady, who played 23 minutes tonight (well above his season average of 16 minutes per game), simply ran out of gas shortly after that 3-pointer.

Shane Battier baited McGrady into fouling him on a made runner, and McGrady charged over Luis Scola on Detroit’s next possession. Battier may have pushed McGrady more than the other way around, and Scola showed great awareness by beating McGrady to the spot.

After both plays, McGrady, who had done nothing but make similar savvy plays all night, just smirked.

But the Rockets had the last laugh.

Richard Hamilton needs to get his act together

John Kuester has stood up to Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey this year. He needs to do the same with Richard Hamilton.

I’m not sure it will happen.

When Kuester was hired, he said his first action would be attending to Hamilton’s wedding. Kuester spent plenty of time during his introductory press conferences praising Hamilton.

I’m sure Michael Curry’s dysfunctional relationship with Hamilton played a role in Kuester’s comments. The Pistons fired Curry because he lost the team, most notably Hamilton. Kuester was surely trying to avoid a similar fate.

But the time has come to push back. Hamilton is embarrassing the team, and he needs to realize he’s embarrassing himself.

Hamilton was ejected for the third time this season. That’s as many games this year as he’s:

  • Scored 18 points
  • Made seven shots
  • Made five free throws

That more games than he’s:

  • Dished five assists
  • Attempted six free throws
  • Made two steals

I don’t want to hear anything about the new technical foul guidelines, either. I don’t like them, but everyone else in the league has adjusted. By repeatedly continue to argue for long periods of time, Hamilton is punishing his teammates, not the referees.

Before last season, Hamilton talked a lot about wanting to be more of a leader. It didn’t really happen. Now, he’s acting like he’s completely given up on that plan.

He better get it together, because he has competition. If Kuester wants to admonish Hamilton, he has more backup than he did with Prince and Stuckey.

When Ben Gordon, starting the third quarter in place of Hamilton, made a 3-pointer for Detroit’s first points of the half, he sent a message – he’s capable of taking Hamilton’s minutes.

Replacing Richard Hamilton

Ben Gordon (37 minutes) and Will Bynum (four minutes) picked up Richard Hamilton’s playing time after he was ejected. Neither replacement impressed.

Gordon shot 3-of-11 and turned the ball over four times. Bynum missed both his shots and didn’t have any assists.

After his strong start, Gordon has come back to earth. Bynum didn’t do anything to prove he belongs back back in the regular rotation.

Austin Daye makes case for minutes

Although Will Bynum didn’t show he belonged in the regular rotation, Austin Daye certainly did. Daye scored 12 points (4-of-6 from the field, 2-of-2 on 3-pointers, 2-of-2 from the line) in 18 minutes.

I still think, long term, Daye is a small forward. Last year, he played shooting guard because he didn’t yet have the strength for the three. Now, all of a sudden, he’s a power forward?

Daye should regularly play a few minutes as a spot-up shooter when Rodney Stuckey is in the game. Merely the threat of Daye’s outside shot would open the lane for Stuckey’s drives.

Pistons’ pick-and-roll defense is lacking

Kyle Lowry (22 points and 12 assists) and Luis Scola (35 points and 12 rebounds) absolutely destroyed the Pistons on the pick-and-roll. Matt Dery explained why:

The #Pistons do ZERO talking on defense.. ZERO. Rip on Rasheed all you want.. but he communicated and called out screens and he talked!

John Kuester’s quip

Maybe it was only because of his perfect deadpan delivery, but John Kuester had what I thought was a good line after the game:

“I’m amazed Kevin Martin could get 15 free throws. I didn’t know he was such a great post player.”

Three of those attempts came after Chris Wilcox fouled him on a 3-pointer, and three more came after Piston technical fouls.

That leaves nine free-throw attempts that came on typical basketball plays – not far from Martin’s season average of 8.3 free-throw attempts per game.

Sorry, Kue. This one isn’t on the refs. It’s on your team’s lack of discipline.

36 Comments

  • Dec 8, 201012:34 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    nice to see almost everyone has a backup PG who’s better than stuckey.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PistonPowered Feed, Detroit Pistons. Detroit Pistons said: TrueHoop.com – Pistons and Rockets learn relying on Tracy McGrady not a winning formula: http://bit.ly/fH86qJ [...]

  • Dec 8, 20101:11 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    hahaha good one laser.
     
    nice to see everyone has a front court player better than we do as well. we were getting killed last year by big games out of front court players and nothing has changed. just some of the gems we’ve allowed this season:
     
    b.lopez – 25 pts/9 rbs/3 blks
     
    j.noah – 15 pts/17 rbs/3 blks
     
    j.smith – 22 pts/11 rbs/4 ast/2 blks
     
    l.aldridge – 19 pts/17 rbs
     
    b.griffin – 18 pts/18 rbs/4 ast
     
    odom/gasol – 40 pts/26 rbs
     
    j.mcgee – 20 pts/16 rbs
     
    d.nowitzki – 42 pts/12 rbs
     
    z.randolph – 21 pts/14 rbs
     
    a.stoudamire – 37 pts/15 rbs/7 ast
     
    m.gortat – 14 pts/11 rbs/3 blks
     
    l.scola – 35 pts/12 rbs
     
    now granted all those guys are good players, and although i’m not willing to calculate the combined field goal percentage of those guys against us, but just looking at the numbers i’d have to guess it’s well over 70%. getting killed on the interior, and killed efficiently. and it’s one thing to allow those guys to destroy you on the interior, but it’s another thing to have nothing to punch back with. whatever kind of bench differential feldman threw out in his bench post we need to figure out a front court nba efficiency differential because the pistons have to be the worst team in the league by a mile at that.

  • Dec 8, 20101:26 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    oh wow. so i went back to the bench post followed some links and viola! the Pistons are dead last in front court efficiency differential. wow who needs advanced stats to tell ya that huh laser? ha.
     
    man this hoopdata is fun stuff
     
    we’re deal last in front court differential
     
    28th at the center position and and 30th at the PF position. so we’re getting killed at both positions. oh and we’re also dead last in points-in-the-paint differential.
     
    the backcourt is at least top half in the league, barely, at 14th. PG differential is 17th, SG is 13th, and SF is 22nd. So the Pistons really aren’t good at any position, but SG happens to be their best position, somehow, but the front court is horrendous, while the backcourt is average.

  • Dec 8, 20107:02 am
    by Ex-Rocket-Fan

    Reply

    “The thousands of Rockets fans who booed McGrady know how that story ends. For years, they couldn’t rely on him.”

    I’m sorry, but that’s such complete Houston Fanboy horesh*t that I don’t know where to start.

    Let’s start with T-Mac carried Houston to multiple 50 win seasons, IN THE STACKED WEST.  Without T-Mac they’re lucky to crack 45 wins those seasons.

    T-Mac raised his game in the playoffs every year.  His playoff failures in Houston aren’t all on him.
    A backcourt of an old, shot David Wesley, Jon Barry, and Bobby Bad-Back Sura wasn’t his fault.  Ryan Bowen starting at Power Forward wasn’t his fault.  Old shot David Wesley getting abused by Stackhouse wasn’t his fault.
    Yao getting manhandled by Mehmet R-U-Kidding-Me Okur wasn’t his fault.  Luther HEad’s playoff choke job wasn’t his fault.  Shane Battier’s inability to dribble wasn’t his fault.
    Yao’s brittle skeleton wasn’t his fault, yet T-Mac still led them to 22 straight wins, over half of them without Yao, and into the playoffs IN THE WEST, injuring his shoulder and knee.  That’s the same knee injury that he continues to recover from to this day, yet during that run he had it shot up with cortisone before games and played through it.
    Houston fans are ungrateful idiots, and such an uninformed statement like “For years, they couldn’t rely on him” is exactly what you would expect from an ignorant, bitter Houston fan.
    You should be better than that, Detroit fan.

  • Dec 8, 20107:09 am
    by thank you

    Reply

    thank you ex rocket fan i swear nobody acknowledges all the things mcgrady did for houston. he gets the credit for all the losses smh never yao, even after his record with the rox had 60+ more wins w/o yao, than yao had with the rockets w/o mac. mcgrady is destined to be an scape goat sad but true.

  • Dec 8, 20107:37 am
    by Ex-Rocket-Fan

    Reply

    And that Battier play and Scola play were bad calls.
     
    The Dukie pushed off and should have been tagged with an offensive foul.
     
    And the Flopping Opera Man did not beat T-Mac to the spot.  T-Mac only grazed him, and the flopping flopper keeled over like the disgraceful bowling pin he is.

  • Dec 8, 20109:18 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Ex-Rocket Fan:
    I gotta ask … why do you d— ride T-Mac so hard?
    I love McGrady as much as anyone. But damn, is he the only reason you watch the NBA?

  • Dec 8, 20109:30 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Ex-Rocket-Fan,

    A backcourt of an old, shot David Wesley, Jon Barry, and Bobby Bad-Back Sura wasn’t his fault.  Ryan Bowen starting at Power Forward wasn’t his fault.  Old shot David Wesley getting abused by Stackhouse wasn’t his fault.

    Yao getting manhandled by Mehmet R-U-Kidding-Me Okur wasn’t his fault.  Luther HEad’s playoff choke job wasn’t his fault.  Shane Battier’s inability to dribble wasn’t his fault.
    Yao’s brittle skeleton wasn’t his fault, yet T-Mac still led them to 22 straight wins, over half of them without Yao, and into the playoffs IN THE WEST, injuring his shoulder and knee. ”

    I believe your mistake, and even T-Mac will tell you that:

    I didn’t mean to say McGrady was completely unreliable. But winning 50-some games was never what the Rockets hoped to rely on him for. They planned to rely on him leading Houston to division titles and playoff-series victories. He delivered on neither.

    As far as the calls, I think both were good. Battier pushed during the continuation — after McGrady fouled him. Not sure exactly what’s supposed to happen there (double foul?), but it certainly wouldn’t erase McGrady’s foul. Maybe, maybe Scola embellished (but I’m not convinced), but it was a foul, regardless.

  • Dec 8, 20109:44 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    The thousands of Rockets fans who booed McGrady know how that story ends. For years, they couldn’t rely on him. Neither could Detroit tonight in a 97-83 loss.
     
    Wow, this is incredibly harsh. TMac signed with us a on vet minimum deal and is being asked to play fewer than 20 minutes per game, and in those fewer than 20 minutes per game, he’s performing admirably. In fact, I think you can argue that he’s actually exceeding expectations. I can’t fathom that anyone would have been “relying” on him for any more than he’s doing.
     
    I realize you went on to qualify things, but still, those are some biting words directed at a player who’s done a lot more to help than hurt this year.

  • Dec 8, 20109:45 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    nuetes, where did you get that data?

  • Dec 8, 20109:51 am
    by vic

    Reply

    i’m not a tmac rider, but just looking at what’s happening on the floor: i agree with ex-rocket fan… i also think tmac has shown basketball intelligence that the Pistons lack without him on the floor. Every time he gets on the floor, we play better: with more balance, intelligence, and a better offensive flow. He’s also been an excellent defender.

    The Pistons have been free-falling since the beginning of the season, Kuester needs to shorten the bench make some permanent rotation changes:

    Stuckey – pushing the ball in transition
    Rip – running off screens every game
    Prince
    Monroe – will help the starters stagnant iso offense
    Ben

    Tmac – if he gets tired, give stuckey extra minutes
    Gordon – keep shooting
    Daye – keep shooting
    CV – give him the green light but make him post up first
    Maxiell – if he doesn’t rebound or defend, give ben/monroe extra minutes

    If kuester doesn’t find a way to cut what doesn’t work, and go with what we clearly see HAS WORKED, we can blame 75% of the losses on him.

    Its easy to complain and ask for trades, but in real life you have to “use what you got” till you get what you want.

    Kuester is not using what he has correctly, and he has had PLENTY of games to experiment…. As a COACH its time to stop Experimenting and start EXECUTING. Yeah we need a big man but that’s no excuse for the pitiful gameplans we’ve been experimenting with.

  • Dec 8, 201010:19 am
    by Quin

    Reply

    Hayes, quit D__ Riding Feldman, LOL!

  • Dec 8, 201010:22 am
    by Quin

    Reply

    You guys are funny with your defenses of lame statements.  Just admit that Ex-Rocket-Fan pulled your card and be a man about it.

  • Dec 8, 201010:44 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Gulker, I never blamed McGrady for this loss, not even close. I wrote:

    “Unlike Houston fans, Pistons fans shouldn’t resent McGrady, though. He fought valiantly and did the best he could. The loss isn’t on him.

    The loss is on the rest of the team for putting the Pistons in a position where they needed to rely on a role player whose conditioning prevents him from playing big minutes.”

  • Dec 8, 201010:48 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Vic, shortening the bench is easier said than done. There are too many guys who deserve NBA playing time on this team to cut the rotation. Kuester risks alienating players (and by extension, possibly the team) by shortening the rotation.

    Your rotation suggestion includes 10 players — the same number the Pistons have used all season — and you don’t have any players to answer to. Shortening the bench for this team just won’t be easily done.

  • Dec 8, 201010:49 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Quin, how was someone who never took the Rockets out of the first round of the playoffs or led them to a division title so great in Houston?

  • Dec 8, 201010:55 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Quin/Rocket Fan/Ben/Whoever:
    It’s fair for Dan to write about, in McGrady’s return to Houston, the feelings that a lot of Rockets fans have towards McGrady. I don’t necessarily agree as a McGrady fan myself throughout his career, but there are plenty of people in Houston who feel like McGrady didn’t deliver on what he was brought there to do. That was a big theme of McGrady’s career in Houston, so in his return there, it was fair to talk about it.
    I don’t read Dan’s intro as all that harsh. He’s making the comparison between McGrady, in the opinion of many as those links suggest, failing to deliver in Houston and being put into a position where he can’t succeed in Detroit, being asked to do too much as the game spun out of control.
    And Quin, don’t ever criticize someone for lame statements when you use “LOL” an your comments. That’s the height of lameness. 100.

  • Dec 8, 201011:18 am
    by Quin

    Reply

    We’re Detroit Pistons fans.  It’s already a foregone conclusion in our minds (and under Joe D’s philosophy) that you shouldn’t rely on a single player for team success.  No single player was responsible for the Pistons’ most recent playoff success.  Therefore, no single player can be blamed for a lack thereof.  The newsflash is: Michael Jordan is old and retired.  Placing all that weight on a single player is just … mean.  Single players fail at making shots, stops, etc.  Teams fail at acquiring championships.  I could go on …

  • Dec 8, 201011:41 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Nowhere in the post was the blame placed on a single player.

  • [...] Piston Powered (Make sure to take a look at Dan Feldman’s less emotional, but similarly T-Mac-centric take on Tuesday’s match) [...]

  • Dec 8, 201012:31 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    i’ll leave the t-mac stuff alone. i wouldn’t make him the focus of any loss, and even though you’ve explained that he isn’t the problem, it’s hard to ignore that he’s right there in the headline. front and center. anyhow, yeah he’s our best passer and most instinctive playmaker, but he shouldn’t be here. we’re not good enough to win games with or without him, so that’s that. he may be the only player on the team who’s actually fun to watch, but it’s not enough to warrant his presence here. hopefully he keeps it up enough to prove to a playoff team that he can help in a limited role and fetch us a draft pick or something.
     
    my favorite bit is the kevin martin stuff. he’s on my fantasy team, so i’ve been following him pretty well so far this season. getting to the free throw line is very much his “thing.” he doesn’t always shoot great, but he’s always racking up points because he gets to the line like almost nobody i’ve ever seen. partly because he shoots the team’s techs most of the time, but more because he’s just so damn aggressive. it feels like a rarity when he gets to the line fewer than ten times. i just read a funny article on this that makes kuester look like an idiot (Edited to include link. Please link when quoting or referring to outside articles). guy points out…
     
    “Kuester coached against Martin three times last season; Martin averaged more than nine free throw attempts a game in those contests, and had 12 in one of the matches… Even more ridiculous? Kuester was a top assistant with the Cavaliers in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 season. Martin, then with the Kings, played against Cleveland three times. His free throw totals in those games: 14, 17 and 18. So in the last three seasons, Martin had averaged 12.8 free throws a game against Kuester’s teams, and yet Kuester is amazed – amazed — Martin could get 15 in one game.”

    so kuester looks like an idiot. because he probably just is one. as a coach, when you lose a many games as we’re going to lose this season, you’re always going to have to find something to blame other than yourself and joe dumars. guy probably just looks at the box score and picks a target. this stat may jump off the box score, but it always does. guy is aggressive as hell. guy can take ten shots and hit three of them and score 20. so either detroit’s scouting is as bad as everything else on the team, or kuester is a dud. or both.

    for the first time in three games or so, i watched this one from start to finish (i did that for the first 17 or so games, then decided i’d seen enough to judge the team fairly without having to waste my life watching every possession just to say i did), and this game wasn’t called badly. houston is better and they outplayed us. if we won the game, i would have said: “well, i’m not surprised we won (though i would have been); houston didn’t have a point guard or center available either, but at least they’ve got ‘em on the roster.” ZING! and yeah, i know it’s not my snappiest one-liner, but the spirit is there.

    on rip: we’ve got too many shooting guards as it is, and i consider that one of the team’s weaknesses. i wanted to choke kuester out when he complained after one recent game that  so you’ll have a hard time convincing me that losing him is a bad thing (rip is an average defender, pesky at worst, disinterested at best, and even against the lakers, they’ve only really got one the guard who needs loads of attention, and the pistons seem to think stuckey’s our best perimeter defender, which always makes me chuckle, so rip shouldn’t be guarding kobe much anyways. not that we’ll ever beat the lakers with this team, of course). the problem is that he’s hurting his trade value, if he has any. i’ve got no idea if anyone would ever take him off our hands for anything, but it sure isn’t going to happen when he’s fouling out of as many games as he’s scoring 18+. so if it was up to me, he’d have earned himself a demotion to the bench last night. god knows it don’t look like we’re trading him, so why put up with his petulance? it bugged me to no end the other night when kuester said about rip and gordon after both of them laid eggs, “one of them has to step up,” because it’s just not going to happen until they’re not competing with each other for minutes and shots and a role as the go-to scorer.

    on bynum: i’d leave him out of this , too. i didn’t think he had a big enough role to make any sort of significant impact with 15-ish minutes to operate, and i suggested he be cut from the lineup weeks before it happened. so i certainly won’t blame him for being ineffective playing 5. he would have had to make a HELL of a statement to do anything with that junk time.

    on stuckey: our US marine corps player of the game! yeah. hoo-ah! 18 points and more turnovers than assists ain’t getting it done, even when you’re NOT matched up against the opposing backup for the entire game. if it was up to me i’d feed him to a shark where all his “physical tools” could at least do some good. why can’t it be up to me??

    so… we stink. the evidence mounts. where’s the joker who thought we were a 5-6 seed in the east? some people…

  • Dec 8, 201012:38 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    sorry, i tried to say i would have choked kuester out when he said the bit about needing one of gordon or rip to “step up,” but i wrote it funny when editing. it was unclear.
     
    also, is every comment getting moderated now or just mine? would be funny if a model citizen like me was targeted for some reason.

  • Dec 8, 201012:40 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    @ Dan,

    shortening the bench was the minor segment of my post… I actually added that phrase last.

    The key point is changing the lineups to what works. We have 2 options: complain about what we don’t have; or make calculated adjustments based on what has worked on a small scale.

    Lately Monroe has shown rebounding, defense, passing, and an ok post option. That’s what our stagnant 1st unit needs. Putting his court vision and talent in the starting lineup is a VERY significant change to a lineup that tends to be selfish. (and coincidentally, only wins when they are unselfish).

    We have also seen Tracy McGrady as an excellent creator facilitator and defender, and Austin Daye, CV, and BG as lights out shooters at separate times. I’ve even seen CV do a couple of strong post moves more regularly.

    Changing the 1st and second unit and sticking with it; those are the decisions that have to be made. Kuester is waiting too long to make them.

    And to paraphrase Joe D, Kuester’s boss… When you’re losing, nothing is guaranteed to anyone. They are losing games that they should win, every single week since the beginning of the season.

    You don’t technically have to shorten the bench by not playing Maxiell or Bynum at all, you just shorten their minutes when they don’t produce. Would you rather alienate a couple of 2nd and 3rd string players, or alienate 1 million potential fans that are sick of watching their team fail with all their “talent” that doesn’t produce when it really counts. Its a tough decision, Kue just needs to make it so we can have a chance to win.

  • Dec 8, 201012:40 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    You shouldn’t be getting moderated. Your comments aren’t posting automatically?

  • Dec 8, 201012:40 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    never mind. maybe my comment was just moderated due to length. i’ll keep ‘em more brief from now on, but i’m confident my comment awaiting moderation was pretty “meaty” and concise and adds more to the discussion than bickering about a headline that targets t-mac when the body makes the author’s point clear.

  • Dec 8, 201012:41 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    my comment #22 was for some reason. check it out. it’s weird.

  • Dec 8, 201012:42 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    this one: “Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm

  • Dec 8, 201012:49 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Laser, your comment went to moderation because it included multiple links. I approved it as soon as I saw it.

  • Dec 8, 201012:53 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    ah. ok cool. i see. makes perfect sense, because i cut and pasted quotes. thanks, feldman. you run a tight ship!

  • Dec 8, 20101:31 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @vic: not to nitpick here, but what do you mean by “games they should have won?” are you just talking about the fact that they had big leads late in the game? because i don’t think we’ve lost a single game we should have won. not on paper or on the court.
     
    losing games when you have a big lead late is what bad teams do. because crunch time is the only thing that matters in most basketball games. basketball creates the illusion that certain games were lost in the last six minutes, when they were really lost this summer when joe “kept the band together.” i’ve said this from the jump, but the pistons are going to be in a TON of close games. and they’re going to lose the lion’s share of them. because they’ll never be able to consistently execute on both ends (or either end, really) down the stretch.
     
    as for changing lineups, it’s telling that villa has yet to start. i’m not sure what the exact mandate is, but it’s a great indicator that the team really isn’t trying to “try anything.” i mean, 22 games into the season, with a .318 win percentage, we should have seen some major change at some point by now. we saw it against charlotte, and it worked! but it lasted one game. then right back to the horrid old rotations. stuckey and rip are a bad backcourt, and villa is our best PF. yet these guys are all locked into their spots in the rotation. that’s all you need to know. the organization isn’t being outwardly transparent, but they’re being inflexible for a reason.

  • Dec 8, 20102:08 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Man this post sure did blow up with Mcgrady lovers. I don’t see a single thing wrong with what Feldman said. You can’t rely on Mcgrady. Big deal. He played in 333 of the Rockets 468 games while he was a Rocket, 71% of them. And how many of those 333 was he even 100%? We can’t rely on him. He’s fragile and can’t handle a big work load. Next thing your going to tell me that Yao Ming was reliable for them too, right?
     
    Kind of funny because the Trailblazers are the new Rockets. They’ll always have the what could have been question over their heads had Oden been able to stay healthy and Roy’s knees existed.
     
    @brgulker – hoopdata.com
     
    feldman used some stats he pulled off of it to make a point about the pistons bench and i checked out the site. pretty interesting stuff on there.

  • Dec 8, 20102:14 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    SCRATCH THAT
    hoopstats.com
     
    there we go. much better.

  • Dec 8, 20102:16 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

  • Dec 8, 20104:37 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Reading this made me want to throw up. McGrady honestly is playing amazing this season. He CAN play more minutes, as a fan, it is obvious. I believe 15 ppg isnt out of the question. And how was he expected to carry them when he took 6 shots? Also, at the end, He was kinda pushed into Scola by the other rockets defender, really bad call and not sure about the Battier call earlier either. Regardless, hes taken double digit shots once this season. He is also the best offensive player on the team, easily. Stuckey is a selfish PG. McGrady, the 6″8 scorer is showing his unique skill set by running point guard continually. Kuester needs to stop playing Rip Hamilton (I am a HUGE Rip fan, but hes just bad now…) 3 ejections already??? and also he and Prince shoot too much. Rip took 9 shots…he was ejected in the 2nd quarter and he played like 10 minutes…thats like a shot a minute, really sad..

  • Dec 8, 20105:04 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Mark:
    Again, I don’t understand what was objectionable about the post. It pointed out that McGrady was really the only Piston who played well. If McGrady CAN play more minutes, why did he have to skip the entire preseason with tired legs? Why did he miss a game two weeks ago with “sore muscles?”
    He’s been very productive in his role this season. Surprisingly productive actually. But he’s done zero to show that he has the stamina to play more than the 15-20 minutes he’s getting most nights on a consistent basis.
    I hope he makes it back and is a reasonably productive NBA player. But readers like you, Rocket Fan, Quin, etc., who are projecting these unrealistic goals as to what his ceiling is aren’t doing any favors. If he can play 25 minutes a game at a productive level by season’s end, that will be a huge accomplishment for him.

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