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Pistons aren’t woeful on the road (relatively), but their offense sure is

Firstly, when researching this post, I found a rather remarkable stat: the Pistons are one of three teams that haven’t beaten a team with a winning record this season. The others are the Kings, and thanks to the Trail Blazers’ loss to the Spurs last night, the Wizards. Game on, Sacramento and Washington.

Anyway, on to the crux of the post.

The Free Press ran an article yesterday headlined “Pistons woeful on road trips with 2-12 record.” Yes, that’s true, but it’s a little misleading.

The Pistons aren’t a bad road team. They’re a bad team.

Detroit is 5-6 (.455) at home, and 2-12 (.143) on the road. That drop of .312 ranks as 10th most in the league,* hardly a huge problem. Really, the Pistons are only slightly worse than expected on the road.

*The Wizards (6-4 at home, 0-12 on the road) rank first, and the Knicks (6-5 at home, 10-4 on the road) rank last.

But Perry Farrell’s article also included a spot-on point: the Pistons’ offense is remarkably worse on the road than at home. The Pistons average 102 points per game at The Palace of Auburn Hills and only 88.4 on the road.

Pace can’t explain this one. Detroit’s pace falls from 88.6 to 88.5 from home to road, but that’s not nearly significant enough to account for the points-per-game drop. The Pistons offensive rating drops from 111.9 to 99.1 from home to road.

In other words, they go from what would match the Suns for the best offensive rating this season to what would be the worst offensive-rating season since the Bulls and Raptors seven years ago.

And the extremeness of this road deficiency really lies only with the Pistons’ offense. For comparison, their defensive rating falls from 114.1 to 110.4 from home to road – or if you’re not a fan of advanced stats, from 104 to 98.4.

Farrell tried to find the root of the problem:

When asked about the scoring disparity between home and road games, Tayshaun Prince said: “Really? I didn’t know that. I don’t know why.”

Richard Hamilton said the same, as did Rodney Stuckey.

As did I, as did I.

Any ideas?

10 Comments

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  • Dec 13, 201012:23 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    I read a study awhile back that analyzed every home/road game for every team the last decade and found that home court advantage in the NBA is worth roughly +3 in point differential for the home team.
     
    pistons home court point differential: -2 ppg
     
    pistons road court point differential: -10 ppg
     
    that’s an 8 point differential between home and road. the pistons season differential is -6.5 ppg. no explanation other than they just play better at home. most if not all NBA teams do. though the difference is probably a little more profound for the Pistons.

  • Dec 13, 20101:08 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    my theory…
    their lack of on-court leadership becomes more pronounced on the road.
    at home, they can use the crowd’s energy to overcome that lack of leadership.  the lack of leadership is there, but it is not quite so debilitating and deadly.   the crowd provides that little push that a real leader usually provides.  imho, that push helps most on the offensive end, especially if it can help push the tempo for the team, get them going out for easier transition and secondary break baskets.
    however, on the road, without that crowd energy to fill that void, and push the team to break and push the tempo, their lack of leadership on the court becomes even more obvious and leads to the offensive problems.
    no fast breaks, no secondary break opportunities and just a full game of grinding it out in the half court.
    just a theory and i haven’t looked at the numbers, but that is what i’ve often seen…

  • Dec 13, 20101:13 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    hm. well it’s the last thing on my mind when it comes to the team, since i think they’re awful every night and are putting together one of the worst seasons of any team ever in terms of “bad” losses. especially when compared to the quality and quantity of their wins, both of which are inexcusable, if not inexplicable.
     
    still, i thought about it a bit and have but one guess. teams play better at home than on the road, so that accounts for some of it. maybe disparities like that are just magnified when it’s a bad team that has no upside/potential and even less heart (because the former is so egregious a problem, i don’t hold the latter against them). if you’re interested in putting in the work, maybe you can look into that aspect.
     
    my other, somewhat related guess is that perhaps they just play harder at home. maybe it’s the energy of the crowd. maybe they realize that the fans are suffering infinitely worse than they are, so they suck it up and try to put on a show. and since they’re constitutionally incapable of being a sound defensive team, at least they try to execute with more focus so they don’t embarrass themselves more than necessary in front of their fans. that’s all i got.

  • Dec 13, 20102:15 pm
    by RICKY MACK

    Reply

    I think you guys are going overboard with the Joe shit. Be real with yourself and think would Detroit be relevant if not for this man. I understand apathy and all but for you all to constantly go out of your way to bash someone who not only won a title here, but helped bring us another one. Now it is all his fault? Try Karen Davidson, or bad luck that the old man died.Before you wish for something be careful cause he could have went to New Jersey and we would really be shitty. I want someone to name me a viable replacement.I hate losing but I am not stupid enough to believe that 31 other teams are not trying to win either. Joe is not the owner, but general manager. He does what the owner allows him to do. We only know about Joe and his role because of his name and the fact that he played here. His only mistake to me and this is my opinion is he played his poker chip to early, and resigned rasheed expecting to get the same results as he did when he first got there, instead of re-upping with okur(younger more upside) . i read an espn article about 8years ago that said Detroit based off future draft picks and current roster at the time that they should have been competing for the next ten years(til2011-2012 season), this was with Darko, and I do not blame him for that pick. Hindsight is a motherfucker and anybody who says they would taken anyone else is just a fucking liar.

  • Dec 13, 20102:40 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    name someone who exists and i’ll name someone more deserving of a chance to turn this team around than joe dumars is. dude’s made TONS of mistakes in the past two years and positively DOOMED the franchise for the near future.
     
    people who follow my stance here know this: i essentially give joe a pass for (A) darko, and (B) trading chauncey when he did. but there’s PLENTY of crap he’s done lately that would make his firing more then justifiable. as in, absolutely everything he’s done lately. if ownership is at fault for everything he does (and believe me, it isn’t), he should resign and walk away while people like you still think he has some integrity.
     
    as a GM he won a championship. he put together a great run. nobody’s taking that away from him, nobody’s taking away his ring, nobody’s taking down that 04 championship banner, nobody’s taking away the memories of when his decisions resulted in winning basketball. but for the past 25 months he’s been the worst GM in the league by a wide margin. if he warrants credit when he’s successful, he warrants blame when he fails miserably. take off the kneepads and join us in the real world. good general managers know how to roll over their assets, not turn elite teams into utter garbage virtually devoid of hope for the present or future. i don’t demand that teams i support are ALWAYS championship contenders, but there’s no excuse for how far we’ve fallen.

  • Dec 13, 20102:41 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    watch your mouth, by the way. this is a family site. my kids read this.

  • Dec 13, 20103:49 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Just because it’s Dumar’s fault doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to correct it. And sorry but the team currently is irrelevant, and the majority of that falls on Dumars. If you want to praise him for building a championship team then you have to be willing to fault him for building a #1 pick contender. It goes both ways. It’s getting close to me questioning whether Dumars is still the man for this job I’m not really kidding. I want him to succeed, but move after move continues to show that he might just be clueless right now. There is a long long list of befuddling moves made by Dumars in the last 2-3 years that combine to destroy every shred of the eastern dynasty he spent the previous 6 years trying to building. I’m a huge Dumars fan, always have been, but this might be one of those things where you can’t let your feelings about a guy cloud your judgement process. He’s been the WORST GM in the NBA over the last 2-3 seasons. The only GM even in the running is Chris Wallace, and now maybe whoever Atlanta’s GM is, some real quality competition. Probably thought I would have mentioned Kaaaahhhhhnnnn!!!!, but no, he gets it, whatever it is. He gets that you can’t win without star players, and that if you don’t have them there is no sense in spending money and holding on to players that will slow you down trying to find them.

  • Dec 13, 201010:23 pm
    by RoLLeN01

    Reply

    GOOD DAY PISTON FANS……. I THINK THE PROBLEM IN PISTON IS THEIR COACH…… COACH K CAN’T SEE THE REAL THING….. COACH K SHOULD CHANGE HIS STARTING FIVE……… IF I SUGGEST THIS IS THE REAL STARTING FIVE FOR THE PISTON AGAINST OTHER TEAM… AND IT SHOULD START THIS COMING ATLANTA GAME….
    G – TRACY MCGRADY
    SG – RIP HAMILTON
    SF – TY PRINCE
    PF / C – BEN WALLACE
    C – GREG MONROE
    I’M NOT A ROD HATER BUT ROD CAN’T CREATE A PLAY,CAN’T PASS… THE ONLY THING THAT ROD IS TO SCORE……
    TRACY MCGRADY CAN DO ALL THIS THING AND GREG SHOULD HAVE MORE PLAYING TIME SO THAT HE CAN IMPROVE HIS SKILLS IN PLAYING BASKETBALL…….
     
     
     

  • Dec 14, 201011:14 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    ugh. stop shouting.

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