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The Pistons starting lineup scores 29 points in home loss to Clippers

How dare the Pistons ruin Military Night like this? The team honors veterans before the game, and then subjects them to watching THAT?

The Pistons starters scored 29 points and shot a combined 11-for-25 in a 109-88 loss to the Clippers Friday. They just narrowly edged the previous season-low for the starting five of 31 points against Miami Dec. 1.

I mean, I don’t think I really need to break down what went wrong. So instead, I’ll let Twitter handle tonight’s recap:

From Ben Gulker: “The CLIPPERS are shooting 60% against us. Wow. Wow. Wow.”

From Steve Kays: “Stuckey and Rip w/ less combined PTs than Ryan Gomes. #Pistons

From Dave Hogg: “The Clippers have given up at least 100 points in every road game this season. Pistons haven’t broken 70 yet.”

From Vince Ellis: “This might top Raptors loss. #Pistons.”

From Mateen Cleaves: “Blake Griffin just did a 360 and 1 it was crazy. Wait until you see highlights the young boy is sick”

From Austin Daye: “Mom tacos best food on the planet”

That about sums things up. And Austin Daye‘s dinner sounds delicious.

Is there no end to this?

I’ve been about as positive as it gets when it comes to the Pistons, and maintaining this site kind of requires that I keep watching. But damn. How do you follow up your absolute best performance of the season with the absolute worst, against what many considered the worst team in the league? At home? (Seriously … go back and click that link and read Feldman’s headline. “Reproducible.” Haha. He was so naive back then, two days ago.)

But here are a few things, based on this game, that I would like to see over the next few games. I don’t think these things would help the team win. I do think these things are worth trying because they’d be mildly interesting, which is about all the Pistons can hope for right now. Here goes:

• Drastically reduced roles for Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Nothing personal, guys. Great memories. They still play pretty good some nights, too. But it’s time. There’s no future here, and seeing Prince and Hamilton go out on a nightly basis is just a sad reminder of how far the team has fallen since they were key components of a contender. I don’t dislike either player. They’ve both made innumerable contributions to Detroit basketball, and both still deserve to play and, hopefully, get moved to contending teams to jumpstart careers that have stagnated. I feel bad for Prince, in particular, who is in an unworkable situation at just 29-years-old and in a contract year. As the Pistons primary offensive option most nights, he’s set up to fail. That’s not what his value is as a NBA player, and ultimately, he’s going to fall short in that role.

• Drastically bigger roles for Ben Gordon and Daye. As convinced as I now am that Prince and Hamilton must be moved for their sake and the team’s sake, I’m equally unconvinced that Gordon or Daye are long-term pieces. Frankly, neither player has done enough in limited minutes to justify primary roles on the team. But either guy could be a future piece. Now is the time to find out. I would like to see Gordon start and Daye get good minutes backing up the two and three spots every night. It’s audition time. If Gordon is as good as he’s being paid to be, prove it. If Daye has the upside certain commenters at PistonPowered who shall remain nameless think he has, prove it.

Tracy McGrady as the focal point of the offense. I’ve already laid out the case in-depth. But this is the Cliffs Notes version: McGrady has occasionally looked like the old McGrady. He’s occasionally looked like a very competent veteran role player. Occasionally, he just looks really old. The point is, I don’t know what he is. The Pistons need to find out what they have, whether or not he can be the primary option on a team and do it efficiently still, whether they want to try and pick up something for him in a trade or whether he’s worth signing to another deal if others are traded. Ready or not, it’s time.

Will Bynum should get a chance to be the team’s primary point guard. I don’t know what you do with Rodney Stuckey, frankly. Play him backup minutes at all three perimeter spots. Trade him. DNP-CD. Whatever. It’s not that he’s having a bad season. In fact, he’s having his best season. It’s just that his best season is still not good enough to lead a good team and still not good enough to invest a major long-term extension in this offseason. Bynum is signed to a reasonable deal for a backup point guard, he’s appeared healthier over the last couple weeks and he’s stated on numerous occasions that he wants to be a starting point guard. Maybe he’s not. But let him try. There’s no harm in it right now.

These aren’t things that are likely to happen. But John Kuester has tried several subtle lineup changes that have largely yielded the same results. The next step might have to be something more drastic.


  • Dec 18, 201012:27 am
    by Ryan


    Its sad to see how far this team has fallen, if the clippers beating us isnt proof we need to just firesale alot of this team i do not know what is.

  • Dec 18, 201012:39 am
    by Steve


    Other players that scored more points than Stuckey and Rip combined:
    Eric Bledsoe and Brian Cook. Yep.

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  • Dec 18, 20102:29 am
    by Laser


    didn’t watch the game yet. will check it out tomorrow, but i know it was a five point game at the half, so the second half will probably be a BLAST!
    @hayes: you cracked me up with your analysis of austin daye’s dinner. ha ha. bravo!
    mixed feelings about your suggestions. in order: on rip and tay, if we’re going to move either of these guys, they need to play. big ifs i guess, but this one’s just not realistic or highly practical. i’m a pragmatist above all else, and i could get behind taking a hard stance on whether or not rip is tradable. my guess is no, and if that’s the case, you gotta put him on the bench, at least for a while. you’re not establishing any value for him right now. if he doesn’t like it, he can do the universe a favor ans request a buyout. he’s getting paid too much money to play such a big role without fitting in or helping the team; i’m with you on gordon and daye. they fit the system, and they both need to play. desperately. gordon because he was the top reward for demolishing the real pistons, daye because the days of staunchly refusing to develop players at the expense of veteran minutes need to be over; i think the t-mac point flies in the face of the other points. are we trying to win now or are we worried about the future? you can’t possibly think t-mac is a long-term solution here. and if we’re featuring him to trade him, so be it. but the same applies to tayshaun, perhaps rip but probably not, and you can’t feature the pieces you want to move while also featuring these two; amen on bynum. i’ve been saying this a long time. he more than deserves a chance. when things are failing this badly, how can you discount any possibility?? stuckey is a dud when it comes to running an offense.

  • Dec 18, 20104:43 am
    by Zilas


    This is just pathetic and so sad. I was almost sure that the Pistons will win against Clippers, but they lost by 21… This is just unforgivable. Even last year Pistons had better record at this time.

  • Dec 18, 20108:44 am
    by detroitpcb


    it’s simple – when Rip is off, something that is happening with greater frequency, the first team cannot score. if you watched the Clippers defense they shadowed Ben Wallace’s man to the side Stuckey isolated on, even when the Pistons were playing pick and roll, to take away Stuckey’s drives. Say what you want about Ben – his heart, his great intelligence, his defense, his rebounding, his once in a lifetime offensive game – but because he is normally not a threat to score other teams can play 5 on 4. And it is not Stuckey’s fgault if you put him on the floor with players who cannot score and an opposing defense that can take away his greatest strength.

    What i saw in the first guarter was Stuckey consistently finding Rip open and Rip just missing shots. I thought Stuck was doing exactly what Q wants him to do. The problem is really coaching – over and over again the problem is coaching. Why does Q wait so long to call a tomeout when the other team is on a roll. Why does he wait so long to sub when one of his players is obviously off – i mean you have Ben Gordon, CV, and Austin Daye on the bench – all you have to do is find the hot shooter each game.

    but seriously, Rip & Tay need to go. Just get off Rip’s contract but try to get value for Tay. If Ben Gordon is the player Joe D is receiving offers for then he needs to go if he will bring back the big we need.

    Daye needs minutes and will provide the scoring we need. T-Mac needs minutes and will provide the playmaking and offensive leadership we need. Stuckey just needs to be on the floor with some players who play at his pace. And from what i’ve seen of will bynum this year, he needs to stay with his butt glued to the bench until he quits making stupid turnovers, quits splitting double-teams and getting ripped, quits going into the air to early on the way to the basket without a passing lane, quits taking the ball into 7’0″ foot players at the rim only to have it rejected, and stays in front of his man on defense. How can you call for Bynum to start? he has been playing stupid terrible basketball.  

  • Dec 18, 20109:52 am
    by ds


    I understand that the team isn’t likely to be good – but they could certainly be better. The team got three pointer shooters in part to open up lanes so Rodney and Bynum can penetrate right? So why are all the 3 pt threats on the second unit when Rodney (and Bynum usually) are out?
    I think that BG is having a hard time in part because CV really does the same thing he is supposed to do – and so BG makes some moves and then gives it to CV when the defense sets on him.
    So move BG to the starting line up and Rip to the second unit and it could improve several areas. BG becomes more of a focus – we have a better 3 point threat to open things up for Stuckey and Rip gets to prove he is worth something with the second unit. If he doesn’t play way, is doesn’t hurt as much as with the first unit where he has to be the focus.
    On top of that – the first unit is NOT working. If Rip, Tay, Rodney and Ben look out of sync as often as they do after this long – then MORE TIME WON”T HELP.

  • Dec 18, 201011:06 am
    by Adam


    I understand the frustration with the starting lineup, but I don’t understand how you can even suggest giving Rodney Stuckey a DNP-CD or benching him.
    He is our best player (doesn’t say much). He would be much better off if Hamilton didn’t jack up shot after shot. He would be better off if the offense didn’t revolve around Prince backing down and then throwing the ball with 3 seconds left, forcing Stuckey to take a jumper.
    He is the only piston with PER above 15. And as for Will Bynum, he is terrible. He got flat out abused by a out-of-shape Baron Davis last night. Baron Davis was laughing at how easy it was. He got abused earlier by a hobbled Gilbert Arenas. He is a horrible defender, and the offense stalls even more when he is in the game.
    Rodney Stuckey is not great, but he is not the problem of this team. If you give up on him now, you are giving up on one of 4, maybe 5, decent building blocks that the Pistons have.

  • Dec 18, 201011:11 am
    by Adam


    Amend my prior post – Stuckey and Villanueva are the only Pistons with a PER above 15.

  • Dec 18, 201011:38 am
    by nuetes


    How can you say more T-Mac but less Rip and Tay, with the argument for less Rip and Tay being that we need to see what we have in Gordon and Daye, but your content with T-Mac getting in the way? Crap did that sentence make any sense? I’m too lazy to reread it. Sorry about Bynum, but he blows. I know Laser has had his Bynum love fest around here before, but I can’t do it. All your changes make us worse, if that’s even possible, which I suppose it is. Bynum is playing badly. Really bad. I can’t support any type of move that replaces a somewhat productive player with an unproductive one. I can handle it if we’re just swapping guys of equal talent like Rip and Gordon.
    Yah, that game was pathetic. And I watched every minutes of it. After the Clippers 79th dunk of the night I was laughing my ass off. Do they keep stats like most dunks ever by a team in a game? I’m pretty sure the Clippers had to be close to it if they do. That game was a mockery of the game of basketball. We made the Clips look like the Globetrotters last night. I don’t know what to even say beyond we sucked. What kind of defense gives up half their points via dunks? Can you even call it defense after that? Oh man that was a brutally enjoyable game. It did have Blake Griffin afterall.

  • Dec 18, 20101:03 pm
    by Matt A


    This was a hard game to watch mainly because all I could think about the whole game is how much I want Blake Griffin on the pistons…

  • Dec 18, 20101:20 pm
    by vic


    good comment from detroitpcb
    “What i saw in the first guarter was Stuckey consistently finding Rip open and Rip just missing shots. I thought Stuck was doing exactly what Q wants him to do. The problem is really coaching – over and over again the problem is coaching. Why does Q wait so long to call a tomeout when the other team is on a roll. Why does he wait so long to sub when one of his players is obviously off – i mean you have Ben Gordon, CV, and Austin Daye on the bench – all you have to do is find the hot shooter each game.”

    I agree enough to make it redundant. Its all coaching. Obviously, Rip has good nights and bad nights. A good coach makes adjustments based on the reality of the moment, not on hope… especially when you have no superstars and lots of weapons on the bench.
    Another thing he could do was run the offense through Greg Monroe… a threat in the paint usually opens up things for other players… basketball 101.

  • Dec 18, 20102:42 pm
    by Laser


    @pcb: i think i’m figuring you out a little bit more. we’re sometimes in alignment, but there’s always a thing or two that sets us a mile apart. i think it might be that we usually agree on what the pistons are doing WRONG, but where i have a collection of general thoughts on what we should try, you have these staunch ideas that you think will solve all of our problems (most of which include daye). i don’t think anything could make this team into a winner, but i firmly believe in experimentation just because this obviously isn’t working. here’s a sterling example of where i’m with you and where you lose me: “…daye needs minutes…” (i’m with you) “…and will provide the scoring we need.” (aaand you lose me) daye needs minutes because he’s raw and talented and could be a good player on a good pistons team in the future, but i don’t think he’s going to be a significant contributor to wins now at the expense of t-mac and tayshaun, who i think are better options for those minutes if we really want to win games now.
    and your stance on bynum is a joke. he was limited by injury early on and has been limited in his role ever since. he hasn’t played meaningful minutes in a month. you’re undermining your own arguments by making him your target. you may as well throw stones at dajuan summers or terrico white and say they’re the problem here. bynum has historically done a great job when starting and playing major minutes. he makes better decisions than stuckey and has a FAR smaller percentage of his shots blocked at the rim, in something like 12 career starts he had a 20-point game, eight better than stuckey’s career high. you’d have to be crazy to think giving him a chance to start isn’t worth considering. we’re not winning any games anyways.
    @adam: are you the same adam from before? the one with all the bad ideas? you can’t possibly think stuckey is our best player, can you?? i’d sooner buy pcb’s premise that daye is our best player, since he has the potential to be that at some point in the future.
    @nuetes: not a love fest, but i like the guy. prince, jerebko, bynum are probably my three favorite stones. but there’s a big difference between starting a guy and knowing he’ll get to put his stamp on the game, the chance for a certain number of minutes, to get the offense into a flow and set the tone, and coming off the bench for ten or fifteen minutes to see what you can do. i think bynum would be better in a role where he sets the tone and gets the team going, and stuckey would be able to do more with limited minutes, since all he wants to do is score anyways. bynum may have been schooled by baron davis last night (i don’t know,i haven’t watched it yet), but stuckey got schooled by davis AND bledsoe AND bynum, who outperformed stuckey in every way imaginable (more assists, fewer turns, more points on fewer shots, and he made the only three he took).
    the roster stinks and they’re not being used in the right combinations, i’ll give all of you that. kuester should have been sent to the glue factory months ago.

  • Dec 18, 20102:44 pm
    by Laser


    above should read 20-assist game for willy b. but you guys already knew that.

  • Dec 18, 20103:58 pm
    by Nick


    It’s just annoying how this team knows that it is in a rebuilding period yet never carries out the different things a rebuilding team should like playing the younger guys and seeing what the future can do. They are instead playing players that are the past and that probably don’t even want to be here right now. I would love to see them do all the things you suggested, and frankly it might make them more fun to watch despite losing than they are now.

  • Dec 18, 20105:46 pm
    by Laser


    i guess it’s called denial. some would say this is what happens when a team tries to stay competitive while rebuilding at the same time. though i don’t think anything dumars has done in terms of personnel decisions has been consistent with an effort to stay competitive. looks more like an organization that’s just completely lost.

  • Dec 18, 20105:46 pm
    by detroitpcb



    T-Mac is looking to facilitate, not score.  I don’t know if you ever watch Ben Gordon but i swear i have never seen a player who takes higher degree of difficulty shots with regularity (if he is not shooting and missing the wide open shot off ball rotation), sometimes making them but…..his size is the problem. I am not fond of small guards. Paticularly at the two guard. But not really at the point either – which may be why i do not like Bynum. But your argument for Bynum is without merit this season. Maybe he was hurt but he was playing and consistently making junior high mistakes. Ask any coach and they will tell you the one thing they absolutely will not tolerate is a point guard who turns the ball over – and at least Stuckey does not do that. We agree that Stuck is better as a two guard. And this year i have been very impressed with his ability to finish. Or get to the line. I have yet to see Bynum get to the line. If they move Rip and Ben G they could slide Stuckey to the two and draft a real point guard assuming Tay or Ben G brought a young big (or an old big like Zack or Camby) in return.

    Daye is going to be a consistent and prolific scorer – if that is his defined role. He has the best stroke on this team and that is saying something with Rip, Ben G, CV, and T-Mac on the club. The fact that he hasn’t proven it yet means nothing. He got yanked from the lineup just when he found his shooting stroke and was in a good groove.

    The glue factory beckons………….

  • Dec 18, 20106:15 pm
    by dagledhill


    This team is simply not going to win regardless of who they play at any position.  The simple fact of the matter is they don’t have anybody that presently is better than a third option on any of the playoff teams, or the Clippers for that matter.  Sorry but they will suck all year – no matter who you blame: players, Kuester, Dumars, or Davidson (who I largely blame).
    The Pistons tried to stay relevant while rebuilding and it hasn’t worked.  They need to rebuild now.  The only way they will become relevant again is to get legitimate #1 and #2 caliber players.
    Going forward there are only two ways the Pistons will get better: trade or draft.  Since the Pistons lack the trade assets (except perhaps their #1 pick this year – which they need to retain) to land any potential stars, is there any real value to maximizing Prince and Hamilton’s trade value?  Everybody in the league knows who and what they are at this point.  I’m sorry but Prince won’t bring back a star.
    I always thought the Pistons really acquired McGrady hoping he’d become a valuable trade asset (low salary that can be traded for a nice young player on a playoff team trying to win now).
    The Pistons need to decide about their young players.  In reality, their young players at their true positions.  Stuckey is not a point and Daye is not a power forward.
    Their best point guard is Bynum.  Ive always thought Gordon and Stuckey compliment each other because of their contrasting styles of play.  I could start either one, but lean towards Stuckey at the 2 because I like Gordon’s ability for instant offense off the bench.  Daye needs minutes at the 3 to be properly evaluated.  Is Monroe better at the 4 or 5?  I tend to leans toward the 5 because of his relative lack of athleticism and his ability – at least in college – to pass gives him a strength that few centers have.  Plus moving him to the 5 makes room for Charlie V at the 4.
    So my lineup is Bynum, Stuckey, Daye, Villanueva and Monroe.  No chance of winning now I know, but Kuester isnt around next year any way.  The Pistons really need the best draft pick they can get.  Personally I’m praying for Kyrie Irving.
    That way they can draft a #1 caliber player and maybe Stuckey, Daye or Monroe show they can step up to be a number 2 option.  In any event it’s time to find out.
    As far as Hamilton, Prince and Wallace.  Guys you were awesome.  You made it amazing to be a Piston fan for several years.  Wallace was and still is my favorite Piston.  Prince was a close second.  I wish Wallace could give the youngsters his intensity.
    Fact of the matter is Hamilton and Prince are probably better suited for bench play on a playoff team and teaching teams how to win in the playoffs.  That’s their real trade value.  I’d bet teams would like to see how they can play against other teams benches.
    In any event, it’s time to find out where the Pistons are headed, not where they’ve been.

  • Dec 18, 20106:22 pm
    by detroitpcb


    man o man, the Magic just pulled oof a huge trade (two actually). They were able to move the contracts of Carter (a Tay type contract) and Lewis (a far worse contract than Rip’s). Come on Joe D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dec 18, 20106:31 pm
    by Dan Feldman


    Laser, do you think it’s impossible to rebuild while remaining competitive?

  • Dec 18, 20106:41 pm
    by Dan Feldman


    PCB, did you really want to trade for Gilbert Arenas?

  • Dec 18, 20109:12 pm
    by detroitpcb


    no, but……..Gorat or J-Rich

  • Dec 18, 20109:40 pm
    by neutes


    I think rebuilding while remaining competitive is difficult, but I think if that’s your plan it has to be a well thought out plan. You can’t just wing it. You could argue Miami rebuilt while remaining competitive. They planned far in advance to clear their entire roster. I think if you want to do it you have to have a step by step plan and always leave yourself some flexibility. The Pistons have no flexibility. They can’t sign anyone, they can’t trade anyone, and all they can do is wait for the draft. Not to mention the Pistons aren’t competitive, so I suppose that throws the whole competitive while rebuilding thing out the window. The thing I’d say is you just have to give yourself the flexibility to make changes at the end of each year, and have contracts planned out so that they give you a chance to make a change. Also rebuilding without a star is pretty much pointless. The Lakers had Kobe. If you fall you can always climb back up if you just get some guys around your star, but when you don’t have a star to begin with you might as well just sell the farm and tank it.

  • Dec 18, 201010:53 pm
    by gmehl1977


    You are exactly right in 2 areas you have pointed out. #1 If rebuilding while remaining competitive is the plan then Joe needs to realize that is not what the Pistons are achieving and start to put this thing in full rebuild mode. I think he should keep Monroe, Daye and any cheap contracted players and put everyone else up for trade. The only other player i think who is be worth keeping is CV as long as he keeps performing like he has this year. The rebuilding while remaining competitive stage started when Billups was traded and was really over when Rasheed left for Boston and McDyess for San Antonio. #2 We don’t have a star and i think it is time to blow this whole thing up and start again. Piston fans cannot relate to anyone on this roster and if Joe is to remain as the GM then he needs a clean canvas to start with. The Pistons need hard nosed guys (good defenders mainly) that can contribute on both ends of the floor that have chips on there shoulder signed to manageable contracts. I am thinking of players in the mold of Mickael Pietrus or Trevor Ariza. It is a fact that players that are trying to prove themselves in this league and secure there futures are the bargain value guys you want. The hard part is getting a star player to put these kind of guys around. Blow this biatch up Joe!

  • Dec 19, 20106:49 pm
    by Laser


    @feldman: no, i don’t think it’s impossible. but i don’t think joe even made moves consistent with an effort to rebuild while staying competitive. that said, this spirit of refusing to let go and move on is absurd. personnel aside, the organization’s behavior when it comes to player development is a good example of my problem here.
    this attitude where young guys don’t play is fine when you’re competing for championships year after year. it’s not the best policy, but i understand how you can get away with that. when you have ZERO chance of being competitive this season, why not play your young guys consistently? i mean, they wait until the season’s all but over to give monroe the chance to start. i guess the idea is that he needs to prove himself. but the coach never had to prove himself. neither did the last one. and dumars has been a disaster lately and has a lot of work to do to prove he knows what he’s doing. austin daye might be a better and more experienced player, but by any standard he’s not a better power forward than monroe was before he logged an NBA minute. so the projection is that these people have to prove themselves and that they want to go with the veterans, but the team can’t realistically compete, so they should let the kids play. if we’re going to lose games either way, we may as well get some brains and look forward. it’s denial.
    @pcb: ugh. give it a rest on bynum. you’re not going to convince anyone there’s something wrong with him or that he’s the problem here. and there’s nothing he could do on the court to earn a shred of credit from you. we get it. this guy is the sixth guy on a crowded perimeter depth chart. he doesn’t play. stuckey’s been starting for two plus years and the team’s going NOWHERE.

  • Dec 20, 20109:03 am
    by Dan Feldman


    PCB, you can’t just pick out the most valuable players traded and say you want them. There was a whole lot of salary being traded that the Pistons couldn’t, and shouldn’t, touch.

  • Dec 20, 20109:11 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Neutes, Laser, Gmehl, there’s no question, the Pistons aren’t rebuilding while remaining competitive. They’re not competitive.

    But I think rebuilding while remaining competitive was the plan, and if things had gone to plan, it would have worked. That’s to say, the plan wasn’t doomed from its inception, just its execution. The Pistons have players who could be traded if the team was better.

    This obviously isn’t to excuse the state of the team, but you can’t say the Pistons neglectfully built a situation that’s not conducive to rebuilding while remaining competitive. The plan didn’t work, but at the time, the contracts handed out fit the plan.

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