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Myth: By not playing him with a traditional point guard, the Detroit Pistons aren’t giving Richard Hamilton a fair shake

Myth Week is slated to return this summer, but today will offer a special Richard Hamilton style two-part return to the myth series. Here’s the second installment (part one).

Too many think the Pistons, not Richard Hamilton nor his age, deserve blame for Hamilton’s struggles.

The argument goes something like this: Hamilton must play with a traditional point guard, a skilled passer. Otherwise, his talents go wasted. Neither Rodney Stuckey nor Will Bynum complement Hamilton, so it’s unfair to criticize Hamilton when he’s been placed in such an unfavorable situation.

Well, for the first time since trading Chauncey Billups, the Pistons have a traditional point guard: Tracy McGrady. Although he was a volume scorer most of his career, McGrady has incredible passing skills, and they’re the primary part of his game in Detroit.

Now, it took the Pistons time to figure out McGrady could play point guard, so he played wing early in the season. Once McGrady became Detroit’s backup point guard, Ben Gordon began to emerge from his slump. Many called for him to start over Hamilton. The Hamilton backers cried that wasn’t fair because Gordon looked good only because he played alongside McGrady. Gordon didn’t have to play next to Stuckey, like Hamilton did. If Hamilton got minutes with McGrady, he’d look good, too. Then, McGrady moved to the starting lineup with Gordon, only fueling those who claimed Hamilton wasn’t getting a fair shake.

Well, Hamilton has had his turn playing with McGrady as his point guard. It hasn’t helped.

I counted McGrady as the point guard for the Pistons’ November win over the Bobcats, when he started over a suspended Rodney Stuckey, and for every game since John Kuester adjusted his rotation in December. Here’s how McGrady’s presence at point guard has affected Hamilton’s points per 36 minutes, true shooting percentage and offensive rating:

Point guard MIN PTS/36 TS% O RTG*
Tracy McGrady 190.7 16.6 49.7 95.5
Other 707.8 19.1 51.1 103.7
Difference -517.2 -2.5 -1.4 -8.2

*Split by Hamilton’s total playing time with McGrady, not limited to the games McGrady played point guard

Hamilton has actually played worse offensively with McGrady as his point guard this season. He scores less often and less efficiently with McGrady at point, and the Pistons’ offense also suffers when McGrady joins Hamilton on the court.

McGrady, or any other traditional point, won’t act  as a magic elixir for all Hamilton’s woes. Hamilton needs the Fountain of Youth.


  • Feb 7, 20114:34 pm
    by Laser


    just to be clear: you went through every second the two of them played together? i knew you were into numbers, but damn that’s some heavy research. also, assuming this is the case, it would probably only be useful if you could have removed all the minutes where stuckey was “running” the offense. doesn’t seem like too much work, and it would probably make these stats meaningful.
    but you know me. i’m not much of a numbers guy. i’m more of the “eye test” sort.
    also, as a layman, 19.9 points per 36 with a 51.1 ts% (a bogus stat, imo, but i digress) seems like pretty good numbers to me. but the information is a little obfuscated for me to make total sense of.
    and i disagree with some of your assertions. specifically, i think bynum and rip would make a decent pairing. bynum’s more of a penetrator who’d complement a 3-point shooter, but i wouldn’t make excuses for rip if he was floundering alongside bynum.
    not in love with the idea that it took the pistons a while to realize t-mac could play the point. i think the first game i ever saw him play, the guy could barely move, he just stood there and waited and always seemed to make the right pass. if i (who was against the t-mac signing if it wasn’t a precursos for a subsequent trade) was amazed at how amazingly everything seemed to go whenever he touched the ball, hopefully people in the organization made the same instant analysis. the issue was more that stuckey continued to stink up the place as a facilitator. incessantly.
    but i stand by the notion that you need to lose a SG for rip to get a “fair shake.”

    • Feb 8, 201111:32 am
      by Dan Feldman


      Laser, yes, I went through all their minutes together. Since McGrady moved to point guard, he hasn’t played much with Stuckey and Hamilton. When he has, he’s run the point nearly all those minutes. Accounting for that would have been extremely time consuming (even more so) and insignificant.

      You won’t make excuses for Rip floundering next to Bynum, but you will for him floundering next to McGrady?

      I’m not blaming the Pistons for waiting to move McGrady to point guard. I think that would have been his most effective position for this team all season, but early in the season, he wasn’t effective anywhere, so it didn’t really matter.

  • Feb 7, 20114:53 pm
    by gordbrown


    I know Stuckey hatred is common in these parts. But it’s nice that someone has done the work to look at this over the longer term and to be vindicated in what I have been saying based on my watching the box scores game in and game out. Stuckey’s numbers have been hurt by Hamilton, not vice-versa. Pistons need Stuckey to win, he is by far the team’s best on-the-ball defender and wherever you play him, as long as he doesn’t get frustrated and force the play too much, he helps the team win (and I reiterate how can you not get frustrated with the way the Pistons season has gone). My biggest concern at this point is that it will take a while for him to get to 100% when he returns and if that costs the team some games (like after he was sick) the comments on this site are going to go crazy and become unreadable.

    • Feb 8, 201111:37 am
      by Dan Feldman


      Gordbrown, I agree Stuckey is underrated right now by most fans. But what about by the organization? What type of contract will they give him in the summer? I’m worried he could become very overpaid, very quickly.

      • Feb 8, 201111:52 am
        by Jason


        Now this is something that we can DEFINITELY agree on. I too have a feeling Dumars will offer a great deal to Stuck, and it is a very scary thought.. Not that i’d absolutely hate keeping him around, but if we give him a big contract, he’ll almost surely be starting – which will only lead to more problems..
        The bigger issue is what will happen if we extend Stuck, and don’t resign McGrady – or sign another PG?
        Will Stuck be put back into that starting PG role?
        I can only hope that isn’t the case… I think we need to attempt to pry Ramon Sessions from Cleveland, I think he could be a great fit on this team moving forward..
        Your thoughts? Who might Cleveland be willing to trade him for?

  • Feb 7, 20116:48 pm
    by Fennis


    I couldn’t agree more. Stuckey has never started with a strong supporting cast. At 24, I’d love to see what he could do in a year or so with one or two more above-average starters.

  • Feb 7, 20117:09 pm
    by alex


    The problem has never been that hamilton needed a traditional point guard to be effective.  A major issue that has contributed to his decline is the actual offense that has been run during the games.  Through at least the first quarter of the season, the pistons did not choose to run the plays that make hamilton effective.  They simply don’t set the screens and have him run around them to get open anymore.  And it doesn’t take a “steve nash” to deliver that pass at the end of the play so Hamilton can shoot the jumper.  It’s just the choice of calling that play for him and doing it the right amount of times so he is efficient.  The days of the Pistons running that play a third of their possessions is clearly over.  However, if they want things to work, those plays do need to be called more often than they have been this season.

    • Feb 7, 20117:22 pm
      by Laser


      joe dumars knew who rip was when he signed him to that absurd extension. if we can’t unload him, we may as well get the most out of him. he and stuckey and gordon all have different strengths and weaknesses, but none is significantly better or worse than the others. rip may be the worst FIT here, since he needs a certain type of system to be highly effective, but dumars knew who rip was when he extended him.

      • Feb 8, 201111:49 am
        by Dan Feldman


        Laser, Dumars surely should have known what Hamilton was when he signed him. But did he? Since you’re not a numbers guy, I’m guessing you’re not a science guy, either. But to run a valid experiment, you need a control and a variable. There was no variable with Hamilton’s point guard. He played with Billups his entire Detroit career before agreeing to that extension. How could anyone have known for certain Hamilton couldn’t play with a different type of point guard?

        • Feb 8, 201112:36 pm
          by Laser


          see, i am a science guy. but to me, numbers serve a very limited purpose when it comes to analyzing sports. i understand controls and variables, but it’s almost impossible to effectively leave just one variable when analyzing these numbers. therefore it’s hard to find numbers that are extremely useful when trying to figure out, say, one player’s effectiveness when playing alongside another but without a third player. i watch games pretty carefully and intently, and i mostly use stats as a supplement.
          as for your closing question: the thing is, i was NEVER EVER sold on stuckey as anything at all. his rookie year i liked the element of penetration he brought, because it’s something we hadn’t seen on that team, but i always thought he made tons of rookie mistakes. i was impressed with him when he filled in for chauncey in the playoffs, but my vocal complaint about the iverson trade was always that i thought stuckey would have benefitted immeasurably from another year under chauncey’s tutelage.
          i wouldn’t have said with certainty that stuckey could never be an effective backcourt mate with rip (and i was in favor of moving him into the starting lineup when the team did, though i never would have tried small ball. not once. ever), but “knowing for certain hamilton couldn’t play with a different type of point guard” isn’t the issue. the issue was making MAJOR commitments to three guys at that position, so that the team is effectively boned if stuckey doesn’t end up being a capable point guard. when you have reasonable questions, such as: “is this guy really a point guard?” it’s best to get an answer before committing to two rich, long-term contracts at the off guard position. so you’ve at least got a little flexibility. this quandary, as with every other one currently facing the team, was both reasonably foreseeable and highly avoidable.

          • Feb 8, 20113:16 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, for a moment, let’s ignore how Gordon has turned out. Your argument is about the logic of signing him, after all. If the Pistons could grab players they perceived to have a high value, you’d make a good point. But they had cap room in 2009. They wouldn’t have that in other seasons. The cap was supposed to come down, and existing contracts escalate. The Pistons saw Gordon as a potential star, regardless of his position. This was there one chance to add someone of that caliber, and the Pistons weren’t going to pass that up because he might be redundant with Rodney Stuckey. That’s not a bad plan.

          • Feb 8, 20115:05 pm
            by Laser

            we just disagree here, feldman. this isn’t the draft where you snatch up the best available guy. it’s simply impossible to ignore how gordon turned out because it was such a foreseeably bad situation. i don’t know how anyone with a brain in his head would hand out rich, long-term contracts to two veterans at the same position, least of all when they already had a standing commitment to a third… especially when they had such glaring holes elsewhere. once it became clear that boozer (dumars’s probable target when he traded chauncey) wasn’t opting out, dumars could have: (A) traded one or both of our expiring contracts (sheed and iverson) to improve the team, (B) used our cap space to absorb contracts in lopsided trades with teams looking to clear cap space for 2010′s free agent class, (C) made an offer to david lee and dared new york to match. even holding onto that cap space would have been preferable. if the cap was going to fall THAT much, you probably wouldn’t want to have so much money tied up in shooting guards anyways, would you?? despite what the organization would have us believe, there were many options available.
            thing is: true, you added a player of a high caliber, but you’re paying top dollar for it. plus there were INSTANT questions raised about gordon’s ability to play with hamilton and comparisons to the stuckey-hamilton-iverson trio that did not work out. so you ended up with a lot of money tied up in players who can’t succeed together, so you’ve got no way to showcase all (or likely any) of them, and their individual values plummet. it’s not like the result of the gordon signing (to wit: a complete disaster) was unforeseeable. it was foreseen by more people than not. it didn’t take madam cleo to see that you likely had a problem in the making. so now you’ve got two average shooting guards who were probably both overpaid to begin with, and the pairing has contributed significantly to their values plummeting. and there are a ton of people saying “i told you so” because the plan STUNK to begin with.

          • Feb 8, 20117:54 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, it wasn’t clear Boozer wouldn’t opt out until that summer, which was well after the trade deadline.
            Your B option was actually my preference. I dislike how uncreative the Pistons are with the cap. But most teams are uncreative with the cap.
            As far as C, Lee got a lot better after that summer. His defense was so lacking at that point, signing him would have raised big questions.
            And I know Gordon isn’t an amazing defender, but bigs impact the game much more defensively than wings.

    • Feb 7, 20117:38 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I disagree 100 percent that it’s the plays or the point guard. It’s simply the talent level. Hamilton is very easy to defend – you contest his shots. The Pistons, minus Billups and Rasheed Wallace, made Hamilton their primary option rather than their third or sometimes fourth if Prince had it going. Billups and Wallace in particular made it hard for teams to continually switch off screens — they didn’t want to leave guys who would post up, cut to the basket or hit a three. So very often, Hamilton simply had to beat his man around a bunch of picks and he’d have an open jumper.
      The last two years, however, teams have switched on him much more and done a better job of contesting his shots. Seriously, watch him when he has a hand in his face. He’s not a good shooter in those situations. His release gets funky, he doesn’t follow through and he rushes every time.

      • Feb 8, 20111:25 am
        by Jason


        How can you suggest that RIP was the 3rd, sometimes 4th option when he was the Pistons LEADING SCORER for 8 yerars???
        Sorry i’m late to the party here, Laser – but i’m with you here.
        The one thing Feldman, Hayes, and anyone else making this case are forgetting is the fact that IRREGULAR ROTATIONS have alot to do with his decline as well. When you have a team with too many SG’s, it is almost impossible for players to get into a groove. I know you can put together a graph to show that Hamilton has played similar minutes, but when you have a guy in the game for 10 minutes, then switch the rotation - and repeat throughout the game, it is almost impossible to get into any sort of rhythm. This is my biggest gripe.. This isn’t hockey, it’s basketball.
        One week you will concede that for much of the season – we were playing TOO MANY GUYS! It wasn’t until we shortened our rotation that the Pistons started playing better basketball. That just so happened to be the same time that Rip started getting DNP’s….
        Now, you are going back and looking at his statistics, and judging him based upon his performance when we were rotating far too many players in and our of the game. This WAS the problem, and will continue to be until we move a SG. I myself just think the Gordon signing was ridiculous, which is why im so easy to defend RIP.
        And you can show statistics all you want, there is no way you can look at me with a straight face, and claim that RIP would not do better with a traditional PG. And lets be honest, T-MAC is NOT that guy… While he has been great so far this year, he isn’t a PG, he never was a PG, and he will never be an every day PG – On a successful team at least.
        The idea is not that we need, as Laser said – a Steve Nash. We just need a guy that at least attempts to move the ball around, rather then constantly seeking his own shots. It’s just smart basketball. You play to your “Core players” strengths. Rip is our highest paid player, leading scorer for years, and when you have him locked in a contract paying 12million a year, long term – you don’t change your entire offensive identity.
        Maybe my criticism’s of Stuckey are harsh. For all we know, he’s being told to be more aggressive. Hell, Kuester came from Cleveland, where his entire offensive strategy was – “Give Lebron the ball, let him score…” Maybe he’s telling Stuck to drive, drive, drive on every play – I don’t know.. What I do know is that there is no way in the world anyone can claim that having 3 SG’s on the team, all with some special talents, and some glaring weaknesses – isn’t a problem… Because it is clear as day that it is..
        This tiny little bit of data that you have of Rip and T-Mac playing together is so minuscule, even without the other variables, it wouldn’t be enough to convince me.. What i do know? Stuck has had multiple seasons to prove he can be a starting PG, and the team has been unsuccessful with him running the show.
        At what point will you give that some credence?

        • Feb 8, 201112:00 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Jason, I think Patrick meant the design of the offense made Hamilton the fourth place the Pistons looked on a play. Part of that was because they knew many defense were set to defend the primary options, not the fourth option. I think it was a schematic maneuver more than a belief that Hamilton was the team’s fourth-best offensive player.

          Kuester actually tends to play players in longer shifts than most coaches. Guys don’t rotate in and out, in and out, in and out. A lot of guys play entire quarters, and that’s often how he’s used Rip.

          Hamilton has had one stretch of getting consistent shots this season. In each of his prime years with Detroit, Hamilton averaged about 15 shots per game. In a typical season, he made 46 percent of them. In Hamilton’s 12 games this season between Nov. 28 and Dec. 22, he averaged 14 shots per game. He made 43 percent of them. He’s declined.

          I definitely think McGrady has been a true point guard this season. Being a true point guard takes two things — having the skills to do it and choosing to play that way. McGrady has always had the former, but this year he’s applying the latter.

          You don’t throw good money after bad. In hindsight, and maybe foresight, but definitely hindsight, Hamilton’s extension was a mistake. But there’s no need to force Hamilton down the team’s throat. There are better ways to get better as a team than catering to him.

          • Feb 8, 201112:46 pm
            by Laser

            @jason: amen, brother. i think we might be talking to brick walls here.
            @feldman: it’s not about shot attempts. the entire environment was all wrong for him to succeed. he was forced to create most of his shots off the dribble, if he was to take any shots at all. i’ve explained this plenty. you won’t convince me that rip’s had anything resembling his customary role for the past few years.
            and nobody’s going to convince me that the guy who leads the team in shot attempts is the fourth option. perhaps third, only since it takes a little more time for a play run for rip to develop. of course it varied fron game to game, particularly back when the pistons were especially good at exploiting favorable mismatches, but overall tayshaun was definitely the fourth option.

          • Feb 8, 20113:10 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, if Rip is so one-dimensional, why do you believe he’s worthy of such a big role? Teams can stop one-dimensional players fairly easily. Is it really that hard for him to do anything else?

            I thought we were talking about a game-to-game thing with what option Rip was. My point was, it wasn’t that uncommon for Rip to spend stretches at the fourth option and still get a lot of shots.

          • Feb 8, 20115:21 pm
            by Laser

            gosh, sometimes this is so frustrating. it’s wearing insanely thin at this point, so i pray to christ it’s the last time i have to explain it: the issue isn’t that he’s “worthy” of a big role. it’s that we’re probably stuck with him and he’s not significantly worse than the guys ahead of him. so if you can move one of the other guys to help the team in an area of need, it’s worth the slight “downgrade” to slot hamilton into the rotation in his place. rip can do a lot, but his area of greatest strength is coming off screens, getting the ball at the right time and shooting with his quick release. it’s not all he does. you don’t usually become an all-star by just doing one thing. but it’s what he does best, and it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to do it in place of stuckey in our current starting lineup. especially on a team so devoid of assets, we need to make the most of what we have. and that probably means trading one of our SLIGHTLY better options to clear up the logjam and use the resulting flexibility to improve a position where we’re low on talent as opposed to OVERLOADED.
            i’ve been very clear and consistent on this point. i don’t know how i can make it any clearer. if you can trade gordon for cap space (and perhaps a pick, but that’s secondary to me) then use that space to sign zach randolph, i don’t think anyone is going to complain about having stuckey and rip at the SG position. the fact that you’re okay with rip collecting almost $13 mil a year to be a DNP-CD every night boggles my mind. just so you can retain stuckey and gordon, two players we all seem to agree are basically “average.”

          • Feb 8, 20117:59 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, Charlie Villanueva has a big contract that probably makes him tough to move. Guess he can stop working hard. The Pistons should just trade Chris Wilcox and give Villanueva minutes. Jason Maxiell is set, too. Give him Greg Monroe’s minutes, and ship out Monroe.
            You don’t incentivize poor performance. That ruins your team.
            Hamilton is rapidly declining. Stuckey is due for a big raise. It’s reasonable to believe in a year, Gordon will be the only one of the three with a positive value. You might just be swapping positions where you have a need to improve.
            Plus, with the new CBA, there’s no guarantee trading Gordon for an expiring contract would give you cap space. That’s not worth the risk to me. If the Pistons get something else, too, it might make sense. Or if the Pistons have seen enough Stuckey at shooting guard to become convinced he’ll be a reasonably priced answer at the position, dumping Gordon could work. But those are two big ifs.

    • Feb 8, 201111:42 am
      by Dan Feldman


      Alex, I think you’re underestimating how much a player, not the coach, has to do with the offense. Even when Carlisle/Brown/Saunders didn’t call plays for Hamilton, Hamilton ran around, anyway. That was his game. He doesn’t move as much without the ball anymore, and that’s on him.

      • Feb 8, 20115:31 pm
        by Laser


        two thoughts on this: 1) i don’t know why rip would bother running in circles if he knows full well nobody’s ever going to deliver him the ball at his favorite spots. ever. and i’m not sure if he even had screens to run off of, since it’s been so long since he was playing regularly, and when he was we ran nothing but isolation plays. i take that back. i actually seem to remember our offense consisting of our perimeter players passing the ball around the arc before settling on an isolation play. so there was probably nothing in the game plan (if a plan existed at all) that would have allowed rip to run around. apparently they needed him on the perimeter to pass the ball back and forth before settling on an isolation play. 2) carlisle, brown and saunders ran very different offenses. i was thinking about this today, and if john kuester was such an offensive guru, he probably didn’t like the idea of catering his offense in the slightest to one guy who predictably runs off screens for catch-and-shoots. he probably had more “creative” ideas, like running isolation plays, and he didn’t want that creativity stifled. this was probably the start of the friction between player and coach.
        i don’t mean for this to sound disrespectful, but this has been bugging me: i don’t understand how anyone who knows the game of basketball could possibly think that the way rip has been used this season bears the slightest resemblance to the way he was used in his heyday. from the personnel around him to the offensive schemes, nothing is even close.

        • Feb 8, 20118:29 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Laser, Pistons have gone away from an isolation-heavy offense for quite some time.

          Kuester has never marked himself as an offensive guru. He’s a defense-first guy and always has been. He was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator for a year, because that’s what the Cavs wanted him to be. That’s not his expertise.

          So Rip can find a fit in three very different offensive systems, but not Kuester’s? We’re going to have to agree to disagree on the cause and effect.

  • Feb 7, 20117:18 pm
    by Laser


    wow, the stuckey love is strong here.
    easy to say stuckey and hamilton are not a good match. not so easy to explain the causation, but you guys sure seem comfortable doing it. it’s not like stuckey and gordon have set the world on fire when teamed up.
    as for the “stuckey never had a strong supporting cast” nonsense, right after the chauncey trade he had a supporting cast that was a year removed from a 60-win season plus a declining iverson. some people find it so easy to take blind guesses as to the causation of what makes this team so awful. i have a strong hunch that stuckey’s inability to run an NBA offense is a big part of why we’ve sucked so damn hard, but i’m not crazy enough to come out and say it’s the only reason.
    also, this is the kid who’s been groomed from the start to be the future of the franchise, and dumars has bent over backwards trying to build a team around him and CRASHING AND BURNING. joe did everything humanly possible given his cap limitations to build a winner around stuckey, and the result has been some of the worst basketball this franchise has ever seen. so, uh, suffice it to say i’m not quite with you guys on this ons.

    • Feb 8, 201112:11 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Laser, I agree that Stuckey has had a stronger supporting cast Fennis thinks he’s had. But Tayshaun Prince, 34-year-old Rasheed Wallace, 30-year-old Richard Hamilton, 33-year-old Allen Iverson, Kwame Brown and 34-year-old Antonio McDyess doesn’t compare to to the 59-win team the year before that feature Hamilton, Prince, Wallace and McDyess, each a year younger.

      Stuckey hasn’t done a great job of running an offense. But it might have been worth the risk to find out whether he could. If he could, he’d be one of the most dynamic point guards in the game. If you don’t try, he’s just another good shooting guard, which fill the league.

      • Feb 8, 201112:51 pm
        by Laser


        worth the risk of playing him there for a season, season and a half? maybe. (though i thought it rather obvious that he was a dud at the position, and the evidence never stopped mounting.)
        worth the risk of committing to building around him? (handing major contracts to charlie villanueva and two other shooting guards?) absolutely not. not close to worth that risk, based on what we’d seen before the chauncey-iverson trade. not even close to something i would have ever considered.

      • Feb 8, 20111:06 pm
        by Jason


        Ill buy this, Feldman. I can’t say i disagree, you don’t really know what you have with Stuckey unless of course you give him a good shot at it. He’s young, athletic, good on defense, and has obvious talents. You have to at least give the guy a chance.
        I’ll also agree with Laser, however. I think they have waited a bit too long to see what we have with Stuck at the SG position, but i guess you can probably attribute that to the fact that we’ve had some other experiments we were trying at the same time.. (The Allen Iverson debacle, namely)
        I do completely agree with the notion that had Stuck figured out the PG role, he surely would have been one of the most dynamic PG’s in the league. It’s why i used to be a big Stuck supporter, but i just feel like the experiment has went on for too long..
        I’m happy to see us trying him at SG, i would just be MUCH happier if we didn’t already have over 24 million dollars committed at the position this season, and beyond..

        • Feb 8, 20113:07 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Jason, when do you pull the plug on the Stuckey experiment if not when they did? Before McGrady, the Pistons didn’t have a suitable true point guard to replace Stuckey. Plus, Stuckey, overall, had improved every season. It wasn’t unreasonable to think developing more point-guard skills would still come.

          • Feb 8, 20115:43 pm
            by Laser

            easy answer: i would have pulled the plug early last season. for starters, i wouldn’t have handed gordon that contract. (or rip, for that matter, but how far back in time do you wanna go?) so there would at least be room for stuckey to play off the ball. i’ve long thought bynum would make a better starting PG than stuck, so i guess he would have had to do for now. and if it became obvious that we needed another one (as if it wasn’t obvious stuckey wasn’t cut out for the job a loooong time ago), you swing a trade.
            your defense for sticking with stuckey so long was that they didn’t have a suitable replacement, but this is yet another chicken-and-egg situation. they didn’t have a replacement because they put all their eggs in the wrong basket, which i never would have done. not with that basket. the guy never looked like point guard material for more than three games at a time, and those stretches happened maybe once a season. he’s the best penetrator i ever saw who staunchly refused to kick the ball out ever. so i would have probably either kept him as a shooting guard or perhaps as instant offense off the bench, a role where he succeeded his rookie year. and i probably would have traded him by now, because i just don’t think he’s that good, and i think he could have fetched us something very nice. maybe still could.
            also, raymond felton’s agent told some news source that he contacted the pistons this summer to gauge the team’s interest. i’m not sure he would have come here if new york was an option, but i would have signed him with the MLE in an instant. i also might have drafted ty lawson two years ago. i’m not a big NCAA guy, so i didn’t know much about the draft class, but i knew how badly we needed a point guard, and i saw enough of lawson to like him. hard to say if i’d still have taken him over daye, but that has a lot to do with how damn long we’ve continued to hold onto prince for some reason.

          • Feb 8, 20118:42 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, Felton is making more than the MLE this year. Plus, with the team for sale, not sure the Pistons could have even offered that.

            I liked Lawson, enough that I wanted him regardless of anyone else on the roster. But this was a couple years ago, before it was clearer Stuckey wouldn’t pan out at point guard.

            What would have happened if both players were successful? That’s a lot invested in two guys who play the same position. They would have held each other down. They wouldn’t have been successful together anyway. Not enough minutes to go around. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

  • Feb 7, 20118:51 pm
    by detroitpcb


    agree with patrick a little bit on this one – Rip rushes his release when contested and has also made a lot of one on one moves off the dribble the last two years which is not his game.
    But the reason for both those things is the fact that the ball is not being delivered on time. It is hard to explain to someone who never played but the timing of a pass is as crucial as its location. A little early or a little late (more often the case with Stuck) makes all the difference in the world to a shooter. I think the lack of a point guard has definitely been a major part of Rip’s so called decline the last two seasons. Along with him forcing things.
    Also, i may be wrong, but i thought Rip had a great game when first paired with T-Mac in the Toronto game. And shortly after that he was removed from the lineup. It is a legitimate point that the Piston’s defense suffers with both T-Mac and Rip in the backcourt but Rip is actually a better defender than Ben Gordon so i really don’t see that one holding any water.

    • Feb 7, 201111:25 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      ” I think the lack of a point guard has definitely been a major part of Rip’s so called decline the last two seasons.”
      No one is saying that isn’t part of it. But why the hell is it such a hard concept for people to grasp that he’s almost 33 years old? Guards begin rapid declines when they get to the 31-32ish age range. It’s almost without fail. Why can’t people admit that this is a factor?
      “Rip is actually a better defender than Ben Gordon so i really don’t see that one holding any water.”
      In theory, yes. But Hamilton has had a poor attitude for two years, I don’t think anyone disputes that anymore, and his effort comes and goes. When he’s interested and playing hard, his defense is decent. When he’s not, at least Gordon gives effort at that end of the floor, even if he isn’t particularly good at it. Most coaches, given the choice, would rather play the guy who gives effort and doesn’t complain over the loudmouth who might be a little better but is a pain in the ass.

    • Feb 8, 201112:20 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      PCB, Rip did have a great game with McGrady against the Raptors. But that’s the trouble with relying only on memory. That game stands out, but it’s the exception to the rule.

      I agree that getting him the ball to the right spot at the right time is a big part of Rip’s game. But McGrady does that, and Rip’s numbers are still down. There are much bigger factors than his point guard keeping Rip down now — mainly his age. And there’s nothing to fix that.


  • Feb 7, 201110:11 pm
    by Mike Payne


    I really hate to come off as contrarian or argumentative, because I’ve really come to admire and respect a lot of the work you do on PistonPowered, Dan.  This, however, is a head scratcher, it uses weak data to make a bad argument based on shakey assumptions.
    Your entire argument is centered around Tracy McGrady being a “traditional point guard”.  This isn’t reflected historically or statistically.  He’s been a starting point guard for precisely 19 of a career total 865 games.  Statistically, as for his point guard purity (across those nineteen games), he’s only slightly more pure than Will Bynum.  Tracy does have court vision, leadership and decision making that is missing on Detroit’s roster, but is that honestly enough to argue that Tracy McGrady is a traditional point guard?  By the very meaning of the word “traditional”, Tracy is the exact opposite.
    Even if anyone is willing to accept that Tracy McGrady is actually a traditional point guard, is 190 minutes of data enough to conclusively suggest that Rip doesn’t play better with a traditional point guard?
    I’m not defending Rip Hamilton.  I’m not knocking Tracy McGrady.  But since objectivity is really important when it comes to making statements about subjects we’re all passionate about, it’s really hard for me not to question the logic here.  (I have a bad habit of only speaking up when I disagree with something, Dan, and I say this because I genuinely dig the majority of the smart work you publish)

    • Feb 7, 201111:21 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I think Dan’s point was not to say that it was a huge sample size. He’s responding to a common argument around here — that Hamilton’s decline has solely been based on the fact that he doesn’t play with a good point guard anymore.
      McGrady certainly isn’t a traditional point guard, but I think most would agree he exhibits more of the point guard tendencies than Stuckey has shown.
      Another common argument in the comments has been that if Hamilton played more with McGrady, his numbers would be better, which Dan does refute in the post. I mean, sure, if he played more minutes with him, maybe those numbers would improve, but the basic point I took away was that there is no credible evidence right now that suggests Hamilton would be better getting big minutes with McGrady.

      • Feb 8, 201112:23 am
        by Mike Payne


        I admittedly don’t have a fair frame of reference about the divisions here on PP about subjects like this.  I don’t think anyone can argue that Hamilton hasn’t declined with age, and I don’t think it’s easy to argue that McGrady is NOT a better point guard than Rodney Stuckey thus far.  But this wasn’t the point of Dan’s article.
        there is no credible evidence right now that suggests Hamilton would be better getting big minutes with McGrady.
        Had this been Dan’s point, there would have been no disagreement out of me, at least.  While I’m not familiar with the arguments about Rip amongst commenters here, I might represent what a new reader sees out of the way Dan phrased his argument.  Being that McGrady is not a traditional point guard historically or statistically– and that the sample size with regard to Rip is minute, I don’t see how this article dispels any myth with regard to Hamilton’s play.

        • Feb 8, 20111:59 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Mike, McGrady has played like a traditional point guard this season. The sample size is small, but my point is that more minutes with McGrady might help Hamilton, but there’s no indication it’s worked so far. McGrady isn’t a magic bullet that can automatically fix Hamilton’s problems.

      • Feb 8, 201112:26 am
        by Laser


        as one of the most vocal defenders of rip and advocates of him getting a chance to play in a system that suits him, i can say with confidence that his decline is not solely based on a lack of a point guard. you guys seem to want to point to just one thing, but it’s never that simple. the offensive system is the problem. lack of a point guard is one issue, but there’s the fact that he’s been forced to split time with two other shooting guards, the lack of screen setters.
        but, hayes, if you don’t think rip would be better AT ALL if paired with t-mac, i just don’t know how rational you’re being. add that to this: my argument isn’t that he’d set the world on fire in that situation, only that it’s worth looking at before writing the guy off completely. and if he’s a piston for the foreseeable future, that’s objectively a better approach to our current roster woes to at least try making him fit than just parking him and his $12.65 mil on the bench and saying “that’s that.”

        • Feb 8, 20118:45 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          Maybe he would. The data so far, however, as pointed out in Dan’s post, suggests that he’s not played well with McGrady.
          “i can say with confidence that his decline is not solely based on a lack of a point guard.”
          I can say that with confidence too. It’s also based on the fact that he’s 33-years-ol.d and players in their 30s decline pretty rapidly in most cases, especially guards.

        • Feb 8, 201112:31 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Laser, I believe Hamilton has a better chance of producing with McGrady than any other point guard. I don’t believe Hamilton would be good enough to deserve minutes, though. His age is the biggest reason for his decline.

          • Feb 8, 20116:18 pm
            by Laser

            ok, so your opinion is that rip is SO BAD you’d rather pay him to sit until you can unload him (however long that may take) in order to keep stuckey and gordon? even if the alternative was to get, say, zach randolph this summer if you could trade gordon for an expiring contract?
            in other words, gordon and stuckey are so much better than rip that you’d pass up on other avenues to improve the team in order to keep him out of the rotation in place of one of them? if so, i’ll never get behind that notion.
            i just took a look at rip’s stats this season compared to gordon’s. in many areas they’re quite close. here are the real differences: rip scored 1.127 points for every shot he took, gordon scored 1.230 (with comparable attempts per game, and rip’s 3PT% is actually better, so perhaps it’s fair to say he spaces the floor just fine if you choose to park him in the corner); rip’s AST:TO ratio is quite a bit better at 2.6:1.4 to gordon’s 2.3:1.9 (that’s 1.85 assists per turnover for rip against gordon’s 1.2). i dunno, as someone who happily concedes that our offensive system i better suited to gordon’s game, these numbers are a little surprising. if you factor in the conventional wisdom that rip is a better defender, i just don’t see how you can argue that gordon is very much better.

          • Feb 8, 20118:45 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, I don’t subscribe to the belief that Rip is a better defender than Gordon — not at this point, anyway. I’d say they’re pretty similar in defensive output. Rip has a few more physical advantages, but Gordon works a little harder. I’ll take the hard worker, everything else being equal.

            Defense can be hard to quantify, but opposing shooting guards have a PER of 12.6 against Gordon and 15.2 against Hamilton.

    • Feb 8, 201112:29 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Mike, completely agree that McGrady hasn’t been a true point guard for most of his career. But he has been this year. Past seasons are irrelevant here. Are you really arguing he hasn’t chosen to play that way this year? Has he not been pass first? Have his passes not been on the money? I think this is more of an eye test thing (unless you have the time to chart all his possessions, which I don’t), but here’s a stat that’s a rough measure: assists/field-goal attempts (with each free throw attempt counting as .44 of a field-goal attempt). McGrady ranks ahead of players like Ty Lawson, Chauncey Billups, Russell Westbrook and Derek Fisher.

      No, 190 minutes isn’t enough to prove conclusively. But it’s an indicator. Patrick summed up my point better than I did: there’s no credible evidence more minutes with McGrady would fix Hamilton’s problems.

      • Feb 8, 20113:21 pm
        by Mike Payne


        “there’s no credible evidence more minutes with McGrady would fix Hamilton’s problems.”
        There’s no arguing with that, and if you had made the case that way you wouldn’t have heard peep out of me, only quiet support.  There’s also no arguing that McGrady is more of a pure point player than Rodney Stuckey.  It’s clear if you watch the games (or run the point purity numbers), and make the call in the context of our roster.
        But declaring McGrady a traditional point guard is a stretch no matter how you dice it, especially when comparing him to shoot-first point guards as you do here.  It’s a shaky base to build an argument on.  But the summary, which is different from the initial story, is quite solid– that there’s no credible evidence more minutes with McGrady would fix Hamilton’s problems.

  • Feb 7, 201110:19 pm
    by Laser


    i’m sorry, but who the hell shoots just as well with a hand in their face?? rip’s whole game, the reason he led the team in scoring for 8 straight seasons, the reason he led the team in scoring by a wide margin in the playoffs on their way to a world championship, the reason he made three all-star teams, is coming off a screen or double screen, getting the ball at the right time and shooting with that quick release. put a hand in anyone’s face and their shot’s going to be tougher. i’m actually 100% behind pcb on this one.
    i usually at least get where hayes and feldman are coming from, even when we disagree, but we’re a mile apart on this one. we’ve seen legitimate and sustained flashes of vintage rip this season, and not coincidentally, it’s been when he was in a rhythm alongside t-mac versus toronto or when he was carrying the entire offensive burden in that overtime win when they actually ran plays for him consistently.
    my main issue is this: he’s a piston. make the most of him. you won’t convince any critical thinker that the guy’s simply finished until you give him an honest shot at being the guy we signed to that catastrophic extension. the first time in over two (2) full years that we committed to shortening the rotation and allowing a plamaker to run the offense, rip was immediately removed from the rotation. i think he’d flourish starting with t-mac, prince, wallace and monroe. there’s no reason to believe otherwise until we actually see it, and if the guy isn’t going anywhere, why not give it a look?? the team still stinks anyways, so why not try to make the best of a bad situation?
    this hayes/feldman attitude that the guy’s finished and should rot on the bench just isn’t practical. and you’d have to be insane to be convinced he’ll never be a contributor for this team again without actually seeing him in a system he can reasonably be expected to succeed in. since we’re all just throwing ideas and opinions around, why not make some practical suggestions, instead of advocating almost 1/4 of our cap room collecting dust at the end of the bench?

    • Feb 7, 201110:37 pm
      by rick


      I have been preaching the same argument, but it seems to me people only go with what is being thrown around out in the local media. Detroit does not have the big men to do the dirty work that was done when Rip was lighting it up. Everyone just looks at the numbers but not the small detail of a basketball play. When Detroit ran their offense back in the day it was like “poetry in motion”. Crisp passing and screens being ran, and what I do not understand is that if Kuester was on the bench then why does he not run some of the same things they ran back then. If we had legitimate big men then we would not be having these arguments and until then it will continue to be a game of analysis with abstract numbers that quantatively mean nothing because certain variables may very well be lacking along with insufficient data. Rip is better than the credit being given and we do not have a true point guard, but what we do have are a lot of combo guards, who are more adept at playing the two more so than the one, especially with no big man in the paint.

      • Feb 7, 201111:03 pm
        by Laser


        ben wallace is a great screen setter, and i don’t seem to remember greg monroe picking up very many offensive fouls due to illegal picks, plus he seems to be a smart player and fast learner, so i don’t see why these guys can’t be setting nice double screens for the guy.
        i’m laser, by the way. nice to meet you. there aren’t many people around here who have the slightest interest in looking at the big picture when it comes to anything. nice to see at least some people can take it all in without feeling the need to isolate a few convenient statistics and act like they’ve got it all figured out.

        • Feb 7, 201111:18 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          “there aren’t many people around here who have the slightest interest in looking at the big picture when it comes to anything.”
          Your posts are drivel. You’ve watched this team for only a handful of years. You refer to Joe Dumars, who the NBA named its damned Man of the Year award after, as arrogant, stupid and about a dozen other adjectives that no one who has ever watched, covered or listened to the man, whether they approve of his GM record or not, would describe him. In short, you are uninformed, you ignore evidence that doesn’t jibe with what your “eyes” — eyes that we are all supposed to take as gospel apparently — tell you is factual and you just generally post thousands of words that say very little. So yeah, if that’s looking at the big picture, I’m happy to be looking at whatever the small picture is.

          • Feb 8, 201112:42 am
            by Laser

            ah. we’re getting personal. that’s fun.
            my posts aren’t drivel. that’s for sure. i’m a smart guy, i understand basketball, i make relatively well-rounded arguments, and i’m always willing to support them.
            the fact that i’ve only been a basketball fan for 8 years has nothing to do with anything. i’ve watched this team when it was approaching the pinnacle, and i’ve seen every single move that drove it right into the ground, criticizing most of them. i don’t need to have watched the back to back champs or the teal era team to be able to analyze anything having to do with this team. i saw the assets they had when they were on top, and i’ve watched basically every single one of them get squandered.
            i’m FAR from uninformed, and i look at the big picture more than most everyone here. you can just look at the limited scope of this post’s title to see someone looking at a very narrow aspect of a bigger problem (as in, it ain’t just the point guard. dude’s been forced to split time with two other shooting guards, etc etc). and i look at all the evidence. i may have strong ideas about what’s right and wrong with this team, but the same goes for most of this site’s regulars.
            and you’re just plain wrong about my thousands of words saying very little. my comments may tend to be longer than the average guy here, but i’m much more coherent than most. that’s for certain. and i’ve been much more concise lately. not this time, tho. because you felt like getting personal.
            as for dumars: i’m not sure i’ve ever called him stupid. maybe i have. i don’t actually think he’s a stupid guy. but he’s certainly stubborn, arrogant and highly inflexible. i’ve seen waaaaaay more than enough of him over the years to have figured that one out. we all see what a mess this team has become under his watch and how he’s mismanaged it into the gutter. let’s see what the man does to turn things around, eh? how much you want to bet his trade deadline moves include: “nothing?” that’s certainly what his recent track record would indicate. sit on hamilton until he’s expiring and tradeable, stay the course, you know the drill… because the alternative would be moving someone else and essentially admitting he put together a garbage team. prove me wrong, joe.

          • Feb 8, 20118:59 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “ah. we’re getting personal. that’s fun.”
            Haha. Another one of your go-to moves. You pick apart a post on here, you twist the words to draw conclusions that say slightly different things than the author intended, then when someone gets pissed about the poetic license you take, you throw your hands up and say, “Oh man, people are getting personal with me because I’m such a righteous truth tellah.” Classic Laser.
            My main problem with arguing with you, why I say your arguments lack substance, is because even if you don’t particularly like stats, you have to have something to back up an argument to strengthen it. Agree or disagree with Dan’s premise, he at least went out and found some data to support his opinion. If his data is flawed, then provided more relevant data.
            This is wha tyou are providing here: you believe that Hamilton will be better playing in an offense tailored to his strengths, possibly with a better player in the backcourt with him. Well no shit? I don’t think anyone has argued otherwise. The problem is the Pistons are clearly not going to cater their offense to him. And in reality, that’s a smart move. Teams that build an offense around a shooting guard who doesn’t shoot the three well, who doesn’t get to the line and who doesn’t create off the dribble probably won’t be very good.
            The point of all of this has never ever been to say that Hamilton’s days as a semi-productive NBA player are over. They’re clearly not. But anyone who argues that age catching up with him somewhat, as well as a half-hearted effort at times, have not been factors in his declining production, well, you’re just not paying attention to credible evidence to the contrary.
            And why do I think your posts are drivel? Well, you’re right, your posts generally are coherently written and make sense. But as I said, you ONLY support your arguments with your opinions. For example, let’s take Dumars. You said above that he’s stubborn, arrogant and highly inflexible. Provide evidence of this. It’s one thing to say he’s done a poor job as GM. There’s ample evidence to suggest that he has, particularly over the last three years. But you are making personal claims about a man’s character. And not only that, it’s a man who is almost universally admired by peers in his profession. So that argument doesn’t work for me. It’s your opinion, even if it is expressed clearly, with ZERO support.
            Same thing with this Hamilton argument. You say he would play better next to McGrady. He has played with him in a limited amount of minutes with McGrady at PG. Why has he actually been less productive in those instances?
            How do you account for age? Isn’t it possible that, like several guards who rely on quickness, that he’s lost some quickness at ages 31, 32 and (almost) 33 that has accounted for his 40 percent shooting the last two years, at least in part? What is your evidence to suggest that Hamilton might be different then most post-30 guards in this respect? Post 30, a very high percentage of NBA guartds see their shooting decline. It’s not rare.

          • Feb 8, 20112:17 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, it all makes sense now. I never knew you didn’t get into basketball until eight years ago. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn’t make you a bad fan. But it alters your perspective.

            You started watching when the Pistons were at their peak. There was nowhere to go but down.

            You missed Dumars being ridiculously flexible and willing to admit his mistakes — more so than almost any other GM. In fact, he did this so well, he built a team that lasted as a contender for six-or-so years. He didn’t need to make wholesale changes during that stretch. When you build a contender you ride it out, with tinkering as needed.

            If you had become a fan a couple years ago, I think you’d appreciate what Dumars has done A TON more. He took a 32-50 team and gave it a long title window.

            Since you’ve become a fan, how many teams went from the lottery to contending?

          • Feb 8, 20116:35 pm
            by Laser

            look, i’ve gone back through enough history to see the moves dumars made to build a winner. it’s no small feat that he took the team he was dealt and built a team that contended for most of a decade and won a championship. but it’s impossible to ignore what he’s done with the team since. the bad extensions, bad trades, squandering of assets. i think it’s entirely possible that the success got to his head and he just kept on doing things “his way” even once he lost his midas touch. plus, he had his share of luck en route to building a winner (is it true joe only ended up with ben wallace because orlando refused to part with john amichi and brent barry?).
            my bottom line is that, regardless of what dumars did up to signing dyess with the MLE, we’re going on SIX YEARS since the man made a solid personnel move. six damn years. if he was such a genius, he would have been able to roll over SOME of his assets since the team was on top. the only asset he effectively rolled over was darko of all people, and the guy he turned into (stuckey) became the catalyst for every terrible move the man’s made since! (he also managed to turn carlos delfino into jonas, but i’m not going to pat the guy on the back for trading away someone for a second rounder; after all, i think dumars has been a completely average drafter overall, so all his good and bad draft picks basically cancel each other out).
            you’d have as much luck finding out how many teams went from the lottery to contending in the last eight years as i would. but while you’re at it, how many teams have gone from a world championship to the absolute gutter with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel? the heat went quickly from the top to the bottom pretty fast, but that didn’t last long. the lakers are kind of an exception because they have an unlimited payroll, but they’ll probably never be very bad for very long.
            if joe gets so damn much credit for building a championship team from whole cloth, why can’t he take the blame for turning one of the decade’s greatest teams into one of the worst teams in the league? and with no end to the misery in sight, no less! turnabout is fair play, right?

          • Feb 8, 20118:32 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “(is it true joe only ended up with ben wallace because orlando refused to part with john amichi and brent barry”
            This is absolutely not true. The Pistons had agreed to terms with Wallace and Atkins as free agents. They were coming to Detroit whether Hill left or not. When Hill decided to sign with Orlando, the teams agreed to do it as a sign and trade. Wallace and to a lesser extent Atkins were free agent targets of the Pistons, hoping to add them around Grant Hill.
            “how many teams have gone from a world championship to the absolute gutter with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel?”
            Well, the Lakers and Miami got pretty miserable and fell into the lottery after titles recently, and L.A. was willing to deal their franchise player for some wretched combination of Luol Deng and Gordon plus filler or something like that. The Bulls, Rockets and Pistons all went from title contenders to bottom feeders fairly quickly in the 90s. I’d say it’s a pretty commonplace occurrence. Once the window closes, it closes hard.

          • Feb 8, 20118:57 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, Patrick is spot on about Ben Wallace.

            You know Dumars has made good moves in the last six years. I don’t need to list them here, and I don’t want to hear excuses about how they don’t count. If you’re counting his bad moves, you count his good moves.

            Let’s look at the Pistons’ best stretch, 2003-06. I believe, every year, there are a few teams capable of winning the title. Which win it is mostly luck (injuries, who’s hot when, matchups, etc.) Eight teams made the conference finals in that span: Pistons, Pacers, Lakers, Timberwolves, Heat, Spurs, Suns and Mavericks. Four have had losing seasons since (Pistons, Pacers, Timberwolves and Heat), and the Suns are on track to do that this year. The Lakers and Mavericks spend enough to get around rules designed to bring down contenders. The Spurs are amazing. If you complain the Pistons aren’t as well-run as they are, you must complain about every other team.

            Dumars didn’t turn the Pistons into a non-contender. Salary-cap rules, a reluctance to pay the luxury tax and time did. The Pistons got old. Their contracts escalated. They spent years with late draft picks. The NBA is set up so it’s difficult for contenders to remain contenders.

            The Pistons remained a contender longer than most do. Dumars deserves a ton of credit for that.

            Want to argue he’s made poor moves once the Pistons’ window closed? Nobody will argue with you. But he didn’t close their window. The natural forces of the NBA structure did.

      • Feb 7, 201111:14 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        This is another argument that lacks any support.
        “Detroit does not have the big men to do the dirty work”
        Greg Monroe/Ben Wallace are blue collar players. All they do is set screens, rebound and cut to the basket on offense. Are they as good as the Wallace-Wallace-McDyess frontcourt? No way. But are they serviceable? Absolutely.
        “When Detroit ran their offense back in the day it was like “poetry in motion”. Crisp passing and screens being ran, and what I do not understand is that if Kuester was on the bench then why does he not run some of the same things they ran back then.”
        Why is this complicated? Better players. That’s it. Better players play basketball better. Detroit’s offense looked better when they had better players running it.
        “Rip is better than the credit being given”
        So you attack this post for not presenting anything but irrelevant numbers and data, but what’s your data? Show me a 33-year-old SG who is as productive as he was when he was 28 or 29. Find one. I’ll wait. As I’ve said, and as Dan Feldman has said, numerous times, Hamilton is not a bad NBA player. But people who can’t seriously look at his game, how it has changed and realize that he’s declined, well, there’s just no reasonable way to argue with that because it’s ignoring credible evidence to the contrary.

        • Feb 8, 20113:56 pm
          by rick


          Look I was a Dumars backer but up until he did what he did with the Billups trade and Iverson fiasco.So for me I wanted to do something I thought you could relate to as it relates to numbers. You see numbers do not really mean anything until the team starts losing so I did just what you guys have been doing with Hamilton’s numbers and saw the same as you have stated in the analysis of Hamilton that Dumars run has been in decline also. I do not care about a bunch of numbers that mean nothing, hell the numbers I know are the ones that equal wins and losses. So no matter who is playing for these Pistons right now they are losing , and losing a lot. I think that has more to do with the general manager and his moves. You all throw out Wallace and Monroe as great or marginal screen setters, but where are the in between players that we had that could also do dirty work. Corliss Williamson ? Elden Campbell? Okur? McDyess? I mean Wallace is 36 and Monroe like 22 so to say that they are doing what those guys did is laughable. The bottom line is we have like 6 shooting guards without a traditional point guard. You can love your team because trust me I love my team but to look at it with blinders on is crazy. I do not have to agree, but what I can do is give you my side of the story as I see it. I see it as someone made mistakes and you cannot put a career assistant as you have with Kuester and the same as with Curry and expect great results. Too many players from championship run with experience and being headstrong. The one move that was good but proved wrong in the end was re-signing Rasheed over Okur. Yeah hindsight is 20/20 but I think that is why we are where we are right now, especially as it pertains to Hamilton’s attitude and maybe some sort of entitlement. As I have said though Joe let Rasheed get away with it and used his ability and unique skill set as reason to look past his indiscretions. If we want to look further just try and remember last year when he said he wanted to see his team at full strength, well this team has been at full strength more so this year than last year. So I had faith in Joe but it seems he has lost his touch a bit. Maybe new ownership gives him opportunity to rectify the situation and he returns to glory. I do not know  but I want both you guys to understand one thing I love the Pistons just like you do and be damned anyone question my loyalty based on flimsy evidence that if it meant anything you would not have make a point to prove your point and that is basically what you are doing. Wins and losses is all that matters and I feel as a fan who has paid to see these guys deserve to see a better product along with being able to express my opinion openly and freely without being attacked by my fellow posters. So in short understand that we can agree to disagree, but lets keep it manly and civil.

          • Feb 8, 20118:06 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Rick, wins and losses aren’t all that matters. Are you arguing Marquis Daniels is better than Tyreke Evans? Daniels’ Celtics are 38-13, and Evans’ Kings are 12-36.

      • Feb 8, 20112:10 pm
        by Dan Feldman


        Rick, first of all, Wallace and Monroe set good screens. That’s not a problem. And I think you overestimate how many plays coaches call. It’s on Rip to move more without the ball, and he doesn’t do that. I think part of is he doesn’t care all that much about these Pistons, and I think part of it is his age.

    • Feb 7, 201111:09 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “this hayes/feldman attitude that the guy’s finished and should rot on the bench just isn’t practical.”
      Such BS man. Dan or myself have written anything remotely close to those words. You come on here, and your basic argument is, “Well just give him a good point guard, and he’ll be just as good as he was four or five years ago.” You back it up with zero evidence, other than your famed “eye test,” which sorry, that’s not enough to cut it for me.
      Rip Hamilton is old. He’s declined. He’s still capable of helping a team with significant talent around him. The Pistons? He’s not capable of helping much. He’ll have occasional good games, like the other night, and he’ll have some really poor shooting games. He’s been a 40 percent shooter for two years. His attitude has sucked. He’s potentially a better defender than Gordon, but unfortunately, Hamilton hasn’t been an interested defender for the better part of two years. His attitude has sucked.
      So yes, when you combine all of those factors, Rip Hamilton is a lesser player than he’s been previously in his career. Yes, he deserved to be benched moreso than a player like Gordon, for example. Gordon has underperformed. But he’s generally had a good attitude. He hasn’t sulked when he was benched unfairly. He hasn’t complained in the media. And there haven’t been legitimate reasons to question his effort, even if he hasn’t played very well.
      Now is the part where you say, “Blah blah blah Joe Dumars fault,” followed by about 1,000 words of nonsensical crap. Seriously man, it’s tired. Maybe you disagree with Dan’s conclusions. But you don’t present any credible evidence in this discussion that supports whatever it is that you suggest in your ramblings. Make an argument and use a fact or, heaven forbid, a statistic, to back it up. Show some evidence that a 33 year-old SG who relies on speed and quickness to get open for shots, can do that with about the same reliability that he did four years ago.

      • Feb 8, 20111:52 pm
        by Laser


        i love it when you call me out for putting words in your mouth and then proceed to put some in mine. what a dynamic!
        i never came close to saying rip would be the same guy if you paired him with a point guard. i’d never make such an assumption, since i haven’t seen him paired with a point guard in years and years. i’m just saying we don’t know what he’s capable of in a system where he could reasonably be expected to succeed. like, for instance, the one we’ve been employing since rip got benched.
        you guys, on the other hand, have seemed to take the stance that rip is in decline and is our third best shooting guard and, thus, should be benched. that’s not a far cry from how i characterized it. you guys haven’t proposed that dumars trade another shooting guard, so what am i to assume except that you’d leave him inactive because he’s our third best shooting guard??
        your approach to this logjam is “who do we bench?” mine is “who do we trade?” because benching your highest paid player (owed, i dunno, $30 million through 2013) is not a smart or practical solution, least of all when the guys ahead of him are both unremarkable and moveable. there isn’t a doubt in my mind that rip would look noticeably better in our current (playmaker running the point, only 2 SGs in the rotation) system than he has for the last few years. and i’ve got a hunch he wouldn’t be much worse than the other guys.
        we may never see eye-to-eye on anything, but you undermine yourself when you call my “crap” nonsensical. i make lots of sense on a regular basis. feel free to disagree with my points or the way i make them, but i’m almost always making sense.
        and as for your final sentence, i’d love to show you some evidence, but that would require the team to actually use hamilton correctly, and i don’t see it happening. unfortunately, all i’ve got right now are the 35 point explosion alongside t-mac versus toronto and that overtime win when they actually featured him for once in that extra period.

        • Feb 8, 20112:24 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Laser, here is my stance. I don’t think were that far off.

          Hamilton is the Pistons’ third-best shooting guard.

          Most of the time, a team’s third-best shooting guard doesn’t deserve to play.

          If Kuester plays Stuckey behind McGrady, Hamilton should maybe play a bit off the bench.

          If Hamilton plays as focused as he did against the Raptors and Bucks, he might not remain the Pistons’ third-best shooting guard. If he moves up the ladder, he should play more.

          The Pistons, in the short term, are hindered by their depth. Too many players can’t get into a rhythm.

          In the long term, their depth helps, because it gives them more chances to find assets to build around.

          The Pistons next step is shedding the assets they don’t want to build around. This will alleviate the depth concerns, and all of a sudden, the team will be much improved — good players with a balanced roster.

          This process has been stuck on the too-much-depth-in-the-short-term stage because of the ownership situation.<

          • Feb 8, 20116:52 pm
            by Laser

            sounds like we’re on the same page with this. you just seem insanely patient when it comes to this phase. like the guy a few posts above said, joe wanted to see the team at full health before he analyzed it. well, we’ve seen plenty and it SUCKS. the time for sitting back and analyzing has LONG passed. i’m going crazy waiting for the man to make a damn trade already. this hasn’t been working for years.
            but as far as i’m concerned, paying rip to sit is unconscionable. no matter how you think our SG hierarchy shakes out, you can’t sit your highest paid player in order to accommodate guys who are marginally better. and the issue is no longer who they “want” to build around. that ship has sailed, because (despite a contract that should indicate otherwise) rip is obviously that guy, and he can’t be traded. so you suck it the hell up and trade one of the other guys already.
            i get that you run a pistons blog and don’t have the “freedom” (even if it’s purely psychological) i do to take a hiatus from the team if nothing changes by the deadline. but you can’t possibly have any excuses left if the deadline comes and goes and the roster remains the same, can you?? three years since the chauncey trade should be more than enough to at least appear to be headed in the right direction. the only real assets this team has to inspire faith in ANYONE that there’s ever going to be a future for this team are the draft picks we’ve gotten by being awful. that’s how you build a team when you’re starting from scratch, not when you had one of the best teams in the league just four years ago. no excuse.
            and you can blame ownership all you want. i get that you lean towards defending the organization, whereas i tend to mistrust them and think they’re running the team like total @$$holes. but there are plenty of people who thought you shouldn’t put so many eggs in the stuckey-as-PG basket, that you shouldn’t have wasted your cap space on charlie and especially not ben, that you shouldn’t have extended max and rip. it’s true that we may be stuck with this roster because of ownership being in limbo, but we never should have gotten caught with our pants down, so to speak. ownership may limit what joe can do to an extent, but there’s no reason he should be unable to do ANYTHING. except that he’s got a bad team and is inflexible. if joe can’t or won’t make any changes, it’s an indictment of the roster he left himself with.

          • Feb 8, 20119:01 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Laser, we’re past the full-health stage. Dumars said that a year ago.

            I will be disappointed if the Pistons don’t make a trade by the deadline. But we can’t know for certain. What type of offers did they have? It takes two to trade.

            There’s also the big elephant in the room. Because of the ownership situation, the Pistons can only make trade that don’t add salary in the short term or long term. Dumars would also want to make a trade that improves the on-court outlook of the team. Show me trades that do all three, that any team has made.

    • Feb 7, 201111:32 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “i’m sorry, but who the hell shoots just as well with a hand in their face?”
      No one. That’s the point though. He was more open before because he was on a team with a better, more diverse set of offensive threats. Now he’s not, and he’s been exposed as a not very good shooter. He has some great 3-point percentage seasons a few years back. You know why? Because a HUGE percentage of his threes were uncontested. Now that they’re contested and people close out quicker? He’s a pretty terrible 3-point shooter.
      He’s just not an efficient player. He’s a jump-shooter who is older and who doesn’t have 3-point range. He doesn’t shoot that well off the dribble. And if he’s on a team that doesn’t have great spacing, he has a harder time beating his man around screens and fighting through them.
      Ben Gordon hasn’t been good for the most part. But he can shoot the 3 and he can occasionally create his own shot off the dribble. Stuckey can’t shoot, but he can definitely create his own shot off the dribble, particularly when he’s setting up on the wing. Those things make them much, much better options than Hamilton. And when you add in the factors like attitude, effort, etc., it’s really a no-brainer to have him third behind those guys on the depth chart.

      • Feb 8, 20111:04 am
        by Laser


        i don’t know how you can think i’m some raving lunatic while advocating leaving your highest paid player on the bench. joe made a mess here. so the question is what to do to fix it. your answer seems to be that rip is out of the rotation, but you also seem comfortable acknowledging the shortcomings of the guys you’d put ahead of him on the depth chart.
        the no-brainer is to ditch one (or both) of your other unspectacular, tradable SGs and pick up a free agent like zach randolph. if you’re stuck with rip, play him. try to make it work. paying him to sit, as if stuckey and gordon are such special, irreplaceable superstars, is insanity. so rip is the worst of the three. maybe he is, but the gap is not worth sacrificing other avenues to improve the team.
        once prince expires, you could either have ben gordon in the rotation and not enough cap space to do anything, or… rip hamilton and zach randolph. that’s the no-brainer. so you lose gordon and have to make do with rip for another year. it’s better than paying the guy to sit and missing out on a free agent who can help INFINITELY more than the talent gap between gordon and rip.

        • Feb 8, 20112:33 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Laser, I don’t think you understand how you earn the respect of a team — either as a coach or GM. In theory, your idea to dump a tradable shooting guard makes sense. But you don’t reward players for being so overpaid, you can’t get rid of them. That attitude spreads. All of a sudden, you have a team full of guys who don’t play the right way.

          Plus, you’re also ignoring that Gordon and Stuckey can get better. At minimum, they’re not declining soon. Hamilton is on the way down. If the ability level of all three is close right now, it might not be next year.

          • Feb 8, 20117:03 pm
            by Laser

            gordon’s not getting better. stuckey may, but not gordon. come on, now.
            and you’re not “rewarding” rip for being overpaid. you’re just making the best of a bad situation. rip may be declining, but he’s got a full year after this one before he’s got an expiring contract. so you have an overpaid, above average backup SG playing behind stuckey for one season. then he’s suddenly expiring and you can flip him for some more assets. but i would make no sacrifices whatsoever in order to hold onto stuckey and gordon. they’re not worth it. not even close.
            if you can unload gordon and get zach randolph, or even tyson chandler, in free agency… you don’t let another summer pass you by and continue to be one of the worst teams in the league indefinitely.

    • Feb 8, 20111:54 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Laser, players shouldn’t just get minutes because of their contracts. That’s how you compound problems. What has Hamilton done to deserve minutes? When he’s played with McGrady, he’s been lousy. When he’s gotten consistent shots over a three-week stretch, he’s been lousy. He’s not someone who deserves big minutes for the Pistons right now.

    • Feb 8, 20112:05 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Laser, there’s no credible reason to believe Hamilton would flourish with McGrady, Prince, Wallace and Monroe. No matter how you split it, Hamilton has struggled. That’s what happens to players his age. It’s not impossible to believe Hamilton would flourish with those guys, but give me one shred of evidence that he would beyond how good Hamilton was three years ago. Three years is a long time.

      It’s not impossible that my car might start flying the next time I start it. But there’s a big difference between that and finding reason it might happen.

      • Feb 8, 20117:13 pm
        by Laser


        nah, you lost me here. no credible reason to believe anything about rip unless you give it a shot. if you look at his numbers compared to gordon, there’s not that much of a divide in their production. give the guy a chance to play without having to split minutes with two other shooting guards and then you can judge him fairly, that’s all. maybe he’s declining with age, but he’s still not producing much worse than gordon. and you’re STUCK with him. so you adapt. be flexible. trade a guy who’s marginally better than he is if it means you can appreciably improve your overall roster.
        i can’t stand that you look at any lengthy stretch of rip’s production this season and think it’s fair to compare it to what he could do in the system we’ve been employing since he was benched. playmaker on the floor at all times, two shooting guards in the rotation. you must be biased if you won’t acknowledge that this could make a significant difference. he shot 50% and put up 15 points, 3 assists last time out, and may have been the difference in the game.
        isn’t it worth taking a chance that he may become a productive contributor in the new offense if it means you can turn one of the other SGs into an overall roster upgrade? yes. it’s objectively worth it. you can’t pay him to sit when you have other options. you just can’t.

  • Feb 8, 201112:52 am
    by Laser


    hayes, you’re intentionally misquoting me. i suppose you’d say i did the same to you, but you and feldman seem perfectly content to keep hamilton out of the rotation (yet still on the payroll) so we can hold onto such precious commodities as ben gordon and rodney stuckey.
    here’s where you lose me completely… all i’m suggesting in my “ramblings” is this (and it’s not hard to pick out if you read them with the slightest amount of attention) is this: 1) it’s absurd to write rip off without giving him a reasonable chance to thrive, and 2) rip isn’t considerably worse than gordon or stuckey; they’re all “good not great.”
    i NEVER said he’s as good as ever. just that we don’t know how good he still is. you guys are the ones trying to bury him. so he’s 33. big deal. we have no idea what he can do with major minutes as a focal point of an offense run by a playmaker. and we’re paying him WAY to much to bench him without even trying to find out.

    • Feb 8, 20119:15 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      “you and feldman seem perfectly content to keep hamilton out of the rotation (yet still on the payroll) so we can hold onto such precious commodities as ben gordon and rodney stuckey.”
      Gordon and Stuckey certainly haven’t been spectacular. But it makes infinitely more sense to play them over Hamilton. First, they have to decide what they’re going to do with Stuckey. Trade him? Extend him? What if he gets a big offer sheet? Match? Don’t match?
      They’ve seen him at PG, and very clearly he hasn’t proven he’s a full-time PG. They’re currently giving him a crack at the SG spot to see if he becomes more productive there. It makes sense to figure that out before the season is over.
      As for Gordon, he’s just a better offensive player than Hamilton. He’s a good 3-point shooter. He has some ability to create off the dribble (although he’s not great at it, he’s certainly better than Hamilton at it). And he’s six years younger than Hamilton. All of those are good reasons to have him on the floor. Whether his shot is falling or not, he represents more of an offensive threat than Hamilton, who at this point is basically just a 2-point jump-shooter who can occasionally hit a three if he’s wide open.
      So production-wise, maybe you’re right, there’s not a big difference between any of the three. That doesn’t mean the reasons for playing those two over Hamilton are not credible ones.
      “it’s absurd to write rip off without giving him a reasonable chance to thrive”
      He’s been an erratic shooter for two years. He played 34 minutes a game last year. He attempted more shots per game than anyone on the team. This year, he was averaging 30 minutes a game before he started coming off the bench. He started 24 games even though Gordon clearly out-played him in the preseason and early in the regular season. He’s averaging the second most FG attempts per game behind Prince. That is a pretty reasonable chance to thrive, I think. Certainly it’s more of a chance to thrive, when you look at minutes and shots, than Gordon has received, for example.
      “you guys are the ones trying to bury him. so he’s 33. big deal. we have no idea what he can do with major minutes as a focal point of an offense run by a playmaker.”
      I don’t understand how this would be an intelligent way to run a team? So you want to make a 33-year-old who has never been a dominant scorer, who is one-dimensional on offense, the focal point of your offense and find a playmaker that can get him MORE shots? That’s insane.
      Hamilton has always been and will always be a complimentary player. He was a very good one when the Pistons were good. Now, he’s probably still an above average one in the right situation with better talent around him. But the focal point of the offense? Those days are not only over, I don’t think they ever existed in the first place.

      • Feb 8, 20117:20 pm
        by Laser


        hayes, i’m not talking about who deserves to play over whom; we all agree that in a perfect world you could ship rip to new jersey and go forward with the other two. i’m talking about how to make the best of a bad shooting guard situation. which is to trade one of them and move the hell on.
        focal point or not (and he was certainly a focal point of the Goin’ to Work squad), he’s not so much worse than the other guys that you’re going to pay him to sit while the other two play mediocre basketball. we’re in an untenable situation here. something has to give. if you pay rip to sit, you’re making a terrible sacrifice for the sake of holding on tight to two completely average shooting guards who could be replaced at any time.

        • Feb 8, 20118:27 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          “he was certainly a focal point of the Goin’ to Work squad”

          I mean, I guess it depends on how you define focal point. He was their leading scorer. But it wasn’t because he was necessarily a “go-to” player. He scored a lot because he played with unselfish, smart offensive players in Billups, Prince and Rasheed Wallace.

          Personally, scoring tends to be over-valued a bit as a stat. Hamilton was no better than the third most valuable player on the title team behind Billups and Ben Wallace. And I think he was behind Rasheed Wallace as well as far as overall value.

          I don’t think they’re sitting Rip because they’re necessarily married to holding onto Stuckey or Gordon. But I think those two are bigger wildcards. Gordon has not been given the shooting guard spot on a lengthy basis and told it’s his to lose since he’s been here. Stuckey has not played much shooting guard period. Hamilton, they know what he is. His trade value was already dreadfully low. So I don’t think sitting him hurts that.

          And if they have to keep him? They probably hire a new coach, add a high draft pick and perhaps sign a MLE free agent in the offseason, kiss and make up with Rip, either let Stuckey walk or trade Gordon, and go about their business next season.

  • Feb 8, 20111:20 am
    by Mike Payne


    It all makes sense now.  I’ve found that Laser and I are pretty much the same page with regard to Dumars, Stuckey and others, but I didn’t realize the underlying issue.  Laser is a Hamilton fanboy.  Holy s#!t.  I didn’t even realize they existed.  I remember when DBB was overran by AI bois post-trade, but man, it all makes so much sense now.
    Laser, I think you’re a pretty smart, mostly objective guy who has a pretty solid grasp on how teams are managed.  What amazes me is that you appear to perpetuate such disdain toward Dan and Patrick when they seem to be pretty great guys.  It’s one thing to disagree with someone, but isn’t it something greater to realize when your opinion has worn out its welcome?
    That’s not for me to decide, you’ve got more seniority amongst commenters here than I do.  But still, how many games in a row can you expect the league to bowl against a heat-packing, pomeranian-humping Walter Sobchak?  Don’t get Burkhalter’d, duder.

    • Feb 8, 20119:23 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Sorry for all of those pro-AI comments. I just really believed getting him 30-35 shots a game would take the Pistons back to the Finals.

    • Feb 8, 20112:36 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Mike, I get it. Hamilton, the person, is pretty likable. The player? not so much anymore.

    • Feb 8, 20117:41 pm
      by Laser


      @mike: hahaha thanks for the compliments. nice to see some people around here appreciate me as an intelligent, thoughtful commenter who’s relatively objective. but you missed the mark on rip. it’s not that i’m a fanboy; i’d literally pay mikhail prokhorov a chunk of my own money to take rip off our hands. i want him gone as bad as anybody, believe it or not. i think the extension dumars gave him was one of the worst mistakes he ever made. and there have been plenty.
      the underlying issue is that i am a pragmatist. i realize rip is not tradable, so i look for other solutions. it’s as simple as that. to me it’s a waste of time to say “stuckey and gordon should play ahead of rip.” i mean, sure, they’re both cheaper, younger, better fits in our system. but rip doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so i think the easy choice is to rid ourselves of one of the others. we’ve got an untenable situation on our hands here, and paying rip to sit is one of our worst options.
      there’s also this element: when people gang up and start sh*tting on someone who doesn’t deserve it, i tend to pipe up. i’m the furthest thing in the world from a hamilton fanboy, but i don’t think he’s been given an honest shot lately to be the player he’s been for us historically. it seems insane to write him off when he’s been misused so badly. that’s all. i got accused of being a bynum fanboy a while back when i defended him after someone seemed to blame him for all the team’s woes. ironically, the one piston i’m a true fanboy of is tayshaun, and i am praying he gets traded. because he has a ton of value, and i’m a pistons fan first and foremost.
      for the record, i have no disdain whatsoever for feldman and never have; he and i don’t see eye-to-eye very often, and i think he’s too reliant on deceptive and limitedly-useful statistics to support arguments that i don’t think hold water. hayes has a tendency to attack me for some reason (i guess i rub him the wrong way), so occasionally he makes me sick and i’ll go at him a little. maybe i hold him to a different standard, since i figure he should really be moderating these comments, not picking fights. also, he gets very touchy when i claim that he makes things personal. and he likes to put words in my mouth while complaining that i do the same, complain that i write essays while he does the same. complain that i make no sense, even though i’m objectively about as coherent as it gets for an internet commenter. the whole thing just seems childish. but i still engage him, and i keep it civil.
      but there’s no way i’ll ever take their stance that you sit hamilton just because gordon and stuckey are younger and marginally better. never in a million years. it’s insane. you gotta adapt and adjust. you gotta move on. things aren’t going well, so you gotta trade someone who can actually be traded and go get a free agent who can help this team a hell of a lot more than the talent gap between rip and gordon.

  • Feb 8, 20111:47 am
    by Jason


    What’s wrong with being a RIP Hamilton fanboy? lol
    He’s the cornerstone of our team. Tayshaun is goine after the season, as is Big Ben..
    That leaves Rip and only Rip from the good ol’ days..
    Lets remember everyone, RIP was our leading scorer for year. That with Chauncey, Tayshaun, Rasheed on the floor – RIP remained our highest scorer year in and year out..
    I can’t blame any Piston fan for being a “RIP Fanboy” in fact, in my opinion – that’s why I and i’m sure many others come to this site and vent our disagreements when we see Rip being mistreated. It’s bad enough that the organization wants to kick him to the curb, but when the “Fans” are as well – it’s what gets me boiling enough to spend 30 minutes slap jacking my keyboard in his defense.
    Quick note – i only replied direcftly to you here Mike because you made the “Fanboy ” comment.. I agree with just about everything else ive seen you write… The rest of this rant is directed to all..
    I get what everyone is saying about Rip’s age being the factor. I understand that side of things, Patrick & Dan – BUT – ins’t that something that Dumars should have thouht about before handing him the contract extension? Before making him the cornerstone of our rebuilding efforts? Did he not understand that Rip was going to be 33, and still have another year at 12 mill left on his contract?
    When you, as a GM, make the decision to trade Chauncey, Let McDyess & Wallace walk, and NOT extend Tayshaun – BUT give RIP a massive extension, making him a long term, highest paid player – aren’t you essentially making him the main piece going forward?
    SO wouldn’t it only make sense to build a team of players that compliment your JUST extended, highest paid player??
    That’s my whole point, and I believe that very nature of Laser’s points as well. When just a couple years back you believed in this guy enough to throw him a massive contract, how can fans NOT get upset seeing our 12 million dollar man on the bench? Seeing him degraded by fellow Pistons fans?
    To me, its about principle. If we had a above and beyond better option at SG, id be all for it. But the fact is that we do not. Rip is IMO our best option at the position..

    • Feb 8, 20112:24 am
      by Mike Payne


      Much respect, and I appreciated the kind words prior, my man.  The word “fanboy” has an important distinction, in that being a fanboy colors your perspective of team by giving an undue preference to the player of your fanhood.  Personally, I’m on Rip’s side in this current situation between coach, GM and player.  I’ve long defended Rip in recent years against undue claims that he’s a bad spirit amongst the team.
      But Rip is not the cornerstone of the Pistons.  He wasn’t the cornerstone during the ECF years.  He was a very effective player in the mix we built around him during his prime, but his prime has faded and his counterparts have departed or aged themselves.  It’s not his fault he’s so poorly treated by fans and the media, if he were an MLE player he’d be but a footnote in our collective frustration.  Hamilton was effectively kicked upstairs by stupid spending on Jod’s part, and if you take the money out of this equation there is no need to complain.
      That said, even though this is squarely Dumars’ fault for extending an aging Rip then doubling down on Ben Gordon, Rip has declined no matter how you want to look at it.  Again, if he were paid properly, it’d be no reason to complain.  But it’s foolish to blame his performance on external factors despite the fact that he’s always a slow starter… and he hasn’t gotten a real start in 2010-11.  In short, I don’t think Rip deserves most of the blame he’s received, but I think it’s crazy to suggest that Hamilton remains the cornerstone of our team in the same breath.

      • Feb 8, 20118:47 am
        by Jason


        Fair enough, I can accept that in its entirety. When I say he’s our “Cornerstone”, from a financial aspect, of course he is. I can understand of course that he’s not going to he a big part of the future, but I also can’t accept benching, or diminishing a role of a guy who just a couple years ago, our GM was willing to throw the house at..
        That said, I can agree that he is declining in age. I think had many comments/articles been put in the way you just did, I likely wouldn’t have jumped to his defense to the extent that I have. Maybe I would have either way, hell I’m a self proclaimed “Rip fanboy”..
        I guess i hate to see someone get trashed by fans/the organization – when IMO he hasn’t gotten a “Fair shake” this season, or last. I wonder to myself, had Chauncey still been here – and began to slightly decline in age (See Chauncey’s assist #’s this season..) – would he have gotten the same treatment?
        Regardless, i think the most important piece here is
        1) Can Rip still play? Yes.
        2) Is there a better option at the position? I don’t believe so..
        i Just hope he can traded now, before any further divide amongst fans is created – so that he can still get the respect he deserves in the future when comes back to the Palace.. That, and have a chance to prove he still has what it takes, and can contribute to a contender.

        • Feb 8, 20119:21 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          I really disagree on the whole “fair shake” thing. He played 34 minutes a game last year and shot 40 percent while take the most shots per game of anyone on the team. This season, his minutes are down to the 28 per game range, but he’s still second on the team in shot attempts. He’s only shooting slightly better at 41 percent.

          You know who might not be getting a fair shake? Gordon. Flawed or not, Gordon needs shots to bring any value to the team, and he’s suffered because the team has done everything it could the last two years to avoid the inevitable: that Hamilton is no longer their best option at SG. He’s shot it poorly. Sometimes it has been a result of the offense not running smoothly, but often Hamilton has had attrocious shot selection. He doesn’t appear willing to shoot the ball less. To me, that’s the major problem. If Hamilton took fewer shots, eliminating the forced ones, he’d be shooting a better percentage and he’d still be playing a lot of minutes. I just don’t think he’s willing to accept a reduced role, even if it would probably make him a more productive player.

          • Feb 8, 201110:01 am
            by Jason

            I think we can agree here 100%, Dan. Accept I am one to believe that BOTH Gordon and Rip aren’t getting the fair shake.. But, I think this is something we are all in agreement on… The point is that there simply isn’t enough room for them both to be successful on the same team, at least not while they are both getting $12Milllion a year..
            Mike hit it on the head, IF Rip were getting paid an MLE contract – none of this would be an issue. Same with Gordon, if he were being paid a reasonable contract, we could make something work, and I wouldn’t have an issue with him being that dynamic off the bench guy.
            It all boils down to the money, really. When guys are getting as much as these two are, we’re going to expect more out of them. When a coach benches a 12 million dollar man, MOST fans should get a bit upset about it..
            One of your last comments -
            “If Hamilton took fewer shots, eliminating the forced ones, he’d be shooting a better percentage and he’d still be playing a lot of minutes.”
            Sure, but this is one prime example where In MY Opinion, if a traditional PG was along side Rip, he would take shots in better positions, which would do a great deal to eliminate the forced shots.. This would certainly improve his FG%. Would he return to the glory days Hamilton? No, and i’ll concede to that fact. Age of course has played a toll – but I think its a pretty fair assumption to say that playing along side a Facilitator would ONLY improve Hamilton’s numbers..

          • Feb 8, 20117:47 pm
            by Laser

            yes! hallelujah. NOBODY’s been given a fair shake, because there’s no room in an NBA rotation for three relatively pure shooting guards.

      • Feb 8, 20112:46 pm
        by Dan Feldman


        Mike, I definitely agree that Rip gets treated poorly unfairly just because of his contract. It’s not his fault the Pistons offered him so much money.

        But I think he’s become complacent as time has gone on. He’s set financially. He’s on what I’m sure he sees as a dead-end team. He still works hard. It’s not that. But he doesn’t seemed as focused, especially when it comes to making sure all his shots are good ones. When that’s the major part of your game, that’s a big problem.

    • Feb 8, 20112:42 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Jason, first of all, I completely understand why you want Rip to succeed. I want him to succeed, too. It’s nice when someone who has meant so much to the team remains good forever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Age has caught up to Rip.

      What evidence do you have he’s the team’s best option at shooting guard? I’d say he’s third. And he’s not getting any better. Stuckey’s and Gordon’s lead is only increasing.


  • Feb 8, 20118:54 am
    by Jason


    By the way, it’s getting waaaay too heated between Laser and Patrick! haha..
    You guys need to hug it out..
    - OR -
    The Pistons need to start winning consistently again, but something tells me the former may be easier to accomplish, for the time being…
    Gotta love the heart from both of you guys though!

    • Feb 8, 20119:16 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      This one is mild compared to some other debates.

      • Feb 8, 201110:02 am
        by Jason


        True, I’d still like to see them hug it out though… haha

        • Feb 8, 201110:46 am
          by Jason


          My fault – thoguht I was talking to Dan there still.. Glad your comment boxes are now BLUE, Patrick. They hadn’t been since the site change, so i saw blue and just assumed I was talking with Feldman.
          So, to correct myself – You guys should hug it out, Patrick. haha
          And I completely agree with your picture – Flint is definitely for lovers..

  • Feb 8, 201112:47 pm
    by Kamal


    Sorry Patrick, but you’re not being accurate.

    “This year, he was averaging 30 minutes a game before he started coming off the bench.”  Rip averaged 26.23 min a game as a starter.  That’s little over half the game.  That’s not really giving him the opportunity to play well.  What it’s doing is putting pressure on Rip to have a dynamite 1st quarter or run the risk of sitting the entire second quarter.  Same for BG. 
    “He’s a pretty terrible 3-point shooter.”
    Rip is shooting 40% from the 3.  He’s attempting 2.9 attempts per game.  I’d say that’s pretty good. 
    The data used in the blog is not valid.  It shows the time Mac and Rip played on the court together but it doesn’t show specifically the time spent with Mac playing the point.  For all we know 95% of the total minutes were spent with Mac at the 3, Rip at the 2, and Stuckey at the 1.  That’s not fair.  And also, it doesn’t take into consideration that Mac spent the first part of the season on one leg.  We KNOW he wasn’t running the point then.

    Laser is correct.  Rip was never given the opportunity to play well with this team.  Stuckey couldn’t hit him off on those screens, which forced Rip to play a lot more 1 on 1 than he’s used to.  And then, when he didn’t have the ball, he was forced to stand in the corner to space the ball for Stuckey to drive.  Rip’s not a spot up shooter.  That’s what Kuester tried to make him into.  And only playing 25 minutes per game, Kuester tried to turn him into Vinnie Johnson or Jason Terry.  He’s not an instant offense guy either.

    We all know what Rip is.  And Joe took everything away that made him successful at what he was paid to do in the first place.

    • Feb 8, 20111:13 pm
      by Jason


      Well said, Kamal!! I completely agree, and I think it’s pretty tough to use the very small window of stats that we have with Rip/T-Mac playing together as PG & SG. It’s been an extremely small amount of minutes, and no where near enough to make these conclusions.
      Could they be right? Sure, but with the limited data, I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s a “MYTH” as if that’s conclusive. If it’s simply Feldman’s opinion, of course I and anyone else for that matter shouldn’t have anything to say about it.. But to attempt to use the limited stats to justify an opinion isn’t correct in THIS situation..
      Still love me some Pistons Powered though! Love to see all the comments, I don’t believe ive ever seen over 50 comments on a post before.. Or am i wrong?

    • Feb 8, 20111:22 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Tired of this stuff man. OK, so it wasn’t quite 30 minutes a game as a starter. I admit I didn’t look up the exact average. But when you factor in the four games he was either ejected from or didn’t finish due to injury, I think we can agree he was getting pretty close to 30 minutes per game.

      “Rip is shooting 40% from the 3.  He’s attempting 2.9 attempts per game.  I’d say that’s pretty good.”

      He’s a good stand-still 3-point shooter if he’s open. He’s a bad 3-point shooter in the sense that he can’t hit them like Gordon does. The 3 is not a part of Rip’s arsenal. It’s good that he can hit it if he’s open. But Gordon is a constant threat to pull up and hit that shot even if he’s contested. That brings infinitely more value to the guard position than Hamilton’s shooting ability.

      “For all we know 95% of the total minutes were spent with Mac at the 3, Rip at the 2, and Stuckey at the 1. ”

      Seriously? I mean, McGrady was playing sparingly early. His minutes increased drastically when he became a point guard, first playing it in a backup role and then starting. And if you read the post, here is what it says:

      “I counted McGrady as the point guard for the Pistons’ November win over the Bobcats, when he started over a suspended Rodney Stuckey, and for every game since John Kuester adjusted his rotation in December.”

      So yes, those minutes are when McGrady was playing point guard.

      “Rip was never given the opportunity to play well with this team.”

      Explain what you consider opportunity? He’s played significant minutes when he’s been healthy the last two seasons. Last year, he took more shots per game than anyone. This year, he’s taking the second most per game. I’m sorry, but whether he fits the system or could be used in a different way or not, he’s been given nothing but opportunities to succeed.

      His shot selection is his fault. The fact that he tries to go one-on-one too much even though it’s not his strength is his fault. The fact that he’s hurt the team by getting ejected is his fault. And the fact that he’s now 33 years-old and his game has shown some signs of decline? Well, that was inevitable. Certainly playing with more talented players would make him slightly better, as it would ANY PLAYER. But all of this posturing that he’d be his old self if they just passed him the ball, ran the offense through him and catered to his desire to be the top dog on offense is insane.

      • Feb 8, 20115:38 pm
        by Kamal


        I know I’m coming off as a Rip apologist.  I’m not trying to do that.  But I have to give you the overall big picture.
        You say Rip’s played significant minutes the last 2 years when healthy.  I’ll give you last year.  He played big time minutes but was hobbled by a bum ankle was never truly “right” after the first game of the season.
        As for this season, he hasn’t gotten significant minutes; at least not for him.  In the first 9 games of the season, Rip played 30 minutes or more 3 times.  As a matter of fact, he’s only played 30 minutes or more 10 times this season and I think 2 of them were over time games.  Sorry, but that’s not enough.  Play Dwyane Wade 25 minutes a game (12 minutes in the first and 12 minutes 3rd quarters) and see if he hits his career averages.
        And just because he was given the minutes doesn’t mean he was given the opportunity to succeed.  We could play Ben Wallace 35 minutes a night at shooting guard but we’d still not be giving him the opportunity to succeed because it’s not his strong suit. 

        You play to your strengths.  Rip stands in the corner most nights and waits for the ball to be kicked to him because the plays are not ran for him.  And when that happens, people say Rip is disinterested or going half-assed.  he can’t run around a screen becuase it would clog up the paint for a Stuckey drive or a Tayshaun post up.

        I will admit, that Rip has forced some bad shots this season.  Not enough to warrant a benching, but enough to make you scratch your head.  I’m sure Rip was told to be aggressive when he’s on the floor.  If they’re not running him off of screens, what’s he supposed to be aggressive on?  1 on 1 plays.  Plus, he knows that if he doesn’t make a mark when he’s out there, he’s done for the rest of the half/game. 

        It’s easy to blast Rip because he hasn’t looked good this season.  But when you put everything into perspective, Rip hasn’t played THAT bad.

        • Feb 8, 20118:36 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Kamal, if Wade played 25 minutes per game, I’d bet his percentages and per-36 minute stats would remain the same. I haven’t complained about Rip’s per-game numbers.

          You overestimate how many plays a coach calls. Players have freedom. Rip stands around and waits for the ball.

          Rip’s margin of error is thin. There are two other shooting guards worthy of playing time on the team. Not playing THAT bad or taking just a few bad shots is enough. Rip’s not that bad that every team should bench him. But the Pistons, who have Stuckey and Gordon, don’t need to force-feed him minutes.

          • Feb 8, 20119:04 pm
            by Kamal

            First of all, I think it’s cool that you guys are going back and forth with me.  I appreciate it.

            Now, to the matter at hand.  Rip’s per 36 is 18.6 ppg 3.6 apg and 3.3 rpg.  I think that’s pretty good.

            And come on, Dan.  Rip can’t run around on screens at the same time Tayshaun is posting up or Stuckey is isolated for a drive.  You know that.  Tayshaun and Stuckey have been feature in the offense from day one.  Rip, when he started, became 3rd option from the 1st game.
            And I understand that Rip’s margin of error is thin (which I think is TOTALLY unfair but I’ll leave that for another Blog entry).  But for some reason, Stuckey’s margin of error is pretty wide.  He sucked as a point guard for 1 and a half seasons and then they slid him to the 2 (a position he’s NEVER played significant time at) as the starter. 
            I’m not just taking up for Rip.  I think Kuester’s substition pattern for his shooting guards has hurt BG as well.  Stuckey is the one that doesn’t deserve the minutes at the 2.  He hasn’t done anything to suggest that he’d be a good 2 guard except do a poor job of playing the 1.

          • Feb 8, 20119:22 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Kamal, Rip also takes a significantly higher number of shots per 36 minutes than Gordon or Stuckey. That’s why his per-36 scoring is better.

            And sure Rip can run around screens at those times. Stuckey could give up the ball before drivingJust look at the Bucks game. Rip was active without the ball, and that opened driving lanes for Bynum. And Rip moving means Prince would face fewer double teams when posting up. One-on-one, Prince’s post-up game is pretty tough to stop. The threat created by Rip moving fits with the rest of the offense.

        • Feb 8, 20118:39 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          I don’t think this is to argue that he’s been infinitely worse than anyone else on the team. A lot of Pistons have played really poorly. From my perspective, these are my main points:
          - Hamilton, while his stats have certainly been hurt by playing with inferior talent compared to three or four years ago, has also declined simply because he’s getting old. He’s about to turn 33. It’s very likely his shooting percentage would not be around his career average in any system because it happens to a huge number of guards when they get to be his age.
          - From the Pistons perspective, it makes sense to reduce his minutes. As you point out, his style doesn’t fit the strengths of most of the current personnel. Foolish or not, the team has been clear that its goal is to make the playoffs. Playing Gordon, who spreads the floor, makes more sense because there are so many iso players on the team. Playing Stuckey, who they are trying to figure out what his future position is and whether he’s worthy of a contract extension, makes sense. Playing Rip, a player they are extremely familiar with and know what they have, makes less sense.
          Someone has to sit with the roster as constructed. While Gordon has not really out-performed Rip on any convincing scale (I would argue that Stuckey has been better than Rip this season, however), it still makes practical sense to sit Hamilton. Really, I could make cases to sit any of the three. But the most compelling case, the one that makes the most sense when factoring in the team’s short and long-term goals, is to sit Hamilton.

    • Feb 8, 20112:53 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Kamal, you’re right. Rip starting doesn’t give enough info to suggest how he’d play with a bigger role. This should:

      Hamilton has had one stretch of getting consistent shots this season. In each of his prime years with Detroit, Hamilton averaged about 15 shots per game. In a typical season, he made 46 percent of them. In Hamilton’s 12 games this season between Nov. 28 and Dec. 22, he averaged 14 shots per game. He made 43 percent of them.

      The data for this post counts just games once McGrady moved to point guard. There have been occasional possessions when he’s moved to wing since then, but they’ve been rare, and have mostly come with Stuckey, not Hamilton at shooting guard. They would barely affect these numbers.

      Rip’s not a spot-up shooter? Then what is he?

      • Feb 8, 20115:21 pm
        by Kamal


        Rip’s not a spot up shooter.  He’s a rhythm shooter.  He catches the ball in a rhythm and lets it fly.  When we were good, how many times have you seen Rip have a so-so game and then rattle off about 4 or 5 buckets in a row to ice the game?  It’s hard to get into a rhythm with his erratic playing time (1 quarter on, 1 quarter off).  He’s not an instant offense guy.  He’s not Earl Boykins or even JR Smith.  Rip needs minutes to truly be effective.

        And Here’s some data I found interesting:
        Rip is averaging 19 ppg on .488% shooting in the 12 wins he’s played in.
        When playing 30 minutes or more, Rip is averaging 19.9 ppg on .433% shooting (I know it’s not great but it’s better than .410). 

        I understand if Rip doesn’t fit the future plans and needs to sit to develop the younger guys.  I’m cool with that.  But I refuse to believe that he is the worst option of our 3 shooting guards and a hinderance to the team.  I know Rip is older.  I know he’s not as quick as he used to be.  I know he has a harder time shaking his man than he did in 2003.  I’m not an idiot.  Having said all of that, I still believe that Richard Hamilton is our best option at the 2 and gives us the best chance to win.

        • Feb 8, 20118:22 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Kamal, you know why Rip used to go on those spurts late in the game? I’m sure being in a rhythm was part of it. But that’s not the main reason. The main reason is his defender was tired from chasing him around the court all night. Rip no longer runs like that. I think part of it is age and part of it is his lack of focus for this team.

          Those stats don’t necessarily mean much. What causes what? Does Rip play better when he gets more minutes? Or does he get more minutes when he’s playing better?

          I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on where Rip ranks among the Pistons’ shooting guards.

  • Feb 8, 20111:32 pm
    by Laser


    a lot to digest here. let’s cool it with assertions that i write rambling essays for now. for one, i don’t ramble too much these days. for another, we’re both prone to “essays.” i’ll make this quick and dirty:
    1) i don’t need to support my stance with stats. all i’m doing is questioning the premise of this blog entry. the only concrete claims i’m making are (a) i disagree with the premise of this entry, due to its narrow approach to a broad problem, and (b) we’d need to see rip in an offense that caters to him at least somewhat to judge his level of decline. you guys are the ones saying he’s an old man and a shell of his former self. all i’m saying is that we don’t know what he’s capable of, since he hasn’t been given an honest chance to excel. i’d love to show you stats to support my hunch that rip isn’t nearly as washed up as you guys think, but that would require a stretch of games where he’s playing major minutes alongside a point guard, with stuckey or gordon out of the rotation. i just think you have to give the guy a reasonable chance to succeed before you write him off, if you want to be taken seriously. and nobody thinks splitting time with two other shooting guards in an isolation-based offense would give rip hamilton a reasonable chance to succeed.
    2) most of my ideas and suggestions aren’t so concrete as “rip’s finished and we’ve all seen enough evidence to support that claim!” most of my assertions are maybes, like maybe rip isn’t finished after all. maybe he’s just been badly misused, but we’ll never know. and the things where i’ve been concrete are ideas like “we have too many shooting guards” and “stuckey’s not a point guard,” and i’ve been proven right on those, whether i had statistical evidence to support them or not. above all else, i’m a pragmatist. i try to find logical solutions to the problems this team is facing. i just think there’s no point in griping about rip without providing reasonable suggestions on what to do from here. and i don’t think holding onto him as the world’s most well-paid mascot is the best solution.
    3) on dumars: he’s been a nightmare lately. all he does is talk about changing the roster. “doing what’s necessary.” getting back to “toughness and grit.” he said he was going to look at the team and decide who had what it took, and surprise surprise, turns out everyone passed his test. and with the same horrendous team we’re still the seventh worst team in the league. he doesn’t want to trade prince. he probably won’t trade t-mac, even though that guy would probably net us a decent young building block. he seems to only want to trade rip, but nobody wants rip. he insists that villa and gordon have good trade value, but the team stinks and he’s not trading anyone. he hasn’t done a damn thing since trading chauncey, signing CV and BG, and dumping amir and afflalo for a bag of magic beans. and we’re on our third wasted season. good GMs adapt. they’re flexible. even bad GMs aren’t necessarily too proud to admit their mistakes and change course when their team is horrendous. so i think there’s ample evidence of his inflexibility in his actions. as for his stubbornness and arrogance, have you ever seen the man interviewed? guy’s like a bad politician. he talks in circles, never in concrete terms. and one interview sticks out to me around the championship year when he was smugly going on and on about how other people couldn’t do his job, how he knew the game, etc. i sense no humility in him whatsoever. it’s probably safe to say that once this trade deadline passes we’ll have a pretty good idea of what his flexibility is like, right? i mean, if we make no moves, surely you’ve got to concede that he’s just going to sit on this terrible team because he’s comfortable AS HELL and would rather “save face” and stay the course than make a drastic, necessary change in direction.
    even though they’re completely average players, i think he considers guys like stuckey and gordon and charlie v “untouchable,” since the team has gone absolutely nowhere since he picked them up. if he dumped gordon now, it’s a plain admission that his rebuilding plan failed. on the other hand, if he lets hamilton rot on the bench for another season and a half, then trades him when he’s expiring, it’s not so plain an admission. he can scapegoat rip (like everyone else loves to) and say this was all more-or-less in the plan. i mean, what do you expect to see at the trade deadline? what would you do? do you think his actions (or inaction) will say anything about the kind of man he is? whether he’s willing to be flexible and make some changes in the best interest of the team? or will he keep tayshaun and t-mac around because he likes having them around? will he keep gordon and stuckey even though it means almost $13 million rots on the bench?
    3) it’s certainly possible that rip’s age has been a factor in his statistical decline, but i’m not making claims that it’s the only or even primary reason. and i think it’s silly to do so. but nobody in their right mind would suspect he’d thrive in the offensive system he’s been forced to play in, whether he was 33 or 23.
    4) the thrust of my argument with rip is that you’re better off playing him and moving one of the other guys at his position. that’s really all i’m saying here. this idea of burying him on the bench (and burying him in general) just isn’t productive or practical. if he can’t be traded you’ve got to make the most of a bad situation. and i just don’t see how “the best” of this situation is to pay him to sit, just so you can retain the talents of two completely average shooting guards. as long as this team looks like it does, sure he should probably be the third shooting guard on the depth chart. but the team SHOULD NOT and NEED NOT look like it does. trade a shooting guard, improve in other areas. don’t pay a guy more money annually than i’ll earn in my lifetime to sit on the bench. neither gordon nor stuckey is worth that sacrifice, and neither is that much better than rip. that’s all i’m saying.

    • Feb 8, 20112:58 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Laser, how do we know you couldn’t compete in the NBA? You’ve never played a minute in the league, so we can’t know for certain.

      You’re discounting a month of training camp, the entire preseason and practices. Teams don’t blindly give someone minutes. Hamilton has done nothing to show he deserves more playing time. I’m not sacrificing a month of the season to find out 100 percent. He must prove the Pistons should give him minutes. They don’t have to prove that they shouldn’t, and by your logic, the only way they could do that is playing him.


      • Feb 8, 20118:01 pm
        by Laser


        1) “never played a minute in the league,” you say? would you believe i’m actually dennis rodman himself??
        2) look: stuckey running the offense (running it INTO THE GROUND, that is), three shooting guards in the rotation, an offense consisting entirely of isolation plays. there is no way a rational human being could think this was a formula for rip to succeed. you’re discounting this and acting like he’s spent the season freeing himself off double screens, getting the ball delivered to him in his favorite spots and taking quick-release jumpers while playing starters’ minutes as the clear first in line at shooting guard and STILL missing all his shots. kuester obviously didn’t want him to doing that (maybe it clogged up the lane, maybe he wanted rip on the perimeter to swing the ball before settling on an iso, who knows?). why do you insist on ignoring the playmaking deficiencies, SG logjam and isolation-based offensive system and acting like rip’s had his customary role this season?

        • Feb 8, 20119:07 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Laser, Rip has been in the same offensive situation the two years before this, too. His shooting percentage has plummeted within this 2.5-year stretch. Why?

  • Feb 8, 20119:53 pm
    by Kamal


    Dan, if you believe that Rip could or SHOULD be running around the baseline while Tayshaun in the post or while Stuckey is trying to isolate for the drive, then I don’t know what to say. 

    Both Stuckey and Tayshaun DO NOT pass once they have their minds made up they’re going to shoot.  I hope you know that. 

    And what you’re basically saying is that Rip could/should have been running along the baseline when either Tayshaun or Stuckey was going to work and CHOSE to just sit in the corner and HOPE for a kick out.  I just don’t believe that. 

    Rip was the 3rd option this year for the Pistons and he had to get in where fit in.

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