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Detroit Pistons roundtable: Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe: frontline of the future?

How likely are Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe to develop into a contending-caliber starting frontline?

Dave Hogg, Associated Press freelancer

I’ll be honest – I have no idea, and I can’t imagine anyone else does, either. Jerebko is a huge question mark, because of the injury. He was making great progress last season, but I don’t know how much missing his second season is going to affect his career growth. Also, I’m not sure anyone knows Monroe’s ceiling at this point.

That said, I don’t think you would want to use those three as your starting frontline. I think the Pistons need to get another post player and take advantage of Daye and Jerebko’s versatility. One of
them is going to be your starting 3, but they can both play multiple positions, allowing you to go big or "small" by playing the other one at the 2 or the 4.

Dave Pemberton, The Oakland Press

Daye, Jerebko and Monroe have bright futures but I don’t see them as a starting frontline for a contender. Daye and Jerebko would likely be key reserves on a championship team. Guys that can come in and make an impact, whether it be scoring (Daye) or energy and hustle (Jerebko).

I can see Monroe as a starting power forward or center on a contending team. He just keeps getting better as the season goes on and if he can continue to make strides then the sky is the limit for him.

Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

Greg Monroe is a stud. He’s Joe Dumars best draft pick in years and he has the potential to be a 15-10 guy or better every single night. There’s not one player on this roster who’s untouchable in the off-season, but Monroe is the closest thing to it based on his age, his size, his contract and his upside. He’s also about the only player on the roster who hasn’t once gotten into it with John Kuester even though he probably could have based on how Kuester has used him this season.

Jerebko is a question mark just like this entire franchise. Returning from an Achilles injury is dicey, just ask Kalin Lucas. So even this fall, we still might not see the full Jerebko until he gets games under his belt and completely trusts the injury. He’s an intriguing player based on how surprising he was last year as a rookie. He still strikes me as an ideal sixth man on a good team. But again, there is a lot more to be told.

Daye is a good spot-up shooter who can heat up like Reggie Miller. And that’s…about…it. Watching a 6-11 guy with his length camp out at the three point line is really frustrating, especially on a team where rebounding is at a premium. And his defense is dreadful. There were reports that he worked out a lot in the off-season. Maybe he just has a Miller/Tayshaun Prince body-type where that stuff doesn’t show up, because there was little evidence of that during the year. He’s averaging 3.5 rebounds a game. Totally unacceptable for a first round pick who’s as big as he is. He needs to decide what kind of a player he wants to be. If it’s just a spot up shooting big man, that’s fine. But the Pistons already have one of those in Charlie Villanueva. Daye has a long way to go.

Justin Rogers, MLive.com

No. I think frontcourt defense is imperative to contending for championships, and while you’ll get a lot of hustle and heart from this group, I don’t see them forming a fundamentally sound unit that will be able to shut down opponents on a regular basis.  I know it doesn’t make any sense with the current roster, but I still think Daye has long-term potential as a shooting guard.  He has above-average ball-handling and passing skills, his length would cause mismatches on offense, and at least partially cover up for his lack of lateral quickness on defense, plus he would rarely have to worry about opposing players trying to exploit his slender frame and lack of strength down low.

Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys

If I’m cooking up a contender-caliber starting front line, Austin and Jonas are sadly not in my recipe.  Austin has shown as much concern as he has promise, but I’m hoping he pulls it together next season since he is currently our only small forward on contract for 2011-12.  As for Jonas, he was a great rookie last year but I’d like to know a) that his injury was just a fluke, b) that he can defend the 4 and c) he can create his own shot or make the occasional isolation play.  Will this injury have permanent after-effects?  It is possible, and I’m not sure I could confidently bet on Jonas until he’s put in another full season.  If we’re playing Jonas at the 4, his offense is okay but his defense is sub-par against power forwards.  Jonas had a lot of trouble guarding post-ups and pick-and-rolls, the type of stuff a power forward needs to be capable of doing.  He’s the type of player who is totally exciting to watch, but less-than-effective in production.  Would he start on a contender?  As it stands now, no.  If he continues to develop, perhaps as a 4th or 5th option.

Greg Monroe is another story.  If he can develop his defensive game over the next few seasons, he could possibly become a contender-caliber frontcourt piece.  He’d need to be paired with another star big man, but it is within the realm of possibility.  I’m confident Monroe’s defensive game will come along, and my confidence is backed-up statistically.  Greg needs to develop his man-on-man defense, but he’s surprisingly solid when defending plays as a whole, especially pick-and-rolls.  I said of Monroe earlier this season: "To properly defend the pick-and-roll, you need to read an offense and adjust accordingly, to anticipate where the ball is going to go and to beat your man to the basket. It shows an immense understanding in a rookie that is nothing short of remarkable."  It confirms what we’ve all seen this season– Greg plays with his head and he is constantly learning and improving.  The fact that he grasps an opponent’s offensive schemes suggests that he’ll have increasing value in a league where team defense is of trending importance.  This guy may not have highlight reel hops, but he understands pro basketball like he played pro basketball in a past life.

Brian Packey, Detroit Bad Boys

It’s hard to guess considering they haven’t played together at all. We still need to see how Jerebko responds from his injury and how (or if) he improves upon his rookie campaign, too. Daye and Monroe have played a few games worth of minutes together and the results have been mixed. Daye has a ways to go to solidify his game and Monroe does, too. It’s a really intriguing trio to think about, though, and I’m excited to see them play together at the same time, assuming the Pistons’ coach – whoever it may be – gives it a fair shake.

Kevin Sawyer, Detroit Bad Boys

No, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of one. I see Jerebko as more of a sixth man, filling in different slots of the bench, and I think Daye is going to need to man the three on a contender. What they’ll need is an athletic four who can block shots and rebound.

Fortunately, those players tend to be available, and undervalued. 6-11 guys who shoot 42 percent from 3, and double-double machines in the post are harder to find. There’s some missing pieces, but there’s a puzzle there worth solving.

Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed.com

It depends on the coaching staff and who they have around them, but in the right situation I think all three are quality players that could take the team to the next level if they had the chance.

Ben Gulker, Pistons by the Numbers

Contending for a championship frontcourt? Unlikely. Collectively, this group doesn’t have the size, strength, and athleticism to compete with the legitimate contending frontlines in the NBA.

But playoff-caliber? I think that’s very possible. I would certainly like to add a defensive-minded, shot-blocking center to the mix, but there’s no question this is a very skilled, versatile trio of players whose best years are ahead of them.

I was wrong about Greg Monroe, and I’m thrilled that I was. In 2011, Monroe has been fantastic, quietly grinding out one double-double after another. At only 20 years old, we might be looking at the foundation of the frontcourt for the next decade and a legitimate All Star performer. I would like to see more of what he can do from the high post as a facilitator, and I’d expect we’ll see more of that in the next year or two.

After a promising rookie season, Austin Daye has had a very inconsistent sophomore campaign. At times, he’s been brilliant, and at other times, invisible. Still, I’m optimistic. While I don’t think we’re looking at the next Kevin Durant, I do think that Daye could develop into a player similar to Tayshaun Prince — and that would mean very good things for the Pistons’ future.

While Jonas probably has the lowest ceiling of these three, he can play both forward positions and play them well. Plus, Jonas just plays like a Piston. He’s is an outstanding role player who does all the little things that teams need to do win. Here’s hoping he comes back fully healthy next season.

Steve Kays, DetroitBasketball.net

Contender-caliber as in contending for championships? Probably not. But contending as in making the playoffs as a 5th-6th seed in the East? Possibly. Depends who is lining up in the backcourt. But I could see it. While it’d be fun to see all three of those players start next season it probably won’t be conducive to winning a lot of games. 
Monroe will be the starter at either power forward or center for the foreseeable future as he’s having a tremendous rookie season and looks much more polished than the average 20 year old NBA player. Jerebko was a pleasant surprise as a rookie last year, but I can’t help but feel he’d be better off coming off the bench at either forward spot as an energy guy. Daye is the real question mark. He has so much potential with his length and shooting, but he still needs to gain some muscle and improve on the defensive end.
So yes, I could see Daye, Jerebko and Monroe developing into a playoff-contending frontline. But ideally the Pistons would get a dominant, defensive low-post presence to line up to Monroe and push Daye to the bench.

Jakob Eich, Bynumite Blog

Unlikely! As much as I like the games of all of the players, I don’t see them as a contending frontline. Monroe can definitely be a great center, but neither Jerebko nor Daye have shown me they are A-list players. Both player would make great rotation players on contenders, not cornerstones. How would they fare against frontlines like Lebron, Bosh, any center, and against Krstic, Garnett and Pierce, or against Noah, Boozer and Deng? I don’t see them becoming this kind of frontline. I hope they prove me wrong.

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered

Defensively, I don’t see how this group can collectively stack up. Greg Monroe might become a legitimate starter on a contender, and Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko’s both have a chance to reach that level, too. But I think they’re too nimble without a more imposing player to balance them.

In the short term, I think the trio’s versatility will create some interesting matchup problems for opponents next season. In the long run, the best-case scenario is probably all three players developing to the point where trading at least one of them nets a player who fits better with the remaining one or two.

Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered

That depends on who your backcourt is. That would be a very nice frontline if you’re starting, say, Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade at the guard spots. But if you’re starters are Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon? Well, I have my doubts that you’d be a contender with that group.

I like all three of those players. As I’ve written before, I’m less bullish on Daye than some other people seem to be, but that’s not really a knock on Daye. I think fans of every team tend to put too many expectations into their young prospects. If two of the Monroe-Daye-Jerebko group become above average starters in the league, then that’s fantastic. As it is, all three are no worse than good role players.

Monroe, clearly, is a future starter. Any big who is capable of being a double-double guy and shooting the percentage Monroe does while improving defensively is going to start and play big minutes for any team. There are legit questions with the other two. Daye is a great shooter. His shot is as natural and pretty as anyone’s in the game right now. But he also struggles against strong wings who defend him physically. Although his length is certainly an asset on defense, he’s not even an average defender right now, mostly a result of his lack of strength as well. Jerebko pre-injury would be a fine starter. He plays with energy, he impacts the game with movement, offensive and defensive rebounding and quickness and he was said to be improving offensively over the summer. The problem is Achilles injuries are not always kind to athletic, fast players like Jerebko. I hope he comes back at full strength, and if he does, I’d have no doubts about his ability to start for a contending team, but until we see him on a court, how good he’ll be post-injury is still a legitimate question.

As of right now, I think Monroe is the only player of the three who would start on a contender. The other two have the potential to get there, but Monroe is more advanced than both at the moment.

Previous

28 Comments

  • Mar 17, 201112:46 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    No. No they cannot form the front court of a contender. Who would even think to ask this? Let’s say our lineup next season is Stuckey, Gordon, Daye, Jerebko, and Monroe. Monroe is very good yes, and has the ability to get much better, but what’s the ceiling for that group? 30 wins? If you’re going to tell me that group is going to be able to defend anyone I’ll be flabbergasted. Then when you combine the fact the bench will consist of Bynum, CV, and Maxiell among who the heck knows what else this team is going to be a joke on defense, and aren’t they already?
     
    It’s a front court destined for another trip to the lottery, or maybe more than one more trip depending on how long it takes to improve that front court. Something has to give. We don’t have a PG, SG, SF, or PF good enough going into next season as it stands right now.

    • Mar 17, 20111:21 pm
      by brgulker

      Reply

      I read the question more in terms of, “How good are these three players?” I don’t think the way the question is phrased is really getting hung up on.

    • Mar 17, 20111:42 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yeah, agree 100 percent with Ben.

      The question wasn’t, “can the Pistons contend with this as their starting frontcourt and no other roster moves?”

      It was, in theory, can these three start on a good team? They’re certainly not All-Star caliber players, but say you have an All-Star caliber guard, a fifth above average starter and solid defensive big men on the bench? It’s not a stretch to see that team contending.

      • Mar 17, 20113:39 pm
        by neutes

        Reply

        It was are they the front court of the future? And I would have to imagine that at some point in the future the goal would be to contend, which if that is the front court of the future contending won’t be an option. I read it once actually and based off a lot of the panelist answers I assumed it was phrased differently. It may be the front court of the future, but it’s not a very good front court by any means. In fact off the top of my head I can’t think of too many current front courts that could be considered much worse.

        • Mar 17, 20114:02 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          This was the phrasing of the question:

          How likely are Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe to develop into a contending-caliber starting frontline?”

          • Mar 17, 20114:24 pm
            by neutes

            Eh. Fine. You have two questions. One in the headline and another below it.
            And I answered perfectly fine the first time. No they cannot contend with that front line. Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant would not form a formidable enough back court to drag that front court to contender status. And seeing as how there is no hope of securing both an all-NBA PG and an all-NBA SG no, that front court has no chance of becoming the front court of a contender. And I’d have to assume any bench players that wouldn’t be good enough to bump Daye or Jerebko out of the starting unit wouldn’t be worth much, so their impact would not be enough to change any of the fortunes either. Daye and Jerebko should be the bench players behind better versions of them. The other way around just wouldn’t work.

          • Mar 17, 20115:56 pm
            by brgulker

            neutes, no one is saying they’re a contending frontcourt. The only thing I’d push you on is that I don’t think either JJ or Daye has reached their potential yet. They may become starting-caliber players with time.

  • Mar 17, 20113:27 pm
    by Tom Y.

    Reply

    I think pretty much everyone agrees Monroe can be that guy. As far as the other two, we need to see Jerebko play for a while to know how he’s recovered and if his growth had been affected. If Daye gets stronger this offseason like he’s done last year and makes another jump, next year could be his year. He’ll probably start anyway so hopefully he’ll manage to do a decent job on D and I think he will get more consist on offense with more experience and confidence.
    Eventually though we need another quality frontcourt player to pair with Monroe, hope that happens this summer… in that case probably Daye starts at the 3 and Jerebko gives lots of quality minutes at both forward spots.

  • Mar 17, 20114:06 pm
    by Tim

    Reply

    Monroe obviously has big potential. Jerebko I see as very much a Taj Gibson type–a very good player off the bench who is also a decent starter if you lose a guy to injury. But if he’s a starter on a contender (championship contender not 8th seed contender), he probably has to be the worst one of the five.
    I don’t expect big things from Daye and I’d be happy to deal him, but he does have a very high ceiling, I believe, at the 2. If he can learn to move well enough to keep up with opposing SGs, his long arms can really get in people’s way and he won’t be likely to be overpowered very often. Sure, he’ll have a hard time with Wade, but who doesn’t? And his ability to block smaller players’ shots without leaving his feet could be an incredibly valuable asset at the 2. All of that I think is possible. And if he puts it together, he could be an all-star caliber player. I just don’t expect it to happen. But anyway, if Daye is ever a starter on a contending team, I expect it to be at the 2 and not the 3.
    Personally, I’m hoping that in a few months, Enes Kanter will be a Piston and will be a member of the starting frontcourt of the future.

  • Mar 17, 20115:18 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    Not long ago, Keith Langlois wrote a blog about how the thought of these guys as our frontcourt core softens the blow of the team’s current struggles. He couldn’t be more wrong; the thought of these guys composing our starting frontcourt amplifies my frustration.
     
    Monroe is fine. He’s the one legitimate young building block we have. He can start for this team for the next ten years. He was our best reward yet for an unbearable stretch of basketball that shows no sign of ending. I have no problem with him. The other two are another story.
     
    Jerebko is probably another building block, and he could be a core player going forward, but his role is probably as a backup 3/4 (depending on matchups) on a good team. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I just don’t think he’s got the upside necessary to get excited about having him start at either position going forward. He’s energetic and a plus defender, spreads the floor a bit, but he’s undersized at the 4 and probably underskilled at the 3. As long as this team is terrible (read: for the foreseeable future) he’s going to start here. But if you’re trying to build a team and figuring out who you want at what position (something the Pistons just won’t do), Jerebko is your backup 3/4.
     
    The frustrating thing about Daye is that you drafted him 15th with other good players available at positions of great need, whether Dumars would admit the need or not (Ty Lawson comes to mind personally), and he’s a project small forward. Personally, I’d never draft a project small forward, but this guy has potential. Problem is that his minutes and role have been so inconsistent, and so has he. So somehow, with two full seasons under his belt, we still really don’t know what we even have with him. Is he a starter? He’s certainly got the upside, but I don’t know. And nobody else does either. This guy should have been fed consistent minutes all season, collected zero DNP-CDs, and never started once at PF (playing VERY rarely, with the right matchups). There a lot of “shoulda’s” this season.
     
    Trouble is, we’re not going to add any worthwhile free agents, and we’re unlikely to draft a big man who’s ready to contribute right away. So if Ben Wallace retires after this season (and shit, who could blame him if he did?) this is probably your starting frontcourt. And that is a very scary thing.

  • Mar 17, 20115:39 pm
    by The Boourns

    Reply

    I think some would like to see Jerebko evolve into a poor-man’s Dirk Nowitzki.  Smooth shooter, stretches the defense, and can handle the ball at the top of the key…only with better defense.

    For me, I see Dirk as a poo-mans Jerebko.  That is to say, Jonas assuming his health comes back will be averaging 20/10 while shooting 50% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc, and 75% from the stripe.

    YA HEARD IT HERE FIRST!  Jonas Jerebko is a beauitful beautiful man.

  • Mar 17, 20115:55 pm
    by rick

    Reply

    No way thats a contending frontline. 2 SF’s and Center who isn’t physically intimidating anyone? Not in this league.

    Monroe is an excellent player, and is definitely a legit C on a contending team, imo. But thats only if surrounded with the right pieces at PF and SF.

    They need a star PF next to him, and possibly a star SF as well, in today’s NBA, where every contender has at 2-3 superstars.

    We used to say Joe needed a superstar this time to win a championship, and he wouldn’t be able to do it again with the “No Superstar” philosophy. We were wrong. He doesn’t need a superstar. He needs THREE to contend in today’s NBA!

    Monroe could be one of those stars, but Daye and Jerebko, not likely. They are best as complimentary pieces. Daye could be a backup SF, or just sharp-shooter off the bench on a championship team I think. And Jerebko is not a starting-caliber PF, but I think he could be an effective backup on a championship team. In other words, you could use the 2 of them to cover both backup SF/PF spots, interchangeably.

    But that whole “Frontcourt of the Future” nonsense that was being pushed by Pistons brass was just prepping the public for when they cant cant find anyone better this off-season. So they can say, ‘we always believed strongly in this frontcourt going forward’.

    A bunch of BS, imo.

  • Mar 17, 20116:59 pm
    by John

    Reply

    I think monroe is the only clearcut starter out of the group, if jerebko comes back from the injury 100% then he can be a solid small forward. That said Daye though has a long way to go at this point I think he is going to be more the 8th or 9th guy in the rotation for a decent team as 3point shooter.

  • Mar 17, 20117:07 pm
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    I think two out of three of them (i.e. Monroe and one of the other of them) plus the third as a seventh man could be the start of a championship caliber team. You’d still need some pretty great guards but if you think how narrow the margin for error is between a mid-seed playoff team and a championship caliber team is, you need someone great at every position plus a solid back up at most positions. Still the Pistons are in pretty good shape, they’re going to get a much higher draft pick than their talent would merit (they should be  a lot better than a 30 win team and yet that’s there ceiling this year) which is not actually a bad way to get better.

    • Mar 18, 20114:12 am
      by Laser

      Reply

      “the pistons are better than their record indicates. they just have a 30 win ceiling this season. just like last year. but i bet that’s just a coincidence. i’m certain they’re better than that, based on nothing and going completely against every bit of evidence we’ve seen for both seasons the roster’s been together. just give them time to gel. the roster’s perfect, but two entire seasons isn’t CLOSE to enough for a team to learn how to play basketball together even a little. give them another five to ten years together and they’ll be good. i just know it.”
       
      since basketball is a team sport, the sum of the team’s individual talent isn’t necessarily any indicator of how good the team is. it seems like there’s too much talent on the roster for a 27 win team, but the pieces just don’t fit. get a clue. too many shooting guards. too many small forwards, yet over the summer we’re going to get perilously thin at the position, assuming jerebko is played at the four, which he will be. no size, atrocious defense. give me a break.

      • Mar 18, 201110:11 am
        by gordbrown

        Reply

        Based on the fact that they were screwed in the very first game against New Jersey because Devin Harris is apparently allowed to pass to himself. They were screwed in the overtime game against Chicago because Darren Rose is allowed to foul Stuckey at will. They were screwed against Utah because of the phantom three pointer. They were screwed against Miami because of Eddie House (???!!!!!). Name one game where the Pistons won because of a bad call? One. So look, take half of those plus some of the others and switch them around and all of a sudden the team has broken thirty. Some of this is bad luck and some of it is bad management but this team can improve internally (although not necessarily by starting just veterans). Just to get on a hobby horse. players play hurt. I think we need to bear in mind that even though there haven’t been the games lost in injury this season, injuries have hurt. CV was playing well, sprained his ankle, came back quickly and hasn’t been the same since. I see all kinds of things saying he is lazy. If he was lazy he wouldn’t be trying to play hurt, which has hurt his performance enormously. Same with Ben Gordon. There is still some hope these players will return to their pre-Piston form in the future. Of course, there is also the chance they may not. But it is not written in stone either way.

        • Mar 18, 201112:53 pm
          by Laser

          Reply

          1) you’re a homer.
           
          2) cherry picking games and pointing out one call that RUINED THE ENTIRE GAME is a loser’s practice. it’s rare to have a game that “should” have ended differently. the only game i remember this season that actually should have ended differently was an early overtime win over the clippers. with a one-point lead and the shot clock off, absent any real defensive pressure, they inbound the ball to a 55% free throw shooter. he splits the pair and the pistons force overtime on the next possession. that kind of thing almost never happens. it was an unforgivable unforced error on the part of a young team. every other game i watched this season (the heavy majority of them) ended more-or-less the way it should have. the pistons don’t get calls. they’re a jump shooting team. you’re crazy if you expect to suddenly start getting calls after all these years. all things considered, you’ve got a 30 win team. until they actually go out and win more than 30 games.
           
          3) FACT: you’re only as good as your record. only losers say they’re better than their record. and having the same record twice in a row is called a pattern. when they lose 50 games again next season, you’ll have another excuse.

          • Mar 18, 20113:02 pm
            by gordbrown

            I asked if there were examples you could cite that offset the ones I cited. You slip into ad hominem arguments and provide no counter evidence. I picked four games(there are other examples) that were particularly egregious and suggested one split the difference. I never even suggested anything about free throw disparity so that’s a red herring (although Gordon get’s hammered everytime he goes to the hoop and never gets the call, so why are the Pistons a jump shooting team again?). I admit to being a homer but my point is not that this season hasn’t been lost (it obviously has). My point is only that this team can (not will but can) get better just with the status quo and some good draft picks. Obviously I’m hoping (against hope) that Dumars tries to work some magic during the off season and addresses some of the structural difficulties and there is improvement beyond just the status quo. I remain concerned, however, that the superstar treatment the NBA demands of its referees will continue to screw us over. I think we need to keep shouting that from the rooftops so at least its not quite as blatant in the future.

          • Mar 18, 20117:20 pm
            by Laser

            homer, buddy. i’m not setting out to look back at shitty games this shitty team played and deserved to lose to find reasons by one call or another changed what the outcome perhaps should have been, maybe. that’s a losing game, and it’s exclusively for losers. i’m not playing that game. we lost 50+ games last season. we’re going to lose 50+ games this season. that makes us a 50+ loss team, until we put together a season where we lose less than that many games. the ONLY evidence that matters at all is a team’s record. only losers play the “we should have won ten extra games” game. ask anyone.
             
            i would never try to refute your bogus accounts of games this HORRENDOUS basketball team lost but “should have” won, because you’ve started a fight you can’t win. i only pointed out the clippers game because it’s one of those games that happens maybe once or twice in the course of the entire NBA season when some flukey unforced mental error changes the outcome of a game. i can’t think of a single other example off the top of my head of another example in recent memory.
             
            the fact that rodney stuckey does not get foul calls and never has throughout his entire career does not indicate that the team should be winning more games. it’s just an aspect of his game. he’s big and strong and predictable and attacks the rim like a bull in a china shop. he absorbs a lot of contact and doesn’t get the benefit of whistles. if you had a player like lebron or kobe who gets the benefit of calls, you wouldn’t say “this team shouldn’t have won so many games,” because a player’s ability to draw fouls, whether fair or unfair, is an aspect of his game. if stuckey wants to get the benefit of more whistles, he should adapt his game and be less predictable.
             
            there’s no sense complaining that the NBA favors its superstars. it’s a fact of the league. complain all you want, it’s not changing. some individuals are just too important to the league for them to get treated normally. i don’t like it, but i would never bitch about it. get used to it. “adapt or die.” bitching about it just makes you look pathetic.
             
            no idea where you got the idea that i said anything about free throw disparity (not that the pistons can look themselves in the mirror with their horrendous free throw shooting). i was just talking about one game where the clippers inbounded the ball to a poor free throw shooter for no reason. but now that you mention it, pointing out how this team is better than its record is a bit like the times when someone would say, “they lost by three, but they only made 7 out of 15 free throws. if they’d only hit half of those missed free throws they win!” only they’re a bad free throw shooting team and have been for years, so you can’t bank on them hitting free throws at all. it’s the last thing you can depend on with this team, so you can’t point to it as something that should have gone differently. same thing with foul calls. WE DON’T GET CALLS. get it into your thick skull. rather than complain about it, the team should adapt to the way they’re officiated. it’s what smart people do.
             
            you didn’t say the team “can” get better. you said they’re better than their record. don’t take it back now. it’s the only thing i’m arguing against here. also, the team’s ceiling is very low. they’ll lose 50+ games until all these bad contracts are off the books. it’s just how it is. and not because the officials are unfair or because they had some games stolen by circumstances beyond their control. it’s because they are a bad team. it hurts to say, but they’re terrible. and without tayshaun or t-mac next season, i don’t know how any rational person could guess they’re going to be any better next season. but you’re not a rational person. you’re a homer. so you can’t see this. can’t wait to read your excuses for this piss poor team next year. it’ll make another horrendous season interesting!!

  • Mar 17, 20118:35 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    A contending Pistons team still needs Enes Kanter, Jared Sullinger, or maybe Jonas Valancianas or Derrick Williams in the front line. It also needs Dalembert, Zach Randolph, or Elton Brand. Daye and Jerebko are naturally 2 and 3, resectively. The Pistons need to stop putting square pegs in round holes. It hasn’t worked so far… Never will.
    Monroe is a starting PF for a contender, in the mode of Tim Duncan lite.
    Jerebko is an awesome backup 3, with great defense and hustle.
    Daye is an amazing backup shooting guard that gives other teams problems whenever he comes in. Depending on how hard he works/strong he gets, he could be a starting SG. 

  • Mar 18, 201110:08 am
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    Jerebko will have the work ethic to improve, plus his energy is vital to the STARTING unit.  I see him a la the 1990 Pistons when they inserted Rodman into the starting lineup.  You just want his energy and desire on the floor for more minutes.  That being said, you can’t also put Daye in there.
    However, J. Samuelsen is a typical stereotyper of Daye’s ceiling/potential.  Just because someone is tall doesn’t mean they’ll be a solid rebounder.  And his strength could still come later, lots of men don’t mature muscularly until they are well into their 20′s (look at Daye’s boyish face and I suspect he fits this as well).  But Daye is intelligent on the court.  Once he learns the league better and his role (whatever that ends up being) his length will once again be an asset.

    • Mar 18, 20111:00 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      here’s something to consider: “energy” should be a prerequisite for any basketball player. it should not be considered a commodity. any team that needs jerebko in the starting lineup for his “energy” is a bad team. period. you shouldn’t need anyone in your starting lineup for their energy. they should all have energy. they’re the best players on your team at their respective positions. if they’re lazy and lethergic and need an unskilled hustle player to pick up the slack for the other bums, your team STINKS.
       
      on a good team, not only do you want the luxury of that kind of guy coming off the bench, but you also would like to think there’s a guy at his positions whose greatest contribution isn’t “energy.” god love the guy, but give me a serious power forward and a dynamic small forward, and let him back them up. give me a break. he can start on this team, but he’s not a starter on a good team.

      • Mar 18, 20112:02 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        There are different degrees of energy. Most NBA players play with good energy. Jerebko is a high-energy player and that, in itself, is a skill.

        He’s a quick leaper, he’s in the passing lanes all the time, he’s good a tipping the ball multiple times and controlling it, he’s hard to box out, partiuclarly on the offensive glass. That’s what “energy” means to me when I personally use it to describe Jerebko.

        If you mean Jerebko when you say “unskilled hustle player”, you’re way off. He’s highly skilled and he’s still improving, albeit his injury is going to make him a question mark.

        • Mar 18, 20117:33 pm
          by Laser

          Reply

          i just don’t think energy is a skill, per se. a good motor is nice to have, but a good team is never desperate for a player whose energy level will keep them from falling asleep. those guys almost always come off the bench to spark the team, maintain momentum, energize the bench. when you talk about what you like about a player and “energy” is universally the first thing that comes to mind, he’s almost certainly not a starter. that’s all. i love the guy and he’ll almost certainly start for us next season (because god knows we’re not going to find a better player in the draft or free agency), but we’re going to be awful.
           
          we disagree on his “skill” level. that’s for sure. if he’s in the league, he’s obviously skilled. but compared to the rest of the league, he’s on the “unskilled” end. ask absolutely anyone. he has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, he does the dirty work, he can shoot the three a little. but skilled? no. not really. he’s not a great shooter, not a great rebounder, not a shot blocker. he hustles, he plays solid defense (though he’s not lock-down and kind of a tweener) on a team where nobody wants to defend. but on a good team, he should be one of the least skilled players in the rotation.
           
          i compare him to myself when i play pickup ball. sometimes i’m one of the most valuable players on the floor, but it’s not because of my “skill” level. i hustle, i take pride in defending, i’m not a very good shooter but i can hit open shots, i set good picks, i’m unselfish, i generally make good decisions, i communicate on defense. but i don’t consider these to be “skills.” it’s just that i want to contribute and i do it in the ways i can. is a good basketball IQ a “skill?” it’s an asset, but i think the term “skill” when it comes to basketball has a different specific meaning than how you’re using it. shooting, ballhandling, passing, rebounding to an extent, probably even shot blocking. but stuff like decision making, i don’t put in that category. not athleticism or motor either. that’s how i define it.

          • Mar 19, 20111:47 am
            by gordbrown

            Laser: I know I shouldn’t feed a troll but here it is. You say the team has sucked and because it has sucked there is no hope it will get better. I believe there have been some hopeful signs. So we are going to disagree. Having said that you need a course in both rhetoric and reading comprehension. I said Ben Gordon, not Rodney Stuckey, doesn’t get the calls he deserves going to the hoop. So he has adjusted his game and stopped going to the hoop. So you lose on both logic and reading comprehension. Further, you said that the team has regressed even though it doesn’t have the excuse of injuries. I quite rightly pointed out that there have been injuries, with several players, notably Gordon and CV, attempting to play through injuries to poor effect. Obviously there is something to that argument in that you haven’t addressed it at all and decided to hurl insults instead. Of course, the general turmoil on the team have caused more instability this year than injuries but that’s another issue entirely. In direct contradiction to your Further the team, despite turmoil and instabilty and way too many games with Jason Maxeil in the starting line up looks to improve by better than 10% from last year. That’s not insignificant and is actually another quite hopeful sign. Having said that, I agree this team is horrible at free throws. And that has probably cost them some games, but I neither commented nor lamented on that. Finally, if Eddie ‘fucking’ House is your idea of a player the league has no choice but to promote, the league is in a lot more trouble than anyone imagines.

          • Mar 20, 201110:23 am
            by brgulker

            “Energy” as PH described it is most certainly a skill. If it weren’t, you’d see everyone doing what Jonas does, particularly crashing the offensive glass and getting in passing lanes.
             
            Those things are hard to do, and Jonas does them well.

  • Mar 22, 20111:31 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @gordonbrown: nah. move on. you’re finished here. you said BG didn’t get calls in your previous comment, but one comment before that you said “darren” rose could foul stuckey at will. so there’s your reading comprehension right there. i focused on stuckey, because he’s the one who hasn’t adjusted his game. the total number of games this season where max OR daye should have started at power forward: ZERO. but there’s no changing that now, and i’m not convinced it affected the outcome of many games. last year you blame injuries, this year it’s turmoil, next year it’ll be something else. stop being a baby. keep waving the flag and blaming everything except joe dumars and the terrible team he assembled. just do it more quietly.
     
    @ben: i just don’t think it is. it’s a product of effort and athleticism. i’m almost always on the less athletic end of the people i play pick-up ball with, but i play with more effort, particularly on the defensive end. i hustle and work my ass off to overcome my comparative lack of “skill” because i want to contribute. i’ve got heart, and i push myself, but i’m not very skilled. it’s not an issue of “if it’s not a skill, everyone would do it” when it comes down to pride and determination and heart. maybe it’s just semantics, but i think there are distinctions among basketball traits that are all separate: IQ, athleticism, skill. maybe there’s more. in the skills category i put things that basically amount to coordination, such as shooting, ballhandling, passing, etc. but maybe it’s just semantics.

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