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Archive → May, 2011

Mike Brown wants to make John Kuester a Lakers assistant coach

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (hat tip: Mike Payne of Detroit Bad Boys):

Another coach Brown is interested in having on his Lakers staff is Detroit Pistons Coach John Kuester, two executives with NBA teams said.

This was surely a trying year for John Kuester, so I’m not sure he’d want to coach next year. But good for him that he has the option. Kuester obviously has shortcomings as a head coach, but he’d be a fine assistant.

Greg Monroe will work on lower-body strength to improve his …wha?… defense

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

That’s where Kander will start with Monroe this summer, too: his lower body.

“He’s got a great frame,” Kander said. “He’s got the wide shoulders, narrow waist, good-sized legs. If you see small legs, it’s hard to work on. It takes a long time to build up leg volume.

“The last thing you want to do with a big guy is overload the upper body. We really didn’t work a lot on that (last season). That will happen over time. Then you deal with every injury. We really try to get their base stronger. Ankle flexibility – to sit in the legs and use what they do have. Then get the hips, the lower back, stronger. Then you work on the icing on the cake.

“Ben Wallace has been working at this for years. This is not overnight. It’s a step-by-step process. Develop the ability to drop, develop the ability to get stronger in the hips, the ability to get lateral strength, move sideways. He got a lot better at that as the season progressed. His running looked a lot better; he moved a lot better.”

That lateral movement and ability to get low became apparent over the course of his rookie season most obviously on the defensive end, where Monroe became not only a solid defender in the post but an active help defender who proved effective in pick-and-roll situations.

I nearly came to tears reading that. The Pistons care about defense after all. I’ve previously complained about the Pistons’ offensive focus with Greg Monroe, and I’m thrilled to read they have defensive plans for him, too.

Still, I worry about a lockout. If Monroe can’t work with Kander, then what? Have the Pistons given Monroe enough defensive training that he can work on it on his own?

Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: E’Twaun Moore

Although he’s a shooting guard who doesn’t fill any specific need the Pistons have, Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore is a familiar name to statewide Big Ten hoops fans and he should be available with one of the Pistons’ two second round picks.


Measurables: 6-foot-4, 194 pounds, senior SG from Purdue

Key stats: 18.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals per game while shooting 45 percent

Projected: Second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Moore was a fantastic college player for Purdue. He has some limitations that make it unlikely he’ll be that kind of player as a pro, but the thing I always look for in potential second round picks is just one elite skill. Does a player do one thing well enough to land a job as a specialist on a NBA bench? For Moore, his 3-point shooting makes him intriguing. He shot 40 percent from beyond the arc at Purdue as a senior and was over the 40 percent mark in two of his four college seasons. That’s certainly a skill he can develop and carve a niche for himself in the NBA out of. Plus, he become a tough, solid defensive player. He’s undersized, but if he can be scrappy at the defensive end, he’ll earn minutes at some point on a NBA bench.

Moore quietly but steadily improved at Purdue. He’s the type of four-year player that NBA scouts always tend to ignore or overlook in the draft, but he obviously has talent and works hard at his game and he’s a player I wouldn’t be shocked to see contribute as a young player in the NBA.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Other than the fact there is a glut of shooting guards already on the roster, Moore doesn’t fill the Pistons immediate need they have on the wing: athleticism. The Pistons could use more players who are both quick off the dribble and who can go up and over opposing players in traffic. They have players like Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum who do that sometimes, but no one who attacks enough to be both a consistent and efficient threat to get in the lane. Although Moore’s perimeter shooting would be a nice addition, he might not do enough other things to make him a fit in Detroit.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

On the positive side, Moore has shown to have solid decision-making skills, rarely forcing the issue and playing within himself, despite often having to shoulder much of the scoring and creating responsibilities for Purdue. He regularly makes the correct read on pick and rolls, finds shooters on drive-and-kick situations, and has increased his assist rate and cut back on his turnovers this season, ranking in the top 10 of all players in our database in assist-to-turnover ratio.

From ESPN:

Moore may not look much like an NBA prospect at first glance. He’s an undersized combo guard without the athleticism or quickness that NBA scouts covet. But his performance for Purdue this season has forced scouts to take a second look. His perimeter shooting, his toughness on both ends of the floor and his ability to swing over and play some point guard have them rethinking his draft potential.

From NWI.com:

“I can be a good defender, a good guy to knock down shots,” he said. “It depends on which situation you go to. You can go to a team that’s bad and they need you to score, then all of a sudden, you look like you’re the man.”

Moore compares his playing style to that of a healthy Gilbert Arenas.

“My goal is to go in the first round and I’m definitely going to do what I can and work hard to make it happen,” he said.

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores

Here’s a breakdown of how Ian Levy from Hickory High came up with his similarity scores.


Rodney Stuckey’s value around the NBA might be so low, Pistons won’t overspend

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

I don’t think Stuckey’s value around the league is that high, particularly because of what happened this year with all the drama. I think the Pistons can get him at a reasonable price, which won’t cripple them financially

On one hand, I really hope the Pistons don’t offer Rodney Stuckey, a restricted free agent, a huge contract. On the other hand, how badly should the Pistons want to keep a player few other teams want?

Vincent Goodwill would be shocked if Pistons sale not completed in two weeks

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

I think it will take about another week or so…I know David Stern said June 30 as a drop dead date, but I’d be shocked if it took longer than another week

Goodwill and Gregg Krupa have owned this sale story. If Goodwill says it should be done soon, I believe it will be done soon.

Former Piston Allen Iverson talks about the art of the crossover

I might be the only Piston fan who actually takes pride in claiming Allen Iverson as a former Piston, but even if you still dislike AI because of his brief Detroit tenure, you have to admit that the man had an insane crossover. Iverson, along with Dwyane Wade, Tim Hardaway and others, is featured in the above New York Times video on the art of the crossover dribble. Iverson talking about crossing up Michael Jordan as a rookie is pretty epic. (Hat-tip, SLAM)

Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo and Tristan Thompson likely Pistons’ options

Nothing surprising, but it’s always good to know the story hasn’t changed. Chad Ford of ESPN in his chat today:

Kyle (Detroit, MI)

Anyone in particular the Pistons are high on?

Chad Ford

  (1:26 PM)

They’d love to go big if they can. Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo, Tristan Thompson are the most likely options.

Ryan Feldman: Pistons “very high” on Bismack Biyombo, Jazz want point guard

Ryan Feldman of The Hoops Report (hat tip: I am a GM):

I’m hearing that the Pistons are very high on Bismack Biyombo

If the Pistons want Biyombo, Feldman has more good news:

the Jazz are definitely targeting a PG.

I’m hearing the Jazz could go either way w/ Kemba or Knight but sounds like they prefer Kemba at this point.

If the Jazz take a point guard – especially Kemba Walker, because I think other teams before Detroit’s pick are more likely to take Brandon Knight than him – that would make the Pistons’ preferred big man more likely to fall to No. 8.

Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Iman Shumpert

A big, athletic point guard who sometimes struggles to involve others in the offense? Iman Shumpert likely wouldn’t get Pistons fans excited if that’s the only part of the scouting report you read, but as a projected second round pick, he does bring one discernible skill to the table that the Pistons would like.


Measurables: 6-foot-5, 209 pounds, junior G from Georgia Tech

Key stats: 17.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.7 steals per game while shooting 41 percent

Projected: Early second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Rodney Stuckey proponents have spent the last four seasons or so (and I’m guilty of this as much as anyone) talking about Stuckey’s defensive potential. If Stuckey ever fully engages his unique mix of size, strength and quickness, if he embraces the mentality of a stopper, he could become one of the best defensive guards in the league. Iman Shumpert, on the other hand, comes into the draft with a defensive reputation that precedes him. He’s big, fast and strong and despite the struggles of Georgia Tech during his career, he’s had great defensive performances against some big time college stars. He’s big enough to body up and be physical, but his quickness and long wingspan helped him create turnovers as he averaged nearly three steals per game.

Holes in his game offensively knock Shumpert into a likely second round pick, but if he enters the league using defense as his ticket and willing to play that role, he can be a very useful player on a team’s bench and be a potentially valuable second round pick.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

The shot selection is a killer. The Pistons already have too many shoot-first guards on the roster. Shumpert may certainly be able to straighten that part of his game out, but it will be an adjustment. He dominated the ball at Tech and too often fell in love with his jumper. He shot just 27 percent from 3-point range. Last season, he attempted 151 threes. Each of his three seasons at Tech, that number went up. Worse, he was a pretty good shooter when he stayed inside the arc, making almost 48 percent of his shots inside the 3-point line. Questionable shot selection and over-reliance on jumpers are not uncommon in young guards, but someone with Shumpert’s size advantage is capable of getting much better shots in closer range.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

Shumpert’s most consistent contributions come in transition, where he can use his speed and first step most effectively. A solid finisher who has become more adept at drawing contact and finishing plays himself instead of forcing tough passes, Shumpert still flashes good court vision on occasion, but has a great deal of room to improve offensively on the whole.

From ESPN:

Shumpert has been offensively challenged all year. He’s struggled to find his range just about anywhere on the floor. But his defense? Wow. He did a remarkable job on James Anderson and Evan Turner. If he can get it going offensively as a junior, he’s got the chance to be a lottery pick in 2011.

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

It seems as if Shumpert is in a pool with other point guards – including Shelvin Mack (Butler), Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Diante Garrett (Iowa State), Nolan Smith (Duke) and Isaiah Thomas (Washington) – in which he’ll have to distinguish himself just to have a chance to get into the first round.

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores

Here’s a breakdown of how Ian Levy from Hickory High came up with his similarity scores.


Ron Swanson, er, I mean Ben Wallace loves breakfast food

Heather Zara of Pistons.com has a cool new feature where she talks to players about their favorite foods. Up today, Ben Wallace:

Zara: If you had to choose just one food to eat for the rest of your life for breakfast, lunch AND dinner, what would it be?

Wallace: It would be breakfast- grits and eggs, a little sausage on the side. I’d eat breakfast all day, everyday.

Wallace also says he’s the only Piston who can cook.

Zara: Can you cook?

Wallace: I’m from the south. I can do anything. You don’t get to be my size by not being able to cook.

Zara: Well then, what is your specialty?

Wallace: I don’t know… I haven’t cooked in a while. My first year in the league all I used to do was bake some macaroni and cheese and fry some chicken. The other guys think I can cook for real so I had to show them.