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Archive → August, 2011

Assist Charts 2010-11: Rodney Stuckey

This is the latest installment of a series called “Assist Charts.” For each of the 13 Pistons who played this year, I’m going to show whom they assisted and who assisted them.

Each post will be divided into two sections: Player assists to and Assists from player. Player assists to shows who the featured player assisted. Assists from player shows who assisted the featured player.

Each section will display two pie graphs and corresponding tables. One graph and table will show totals, and the other set will show per 36 minutes.

All the graphs and tables are color-coded with a specific color assigned to each player throughout the series. Point guards are blue. Shooting guards are orange. Small forwards are green. Power forwards are red. Centers are yellow.

Player assists to

Total

image

Field goal Amount
McGrady 17
Bynum 3
Gordon 35
Hamilton 80
Prince 61
Daye 28
Summers 8
Wilcox 23
Villanueva 51
Maxiell 14
Monroe 35
Wallace 6

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Field goal Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
McGrady 627 0.98
Bynum 178 0.61
Gordon 895 1.41
Hamilton 942 3.06
Prince 1537 1.43
Daye 767 1.31
Summers 60 4.80
Wilcox 454 1.82
Villanueva 740 2.48
Maxiell 620 0.81
Monroe 1131 1.11
Wallace 777 0.28

What we learned

Maybe Rodney Stuckey’s ability to set up Richard Hamilton has been underrated. Aside from the Stuckey-to-DaJuan Summers connection, which is distorted by a small sample size, and Will Bynum-to-Hamilton, which also had a much smaller sample, no Piston assisted another more per minute on the court together than Stuckey assisted Hamilton.

Stuckey also showed a good chemistry with Charlie Villanueva. What are the odds they both start or both back up next season? It might be a blessing in disguise if they’re on the same unit.

Assists to Player

Total

image

Assist Amount
McGrady 23
Bynum 7
Gordon 12
Hamilton 16
Prince 31
Daye 10
Summers 0
Wilcox 5
Villanueva 2
Maxiell 2
Monroe 14
Wallace 17
None 224

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Assist Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
McGrady 627 1.32
Bynum 178 1.42
Gordon 895 0.48
Hamilton 942 0.61
Prince 1537 0.73
Daye 767 0.47
Summers 60 0.00
Wilcox 454 0.40
Villanueva 740 0.10
Maxiell 620 0.12
Monroe 1131 0.45
Wallace 777 0.79
None 2183 3.69

What we learned

Rodney Stuckey made good use of his time at off guard, getting a decent number of assists from Tracy McGrady and Will Bynum. That doesn’t mean Stuckey can’t play point guard, but I know I’m comfortable with him at shooting guard. I can’t say the same about him running the point.

Previous

Austin Daye hasn’t chosen new agent

BALTIMORE – Nearing two months after he fired Bill Duffy, Austin Daye hasn’t decided on a new agent yet.

“I haven’t,” Daye said. “When I do, I guess something will be on the internet. So, everyone will be able to find out.”

Kevin Durant’s lessons could pay off big for Austin Daye

BALTIMORE – With a steady handle, he drove past opponents and created room for his pull-up jumpers. His markedly improved athleticism allowed him to finish at the rim. His dunks were hard, and his jumpers were soft.

No, not Austin Daye – at least not yet. I’m talking about Kevin Durant.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star scored 59 points in the the Melo League’s 149-141 win over the Goodman League on Tuesday night, but it’s not that difficult to imagine Daye nearing (not equaling) the ability to produce like that.

Daye has worked out with Durant often this summer, and the Piston planned to work out with Durant in Washington D.C. this week. Coincidentally, this exhibition was slated for the same time, and Daye could join Durant’s Goodman League team.

It wasn’t the best venue to show off his training, but I really hope Daye is picking up a lot from Durant. Like Durant did his first year in the league, Daye is probably best-suited to play shooting guard until he gets stronger. In his first two years, Daye has mostly played the forward positions and catered his skills for the frontcourt.

Durant can give Daye pointers about playing both oversized shooting guard and weak small forward (neither completed a single bench press at their pre-draft combine).

“I’m just learning different combinations of moves and things like that, incorporating my game,” Daye said. “As far as learning curve, I mean, I learned a lot already from my father. So, it’s hard to teach me a lot of new things. But just to get better at certain things.”

As troubling as it seems at first glance to hear Daye say it’s hard to teach him new things, he’s right. For a player his age and caliber, he’s very polished. Most guys so young struggle because their skills are so raw. That’s not the case for Daye. He hasn’t earned a permanent rotation spot yet because his defense and mental focus drift too often, not because his skills lack refinement.

That’s where I think Durant can come in.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Daye said. “He’s a similar player to me, so I like working out with guys like that – especially a guy his caliber.”

I really hope Daye picks up on how Durant carries himself. Durant isn’t one of the best players in the NBA because he’s more skilled than Daye (although, he is). He’s one of the best players in the NBA because he brings it every night, because he’s worked on his defense, because he’s always looking for an edge.

If last night’s game was any indication – although, I honestly don’t think it was – Daye found his edge. He played relatively straightforwardly when everyone else was going for flash. That’s a big reason he scored 23 points, fourth-most in the game behind Durant, LeBron James (32) and Carmelo Anthony (27). I’m not sure Daye’s scoring showed anything about his NBA ability, though.

But Daye’s defense impressed me. He blocked a few shots and challenged a few more. Sure, Gary Neal made a few 3-pointers over him, and LeBron dunked on him. But that was a product of being there. Most defenders never got close enough to be embarrassed.

Throughout the contest, I said Daye was the the Defensive Player of the Game. Although I was half-kidding about the need to even recognize defense in an unorganized exhibition, and although Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak kept making fun of my stance, it was true: Daye played the game’s best defense. Realize that’s a low bar, but I’ll never complain about him showing defensive intensity.

After the game, Daye had hoped to meet up with Richard Hamilton, who lived in Maryland during the offseason. Daye also said he’s been keeping most in touch with Charlie Villanueva this summer.

When he re-connects with the rest of his teammates – whenever that may be – hopefully, he can tell them about his career-defining summer with Kevin Durant.

Assist Charts 2010-11: Tracy McGrady

This is the latest installment of a series called “Assist Charts.” For each of the 13 Pistons who played this year, I’m going to show whom they assisted and who assisted them.

Each post will be divided into two sections: Player assists to and Assists from player. Player assists to shows who the featured player assisted. Assists from player shows who assisted the featured player.

Each section will display two pie graphs and corresponding tables. One graph and table will show totals, and the other set will show per 36 minutes.

All the graphs and tables are color-coded with a specific color assigned to each player throughout the series. Point guards are blue. Shooting guards are orange. Small forwards are green. Power forwards are red. Centers are yellow.

Player assists to

Total

image

Field goal Amount
Stuckey 23
Bynum 9
Gordon 34
Hamilton 18
Prince 49
Daye 17
Summers 1
Wilcox 17
Villanueva 22
Maxiell 5
Monroe 47
Wallace 9

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Field goal Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
Stuckey 627 1.32
Bynum 265 1.22
Gordon 871 1.41
Hamilton 440 1.47
Prince 1179 1.50
Daye 356 1.72
Summers 17 2.12
Wilcox 443 1.38
Villanueva 588 1.35
Maxiell 220 0.82
Monroe 1204 1.41
Wallace 527 0.61

What we learned

That’s excellent balance. It was clear Tracy McGrady assisted Greg Monroe often, but McGrady assisted Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum, Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Austin Daye, Chris Wilcox and Charlie Villanueva about as much.

I think that’s a big reason the offense appeared to flow better when McGrady played point guard – everyone knew they might get the ball, and therefore, became more engaged.

Assists to Player

Total

image

Assist Amount
Stuckey 17
Bynum 7
Gordon 6
Hamilton 6
Prince 32
Daye 5
Summers 0
Wilcox 5
Villanueva 4
Maxiell 0
Monroe 7
Wallace 7
None 131

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Assist Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
Stuckey 627 0.98
Bynum 265 0.95
Gordon 871 0.25
Hamilton 440 0.49
Prince 1179 0.98
Daye 356 0.51
Summers 17 0.00
Wilcox 443 0.41
Villanueva 588 0.24
Maxiell 220 0.00
Monroe 1204 0.21
Wallace 527 0.48
None 1686 2.80

What we learned

Plenty of Tracy McGrady’s baskets were unassisted, mostly because he often kept the ball in his hands to set up other players. He also showed glimpses of his previous NBA life, when he led the league in scoring, and in those situations, he typically went one-on-one.

When McGrady was assisted, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum did it most often. I suspect that’s a product of early and late in the season, when McGrady spent more time playing off the ball.

Previous

Watch Charlie Villanueva’s Dominican Republic team play Cuba on ESPN3

I know a lot of people are clamoring for some basketball right about now, so here’s your chance to catch Charlie Villanueva in action. His Dominican Republic team, which also features NBA players Al Horford and Francisco Garcia, is playing Cuba. The live feed is available at ESPN3.com for anyone interested in watching.

On Isiah Thomas’ recommendation, the New York Knicks hire Mike Woodson as assistant coach

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News:

The Knicks are moving closer to hiring former Hawks head coach Mike Woodson as an assistant coach, which will fuel speculation that Woodson may one day succeed Mike D’Antoni as the team’s head coach.

The move might become official next week, according to sources, when Garden and team executives return from vacation. Woodson had what he called a good meeting with D’Antoni earlier this month, but he had people above D’Antoni in his corner from the start.

Woodson’s hiring was recommended by Isiah Thomas, a long-time friend and former teammate who continues to serve as Garden chairman Jim Dolan‘s top unpaid consultant.

Good for Woodson, whom the Pistons strongly considered for their head-coaching vacancy. If he can help the Knicks’ dreadful defense, he’ll get another head-coaching job in no time. And if he can’t, I doubt too many people will hold it against him.

I also wonder what role, if any, Isiah Thomas played in the Pistons’ coaching search.

Lawrence also reveals what might have been a factor in Detroit not hiring Woodson:

"Mike didn’t adjust when he coached the Hawks," said one NBA president. "He had his game-plan going in and he stuck with it. As a future head coach, he’ll probably be better because it would be his second job. A lot of times, guys do better after their first head coaching job when they have that experience."

Assist Charts 2010-11: Tayshaun Prince

This is the latest installment of a series called “Assist Charts.” For each of the 13 Pistons who played this year, I’m going to show whom they assisted and who assisted them.

Each post will be divided into two sections: Player assists to and Assists from player. Player assists to shows who the featured player assisted. Assists from player shows who assisted the featured player.

Each section will display two pie graphs and corresponding tables. One graph and table will show totals, and the other set will show per 36 minutes.

All the graphs and tables are color-coded with a specific color assigned to each player throughout the series. Point guards are blue. Shooting guards are orange. Small forwards are green. Power forwards are red. Centers are yellow.

Player assists to

Total

image

Field goal Amount
McGrady 32
Stuckey 31
Bynum 6
Gordon 27
Hamilton 45
Daye 15
Summers 1
Wilcox 12
Villanueva 16
Maxiell 9
Monroe 14
Wallace 7

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Field goal Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
McGrady 1179 0.98
Stuckey 1537 0.73
Bynum 344 0.63
Gordon 1067 0.91
Hamilton 1131 1.43
Daye 570 0.95
Summers 30 1.20
Wilcox 598 0.72
Villanueva 729 0.79
Maxiell 497 0.65
Monroe 1488 0.34
Wallace 1070 0.24

What we learned

Surprise, surprise: Tayshaun Prince assisted Richard Hamilton more often per minute on the court together than he assisted any other teammate. Those two relied on each other throughout the season – both on and off the court. It would be interesting to see how the remaining player reacts if the Pistons shed only one of the two.

Assists to Player

Total

image

McGrady 49 1179
Stuckey 61 1537
Bynum 13 344
Gordon 19 1067
Hamilton 48 1131
Daye 5 570
Summers 1 30
Wilcox 4 598
Villanueva 11 729
Maxiell 1 497
Monroe 21 1488
Wallace 13 1070
None 227 2562

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Assist Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
McGrady 1179 1.50
Stuckey 1537 1.43
Bynum 344 1.36
Gordon 1067 0.64
Hamilton 1131 1.53
Daye 570 0.32
Summers 30 1.20
Wilcox 598 0.24
Villanueva 729 0.54
Maxiell 497 0.07
Monroe 1488 0.51
Wallace 1070 0.44
None 2562 3.19

What we learned

Of course, Richard Hamilton also assisted Tayshaun Prince more than anyone else did, both in terms of total assists and per minute with each player. The two Piston veterans have clearly established a chemistry during their nine years together. Although we didn’t see as many last season, Hamilton-to-Prince alley-oops have become a Detroit staple.

Previous

Assist Charts 2010-11: Greg Monroe

This is the latest installment of a series called “Assist Charts.” For each of the 13 Pistons who played this year, I’m going to show whom they assisted and who assisted them.

Each post will be divided into two sections: Player assists to and Assists from player. Player assists to shows who the featured player assisted. Assists from player shows who assisted the featured player.

Each section will display two pie graphs and corresponding tables. One graph and table will show totals, and the other set will show per 36 minutes.

All the graphs and tables are color-coded with a specific color assigned to each player throughout the series. Point guards are blue. Shooting guards are orange. Small forwards are green. Power forwards are red. Centers are yellow.

Player assists to

Total

image

Field goal Amount
McGrady 7
Stuckey 14
Bynum 5
Gordon 14
Hamilton 13
Prince 21
Daye 5
Summers 2
Wilcox 15
Villanueva 6
Maxiell 1
Wallace 3

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Field goal Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
McGrady 1204 0.21
Stuckey 1131 0.45
Bynum 582 0.31
Gordon 1105 0.46
Hamilton 778 0.60
Prince 1488 0.51
Daye 673 0.27
Summers 117 0.62
Wilcox 572 0.94
Villanueva 650 0.33
Maxiell 202 0.18
Wallace 378 0.29

What we learned

Adjusted for time playing with each teammate, Greg Monroe assisted Chris Wilcox most often. Chris Wilcox! Yes, the same Wilcox who plays power forward and doesn’t really create his own shot often.

That’s Monroe’s Princeton-style roots on display. He often found Wilcox on cuts, and I hope that Pistons take advantage of Monroe’s ability to make that pass more often next year – whether it’s to Wilcox or someone else.

Assists to Player

Total

image

Assist Amount
McGrady 47
Stuckey 35
Bynum 7
Gordon 22
Hamilton 21
Prince 14
Daye 6
Summers 0
Wilcox 9
Villanueva 4
Maxiell 1
Wallace 5
None 132

Per 36 minutes with each player

image

Assist Minutes together Amount per 36 minutes together
McGrady 1204 1.41
Stuckey 1131 1.11
Bynum 582 0.43
Gordon 1105 0.72
Hamilton 778 0.97
Prince 1488 0.34
Daye 673 0.32
Summers 117 0.00
Wilcox 572 0.57
Villanueva 650 0.22
Maxiell 202 0.18
Wallace 378 0.48
None 2222 2.14

What we learned

To nobody’s surprise, Tracy McGrady assisted Monroe most often. Monroe didn’t become involved in the Pistons’ designed scoring until he became a pick-and-roll partner for McGrady midway through the season. Once he did, that became a staple both players.

But I was a bit surprised to see Rodney Stuckey also assisted Monroe fairly often, too.

By the way, don’t be fooled by that high percentage of unassisted baskets by Monroe. Most of those came on putbacks. He was still heavily reliant on teammates to set him up.

Previous

PistonPowered Book Club: ‘When March Went Mad’ by Seth Davis

The NBA’s interest in making sure basketball prospects spend at least some time in college has been a constant subject of debate since the league instituted a minimum age to enter the league. That age restriction gets sillier every year considering some of the league’s biggest current stars — Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady and Amar’e Stoudemire — skipped college and went straight to the league. Even a crop of next-tier type players like Josh Smith, Jermaine O’Neal, Tyson Chandler, Kendrick Perkins, Monta Ellis and others made the transition from high school to successful pro. Sure, there were busts along the way, but isn’t that the case with college stars as well? When the NBA had so much success drawing from the high school ranks and finding players who became competent rotation players or better, why was it necessary to try and funnel players into going to college?

When March Went Mad by Seth Davis is a good historical starting point for why the NBA would have a vested interest in seeing kids spend at least some time in college. Of the players listed above, I would say that only James came into the league as an established star. The problem with drafting high school players is that, except in rare cases like James’, most fans have seen very little of that high school player. The upside of drafting college players, as shown in Davis’ book, is that with the audience the NCAA has, players can potentially come into the league as established off-court stars, generating buzz and interest in the NBA as a result of college success. Davis chronicles the lead-up to Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team meeting Larry Bird’s Indiana State in the 1979 NCAA Championship game, looking at not only the massive coverage and interest in the game itself, but the divergent paths Johnson and Bird took to becoming major stars.

Some have argued over the years that Johnson and Bird entering the NBA saved the struggling league. They were charismatic, proven winners in an era when some of the league’s marquee names — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving, for example — were aging. The NBA had image problems as a result of rampant drug abuse in the 1970s. Ratings were up and down. On the strength of their title runs, Johnson came into the league as a rookie and led the Lakers to a championship. Just one year later, Bird entered the league and vaulted the Celtics back into title contention. Neither team had to spend much time on player development. Neither player needed coaching on how to deal with big media coverage. The expensive work of narrative-building had been taken care when both guys were in college and the NBA reaped the rewards immediately. Even if this generation’s high school-to-NBA players have even greater career accomplishments than Magic or Bird, it took time in each player’s case to get to even an All-Star level, let alone elite status as one of the top players in the game. It took time for fans nationally to connect with them. Even if players like Bryant or James had spent just one year in college, its likely both would’ve helped big-name college teams (Bryant has said in the past that he likely would’ve played at Duke, James has said he probably would’ve committed to Ohio State) to NCAA tournament success, success that would’ve led to greater exposure for the individual players and greater benefits to the NBA when they entered the draft as more famous commodities.

The other interesting theme throughout Davis’ book is the divergent paths Johnson and Bird took to superstardom. Johnson was the guy who loved the spotlight, who the media couldn’t help but cover because his game was so flashy and noticeable and his personality off the court was so big that it drew them in. Bird, on the other hand, was insanely talented and extremely reclusive and uncomfortable with the spotlight. He obviously grew more comfortable with this as he became a pro, but he didn’t deal well with the pressure of playing at his state’s flagship basketball program, Indiana University, which is why he went to Indiana State. Whereas the media was drawn to Johnson naturally, it was almost as if they worked really hard to cultivate the narratives and mythology about Bird.

Anyway, there’s not any kind of Pistons connection to the book, but I loved reading it not only because the Bird-Magic NCAA title game is one of the best moments in college basketball history, but because it’s full of great information on Johnson’s high school career at Lansing Everett. Anyone who has followed some of the state’s powerhouse high school programs over the years will certainly appreciate some of the names Davis caught up with and talked to in the book.

Next up: Forty Minutes of Hell by Rus Bradburd

Previously:

Should the Pistons let Rodney Stuckey go as a free agent and give the point guard reins to Brandon Knight?

A few days ago, we discussed who we thought should start at point guard for the Pistons, Brandon Knight or Rodney Stuckey. Based on the comments, there were a variety of opinions, but the two most popular options seemed to be starting Knight at PG and Stuckey at SG or starting Stuckey at PG and bringing Knight off the bench.

Well, in an interesting post looking at the positional battles of Pistons rookies, Omaha Sun of Ridiculous Upside asks a simple question: what if Stuckey, a restricted free agent, is not in the point or shooting guard mix at all?

Three years ago, Detroit had to decide whether they were going to keep the veteran Chauncey Billups or move forward with the young Rodney Stuckey. They chose youth over experience and Stuckeybecame the man at point guard. After a less-than-stellar three years, Detroit again faces a similar decision as Stuckey is a restricted free agent. Stuckey’s potential could lure in a couple teams, and if a team offers him a long-term contract worth starter money, Detroit would be wise to let him go …

My expectation is that Stuckey departs and Knight is named the opening-day starter. However, he will be splitting time with Will Bynum as he grows into his role. 12-14 ppg, 3-5 apg, and 2-3 topg in 28-30 mpg.

I think most Pistons followers assume it’s a foregone conclusion that Stuckey will be back, but it definitely changes things drastically if he gets a big offer elsewhere and the Pistons decide not to match. At that point, they will no longer have the luxury of deciding whether or not to bring Knight along slowly. I would love to see Knight play, but I’m not convinced big minutes and a starting role early on would be the best way for him to develop. I’d prefer Stuckey comes back on a reasonable deal and Knight simply beats him out for the point guard job.