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Greg Monroe, Ben Gordon among top 100 NBA players

Another day, another top 100 list. Honestly, I’ve actually enjoyed the numerous national sites evaluating players and coming up with their own variations of the NBA’s top 100 players, mainly because they vary so wildly.

CBS Sports’ Eye on Basketball blog recently unveiled their complete list and two Pistons made the cut, Greg Monroe and Ben Gordon. Here was what was said about Monroe:

94. Greg Monroe, C, Age 21, Detroit Pistons
2011 Stats: 9.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, .551 FG%, 18.0 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 94, 96, 83

That Monroe cracked this list in his first year speaks extremely well of him, comparing the train wreck of a locker room he operated in, the depth in the Detroit frontcourt, and his coach’s slow spiral of disaster. Monroe’s young, so his 20.5 PER allowed can be overlooked, considering his efficiency minute-by-minute.

Monroe showed himself to be the best young player for the Pistons to build around and Lawrence Frank would do well to make him the focal point. With the right defensive system, Monroe could skyrocket up this list in the next two years.

And on Gordon:

84. Ben Gordon, SG, age 28, Detroit Pistons
2011 stats: 11.2 ppg, 2.1 apg, 2.4 rpg, 44 FG%, 40.2 3P%, 12.46 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 93, 78, 83

So evidently Ben Gordon wasn’t really worth that massive contract the Pistons tossed at him. Hard to know that though, especially with the way he torched the Celtics in the 2009-10 playoffs. There was a time where Gordon, a 6-3 shooting guard, was maybe one of the toughest covers at that spot in the league. And really, he probably still is if he can just get his act together.

He shoots too much and often goes tunnel vision with the ball in his hands. But when he’s cooking, there might not be a better short scorer in the league. His 2010-11 was very down, but this is a guy that averaged more than 15 points a game every year before he landed in Detroit, including two years over 20.

Rodney Stuckey was an honorable mention on the list. The biggest name missing is Tayshaun Prince. I assume most feel he is better than Gordon. I think it’s interesting that on Zach Lowe’s rankings for Sports Illustrated, he had Prince and Stuckey firmly in the top 100 and Monroe and Gordon outside of it.

Personally, I think Monroe was Detroit’s best player last season and I think Prince’s stats were a bit hollow — he dominated the ball, so of course he’s going to put up decent numbers.

Regardless, Detroit doesn’t deserve more than one or two players in any top 100, and they are fighting for spots at the bottom of any list regardless. I’d probably pick Monroe and Stuckey as the top two players on the team last season if pressed on the issue, though.


  • Aug 23, 201111:41 am
    by neutes


    I agree with that. I’d easily say Monroe was the best Piston, therefore he should be ranked ahead of all other Pistons on any list. Stuckey had his best season to date and was probably the 2nd best player on the team. Then it’s a toss up between Prince and Mcgrady.
    The eye on sports guy was “factoring how good they are right now, their age, their impact, and their limitations” while Lowe was clear that his rankings comprised of last year’s stats only, and not necessarily predicted future production. Still, I’m not sure how Gordon has performed the last couple seasons gives any indication he’s a top 100 player, or going to be one in the future. You can’t say he used to be good to make an argument. He isn’t good now, and hasn’t been for 2 seasons, so the fact he used to be good seems irrelevant at this point. You can’t ‘factor in how good they are right now’ and rank Gordon in the top 100 it makes no sense.

    • Aug 23, 201112:05 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yeah, totally agree. I mean, if being kinda good two years ago then having two straight wretched seasons still gets you into the top 100, why not throw Rip Hamilton in there too?

  • Aug 23, 20112:03 pm
    by rob


    I really dont get the love Gordon seems to get nationally. Is it all because of that one first-round series against Boston 2 years ago? A series he lost btw. I could see having a great series in the CF or Finals while losing and getting some deserved credit, but losing in the first round deserves ZERO credit, imo.

    If the GM’s around the league agree with the writers, I guess thats a good thing though, as he should be easily tradeable then.

  • Aug 24, 20113:02 pm
    by Laser


    gosh. “prince dominated the ball, so of course he had good numbers.” this blog has some of the wonkiest sports analysis i ever saw. there’s just so much wrong with that sentence. SMH

    • Aug 24, 20113:15 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      The solution, then, would be for you to go start your own blog and provide the flawless analysis you are known for, build an audience that reads it, etc. Good luck with that.

      As for your point, what is wrong with that statement? Prince put up like 14 ppg while having the ball in his hands more than any other player. So, the point is, that sure, his averages don’t look bad, but when you consider how much his isolations bogged down the offense in order for him to get those numbers, then yes, I consider those 14 ppg to be quite hollow. I know you’re of the opinion that Prince’s 14 pts/4 rebs per game are irreplaceable. Personally, I think that’s insane analysis that needs much more explanation than the sentence that I wrote.

    • Aug 24, 20114:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      And further, since I know I’ll get hit with the “OMGz! You’re totally calling Prince a bad player!” rebuttals, I don’t think he’s a bad player at all. But consider this: his averages last season were pretty identical to what he’s done throughout his career. The problem isn’t his production, it’s how he got it.

      Last season, he worked almost exclusively in shot-clock-choking isos, he didn’t pass much and he didn’t get to the line much. He was usually the Pistons No. 1 option, and that is a problem, because Prince as No. 1 option can only create for himself if you toss him the ball, clear out and let him dribble for 22 seconds.

      Now, when he was the third or four option on the contending teams, he got those nearly identical numbers in a variety of ways. He’d occasionally post up/iso if he had a matchup advantage, but he also moved without the ball, particularly on backdoor cuts. He’d spot up and hit open jumpers out of double teams. He’d run the floor. Getting 12-15 ppg in those variety of ways is more valuable than getting those points by dominating the ball.

      Anyway, the point is, Prince wasn’t very valuable to the Pistons last season in the role he played. He’s miscast as a one or two option, it forces him out of his comfort zone offensively and it hurts the involvement of others in the offense.

  • Aug 24, 20113:58 pm
    by TealBlackGold


    This site would have much greater credibility if the writers of the articles didn’t reply, or at the very least didn’t reply when criticized.

    Your opinions can be whatever, obviously we are here reading them – so you don’t have to defend your opinions every time one of us know-it-all’s puts them down.  Please, get tougher skin.  I like this site, but reading the comments section is maddening.

    • Aug 24, 20114:08 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I won’t speak for Dan, but I defend what I write. It’s not a matter of having thin skin. I respect the right of anyone, informed or uninformed, to express opinions down here. But part of the point of this site is for it to start conversations, debates, arguments, whatever. I’m not going to write something and then abstain from the discussion. If I feel like someone misinterprets what I write, I’m going to say so. If I feel like someone says something unfair, I’m going to say so. If I feel like someone raises a good point that I hadn’t considered, I’m going to say so.

    • Aug 24, 20116:38 pm
      by tarsier


      If I object to something one of the writers says and have an argument against it, I would rather the writer respond to my argument so that I can better see how he arrived at his divergent conclusion.

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