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Disregard what I said the other day about the national perception of the Pistons

After the first couple Pistons season previews on national sites were less than flattering, I assumed that would be a trend. But check out what Zack Lowe of Sports Illustrated had to say:

Did you know the Pistons had a better offense last season, in terms of points per possession, than Boston, Memphis, Philadelphia and Atlanta? Detroit turned into a decent scoring team, and though it couldn’t guard anyone (especially inside), I’ll admit a fondness for the wacky pieces here, even with all the positional overlap. The Pistons got fair value on Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince, and they’ll provide some stability — on movable contracts — as all the young guys (Brandon Knight, Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, Greg Monroe) develop.

Monroe should improve as a pick-and-roll defender as he learns passing angles, and it will be fun to see how new head coach Lawrence Frank mixes up his personnel. Frank has historically improved his team’s defense, and if he can manage that here without any regression on the other end, Detroit should be a decent team by the end of the season.

Lowe categorized the Pistons in his “Lottery Bound – Fun Division” grouping of teams. I’ll take that. And after two preseason games, although I have no illusions that the team will be very good this year, I am excited by the creativity Lawrence Frank is showing with his lineups.

13 Comments

  • Dec 21, 20113:59 pm
    by flip

    Reply

    The defensive improvement is already apparant. Holding CLE to 91 and 89 pts, on 38 and 41% FG.

    Granted CLE isnt a great offense, but idk if the Pistons under Kuester ever had B2B games holding an opponent to 40% or fewer in 2 years.

    And most impressive was them pulling out a win scoring only 90 pts, when the shots weren’t falling and everything on offense was a mess.

    In years past, any win they got was mostly a result of hot/lucky shooting streaks.  If the jumpshots werent falling, they had no clue how to win. They earned this win by doing all the other little things, which was great to see the young guys learning how to do that.

    Knight just seems like a winner, he might not ever put up big stats, but he does what it takes to win games at the right times. His energy, emotion, and lead by example style, doing all the little things, kind of reminds of a PG version of Ben Wallace. The way his winning attitude and hustle appears infectious to the rest of the team.

    Frank/Knight look like two excellent additions thus far.

    • Dec 21, 20115:39 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Under Kuester, the Pistons held back-to-back opponents to 40 percent or lower shooting six times.

      Also, keep in mind, the median shooting percentage during the preseason is 44.6. In each of the last two seasons, it was 46.1. I wouldn’t read much into the numbers of these last two games.

      Frank comes with a strong defensive reputation. I expect him to improve Detroit’s defense in the long term and hopes he improves it in the short term. But these two preseason games have no bearing on how likely I think either of those things are.

  • Dec 21, 20114:18 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    If the Cavs hit there free throws they would of had over 100 in both games

  • Dec 21, 20115:04 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    The Pistons received better than fair value on Stuckey. What no one seems to realize is that given the lack of a scoring big man, Stuckey is the Pistons inside game. He puts his body on the line every game going to the basket and absorbs the abuse and gets those points at the line. Monroe is looking lost as a low post scorer in the preseason though i expect him to improve. But right now no one needs to double team Monroe, nor do they need to foul him. But teams have to foul Stuckey to stop him.

    The defensive scheme and rotations are already better. There have been obvious mistakes but it is a learning process and if Frank keeps going over the rotations in practice and prevents slippage, we will be better. Rebounding has to be by committee, but if the guards chip in we could be ok.

    We still need to trade Ben Gordon and get a big man from Utah. Our second round pick this year is likely to be like a late first rounder given the depth of the draft. Maybe we could include that pick.

  • Dec 21, 20115:06 pm
    by Richard

    Reply

    We just need to stop with the cheap fouls and bailin them out on the free throw line.. And lower turnovers.

  • Dec 21, 20116:41 pm
    by DVS

    Reply

    I agree that we’ll be a fun to watch, lottery team this season.
    We’ll grind out a few strong wins with frank making a big improvement to our defense, but we just aren’t a playoff team yet.
    The future looks bright though. Knight has been really impressive and looks to mimic Monroes rookie season in that he’ll constantly improve as the season goes on.
    Monroe will start slow again since he has more responsibility this year, but he’ll be back to where he was in no time.
    We really lucked out with these 2 guys.

  • Dec 21, 20117:51 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I love it!  You guys are turning around already and it’s less about talent and more about Frank.  Every year teams under and over perform and while the Nets finally ran out of gas both because they had an historically bad roster, were facing a slew of injuries and had heard Frank’s rap for several years, the Pistons to a man are going to look better this year for his coaching and it’s happening already.  We should put a ban on even mentioning coach Q.
    The offensive stats last year are one thing but they don’t take into account that though suited for running; they all too frequently walked the ball up the court and ran a methodical offense geared for RIP and McGrady. I expect them to pick up the pace as they evolve throughout the season which will make them better and much more fun to watch.
    Last night’s starting lineup was intriguing as Daye at shooting guard was a total mismatch for Anthony Parker and the Pistons were very long, athletic and fast,  I’m starting to think they should get rid of Gordon by any means necessary–I rather see Bynum on the court.   I hope the interest in Gordon is a harbinger of a coming trade.
     

    • Dec 21, 20118:04 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Who was suited for running last year, besides Stuckey and Wilcox? Hamilton, Prince and McGrady are halfcourt guys. Monroe and Daye haven’t had a chance to show they could play for an up-tempo team, but neither is very athletic.

      • Dec 21, 20118:21 pm
        by detroitpcb

        Reply

        athleticism is a weakness for Monroe. I would say Daye is athletic, but just weak because of his lanky frame. And both players run the court well. I think Daye showed that last year and showed it again on Tuesday night with his play after Knight stole the ball on the inbounds play.

        Maybe Feldman should take a look at some of his preconceptions

  • Dec 21, 20119:27 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Monroe runs pretty well but more importantly handles and passes very well and I anticipate him becoming absolutely fantastic at grabbing the defensive rebound and making the right decision to initiate the break.
    I don’t look at Prince as a half court player but simply as a player who could fit into any playing style.  He certainly runs and finishes extremely well.
    Will Bynum is a fantastic running player who doesn’t really belong in a half court offense at all.
    Austin Daye is much better suited to a running game because he will take much less of a pounding in an up and down style.
    Gordon is better off on a running team because he doesn’t play defense.
    Jerebko is principally a motor guy which means he helps a running team.
    An overarching point I would make is that the Pistons will be much better this year at pressuring ball handlers and getting into passing lanes then they will be at defeding the paint and blocking shots so I think they can play better defense as a running team that makes up for giving up some easy buckets by scoring quick turnaround offense.

  • Dec 22, 20111:38 pm
    by Mike

    Reply

    Rip was running a ton in his first game with the Bulls and DRose…

    • Dec 22, 20111:42 pm
      by Mike

      Reply

      ^^That was supposed to be a reply to Max/Dan

    • Dec 22, 20111:44 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      There’s a big difference between running at the beginning of the year and running night in, night out during a full season.

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