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Hope exists in the form of Brandon Knight, but hopefully the hype doesn’t get out of hand

Tom Gores is doing all he can to bring hope back to the Palace. In Wednesday’s home opener against Cleveland, pregame festivities featured a tribute to William Davidson, the choir from that Eminem/Chrysler commercial that all of the moms who work in my office loved so much, Mason giving the fastest, most monotone visiting team intros in NBA history and Gores making the media rounds talking up his vision for the Pistons’ role in the city of Detroit’s resurgence.

All of that stuff is great. I’m glad Gores is engaged and interested in improving the fan experience at the Palace. The building has been stagnant, along with the team, for three years and badly needs an active, visionary owner. But the energy is not going to return for more than a brief special occasion like a season opener after a prolonged lockout without a product to put on the court. Wednesday’s loss to a really bad Cleveland team showed the Pistons don’t yet have a product.

Gores deserves some patience. He admitted after purchasing the team that he has to learn the basketball side of the business. He’s new to the league and, due to the lockout, new to the players. He is making a good faith effort to make things better for fans at the Palace. Gores and the new people he’s hired seem to understand that Pistons fans are frustrated and interest in the team is at a low point. I’m not convinced they yet understand just how low that interest has fallen and how long fans have been clamoring for a shakeup though.

This is largely the same roster that ended the last two seasons in the middle of the draft lottery. This offseason gave the Pistons their first chance in a couple seasons to cut ties with some of the old guard. Other than Rip Hamilton, they declined to do so. They kept Tayshaun Prince on a deal that has been largely panned. They kept Rodney Stuckey on a deal that, while probably more reasonable than Prince’s, was still expensive. They kept Joe Dumars, whose contracts to Charlie Villanueva, Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Jason Maxiell have all turned into albatrosses. They declined to use their amnesty provision to rid themselves of one of those pricey underachievers. They failed to address the team’s one glaring, obvious, agreed on by everyone need: getting frontcourt help.

Mind you, I’m not saying any of the above non-moves was necessarily the wrong thing to do if there is indeed a vision in place behind the scenes that I am too much of an outsider to see or get. Smart people whose writing and opinions I respect have convincingly argued for and against each move I’ve listed above. My point is simply that non-moves won’t excite the fanbase. Cool player intros, flashy new attractions at the Palace, honoring legends of the past … those are all nice things. But if Gores is serious about letting the fans know he’s serious, they need to make a big personnel move. There are Pistons fans so desperate for new blood on this roster that they are lamenting losing out on career fifth big man Kyrylo Fesenko.

If you want to improve the fan experience, let the fans know that the organization is cognizant of something that has been apparent to anyone with eyes for quite some time now: the product they are putting on the court is not working. They still have a collection of players whose skillsets don’t match. They have a collection of limited veterans signed to expensive contracts who have never played well together. They don’t have any depth in the frontcourt. They don’t have a post presence. They don’t have many defensive-minded players. They lack athleticism at virtually every position. These are realizations that most fans have already arrived at or will arrive at shortly with more efforts like the one displayed against Cleveland. The time for the organization to acknowledge that this roster is in need of more than just a few tweaks here and there is long overdue.

They do have Brandon Knight, though, and that’s a start. Knight will ensure that people at least pay passing attention to the team, even if the win-loss results don’t get much better. There were two things I came away with watching him against Cleveland:

Knight should start right now

I don’t care who he starts in place of, Gordon or Stuckey. Knight is the most intriguing prospect on this roster. I don’t think his 23-point/6-assist/2-turnovers/2-steals performance against another bottom feeding team is a signal of his arrival as a future star. But it proved to me that he can do enough things to compete on a nightly basis. He’s not going to shoot that well every night, he’s going to struggle with turnovers some games, he’s going to face tougher guards, but he’s confident enough to play through mistakes and he has enough physical gifts to create matchup problems.

Fans like Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko. They are nice young players who work hard and are still getting better. I don’t know that people will pay to watch those two or tune in on a nightly basis to watch them. Knight has star potential. I don’t know if he’ll get there, but the Pistons have nothing to lose by playing him big minutes right now. He’s the most intriguing player on their roster and needs to figure prominently into the lineup from now on. There isn’t a good reason to leave him out of the starting lineup.

Let’s reel in the hype

George Blaha has a tough job. He’s a great play-by-play guy and has to ensure that fans are gleaning enough positives from a horrid performance like Wednesday’s to hopefully encourage them to continue tuning in. Against the Cavs, Knight was really the only player on the Pistons who did much of anything worthwhile after the first quarter or so. Consequently, Knight figured prominently into the talking points of Blaha and Greg Kelser. After the game, Blaha said he hadn’t seen a Pistons rookie guard have a game like that since Isiah Thomas. I don’t think Blaha was lying, but I don’t like that the organization tends to oversell its young players so prematurely.

Look no further than Stuckey. Stuckey has had a pretty good career for a mid-first round pick, many of whom don’t amount to much in the NBA. But because the Pistons quickly ramped up expectations by trading a veteran All-Star to clear a spot for him while talking up Stuckey’s limitless upside the whole way, it has done Stuckey no favors. His incremental improvements into a pretty solid rotation guard is good by any standard except for the lofty one the team set for him.

There is a chance that Knight will be one of only a few Pistons bright spots this season. But overselling his potential by throwing insanely lofty comparisons out there right off the bat won’t serve him well. He’s young, talented, intelligent, confident and fun to watch. Let that be enough for now.

Austin Daye is lost

For two straight years, Austin Daye has followed up promising preseason performances with really passive starts to the regular season. Last year was pretty easily explainable: he was played out of position at power forward.

This season, he’s played a mix of shooting guard/small forward and he’s produced 0 points on 0-for-8 shooting in about 30 total minutes. Against the Cavs, he really seemed to be trying to do things that are outside of his skillset. Namely, he over-dribbled. Daye’s offensive strengths are his shooting range and his ability to pull up for a mid-range floater after one or two quick, aggressive dribbles. In the first half, he passed up an open three and tried to drive all the way to the basket, getting caught in the air and forcing a pass that went out of bounds. He also dribbled into an offensive foul while trying to lead a break and not giving the ball up soon enough.

Daye has the best pure shot on the Pistons’ roster. His ability to stretch the floor could be a huge weapon off the bench for the team. But if he keeps dribbling into mistakes and passing up open jumpers, there is little reason to have him on the court.

Ben Gordon’s shots

Gordon got 19 shots for the Pistons and scored 25 points. That’s encouraging and was certainly needed after Gordon played terribly in the season opener. But I wasn’t encouraged by the 19 shot attempts. I was encouraged by the nine 3-point attempts. Gordon’s most valuable commodity in the past was his 3-point shooting. He attempted about five threes a game in Chicago in his career and shot better than 40 percent each season with the Bulls. With the Pistons, his 3-point attempts have fallen to about 3 per game and he’s shot just 36 percent from three with the Pistons. If he will ever become a viable 20 point scorer again, it will be because he looks for his three ball often. Shooting 4-for-9 against the Cavs was a good start. Gordon should be looking to get off as many threes as possible when he’s on the court.

Stuckey has to draw contact

Much like Gordon, Rodney Stuckey has one thing on offense that he does that is really valuable: get to the free throw line.

This skill gets opposing bigs in foul trouble and it gets Stuckey to the line where he hits at better than 80 percent. It’s also important because if Stuckey doesn’t get contact, he’s not a good finisher. Four of his six misses against the Cavs were within 10 feet of the basket. Stuckey also was a bit too aggressive at times, including diving to the basket on a one on four break that led to a turnover.

Knight looks to be on the fast track for the starting PG job. If he gets it, I honestly don’t know who I’d favor as the starting SG between Stuckey and Gordon. Both do certain things well but have significant drawbacks when they’re playing poorly.

The frontcourt still struggles on defense

The Pistons once again struggled on defensive rotations and struggled to defend the pick and roll. Jerebko and Monroe were better on the offensive glass (combining for seven), but Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Antawn Jamison and Samardo Samuels all had big scoring nights with their movement, cutting and activity. Monroe played 36 minutes but only grabbed seven total rebounds. Jerebko only grabbed two defensive rebounds in 31 minutes. Ben Wallace and Maxiell combined for four rebounds off the bench.

The Pistons are really deficient on the boards, and Villanueva returning from suspension isn’t going to help in that department. If the team can’t rebound, there are going to be very few games they’ll be competitive in this season.

70 Comments

  • Dec 28, 201111:13 pm
    by Steve K

    Reply

    Gotta give you major credit for not drowning in sorrow after that display.

    Yes, hope does indeed exist in Brandon Knight. He looked good. He looked like a pro. Especially compared to Stuckey who again exhibited his incredible inability to finish at the rim. 

    Man, this team is tough to watch. They just got blown out by a team that won 19 games last year. 19 games, folks. What does that say about the Pistons?

    Last season, another commenter and I were chatting about how Sessions would be such a better fit for the Pistons. He gets paid roughly half of Stuckey’s salary. And tonight, Sessions notched 16pts, 7reb, 6assists. Stuckey got 11pts, 3reb, 3ast in more minutes. Yes, this is just one game, but it furthers my belief that the Pistons don’t need Stuckey. They can find plenty of Ramon Sessions in this league, for half of Stuckey’s price-tag.

    Of course, I don’t want to harp on Stuckey after tonight’s debacle. His inability to finish at the rim or pass the ball to a player in rhythm is only part of the massive problem that is our Detroit Pistons. Perhaps the biggest issue is the lack of defense. Cleveland showed that even a 19-win team can look dangerous if the players are left open. And good call, PP, on Monroe’s trouble with the pick-and-roll. Cleveland beat him a number of times on that. Monroe started strong but  stepped outside his comfort zone after the 1st quarter. Just like Daye.

    I wonder if Lawrence Frank is having buyer’s remore? As a Detroiter, I’m stuck with this team, but he can leave at any time!

    • Dec 29, 20118:37 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      There aren’t plenty of Ramon Sessions in this league. He is perpetually undervalued so I keep hoping the Pistons acquire him. Comparably payed PGs are the likes of Steve Blake, Luke Ridnour, Beno Udrih, Nate Robinson, and Chris Duhon. Players of that caliber are readily available and could outperform Stuckey on a day here or there. But I’d rather have Stuckey than one of them.

  • Dec 28, 201111:17 pm
    by Pete

    Reply

    These 2 games PROVED Detroits team is unbalanced.. Monroe needs help BAD. JJ and Daye are small forwards not shooting guards or power fowards period, Knight needs more minutes, Maxiell is useless aside from 6 fouls,Ben is the best defense BIG man ..thats sad, they need a traditional shooting guard because Stuckey AND Gordon should be coming off a bench, Macklin should see some minutes and where was Bynum? Joe D the clock is ticking……

    • Dec 28, 201111:23 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I love Bynum, but I’m actually not all that upset he didn’t play. One guard needs to be out of the rotation. It sucks that it’s Bynum, because he plays harder and works harder than Gordon and Stuckey IMO, but I’m glad that Frank has settled on basically a three guard rotation for now. That’s the best way for Knight to get big minutes and develop. I’m sure Bynum will get a chance if Gordon or Stuckey struggles at some point.

      • Dec 29, 20114:36 am
        by frankie d

        Reply

        yep, the 3 guard rotation helps everyone except the guy (s) who get left out.
        gordon’s problems aren’t rocket science.  he needs minutes and shots, and he needs to know that he is going to get those minutes and shots in order to be consistent.  it is the rare athlete, in any sport, who can go from game to game not knowing when or if he is going to play.  that is why great pinch hitters are so rare and so valued.  the ability to pick up a bat after not hitting for days, and to deliver under those circumstances takes real stones and an extremely unique mentality.  off the top of my head, i cannot think of any successful nba scorer who went game to game not knowing if he was going to play 10 or 30 minutes.
        so gordon will be helped immensely if frank stays with the 3 guard rotation, absent one of those guys just falling apart.  
        i  also feel for bynum as i really like him and his game and feel he could be a valuable contributor for the right team.  unfortunately, this roster is so screwed up, he may have to leave in order to get his shot and not end up being viewed as a guy who wasn’t worth his contract.

        • Dec 29, 20119:55 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          He’s undervalued much the way Ramon Sessions always has been. Sessions is the better player of the two, but I think Bynum would be a great change of pace guy on a good team.

    • Dec 29, 20118:42 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      How is Gordon not a traditional SG? I’m not a big fan of his but he is the epitome of a SG: someone who does little but score and has long range. If you don’t like those aspects of a SG, Stuckey basically carries everything else: strong defense, good at getting to the line, capable of getting some boards and dimes. I don’t know what you expect in Detroit’s SG, but the 2 is not a very strong position in the league thee days. There is Wade then Kobe, then a couple young guys like Gordon and Harden. And that about concludes the good SGs in the league.

  • Dec 28, 201111:33 pm
    by Jacob

    Reply

    As bad as everybody thought the Indiana game was – this was worse. Indiana was a playoff team last season and added an all-star. This game was at home against Cleveland. More need not be said. This was a really, really bad performance. However, I think we can look for small victories. Brandon Knight needs to start. What’s there to lose? I think Stuckey should come off the bench that way he can come in at the 1 or 2 dictated by game situation – foul trouble, Knight going through more growing pains, opposing team’s guard play, etc.
    That doesn’t address that we need help in the front court in a bad way. I like JJ and Monroe, but neither is defending or rebounding the way they should. And what do we have to look forward to – Charlie Villanueva coming back from suspension? I wouldn’t mind if Maxiell fell out of the rotation completely in favor of Macklin.
    This whole team is a work in progress. As fans, we have to just be patient, look for positives, and unfortunately not expect much this season I’m afraid. Then again, it’s only 2 games and even 66 games is a long season, a lot can happen….

  • Dec 28, 201111:39 pm
    by Adam

    Reply

    I thought Ben Gordan had a really good game tonight…he seemed to be playing within his game, shot a little under 50% and had 4 assists.
     
    I agree that we should hand this team to Knight, see what he can do, and bring Stuckey off the bench. I don’t know why people say that Gordan can’t be a normal shooting guard…he still has it in him when he’s getting the shots.

    • Dec 28, 201111:52 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      25 points is good. Not great, mind you, because he’s got to shoot the damn lights out every game to justify a spot in the rotation, but good. Needing 19 shots to get those points basically negates any enthusiasm his points might have mustered.

      • Dec 29, 201112:11 am
        by flip

        Reply

        eh, Im BG’s biggest critic but he played great tonight. He wasnt really a liability on D, made some nice passes, and didnt turn it over much.

        Usually if a guy scores more pts than FGA’s thats a good night. 25 pts on 9-19, i’ll take that every night from SG if he can repeat it.

        Stuckey on the other hand was pure garbage, and its even more clear now when you see back=to=back posessions, one where he runs the point, and one where Knight does, how awful Stuckey really is.

        I dont think I’ve ever seen a guard who dribbles for 17 sec at the 3 pt line and appears to have no plan whatsoever of what to do with the ball. But Stuckey does it EVERY time.

        You can see Knight is clearly the superior player, and the fact that Knight has more court awareness at 20 than Stuckey at 25 says theres not much hope left for Stuckey to ever figure it out. And Daye has no excuse either now. Knight is proving a 20 yr old can play w/o making dumb mistakes all over the place. Daye is 22 and still looks like a rookie. Time to trade him before he gets the dreaded bust label and has no value.

        • Dec 29, 201112:54 am
          by Laser

          Reply

          Yeah, 9/19 for 25 points isn’t a bad thing, but this is about as good as you can ever expect him to be, and the result is basically “eh.” So his defense wasn’t a big problem tonight (I’ll take your word on that, but I spent too much time groaning and looking away to notice any particular defensive lapses), but that’s against Cleveland’s lackluster backcourt. And when you factor all that in with his contract, his place on the roster is completely unjustifiable. In a losing cause (64 of ‘em left to go, by my count), I’ll probably always guess Bynum gives us a better chance to win than Stuckey or Gordon, but I’ll certainly always know I’d rather watch Bynum over those turkeys.

          • Dec 29, 20119:58 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “I’ll certainly always know I’d rather watch Bynum over those turkeys.”

            I agree. I don’t think the result would be different. I don’t even think Bynum is a better player than Stuckey or Gordon. But I’d much rather watch a guy who plays hard at all times.

          • Dec 29, 201111:39 am
            by Laser

            I’m not saying Bynum would produce a large number of extra wins; I just don’t think Stuckey or Gordon are winners, I’m sick of watching them play basketball, and I’m ESPECIALLY sick of watching them play basketball together. Bynum has heart and is genuinely fun to watch.

          • Dec 29, 20112:36 pm
            by frankie d

            i actually like and respect the games of both gordon and stuckey.
            the problem is, imho, that they are both being horribly miscast as starters.
            both are off-the-bench scorers who could contribute a lot for the right roster.  but neither is best used as a starter.
            gordon has too many liabilities – poor handle, poor decisionmaker, poor passer, poor defender – to make up for the one thing he does very well: heat up and knock down jumpers.
            he should be on someone’s bench, you bring him in, if he’s hot, he plays 32 minutes, if he’s not hot, he plays 12-15 minutes and you hope he doesn’t hurt you too much on those off-nights. 
            stuckey is simply an instinctive scorer who should do nothing but get the ball and attack the basket.  oh yea, if someone is pressing the team, he can also bring the ball upcourt because he has an excellent handle.  and there are lots of guards he can defend well because of his strength and quickness.  
            but offensively he should play like rip used to play.   run around picks, receive the pass and attack the basket, looking  to score however way he can score.   while rip shot the mid-range jumper, stuckey will be better going to the hole, looking for the foul.   he should never, ever be put in a position where he ends up standing at the top of the key, holding the ball looking for someone to pass the ball to.  the only decision he should have to make on the court is whether he will shoot a 12 foot jumper or take his man to the hole.
            and because of his handle and ability to at least superficially function as a point guard, his best value would be as a jamal crawford/jason terry type combo guard.
            it is not his fault that he has been misused.  that is the fault of the organization. 
            i agree about bynum, however.  i love guys who have scrapped up from the d-league, cause they typically bust their butts whenever they get a chance to play on an nba court.  bynum is not unusual in that respect. 
            he is also similar to both stuckey and gordon.  any well-balanced roster really only needs one guy like that, and unfortunately, the pistons have 3.

  • Dec 28, 201111:41 pm
    by Pete

    Reply

    I just dont like Stuckeys game at all.. He gets to the rim but cant finish. I would actually take Gordon over him because of his ablity to shoot from almost anywhere. Daye’s game Im lost on too…didnt he work out with Durant this summer????? And Monroe with all those soft layups like your 6’10 DUNK THE BALL.. I think Macklin was the only person who dunked it down low for the Pistons. the announcers were acting like when CV comes back things will be different..OH really? when did he start posting up and playing down low..LOL..Maybe when the Palace gets half empty by near mid season the management will wake up. But on a side note I can see why they wanted Tristan Thompson over Biyombo when they thought both players would be available in this past draft…

    • Dec 29, 20119:59 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Thompson looks good so far. He’s a great athlete, much more ready to play early than I thought he’d be.

  • Dec 28, 201111:49 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    That was worse than the Indiana game, for the reasons stated above. Also, I’m pretty well convinced that Cleveland has the better team. I’m almost afraid to look over the rosters of the rest of the teams in the league, because I’m afraid I might not find one that’s worse than ours… and ours is basically locked in for two years beyond this one. Joe Dumars needs to be set on fire in the streets.
     
    The only thing I could possibly take as a positive is that Knight made a strong case to JUST FUCKING START ALREADY. This guard situation is an atrocity. Ten times out of ten I’d rather watch Will Bynum play his heart out in a losing cause than Gordon take a thousand shots and Stuckey miss a thousand layups (in a losing cause). It’s the same old Pistons. The same damn old Pistons. “Earn your way every day. Unless you’re one of our overpaid guards… Or the GM.”
     
    This team is a goddamn joke. Barely even watchable.

    • Dec 29, 20118:47 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The Bobcats have a worse roster. Granted, they just nearly offed the Heat. But you can’t count on 16/16/8 from Diaw every night.

    • Dec 29, 201110:01 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Cleveland’s frontcourt is pretty solid, which is why their roster is slightly better. Any contending team would take Varejao, Jamison can still do some things and Thompson and Samuels are both decent young pieces. But I agree with Tarsier … Charlotte’s roster is worse right now.

      • Dec 29, 201111:43 am
        by Laser

        Reply

        Can’t WAIT to see that matchup. Seriously.

        • Dec 29, 20115:45 pm
          by gmehl1977

          Reply

          The loser gets Drummond or Davis

  • Dec 28, 201111:52 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    As ugly as this is it’s exactly what we need. I am a big fan of Joe Dumars and want to see him keep going as GM but I also want him to admit that a team based around Charlie Villanueva, Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey is a losing team. I want to see him admit that winning while rebuilding usually doesn’t work. For those things to happen we need to keep losing and losing badly like we did tonight.
     
    The guys with a future here Jeberko, Monroe, Knight looked good or at least okay the other guys don’t matter. Gordon having high number is also a very, very, very good thing because if he can keep putting up numbers hopefully we’ll be able to find someone stupid enough to make a trade for him.
     
    Also keep in mind that Utah looks like crap right now and Paul Millsap isn’t doing much in their rotation. If we can keep Gordon scoring and both teams keep losing we may be able to make a swap. Ditching Gordon and adding Millsap won’t solve all our problems but it would be a major shift toward us being a legit team. Milsap hits the boards and scores efficiently both things we desperately need. He and Monroe would still have issues defensively but that’s just the way it is we’re not going to pick up a top flight defender by trading garbage like Ben Gordon.
     
    Also I think we’re seeing why Tayshaun Prince was resigned because even as bad as he’s playing he’s got more going on than Austin Daye.
     
    I know it’s ugly but don’t worry Lawrence Frank is pushing them the right way and this will force Joe Dumars’ hand.

    • Dec 28, 201111:54 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      1) Dumars will admit nothing.
       
      2) I have no clue what you expect Dumars to do once his hand is “forced.” This roster has almost no flexibility.

    • Dec 29, 20118:51 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      First you say that Detroit needs to keep losing. And then that resigning Prince made sense. How are those evenly vaguely compatible?

    • Dec 29, 201110:06 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Utah would have zero interest in Ben Gordon. They drafted Alec Burks in the lottery to be their SG.

      And although the Jazz may look to move a big, Millsap and Jefferson have value. There is no reason for them to take an underperforming, bad contract like Gordon’s for either guy.

  • Dec 28, 201111:56 pm
    by Ryan

    Reply

    NOH won their second game…and it was without Gordon.

    Jack was their leading scorer.

    Detroit may very well have the worst roster in the league.

    • Dec 29, 20118:53 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Charlotte is worse, and NO is also worse without Gordon. But two games doesn’t tell you much. My biggest concern is how much Monroe has been struggling, he is supposed to be the best player on this team. But again, two games doesn’t tell you much.

  • Dec 29, 201112:22 am
    by D.D.

    Reply

    1. It looks like the Pistons will be a lottery team yet again (as if it wasn’t obvious from the start). Here’s the issue though even should the Pistons drop to the top 10: The 2012 NBA Draft is filled with wings and forwards (with the exception of Drummond).
    2. Defense is still an issue. Interior defense is pretty bad, but I put a little bit more blame on the horrendous rebounding (26 rebounds tonight, pretty ugly). Closing out on the perimeter is also a major problem (second straight game where the opponent shoots over 45% from three).
    3. It looks like Knight is going to be a good one, even though this is just the second game of the season. I HOPE that he will replace Stuckey at PG.

    • Dec 29, 201110:11 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Jared Sullinger, Thomas Robinson, John Henson, Anthony Davis, Tyler Zeller, Meyers Leonard and Patric Young are all PF/Cs who are projected to go in the top 14 or so. There are quite a few bigs who should be available.

      But if the Pistons get a wing, it’s not a bad thing. It’s not like they’re set at that position or anything. They need an impact player regardless of position. The only position they probably wouldn’t look at is PG.

      • Dec 29, 201110:53 am
        by MrHappyMushroom

        Reply

        You are completely right about this, Patrick. But in its own way, what a damning statement about this organization. JoD has spent the better part of the past half decade drafting and signing wing players. And the reality is that the team isn’t at all set at the wing.
        The Texas Lottery slogan is ‘Ya can’t win if ya don’t play!”  Well, the Pistons have played the Wing Lottery and haven’t come close to winning, while leaving so many other needs unmet.

  • Dec 29, 201112:43 am
    by Sebastian

    Reply

    Knight looked and played great. The rest of the team, coaching staff included looked like shit.

    And, why was Frank calling timeouts late in the 4th, when the game was long decided. He should had been using those timeouts to stop the endless runs that the Cavs (the fucking Cleveland Cavaliers!!!) were smashing US with.

    If no personnel moves are made, this will be OUR worst season ever.

  • Dec 29, 201112:45 am
    by bg8

    Reply

    is 19 shots to get 25 pts that bad? we all know gordon isn’t a superstar that gonna get all sort of bogus foul call to give them a bunch of free throws attempt like durant, lebron, howard and other superstar. and yeah, knight got 23 pts on 13 shot attempt, but how often will a guy shoot 10 for 13?

    just look at other players who are known for scoring and thier shooting stats today:

    granger – 19 att, 21pts
    bargnarni- 17 att, 21pts
    johnson- 16 att, 18pts
    gay – 24att, 19pts
    randolph – 20att, 24pts
    griffin – 19att, 28pts

    so honestly, in my opinion, 19 att for 25 pts is pretty much what you would expect on a regular basis. so i would not be not encourage by the 19 attempt for 25 pts. there will be game where he’ll put up 19 shot, and get more than 25 pts (had some good look that he just miss) and there will be game he put up 19 shots and get less than 25 pts (he did miss quite a few open shot). so i would take this 19 attempt for 25pts from gordon every single night.

    • Dec 29, 20111:01 am
      by Laser

      Reply

      Yeah, 25 points on 19 shots isn’t a bad night for your average NBA scorer, especially a jump shooter. But Gordon is a defensive liability, creates matchup problems every night, is turnover prone, and collects a fabulous $12 million a year. This is the best we can reasonably expect to get out of him, he won’t usually be this good, and it still amounted to absolutely nothing. That’s the problem as I see it.

      • Dec 29, 20111:23 am
        by bg8

        Reply

        see thats where we differ. i don’t think this is the best we can expect out of him. i think bg can do a lot better than he did today, he missed a lot of open shots that i expect him to make and i think he’ll start making it. i wouldn’t really call bg a turnover prone, i think most sg gets around 2-3 TO a game, yeah bg got like 4 or 5 the other games, but you’ll only see that once in a while.

        and his defense wasn’t too bad today. he was pretty active in the passing lane, jumping infront of several passes. and he didn’t get taken advantage by the cavs sg (eventhough they aren’t that great, but still, i didn’t think we was a defensive liability in this game). he maybe against better guards, but chances are they’ll still score on whoever blocking them anyway

        just my opinion, but ill admit, im a ben gordon fan. and to follow up on your statement about you would rather watch bynum over the two turkeys, I so rather watch gordon over bynum anyday cause I know gordon gives the pistons a way better chance of winning than bynum

        • Dec 29, 201111:51 am
          by Laser

          Reply

          “i don’t think this is the best we can expect out of him. i think bg can do a lot better than he did today…”
           
          I’m not saying this will be his best performance of the season, just that this is roughly the maximum you could reasonably expect him to produce. He’ll have better games and worse games, but he certainly won’t average these kinds of numbers.
           
          “and his defense wasn’t too bad today…”
           
          Again, today. Yes, he probably wasn’t a problem defensively today, against lackluster shooting guards. But the guy has a well-deserved, well-documented history of being a poor defender who turns the ball over too much. To expect that to change now is to expect to much.
           
          “I know gordon gives the pistons a way better chance of winning than bynum…”
           
          This is no different from your other thoughts on Gordon, because it is purely your opinion.

          • Dec 29, 20113:58 pm
            by tarsier

            You’re right that he won’t average those numbers, but if BG came close, everyone should be happy. He would be worth almost as much as he is being paid (those averages and he might be worth more). But that was what I, and everyone else, hated about Dumars’ signing. He would be getting fair value if his new players played at the highest level that could be reasonably projected. So there was no way he would be getting a good deal.

    • Dec 29, 20111:48 am
      by Shane

      Reply

      It’s not bad… IF YOU are going against a team other than the Cleveland Cavaliers.. THINK about it. Who do they even have other than Irving.. Sessions Jamison(Yes I know he was a force back in the day on Washington) etc would all be coming off the bench of a legit team that is a playoff pusher

  • Dec 29, 201112:54 am
    by flip

    Reply

    Your correct bg8, 25pts on 9-19 FG, youd take that from your SG every night if he could do it. Gordon was great tonight. Hope to see it continue next game with Knight starting by his side.

    Knight/Gordon vs Rondo/Allen next game will be a sweet matchup.

    UK PG’s and UCONN SG’s going head to head.

  • Dec 29, 20111:17 am
    by Ty

    Reply

    A lot of work needs to be done, I was hoping Detroit would be fighting for the 7 or 8th spot in the playoffs????  Its only the second game, so I am not giving up yet.  Egos need to be put in check.  I am the only Stuckey fan on this site but I was not pleased.  All the people saying he can’t finish at the rim are riDICulous, everyone has a off game.  And he is about the only one taking it to the rack because the rest of the team is so timid and wants to just shoot jumpers. 

    • Dec 29, 201111:55 am
      by Laser

      Reply

      1) It’s not about “wanting” to shoot jumpers, it’s about being constitutionally incapable of scoring the ball in ways other than jump shots. Look at this roster, and look at them play. How else are they going to score aside from jacking up shots and hoping they fall?
       
      2) Will somebody track down the numbers of just how poorly Stuckey finishes at the rim? He’s got to have one of the worst percentages in the league. It wasn’t just this game. He’s a horrendous finisher. Absolutely horrendous. He’s dunked maybe three times in his career.

  • Dec 29, 20111:34 am
    by bg8

    Reply

    who the pistons really need is emeka okafor. with the way the hornets is playing him (basically a little more than half the game) maybe they are willing to trade him since they have kamen now. too bad the pistons don’t really have anything they want. they won’t want prince, jonas, daye since they got ariza at sf. they may want stuckey but we can’t trade him anytime soon. im not willing to trade bg, monroe, or knight.

    but as much as i like cv, i think hornets could use him, and i would be willing to trade cv, and next year first round, and someone else if we need to make the money work for okafor. i think if the pistons get okafor, they would make the playoff.

    but then again, im just coming up with stuff base purely on being a UCONN fan and would just like to see ben gordon and emeka okafor on the same team again.

    • Dec 29, 20114:03 am
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      So let me get this right. You want us to trade CV and our 1st round pick for Emeka Okafor. So in all reality that up trade could end being CV and Drummond for Emeka Okafor. All i can say is WTF are you smoking.

    • Dec 29, 201110:15 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Trading a lottery pick in the 2012 draft for a player as limited as Okafor would be a disaster. I don’t even dislike Okafor. But that would be a terrible trade for a team in Detroit’s position. Okafor wouldn’t make them significantly better and they would be giving up a chance at landing a superstar in one of the most talent-rich drafts since 2003ish.

      • Dec 29, 20112:34 pm
        by bg8

        Reply

        yup would most definitely do that. they’ll be a guarantee playoff team with okafor. and honestly, i don’t think theres that much great college player this year. theres only one great player, and thats drummond, and with the luck the pistons have, even with the worst record, they’ll probably lose out on him.

        • Dec 29, 20113:01 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          OK … Okafor makes like $40 million over the rest of this season and the next two. He’s a career 12-10-2 guy. He’ll be 30 years old by the start of next season. And Barnes, Drummond, Jones, Sullinger, et. al. are big time prospects. Giving up a lottery pick to get Okafor would be insanity.

          • Dec 29, 20113:21 pm
            by bg8

            yeah it may be insanity in your opinion and probably a lot of other people too, but i so rather watch a ben gordon and emeka okafor team than a any potential lottery player the pistons can get.

            if not okafor to the pistons, it could be ben gordon to the hornets and ill be fine with that too. but that is way more unlikely to happen than the okafor to the pistons

            do i really care what is best for the pistons, not really, just wanna see bg and okafor on the same team again. bring back the good ol days of UCONN domination

          • Dec 30, 201110:48 pm
            by Jodi Jezz

            I agree with bg8, I would rather trade for a proven talent instead of taking a gamble on a rookie…

  • Dec 29, 20112:37 am
    by Pacman

    Reply

    Quality recap, Patrick. You can’t make excuses for this loss, but I really thought the points you raised were noteworthy. Whether the Pistons like to admit it or not, we have invested a fair bit in Daye and can’t afford to see him continue to struggle for too much longer in his third year. I’d like your thoughts on this, but I don’t see the point of his place on the team if he is not averaging at least 15 points a game. He just doesn’t do enough elsewhere (nor does it seem he will be able to)to warrant his spot on the team if he doesn’t start picking up his scoring.

    • Dec 29, 201110:17 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      He’s a lot like Gordon in that the greatest skill he offers is 3-point shooting. My problem with Daye last night was him passing up quality looks at threes to do things he’s less adept at, like driving or trying to create off the dribble.

      I have no problem with Daye getting minutes as long as he has no reservations about launching threes any time he gets a decent look. That is what will make him a valuable contributor.

      • Dec 29, 20113:24 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        daye has obviously lost his confidence.  anytime an athlete is unable to do what they really do best, it is absolutely a matter of their confidence being shot.
        daye is a shooter, and if he can’t hit his shot, obviously something is wrong.
        two things come to mind: daye should be mentally tougher; and, the team obviously doesn’t know how to handle a guy with a bit of a fragile head.  they keep jerking him around, in terms of PT, positions and roles.
        i feel sorry for daye, in a sense.
        the team says all this crap about PT and starting spots being earned and then for 2 years straight, he’s gone out, played well in preseason and then been shunted to the bench for inconsistent PT while guys who have sucked – tay, especially – get pushed in front of him and gifted starting spots and PT. 
        should he be mentally tougher about the situation and go out and just blast through the BS?  sure.
        are there things he doesn’t do all that well that he should improve on? sure.  but he does something that teams usually drool over: he can knock down jumpers from all over the court and with his size he can usually get his shot off against anyone.
        and while he surely needs to get better at it, the few times i’ve seen the team post him up against smaller defenders, he’s looked very effective and it has tended to terrorize the opponent as they try to figure out how to provide help to an overmatched single defender.
        my point about daye is simple: he has skills and talents that can be exploited by any team.  it is up to the team to put him in a position where he can exploit those skills and talents.  and it is up to the team to understand how best to nurture a young, talented, but somewhat emotionally fragile athlete.
        if dennis rodman had come to a team like the pistons have been over the last 3 years, he would have punched out of the league within a couple of years.  these coaches would have hesitated to use him because  rodman literally had trouble making a layup those first few years.   he was a disaster, offensively, and he definitely cost the team on the offensive end with plenty of blown layups and fumbled passes.  while he had an amazing BB IQ and an ability to see the court the way a guard saw the court, he was also so nervous at times that he would often literally fumble the ball away.
        lesser coaches would have focused on those negatives and downplayed the fact that he was a demonic rebounder who could guard anyone because of his incredible feet and motor.
        i think that is why rodman has always had such a soft spot for daly.  he understood how close he was to washing out of the league, how tenuous his place was on the team because of his negatives.  but daly rolled with the bad stuff and let rodman be rodman, allowing him to develop into the hall of famer he became.
        daye is not rodman.  not by any means.  but he is a similarly, emotionally fragile athlete who needs a different kind of approach, and it is obvious that this management has shown that it is absolutely horrible at handling young guys who need a little tender loving care.  
        for better or worse, that is part of the job description of any sports organization.  not every good player is going to have a thick skin.  it’s up to them to figure out how to get the most out of an obviously talented player who may need a slightly different approach.

  • [...] The Pistons continue to baffle me with their lineup decisions. They’re a bad team, and I was wrong on theingeydecent, and that’s fine. But Brandon Knight should never have been coming off the bench, which is why Stuckey shouldn’t have been re-signed, which is why Tayshaun shouldn’t have been re-signed, which is why.. and so on and so forth. Austin Daye’s not playing well, but he also needs to be on the floor with the best offensive weaponry of young guys the team has. He needs to be on the floor with Knight and Monroe, and told not to dribble. Ever. The Pistons are still trying to figure out who they are, but the problem is that they may find out they are someone they don’t want to be, and will still be that because it’s better than being nothing. They need to force the issue in being a young team. Monroe stole the ball on a nice play Wednesday night, and as he outlet the ball to Gordon and ran the lane for the give and go… Gordon re-set the offense. You’ve got to force the issue with this team because you don’t get many chances. And to do that you have to have players too young to know better. Read more from Hayes over at PP.  [...]

  • Dec 29, 20112:55 am
    by Saul

    Reply

    Patrick, gotta say ‘d go with Ben still at SG even if Knight becomes the starter. I know one game doesn’t mean a ton, but that’s more like it from Ben. The starters honestly need to score more. Having a bench scorer is only helpful if the starters don’t fall too far behind and so Gordon, provided he keeps scoring consistently, should continue to start with Knight. Austin Daye, on the other hand, is aggravating. You’re exactly right, he needed to shoot when he was open and I yelled at him after he passed up that open three. That leaves me wondering who will be out of the lineup when C-Vill returns. Bynum didn’t play and other than him who else won’t play? The Pistons can’t be having 10 players in a game, got to have a tight rotation.

    • Dec 29, 201110:22 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I agree I think … I’d probably start Gordon as long as he’s aggressively looking for his shot, then use Stuckey as the third guard at either position. He’d still get starters minutes or close to them.

      When Villanueva returns, I suspect Maxiell will be out of the rotation. He has 0 points and 3 rebounds in 32 minutes this season. I would be those 16ish minutes a game, plus a few of Ben Wallace’s, will go to Villanueva.

  • Dec 29, 20114:25 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    If or should i say when Knight gets the nod to start then i think Frank should go with BG as the starting SG. I have a gut feeling that Knight can start to make BG look semi productive. I am certainly not a fan of either but i know that where stuck with both so a choice would have to be made. I think Stuckey’s game would be much better suited to coming off the bench where he can go against other teams second units.

    I don’t even want to comment on tonight’s weak performance but the highlight for me was Knight’s no look pass to i think Macklin for the dunk which i assume were his first NBA points.

  • Dec 29, 20114:52 am
    by Ty

    Reply

    Boston 0-3, Lakers 1-2, Memphis 0-2, Dallas 0-2

    Don’t jump ship already pistons fans your better than that.  You need at least 5-10 games before you start switching up rotations people.

    • Dec 29, 201112:00 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      Not if you start with the right rotation.
       
      Also, in order to “jump ship” don’t you need to actually be on some sort of ship in the first place?? Who’s still on this fucking ship? It’s been the Titanic for three years running. Plus, our 0-2 comes against Indiana (last playoff seed in the east in ’11) and Cleveland (19 wins in ’11).

  • [...] The Pistons continue to baffle me with their lineup decisions. They’re a bad team, and I was wrong on theingeydecent, and that’s fine. But Brandon Knight should never have been coming off the bench, which is why Stuckey shouldn’t have been re-signed, which is why Tayshaun shouldn’t have been re-signed, which is why.. and so on and so forth. Austin Daye’s not playing well, but he also needs to be on the floor with the best offensive weaponry of young guys the team has. He needs to be on the floor with Knight and Monroe, and told not to dribble. Ever. The Pistons are still trying to figure out who they are, but the problem is that they may find out they are someone they don’t want to be, and will still be that because it’s better than being nothing. They need to force the issue in being a young team. Monroe stole the ball on a nice play Wednesday night, and as he outlet the ball to Gordon and ran the lane for the give and go… Gordon re-set the offense. You’ve got to force the issue with this team because you don’t get many chances. And to do that you have to have players too young to know better. Read more from Hayes over at PP.  [...]

  • Dec 29, 20116:16 am
    by Jakob Eich

    Reply

    If we keep on playing like this we’ll get another lottery pick. As much as we can blame Dumars for handing out the contracts to Rip, Tay, etc., his draft picks have been really solid the past three years (Jerebko, Monroe, Knight). I don’t think there’s a GM in the league who got more out of his picks picking relatively low in weak drafts. Okay, let’s not praise Knight too much, but he shows everything you want to see from a rookie guard. 
    We need a big man badly! I mean, just take any 7-footer and insert him into the roster! Last night I hit the ESPN Trade Machine! We can trade Villanueva for Andray Blatche straight up, folks!!! How far has it come that Blatche would be considered a massive improvement. He can at least score and rebound on occasion. Additionally, he is rather fun to watch (mainly because of his goofiness). I watch games of other teams and see the big guys gobble up rebounds just because they are big and/or athletic. Hasheem Thabeet would be an improvement. Our only real size Center is Monroe, after that we only have undersized players, even Big Ben, a Hall-of-Fame center, is undersized and a bit old at this point. Yet, he still delivers. At this point, what do we risk if we make major moves? Is this team going to get worse??? No! The fanbase will support major moves, as long as there is an apparent change. We can retool this roster through the draft. Knight, Gordon/Stuckey, Jerebko, Monroe, 2012 Draft Pick; this sounds like an exciting young roster to me. Maybe Stuckey and Gordon will be moved or Gordon will be amnestied, this would be a fresh start. It should be apparent to anyone watching this that it is not going anywhere, unless we cut ties with certain players. Tayshaun Prince has trade value, I bet the Lakers would pick him up. Trade him for Kapono and Walton, one expiring contract and a guy with a contract that is tradable.

    • Dec 29, 201110:24 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Since Prince (and Stuckey) signed a new contract, he isn’t eligible to be traded until later in the season.

      • Dec 29, 20111:10 pm
        by Jakob Eich

        Reply

        Yeah, I know! I wasn’t talking about a quick fix, but it’d be a possibilty nonetheless.

    • Dec 29, 201112:03 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      You want to praise him for Jerebko, fine. But stop patting him on the back for Monroe and Knight. Who the fuck else was he going to take when those guys fell into his lap? Almost anybody with any knowledge about the draft was surprised to see Monroe and Knight fall to 7th and 8th. Use your head.

      • Dec 29, 20111:14 pm
        by Jakob Eich

        Reply

        Well, yeah, but except for the Milicic debacle, which was obviously horrific, Dumars hasn’t picked badly and I’d say above average in the draft. Dumars doesn’t have a lot of credit left so he better do something to secure his job soon.

        • Dec 29, 20116:04 pm
          by gmehl1977

          Reply

          I think the most annoying thing about Darko is that he would actually be a really good fit with Monroe on this team at the moment. I suppose you could call the Darko pick a double bitch slap to the faces of pistons fans.

  • Dec 29, 20116:54 am
    by Murph

    Reply

    Now I’m kind of glad Larry Frank got the job over Bill Laimberr.  Larry’s now lost 19 regular season games in a row.  Does anyone know what the record is?

  • Dec 29, 20118:45 am
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    I feel better after reading all the comments ,because I was just too pissed last night and I saw all of the same things you saw.  I was preaching patience before last night but I have come over to the dark side.  They need to shake things up and quickly.  I know realistically they wont do anything until about the 10-15 game mark, but seriously they could be 0-15 by then.  Did Prince not come in camp in shape because he didnt have a contract.  And I thought Daye was doing something in Russia?  I mean these guys look totally lost like guys at the Y who cant play.   I was begging the Pistons to take some of my money even after the lockout.  I wanted to have a reason to go to the games, but they wont get a dime until they make a move for another big man. And at this point we just need a fresh face to take up minutes.  If not, we are looking at 13-18 wins for the year.

  • Dec 29, 20119:28 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    But I wasn’t encouraged by the 19 shot attempts. I was encouraged by the nine 3-point attempts. Gordon’s most valuable commodity in the past was his 3-point shooting.

    This, a million times over.  I have no problem with Gordon taking shots, as long as the attempts are worth 3 points.

    • Dec 29, 201110:26 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yep. Gordon can take 19 threes a game for all I care, as long as he’s shooting 40 percent out there.

      • Dec 29, 201112:08 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        HAHAHAHAHA
         
        …uh, yes. You won’t get any disagreement out of anyone on that one. Ditto for everyone who ever played the game. Shoot 40% from 3 and you can take as many shots as you like, fellas!

  • Dec 29, 201112:53 pm
    by Piston87

    Reply

    All this talk about the Bynum, Stuckey, Knight and Gordon misses the point entirely.  We got blown out in 2 straight games because our frontline is getting manhandled.  I like Jonas and Greg but they are literally weak players who don’t have the size to eat up paint space nor the vertical ability to challenge shots and protect the paint from penetrating guards.  Despite Cleveland’s reputation their frontline has good size and strength and they certainly have better depth then we do.  This is a problem that cannot be solved by anyone currently on the roster.  This is a lottery team, people who complain about being mediocre and not getting a really high draft pick should not be worried this year.

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