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Matt Moore observes NBA, sees Pistons

Matt Moore of ProBasketballTalk listed 100 of his early NBA observations, and a few included Pistons:

55. Lawrence Frank has not gotten through to Detroit yet.

56. Which means Lawrence Frank has has lost about 22 games in a row.

57. The Pistons’ refusal to play younger lineups is baffling.

82. Ben Gordon is actually passing really well and running an offense. It’s like Soviet Russia. Ben Gordon should be point guard and Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey should be shooting guards.


As far as No. 56, it’s 20, but who’s counting?


  • Dec 31, 20111:59 pm
    by frankie d


    regarding #57, and refusing to play younger players…
    don’t know what that is a surprise.  
    one of the nba’s iron rules is that any coach will  always play predictable, though limited vets rather than young, erratic rookies and younger players.
    every coach is trying to win every game he can.  most believe that an experienced vet, one who will play as expected, will help win games.
    a younger player may or may not play as expected, therefore you cannot truly depend on them to help you win.
    the only exceptions happen when a gm strips a roster of those old vets so a coach doesn’t have them to turn to in a time of need and/or if the coach gets a direct order – under threat of dismissal if it is not put into action  - that the coach must play the young guys.
    the first three games of the season were a great time for frank to have played macklin.
    charlie v was out.  the team needed size.
    max was playing horribly.  ben is …ben.
    so he could have easily just tossed macklin out to see what he had.  it certainly could not have gotten any worse.
    yet, except for late game garbage time, he could not bring himself to play him.  
    go figure…

    • Dec 31, 20112:59 pm
      by tarsier


      If that were the case how come Irving starts over Sessions? Top picks are almost always gift-wrapped roles/starts/minutes. And Detroit is playing plenty of youth. They just aren’t the starters. Oh wait, except Stuckey, Jerebko, and Monroe. I can understand if you don’t call Stuckey youth because there is a younger guy behind him. But you can’t argue Monroe and Jerebko.

      • Dec 31, 20113:40 pm
        by frankie d


        you make my point for me.
        if you read the cleveland papers you’d know that scott was NOT going to start irving.  then all of a sudden he changed his mind at the last minute and started irving.
        he made a comment, about why he was starting irving, that was so transparent it was funny.  obviously the owner had a little chat with him about irving being the new face of the franchise.
        also, high lottery picks are another exception.  they get picked by a particular team, typically,  because a team has a hole that needs filling.  and a high lottery pick is usually being marketed heavily by his team.  you can bet that the gm is going to instruct the coach that the high lottery pick is going to play.  
        the exceptions prove the rule.  like here in detroit where larry brown refused to play darko.
        larry brown has hated euros forever.  hates them. and the way he would play, or not play,  darko – only at the very end of blowouts – was his way of thumbing his nose at dumars.  there were plenty of times when brown could have put darko in the games if only to use his 5 fouls, but darko was obviously a point of conflict between dumars and brown and brown had enough juice to tell dumars to take a hike.   
        stuckey was obviously gifted his spot by the chauncey trade.  dumars traded chauncey to specifically give the spot to stuckey.  and even after that, stuckey came off the bench for quite a while and only started after AI and rip had injury problems.  there were only young guys – afflalo, bynum, stuckey – to choose from.
        JJ only played because tay got hurt.  the only other small forward was another rookie.  he had no choice but to play a rookie, either JJ or daye.
        monroe did not play at all the first two games.  he only got off the bench after detrtoit last the first two games, and then he started playing more, as they kept losing and it was obvious that the coach had no other big men.  kwame brown was gone, i think wilcox was hurt.  literally, he did not have another big man to put on the court.
        again, you prove my point.  there was no other big men available.  the only other candidate to play center was maxiell.  dumars did exactly what i’ve talked about.  i’m sure he did not bring back kwame  brown because he wanted to make sure monroe, his lottery pick,  got PT.  (kwame only moved on and signed with another team a month after detroit drafted monroe.)
        so, again, you make my point for me.
        the gm can either order the coach to play the young guys or rig the roster so he has no other choice.  
        and very rarely, a coach basically tells the gm to stuff it, and problems arise, as probably happened with darko and larry brown and dumars.

        • Dec 31, 20114:08 pm
          by Laser


          Injury problems?
          I like you, but you just invented that one. Stuckey got inserted into the starting lineup because the team couldn’t win games with an AI/Rip backcourt, and SOMEHOW Stuckey was our best option to run the point. Then again, this was before he was completely exposed.

          • Dec 31, 20117:37 pm
            by frankie d

            sorry, but your memory is a bit faulty.
            this is what happened.
            when AI came aboard, AI and rip started together.  then for a few games, they tried the small ball lineup with stuckey in the starting lineup with rip and AI.  then rip got hurt, stuckey took over his spot and the team went on a long winning streak that was snapped in portland.  
            i saw that game at the portland rose garden, and remembered that i was very disappointed that rip was not playing.  sheed was also out for that game.. 
            so when rip came back, the issue was whether he would start or come off the bench and that was when he was made a bench player.
            but stuckey initially got his spot in the backcourt because of rip’s injury.
            now maybe it would have happened anyway, but everything worked out very conveniently, in a sense.  they are winning, rip gets hurt, they continue winning and have a 7 game winning streak.  
            very easy to keep stuckey in the starting line-up under those circumstances.

        • Dec 31, 20115:03 pm
          by Max


          Irving is the the only rookie starting right now so plenty of high lottery picks are coming off the bench and some are not getting minutes so your notion of how the league works seems pretty off.
          Also, Joe traded Chauncey, not to gift Stuckey the PG position as you said, but because, as he said, he had seen enough.  The fact is that the Pistons were title contenders from the day of the Rasheed Wallace trade till the time he declined.  Dumars was quoted, during the heart of their great run, on the topic of when he would break up the team and his answer was that he would do so when his bigs could no longer dominate.  The Chauncey trade was a signal that Joe had given up on that entire group in terms of thinking they could still win a ring and I can attest that their bigs had declined and could no longer dominate.
          The trade was also motivated by Billups approaching Dumars and telling him that he wanted to finish his career in Denver.  Now, throughout the entire Davidson era from what I remember, any time a player showed that he wanted out, he was gone.
          The trade which accommodated Billups request and fell in line with the Davidson culture,  was both a home run swing that whiffed regarding the short term and the notions that AI could improve the team by making them less predictable and that he might be just a better player and a move to clear a large amount of cap space in the long term.  In the short term, AI was coming off arguably his best statistically seasons, and this is my view, because he was scoring in the top 5 and putting up the best assist numbers of his career while playing with Melo.   Obviously, he was a disaster.  In the long term, they did clear lots of cap space, but there was really no one better to use it on the BG and Charlie V so they probably should have just kept their money, but everyone always forgets when criticizing contracts that salaries are not just capped but floored and you have to spend your money on someone.  There were no true studs available that summer which was probably the reason the Pistons were one of the only teams with cap space.  I never liked the BG signing, thinking they should have someone used the cap space to pull a trade, and both he and Charlie V have been woefully disappointing so far.
          This is all to say that the Billups trade was in every respect a rebuilding move in general and not one that centered around Stuckiey.

          • Dec 31, 20118:56 pm
            by frankie d

            first, a little reading comprehension test is in order for you.
            who said anything about “starting”?
            i said “playing” young players, not necessarily starting them.  and the record is pretty clear.  lottery picks get a shot at playing and they typically have to show that they CANNOT play, rather than prove that they can.
            don’t know why you would want to twist my words other than a failure to understand plain english.
            i won’t go through the entire AI fiasco other than to say that history has shown that it was a horrendous move.   and if you don’t think that stuckey’s presence and performance in the playoffs the year previous had anything to do with joe d trading chauncey, well, that is your perogative, but it is plain as day to anyone who watched events unfold.
            also, i watched lots of denver BB the year before AI was traded to detroit.  i live in portland, had league pass and 3 tvs and dvrs.  i have also been a big melo fan, so i watched them as much as i could.
            it was clear that AI had lost a step or two to anyone who watched him regularly.  he just wasn’t getting into the lane the way he had previously and wasn’t able to get separation from defenders to get his mid-range jumpers off.   again, that was clear, if you watched him play, regardless of what certain stats may have indictated.  additionally, in the playoffs, his free throw attempts had gone down dramatically.  there had been an incident between AI and an official and rumor was that the rest of the league’s officials had started to take it out on AI.  and if AI could not get to the line at crunch time, his value was greatly diminished.
            essentially, anyone with half a brain who had watched lots of denver BB   knew that he was washed up and denver was trying to find a sucker who was going to take AI off of their hands.  joe d was that sucker.
            i love the whole, “it was a good move in theory, so even though it didn’t work out, it was a smart thing to do…” argument.
            what a crock!  if it didn’t work out, it has been proven to be a dumb move.  end of story.  horrible move,  other moves made subsequent to it and as a result of it have also been horrible, and the franchise is trying to dig its way out of that hole now. 
            finally, believing anything joe dumars says and accepting it as truth is hilarious.  considering the nonsense he has told fans and the circumstances he refuses to actually even discuss, i believe what i see, not what joe says.

          • Dec 31, 20119:15 pm
            by frankie d

            “Irving is the the only rookie starting right now so plenty of high lottery picks are coming off the bench and some are not getting minutes so your notion of how the league works seems pretty off.”
            which lottery picks are you referring to when you state that some are not getting minutes?  the only ones who are not playing is one who is injured and one who is still in europe?
            unless you have further information…

  • Dec 31, 20112:04 pm
    by Laser


    Yeah I’d actually love to see Macklin just thrown into the fire already. What do we have to lose?
    Max has been a dud, I have no idea what to do with Daye, Tayshaun doesn’t seem to fit with whatever this team is becoming. Hurm. Not sure how much more of this I’ll be watching. I might just get my fill of the Pistons from you guys.

  • Dec 31, 20112:52 pm
    by bg8


    i agree with #82. put the ball in bg’s hand and let him go to work

    he’s getting paid way too much to just stand in the corner

    • Dec 31, 20113:00 pm
      by tarsier


      Give it a few more games before deciding BG is a better 1 than Stuckey or Knight.

      • Dec 31, 20114:36 pm
        by bg8


        not really saying bg is a better pg than either stuckey or knight, just wanna see the ball in bg hands more often, whether its creating his own shot or creating for his teammate. i remember when he was in the bulls, he did a lot of one on one and thats how he got a lot of his points from. i haven’t seen them let bg do that when he became a pistons. they regulated him to a guy running off screen, which im not sure if thats what he does best, and a spot up shooting in the corner where he hardly ever gets the ball past to.

  • Dec 31, 20113:31 pm
    by Max


    OFF TOPIC:  Can anyone send me links or just e-mail me MP3s of any Pistons songs you might know?   I am compiling a chronological playlist of basketball related songs in general and as I’m a die hard Pistons fan who lives in NY, I probably am missing lots of them and would like to highlight the Pistons more.  I can’t even find the song that was on the video for the 90 championship and I don’t want to go to the trouble of buying the video and converting it to a mp3.  I’m also looking for a Tayshaun Prince song I heard once.  Any help is appreciated.

  • Dec 31, 20114:45 pm
    by flip


    I could list 100 peculiar observations just on the Pistons alone.

  • Jan 1, 201210:50 am
    by Max


    @Frankie D……..I wasn’t being literal about not getting any minutes at all but when Biyombo plays 5 minutes; to me, that’s not getting minutes.
    Third pick, Enes Kanter, is getting 15 minutes a game.  If Brandon Knight was getting 15 minutes a game; I would feel like he was barely getting minutes and wasn’t really getting a chance.
    This was about whether Frank is playing the youngsters enough and if you are objective about it, he is playing the youngsters as much as any coach.   Knight only trails Irving in minutes so far this season for a rookie and Monroe, Jerebko and yes, Stuckey are young so 4 out of their 6 top rotation players are very young players and Ben Gordon is agewise in his prime.  The charge is invalid.

    • Jan 1, 20123:28 pm
      by frankie d


      max wrote:
      “…I wasn’t being literal about not getting any minutes at all but when Biyombo plays 5 minutes; to me, that’s not getting minutes.”
      oh, so that means that you really didn’t mean what you wrote.  there is an easy way to solve a misunderstanding that results from such a course…write what you mean, qualify otherwise categorical statements and use words that correctly convey what you are attempting to communicate.
      i certainly cannot read your mind and figure out that what you wrote is really not what you meant. 

      second, i don’t know what “charge” you are referring to, as it relates to knight and frank.
      i mentioned the manner in which he had handled macklin.  i said nothing about knight. and the facts are what they are regarding macklin and you have not addressed that.
      and you have also conceded that i was correct regarding high lottery picks being an exception to the rule regarding rookies and young players not playing.  
      i did not write anything regarding frank and the playing time of young players other than what i wrote about macklin.
      what “charge” are you referring to?

  • Jan 2, 201212:43 am
    by Ryan M


    man frankie d chill out you have a lot of valid info in your posts that make for a good read but get some thicker skin

    • Jan 2, 20125:09 am
      by frankie d


      @ryan m
      you know nothing about me.  no idea as to how “chill” i am or am not or how thick or trhin my skin is.
      i would suggest that you  spend more time watching video and less time critiaquing other posters.

  • Jan 2, 20123:58 pm
    by Max


    Macklin is a second round pick who might not ever play meaningful minutes and as a second round pick, he should just be not top have been cut before the season started at his point.
    Don’t know how a discussion of lottery picks could touch on the Macklin situation at all.
    Further, I wasn’t conceding anything and don’t care about the semantics of an argument with you.   If you think five minutes is really getting minutes and not just garbage time, that is your prerogative since you like using the word so much.
    Also, whether AI had lost a step in DEN or not, he had plenty of steps to lose while still being great………….I watched him plenty too and I think he’d been playing the best team ball of his career and the stats overwhelmingly reflect it as he was putting up the highest assists and was still in the top 5 in scoring without the absurd usage rate he had in Phil.  I’ll admit that part of the reason I would feel this way was that I was never really an AI fan as I thought he chased Stack and Larry Hughes out of Philly both, because he was of the most selfish sort and because he refused to play his natural position.  At PG, AI might have actually been a decent player but at SG he was always a defensive liability and the one year they got to the finals was based on surrounding him with greats defenders and not worrying about anyone else scoring.   However, in Denver, he actually looked like a decent teammate and while that spoke to some growing maturity, the nights of daily excessive drinking and gambling are what really led to his downfall and not “losing a step”.

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