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Pistons 5-on-5 on ESPN

Patrick, Graham and I join Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com, Zach Harper of Daily Dime Live and Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball for what was apparently a 6-on-5 about the Pistons. I guess there was just a surplus of people who wanted to talk about Detroit.

If you’re an ESPN Insider, I highly recommend John Hollinger’s Pistons profiles, which preceded the roundtable.

As far as the 5-on-5, best line was by Graham:

Richard Hamilton, who seemed to lead the team only in rebellion

Best point was by Patrick:

When he came to Detroit, Gordon’s production immediately fell and excuses became rampant. Everything from injuries to coaching to sharing the 2-guard spot with Rip Hamilton were used to explain away is poor play. Hamilton is finally gone, and this might be Gordon’s last chance to prove he’s a starting-caliber player.

Best representation of the Pistons’ relevance nationally was by Harper:

Let me be completely honest with you. I watch an obscene amount of basketball. You could even say it’s an unhealthy amount. I watch over 1,000 regular-season games per season and rarely miss a game for most teams. I had no idea Ben Wallace was still in the NBA.

Here were the questions. I’d love to read you answers in the comments.

1. For which Pistons player is the 2011-12 season most important?

2. Who is the most intriguing player on the Pistons’ roster?

3. What’s the most surprising take in Hollinger’s Pistons profiles?

4. Based on Hollinger’s profiles, what do the Pistons need most?

5. Will a shortened season help or hurt the Pistons?

25 Comments

  • Dec 13, 20114:37 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    1) If Dumars plays hardball resulting in Stuckey signing a QO, he is the obvious choice. Otherwise, Gordon and Villanueva who finally have a chance to produce under a coach with a bit more cachet. If they flop again this year, they can be written off as complete busts, maybe even by the likes of jodi jezz.

    2) Far and away Brandon Knight. Monroe is the most promising piece. And Stuckey is pretty intriguing too because he perpetually seems close to turning a corner. But most die hard Pistons fans have by now come to accept that he will probably continue to seem that way until he either leaves Detroit or starts to hit his decline in 5-10 years. Knight, on the other hand, could be anywhere from a Jarret Jack to a rich man’s Billups.

    3) N/A, not an insider. 

    4) N/A, not an insider.

    5) Hurt. They are not going far this year anyway. But with yet another coaching change, the return of Jerebko, hopefully the change in role of Daye, the addition of Knight (and maybe even Macklin) into the rotation, the Pistons could really use a longer training camp in particular to figure things out and determine the values of their players. Disclaimer: if Dumars pulls his head out of his ass, he could use the shortening to his advantage by dealing Prince, Bynum, or any other asset (maybe Stuckey) that is superfluous to the Pistons’ rotation to a contending team that really needs another piece but couldn’t address that in a compressed free agency. Joe, the ship on being good now has sailed. Focus on the future.

  • Dec 13, 20114:57 pm
    by Ryan

    Reply

    1) Daye’s got time, but he’s had all this talk of wanting to be a leader in the off-season.  If he doesn’t step up now, he might go the dispirited Kwame route and just muddle through a few more years.  Of course, he’s still young and has time, so the real answer would have to be a Gordon/Villanueva tie.

    2) Vernon Macklin – I would say everyone on this roster outside of Singler and Macklin are pretty much known quantities.  BG needs to step up in an increased role, Daye is eager to show growth and leadership, and Knight is new to the league, but the Pistons need to continue their winning streak on draft picks with size (Jonas, G-Mo) and all he has to beat, really, is Wilcox’ example.

    5) Help – if we shift the goal posts in the sort of direction Charles Barkley deplores.  The less time they have to figure out their offense and get comfortable, the greater the lottery pick is likely to be in a 2012 class that’s supposed to be loaded.

  • Dec 13, 20115:21 pm
    by Murph

    Reply

    Is this a shameless ploy to try to get us to subscribe to ESPN’s Insider?

  • Dec 13, 20115:26 pm
    by Trever

    Reply

    1.  Greg Monroe
    2. JJ.   Not only I want to see if he’s back to where he was, but if he has improved his strength.
    3. If you didn’t know Ben Wallace was playing and you watch over a 1000 games, then I think you must have a mental disability.
    4. An Identity and Heart
    5.  Help their record, hurt their development.

  • Dec 13, 20115:27 pm
    by alex

    Reply

    1. It’s got to be Ben Gordon.  It’s put up or shut up time.  Is he the offensive power house we saw on the bulls or has he truly been reduced to the mediocre player we’ve seen the past 2 seasons?  I for one still have faith in him, but this is his last shot.  I think it’s more likely we amnesty him rather than Charlie V if he has another poor year because of the amount we are paying him.
    2. Jonas Jerebko.  Is he an Anderson Verajo (sp) clone that has a better jumpshot?  Is he going to morph into a Louis Scola down the road becoming a legit 15 and 10 powerforward?  Or was his first season just a fluke, the result of both his hustle while being on a poor team?
    3. Didn’t read it.
    4. The Pistons need a defensive anchor in the middle.  I think Monroe will be a good defensive player, but never the rim protector or help defender that’s needed to move the pistons into an elite style of play.  Other answer, depth.  If we sign stuckey, I like the starting lineup of stuckey, gordon, prince, jerebko and monroe.  It’s good enough to be a low seed playoff team in the east.  However, our depth is severely lacking.  We are very small in the backcourt and our backup bigs and small forwards have serious defensive weaknesses.
    5. In a way, it’s trial by fire.  I personally think it’s the best way to learn.  But honestly, we aren’t winning anything this year.  It will be a win for this team to get to the playoffs.  We really need player development in Monroe, Jerebko, Daye and Knight and to see if there’s a reason to keep Gordon and Charlie V.  A shortened season won’t help or hurt either of those.

  • Dec 13, 20116:19 pm
    by D_S_V

    Reply

    I think Hollinger makes an important point here pertaining to Stuckey playing the 2:

    “That’s still better than having him shoot from outside. Stuckey made 26 3-pointers the entire season and shot 36.6 percent on 2s beyond 10 feet. Opponents routinely conceded the shot to play him for the drive. The good news is his high free throw rate and solid stroke at the line (86.1 percent) still gave him a strong true shooting percentage. However, he’ll be a difficult player to use off the ball until or unless his shooting improves.”

    • Dec 13, 20116:43 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Hypothetical ideas regarding players are fine, but the truth is that we have seen Stuckey play the 2 before and it is easily were he has thrived the most.  If you remember how he played as players started to go down two years ago, Stuckey was electric and scoring around 25 points a game when he started next to Will Bynum.

  • Dec 13, 20116:30 pm
    by Todd

    Reply

    Sorry to go off of the 5 that you list here, but I guess the biggest issue I have with the Pistons roster in its present iteration, is quickly surmised in the Hollinger profiles – LACK OF ATHLETICISM! It seemed like the recurring theme in the profiles was that the Pistons have either signed or selected under-sized or b level athletes for the positions they play. Now, if this was the 1970′s, 80′s, or even parts of the 1990′s we might be able to get away with that. However, with the breakneck pace of the NBA and the rules that protect quick slashers and scorers, the Pistons are doomed to mediocrity at best!

  • Dec 13, 20116:35 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    1. stuckey – its when he’s going to decide if he’s going to grow up or not, play to his strengths, and play within himself (stop jacking mid range jumpshots)  2. Knight – can he pass, can he get ‘it’ quickly, is he a Calipari caliber pg? 4. Andre Drummond  5. Hopefully the shortened season, all the blockbuster moves and draft picks other teams have made, and us losing TMac (best pg on team last year) will help us get Andre Drummond

  • Dec 13, 20116:39 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    I think this guy Hollinger is a complete idiot…He didn’t even consider Gordon’s lack of minutes as a legit reason why his PPG has decreased…Under the Kuester staff Gordon was playing the lowest minutes since his rookie year…

    • Dec 13, 20116:47 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Very true……if you are a Pistons fan who has been paying attention, you can remember the nights when he got a decent amount of shots up and was able to get into a rhythm.   Gordon never claimed to be able to do much with 2-3 shots a half.   I feel like more than the times he has exploded for the Pistons have come when someone suddenly had to leave the game and he got unexpected good minutes.

    • Dec 14, 201112:41 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      So how do you explain his points per minute hitting such a sharp decline? And the decline in his efficiency. I think every Pistons fan would have been fine with Gordon’s production being dialed down to match his minutes. And given the poor play of Rip, Gordon would have gotten more minutes if he was producing.

  • Dec 13, 20116:58 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    comment from outer space: Greg Monroe is the best rebounder on this team. That means we are in trouble on the boards. Everybody is going to have to go to the glass this year on the defensive end.

    Knight has a sweet shot. he is going to get minutes. Maybe Joe will see the light and trade Ben Gordon at the trade deadline (when is the trade deadline in this shortened season?)

    • Dec 13, 20119:51 pm
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      I totally agree we are in trouble and i will go out on a limb and say we will be fighting the cavs for last spot in the central division. Due to our lack of rebounding, perimeter defense, interior defense, outside shooting, low post scoring, killer instinct (i think you get the point) the final standings will end up as:

      Chicago
      Indiana
      Milwaukee
      Cleveland
      Detroit

       
      We are looking at a good lottery pick. Heck i say we trade Stuckey and get another 1st rounder if we can. We could draft our future center and shooting guard and the amnesty either Gordon or CV and be players in next seasons free agency. Thoughts?

      • Dec 14, 20117:51 am
        by detroitpcb

        Reply

        1. Chicago

        2. Indiana

        3. Milwaukee

        4. Detroit

        5. Cleveland

        no way Cleveland finishes ahead of us    

      • Dec 14, 20113:06 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Being on the floor is not the same thing as getting up shots.  The coach or PG have to call your number.  Gordon is a volume shooter who needs to get himself above 10 shots a game to be effective.

  • Dec 13, 20117:43 pm
    by Youssif

    Reply

    1. Stuckey – Contract year, needs to prove to other teams for next summer whether he has the talent and ability to start on a good team. Either that or play his way into boosted trade value. Regardless, this season for him is just as important for the Pistons (which matters to us more) as it is for his own interests.

    2. Jonas – Had a great rookie season, is a 6-10 forward who hustles hard, can shoot the 3, and crash the boards. He’s only had one year in the league, yet people still talk more about Daye than him as a prospect with potential despite the fact that JJ looked better his rookie year than Daye looked his second year. I understand that Daye has intriguing potential, but in terms of pure production, more should be said of JJ.

    But… I still like Will Bynum. If Stuckey walks, I’m intrigued to see his output with starter’s minutes. 

    5. Better in terms of the variance factor brought up in the 5-on-5, worse in terms of player development. But if they squeak into the playoffs somehow due to the shortened season, I’d take 4 games of playoff experience (at least) over 16 garbage regular season games. So most likely it’s worse, but with the potential to be great for them.

  • Dec 13, 20118:08 pm
    by Domnick

    Reply

    1. For which Pistons player is the 2011-12 season most important?
    Ben Gordon…. i believe he can show what he can do right now since he is the starting guard… and a new environment will make him back to star calibre…. i still believe that he can contribute well with more minutes (like 30MPG during his Bulls Stint)… so give him more minutes…. thats the secret!

    2. Who is the most intriguing player on the Pistons’ roster?
    Brandon Knight… i watched several videos on him but… he’s not much like John Wall or Derrick Rose or even Tyreke… but he’s got better shooting than John Wall…. so i’m really thrilled to see what he can do… as a point guard.. i think he will do several mistakes.. but i would expect him to develop this season off the bench… or a starter if Stuckey won’t be back…

    3. What’s the most surprising take in Hollinger’s Pistons profiles?
    n/a sorry

    4. Based on Hollinger’s profiles, what do the Pistons need most?
    i didn’t read Hollinger at all but what do the pistons need most is a good PF/C… with a good post up game…. like Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson…

    5. Will a shortened season help or hurt the Pistons?
    I think we have an advantage.. and it will depend on the schedule… the opponents we are going to play.. but nonetheless… im positive about the Pistons chances and with a good roster pieces.. then we will be on the playoffs!… but i need to see improvements first!

  • Dec 13, 201111:24 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    1 Ben Gordon needs to show something this season because as of now he’s a paid like an all-star but he’s too small, too slow and too unskilled to even be a starter. He was crap in Chicago too but he chucked up a enough shots to obscure that fact from many observers. Unless he can start hitting again to distract from his crap overall game his reputation is done. I’m betting he can’t and still pissed that Joe Dumars ever signed him.

    2 Jonas Jerebko-will he take the next step/Brandon Knight-is he a point guard/Tayshaun Prince-why did he come back, is he going to lead? It’ll be an interesting season and a positive one if these three can find good answers to these questions.

    3 I don’t read John Hollinger either but when I have his analysis has seemed pretty weak to me.
     
    4 Athleticism and commitment to defense are the biggest needs right now though leadership would also be very, very valuable. Actually check that the biggest need is for Joe Dumars to stop with this stupid notion of trying to make the playoffs this season. The team should treat this whole year like training camp using games to try out lineups learn plays and develop the team.

    5 The shortened season makes no difference.

  • Dec 14, 20111:31 am
    by Saul

    Reply

    1. Ben Gordon. I’m tempted to put Stuckey here but I’ll go with gordon. Ben had a phenomenal showing in the playoffs against Boston and got paid like a star. Now he seems like a shell of that player. Rip is gone, and a new coach who will have things organized and spelled out clearly mean Ben has no more excuses. Time for him to produce with steady minutes or fade away.

    2. He may be a rookie but it’s Brandon Knight. The kid wasn’t the greatest point guard in college, but he’s hardworking and has the IQ to learn point guard quickly. It’ll be interesting to see where he ranks among rookies at season’s end. Potentially a future star longterm for Detroit.

    3/4. I am not an insider so did not read the profiles. However, I did see the piece on Tay being a deadly inside shooter. Not sure that helps any more than usual, Tay is a veteran and likely doesn’t have an improving game to display. He’s all he’ll be at this point and so that stat from Hollinger doesn’t mean too much,

    5. Hurt. The Pistons have a lot of younger players who will need lots of playing time. Detroit can learn which youngsters are keepers and which ones can at least be used for trade assets. A shortened season makes gelling a young team together more difficult than it should be.

  • Dec 14, 20111:38 am
    by Saul

    Reply

    @gmehl1977: Last in the Central?? The Pistons should definitely beat out at least Cleveland. I think we can beat out the Bucks if all goes well, but (as much as it kills me to say this) the Pacers are a step above us right now too. That leaves Chicago at the top. So, the actual finish would be like this:

    Chicago
    Indiana
    Milwaukee
    Detroit
    Cleveland

    The Bucks are ahead of us based on the presence of Andrew Bogut. If he is injured again this season, I believe the Pistons can edge them out for third place. Indiana has too many assets to finish below second place, anything lower should be embarrassing for them. Give it a year or two and Detroit will be back to contending for 2nd or 3rd place consistently. Only if a monster trade happens or a young player explodes will Detroit exceed the year or two mark.

    • Dec 14, 20112:09 am
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      I don’t think i am over reacting to say that we will be fighting out for last with Cleveland. I don’t like it but if we do suck this season then with whomever we get in draft along with the amnesty of either Gordon or CV will have us back contending sooner rather than later. I wont be sad if we can manage a sign and trade for Stuckey either. I think this team needs to be built around Monroe, Knight, Jerebko and Daye. If we can snag Drummond in the draft and maybe get another 1st rounder than this team can take a similar path the OKC Thunder.

  • Dec 14, 201110:25 am
    by Chris

    Reply

    1. For which Pistons player is the 2011-12 season most important?
    Greg Monroe.  That’s not just for in terms of wins or losses, but his development will be critical toward signing free agents and working trades for players.

    2. Who is the most intriguing player on the Pistons’ roster?

    Some people have already decided that he can be no more than what he is, but I think it’s Stuckey.  The guy has such a combination of speed, size, and length that he could be a difference maker with his ballhandling ability.
    3. What’s the most surprising take in Hollinger’s Pistons profiles?
    Not an insider.

    4. Based on Hollinger’s profiles, what do the Pistons need most?
    Not an insider. 

    5. Will a shortened season help or hurt the Pistons?

    I think it hurts for 3 main reasons-

    1)  Lawrence Frank is bringing in new offensive and defensive systems.  To be realistic, it’s unlikely that he’s going to be able to have enough time that he’d like to devote to everything he’d want to teach.

    2)  There’s not going to be much time to practice.  Unless Frank adopts a policy of playing rookies before they earn spots, it’s unlikely that Knight, Daye, or Maclin (if he makes the team) will be able to push starters for minutes- barring injuries.

    3)  This team is thin on the front line.  With more games crammed into a shorter period, teams lacking depth could suffer.

  • Dec 14, 20112:06 pm
    by Jakob Eich

    Reply

    1. For which Pistons player is the 2011-12 season most important?
    There’s so many of them! I’d pick Daye, Gordon, and Villanueva! Daye, because he has to prove he can be Prince’s heir. He is popular with the fanbase and has all the tools to be a starter. This year he has to show he can deliver. Gordon, because of what was said in the column. There are no more excuses! He has an experienced coach at his side, and he is the definite starter on opening night. Villanueva, because he is pretty much a combination of Gordon and Daye. He needs to put it together, otherwise he won’t last in this league much longer.
    2. Who is the most intriguing player on the Pistons’ roster?
    It’s gotta be Knight. Some scouts say he has the potential to be one of the better guards in the league and even the second best PG in this year’s (weak) class. Other scouts talk about his frame. I hear he has great work ethic and loves playing basketball. I don’t need him to be a ROY, if he has an exciting season, and creates a great atmosphere I’ll be fine.
    5. Will a shortened season help or hurt the Pistons?

    Definitely hurt. We have a young team with new pieces, AND most importantly a new coach. It will take a while bfore the players will have his system down. I’m looking forward to analyzing it, seeing new tweaks and improvements every game. I predict a slow start to the season, and a finish that fills up hope.

  • Dec 15, 20113:40 pm
    by John

    Reply

    1. Daye – he needs to prove if he can be a rotation player or not. Stuckey is probably #2.

    2. Gordon – I think he never really knew what kuester wanted from him last year, it just seemed like he was lost on the court and had a lot of games where he forced a ton of shots and others where he took 2. Hopefully Frank gives him a more defined role.

    3. don’t have insider

    4. Its a toss up between another quality big, and also coaching, I think Frank is gonna work out but the last 3 years have me wary, and Gordon wasn’t the only player that looked lost over those seasons.

    5. I think it’ll help them, Frank’s nets teams always seem to puss the tempo a bit, and I think that fits the current roster better, they also get Jonas back and they needed an energy guy last year (bynum tends to be a bit of black hole some games) which could really impact their chances. 

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