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Austin Daye reminds everyone that he’s a NBA player for a reason

I was thoroughly impressed with the hustle of Walker Russell Jr. and Damien Wilkins in Wednesday’s loss to Miami. I think it really was the key to making the game close.

I’m just joking. After a visit from Joe Abunassar of Impact Basketball in Las Vegas (seriously, can this guy just be added to the coaching staff?), who he worked out with all summer, Austin Daye showed his full, tantalizing offensive repertoire, the one that made him such an intriguing prospect in the first place, the beautiful skillset that, despite how abysmally he’s played, keeps a vocal contingent of fans strongly in his corner. Daye scored 28 points in 30 minutes and only needed 18 shots to do it. He hit four of his eight 3-pointers.

For the first time this season, he didn’t pass up shots that he can make. He didn’t over-dribble. He didn’t shrink after the few mistakes he made. He played freely, effectively, confident and with energy. As a result, he played 30 minutes in a game for only the 10th time in his career. It’s no secret that Daye’s most dangerous weapon is his jump shot. When he was passing them up to dribble, he was hurting the team. Against Miami, he wasn’t passing them up and, as happens with all good shooters, they started going in. Then, surprise surprise, the defense adjusted, played him tighter and this gave him opportunities to put the ball on the floor, make a few nice passes and show off some other understated elements of his game.

The formula isn’t a difficult one. It’s unrealistic to expect 28 points per game from him, but it’s not unrealistic at all to expect him to play this well. Daye has the ability to be one of the league’s best shooters. Even in limited minutes last year, shooting 40 percent from three wasn’t an accident. He has a pure, natural shot, a quick release and the height to get it off against anyone. He has other offensive skills that are valuable situationally. He can dribble sometimes. He has a mid-range game. He has a nice, un-blockable floater that he can get off in the lane. It’s all dependent on the long-range jumper though. If that part of his game isn’t working, he’s not skilled enough in the other areas to be much of a factor on offense. But if the shot is falling, and with as good as his shot is, it usually should be falling, those more subtle skills he has suddenly make him a more dangerous player and a tougher cover.

Last season, Daye had some success against the Heat, but also made mistakes as a result of Miami’s size and strength on the perimeter. Tonight, that hardly fazed him. Miami didn’t play well and also played without Dwyane Wade. But LeBron James was still around as were Shane Battier and Mike Miller. All three of those guys are much stronger than Daye. All three are solid or better defensively. All three guarded Daye at times and weren’t shy about using their strength advantages to try and push him around.

I’ve seen Daye play well for the Pistons, but even in those moments, Daye’s physical limitations were still very apparent. He still shied away from contact, he still struggled when defenders resorted to clutch and grab tactics. This was the first time I’ve watched Daye in three seasons and didn’t get distracted by his physical strength disadvantages. This season, Daye’s body of work has been far more bad than good, but in a single night, he’s earned his way back into the rotation and for now, that’s enough.

Monroe attones

Monroe had a brutal performance (as did the entire team) against Oklahoma City. He was bothered by Oklahoma City’s strong interior defense and he missed several close-range shots. If he’s truly an All-Star level big man, he can’t miss shots like that, especially against a good team where opportunities around the basket are limited.

He was 8-for-14, he exploited Miami’s weak centers (apologies, Eddy Curry) and he grabbed 10 rebounds. He was back to the Monroe he’s been all season. But, he’s also still a work in progress. The Pistons had no answer for Chris Bosh, and at some point, the Pistons need Monroe to be able to at the very least make things tough for players like Bosh. He and the other Pistons bigs couldn’t do that tonight.

Monroe also had a good look from close range that would’ve given the Pistons the lead in the final minute. He didn’t make it. That’s OK, but the Pistons are also counting on him to be the focal point of the offense, so at some point those are shots he’s going to be relied on to make. For now, it’s progress enough for him to simply bounce back from his worst performance with another strong one.

Wilkins starts for Prince

Tayshaun Prince is still a solid veteran capable of occasional good performances. Much was made of the Pistons re-signing him long-term largely for his intangible qualities — intelligence, leadership, defense, etc. I don’t agree with the signing, but I also don’t disagree with the sentiment. Rebuilding teams that don’t pay any attention at all to maturity, leadership and intangibles in the locker room end up as the Washington Wizards. No one wants that.

My beef though, is that Wilkins essentially showed tonight why the Prince signing was unnecessary. Is Wilkins is good a player as Prince? No. But can he deliver intangible qualities like toughness, defense, intelligence, maturity and being a good teammate for a fraction of the cost? His performance against Miami in 34 minutes gave a resounding ‘yes.’ Wilkins (and Rodney Stuckey, Daye and Jonas Jerebko in more limited turns) did about all a defensive player can do against LeBron James, made things difficult for him. He hustled, played with toughness and played with energy. He didn’t play perfectly — he probably should’ve passed on a couple of his 3-point attempts and he turned it over three times. But he gave decent enough minutes and his energy was a nice compliment to the young players.

The reasons Prince was brought back were valid and justifiable ones. The Pistons just could’ve got those qualities for a much cheaper price.

“It ain’t the same”

A reporter asked Ben Wallace after the game if it was good to hear just a bit of cheers and fans yelling “DEEEEETROIT BAAASKETBALL” for one of the first times this season. Laughing, Wallace responded with the above quote. He’s right — the comparison to the energy of the Palace right now to the Palace during Wallace’s prime years is ridiculous to think about.

But for this team, right now, this is as good as it gets. And for this team, tonight’s game was entertaining. It was fun to see Daye, Knight and Monroe as the team’s driving forces. It was fun to see the team have a chance to win it. It was fun to see Monroe as the guy who got the ball down one in the closing seconds. It doesn’t matter so much that the team lost. What matters is that the young players are asserting themselves and the veteran players are content to let them do that. Even if the results are still a bad team on the court, it’s a positive development compared to last season.

117 Comments

  • Jan 25, 201210:59 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Daye was GREAT tonight. Hit huge shot after huge shot, rebounded well for a SF, had some big assists, and made some great defensive play on LBJ.

    Great to see, and hopefully they start him next game, and let him build off of this, instead of destroying his confidence by starting Tay again for no reason.

    Also good to see that this came after a practice yesterday. Which means Frank might be able to get through to this team if given enough practice time with them.

    • Jan 25, 201211:12 pm
      by Daye and Knight

      Reply

      I would love to see what Daye could do with starters minutes, but after signing Tayshaun for 4 years I’m not sure its the route the team is ready to go. Hopefully after march 1st, a contender is willing to trade for Prince and we get some kind of compensation and see what we have in Daye, Knight and Monroe just to get a glimpse of the future over the last couple of week of the season. I wanted us to use our draft pick on Barnes and try grabbing a big man through free agency (Robin Lopez maybe) but if Daye can perform like this regularly then I wouldn’t mind not drafting Barnes. Also just a side note Javele and Brook are both going to be restricted free agents as well…though wishing for either of them are a bit of a reach

      • Jan 26, 20129:04 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        The Pistons won’t have cap room to pursue either guy. I assume both will ask for contracts starting around what Deandre Jordan got.

        • Jan 26, 20124:11 pm
          by dandresden

          Reply

          wait arent we rebuilding? how can we be capped out?

          • Jan 26, 20124:25 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Excuse me. That should’ve read “retooling while remaining competitive.”

          • Jan 27, 20122:41 pm
            by Laser

            Ugh yeah it’s the biggest crock of shit I ever saw. We’re closer to the tax line than the cap line, and every contract on our books was put there by Joe. Before the season, Joe says he’s happy with the team and hopes to make the playoffs, all he’d like to do is add one big man. Same sorry old bullshit…
             
            Then we start losing games at a historical clip, and FINALLY it dawns on the emperor that he’s BUCK FUCKING NAKED. But of course he’s got some stock bullshit about “we need time to restock the talent base” and “I know what kind of players this team needs.” As if he didn’t fucking put this team together himself. A little accountability would go a very long way with me.

  • Jan 25, 201211:14 pm
    by Alex

    Reply

    Detroit needs to put Daye in the starting 5 and live with his growing pains instead of benching him when he is off; it was a mistake signing Prince because that might never happen once Tay comes back.

    • Jan 26, 20129:05 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      He wasn’t “off.” He was shooting 5 percent from 3-point range coming into the game and 20 percent overall. I get that shooters need to shoot through slumps, but that wasn’t your average shooting slump.

      • Jan 27, 20122:46 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        Sure, but who drafts a project small forward in the middle of the first round and gives them NO TLC WHATSOEVER for 2+ seasons?? When there were contributors and potential difference makers (Ty Lawson) available at positions of need (PG) if your organization had a clue how to evaluate talent?
         
        Daye is a special case. He’s like a young child adopted and left to fend for himself and kill his own food.

  • Jan 25, 201211:28 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    That 5 at the end, Knight, Stuckey, Daye, JJ, Monroe should be starting for the rest of the season. THAT is our young core, and looked to be developing some great chemistry together. Why wouldn’t they start them in this miserable season?

    Is Tayshauns contract really worth jeopardizing the future of the franchise, by holding these young guys back from starting together? No way. If they can bench CV completely, they can bring Tay off the bench, where he’s orobably best served anyways at this point in his career.

    Great building block game, but if they go right back to Tayshaun and Wallace to start next game, it might be all for nothing. Time to build on it right now. This team doesn’t have a margin for error. If they see chemistry building with their young core, they have to ride it out asap.

    • Jan 26, 20129:08 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      If that group plays as well and as hard as they did, who starts/finishes games will take care of itself.

    • Jan 26, 201211:24 am
      by Tim

      Reply

      I agree that this is the most promising lineup going forward.  Sick of seeing minutes wasted on BG (who has been much better this year) and would like to see a situation where he, tay and cv are all coming off the bench.  Thats a lot of $ for a subpar bench though.

  • Jan 25, 201211:43 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    The blurb about getting the benefit of Tayshaun’s intangible qualities is a very valid one. I could give a FUCK if we don’t end up with the exact veteran Joe wants most; he hasn’t afforded himself that luxury. 7-8 million is too much to pay for veteran leadership on the perimeter on any salary-conscious team, let alone one with other options at the position and almost nothing in terms of tradeable assets.
     
    That said, letting Prince walk wouldn’t have been prudent either. This was one of many unfavorable choices Joe left himself with by being the worst. And the bottom line is that I don’t think it’s too late. Tayshaun has a lot to offer plenty of teams in the league, and the time to ship him is now (or, at least by next year’s trade deadline). He may not fetch a king’s ransom, but I bet we could get a worthwhile return from a team with serious championship aspirations and a 2-3 or so year window.

    • Jan 26, 201212:33 am
      by frankie d

      Reply

      laser is 100% correct.
      unfortunately, joe d does not seem to be in agreement and it looks like tay will be here forever.  to the detriment of the team long term.
      easily, prince would command a first round choice, plus…if joe was willing to trade him.
      he is blind to the need to get rid of him, however, and this fan is simply getting accustomed to seeing him for the duration.
      again, unfortunately. 
      veteran leadership?
      it doesn’t get any better than ben.  heck, i’d even sign ben for another year, if i wanted that kind of influence on the team.  make him a player/assistant coach.
      but the idea of paying someone 8 million, while stunting the growth of your young players, just for the sake of “veteran leadereship” is incredibly dumb.
      but we are used to that…

      • Jan 26, 20129:07 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Laser is correct?? He just totally hijacked my point in the post! And threw in some swear words!

        • Jan 26, 20123:53 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          @ patrick:
          laser was a bit more colorful and emphatic, but yes, he “borrowed” your points.  again, with a bit more emphasis!

          • Jan 26, 20124:05 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            LOL, lesson learned. I gotta mix more style in with the substance to get people’s attention.

        • Jan 27, 20122:57 pm
          by Laser

          Reply

          @Hayes: I used your point as a springboard, but my second paragraph was all about how it wasn’t a bad signing unto itself. You called it unnecessary. I actually agree with Joe in principle that Tayshaun is an asset, and we can’t exactly afford to just let our assets walk away.
           
          There’s been some sentiment around town and on this site that re-signing Tayshaun and Stuckey was a mistake, particularly for a rebuilding team. Bringing them back were not mistakes. I don’t understand Stuckey’s contract, but that’s secondary. The bottom line is that these guys have value. Aside from Ben Wallace, whose value is unique to this team because he wants to retire here, that leaves Knight, Monroe and Jerebko with value, and that’s about it. Gordon, Villanueva and Max are liabilities, Bynum is reasonably paid but that’s about it, Daye might have some incidental value because of his upside. But you don’t let 2/5 of your valuable players waltz.
           
          That said, you haven’t done yourself any favors if you just hold onto these guys because they make you feel comfortable and you have a patient owner who doesn’t know any better but to give you three more years to do what you should have been doing for the past three years.

    • Jan 26, 20121:47 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “I bet we could get a worthwhile return from a team with serious championship aspirations and a 2-3 or so year window”

      The problem is there are not very many such teams, there are quite a few players like Prince who hold value to such teams, and such teams often don’t have much by way of young tradable assets (basically just a late first rounder).

      • Jan 27, 20122:59 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        1) I don’t care how many teams fit that description, since we only have one Tayshaun. And I don’t think players with all of Tay’s positive qualities are that common.
         
        2) A late first rounder sounds good to me.

  • Jan 25, 201211:53 pm
    by Jay

    Reply

    Totally Agree ^^^^^^^^

    I love the fond memories that I have of Tay and Ben and all those wins the helped produce, but its time to start building the on court chemistry of our starting five of the future.

    • Jan 26, 201212:06 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I sincerely hope that the Pistons do not currently employ the “starting five of the future.”

      • Jan 26, 20122:48 am
        by Shane

        Reply

        I do just so we can be a top 3 lottery team :P I think that may be the best performance we will see this year from Daye (though he may somehow magically be a changed player)

      • Jan 26, 201210:04 am
        by Marvin Jones

        Reply

        He said “starting five for the season” not the future, if you’re going to put quotation marks on something at least put it on what the person actually said. geesh

        • Jan 26, 201210:15 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Read the comment again Marvin. Jay clearly wrote “starting five of the future.” Tarsier’s comment quoted him correctly.

          • Jan 26, 20121:14 pm
            by Marvin Jones

            Sorry, I thought he was replying to Mark’s comment

          • Jan 26, 20121:49 pm
            by tarsier

            were I replying to Mark’s comment, I would’ve hit the reply button on Mark’s comment, and my comment would be in a totally different location.

    • Jan 26, 20129:10 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yeah, agree with tarsier. They don’t have the starting five of the future. In fact, only Monroe and Knight are guys I’m comfortable calling future starters on a good team. Jerebko, Daye and Stuckey are all useful players, but I think the future of all three is filling certain roles off the bench. They could be very good bench players, but still bench players. That’s why I don’t think it matters too much if Daye/Jerebko, in particular, start. I want them both to get good minutes, but if they come off the bench and get 25+ minutes, I’m OK with that too.

      • Jan 26, 20121:10 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        i actually think that 5 man unit could be 5 of the first 6 on a good team.
        if you bring a decent big man in, someone who can rebound, bliock shots and just catch passes – say, someone like mcgee – it allows you to reconfigure the line up in a way that lets everyone play their proper roles.
        you’d have jj, monroe and said big man up front.
        knight starting at the point.  it wouldn’t matter if daye or stuckey started, though i’d prefer stuckey as a 6th man, simply because he can sub in for either the 1 or 2.
        that 6 man unit, imho, could be the core of a team that could win a couple of playoff rounds.  maybe not contend for a title without an upgrade at the 2 or maybe the 3, but i think it would be competitive.
        you’d have 3 scorers – knight, daye and monroe – and two defender/rebounder/dirty work players – in the starting unit, with a scorer coming off the bench.
        finding that kind of big man is not that tough – look at how SA has always cycled that kind of player, to have them play next to duncan – and with a high draft choice next year, an astute trade – tay, to a contender at the deadline – the team is not that far away.  
        most importantly, joe has to commit to a new approach.  one that does not tie the team down to its past.

        • Jan 26, 20121:53 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          They could be 5 of the first 6 on a really good team–if the 6th were a player like Dwight Howard or Lebron James.

          • Jan 26, 20122:59 pm
            by frankie d

            @ tarsier
            i disagree.  a big man with specific skills would bring that unit together, imho, and make it a lot more formidable.  
            if you look at the teams that have been successful and/or won titles over the last decade or so, certain elements are present.
            you need a big man who can score and get relatively easy points when needed.  you need big men who can provide good interior defense.  you need a wing scorer – either a 2 or a 3 who can get you guaranteed points every game, you need a point guard who can control temp and knock down 3 pointers and you need a wing defender who can at least slow down an opponents top wing scorer.  it also helps a lot if you have at least one bench scorer who can turn a game around with some well-timed points off the bench.
            those are some of the elements of a very good playoff team.  
            i have to admit i am not the biggest dwight howard fan.  defensively, he is obviously very good, but, imho, there are several other big men who do lots of the things he does.  now, he is a bit better rebounder than some of the other big men who block shots, and his quickness allows him to defend the pick and roll better than lots of the other top rebounders, so i get that he is a unique combination of skills and talents, especially defensively.  but offensively, he is below average and can easily be taken out of a game, with a smart defender.
            a title team doesn’t need a howard.  they just need someone who does the things howard does, defensively, even if they don’t do them quite as well.
            would i like to have him on my team? sure.  but i think you can acquire a reasonable facsimile of howard – without the espn hype – and function just as well, thank you.
            lebron?
            don’t get me started on lebron.  
            without the indulgence of the refs, lebron scores maybe 2/3 his points.
            he is a dominant wing defender who scores, with a lot of help from officials.  they ignore his travels, his charges and routinely put him on the line, when he needs to be bailed out.   there are lots of those guys – without the ref help, of course – maybe not quite as dominant a defender or scorer, but good enough to help teams win.
            the ’04 team showed that the collective talents of a quality team can overcome one or two “stars”. 
            dallas’ win showed that to still be true.
            i really like dirk and think he is a great player who has raised his game significantly over the years.  but dirk, essentially, an oversized wing scorer who is a weak defender and a mediocre rebounder, led a well-balanced, well-coached team to a title.  there wasn’t a lebron or a howard  or even a d-wade in sight. 
            so yea, i would never turn down a howard or lebron, but neither is necessary to win a title.
            btw, how many have they won?

          • Jan 26, 20124:25 pm
            by tarsier

            Just wow. There is a reason that Lebron and Howard are amazing. On Lebron’s count, yeah the occasional travel is missed. And more than for most players. But that’s just cuz he has the ball more than most players. A very, very low percentage of his buckets come on travels. He can just get really far on two steps (as in from beyond the arc to the basket). Does he get a lot of whistles? Yeah. That’s part of why he’s so good. he relentlessly attacks the basket and regularly has to be fouled to be slowed down. Stars get lots of foul calls. That’s why they become stars–because they are good at getting to the line.

            And Howard is a beast. There is not one big in the league I would rather have on offense. And on defense, there is not a single player I’d rather have. Who cares if he is a career 60% from the line? That means when the other team puts him on the line, he gets you 1.2 points per possession. If you follow advanced stats at all, that’s a very good possession. Just not so good for fantasy.

            There is a reason that both of these players have been on first or second tier contenders for years even with terrible players around them. They are that good. And the current makeup of the Pistons could not become a contender just by adding a decent big man a la Chandler, McGee, Nene, Jordan, or Dalembert. With Gasol, Gasol, Aldridge, Bynum, Bogut, or Horford, they would be a playoff team. But still far from a contender.

          • Jan 26, 20125:48 pm
            by frankie d

            didn’t you read what i wrote?
            i wrote that they could be a playoff team and maybe win a couple of rounds but would probably need an upgrade in order to win a title.
            sorry, but we just have to disagree on both howard and lebron and the nba star system.
            rodney stuckey relentlessly attacks the basket and on lots of plays where lebron or d-wade would be at the line, stuckey is picking his butt off the court trying to hustle down to get back on defense.
            he leads the league in “and 1′s” – last year and he still doesn’t get the calls.
            it seems like you want to ignore, for whatever reason, the nba’s star system, which everyone, including players and refs acknowledge.
            it’s a reality, it impacts games and effects careers.  
            AI became a washed up player once refs stopped putting him on the line.  
            if refs called every illegal pick on howard, and all of the under the basket stuff on him, he’d play 20 minutes a game.  in fact, he cost orlando quite a bit in the playoffs because they mysteriously started calling stuff that they normally would let go.  he was mystified, because he normally just plays through that stuff and never gets called on it.
            i’ve watched decades of nba basketball, and howard, though he is the best defensive big man in the league today is pitiful offensively.  his footwork is so elementary, any skilled defender who is allowed to guard him stops him.  which is why orlando hasn’t won anything with him.  he hasn’t improved his offensive game, and as a result, smart teams with time to prepare for orlando easily shut him doen.
            or have i missed all of those nba titles that howard has won?  all of those trips to the conference finals?  all of those trips to the nba finals?  
            i guess i must be living in an alternate universe.
            same thing applies with lebron.
            take away his superstar privilege and he probably scores 18 points a game.  absent the charity at the charity stripe, courtesy of refs, he is a streaky shooter who needs to get his points primarily in transition.
            it always amuses me when fans say, yea, he gets breaks from refs and he gets superstar calls, but it doesn’t really matter.
            really?
            yea, it does matter, because it makes every defender play him much differently as they try to adjust and make certain that he doesn’t get to the line.  they play him a bit looser, don’t bump him the way they would another player and generally give him a lot more space.  
            so the irony of nba life is there: the better players get even more of a break and therefore are allowed to perform at an even higher level than everyone else because no one can guard them in a normal fashion. athey can dominate even more.  they always remind me of spoiled kids who are allowed to run amok on a playground, while all the other kids are constrained by normal playground rules.  
            they have a grand old time and get to have fun at everyone else’s expense.
            is it fair?  of course not, but it is the way it is.
            sorry to burst your bubble and bring up nasty little realities that bring your heroes down to a human level.
            but that is nba life.

          • Jan 27, 20122:34 pm
            by tarsier

            you said
            “a title team doesn’t need a howard.  they just need someone who does the things howard does, defensively, even if they don’t do them quite as well”

            that’s what i was responding to

        • Jan 26, 20122:43 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          The Pistons don’t have Duncan though.

          • Jan 26, 20123:20 pm
            by frankie d

            duncan is a basketball player with certain skills.
            it kills me when fans elevate players to the level of gods or demi-gods as though they are possessed of unique, otherworldly talents that no one else possesses.
            duncan is thor!
            duncan is mr. fantastic!
            duncan is the incredible hulk!
            no, tim duncan is a big man who has a pretty rare combination of offensive skill, defensive awareness and commitment, and plain old high basketball IQ.
            those are talents that are present in other players, perhaps not to the level they are in duncan, but often the match is fairly close and the biggest difference is always the BB IQ.
            imho, a guy like monroe has lots of the same skills that duncan has, in a slightly smaller frame, and without a wee bit of his athleticism.
            the formula that SA used – skilled, smart big man who scores, complimented by a defensive-minded rebounder who takes the physical pressure off of the scoring big man – can be transferred to any number of other teams.  they just have to be smart enough to copy and emulate.
            that is what chicago did, and they successfully eclipsed the bad boys.  poppen and grant were direct descendants of rodman and salley.  better in some ways, not as good in others.  but chicago saw what detroit did with rodman and salley and quickly went out and got their own version.
            that is what good teams do.  study what works, see if you can emulate that formula and try as best you can, with what you have on hand.

  • Jan 26, 201212:05 am
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    I like Daye, but I think he would be better suited as our 6th man…He could be come off the bench for the SF and SG position and he could still get his 30mis per game…

    • Jan 26, 20129:11 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yep, that’s exactly how he was used last night.

    • Jan 26, 201211:27 am
      by Tim

      Reply

      except he cant.  because we have too many guards on this team.  Really, even with enough injuries to the guards to sign up walker from the D-league he couldnt get minutes at the 2.  It took tay not being available along with those injuries for him to see some time.  I do think that the pistons should think about hiring Joe A as some sort of consultant to work with daye, jj and others.

  • Jan 26, 201212:41 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Interesting fact for the day: All teams from the Central division apart from the pistons won today. Those 2 freethrows with 1.20 to go with us up by 3 by Brandon Knight were huge. If he makes both of them, then we are practically over the line. Still the loss keeps us in touch with the Wizards, Hornets and Bobcats for the leagues worst record…silver lining anyone!

    • Jan 26, 201212:43 am
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      Sorry I meant to say all teams from the central division won today

    • Jan 26, 20128:14 am
      by Tom Y.

      Reply

      Knight was thinking about Anthony Davis when he was shooting those.

  • Jan 26, 20124:51 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    I was just looking at the box scores for the game and realized we out rebounded Miami 43 to 26. I guess those turnovers will kill you every time.

  • Jan 26, 20128:10 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    and the refs putting lebron on the line evertime he missed a shot.

    • Jan 26, 20129:12 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      This is different from any other LeBron game how? Just something opposing teams have to contend with and expect.

      • Jan 26, 201211:30 am
        by Tim

        Reply

        this is correct.  bogus late whistles when his shot doesnt drop are par for course with lebron.  Now, sure, its not fair and its not in the rulebook, but the nba doesnt really officiate by their own rulebook (hand on the ball is part of the ball!).  Also, when JJ and Daye trapped miller, it clearly went off of miller’s foot  out of bounds.  

        Face it, star teams get favorable calls (that “foul” on chalmers) even outside their star players.  Now, if we could reduce our turnovers by a third…..

        sorry for the ramble

        • Jan 26, 20121:55 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Have you ever considered that players become stars because they are good at drawing fouls and not vice versa? =

          • Jan 26, 20121:56 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Correct

          • Jan 26, 20124:08 pm
            by frankie d

            what kind of skill does it take to lower your shoulder and barrel into a group of defenders and then walk to the free throw line?
            does it take any skill to stick your elbow out, crash it into a defender and flop?
            that is what he did yesterday at a crucial point and ended up on the line.
            i watched the game with a group of hardcore blazer fans and they all yelled bloody murder at the fact that he got to the line with such a blatant dive.
            he initiates contact, flops and gets 2 free throws.  and the thing about it is that he is NOT subtle or skillful at it.  he blatantly flops and dares the refs to break with the nba tradition of rewarding stars.
            that is what i see lebron do routinely.
            now, there are some guys who are good at drawing fouls.   certain players can carve out a career using that skill.  
            dantley was one of the best.  
            d-wade is pretty good at it also, even though he gets his share of “star” calls.  but he does know how to draw contact.  and he is strong enough to draw the contact and finish, which gives him lots of and -1′s.  stuckey is good at it also, though he’d score 30 points a game if the refs gave him the same consideration they give wade and lebron. 
            no, lebron is not someone who draws fouls because he is good at it.  he draws fouls because he is bigger and stronger than just about everyone else and is willing to plow into the lane, dish out the punishment and take the hit.  and the refs give  him the nba star call.  not a whole lot of skill in that.

          • Jan 26, 20124:18 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            I would argue that anyone who gets to the line a lot is good at getting to the line, regardless of the tactics used to do it.

          • Jan 26, 20124:33 pm
            by tarsier

            Does Lebron get some bad calls his way? For sure. More than most players? For sure. Does he get bad calls going against him? Again, absolutely. And again, more than most guys. When you are involved in so many high-contact plays, there will be a lot of good calls and bad calls going both ways. This is akin to the idea that Kobe is amazing at hitting game winners. There are so many attempts that you can remember lots going in. For James, there are so many bad calls both ways that you can remember his getting everything his way. But the fact is that he barrels to the basket so fast, that defenders can rarely set their feet and get the charge. They have to move to get in his way. And he takes many more elbows than he gives.

            Also, if what he does doesn’t take much talent, why doesn’t everyone do it? You could argue that the refs don’t give others the calls, but if you want to make that argument, you better have some real strong backing. More than “I remember seeing Lebron get several bad calls going his way and not as many for _________.”

            I’ll admit, while I am a Pistons fan, I am also a big time Lebron fan. And I am sure it makes me slightly biased. But it doesn’t change the merits of my argument. And if you are going to claim that the refs aren’t fair, the burden of proof will fall on you.

          • Jan 26, 20128:15 pm
            by frankie d

            the proof that refs aren’t fair?
            there is a guy sitting in a federal prison because he was a crooked nba ref.
            there were lots of issues that did not get investigated fully because of the plea deal struck, though donaghey strongly hinted that other matters were indeed shady.
            such as a series of phone calls to other refs just before games.
            one of the refs, for instance, that he was calling is still calling games.  
            other stars, including charles barkley, have flat out acknowledged the star system.
            frankly, i find it incredible that any nba fan would even dispute its existence.  it is what the league is based on.
            now, one can, imho, argue how much it effects players and games, but the idea that it does not exist seems to be so well-established as to be beyond controversy. 
            also, i haven’t seen too many times when lebron is has those calls go against him.  what does happen is that he ill occassionally not get a call when he charges into a defender – which usually looks like a clear offensive foul – and he is so accustomed to getting the call that he is incredulous.
            its a huge part of his game.
            jordan did it.
            kobe did it.
            shaq did it.
            d-wade did it and won a title averaging over 20 foul shots the last few games of the title series.
            none of those guys has the sense of entitlement that lebron has, and none of those guys depend on it so much.
            lebron is usually double dribbling or traveling or charging on a good percentage of his shot attempts.  the fact that all of that is overlooked and the he still gets to the line, is a huge part of his game and success.
            would he be an excellent player if he was officiated like everyone else?
            probably.  but we’ll never know, because he plays by other rules.

          • Jan 27, 20128:35 am
            by D_S_V

            Damn frankie d, as you say, it is crazy to completely ignore the fact that there is a star system, but you’re arguing close to the other end of the spectrum which is crazy also. So LeBron is at best a 20 ppg scorer without the officials? You just belittled the merit of LeBron, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, and Dirk all in one message board. Is Jordan next? Do any NBA players impress you, or are they all just milking the star system? I know the star system exists, and I was upset with a few calls during the game as well, but damn, your self assuredness is becoming a bit much to handle these days. If you’ve been an NBA fan for decades as you say, why not let that NBA wisdom show with your passionate comments, not this overwhelming sense of self assuredness…

          • Jan 27, 201212:12 pm
            by tarsier

            Right one betting ref means the refs aren’t fair. Come on. And I acknowledged stars get more bad calls going their way. But they get more going against them too. Seriously, objectively watch 10-20 games and tally every bad call that goes each way instead of just trying to remember a la Kobe’s game winning shots. The results will surprise you. And Barkley saying something proves about as little as si theoretically possible to prove. Come on, he Charles Barkley, he lives to say dumb stuff.

        • Jan 26, 20122:45 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          One thing though is that all those free throws by LBJ should have sealed the game for the Pistons but he had an uncharacteristically great night from the line.

          • Jan 26, 20128:17 pm
            by frankie d

            very true.  he made his shots.  detroit did not make their shots.  a big reason miami won.

  • Jan 26, 20128:40 am
    by ryan

    Reply

    I’m going on record as 1) not having any faith in Austin Daye ever developing and 2) being glad Tayshaun Prince is still here. I don’t agree with Joe Dumars on everything but I think keeping Prince was a good choice.

  • Jan 26, 20129:03 am
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    I skipped past the comments and slid down to throw my own comment on here, so I am unsure what was said above me – Other than ryan going on record to say Daye won’t develop and he is glad Prince is here.

    My observations from the game last night is this: it is amazing how much more ball movement there is when Tayshaun isn’t even in the building. Yes, there were a few times the offense got stagnate towards the end of the game and a shot was taken deep into the shotclock, but not nearly as much as games past. The ball wasn’t get stuck in Tay’s hands and the other 4 players on the court weren’t just standing there waiting for Tay to back his guy down to try to hook over him.

    I am going on the record as this: As soon as 3/1 comes around, I want Tayshaun traded for the best deal you can for him – doesn’t have to be equal talent - expiring deals and picks will do. I personally want the PG being the leader on this team and I think BK7 has more than enough ability to do that already in his early career.  

    • Jan 26, 201211:33 am
      by Tim

      Reply

      yeah, I noted that as well.  Ball movement was sooo much better with this squad last night.  not sure its all on tay, but it was Knight and Daye from the previous games.  This squad was clearly comfortable with each other, while I have seen tay cut right into the space a ball handler was driving to on multiple occasions this year.  I am really starting to question what tay (or BG for that matter) bring to this squad.

    • Jan 26, 20122:46 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      I’m glad Prince is here, hope Daye develops, but have very little faith that Daye will ever be as good as Prince is right now.

    • Jan 26, 20122:47 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      @Jeremy—You’d be an awful GM.

  • Jan 26, 201211:30 am
    by Mr.BlockedShot

    Reply

    Wow, too bad we didn´t get a win in last game, cos I think we deserved that. It was nice to see the team fightin til the end for the win. I have to say it was much more than an only watchable game. Unfortunatelly, in my opinion,  two late bad decissions by Knight (those two free throws missed in crunch time, most of all) and we were doomed. But it was there, we could even touch it with our fingertips, we missed a couple of shots on the inside we should had made and we could have won it. Anyway, it´s part of the learning. I think Knight is going to be an important part of this organization. What a curious thing about Daye after the game:most of fans asking for Dumars to ship him before the game (me included), however, after he put 28 points on the scoreboard, it seems a lot of people wondering why he´s not a starter o playing more minutes(me not included)…hehehe. We need eveybody to step up and given the fact we´re having so many injuries and family matter absences, it´s a must for us to have players contributing.

  • Jan 26, 201211:43 am
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    The Damian Wilkens you were discussing. Could that be the same Damian Wilkins who dropped the ball out of bounds for no apparent reason (certainly not the defense) down the stretch? That play as much as Knight’s missed free throws was what cost the game. Also the Wilkens who threw up five three pointers and missed four of them, which was clearly two too many. I like Wilkens, I thought he was a decent bench player in stretches with the Hawks last year. And he was respectable. But he is a spare part, not a veteran presence. Also it was nice to see Daye contribute. I don’t think he has to play out of his mind, but someone has to keep defences honest so they don’t pack the middle. That’s been the Pistons biggest problem so far this season and Daye is the centerpiece of that. So the team has no progressed to the point where they were at the middle of last season. Still that’s progress. Finally I will jump on my favorite hobby horse. I think Stuckey can be the starter on a championship calibre team, although not necessarily as its best player. But his struggles to date have been more a reflection of the calibre of the team around him. If Stuckey doesn’t foul out, the team wins that game last night. Of course, Stuckey’s fouling out was all on him, a couple of those fouls were not very smart. But the whole team is a work in progress and hopefully this game augers better things.

    • Jan 26, 201211:45 am
      by gordbrown

      Reply

      “now progressed’ not “no progressed. Sorry.

    • Jan 26, 201211:58 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Has there been a wide gulf between what Wilkins has produced this season vs. Prince? Is one worth $6 million more than the other? That was my only point. It didn’t have to be Wilkins necessarily, but you can certainly find veteran leadership/intangible qualities and comparable production for much cheaper than the Pistons paid to get it from Prince. I certainly wouldn’t invest long-term in Wilkins, but I wouldn’t in Prince either.

      • Jan 26, 20126:49 pm
        by dandresden

        Reply

        i completely agree with this point. What does Tayshaun do at this point in his career that makes him so much more valuable than a guy like wilkins? the more i think about it i think tayshaun got that contract on reputation alone, or because Caron Butler got inked to a similar terrible contract a little bit before Tayshauns deal.

  • Jan 26, 20122:57 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    There is an enormous gulf and while someone was earlier complaining about Tay’s hookshot–that shot was and continues to be the highest pct shot and play the Pistons have been able to run for several years now.   He actually led the league in FG% at the rim last year and he has one of the highest basketball IQs in the entire league. He is the only player on the squad who can fill in for everyone’s deficiencies and play any given role on a given night.
    Does Wilkins score and defend in the post, does he make great passes, is he elite year in and year out at not turning the ball over, does he block shots inside on big men, does he bring the ball up and run the offense at times and does he shoot his threes as productively?   The answer is an emphatic “no” to all of the questions.
    Prince is still arguably the best player on this team and definitely the most complete; I would rank them 1A. Monroe, 1B. Stuckey, 1C Prince.

    • Jan 26, 20123:14 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “He is the only player on the squad who can fill in for everyone’s deficiencies and play any given role on a given night.”

      Who fills in for his deficiencies? Namely, that when he’s dominating the ball, it doesn’t move, the player movement stops as well.

      “does he bring the ball up and run the offense at times”

      I would argue Prince should not ever be doing this. I know he doesn’t turn it over, but him “running the offense” is essentially him backing his man down for 21 seconds and getting off a contested mid-range shot of some sort.

      “Prince is still arguably the best player on this team”

      There is no way to argue that Prince has been the best player on this team this season. It’s not even close. I wouldn’t even argue that he was the best player on the team last season, although a more credible case could be made for that. But this season? Please.

      “1A. Monroe, 1B. Stuckey, 1C Prince.”

      Are you serious? Based on how they’ve played this season? One of those three players has produced at about top five for his position offensively in the league. One has missed five games and his shooting 38 percent in the games he’s played in. Another player was playing on one leg for most of the season and until that little three game stretch that made his numbers slightly more respectable, he was having a brutal season.

      Any time your alleged best player averages about a third of the free throw attempts per game that Tyler Hansbrough does, you’re alleged best player is not worth $7 million per year.

      • Jan 26, 20126:51 pm
        by dandresden

        Reply

        yessssssssiirr!

    • Jan 26, 20128:09 pm
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      @Max Tay might be the best player we have but he is not making any of the other players we have on the team any better either. Last time i check basketball is a team sport and i assume it still is. What i think everyone is trying to say is that for what he is being paid (no matter how good he is) Tay’s production could be semi-filled by a vet on a minimum contract and his money spent elsewhere. Yes he does cover a lot of players deficiencies but at the end of the day we are still in rebuilding mode and we need to get something for him while he is at least semi-productive.

      When Dumars first took over he used the model of signing cheap vets that filled roles and then went out and signed players that other GMs had given up on (Billups & Rip) to modest deals. Those 2 who joined B.Wallace and then later the Rasheed trade led to a decade of dominance. Point is that Joe started out by buying low to clean up the mess that he took over and then through a series of good decisions (signing Billups & Rip) and luck (Wallace trade) is the model he should go with again and unfortunately he hasn’t gone down that path again. I think Joe’s biggest problem is that initially he set the bar so high for himself that we all expected him to be that good year in year out where logically that is not possible. I don’t know what % of luck Joe had building that championship team but i do know that it’s not something you can put down to being a fluke. I must admit that i have become very critical of Joe within the last year after giving him a free pass like most of us did but i am growing more impatient by the day with the ridiculous moves he has made like not getting a 1st rounder for Tay last season when he had the chance. He could of got at least a 2nd rounder for T-Mac as well and that could of been used to draft a big like Jon Leuer who was taken by Milwaukee (2nd round pick 10).

      I am afraid the answer is as clear as day and piston fans either don’t see it or refuse to acknowledge it. Joe felt that being in the tough market that Detroit is in that they couldn’t become a team that had to totally commit to a rebuild. The problem is by being in such a hurry to rebuild on the fly he shot himself in the foot twice by signing 2 guys that 1) are not worth a penny they are paid 2) don’t fit our culture and is stuck with them until at least they become expiring deals. Joe would of been further ahead if he went for the total rebuild and sat on the money that he got from letting AI expire.

  • Jan 26, 20123:00 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    And are you all forgetting the Prince just enjoyed a great stretch of individual performances that Daye has a long way to go to even approach?

    • Jan 26, 20123:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      The great stretch that allowed him to move his shooting percentage above 40 for the first time this season? Yes, I remember that.

      • Jan 26, 20123:16 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Thanks for making my point for me Patrick since Daye has a long way to go to even do that.

        • Jan 26, 20123:22 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Never said he didn’t. But for the relative costs of each, as well as the youth/potential of one vs. the other, I’ll take Daye getting the bulk of the SF minutes 100 times out of 100.

          • Jan 26, 20128:08 pm
            by Dynamizer

            Really PH? IIRC weren’t you saying Daye wasn’t a good player earlier this week and telling frankie d that you’d get him of Daye’s bandwagon?

          • Jan 27, 201212:06 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            Daye isn’t a good player right now. He’s a prospect with upside though, and if he continues to play well and with any kind of consistency, my opinion of him will change. I also don’t have any problem with him hitting the bench when he’s shooting 5 percent from 3-point range as he was going into the Miami game either. The Pistons don’t have anything to lose by playing him and he could certainly continue to improve, which would be a huge development for a team in need of more talented young players. But I also don’t think he’s owed playing time when he plays terrible.

          • Jan 27, 20122:42 pm
            by tarsier

            he’s not owed a thing beyond his paycheck. but the pistons owe it to themselves to try to see what they can get out of him as long as they dont stand to lose anything by giving him minutes.

  • Jan 26, 20123:04 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    BTW:  I’ve been wondering about a question lately and wonder if there is data or what people’s opinion would be, but who has caught the most alley-oops in a Pistons uniform?  I figure the candidates are Prince, Hill. Big Ben, Rodman and then, I’m not sure.  What do you guys think?

  • [...] Patrick Hayes of Piston Powered reflects on Austin Daye’s huge game against Miami on Wednesday. Rarely do I find myself rooting for any team, but late in the Detroit-Miami game, I [...]

  • Jan 26, 20123:34 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    The argument of who is the best player on the team is a very different one than who has played the best so far.  In my opinion that stretch of Prince’s was just a sign that he was healthier and had rounded into shape which is a big issue in general around the league.  The same goes for Stuckey who doesn’t lose his stature because of his groin pull and especially since he has had nights where he has clearly been the best player as had Prince.
    For instance, are Eric Gordon, Manu Ginobili and Zach Randolph not top players on their team because they are hurt?  Is Bargnani out of the argument for best Raptor because he has missed games?  I don’t think so.
    To produce a somewhat objective source (since in my belief it is pretty crazy to just go by the first 15 -20 games of a lockout season with no preseason) Prince was the best player on the Pistons in 2k last year and was this year until they updated the rosters when he slid down to second behind Stuckey.
    I’m pretty sure Coach K would fully agree with all the points on Prince and so would a lot of his Olympic teammates.   If you look, you will find that Coach K used Prince to teach all of his teammates the plays because Prince learned them the fastest.  You’re just scapegoating, underrating and under appreciating Prince and I’ll make one more point.
    The leadership question issue has a lot of you making very ignorant comments as it relates as much to helping younger players understand how to function professionally and how to keep their bodies in shapes as anything else.  I listened to Matt Harping speak on the subject yesterday on the NBA HANGTIME podcast and he said that there is nothing better for young players than a locker room full of veterans to show you how to conduct yourself on and off the court.  Prince has been helping players behind the scenes and they have attested to it so if you are making the comment because you don’t see Prince barking at players or pulling them aside during games; you should just know that you have a very incomplete picture of the teaching which is ongoing and an extremely narrow way of defining leadership in general.

    • Jan 26, 20124:01 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “In my opinion that stretch of Prince’s was just a sign that he was healthier and had rounded into shape”

      He followed that stretch up by shooting 39 percent over his next three games then missing last night’s game with an injury. I saw that stretch of good production as an anomaly in what has otherwise been a sub-par season for him.

      “For instance, are Eric Gordon, Manu Ginobili and Zach Randolph not top players on their team because they are hurt?”

      Those guys are all All-Star level player when healthy, Prince/Stuckey aren’t, so it’s kind of a different discussion.

      “Is Bargnani out of the argument for best Raptor because he has missed games?”

      The difference is that Bargnani has been highly productive in the games he’s played. Prince/Stuckey haven’t.

      “You’re just scapegoating, underrating and under appreciating Prince”

      I don’t underrate his intelligence or intangible qualities to teach and learn the game at all. Those things are all great. But you overrate his ability to play the game at a high level. He’s a role player, a solid one, but one the Pistons paid way too much money for.

      “there is nothing better for young players than a locker room full of veterans to show you how to conduct yourself on and off the court.”

      You mean like last year’s locker room full of veterans that called the coach a buffoon, organized a shootaround boycott, complained about their roles on the team and didn’t want to sacrifice minutes so that younger players could play more? That type of veteran locker room?

      “you should just know that you have a very incomplete picture of the teaching which is ongoing and an extremely narrow way of defining leadership in general.”

      Again, I’m not questioning what he’s doing. It’s evident he’s more engaged this year in taking on that kind of role. My point is just that the Pistons paid too much for it. He’s not the player he was three or four years ago, and even three or four years ago, he wasn’t an elite, franchise building block talent. He was a good role player. Now he’s an aging role player who got a really nice lifetime achievement contract from a team with more pressing needs to use that money on and young players whose development is crucial.

      • Jan 26, 20124:37 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Can I just say that I love these piece by piece destructions of terrible comments?

        • Jan 26, 20126:56 pm
          by dandresden

          Reply

          yeah co-signed.

          Tayshaun as a veteran leader is a huge joke coming off of last season’s “buffoonery”. Stuckey and Tay were the two pistons i wanted gone the most. I dont even care if they are good, their attitudes were terrible and however good they are they arent good enough to get this team where they need to go.

  • Jan 26, 20123:38 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    And you should all watch the Knicks so you can learn what a ball stopper actually looks like.  The Pistons haven’t had a true one in so many years that you using the word in a way that is warped beyond all proportion.

    • Jan 26, 20124:03 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m no fan of ball-stoppers in general, but it’s easier to live with a ball-stopper who scores 30 a game, gets to the line 8 times a game and is a decent rebounder for his position than one who scores 13 a game, never draws fouls. Seriously, are we really comparing Prince to ‘Melo? That’s a comparison you think Prince can win, even if Melo has some flaws in his game?

  • Jan 26, 20124:02 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Dantley was the Pistons last real ball stopper.

  • Jan 26, 20124:04 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Elite, franchise level building blocks cost twice as much as the Pistons are paying Prince.

    • Jan 26, 20124:39 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I don’t love Melo but I’ll take him over two Tayshauns any day.

  • Jan 26, 20124:05 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I wasn’t comparing Melo to Prince.  I was simply defining one as a ball stopper because the juxtaposition proves the other is not a ball stopper.

    • Jan 26, 20124:10 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Melo career assists per game: 3.1

      Melo career assist percentage: 15.8

      Prince career assists per game: 2.7

      Prince career assist percentage: 13.7

      Melo is certainly a ball-stopper who looks for his own shot as his first, second and third options. But Prince isn’t exactly out there facilitating opportunities for others. The offense never looks good when it runs through him. The only thing he does well is not turn the ball over. And he doesn’t turn it over partially because he doesn’t pass all that much.

      • Jan 26, 20127:52 pm
        by Dynamizer

        Reply

        PH this comparison is flawed because the two players operate in very different roles. For a majority of Tay’s career he was the last option (excluding Big Ben). As such most of the time he had the ball was when the shot clock was winding down (besides his iso plays). Melo on the other hand has been a number one option for most of his career, so he usually has the ball in his hand for much more of the shot clock. The difference being that Melo has a lot more opportunities to pass the ball while Tay’s role was never really conducive to passing. 

        Not defending Tay, just saying using those career stats is misleading.

        • Jan 27, 201212:12 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Well, I wasn’t the one who brought up Melo. The commenter I was responding to basically said that Melo is the epitome of a ball-stopper, but Prince isn’t. In reality, last season, Prince was a high usage/low assist ball stopper extraordinaire. He turned it over less than Melo, but he also set up teammates less, scored less and less efficiently, got to the line way less and rebounded worse. It’s a ridiculous comparison, but I was responding to someone who made the ridiculous comparison, not making it myself.

  • Jan 26, 20124:07 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    The veteran locker room of last year was mostly RIP’s fault and he acted like a rotten apple.  Most veterans don’t act like that and you’d have to go around the league and pluck out the vets who shouldn’t count as vets but Prince does.

  • Jan 26, 20124:08 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Stephen Jackson for instance will never be a veteran because he is an overgrown child.

  • Jan 26, 20124:16 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Also, you said my comparisons were invalid because I was using all star players or just more productive players but the Pistons don’t have all star or highly productive players for Prince to have to beat out to be considered the Pistons best player.
    You said a better case could be made for Prince last season and you were right and a big part of why you were right, is that the roster has been so inconsistent so while Monroe played better, say the second half last year, there was just no comparison for the first half.  Much in this way, I do believe Stuckey has generally been the team’s best player from the Chauncey trade until now where Monroe is definitely coming to the fore, but Stuckey’s health and starting role has been inconsistent at times.  I don’t think there is any debating that over the last several years, Prince has been arguably the Pistons best and most consistent player as long as you admit that Stuckey has a fairly equal claim.  From about the all star break of last year though, Monroe becomes a logical candidate and maybe the candidate but he hasn’t even done it for a full year yet so I find my 1A, 1B, 1C argument to be logical and substantiated.

  • Jan 26, 20124:20 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Your stats are largely irrelevant when you include the two players usage pcts and I will say this: Prince would get a lot of hockey style 2nd assists and Anthony would not.  Despite the constant chatter about Prince as a ball stopper, the fact is that more often than not he moves the ball as soon as he gets it but not for an assist.  I don’t know why people dislike Prince holding the ball so much when the play is actually called for him, but I do know that Prince in the post has been the most productive play the Pistons have run the last few years and I wish they would run it a lot more often.    You say the only thing Prince does is not turn the ball over?  I challenge you to name 10 more efficient hook shots in the entire league by any position and I am certain that you can’t do it.

    • Jan 26, 20124:28 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “I challenge you to name 10 more efficient hook shots in the entire league”

      Great. Let’s rank the most efficient set-shot and underhand-style free throw shooters as well.

      • Jan 26, 20124:39 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        As if either of those skills compared at all with the value of an extremely effective hook shot……..
        And getting back to the Carmelo thing:  while Prince might”ballstop” one out of every 20 possessions or so, Carmelo seemingly dominates every other possession and sometimes for several possessions in a row–proportion is more important to the notion of ball stopping than any other factor.

        • Jan 26, 20124:44 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          This year, Prince hasn’t been as bad a ball stopper. Last season, he was terrible about it. it was justifiable because there weren’t any great offensive options (Monroe was always getting blocked). But ever since Monroe has figured out how to avoid getting his shots blocked, there has been no comparison. He is simply the better player. Your notion of he hasn’t yet done it for a year is absurd. That would be like someone arguing that Ridnour was the best Timberwolf at the midpoint of last season because Love hadn’t yet been on a tear for a full year.

          • Jan 26, 20128:27 pm
            by frankie d

            not only is he a ball stopper, but tay will only make a pass if there is no possibility that it will be stolen or tipped away.  his extreme caution really hurts because there will often be times when tay has the ball, a man is open, but tay simply refuses to make that  pass  because of a slight risk of a steal or deflection.  it is the reason he’s a horrible pick and roll ballhandler despite certain traits that should make him a very good one.  he simply will never make a pass to the man rolling to the basket, but will instead pass the ball back out, around the perimeter.   with tay, the pass never goes north and south, to penetrate to the basket.  the ball always goes east and west, around the perimeter.
            last year was very revealing, as the contrast between t-mac’s quick, decisive passing, and tay’s tortured, slow, indecisive refusal to pass couldn’t have been more obvious.

          • Jan 27, 20121:35 am
            by Max

            Prince has so rarely been involved in pick and roll basketball that you are just making shit up or taking something that has happened one out of every 10,000 possessions and forming a pattern out of isolated occurrences.   Further, while not exactly pick and roll basketball, take a look at Monroe’s baskets this year and you will find more than a few highlights of Prince setting Monroe up in the two man game.

          • Jan 27, 20122:39 am
            by Dan Feldman

            “ tay will only make a pass if there is no possibility that it will be stolen or tipped away.  his extreme caution really hurts because there will often be times when tay has the ball, a man is open, but tay simply refuses to make that  pass  because of a slight risk of a steal or deflection.”

            Excellent point.

    • Jan 27, 20122:37 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “I do know that Prince in the post has been the most productive play the Pistons have run the last few years”

      Thanks to MySynergySports, we can analyze that.

      Prince on postups this year: 0.58 points per play
      Pistons overall: 0.84 points per play points per play 

      Prince on postsups last year: 0.86 points per play 
      Pistons overall: 0.93 points per play 

      Prince on postups two years ago: 0.79 points per play 
      Pistons overall: 0.90 points per play

      Prince on postups has been a below-average play for the Pistons each of the last three seasons.

  • Jan 26, 20124:55 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I do think Monroe is the best player and I ranked him 1A, but the Ridnour question doesn’t address what I was saying.   Prince and Stuckey haven’t been arguably the best players the first 20 games but they have been, when healthy, for over the past 200 games.
    Monroe is better than they ever were so far this year though and I think he’s going to get a lot better so I’m not really trying to say he isn’t better than them but really just that the argument can be made since 20 games is just such a small sample size and I don’t think you can just dismiss far more established bodies of work.
    It’s like, I might personally feel that Paul George and Roy Hibbert are already better than Danny Granger, but I think I’d be wrong to say someone holding out that Granger is the best Pacer is off just because Granger is struggling so far this year.  It’s still an arguable point.
    That all said, this is all in response to the notion that Prince should be benched or shouldn’t have been signed when he is clearly one of their very best players whether he is the best or not.

  • Jan 26, 20125:13 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    @Tarsier……..we aren’t at season’s midpoint yet and Monroe makes everything I have said on Prince or Stuckey’s behalf regarding their arguable status as the Pistons best player less relevant with nearly every performance.  However it is still just 20 games.  For instance, if you were to judge Stuckey just by last year’s last 20 games you would probably far overrate him and gloss over the faults you focus on now.

    • Jan 26, 20126:00 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I agree, but you don’t need a full year of games. Monroe has played well ever since the beginning of 2011. That’s a lot more than 20 games. He has clearly established himself as far and away the best player on the team. Especially because that is backed up by both stats and a visible change (learning how to avoid being blocked). Now, if he had 3 years of poor play (with occasional strong stretches a la Stuckey) before that, I might concede that there is a chance of it being an extended flash in the pan. But I’d easily take Monroe’s average play in the last 100 games over Princes or Stuckey’s anyway. The only reason I can’t say 200 is he doesn’t yet have that many under his belt. But I maintain you’d have to be crazy to think his sample size is not yet large enough to rule out a fluke much like Love at last year’s midpoint.

  • Jan 26, 20125:17 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    AND A BIG BTW:  How come know one is acknowledging that Stuckey is shooting more 3s at a far higher pct than he ever has before this season?   Starting role and groin aside, Stuckey might be better suited for the 2guard than I ever hoped and if he keeps up his 3pt shooting pct, he is going to be far better than I really ever thought he could be.

    • Jan 26, 20125:38 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Hang tight. Post coming on that soon.

      • Jan 26, 20126:36 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        You said Stuckey has played poorly for three years with occasional good stretches but Stuckey’s PER says he is an above average player over that stretch and last year’s 18.4 is a high enough number that if he posted it for his career, he would be above certain hall of famers.

  • Jan 26, 20126:37 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Isiah’s career PER was 18.11 for example.

    • Jan 27, 201212:22 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      You heard it here first: Rodney Stuckey might be better than Isiah Thomas. Is this Joe Dumars commenting? I knew you sounded familiar.

      Seriously, PER is nowhere near a perfect measure of a player’s value. Carlos Boozer has a higher career PER than Kevin McHale. Terrell Brandon has a higher career PER than Gary Payton. Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury have higher career PERs than Jason Kidd. Brad Miller has a higher career PER than Dave Cowens, Nate Thurmond, Bill Laimbeer and Wes Unseld.

      Are you ready to make the cases that the higher PER makes any of those guys better than the guys they’re higher than?

      • Jan 27, 20122:48 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        PER isn’t perfect but it’s one of the best advanced stats out there. It is the best attempt I know of to wrap up everything in a box score into a single number valuing a player. But obviously, it is unable to catch anything that doesn’t make it into the box score. Not to mention, it’s unfair to compare one player’s career high PER to another’s career average PER. And it was obvious that Max wasn’t calling Stuckey better than Thomas.

        • Jan 27, 20122:55 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          PER is useful, but it still is a bit flawed. It tends to over-value scoring and under-value rebounding. Rodman’s career 14.6 PER, for example, is nowhere near an accurate reflection of his overall value/contributions on the court.

          While it was obvious he wasn’t saying Stuckey was better than Thomas, he did say “last year’s 18.4 is a high enough number that if he posted it for his career, he would be above certain hall of famers.” That’s a ridiculous statement.

          • Jan 27, 20125:09 pm
            by Max

            It’s not a ridiculous statement but a factual one.   I did not say Stuckey would be better than any Hall of Famers if he posted a career 18.4 in PER but that he would be above them in PER.  It’s just a fact.

          • Jan 27, 20127:53 pm
            by tarsier

            I dunno. PER undervalues defense (as in not really at all). And it only values efficient scoring, not inefficent scoring. But it does tend to assume that even without the player in question, a team will get the majority of their defensive boards. Whether that is the case for a player like Rodman is subject to debate.

            But to say that based on the box score, Rodman contributed at an average level seems not too unfair. He rebounded really well and scored really poorly. Obviously it will miss his value of forcing the other team to miss (unless he gets a block or steal) and his fit with a team.  But even if inaccurate, you have to expect standard metrics to miss a bit with guys as uncovential as Rodman.

  • Jan 26, 20128:51 pm
    by jayg108

    Reply

    I wonder if Prince would defer his minutes to Daye
    I also wonder if Prince will be motivated to be more aggressive.  Will he try to fit into the team that played Miami?  Or will he try to fit the team into his plan?

  • Jan 27, 20121:24 am
    by Max

    Reply

    Don’t say I said anything like Stuckey is better than Isiah.  I said his PER indicated he was an above average player.  So silly.
    I was combating the notion that Stuckey has been a below average player for the last three years and while PER is not a scalpel, I would say that having a great PER means you are not a below average player.   That’s all.

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