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In hard-fought loss to Hawks, Pistons get it all – individual progress & lottery odds

Lawrence Frank risked bodily harm to stop the Hawks tonight. Josh Smith made a 3-pointer to punctuate a 12-2 run to start overtime, and while celebrating, he nearly ran over Frank, who had come onto the court to call timeout.

While Frank had seen enough, I couldn’t get enough.

From this Pistons team, I will take 48 minutes of effort anytime I can get it. After a few years of dogging it too often, it’s a welcome sight. So what if the Pistons fell apart in overtime during a 107-101 loss to Atlanta? That’s Frank’s problem and not one I share.

This was the Pistons’ most satisfying two-game stretch of the season, even more so than back-to-back wins over the Pacers and Magic during New Year’s weekend. Not only did the Pistons play better tonight and against the Heat on Wednesday than they did in the victories, their two losses will improve their lottery odds.

And really, that’s still so, so important. For everything that went right tonight for the Pistons – Greg Monroe’s offense, Brandon Knight’s penetration – something went wrong – Monroe’s defense after he shoots, Knight’s finishing.

The Pistons are a work in progress – a big step from getting worked every night – but they need help. Some will come internally, as efforts like this will accelerate the growth of players already on the roster, and some will come from their lottery pick. Tonight, the Pistons helped themselves on both fronts.

Eventually, the Pistons must prove capable of competing for 53 minutes when necessary. But this year, 48 will play just fine.

Greg Monroe turns tables on Josh Smith

Greg Monroe missed his first six shots, but in the nine minutes he played before scoring his first point, he had four rebounds, an assist, a steal and charge drawn. That’s what makes him such a likable player. Even when his shot isn’t falling, he still players hard and tries to contribute in other ways.

At that point, it appeared Monroe would be limited mostly to those other contributions tonight. Monroe’s first six misses – and no free throw attempts early – were no coincidence. Josh Smith defended Monroe phenomenally, forcing Monroe out of his spots.

But like a veteran with a wealth of experience, Monroe sized up Smith, adjusted his moves ever so slightly and went to work. Monroe finished with 22 points on 10-of-20 shooting with 11 rebounds , four assists and two steals.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a joy watching Monroe play offense.

And Monroe’s defense has picked up since it bottomed out early in the season – with notable exception. After Monroe shot tonight, he was frequently slow to get back on defense and pick up his man, and that led to a few Atlanta baskets.

Brandon Knight dictates offense, despite struggles at rim

Brandon Knight had zero(!) turnovers tonight. None, zilch, nada.

Although Knight spent time at shooting guard next to each Rodney Stuckey and Walker Russell, his turnoverless performance tonight was more impressive than his no-turnover outing against the Bobcats for two reasons:

1. Knight played 42 minutes tonight compared to 35 minutes against Charlotte.

2. Knight attacked all night. He drove to the basket and set his teammates up with a career-high eight assists. Somewhat-risky drives and passes increase turnovers, but they also create better shots. To get those better shots and not turn the ball over, like Knight did, is aces.

Knight was particularly effective after grabbing his five defensive rebounds. They weren’t necessarily contested rebounds, but he immediately tried to create a fastbreak opportunity with some success.

Next, Knight needs to take better advantage of his ability penetrate. He made just 1-of-7 layups tonight. At least he took advantage of his outside shooting, including 4-for-8 on 3-pointers, to score 20 points.

Jason Maxiell hits high note

Jason Maxiell is playing himself out of the amnesty discussion.

It had been 66 games since Maxiell last scored 12 points in a game. Tonight, he scored 12 points in the second quarter alone, on 5-of-7 shooting. He finished with 19 points, matching the second-highest total of his career, and a season-best eight rebounds.

Although a lot of Maxiell’s game is based on brute force, he made mid-range jumpers and moved actively to create shots at the rim tonight. And yeah, his strength helped too, allowing him to convert two shots while being fouled.

With stellar play off the bench this season, Maxiell has turned himself into a useful role player. Some nights, like tonight, he scores. Some nights, he defends. Some nights, he rebounds. He doesn’t always put together all his skills in a single game, but as a $5 million expiring contract next season, he’ll value if he keeps playing like he has this year.

Austin Daye plays through slow start

Through three quarters, Austin Daye was 0-for-3 – a disappointing output following his breakout game against the Heat. Although I wish Daye had made more shots in his first 13 minutes and four seconds of playing time, his misses provided an opportunity to assess where his head is.

For the first time in a long time, Daye played within himself despite not making shots. He attempted a shot every four minutes and 21 seconds, which – ignoring the the games he played 31 seconds and 11 seconds – would have been his least-frequent shooting game since the season opener. Daye moved the ball well and rebounded and defended decently enough.

In the fourth quarter and overtime, Daye made 4-of-8 shots, including 2-of-3 3-pointers, for 12 points. He wasn’t nearly as impressive as Wednesday, but Daye didn’t let his early misses take him out of the game.

Daye earned a rotation spot against the Heat, and he probably didn’t prove tonight that he deserves minutes all season, but he certainly did enough to warrant continued playing time in the near future.


  • Jan 27, 201210:52 pm
    by vic


    Hopefully Lawrence learned a lesson that will do him very well in the future, if he wants a chance at winning any close games.

    Stuckey is not a closer. he has been jacking layups in the final minutes of games for years.

    Brandon Knight IS a Closer. He has been hitting big shots and closing the final minutes of games out for years.

    I know that’s not “statistical” but it is empirical. You can just observe it over and over again and smart coaches use that knowledge to their advantage.

    But I’m all for losing close games!
    One step closer to either the Unibrow or the Drummond.

    • Jan 27, 201210:56 pm
      by jayg108


      Is Prince out so because Kaman is being shopped right now?

      • Jan 27, 201211:33 pm
        by Mark


        That’d be nice, but Prince can’t be traded for another month.

        We need to get in on that Kaman deal though somehow.

        • Jan 28, 20124:01 am
          by gmehl1977


          Hornets are stocked at SF with Ariza, Aminu and Summers so chances are slim

          • Jan 28, 20122:54 pm
            by frankie d

            gee…isn’t it interesting that detroit wants a NO player, and that NO wants, among other things, young players.   and isn’t it interesting that NO liked a former detroit player, a young player, enough to have signed him and started him occasionally. and isn’t it interesting that detroit kept that player around for a couple of years and got zilch, nada, nothing, for him when they simply outright released him.
            wouldn’t it have been nice if they had played that guy, developed him and signed him to another contract, so that when it came time to talk trade with NO, detroit could say,
            hey, we have a nice young surplus small forward who you like and we will give him to you, along with a draft choice and (fill in blank for cap space) for your big man.
            instead, the cupboard is fairly bare of attractive young players who can be moved because they never get a freakin chance to play.
            do you think that NO would be more interested in damien wilkins? 
            when fans wonder why it is worthwhile to play and develop your young players, even if they may not ultimately fit into your plans, this is why.
            talented young players, with decent contracts, are one of the league’s most attractive and valuable trade assets.  teams that have those young players, typically can be players in the trade market.  teams that lack those players end up signing retreads like damien wilkins.

          • Jan 28, 20123:08 pm
            by Patrick Hayes


            You looked at Summers numbers since he had those two decent games? The dude isn’t going to develop here, there, anywhere. He’s back to the end of their bench, and he wouldn’t even be there if they weren’t also a bottom feeder team that has had a bunch of injuries on the perimeter. The guy just doesn’t do much of anything well. I had a glimmer of hope that he was at least figuring out how to score a little bit when he played well for that short stretch, but it was an anomaly.

          • Jan 28, 20125:07 pm
            by frankie d

            my point regarding summers is very  simple:  most posters here declared that summers would not be in the nba this year.
            that he would, at best, be playing in europe.
            he is, in fact, on an nba roster this year, he has started a few games, and he has gotten PT in 10 of their 19 games, averaging 15 minutes a game.
            dujuan summers is an nba player.
            i guess we will see how his career plays out, but so far, what so many had predicted has not happened.
            also, as an tangential note, who has more market value: damien wilkins or dujuan summers?

  • Jan 27, 201210:53 pm
    by jayg108


    Good to see them playing with heart.  What’s up with the Pistons and last possession plays?  I sure hope Frank comes up with something better than the Stuckey drive to the basket.  I would love to see a stat on how many times that’s worked for them.  Even though he gave up the ball to Monroe, it looked too wild to handle.
    Good game to watch.  Hope the same Maxiell shows up again. Knight rocked it in the OT.  The boy knows how to get it done.

  • Jan 27, 201210:55 pm
    by Shane


    The main thing I am happy about is that Brandon Knight is starting to pass well and get assists. Daye needs more game time than mainly playing the closing minute of a quarter and the fourth quarter. He also needs to be fed the ball and instead of dribbling it, taking the jump shot since it’s his strength

  • Jan 27, 201210:57 pm
    by Vince


    I was expecting Daye to get the ball in the last second of the fourth quarter, pleasantly surprised to see Knight get it. Shame to lose everything in overtime but that was one hell of a game, if they keep losing -and eventually win- like this than thats fine with me, my dreams of Drummond will be getting much more vivid.

    • Jan 28, 20124:09 am
      by gmehl1977


      If you watch that last play again i think you will see that the last play was actually meant to be a lob for Daye but there was a player in his way (I think Josh Smith) under the ring. I am pretty sure we have run this play for Daye before.

      • Jan 28, 201212:49 pm
        by jayg108


        OK.  didn’t see that.

  • Jan 27, 201211:06 pm
    by brent


    Didn’t get to watch the game but checked out the box score and I am Extremely happy to see Brandon Knight with 0 Turnovers! even though we lost thats pretty big for him..seems like he has had at least 3 a game!

  • Jan 27, 201211:07 pm
    by Jodi Jezz


    If Daye would have guarded Marvin Williams at the end of 4th quarter we could have won this game…This is why I say Daye would be a good 6th man…Daye probably isn’t starting material…

  • Jan 27, 201211:10 pm
    by David


    Completely agree with everything that’s been said. Loved Knights 8/0 Assist/Turnover ratio (and a steal), and his composure and clutch shooting in OT. Loved Monroe’s performance too.

    My only complaint is Wilkins getting time over JJ and Daye. 34 minutes for Damien, who is not the future of this team. JJ with 12 and 6 in 18 minutes. Give him more. Put Daye in earlier, he’s getting his shooting touch back, but needs time to do it.

  • Jan 27, 201211:40 pm
    by Max


    Very much in agreement with the main thrust of the article.  I’ve never felt this way until this season, but during the waning moments of regulation during the last two games, I found myself vacillating over whether I really wanted a win.  I mean, there are no moral victories against bad teams but against good teams, these Pistons can feel about themselves after playing a close game and not get too demoralized.  I want a franchise center to pair with Monroe because there is no way they wouldn’t eventually be great with such a 4 and 5.

    • Jan 28, 20124:15 am
      by gmehl1977


      Yeah if we can have another 46 more games where we play like that and lose it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. We don’t get demoralized and we get rewarded in the draft. The sooner this season is over the better because we need another big (insert Drummond/Davis). You just know in your heart that Joe won’t provide that big this season so it looks like it will happen via the draft.

  • Jan 28, 20124:05 am
    by damian


    the team choked worse tonight than my wife during one of those real intense blowjobs.

    • Jan 28, 201210:52 am
      by MrHappyMushroom


      I suspect I speak for many in saying that you sound like an idiot and we pity your wife.

  • Jan 28, 20126:32 am
    by MrBlockedShot


    I will put this lose on Lawrence Frank. What an awful late decission! Could you please tell me why, 3 points ahead, you allow the opponent team to shot a 3 point shot in their last possesion instead of making a foul ???? Come on!! You make a foul and most likely you will be 1 point ahead and the ball will be yours…It makes no sense to me.
    Anyway, I think we played better but were not able to finish. It happened the same to Miami, two wins that flew away The Palace. We allowed Johnson to get in fire and that finally killed us…
    And what about the defensive lapses? Too many…several times you saw a Hawks player alone with an open shot…so you´re dead. They have good shotters in Marvin Williams, Joe Johnson, Jeff Teague…
    Good to see our players improving, most of all those 0 turnovers and 8 assists by Knight.
    Is it realistic we could get Kaman? He´s rotting down there in New Orleans.
    And one question for all of you guys: does anybody missed Ben Gordon, Tayshaun Prince, Charlie Villanueva those last games? Do you think we could have played better? Me not. So aren´t they actually expendable ?

    • Jan 28, 20122:58 pm
      by tarsier


      This is an issue that if you asked coaches/GMs/sportswriters, you’ll probably get close to a 0/50 split on. Late in a game, if up 3, do you foul?

      It is not nearly as simple as you make it sound. For one, there are players (Pierce comes to mind) who will see the foul coming and start a shooting motion. Then you can end up putting him on the line for 3 freebies. Even worse if he manages to hit the shot. Furthermore, fouling slows down the game. It makes possessions go by in a few seconds instead of considerably longer. And more possessions ups the odds of the team that is trailing at the end. Finally, in committing to making a foul, if the player being fouled passes it off, you can hurt your team’s defensive position, making a score easier.

      • Jan 28, 20123:11 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        You’re right to mention Pierce as a master of that, but also, Joe Johnson is really good at anticipating fouls in those situations too. Not sure what Frank’s philosophy is on foul/don’t foul in those situations, but I know I would personally not think it’s a no-brainer when Johnson was the guy they would likely go to for that last shot. I’d definitely worry he’d see it coming and get a shot up.

      • Jan 28, 20126:34 pm
        by MrBLockedShot


        That’s an interesting point.I agree it’s very dangerous to foul some kind of players just in case they get the shot and the foul.There are really good speciallists out there.But, if you want to foul you have to foul the right way and in this case we had a chance to do so. Johnson was well beyond the arc, he even was giving his back to Stuckey and weren’t able to foul though.Should we have fouled then the game would be ours now. In other scenario,maybe after a timeout with an inbound pass from halfcourt things would have been different.

        • Jan 29, 20129:42 am
          by tarsier


          But there are also other scenarios besides the getting off a shot during the foul that make fouling not necessarily a good idea. I tried to point those out in my previous comment. My point isn’t that the Pistons shouldn’t have fouled in that situation–just that it’s not a no-brainer.

  • Jan 28, 20127:31 am
    by danny


    ^ Yup. It boggles my mind why a team doesnt do that. Its almost like their saying that its more likely they will hit a free throw, and get a tap in on a second intentionally missed, rather than making a simple 22 foot shot. Anyone who has watched or played any basketball in their life knows the ladder is much more likely of happening. This, and putting the ball in Stuckeys hands in the clutch are the 2 biggest reasons we lost IMO.

    • Jan 28, 20123:02 pm
      by tarsier


      There is a lot more that can happen than a putback on a miss of the second free throw. Like extending the game a few possessions or the foul being called a shooting foul beyond the arc.

      But more importantly, ladder, really? That is a thing with rungs that you use to get to heights you can’t reach otherwise. I don’t typically care about poor writing by commenters. But you are using completely the wrong word. The word is latter.

  • Jan 28, 20127:35 am
    by danny


    Would like to say this is a good article, still. Bottom line is we have a roster full of guys who are simply in the way of others who have a future here and want to compete, and we are still showing a lot of good things. I still believe Frank is the right guy, and with a little luck in the lottery, and some wise moves from Dumars, it wouldnt shock me to see us competing for a playoff spot next year.

    • Jan 28, 20127:50 am
      by gmehl1977


      That wise from Dumars should be to trade Prince at the trade deadline to a contender for a first round pick.

      • Jan 28, 201211:18 am
        by Shane


        I would say making multiple trades to contenders for 1st round picks using any player that isn’t Knight Monroe (n possibly Jerebko, Daye)

  • Jan 28, 20128:01 am
    by Gregoire


    Which Contender is under the Cap who could absorb the 7 Mio/ Year from Prince??? The Lakers could use their Trade-Option from the Odom Trade, but thats it…There is no way we can get Kaman since we are over the Cap and the Hornets would never take one of our bad Contracts in return…we are stuck with this crapy team until Gordon´s and CV deals are of the books, because no GM (not even Kahn) would be so stupid to trade for one of them…

  • Jan 28, 20128:13 am
    by Steve K


    As much as I don’t want him on the roster, we all must get used to the fact that Joe D ain’t gonna trade Prince.

    He didn’t trade Tay last season when Tay actually had value with a good season and, more importantly, an expiring deal. Why should we think Joe will trade Tay now that he’s even harder to move? It’s just a pipe dream. Now, CV? Joe hasn’t exhibited the same loyalty.

    CV is the most likely option. I know his contract sucks, but he’s a big who can shoot. There will always be someone who’s interested.

    • Jan 28, 20123:04 pm
      by tarsier


      correction, he’s a big who once upon a time could shoot. the problem with CV is the one thing he is supposed to do well (shoot), he has sucked at.

  • Jan 28, 20128:27 am
    by gordbrown


    Doesn’t matter how many lottery balls the team accumulates, they’re not going to get a franchise center. In fact, I will say now, the Pistons will pick seventh (or not better than seventh) in the upcoming draft. Book it. Having said that I’m disappointed in Stuckey for picking up the ball prematurely on that last play. Otherwise, he played great. Maxiell played out of his mind on offense but his defense was nothing to write home about. Last year, the team played to the level of the opposition, but was never able to finish a close game. Hopefully these last two games are learning experiences, but I hope that they start to learn quicker. Winning is better than losing, lottery balls be damned.

  • Jan 28, 201211:40 am
    by Matt


    I’m not sure I agree that this was a 48 minute effort. I saw about 471/2 minutes of effort followed by 30 seconds of buffonery: a needless defensive lapse, an unnecessary turnover (someone needs to tell Frank/Stuckey that he’s not a finisher), then an unwise attempt to steel the ball on the perimeter resulting in essentially the game winning shot. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

    • Jan 28, 20123:10 pm
      by tarsier


      No game is 48 minutes of effort. You could always pick out a possession here or there when a team clearly didn’t give it’s all (regardless of result). But I’m not sure those last 30 seconds don’t qualify as effort-filled. Mistakes do not mean a lack of effort.

  • Jan 28, 201212:20 pm
    by sop


    Maxiell’s recent play = he’s playing for the contract year
    (only bring him back next year for vets minimum)
    Daye’s recent play = he’s supposed to be able to hit the three so no surprise…too bad he can defend
    (even after waiting forever for him to develop, I’d rather he shocked everyone and was good somewhere else than commit to him long term and watch him keep doing what he has done so far)

  • Jan 28, 20121:28 pm
    by frankie d


    @ feldman,
    what exactly could daye do in order to earn regular, rotation minutes?
    and exactly what has wilkins done,  to justify keeping rotation minutes, especially at the expense of 2 young players, daye and jj?

    • Jan 28, 20123:13 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Wilkins hasn’t exactly earned “regular rotation minutes.” He’s been playing big minutes with Prince out because he’s objectively a much better defender than Daye. When Prince was healthy, he was getting more bit minutes than Daye because he wasn’t shooting 0 percent from 3-point range. It’s really not hard to figure out. He’s playing better now, so he’ll play more.

      • Jan 28, 20124:18 pm
        by frankie d


        didn’t you listen to what joe d said recently?
        he is supposedly in a rebuilding mode with this team.
        if, in fact, that is the case, how does playing wilkins over his younger players, help rebuild the team?

    • Jan 28, 20123:14 pm
      by Max


      @Frankie D—Well, Daye and JJ foul a lot more than Wilkins and JJ in particular plays a game where his minutes are often dictated by foul trouble.

  • Jan 28, 20123:19 pm
    by Max


    Also, Wilkins has played with both JJ and Daye on the floor before so I’m starting to think it shouldn’t be looked at so simplistically.
    In my mind, Knight, Stuckey, Prince and Monroe should be mainstays for 25 or more minutes a night and the rest of the team should be competing for the fifth man on the floor and the all of the backup minutes,   Any of JJ, Daye, Maxiell, Wallace, Charlie V or Macklin can easily fit in with the four players I named and BG, Bynum and Russell can compete for backup minutes at guard.  Playing the hot hand and best matchups every night makes the most sense to me.

  • Jan 28, 20123:52 pm
    by frankie d


    there was a point where johnson dribbled inside the 3 point line and had his back to stuckey, his defender. no excuse to not foul then. grrab him, wrap his arms. stuckey could have easily fouled him with little or no chance of johnson getting a shot off.

  • Jan 28, 20124:18 pm
    by Max


    I don’t know…….Johnson hit about as difficult a contested shot as the Pistons could have hoped.  Not sure if the odds actually would have been increased by letting him take two free throws since he hit such a low pct shot.

    • Jan 28, 20124:58 pm
      by frankie d


      simple math.
      2 foul shots – even if made – still leaves the pistons with a one point lead.
      a made 3 point shot ties the game.
      a one point lead, with 3-4 seconds and the ball is a much better position to be in, than a tied game with 1.9 seconds.
      a catastrophic set of events have to happen for a team to lose in that type of situation.
      joe johnson hits 38% of his 3 point shots this year.  one year he made 47% of his 3 point shots.
      those are pretty strong odds, considering.
      i have only seen one situation where a team has lost a game when choosing to fouls a 3 point shooter in those situation.  i am sure it has happened on other occasions, but my guess is that those bad outcomes are few and few and few and far between.
      nothing but conventional wisdom and coaching orthodoxy that refuses to die because it is easier to continue on in that direction, as a coach.

  • Jan 28, 20124:26 pm
    by Laser


    WHAT! THE! FUCK!????!!???
    Jesus fucking Christ on the cross, dude! Now that we all know in no uncertain terms that players cannot be amnestied until the offseason, we’re talking about a five million dollar expiring contract attached to a big man (undersized though he may be) who can contribute in this league. You gotta be fucking kidding me. Stop it with this fucking Maxiell amnesty shit already. Just fucking stop it already. On a roster with Villanueva and Gordon fucking us up on the books and on the court, you keep fucking talking about Maxiell as an amnesty candidate when he never was one. Amnestying him never made sense. Not for one goddamn minute. And it makes less sense than ever now that he’s just five fucking mil on the books and can 100% be traded for something by next season. It’s fucking insanity. The analysis on this site makes no sense sometimes, and this is the worst case of undermining your own authority as any kind of sports journalist. Fucking amnestying Maxiell… Save five goddamn million dollars, while we’ve got shitheaps of dead money fucking up our cap for the next few years, including $6.5 we paid Rip to disappear. God help us. Amnestying Maxiell….

    • Jan 29, 20129:48 am
      by tarsier


      “ and can 100% be traded for something by next season”
      you love implying that a team can always get something of vlaue back for an expiring deal. that is absurd. expiring deals are valuable because they get money off your books, but if you want to get something of value back, you have to take a bad contract for one most of the time. this is either in the form of a bad deal on a useless player attached to a pick or young prospect or a bad deal on a decent player–only useful if you are a contender.

      granted, amnestying max makes no sense because he will soon be off the books. but expiring deals, while useful pieces in some trades, are not nearly all you have them cracked up to be.

      • Jan 29, 20125:27 pm
        by Max


        I tend to look at Maxiell’s trade value as a throw-in that most teams would like if they liked the other piece they were getting more.

    • Jan 29, 20125:25 pm
      by Max


      100% agree with Laser on this one.

    • Jan 30, 20129:23 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      @Laser and @Max:

      That comment is seriously ridiculous. If you paid attention before the season, virtually every media outlet who covers the league and the team said that they’d consider amestying Maxiell. Does it make sense to do it over some of their other much worse contracts? Of course not.

      But the Pistons held their amnesty to basically evaluate this season who was worse between Gordon, Villanueva and Maxiell. Maxiell was very much under their consideration, agree or disagree.

      And Laser, if you can’t grow up and start having conversations like a semi-functioning, non-insane human being, you’re going to have to find another place to comment. Enough is enough.

      • Jan 30, 201211:52 pm
        by Max


        The media outlets named all kinds of players who weren’t really considered and in general assumed most teams would use the clause when in fact most teams did not.  What would clearing Maxiell’s mere 5 million do for the Pistons?  The only real reason for any team to use the amnesty clause, other than a player doing something terrible off the court, is if they know they will be able to use the money created by cutting the player.   Even if cutting Maxiell would get the Pistons fully  5 million under the cap, why would that be better than keeping him and signing someone to the midlevel?

      • Jan 30, 201211:59 pm
        by Max


        @Patrick  BTW:  The national media’s coverage of the Pistons is and always has been a joke.  Half the time, I can tell the writer doesn’t even watch them play and when you are talking off the court rumors; Dumars runs one of the tightest ships in the league regarding giving out information making the Pistons only comparable to probably the Utah Jazz.   When Dumars or the Jazz make major moves, they usually just happen without the weeks and months of protracted trade discussions aired in the national media that a lot of teams allow to happen.  I doubt very much whether a bunch of national media outlets naming Maxiell as a possible amnesty candidate has any bearing or reflection on the Pistons’ internal discussions.

        • Jan 31, 201210:07 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          “What would clearing Maxiell’s mere 5 million do for the Pistons?”

          Not much now. I said it wouldn’t do much. But Dumars signed Villanueva and Gordon because he thinks they’re good. Amnestying either of them is admitting failure. If they went into this season and Gordon and Villanueva played a little better than they have the past two years and Maxiell continued to decline, then yeah, it’s not a stretch to see them using the amnesty on him. It wouldn’t be the right move, but it would be a more face-saving move for Dumars. Eating Gordon’s or Villanueva’s contracts will be huge financial hits for the owner. Eating Maxiell’s is less so, and presumably an easier sell if Dumars wants to use the amnesty.

          Also, at the time the amnesty discussions were going on, they handn’t locked Prince and Stuckey into long-term deals yet. So, if they would’ve decided not to sign those guys, it’s possibly getting Maxiell’s money off the cap would’ve given them room to add something useful in free agency. Obviously, after re-signing those guys, they aren’t in the same financial situation now, so it would make less sense.

          “Dumars runs one of the tightest ships in the league regarding giving out information making the Pistons only comparable to probably the Utah Jazz.”

          Uh … did you pay attention to this team last season? They had more leaks than John McCain’s presidential campaign. Everyone was talking to the press anonymously.

          “When Dumars or the Jazz make major moves, they usually just happen without the weeks and months of protracted trade discussions aired in the national media that a lot of teams allow to happen.”

          Dumars hasn’t made a major move in over three years.

          “I doubt very much whether a bunch of national media outlets naming Maxiell as a possible amnesty candidate has any bearing or reflection on the Pistons’ internal discussions.”

          All three local beat writers mentioned Maxiell as a candidate. They wouldn’t do that if they didn’t have someone within the organization telling them it was a possibility, even a remote one.

  • Jan 28, 20124:34 pm
    by frankie d


    the refusal to foul in those situations is usually a cowardly copout by the coach.
    if he doesn’t foul, and the player makes a 3 pointer, then the defender is at fault.
    if he doesn’t foul and the player doesn’t make the shot, he’s doesn’t really get any blame or credit for letting things play out iin a “normal” fashion.
    however, if he fouls the shooter, and it blows up in his face, he’s going to take the blame.
    not fouling is the typical “normal” thing to do.  the “conventional” wisdom that holds so much currency in the league, so coaches do it.
    it is the safe route, like playing vets.
    in 5 years, the league will probably move towards fouling players in that position, and fans will wonder how anyone thought any differently.
    at one time, hack-a-shack was a radical and crazy move by don nelson.  no other coaches dared to do such a thing.
    then everyone started doing it because it made so much sense, and it radically cut down on shaq’s effectiveness.  it probably cost him a year or two of paychecks.
    a version of hack-a-shaq is now used routinely against guys like dwight howard and ben wallace and it is an accepted part of the game.
    coaches routinely foul a big man who is a poor free throw shooter, when you need to make up a deficit late in games and coaches have to take that into consideration late in games.
    but again, when don nelson first used it, he was looked at as a coaching blasphemer because he dared to something so radical.
    fouling 3 point shooters is in that state and in 5 years, everyone will wonder how coaches could have been so stupid as to let a guy get that kind of shot off without fouling him.

    • Jan 28, 20126:42 pm
      by MrBLockedShot


      Totally agree with you. In European basketball coaches are tending more and more to foul. Most of them agree is the right play.maybe in some years we’ll see it here too

  • Jan 29, 20125:30 pm
    by Max


    I don’t think JJ could hit that shot with great consistency if he was practicing with an assistant coach defending him; and the Pistons were guaranteed to get the ball back.

  • Jan 29, 20125:31 pm
    by Max


    You offered JJ’s numbers as if that was a normal 3 pointer but it was an extremely difficult and well defended shot and Stuckey doesn’t deserve an iota of blame that he hit it.

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