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3-on-3: Joe Dumars’ philosophy

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Dan and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic.

For each 3-on-3, we’ll be joined by a guest contributor. Today, that’s Ryan Slocum of ABC 12. Ryan is the hardest working man in TV news. If you’re a Detroit/UM/MSU sports fan and you’re not following Sloc on Twitter, you should be. Also, this gives me an opportunity to link to Ryan’s Inside the High feature, one of my all-time favorite stories. I can’t recommend watching that video enough. – PH

Follow the #JoeDumarsWeek conversation on Twitter.

After the Chauncey Billups trade, Joe Dumars frequently discussed his belief that the league was becoming less physical and, as a result, he pursued players who he believed could “stretch the floor and score from all five positions.” Was his philosophy right and the players he chose wrong, or did he get miscalculate on both counts?

Dan Feldman: Both. The key pieces for Dumars’ 2009-era rebuild – Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villauneva and Austin Daye – could have all developed into decent, maybe even good scorers. But not together. They all are too reliant on having the ball in their hands to create. Plus, if the league was making scoring easier, the premium should have been placed on the defenders who could still get stops.

Patrick Hayes: Both. I think Dumars became too fixated on the way the Pistons were being beaten in the playoffs, namely by heavy isos against superstar players like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James (as apa8ren9 noted in the comments). Instead of simply shoring up the defense by (finally) trying to find a defensive big man to replace Ben Wallace and adding a defensive-minded swingman or two (or, heaven forbid, developing one of the ones he had in Delfino or Afflalo), he changed up the model, built an iso-heavy team around Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince, focused less on building the defense and the dropoff was both dramatic and predictable. It was a total sell-out of his values and a total miscalculation of both the league and of the talent level of the players he acquired.

Ryan Slocum: Joe absolutely miscalculated on both, along with just about every other move he’s made since the Cavs eliminated Detroit in the East Finals in ’07. But those are other stories for other days.

I think you are definitely onto maybe his biggest issue here. When the Pistons introduced their ’09 draft class, I asked Joe why he drafted four small forwards (Daye, Jerebko, Summers, Budinger) and he told me that the league was changing to a high scoring up and down game. He said look at Phoenix and Orlando (which just came off a trip to the finals with one big and a bunch of wings). I couldn’t believe what he was saying because Phoenix was the most underacheiving team of the decade, and Orlando LOST the finals to the Lakers, who became elite only when they went BIGGER the year before with the Gasol move. The Celtics did the same, getting big and playing defense with Garnett and Perkins.

The best teams were traditional, but Joe decided to go with the gimmick offense junk. Then just to add icing on the cake, the Magic completely changed styles that very same summer and went more traditional, and the Suns traded for Shaq …  So much for the league "changing". Joe wasn’t even close on this one.

In the 2011-12 offseason, Dumars stressed the need to rebuild the team around the tough, defensive principles characteristic of the franchise’s greatest teams. Realistically, which players on the current roster could you envision being a reliable contributor to a great defensive team?

Dan Feldman: Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko have proven they can be key pieces on any team. Tayshaun Prince is hanging around that level, for now. Brandon Knight could get there, too. None of them are going to help implant a defensive mindset. At best, they won’t hurt a top defense.

Patrick Hayes: Greg Monroe has quick hands and already gets a lot of steals. If he improves his defensive awareness, he’s an easy answer. Jonas Jerebko is active and can defend either forward spot in a pinch, depending on matchups. Brandon Knight has long arms and is quick enough to eventually become a bothersome perimeter defender. That’s about it. Rodney Stuckey has been stuck on defensive potential for years, but rarely actually shown it for prolonged stretches. I’m selling on his ability to ever become a top-notch defender.

Ryan Slocum: I’ve never thought of this question for the team as a whole, just individual players … and now I wish I hadn’t.

WOW … Stuckey maybe, a BIG maybe. BG can’t at all. I can’t believe I’m even typing Charlie V and defense in the same sentence. Obviously like Daye’s length but we’re coming closer to being safe to say that pick was a bust. Jonas is a hustler, but he is a 3 NOT a 4, but we know this team likes playing guys out of position. Isn’t that right Hot Rod?

Maxiell is what he is. Moose gets better everyday, so I have to believe he can get better on D. Will be be an elite defender? Probably not, but he can probably be good. If I had to put money on one player becoming a great defender it would be Knight just because of his speed, but that will be tough with the number of amazing PGs in the league right now.

Dumars clearly believed that his rebuilt version of the Pistons needed more offense. The last five NBA champions have finished second, first, sixth, fourth and eighth in the league in defensive rating, respectively. Could you ever see an average or slightly below defensive team winning a NBA title?

Dan Feldman: Yes. In their heyday, Mike D’Antoni’s Suns, though they fell short, were capable of winning a title. Their defense floated around the league average, but their offense was elite. It’s not an easy formula to duplicate, and attempting to do so without a Steve Nash is probably foolish.

Patrick Hayes: New York Knicks, 2012 NBA champs. No, there’s no way a team can win a seven game series without being good defensively.

Ryan Slocum: Yeah it’s possible for an average defensive team to win, they would probably have to be 1 or 2 in the league on offense though. That’s what puzzles me so much about what Joe did a few years ago. Going back to the first question, Joe wanted to play like Phoenix and Orlando, which NEVER WON ANYTHING!!!

Joe knows that you have to have tough guys. It was like that when he played and it’s like that now. I can’t for the life of me figure why he abandoned everything he’s ever known, and to make matters worse, the guys he signed to play this amazing offense are currently last in the league in scoring.

They say that in the NBA you have to hit rock bottom to build back up, and many times that’s true, but I don’t think it had to be in the Pistons case. Joe never made tweeks when he had the pieces to do it, and when he finally did (Iverson), they were horrible moves.

And please don’t give me the "but Joe was handcuffed and couldn’t correct his mistakes" bit. How many redos does this guy need? And here’s a concept, QUIT MAKING HUGE MISTAKES THAT NEED TO BE CORRECTED! You can make little ones, but his have been franchise killing abominations.

I love Joe. Loved him as a player, and he’s probably the best human this side of Lidstrom, but holy cow it’s been a rough five years.

What do you think? Share your answers to each question in the comments.


  • Feb 7, 20126:05 pm
    by Mark


    Joe clearly predicted wrong when he thought the NBA was going away from defense. Every team thats won it all since ’04 has been great on defense, even those Laker teams were great defensively.

    The problem with the ’06-’08 teams had wasnt that the starters couldnt score enough. It was that he never re-built the bench after James, Okur, Corliss, and Elden left. They needed to add scorers to the bench, and get their extra scoring that way, not replace the starters with better offensive players.

    What wins championships is a starting lineup of 2-way players that play both ends, and then specialists off the bench, in the form of scorers, defensive stoppers, rebounders, and energy guys etc. They had the 2 way starting 5, they had a defensive stopper in Hunter, they had rebounding and defense in Dice, and an energy guy in Maxiell. All they needed was a couple consistent veteran scorers added to that bench to get them over hump. You would think after losing in game 6 in the ECF two straight that by the 3rd yr they would’ve addressed that somehow, but they never did and it probably cost them a chance at another title. 

    • Feb 7, 20126:07 pm
      by Mark


      Relying on Stuckey/Afflalo – 2 rookies – to be the difference in getting over the hump was foolish if that was their plan.

  • Feb 7, 20126:49 pm
    by Haan


    Lots of good analysis.  Thanks.  I agree entirely with Slocum’s closing sentiment (“I love Joe. Loved him as a player, and he’s probably the best human this side of Lidstrom, but holy cow it’s been a rough five years.”)  One outstanding draft pick and a good trade (facilitated by an amnesty of Gordon?) and we’re closing in on being a good team in a hurry.  So maybe redemption’s within sight for Joe or, like Moses, does he not get to enter the promised land?

  • Feb 7, 20127:28 pm
    by Jacob


    1. Both. I don’t know how he could look at 60 years of evidence and decide that because a few teams had some success the previous few years that that was the model to follow. And even if it was the model to follow he got a heralded 6th man who only plays offense in BG  (probably swayed by his 1st round performance against Boston that year) who also plays the same position as the team’s best offensive player in Rip. And he got CV who was coming off a decent season for a pretty bad team in Milwaukee (which will undoubtedly turn out to be the height of his NBA career). Those 2 were supposed to transition the team into this so called new era of offensive versatile players?
    2. Knight – might be the best perimeter defender on the team already. Monroe – active hands, good D rebounder, but needs to work on position and awareness. Prince – still an above average one-on-one defender, but needs better team defense behind him. Probably Jerebko and maybe, maybe Stuckey.
    3. No. The deeper you go in the playoffs the better your defense needs to be because you’re going to have to stop guys who can score. Get to the conference finals – yes. Get to the NBA finals – maybe if you have an incredible offense. But winning an NBA title? I think if you’re just outside of the top 10 in defense and have a great offense with at least 1 incredible scorer then yeah, but otherwise you need a good defense.

  • Feb 7, 20128:00 pm
    by vic


    This really shows the power of a bad philosophy. Amazing. With one misguided stream of thought based on trends instead of facts – 4 years of Pistons basketball were destroyed

  • Feb 7, 20128:11 pm
    by neutes


    wrong dajuan done got cut. shhhh. don’t tell frankie d.

  • Feb 7, 20128:45 pm
    by apa8ren9


    Yes, years of goodwill and credibility gone just like that now he has to endure threats to injure him on the Piston powered forums LOL.  But the test of a man is not when things are going good but when it is going bad.  We see that he has the green light from Gores, now what is he going to do with it.  I think he can pull it off, but we are so spoiled here because of that last run.  We were legitimate contenders not pretenders like Utah or Phoenix and we only got 1 championship.  I swear if we had got that second one at any point thru 08 every one would still be on Joe’s nuts right now, but it didnt happen so we must suffer now.

    • Feb 7, 20129:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Haha, come on now, only one commenter has threatened injury. I think most make capable arguments for an against the job Dumars has done.

  • Feb 7, 20129:49 pm
    by Max


    This is the worst and most biased thread I’ve ever encountered on this site.  All of the questions were framed in such a way as to insure criticism and all three bloggers treated Dumars with about as much objectivity as the Republican do Pres. Obama. I think this site might have be using “Joe Dumars Week” as a hammer to try and bring him down, but he’s faced tougher opponents than the lot of you.  Eat some protein and iron why don’t ya?

    • Feb 7, 201211:17 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      From Dan Feldman’s intro post yesterday:

      “This week, in addition to our normal coverage, we’re going to present a series of posts on Dumars – a referendum on his tenure as Pistons president, and ultimately, whether it should continue.”

      Yesterday, the post on his draft record was largely positive. Today, the topic was Dumars’ stated belief that offensive minded players were at more of a premium, and that shaped his vision for the roster. Obviously, there were some flaws in that thinking that are fair to point out.

      The posts this week are designed to provide analysis of the positive and negative aspects of Dumars-as-GM, which will hopefully continue to generate the mostly intelligent discussion we’ve had in the comments.

      Your above comment is moronic and brings no value to the table. Disagreements are fine and they’re part of the reason we wanted to do this series in the first place. But if you can’t articulate a dissenting argument with any intelligence, then don’t bother posting the comment. Some people have better things to do than read through gibberish like you just posted.

      • Feb 7, 201211:20 pm
        by Max


        What about my point regarding the framing of the questions?   If I say to you, explain was Joe wrong about this or was Joe wrong about that, I can pretty much expect that you will say he was wrong.

  • Feb 7, 201211:26 pm
    by Max


    Looking back the 2nd question was not as unfair as I previously stated.  The first is just as I say above and the 3rd is leading because you basically say Dumars has clearly emphasized defense, here is why defense is important and you can’t win with defense.   The juxtaposition is there to suggest Dumars values offense at the expense of defense but he never said so.
    And the previous thread on this issue gave me the politics connection in the first place because you pretty much offered a series of separate statements, out of context, to draw conclusions he didn’t intend and while you didn’t call him a flip flopper or something, you might as well.

    • Feb 7, 201211:38 pm
      by Patrick Hayes



      The main point of my argument was that Dumars altered his philosophy because he believed the league was changing to a free-wheeling, more offense-first style. I didn’t “offer separate statements out of context.” I highlighted examples of the MANY times Dumars expressed his belief that the league had changed and, therefore, the way he believed he needed to construct the roster had changed as well. In the post above, Ryan Slocum, a reporter who covers the team, even gives an example of specifically asking Dumars the question and getting the VERY response I am mentioning. There are literally dozens of examples of Dumars expressing this. I don’t get how it is somehow out of bounds for me to point it out. It is a fact that has been reported multiple times. There is nothing out of context at all.

      Your political comparison is imbecilic. Dumars is not a politician. He’s not “flip-flopping.” He works in a business that requires occasional philosophical changes. I actually credit him for being more willing to change than a lot of his counterparts are, especially counterparts who have won. But he got it wrong. He stated many times that the league was changing, he wanted to model his team’s versatility to match versatile teams like PHX and ORL (2 examples he frequently gave) and not only did the rest of the league not move in that direction, PHX and ORL also moved away from their non-traditional roster constructions into more traditional looks. He miscalculated, and it cost the franchise a lot of money for players who are not very good. It cost them an asset in Billups who had more value than an expiring contract at the time he was traded. It cost them in terms of giving up on a couple of young players too soon to remake the franchise in this new vision quicker. It is not out of bounds or unfair to say those things.

      • Feb 7, 201211:46 pm
        by Max


        If Dumars for instance says a team needs to get a stretch four if they CANT get a traditional rugged big than why is the emphasis placed heavier on a change in the philosophy than the “can’t” because the “can’t” tells me clearly which he’d prefer to have.
        I didn’t say anything was out of bounds but that I didn’t like the leading nature of the way the questions were framed.  I don’t believe that anyone could frame questions in such a way if they didn’t have a prejudice about how they would like the questions to be answered.

      • Feb 7, 201211:51 pm
        by Max


        Could he have traded a Billups for a Monroe?  No.

      • Feb 8, 201212:01 am
        by Max


        BTW: I thought Dumars should have waited one more year so he could have been a player in the summer of LBJ even though it would have been about a the B level free agents.   However, I have trouble thinking so now since I can’t think of that player who they could have gotten that would be worth the fact that they wound up drafting Monroe and Knight back to back.    Waiting a year probably couldn’t have done more than keep the Pistons mediocre since they wouldn’t have singed a superstar anyway and so whether he waited a year or kept it all together, the Pistons would be mediocre at best right now with no building blocks for the future.
        And to be clear. fair and objective, this is in now way a defense of anything Dumars has done as he he didn’t actually try to bottom out and didn’t deserve to find such good value with low lottery picks.

  • Feb 7, 201211:27 pm
    by Max


    without defense

  • Feb 8, 201212:59 am
    by Joe


    Not only has it been a rough five years but I still think the question remains as to what direction the Pistons are going in. We see a few promising players on the current roster with Monroe, Knight and Jonas but what about the rest? Austion Daye has clearly shown signs of stardom but looks like de doesn’t even want to be a part of the team 80% of the year. Maxiell, Wallace and Charlie V are goofing off throughout half of the game and show little signs of interest. We have a coach who is trying but it doesn’t seem his players are buying into the program. 
    As for Joe Dumars, I could vouch for Joe considering we won a championship in 2004 but if we look at the horrible draft pick of Darko and trading our leader when we were playing great, makes me question his theory at times. With all due respect for the man being the great that he is, it may be in the best interest of Tom Gores to go into a new direction. Considering half of the old staff is already gone and bring in a fresh look and direction for the team. Joe Dumars may have outstayed his time as the GM of the team and I also believe it would be in the best interest to get fresh players on the roster that will actually show up to play and show a little bit more care than this mess we are currently dealing with.

  • Feb 8, 20129:20 am
    by vic


    i think Joe d will be alright. he has a lot of respect and a natural talent. we just need to make sure he is totally divorced from following trends, realizes the game doesnt changed, and gets back to Pistons basketball, with the use of statistics

    • Feb 8, 20129:29 am
      by vic


      he needs to get familiar with brain typing too, because he keeps picking players with the same brain types, especially guards

  • Feb 8, 20129:57 am
    by Andrew


    One thing that never gets mentioned:  Dumar’s masterful (albeit unintentional) tank got us Monroe, who looks to be a legitimate franchise cornerstone.  If he’d made better moves, even after going wrong by trading Billups for cap space (not trading Afflalo and Johnson, signing Gortat rather than Gordon/CV for instance) the team likely would have been in worse shape now by having no young potential star to build around.  If Knight pans out and the team drafts well with this season’s lottery pick, Dumar’s lapse into incompetence might have saved the team’s next decade.

  • Feb 8, 201212:07 pm
    by Joe


    Andrew, I couldn’t agree more with Monroe being a cornerstone to the franchise and with B. Knight at the point, who is hungry and agressive, will be a promising card for the team. As far as Joe Dumars go, I think his mistakes with the signings as you have mentioned above are hurting the team. I think if he can clear some of this cancer in the system and start to put together a younger team without Tayshaun, Maxiell, Wallace and the rest will start to turn this franchise around. I also think the re-signing of Tayshaun was a bad idea and I haven’t seen his being beneficial to our team. I know someone can make a case for his numbers but at the end of the day when you’re looking at our double-digit losses it is hard to analyze anything positive in the system.

  • Feb 8, 20122:14 pm
    by Max


    This thread is called “Joe Dumars’ Philosophy” but does anyone think Dumars would see himself accurately depicted in the main post?

  • Feb 8, 20129:29 pm
    by Max


    You’re a name caller and rarely substantiate an argument for why I am wrong other than by weakly and lazily attacking me.   And when you do bother to make a point or two, you usually willfully twist things I say rather than confront them directly or fairly.  The way Dumars comments are used often follows this strategy as well and things are definitely being attributed to him that he wouldn’t agree with.
    For instance, do you think Dumars would agree  with your quote that he totally sold out his values and miscalculated regarding the overall landscape of the league?  If not, then I made a valid point and you called me a name because you were being defensive.

    • Feb 8, 201211:00 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I will lay this out for you one more time.

      This was an opinion piece. It is clearly identifiable as such. It is three people discussing a viewpoint that I went into detail about in the previous post. Do I have bias? Absolutely. Anyone with a viewpoint does. But I did a sufficient job of explaining, with ample evidence, why I believe what I believe. You are the one who hasn’t done a good job of mounting a counter-argument. You’re counter-argument consists of “Your questions are mean derp!”

      Secondly, even if they are phrased unfairly (which they aren’t), the two others participating could’ve easily said, “That’s a loaded question and here’s why.” It’s not like I tricked them into answering how I wanted them to. They’re both thinking humans with brains who are opinionated themselves and also not shy about disagreeing and arguing. If they found a question unfair, they would’ve said so. For you to insinuate that I was trying to bait them into giving answers that I wanted is your way of implying they’re too dumb not to get tricked by me. That’s insulting. You owe Ryan and Dan an apology.

      • Feb 8, 201211:44 pm
        by Max


        You just made my point again when you failed to acknowledge that I had raised a valid point regarding whether Dumars would see his philosophy reflected in this article and instead, for the very first time, answered me regarding my repeated charges of your framing questions in a leading manner.
        As to your charges.  I have expressed myself on a variety of these issues and have written many a long, substantiated post, and I believe many know where I stand whether they agree with my opinions or not and I would be largely repeating myself if I attacked this article point by point so I don’t think it was due to a failure to object to your points that I raised the issue about whether the questions were loaded.
        Sometimes I have been sarcastic in my disagreements and sometimes I have gone as far as to questions a person’s intellectual honesty or willingness to obscure or omit relevant data but I have never descended to single sentence name calling and as you have called me just about every word for idiot  in your thesaurus, I find myself wondering who exactly is owed an apology since you bring up the girly man topic of desiring apologies on a sports blog.   I would say your argument about why I insulted Dan and Ryan is pretty convoluted nonsense, but I’m not looking for any apologies.
        Was that insulting?  Maybe. and I guess if you’re soft in the head you get insulted  when someone says you should eat more protein and iron, but such an insult is at least brainier (notice the irony) than calling someone brain dead.

        • Feb 9, 201212:23 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          “I have expressed myself on a variety of these issues and have written many a long, substantiated post”

          Have you considered that maybe that’s the problem? You post A LOT. Like way too much sometimes. Also, you have a real problem figuring out that ‘reply’ button. So half the time you’re responding to something that was raised like 15 comments above and it becomes a wordy mess that no one can follow. I don’t respond to every comment. I try to get to what I can. Honestly, your descriptions of the points you want to make are not articulated clearly. Just say, “Do you think that this is really Dumars’ philosophy or are you just assuming?”

          My response to that: Of course I’m assuming. But I think it’s a pretty educated assumption. The guy doesn’t do a lot of interviews. The ones he has done over the years, he’s given some pretty specific clues that he believed the league was changing, that he needed more offense and that he believed bad defensive players could be taught to be good defensive players. So yes, I’m comfortable assuming that those are or at least were parts of his philosophy, since he shared those things publicly on multiple occasions. Joe Dumars is free to contact me and I’d happily print a retraction if he wants to clear something up or feels something is out of context.

  • Feb 8, 201211:54 pm
    by Max


    And looking back I see that I did mount some arguments that you ignored so once again:  Why is the emphasis placed on Dumars changing his philosophy when he says something like “You need a stretch four when you can’t get the tradtional rugged big” rather than the “can’t” because the statement in and of itself proves that he still prefers the traditional way of constructing a team?

    • Feb 9, 201212:26 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      The stretch four comment was interesting to me because he had already had a stretch four in Rasheed Wallace. That stretch four happened to also play damned good defense (most of the time). With Villanueva, a guy who NEVER played any kind of passable defense in college or the NBA, Dumars clearly just valued his shooting.

      That comment said to me that Dumars felt the offense part of the stretch four was more important than finding a big who could shoot but who also could defend some. Those players do exist. Ryan Anderson is a stretch four who is pretty solid defensively right now, for example. Matt Bonner is another stretch four who has become a solid defender.

      That statement, to me, proved that defense was somewhat of an afterthought.

  • Feb 9, 201212:07 am
    by Max


    When I wrote “This thread is called “Joe Dumars’ Philosophy” but does anyone think Dumars would see himself accurately depicted in the main post?” it was not an attack on whether you had a right to speculate and give opinions regarding Dumars’ philosophy on basketball, but a query as to whether he would agree that you had succeeded in reproducing a version of his philosophy that he would recognize as his own.   I’m guessing he wouldn’t but I didn’t even say so.  You took that as an attack and said I was brain dead but it was a valid question and didn’t have to relate to anything between us.

    • Feb 9, 201212:30 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      You wrote this above: “This is the worst and most biased thread I’ve ever encountered on this site.”

      That was ignorant. Admittedly, I haven’t taken any of your comments all that seriously since then.

      I don’t know if you’re brain dead. I do know that you post rambling comments that are hard to follow, you don’t use the reply button correctly and you tend to accuse opinions that you don’t agree with of being biased or unfair.

      So that’s fine. Despite multiple comments from Dumars to the contrary, as well as multiple personnel moves to the contrary, you don’t believe that seeking out offensive-minded players has been a heightened part of Dumars’ philosophy over the last three or four years. You have yet to say why you believe this, even in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. Charlie Villanueva, Ben Gordon and Austin Daye could totally be anchors of a great defensive team, I guess.

  • Feb 9, 20121:48 am
    by Max


    I happen to have been sick with the flu for several weeks now and haven’t been leaving my room much.  However, I will endeavor to post less and use the reply button more often.   One more for the night.
    On Defending that Dumars Always Valued Defense:
    First, refer to “Can’t”.
    I’ve been a Pistons fan for decades and have always loved defense more than anything.   I am always looking for defensive players the Pistons could get but I haven’t seen or heard the names that were gettable that Joe passed on.   Defensive anchors are extremely rare and hard to acquire.
    One frequent poster often refers to DeAndre Jordan, who Dumars obviously missed, but I think a lot of people thought a few years ago that he wouldn’t be an NBA player and these things happen to every team a lot.    Look at Hassan Whiteside who blocked like 5 a game in college.
    As to the players he has acquired and drafted.
    Dumars never wanted to lose Big Ben and he got him back when he could.
    Jerebko is nothing if not a hustling guy you would draft hoping he could defend and his inclusion regarding the notion that Duamrs was imitating the Suns and Magic might be insulting to him.
    Austin Daye is yet another example of the Pistons valuing very long arms on draft day and it’s not like the guy hasn’t shown he might one day be a special shot blocker of outside shots.  Remember the way he played against the Heat this year and made that key swipe on LBJ?  I’m not saying I’m a believer but I do see flashes.
    Speaking of long arms. Tayshaun has always been known as a good defender.
    Rodney Stuckey is very highly rated on D by some if not others.  Would we guess Dumars thinks or thought he could defend?
    Kwame Brown was once here who a lot of people praise as being a very good low post defender.  The issue always inspires controversy but he has his supporters.
    There were many reports that Brandon Knight would be the best defensive PG in the draft.
    I think Dumars envisioned Maxiell as a better shot blocker and rebounder, but he has at least been serviceable in those regards and has made many an awesome swat.
    I think he values Wilkins at least partially for defense.
    The only true evidence of Dumars emphasizing offense to the detriment of defense was in the signing of CV and BG and I’d agree that Dumars thought he needed scorers.
    With BG, is is not interesting then that he put a lot of money into a yearly 6th man of the year candidate at that point and not a guy who got to start until RIP got injured?  Is that such a compromise of allegiance to defense?

    CV gives me a chance to respond to some stuff.  I don’t think Dumars thought of him as much more than a band aid who he could flip and I think he relied on the word of John Hammond for that confidence too much.  However, I think the real answer to why Dumars picked 2 tweeners and one small forward that summer (Budinger shouldn’t count and Dumars certainly didn’t pick 4 small forwards as is misrepresented) was that he perceived a possible hole at PF and knew Prince’s contract was coming up.   I don’t know why this notion isn’t so obvious to everyone else, he hedged his bets between Prince, CV, Daye and Jerebko and Summers because he perceived possible areas of weakness.
    “Why would you draft 4 small forwards” from a reporter puts Dumars on the defensive and no matter what he says in an isolated response, it is quite obvious that he could have given dozens of answers and been telling the truth about all of them because 15th and 2nd round picks come down to a variety of factors.  It’s not like Dumars is ever going to say, “Well, the other team picked the guy I really wanted”, when he is talking to the press.
    I do think Dumars screwed himself with the timing of the trade because it was not the right summer to get under the cap and if you go back to the majority of Dumars’ moves, he always acted as quickly as possible to sign the best players he could.
    It is all well and good now to give Dumars great credit for signing Billups for instance, but you could also take the tact the Dumars simply offered the MLE to the best free agent who was clearly the best available free agent who anyone could sign for MLE and he struck as soon as the gates opened and gave Billups every assurance–and liken it to how he went after BG since there was not even a Boozer on the market.
    So ultimately, I don’t think the isolated signings of BG and CV are worthy of saying that Dumars totally sold out his values.  I hope that wasn’t too rambling for you.

    • Feb 9, 20122:21 am
      by Max


      I couldn’t help myself; I apologize………..one more point.
      When the Pistons drafted Monroe, the reports were that  Dumars wanted Udoh, who the Warriors surprisingly picked one pick earlier, and who would have been a purely defensive pick.
      This year, he drafted Knight, after the Jazz surprisingly didn’t draft him, and after, the Bobcats surprisingly traded up to draft Biyombo, who reports said Dumars wanted to draft and who once again would have been a purely defensive pick.
      When you look at these two drafts, you could argue that the Warriors and Bobcats valued the notion that Dumars thought these two players could be the next Ben Wallace and stole them from him.

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