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Brandon Knight makes baby steps toward freeing Rodney Stuckey to grow

Rodney Stuckey has served as Brandon Knight’s safety net this season.

When Knight turns the ball over too much, Lawrence Frank moves Stuckey to point guard and Knight off the ball. When Knight leaves leaves his man open too often, Frank gives Stuckey the tougher guard to defend.

Much of Stuckey’s value to this team derives from his ability not to make mistakes. Of course, not turning the ball over and not allowing his man to get wide open looks have real value. But at a certain point, Stuckey must show he can create plays on offense and force stops on defense.

Put another way, Knight has slowed Stuckey’s progress. Because Knight is a bad starting point guard right now, Stuckey often takes on some of Knight’s responsibilities. It’s a heavy burden on Stuckey, who’s still growing into his game at shooting guard, which appears to be his long-term position in Detroit.

For most of the game tonight, Rajon Rondo carved up Knight. In the game’s first six minutes, Rondo scored seven points, assisted two other baskets, stole the ball from Knight and drew two Knight fouls. The second foul sent Knight to the bench, and Frank tried Ben Gordon and Will Bynum on Rondo.

Obviously it didn’t work. Rondo – who had a career-high 35 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals – is too quick for the slow-footed Gordon and Bynum. Knight guarded Rondo to start the second half, and while he stopped fouling, he went too far the other way and allowed Rondo to make a few short open jumpers.

A lot has been written about Knight needing to improve offensively, but his defense is just as much a work in progress. Knight has the height and length to become a good defender. He also moves his feet well, although he does so with little purpose right now. And until he adds strength, he’ll get pushed around inside.

Rondo, one of the league’s savviest players, took advantage of the giant gap between Knight’s defensive potential and Knight’s defensive ability.

While all this was going on, Stuckey was having quite the game. He did a good job of getting to the rim, drawing contact and making free throws. He also forced too many jumpers, but he passed well and took care of the ball. Stuckey finished with 25 points, four assists and one turnover in 37 minutes. He also played quality defense on Ray Allen, who finished 1-of-5.

Finally, Frank moved Stuckey onto Rondo late in the third quarter. All of a sudden, Rondo’s offense slowed. But so did Stuckey’s.

Stuckey has a tough job this season, but it’s fair to question why he hasn’t ever played at a high level on both offense and defense for a sustained stretch. I’m not sure whether he’s missing the physical or mental stamina to do it, but becoming a consistent two-way player is the next step in his growth.

Maybe Stuckey will figure it out. Maybe he won’t. Either way, once Knight learns how to play at the NBA level, Stuckey will have a better chance of developing himself.

Knight took a step in that direction tonight.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Knight found himself guarding Rondo on the ball again. Knight inched closer than he had during the rest of the second half, and unlike the first half, he didn’t foul. Knight’s perfect defense forced a miss, then he ran the floor and made a layup. The Pistons led by 11 and were on their way to a 98-88 win.

It was only one play, but it’s encouraging – not just for Knight, but for Stuckey, too.

Greg Monroe drifts outside, effectively

Greg Monroe’s jumper is looking better and better, which is mostly encouraging, but there is a downside.

Monroe (22 points and nine rebounds) made jumpers from 6, 8, 9, 14 and 17 feet, and his only miss outside four feet came from 22 feet. An ability shoot from the perimeter makes Monroe more dangerous, especially on nights like this, when the Celtics played strong interior defense.

Monroe took jumpers, because they were available to him. But I’d like to see him force his way into the post a little more and create short shots with his strong footwork and ability to finish with either hand. Because he didn’t do that tonight, Monroe didn’t attempt a free throw.

Ben Gordon becoming super scoring sub

Tonight provided more evidence Ben Gordon is taking to his new role. He scored 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers. He didn’t do much else, but that’s OK.

Don’t pass. Don’t dribble to set up others. Just score.

As long as the Pistons ask Gordon to do that – and it’s easier when he’s coming off the bench – Gordon can live up to expectations.

69 Comments

  • Feb 15, 201211:24 pm
    by David

    Reply

    Monroe is having a hell of a month, basically averaging 20/10 over the last 8 games (including his 4-point performance against the Spurs).

    While this is far from being an good season of Pistons b-ball, watching Monroe develop night after night is awesome. 

  • Feb 15, 201211:25 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    great description of best case scenario with gordon. he is valuable, with those restrictions.

    • Feb 15, 201211:35 pm
      by neutes

      Reply

      in other words, he’s valuable one out of every 10 games that he actually does do what he did tonight. So about 10% of the time.

      • Feb 15, 201211:40 pm
        by Stuckey and whoever

        Reply

        He is not that bad, how many games has he been back?  Off the bench looks like the points are there and with less turnovers.  How great of a job is it when all the coach wants you to do is come off the bench and score!

  • Feb 15, 201211:45 pm
    by rick77

    Reply

    It doesnt seem to matter what Stuckey does he will never be liked around here.  “He also forced too many jumpers” I would think with that stat line that had the man shooting 7-15 and 11-11 from the free throw line which helps his teammates get to the free throw line as well, would be great considering it was not a high volume of shots. I read this line and I say to myself no matter what this kid does folks around here will never be pleased. If I am not mistaken he also had like 5 or 6 assists. So I guess he needed to play like Rondo and have his team lose the game in order for him to get a pass. I got one better if Knight played the same floor game that he did then Knight would be the second coming of Isaiah Thomas. I think Stuckey gets a lot of negative pub for no reason and people hate the contract he got but considering his age and expectations I feel it was a relatively safe investment. Overall good win against a veteran team. You are suppose to beat teams that are missing their top players just as they have been doing Detroit all year. This team would be a lot better had they had a training camp as well as time to adjust to new system. They still need a extra big but if they play like teh old stones (together) the sky is the limit.

    • Feb 15, 201211:58 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Stuckey does get undue criticism here, although much more from commenters than from writers. But it makes sense that Knight would be more lauded than Stuckey for providing the same stat line. Knight is a rookie. Stuckey is a 5th year veteran.

      • Feb 16, 201212:12 am
        by Stuckey and whoever

        Reply

        Stuckey is 25, that is not a veteran.  And been in the league less than 4 1/2 seasons.

        • Feb 16, 201212:21 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          He is a 5th year player. I guess you could take offense at my use of the word veteran. But my words very clearly described where he is at because of the whole saying “5th year” bit. And yes, the season is less than halfway over, what’s your point? Furthermore, on this team, he is one of the oldest players with a major role.

          Either way, my point remains which is that the same stat line is more impressive from a rookie than from a guy in his 5th year.

          • Feb 16, 201212:30 am
            by Stuckey and whoever

            Still not a veteran, and that stat line will not stay the same.  Trust me

          • Feb 16, 201212:36 am
            by tarsier

            I have no reason to trust you, I don’t know you; I don’t know why you would tell me to trust you on a a comment forum, but whatever. The term veteran does not have a clear definition so we’ll call that a pointless argument over nomenclature. And I don’t know why you brought it up again, because, as you can see, for your benefit, I changed my wording to 5th year player.

            I don’t expect Stuckey’s stat line to stay the same. It has marginally improved each season and I expect a year or two, maybe three, of marginal improvement. I would not however be in the least bit surprised if one of those years he had a slightly bigger jump in production, or if he did plateau, or even if his production tapered off slightly.

          • Feb 16, 201212:55 am
            by neutes

            How is a 5th year player not a veteran?

          • Feb 16, 20121:02 am
            by tarsier

            He thinks of veteran as meaning old player. Like Prince.

  • Feb 15, 201211:54 pm
    by Jack

    Reply

    I feellike we are playing ourselves out of a top 5 pick for no reason… I would say we have a legit chance at catching the wizards nets and hornets but not when we win like this.. I am not willing to pick in 6-10 range again not when all the good bigs are going top 5 we need to stop winning pointless games.. We need to at least 3rd last.. It should be
    1. Bobcats
    2. Hornets
    3.pistons
    4. Wizards
    5.Nets(when Lopez comes back they should improve significantly

    But right now we are tied with the raptors and if we beat the kings next game will we be tied with them for 7th which will be terrible

    • Feb 16, 201212:04 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      You’re not willing to pick in the 6-10 range? Interesting, what are you going to do about it? Also, I don’t expect the Pistons to keep winning like crazy. But this is actually a year when there are several lauded bigs that will be going in that range. With Davis, Drummond, Jones, Sullinger, and Robinson to go with Barnes and Kidd-Gilchrist, odds are there is a quality big still at 7. And even Zeller looks reasonable. Plus, who cares if the Pistons get a big. I want them to get a star. That’s what they need regardless of position. Although, I too am hoping they lose a little more so they can get a great draft pick (be it a big or a wing). I just am entertained by your not being willing. Those are words that only mean something from someone in some control of the situation.

      • Feb 16, 201212:17 am
        by Stuckey and whoever

        Reply

        “Pistons need a star”…did you watch the 2004 team beat the team full of hall of hame players??  Pistons need chemistry more than anything.  How come we won the last 5 out of 7?  They played as a team.  Doubt me, look at the film.

        • Feb 16, 201212:26 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I don’t argue for a moment that a championship can’t be won without a superstar (although lately some are saying Ben Wallace was a superstar–he wasn’t, though he was still a phenomenal player). When I say the Pistons need a star, what I mean is that far and away their best hope at contention is to land a superstar (all I did leave off the prefix super to avoid comments exactly like yours). Teams have won without a superstar, but is nearly impossible and therefore very rare. I’d rather take the best odds possible.

          And yeah, the Pistons can win sometimes even with this group when they play well together, but they can’t contend. I am hoping the Pistons become a contender, not a team that can occasionally win 5 of 7 games.

          • Feb 16, 20121:01 am
            by neutes

            Ben Wallace was a superstar, and no, sorry, but you can’t win shit without a superstar. You really think we won a title without a superstar? It’s not possible. Billups was a star as well. But if those guys do prove anything it’s that you can find them in other ways, even if you’re making a case with outliers. Getting a star for the most part just happens. Odds are a lot better that you draft one than find a different avenue to one though.

          • Feb 16, 20121:05 am
            by tarsier

            They were both stars. but I’d hesitate to put on the prefix super- but that is another term that is not really clearly defined, so it’s a difference of how we use the nomenclature. To me, a superstar is a player that you can put on a crap team and he will make them good, maybe not contenders, but legitimately good. You typically have to put him on a good team to make them contenders.

          • Feb 16, 20129:15 am
            by gerdz

            lol then you can’t call deron williams a superstar?

          • Feb 16, 20121:13 pm
            by tarsier

            True, he’d always looked the part. And I would have always called him one. But this year, he is really showing that he may not be quite on that level. Just a great fit with the Jazz maybe? I’d still label him a top 20 player though.

  • Feb 16, 201212:03 am
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    This game shows why I’m a Gordon fan…If Gordon receives consistent minutes every night we would see him put up high number every night…

    • Feb 16, 201212:09 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Did you not watch him while he was getting consistent minutes for the first two-thirds of last season? In the first 65 games, he averaged nearly 30 mpg with only 6 games under 20 minutes (and those were still all in the high teens). Obviously he didn’t get quite 28 minutes plus or minus 3 every night. Nobody is in that small a range. But by NBA standards, that is exactly what qualifies as consistent minutes. Look at the game log if you doubt me.

      • Feb 16, 20121:01 am
        by Jodi Jezz

        Reply

        @tarsier: I don’t think you get what I was saying or maybe I worded it wrong…All I was saying is if he gets these +28 minutes every night we should expect this from Gordon…I agree with you that he’s been getting more than enough minutes this season…Hopefully he can keep giving us instant offense as our 6th man…I’ve been waiting for a game like this where Gordon comes off the bench and goes off!!

        • Feb 16, 20121:08 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I’m saying he was getting those minutes last season. As in during 2010-2011. And he still performed like crap. I’m not arguing he got such minutes all year. The last 17 games, his role got significantly reduced because of the poor performance in the first 65.

          But last season, when he got these sorts of minutes, whether you expected this production from him or not, you didn’t get it from him.

          • Feb 16, 20121:32 am
            by Jodi Jezz

            Last season he averaged over 41% from the 3pter, that’s pretty good…And you have to think about it, last season we had T-Mac, Rip, and Stuckey all playing SG at times or all of them were in a position to score…Sometimes plays might not run the right way to where you have to go to a 2nd option or sometimes if your teammates hot you allow them to score…Last year T-Mac set up a lot of plays for himself or Monroe, Prince ball hogged and took a lot of shots, and Stuckey played like he always did…Gordon probably couldn’t find anything consistently to get his offense going with all those scoring players trying to score every night…Stuckey, Gordon, and Rip PPG slipped last year so that’s gotta tell you something…In addition, Kuester was our coach and our guys never started any chemistry under his staff…Last year he got those 26MPG in spurts, maybe 28mins here, 16mins there, 12mins here, 31mins there…Nobody can get going if there playing crazy inconsistent minutes like that…

          • Feb 16, 20121:43 am
            by tarsier

            i gave you the stats, they’re easily available if you doubt me, Gordon’s minutes were not inconsistent like you say they were until the last 17 games. again, in the first 65, he only had 6 games under 20 minutes, and they were still all over 15 I think. It was more like 32 one game, 23 the next, then 28, 21, 36, 24, etc. And again, that is how minutes will go for most guys averaging in the 25 to 30 range league wide. If that level of inconsistency is too much fo rhim to overcome, that is really pathetic.

            However, it is true that there were too many SGs on the team (though it didn’t inhibit BG’s minutes much) and that Kuester wasn’t very good at using them. But the complaints about them taking too many shots away? Prince still plays like that. Knight’s play isn’t all that differnt (usage-wise) than TMac’s. Stuckey’s usage has definitely gone up, Monroe’s definitely taking more shots (and he should be getting even more), And Jerebko gives less competition for shots than Rip, but that doesn’t swing things back very much.

            Gordon’s role is pretty similar to last year. The primary differences are Frank vs. Kuester, for whatever that changes and the fact that his presence on the floor doesn’t force others out of position (Rip to SF, Prince to PF).

    • Feb 16, 201212:19 am
      by tim

      Reply

      Dude has had plenty of chances at consistent minutes here in det.  I will agree that he looks fairly solid coming off the bench this season, but people acting like he hasnt had a chance to show his game here havent been paying attention.  Dude is so one dimensional you cant even draw a line on him.  sorry, terrible attempt at humor.

      As for the first post saying this season hasnt been fun to watch, I would argue that the last 7 games (coinciding with their first real break/practice in the season) have been much more enjoyable than any stretch last season.  Even the loss to the spurs was a great and competitive game.  I think this team is slightly better than their record and I will be glad to see them win some more games (and even compete against the good teams in the league) even if it means a drop in the draft.  Outside of Davis, I dont see a real difference maker and there is no way they end up with the worst record with all the crap teams in the league, so why not win a few if they can?

  • Feb 16, 201212:12 am
    by Jack

    Reply

    Okay tarsier.. What would you rather.. We win games like this and pick from the zeller, Henson, sullinger range..
    Or we lose
    And pick from the Davis, Drummond, Robinson, MKG and barnes range?

    I fond it interesting you list jones as a big, I also find it interesting you want a sullinger who would most likely be a terrible fit.. In my eyes the only player that we should target are

    1. Davis
    2. Drummond
    3. Robinson
    4. Barnes
    5. MKG

    My guess is to get any of these player we need a top 5 pick

    • Feb 16, 201212:31 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I already said in my comment that I hope the Pistons lose more this year. If you’re gonna reply to me, could you at least read my whole comment? And yeah, you picked out the 5 guys I would most like.

      Jones plays PF, that is a position usually considered a big. He is listed at 6’11″ and 235 lbs. Those measurements are right in line with many PFs (a bit tall and a bit light, but most players add some weight after joining the NBA).

      I would also be happy with Sullinger. You may think he would be a terrible fit, I don’t. Oh well, difference of opinion, I guess.

      • Feb 16, 201212:52 am
        by frankie d

        Reply

        you must not have seen jones play much. he is strictly a SF.  
        yes, he is tall, but he is totally a finesse player who shies away from the physical dirty work any PF must do.
        he’s a bad defensive rebounder, and a so so defender.
        he is a really unique and talented offensive player but more like an oversized 3 than anything.
        i actually like him and would not mind drafting him.  he is truly one of the most talented players in the country.
        but he is not a PF.  not by any means.

        • Feb 16, 201212:57 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          fair enough. yeah, i’ve seen little of jones. my ability to watch ncaa does tend to be a bit limited. and when i get a chance, baylor is rarely my top pick of teams to watch.

      • Feb 16, 20126:54 am
        by Daye and Knight

        Reply

        Sullinger is about as athletic as a snail…ya him and Monroe (another non athletic player) would be such a scary front court…excuse me for holding in my excitement…

  • Feb 16, 201212:13 am
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    Feels good to be a Stuckey Slappie right about now!

    Just like you Patrick I hope he can be more consistent but nights like tonight make me feel Stuckey is the long term solution in our back court like I been saying

    That is…as long as Stuckey wants to actually stay here

    • Feb 16, 201212:23 am
      by tim

      Reply

      well, he did just sign a long term contract…..    weird to see people so defensive over this.  I am a bigger fan of his than I probably should be, but much of the criticism is well-deserved.  The remainder is due to him being thrust into a role he didnt fit

      • Feb 16, 201212:26 am
        by Daye and Knight

        Reply

        He signed a long term contract only because no one else (to my knowledge) offered him one and when his contract is up he’ll still be only 28.

    • Feb 16, 201212:23 am
      by Stuckey and whoever

      Reply

      I am sticking with this current name I am using.  Because I have already used Stuckey and Russel W JR, Stuckey and Knight, and maybe a few others.  I glad he is helping out Knight and hope he continues through the summer.  Also hope he does want to stay here, unless Portland comes knocking I think he does.

      • Feb 16, 201212:28 am
        by Daye and Knight

        Reply

        That’s what I’m afraid of, he ironically had his best game against Portland maybe to show them what they could have if they want him after his current contract is up

        Hopefully I’m wrong about that tho

        • Feb 16, 201212:04 pm
          by sebastian

          Reply

          Daye and Knight, I think the Wizards’ Nick Young was auditioning for the Blazers, the other night, when he went for 35 pts.
          Nick Young’s contract was not extended by the Wizards and he will be a RFA on July 1.
          But, I was somewhat surprised that the Blazers didn’t offer Stuckey a contract that WE would be forced (or have to decide) to match.
          I still think that WE need Stuckey. The intangibles that he offers are necessary to the team’s overall success.

  • Feb 16, 20121:17 am
    by bitabadaboo

    Reply

    A real fan doesn’t root for his team to lose, get real, Grow A PAIR plz.  as for the Stuckey debate people need to chill wit all the hate, he’s just reaching the age and point of his career where Chauncey was when he came here, not that I am saying he will be what Chauncey was, but it does illustrate the fact that he is still very young and that makes him a very dangerous asset going foward, at a reasonable price. This team is still developing and learning what it means and takes to compete and win, so please chillax enjoy the ride and act like a fan is supposed to, if anything our boys need our support and not a bunch of pussies crying for losses to secure more ping pong balls, in the end learning to win is what it will take to change the culture….

    • Feb 16, 20121:32 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “ learning to win is what it will take to change the culture….”

      What a POS cliche. Winning will change the “culture.” Changing the “culture” will not create more wins. Getting better players will create more wins. Fans root for what is best for their teams. If in your opinion, that’s lots of wins, good for you. In my opinion, it would be the opportunity to draft a superstar. Of the recent teams to rise to contention, only Miami and LA accomplished it by a means other than getting a great pick. LA did it through the Gasol trade, but the Bynum pick sure helped. Boston did it by trading away high picks (Al Jefferson and the #5 that became Green). Chicago did it by drafting Rose. LA did it by drafting Griffin and by trading other high picks (Gordon, Aminu, Minny’s) for Paul. OKC did it by drafting Durant, Harden, and Westbrook. Heck even the Spurs did it by drafting Duncan although later late picks of Manu and Parker sure helped.

  • Feb 16, 20121:23 am
    by Marcus

    Reply

    You should be embarrased by the grammar and spelling in this post. I know its a blog, but come on… try to proof read a bit.

    • Feb 16, 20121:45 pm
      by Dynamizer

      Reply

      I believe you meant it’s not its right, Marcus? Maybe some proofreading would help you.

  • Feb 16, 20122:31 am
    by Jack

    Reply

    Yeah if anything a real fan roots for the team to lose.. It’s smarter than meaningless wins.. Firstly a winning culture is never goi to win anything with players that aren’t good enough… On this team playing right now only 2 could be important pieces on contending teams and that is Monroe and stuckey..if you want to be mediocre and get the 10th for 3 yes and then become 8th seed go ahead.. Also who do you suppose we are going to get good enough players to compete without a high draft pick.. No free agents want to come to Detroit and Joe d hasn’t made a good trade or even trade in 3yrs..
    I feel like this year is our best chance to get a top 5 because next season with the development of Monroe and knight and the draft pick.. I see us being in the 8-10 seed in the east.. So we need to lose these game this year to get a game changer instead of getting a mediocre player and getting the 8-10 pick next year

  • Feb 16, 20123:10 am
    by Nick

    Reply

    I agree with bitabadaboo real piston fans should not cheer for them to lose.We didn’t tank the past few seasons and we got 2 good picks.In this draft it doesn’t matter where we pick at the pistons still gonna get a good player.If anything we should use the amnesty clause on Charlie V and go hard at Javale McGhee. Even bleacher report say that should be the pistons main free agent target.I would take him rite now over Davis or Drummond. Monroe don’t need a rookie big man playing next to him.

    • Feb 16, 20123:30 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      A) It’s way too soon to tell if Detroit got a good pick in Knight.

      B) Regardless of what has happened the last two years, it is simply obvious that, on the whole, the earlier you draft, the better on average the player you get.

      • Feb 16, 20123:45 am
        by Nick

        Reply

        @Tarsier You make a very good point, but if you think about it the draft ain’t nothing but a crap shoot anyway.Just think about the 12 GM’s that passed on Kobe Bryant in the 96 draft. The Charlett Hornets even traded Kobe to the Lakers.That’s why I don’t put too much stock into tanking games.

        • Feb 16, 20129:29 am
          by neutes

          Reply

          The draft is far from a crap shoot. You can draft a star anywhere, and you can draft a bust anywhere, but the likelihood of doing each correlates pretty damn well with your position in the draft. If you come up with a list of the top 25 players I’d bet at least 18-20 of them were drafted in the top 5.

          As for the last two drafts: we could just as easily have Aminu or Udoh had Golden State taken Monroe like they should have. And Knight might not even be any good. Kawhi Leonard, who I know a lot of us wanted, is doing very well in San Antonio. But look at the top 3-5. Irving is killing it. Williams and Kanter are both playing well in lesser roles. Valanciunas is going to tear it up when he gets here. Thompson is doing adequately. Then it falls off. Then it’s maybe a good player falls here, maybe one there, but you go from every pick being productive to maybe 1 in 4, then 1 in 10, then 1 in 20. It’s harder to get that guy the later you go.

          • Feb 16, 20121:17 pm
            by tarsier

            @neutes

            Thanks, pretty much exactly my point.

  • Feb 16, 20124:03 am
    by Jack

    Reply

    But even though we got Monroe with the 7th and Brandon knight with 8th would rather have

    Kyrie and cousins?

  • Feb 16, 20124:15 am
    by Nick

    Reply

    As of right now I will take Monroe over Cousins , but the verdict is still out on Knight and Irving.

    • Feb 16, 20121:20 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The verdict may still be out on either of those comparisons. But Cousins vs. Monroe: Cousins has a slightly higher ceiling and a lower floor. Irving vs. Knight: Irving has at least as high a ceiling and a much higher floor.

  • Feb 16, 20124:32 am
    by Jack

    Reply

    I agree but kyrie has been a lot better out of the gate for sure

    In reality though we were lucky Monroe and knight slipped
    The higher the pick the better the chance of great player
    I think Davis is a perfect pick
    And I think Drummond is a close 2

    I will be extremely happy with either 2

  • Feb 16, 20127:08 am
    by shawn brown

    Reply

    i just wanted to say that i agree with nick, waive charlie no-d and try to pick up McGee..what the pistons need is a shot blocking defensive presense and McGee would certainly add that …also great win tonight.  

  • Feb 16, 20128:50 am
    by Steve K

    Reply

    I think folks put way too much emphasis on drafting high. Since the Kobe and Garnett picks, the NBA draft has become much like the MLB draft. Very few kids (even the high picks) are ready to contribute right away. They’re all projects.

    The kids who get picked in the top 5 have the highest ceiling, but that’s no guarantee they’ll pan out.

    I recall hearing Tom Kowalski talk about what he thought separated the successful QBs (Peyton, Rivers, Ryan, Stafford, Sanchez)  from the flame-outs (Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, etc.). They all had incredibly high ceilings. But the difference was work-ethic and the drive to learn. The QB position takes a ton of study time – in fact a love of study and work. If the kids don’t love it, they’ll rely more on their athleticism. At the professional level, that’s usually not enough.

    The same can be said of the NBA players. Monroe dropped to the Pistons because he didn’t have the high ceiling of Cousins, Favors, even perhaps Udoh (according to GS). What Monroe’s proven is an incredible work ethic and drive to improve. Last season, he took his lumps in a cancer-ridden locker-room. He found success as a rebounder, put-back artist. This year he expanded his game to become the focal point of the offense. In just one season. It’s incredible.

    So the point is that draft position is entirely secondary. What’s more important is player development. Sure, there are years with can’t-miss prospects like Lebron. But Lebrons are once-in-a-generation talents.

    • Feb 16, 20121:28 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Of course, Oden was supposed to be one of those can’t miss prospects too…

      But, while many top picks don’t pan out, almost all superstars are picked right near the top of the draft.

      • Feb 16, 20122:49 pm
        by vic

        Reply

        oden is still a star skillwise, the only reason he is a bust is because he is injury prone. That is a factor that Portland knew before they drafted him

        • Feb 16, 20125:05 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Perhaps. It is really hard to tell where he is at skillwise. But the point is that even “can’t miss” guys sometimes turn out to be misses, even if for reasons beyond anyone’s control.

  • Feb 16, 20129:28 am
    by vic

    Reply

    i agree, i hope we stay in the range to get adavis, adrummond,  trobinson, or sullinger. i had them tied, but now i rate davis over drummond simply because davis has the mind to be a defensive superstar rodman/wallace hybrid.  i like robinson slightly over sullinger, because energy points are more efficient, and he fits with monroe better. But sullingers skill game and strength will last longer, plus his defensive numbers are slightly better. plus with our weak guards it cant hurt to have 2 bigs we can dump the ball to and expect to make something happen.

  • Feb 16, 201210:04 am
    by D_S_V

    Reply

    Somewhat Bold But Not Really Because Anything Can Happen Prediction: Drummond will not be a star/superstar NBA player. I see him closer to a Haywood/Kwame Brown player than M.Gasol/A.Bynum. This is based purely off some limited viewing of NCAA this year, but Drummond just does not look like a basketball player, not in the way that Davis does. When he’s on offense he seems slow and robotic, and on defense his rebounding and shot blocking come from taking advantage of his size more than basketball fundamentals. When I watch Davis, he seems to move with much more of a purpose than Drummond does; he plays great help defense and on offense, though he doesn’t have an array of moves, he seems to at least know where to position himself for drop off passes, oops, and offensive rebounds. So after Davis, my next favorites are Barnes and Thomas Robinson. I’m in the “Monroe can play C or PF” camp, so though Drummond has great size and could move Monroe to PF, I think a good help defender would prove just as valuable against the few dominant post men in the league. I think Monroe is big enough and has the potential defensively to put up enough resistance to allow for a quality help defender (and hopefully a good team defense) to rotate. So I’d rather have Davis playing weak side and then Robinson after him. Of course should the Pistons be lucky enough to draft at a high enough position to take Drummond, I will block this statement from my memory and immediately purchase Drummond Kool-aid and shower myself in it.

    • Feb 16, 20122:46 pm
      by vic

      Reply

      i understand what you’re saying about drummond. he’s not producing up to his potential yet. but the difference between drummond and a bust is – drummond has skills. he’s not just a big stiff a la kwame/hasheem thabeet. He actually plays more like Greg Monroe/Chris Webber with a Magic/Lebron-ish passing style. His first year numbers are very close to Greg Monroe’s… and they called Monroe passive too.

      Plus he plays in a different system and a different coach. Calipari is literally shipping people to the league. He’s a rare college coach, he realizes the system should benefit players and their families instead of him and the NCAA. http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2012/2/14/2796060/nba-draft-2012-kentucky-basketball-john-calipari His system lets player shine on purpose… that’s why the best go to him.

      Calhoun on the other hand is trying to convince Drummond to stay. One time I saw drummond score 8 points in 3 minutes, and immediately he got benched. on their saturday game he had a bad first half, then dominated the first few minutes of the 2nd half, with 8 points in a few minutes, then sprained his ankle. Plus he’s sharing time and touches with Alex Oriakhi, who was a starter on last years championship team, and an upperclassman.
      He is at worst case a deandre jordan, best case Webber/Stoudemire. Once his mind and experience catch up with his skills, you’ll have a beast.  Because “defense ‘in the paint’ wins championships”, i’d rather have a Deandre Jordan/Tyson Chandler type than a Paul Millsap (thomas robinson) type, or Luis Scola type (Sullinger). Only person i’d take over Drummond is Davis, because Davis could be the next defensive superstar that we wanted with Biyombo last year.

    • Feb 16, 20122:47 pm
      by vic

      Reply

      so take an early sip of the koolaid:-)

  • Feb 16, 201212:56 pm
    by Mr.BlockedShot

    Reply

    Draft day is still too far, and being realistic I don´t think we´re going to get a top-3 pick. My top picks would be Davis, Drumond, Barnes and Perry Jones. Apart from them, I don´t see any special player right now, maybe within the next months I change my mind but as for now this is my opinion. Getting Davis would be cool, the most talented player in the draft and my favorite. But most likely we will get Harrison Barnes or Perry Jones at most. What do you think about Jones? I like his size, athletism and quickness, but does he have range apart from dunking and tipping?? what about deffense?

    • Feb 16, 20122:54 pm
      by vic

      Reply

      I like jones if we get pick #7 or 8. But i’d be tempted to get Meyers Leonard. 
      Realistically I’d pick up Perry Jones and hope for Fab Melo or Festus Ezeli in round 2.
      Picking Perry Jones is like picking Chris Bosh. Yeah he might be soft, but he’ll produce points and help the team if they can hide his weaknesses. I’d play him at the 3 more than the 4. He’s really a ballhandler more than a big.

      • Feb 16, 20124:11 pm
        by MrBlockedShot

        Reply

        Yeah, totally agree. Playing him at SF would be a plus for us I think…

  • Feb 16, 20122:27 pm
    by Nick

    Reply

    The reason I’m so high on Mcghee is because him and Monroe compliment each other.Mcghee does all the things Monroe can’t do.I like Davis and Drummond but even if the pistons draft either of them we will still be years away from contending.With the way Monroe is playing Mcghee would get alot of easy baskets. We can contend as quick as next season with him.We also have a more realistic chance at getting Mcghee vs praying for losses.If we use the pick and get Barnes or Kidd Gilcrest with Mcghee we will be set.

    • Feb 16, 20125:09 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’d love to get McGee. I’d just be unwilling to give up the draft pick for him. Now if Dumars could trade Prince for the Lakers’ Odom trade exception and amnesty Gordon, that might clear enough room to make him an offer. That could be an option worth pursuing.

  • Feb 16, 201211:23 pm
    by Anthony

    Reply

    If we gave up our draft pick for McGee then how do you think we’ll get Barnes or Gilchrist??? The only way i give up this pick is iw Washington was willing to give up McGee and Wall for our pick, Stucky and Gordon… Then washington rebuilds in the draft witk likely the 2 first 5 picks in the draft where they have a great chance of getting #1 if they give up Wall. They could have have esentially turned Wall into Davis, Gilchrist, Stucky and Gordon. The Pistons rebuld through the Wizzards, they have a strong center and point guard which are the top 2 spots we’d try to address in the draft anyways but now we know what were getting. Both teams need to change their looks drasticly in order to improve and trading our two center pieces could be a start!

    Detroit:
    Wall
    Knight
    Tay
    Monroe
    McGee

    6th man:
    Jerebko

    Wizzards:
    Davis
    Stucky
    Gilchrist
    Crawford
    Young

    6th man:
    Gordon

    This could happen!!! ;)

    • Feb 16, 201211:27 pm
      by Anthony

      Reply

      Its kind of working in Cleveland!

  • Feb 18, 20124:09 am
    by damian

    Reply

    who the fuck roots for their team to lose? you don’t play the fucking game to lose.
    what are the players motivations supposed to be? their money, building chemistry whilst bombing games?
    if we want a top five pick, and aren’t in the right spot, find the resources to trade up.
    i don’t get it. i hope you’re fucking kidding me…
    our fans are losers.

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