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Pistons bemoan lack of guards while sticking one at power forward

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

There’s a huge board with the depth charts for all 30 NBA teams on the north wall of Dumars’ office on the second floor of the team’s Auburn Hills practice facility. The Pistons’ depth chart shows plenty of options at power forward (Jerebko, Jason Maxiell, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye, plus Greg Monroe in the event both Andre Drummond and Kravtsov are good enough to chew up most of the 48 minutes at center) and small forward (Tayshaun Prince, Corey Maggette, Kyle Singler, Khris Middleton).

Depth in the backcourt, on the other hand, is comparatively thin: Brandon Knight and Will Bynum at point guard, Rodney Stuckey and rookie Kim English at shooting guard. As it stands now, it would be English of all Pistons rookies – Drummond, Kravtsov, Middleton and Singler, in addition – who might be most needed to fill a rotation spot even though he was drafted 44th, the lowest of the four Americans. (Kravtsov was not drafted in 2009 when he was automatically eligible.)

The Pistons, in fact, have more flexibility at guard than the depth chart might reveal. Stuckey spent most of his first four years playing point guard, so he could back up Knight capably, while Maggette has frequently swung to shooting guard over the course of his career. It’s not inconceivable, then, that the Pistons would go to camp without having bolstered their backcourt. It’s just not Dumars’ intention or preference.

“I would feel comfortable (with the status quo), but it’s something we’re trying to address, as well,” Dumars said. “We continue to look to shuffle one or two spots on our roster to give it more balance.”

I’ve maintained that, with any reasonable roster surrounding him, Austin Daye’s best position is shooting guard. He can shoot over smaller defenders, pass and dribble reasonably well for an off-guard and even post up smaller defenders.

Obviously, the biggest problems come defensively with his lack of quickness, but they can’t be worse than pounding Daye takes inside at power forward, and Daye’s long arms should provide at least some relief. Plus, if Daye gets beat on the perimeter, there will be a better defender than Daye coming to help from the power forward spot – erasing a problem for the Pistons’ guards that will exist as long as Daye stays at power forward.

35 Comments

  • Aug 21, 201211:46 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    Good point, absolutely right. I think they really mean “point” guard… But you know itnot cool now to group all the positional roles together. “Guards, forwards, bigs.” they didn’t want to get too specific

  • Aug 21, 201211:48 am
    by Crispus

    Reply

    Yeah Dan I agree, what’s he doing at Power Forward? If he plays well, it’ll be as a great-on-offense, soft-on-defense Nowitzki Durant type.

  • Aug 21, 201211:49 am
    by Birdman84

    Reply

    I do not understand putting Daye at power forward. I’ve been with you for quite some time that Daye would be best at shooting guard, provided he understands his offensive limitations. He can’t dribble effectively. Daye would be best running off screens or shooting corner threes.

  • Aug 21, 201212:10 pm
    by MNM

    Reply

    I would feel comfortable (with the status quo)..”   ..That’s kind of been the problem.. No?

    • Aug 21, 20123:41 pm
      by Scott Free

      Reply

      You mean for the least traded team in the past 5 seasons?  Naw, they’re doing great!

      • Aug 21, 20124:22 pm
        by MNM

        Reply

        That’s pretty much what I was getting at… But is that true? I mean, it sure feels like it..

    • Aug 21, 201210:58 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      I thought the same thing when I read that. Of course you’d be comfortable with the roster, Joe, you put the entire thing together! It’s got your damn fingerprints all over it. To say otherwise would be an admission of inadequacy. Nobody should be comfortable with this.
       
      This is the chief reason I don’t think Joe was never the guy to turn this thing around. He’s done the absolute bare minimum (which is simply not to screw up the draft), and the only thing that probably actually gets “accomplished” by wasting that pick and giving the team cap space NEXT summer instead of the following one is Joe giving himself a chance to keep his job, because he almost certainly wouldn’t last that extra year with this same stagnant lousy roster.
       
      I think this would have been a great summer to have cap space. I have a hard time seeing what long-term goals get accomplished by having cap space a year early. There aren’t likely to be nearly as many moving pieces, it’s not a particularly rich free agent class, and plenty of *attractive* teams are going to have cap space. In order to make this team relevant, they need to bring in guys who are decisive and significant upgrades. We’ve already got too many role players and too little star power. Sadly, the most realistic approach to attaining relevance at this point would be to trade for someone like Joe Johnson, who is great but so wildly overpaid and such a burden on the cap that his team would want to get rid of him. I’m guessing it’s that or perpetual mediocrity…

      • Aug 22, 20129:29 am
        by MNM

        Reply

        But obtaining Joe Johnsons REDICULOUS contract would keep most teams in perpetual mediocrity.. Just ask Atlanta.  The answer was to stop keeping verterans and allowing them to eat up most of the floor minutes to try and win meaningless games that take ping pong balls away from you.  But hopefully at this point Brandon Knight becomes what we want and hope were told he can become and Monroe continues to progress and Drummond develops on into something positive and not Kwame Brown-ish.. Teams like this one, because of where we are located are gonna have to rely on the draft to build a good to possibly great team.

  • Aug 21, 201212:29 pm
    by dvs

    Reply

    Completely agree. Daye should be at back up SG. He doesn’t have waht it takes to defend 4′s, but his length helps cover his lack of speed at the 2. IMO all back up SG minutes should go to Daye and English

  • Aug 21, 20121:19 pm
    by Quick Darshan

    Reply

    With an elite shot-blocker behind him, Daye can be a great perimeter defender.  Tayshaun was able to shut down McGrady and Kobe in their prime because he could use his length along with the threat of Ben/Rasheed Wallace behind him to force them into jumpers.  It’s no surprise that Tayshaun’s decline as a defender corresponded with Ben Wallace’s move to Chicago.

    My one worry with Daye at the shooting guard is that he could be reduced to just a spot-up shooter because he wouldn’t have the speed to blow by guys.  If he could post them up, that wouldn’t be a problem though. 

  • Aug 21, 20121:24 pm
    by rick

    Reply

    GTFOH with Daye should be a two. Try being a NBA player first that establishes a role then we can decide where to slot you. The kid has no lateral quickness to keep up with the two’s in the league. He would get murdered night in and night out which ultimately will affect him mentally. He has no confidence unless his shot is falling and he has no desire in my opinion to play defense. The bad part about that is he has the length to do it but sees himself soley as an offensive player. Detroit needs another veteran guard just as Prince stated because it will give Knight a breather and will help balance out the team in the long run. How much longer will we bbe having this discussion about Daye? He is what he is and nothing is gonna change it except a change in scenery. Daye would have been great on one of the olde teams from a few years ago. I think he is eating off his father’s celebrity and not yet established his own identity. If he can figure that out then the sky is the limit. Just don’t know that he fit’s in Detroit’s plans.

  • Aug 21, 20122:32 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    So… Joe D STILL thinks Daye is a 4? I don’t understand…

  • Aug 21, 20123:02 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Trade Corey Spaghetti for Calderon…

  • Aug 21, 20123:03 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Daye can’t dribble. Therefore he can’t play guard or SF because he’s a turnover waiting to happen.

    Stretch 4 is the only role he can play. He’s a good spot-up shooter, and thats all he has to do as a stretch 4. A role you only use him for against other stretch 4′s. So defensively he will be OK too, if all he has to do is contest their perimeter shots with his long arms.

    • Aug 21, 20125:02 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Dude, Daye wouldn’t be the first 2-guard who couldn’t dribble. Remember Steve Kerr? Bruce Bowen? John Paxton? Del Curry? I could go on.

      • Aug 21, 20125:17 pm
        by Scott Free

        Reply

        Problem with the comparison, is that each of the rest of them could do something to make up for it.  I’ve yet to see that from Daye outside of the summer league.

      • Aug 21, 20126:47 pm
        by Mark

        Reply

        Different offenses. Those guys mentioned were strictly spot up shooters on offense. In Franks offense the 2 guard is expected to do a lot of ball handling. I don’t recall ever seeing our 2 guards just spotted up in the corner last year. And whenever Daye played SG he was trying to put the ball on the floor and fumbling it all over the place.

        Sure, if they just want to spot him up in the corner, it really wouldn’t matter what position he played on offense, but my guess is Frank doesn’t plan to use his SG’s that way. But he likes have 4′s to stretch the defense.

        At the end of the day, he’s a 6-11 shooter. The Pistons are 100% right using him as a stretch 4, because thats how you use 6-11 shooters today.

        • Aug 21, 201211:26 pm
          by bugsygod

          Reply

          Great Points!
           

        • Aug 22, 20128:25 am
          by G

          Reply

          I agree with all that, except Daye can’t defend the 4 position for obvious reasons. His only real advantage is the height advantage, which means you need to have him guard guys at the 2 and 3 positions and be guarded by those guys. The reality is everybody would be better off if we just moved Daye for an actual 2 guard we could use, but Joe D likes to persist in his mistakes.

        • Aug 22, 20128:36 am
          by oats

          Reply

          Does Frank ask his 2 guards to dribble a lot, or did he just have 2 guards that dribbled a lot so he worked with that? Last year we played Stuckey, Gordon, and Knight at the 2, and all of them put the ball on the floor pretty regularly. Gordon is the obvious jump shooter, but his game is largely predicated on him creating space off the dribble. In fact, a decent portion of what we tried to do with Gordon was have him come off screens to create space, but Gordon often hesitated to take that shot right after the catch. He’d often put the ball on the court long enough for the space created by the screen to disappear, followed by him passing the ball right back. I actually expect to see a lot more catch and shoot stuff this year. I think that’s why Kim English was targeted in this draft. Last year English shot around 50% when he was just spotting up and looking to catch and shoot, and he also took a lot fewer pull up jumpers off the dribble than he had in the past. Add to that the fact that spot up 3s were basically English’s entire offense in Summer League, and I fully expect Detroit’s offense to look very different with English on the court.
           
          As for Daye’s dribbling himself into trouble, I don’t think that was really something he was being asked to do. I think Daye’s lack of confidence in his outside shot led to him trying to do something he wouldn’t normally do in the hopes that he could get a few shorter shots. If he just trusts that his shot will fall eventually then there is no reason Daye can’t spot up while playing shooting guard. Considering the only other thing he does well is post up much shorter defenders, then moving Daye to the 4 actually limits his repertoire. He won’t post up any power forwards, but he can post up a shooting guard he has 5 inches on. While Daye will be a poor defender anywhere on the court, I think his height advantage at shooting guard makes that his best position defensively. I honestly think his best position on either side of the court is the 2, so this power forward business baffles me.
           
          Look at the roster. Just as stretch 4s, Singler and CV are ahead of Daye. For that matter, so is Prince. Maxiell and JJ are also ahead of him at power forward, and if Drummond/Kravstov are good then Monroe will play a large chunk of his minutes there too. At the 2 we have Stuckey, who will probably play quite a bit as a backup point guard. Knight could play the 2, but I doubt we see much of a Bynum/Knight back court so his time there will be when he switches roles with Stuckey. Maggette can play it, but he’ll probably spend most of his time as a backup SF. We also have English. The front court isn’t great, but it seems obvious to me that it would be easier for Daye to crack the rotation as a shooting guard than as a power forward. He has similar issues at 3 the where Prince, Maggette, Singler, and Jerebko are ahead of him. Heck Middleton might be ahead of him at SF as well. I doubt Daye has much of an impact at any position, but shooting guard seems to make the most sense for him as a player and to fill the team’s needs.

  • Pingback

    Aug 21, 20123:26 pm
    by Court Vision | The Point Forward

    Reply

    [...] • The Pistons have a lot of forwards and very few guards. [...]

  • Aug 21, 20123:37 pm
    by koz

    Reply

    Daye would probably be better off playing volleyball.

  • Aug 21, 20123:42 pm
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    What difference does it make?  If Daye sees any time off the bench (at any position) we should see it as a sign about our lack of depth.

  • Aug 21, 20124:04 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Not that the Pistons organization has a lick of credibility left, but every time Keith Langlois refers to Daye as a stretch four, he somehow adds to the credibility deficit. If you read his latest entries, he’s slapped this label on Daye as if it’s not just one of three positions he can play (which we’ve all seen an ample sample size to see that it isn’t) but it’s the ONLY one. Personally, I think SG is the only position where his upside comes close to making up for his weaknesses, and “comes close” is probably being generous.
     
    Ditto for when he talks about how health has anything to do with Charlie Villanueva’s value to the team. Villanueva’s best position is in a glue factory. At this point, it’s best to imagine he doesn’t exist and just be shocked and pleased if we get a shred of production out of him ever. It’s bizarre to have any other stance.
     
    And am I the only one who appreciates the absurdity that the only players in the league that these two guys reasonably match up against as a “stretch four” is EACH OTHER?

    • Aug 21, 20124:38 pm
      by DoctorDaveT

      Reply

      Well, that does make scrimmaging easier, doesn’t it?!
       

      • Aug 21, 201211:03 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Yup. Haha.
         
        Remember a few seasons ago when they made a fuss about how competitive the practices were? And I’m thinking: “Of course the practices are competitive! Everybody stinks!” Practices shouldn’t be especially competitive if you’ve got your notional starters going against the second unit, except the Pistons’ starters and backups are all more-or-less equally mediocre, and the pecking order is basically arbitrary.

  • Aug 21, 20124:37 pm
    by MNM

    Reply

    http://galleries.nba.com/gallery/Rookie+Photo+Shoot       – Couple of photos of Andre and Kyle in the uniforms.

    • Aug 22, 201212:01 am
      by Crispus

      Reply

      Jared Sullinger looks pretty sassy.

    • Aug 22, 20122:23 pm
      by RyanK

      Reply

      Thank god Singler got a hair cut…that freak is hard enough to look at; long hair made him even more of an eye sore.

  • Aug 21, 20129:07 pm
    by JOhn

    Reply

    Who says daye would have to dribble the shot clock out? And on D, he could remain a step or two more away from the guard, which his length would compensate for!

  • Aug 21, 20129:13 pm
    by sop

    Reply

    Kevin Martin, JJ Reddick or Anthony Morrow should be the Piston’s trade targets. All three are shooting guards who can actually shoot and on expiring contracts.

  • Aug 22, 20126:57 am
    by Vince

    Reply

    I’d love to comment on this but my entire page is red… I can read the blue text and the comments bu everything else is just red… quite frustrating. Any tips on how to get rid of it?

    • Aug 22, 20127:40 am
      by oats

      Reply

      It’s been mentioned before, but do you have Adblock enabled? If so, it turns everything red for some weird reason. Adblock should appear on your tool bar. You should be able to click on the little arrow next to the icon and disable Adblock on PistonPowered. That’ll solve the red problem.

  • Aug 22, 20127:48 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    Do not start Corey Maggette no where on this team, bad pick up. I say put Stuckey in the backcourt with Knight…check out my NBA picks…http://blackauthor.wordpress.com

  • Aug 22, 20128:45 am
    by Erges

    Reply

    Daye is a god damn 3. Joe D has to remove prince and everyone else to free space for a la Josh Smith or anybody like him. One great 3 is better than 5 good ones cuzz you can put 4 other guys on the court with him.

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