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Pistons’ season projections leave faint reason for optimism

Good: Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus projects the Pistons will improve by 6.1 wins from their 82-game pace of last season.

Bad: Doolittle projects four other Eastern Conference teams will improve more.

  • Nets: 18.8
  • Raptors:10.8
  • Cavaliers: 9.6
  • Bobcats: 6.6
  • Pistons: 6.1

Worse: Doolittle ranks the Pistons 11th in the East with 32.9 projected wins.

The Pistons’ name still pops up in “who will lose the most games” polls, but there is upside to the Greg Monroe-Rodney Stuckey-Brandon Knight core. If rookie Andre Drummond can contribute in a positive fashion, Detroit could be one of the league’s more improved outfits.

Worst: ESPN’s summer forecast ranks the Pistons 13th in the East with 30 wins.

29 Comments

  • Aug 22, 201211:19 am
    by Brandow

    Reply

    wow r the pistons the most hated team in the nba

    • Aug 22, 201211:54 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I don’t think they’re hated. They’ve improved. But so have a handful of other non-playoff teams in the East. 

    • Aug 22, 20121:09 pm
      by Max

      Reply

       At this moment, the Heat are clearly the most hated team in the league but Detroit has been the most hated team in the league for the majority of the past 25 years.  Every team is both hated and beloved and the distinguishing issue is proportion.  Jordan’s popularity was such that he raised the Bulls to almost a national level of popularity and a great number of the people who became Bulls fans due to Jordan do hate the Pistons.   The Celtics and Lakers are also nationalized teams who people either love or love to hate and a lot of their fans hate the Pistons too because the Pistons unexpectedly thwarted their championship hopes during the years the ‘Stones won and they haven’t really returned the favor yet except in the case of the Bulls where the hatred runs deepest.    Thus, the three teams in the league that are closest to having a national level of fandom all have a high proportion of hatred of the Pistons for admittedly good reasons but the Pistons have classically been, in the modern league at least, the most hated team.  
      I also feel like a huge proportion of the current youngish media are comprised of Bulls, Lakers and Celtics fans with just about no personage I can identify on any of the major national broadcasts or even newspapers or web pages who is a Pistons fan other than former players Chris Webber and Jalen Rose.   Bill Simmons for instance is generally so brutal in regards to the Pistons that his opinions are warped although I do think he is developing a soft spot for Monroe.  Charles Barkley can basically be ignored whenever he talks about the Pistons or Knicks because it’s overwhelmingly clear that he will only spew negative attacks–I think he hated the Pistons but just thinks it’s fun to bash the Knicks.  I love both Barkley and Simmons but I consider anything they say about the Pistons to be hopelessly mired in bias.

      • Aug 22, 20122:11 pm
        by Rodman4Life

        Reply

        Bingo, what he said ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  • Aug 22, 201212:22 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    I can’t wait for the season to start, the haters are going to be mad!! There is no way in the world that the Cavs, Raptors, and Bobcats should be projected to have better records than the Pistons…

    • Aug 22, 201212:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      That projection in the post doesn’t say who will have the best records. It is saying who will improve by the most number of wins. The Bobcats could improve by 6.6 wins, for example, and still not come anywhere close to having a better record than Detroit.

  • Aug 22, 20121:03 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    As I see it: The Heat, Celtics, Nets, Bulls, Pacers, Sixers are clearly much better teams that (barring multiple injuries) should be considered virtual locks for the playoffs. The Knicks really should be in this category, but there’s an element of dysfunction that hangs a question mark over them. Either way, I’m going to say those seven teams look like prohibitive favorites to make the playoffs.
     
    Which leaves the Pistons battling with The Raptors, Bucks, Wizards and Cavaliers for the last spot and an humbling first-round sweep by the Heat that’s so quick and decisive that it won’t even offer much in the way of “playoff experience.” It’ll be the kind of thing that this team can’t even walk away with one positive aside from the fact that they earned the right to receive the thrashing. I don’t think there’s any objective reason to think the Pistons have a better chance than any of those other teams (and, honestly, looking at Orlando’s roster, if they don’t intentionally tank, I could see them being better than us. Why not? At a bare minimum, their starting 2 and 4 would probably start for us.)
     
    So yeah. Why be a homer and make unreasonable predictions for this team just because they play in your home state? Their chances of making the playoffs are probably incredibly slim, and who would even want to? Maybe Joe and Coach, because they have something to prove, and the team itself, because they have pride. But that’s it. Something drastic needs to happen, and our outlook doesn’t look promising…

    • Aug 22, 20121:13 pm
      by Lee

      Reply

      @Otis You forgot about the Hawks. I’d be surprised if we (or any of the other teams you listed) would be able to beat the Hawks for that 8th seed. And the Pistons will be better than Orlando this year.

      • Aug 22, 20121:48 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Dear God you’re right. I swear I thought I was missing someone. And they belong in that first category, don’t they? So by all reasonable expectations, the East has zero playoff spots up for grabs, and it would take a real surprise from one of the outsiders to crack in.
         
        Well, at least the silver lining is that we would be INSANE to even want to be in the playoffs, since it would mean we lost our first round pick.

  • Aug 22, 20121:21 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    I think we’ll definitely surprise. I may be a homer, but I’m logical:
    We had a .500 record over the last 42 games last season. Yes we have a tough schedule at the beginning of this season, but at the end dumb teams will be tanking this year just like they always do. We’ll still be improving.

    We have 2 oversized and over athletic centers to solve the biggest problems we had last year – defense in the paint. Brandon knight will improve, Stuckey looks like he may have finally turned a corner, and Monroe  hopefully will be able to move to the 4 where his size can  be more dominant.
    It all depends on health and the readiness of Drummond and Kravstsov of course.

    I know that other teams improved, but in my opinion the only teams that have really hit home runs on their weaknesses without creating another weakness are the Lakers, Detroit, Toronto, PhiladelpHia, Minnesota. New Jersey and New Yorks improvement is based on health. The rest of the teams I think made lateral moves
     

    • Aug 22, 20122:13 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Homers and logic don’t mix. The definition of a homer is someone who sets logic aside to root for his home team. You’re a homer, and that’s fine, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re capable of objective reasoning. A few points…
       
      1) You talk about this .500 record over the last 42 games of the season as if it’s significant, and in the next breath you acknowledge that some teams are in tank mode as the season winds down. So what does a win mean when you’re the only team on the court that wants the W? It means nothing. The fact that this team and its homers are trying to hang their hat on winning ONLY HALF of its last 42 games is sad enough, but when you factor in the teams who are shamelessly tanking AND the teams who are resting their veterans for the playoffs (which you failed to acknowledge, and which at a minimum netted us a win over Philly in the season finale), a team’s W-L record as the season winds down is indicative of nothing whatsoever. So we’ve picked an arbitrary number midway through the season to generate optimism, but if we’re actually measuring the team’s merit, they still should have been just sub-500.
       
      2) Drummond and Slava give us size and defense, but what about floor spacing? I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that this is going to be some all-encompassing fix to our front court. If the lane is clogged and Stuckey can’t penetrate, he’s literally worthless. If our two new bigs can’t give us reliable post scoring (and by all accounts, it doesn’t seem like they will just yet), we’re still going to have to lean heavily on Monroe to score points in the paint and/or remain a jump shooting team.
       
      3) We’re essentially relying on the development of last year’s roster. (Knight and Monroe taking a step forward. Stuckey’s been on the brink of breaking out for like six years now, and it hasn’t happened yet, so hold your breath all you want for that one. We’re probably lucky if we get enough production out of Drummond and Slava to replace Ben Wallace.) Meanwhile, our competition has gone out and made significant external improvements TO GO ALONG WITH their young guys getting better, their players jelling, etc. If you think everyone made lateral moves, except for Toronto, Philly and Jersey, then you’ve still got nine teams in the East that are significantly better than us.
       
      Not trying to harp on you, because yeah you admitted you’re a homer and therefore your opinion is pretty much moot, but how can you possibly think we’re likely to beat out the Heat, Pacers, Bulls, Nets, Celtics, Philly, Knicks and Hawks, while also staying ahead of the Raptors and Bucks (and, who knows, maybe the Wiz, Cavs, Magic)? Logic went out the window.

      • Aug 22, 20124:46 pm
        by Vic

        Reply

        Let me help you out…
        1. My point was: tanking happens every year, so the same wins they got will be the same wins they get, and you can’t invalidate them

        2. Think of a coach as a chess player. Imagine you have no Queens (biggest strongest longest most mobile paint to paint players in the court/board). This is a big disadvantage. Then you have 2. This is a REAL improvement. Better than replacing a volume shooter (pawn) with another. Floor spacing is not an issue, all they have to do is pick run and cut. Monroe is primary post worker. A smart coach knows what to do with the right pieces. The game is won in the paint so this is not a small deal at all.

        3. I never said that we would beat out all those teams. I do think we’ll beat out half of them or more.
         

        • Aug 22, 20126:17 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          1) Ok, so those will still be games they win next year, .500 ball for the 42 games that comprised the softer 2/3 of your schedule is still nothing to hang your hat on.
           
          2) Yeah, but queens can do anything the other pieces can do put together (besides the knight, of course). Big men might be be the most valuable, but it’s a bad metaphor. Also, we’re getting two guys who are going to come in and provide big bodies, rebounding and shot blocking. Neither is projected to contribute much offensively right away. Drummond is a kid who isn’t likely to pay off for a few more years, and anyone should be skeptical that Slava is going to be more than a serviceable backup center (and if he does, he’ll be a good acquisition, but a far cry from a queen). The bottom line here is that you seem to have a tremendous amount of faith that we’re suddenly all set up front and should be anywhere between comfortable and cocky. I’m in wait-and-see mode as far as what Slava and Drummond bring to the table right away.
           
          3) If you’re predicting the playoffs, I just don’t know what to tell you. This is a lottery team. I count nine teams in the east that figure to be decidedly better than the Pistons, and I don’t think there’s any reason to suspect we’ll be any better than the Wiz or Bucks. If I had to guess, I’d say we’re probably better than Cleveland and Orlando, but the only team that would shock me by outperforming us is Charlotte.
           
          Don’t get me wrong, this was a “good” offseason. We added young, quality players. After a few seasons of the organization lying to us by mischaracterizing the team as “young” and “versatile,” those words finally actually apply to the team. But the team still doesn’t project to be very good. Why not give me your predictions in terms of win-loss record, seeding, etc? We can compare notes after the season. As it is, I can’t even figure out a sensible depth chart, or even active roster. And that’s probably a bad sign…
           
          Personally, my prediction is that the team wins between 30 and 40% of their games and finishes again with a lottery position in the 7-10 range. Their record will look a whole lot like it did the past three years. It’ll be an improvement, in that they’ll be leaning on younger players who actually have a future here instead of crusty old veterans on one-year contracts, but all this team is going to accomplish this season is make incremental steps along the same slow and excruciating path towards respectability. To take the elusive “next step” they’re going to have to flip Tayshaun for something of value and strike gold with the flexibility they’ll have next summer.

      • Aug 22, 20126:25 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Being the opposite of a homer regarding the team you root for is no more logical–it’s just cynical and pessimistic.    Your suggestion that the Magic could be better than the Pistons shows no logic and jumping on Atlanta as a shoe in for the playoffs doesn’t either–they just traded their best scorer for nothing and one of their other two best players just missed most of a year.   Also, everyone who is penciling Philly in is forgetting that they will barely win any games that Bynum doesn’t play (they did lose Iggy, Brand and Williams) and Bynum has had like one healthy year in his whole career.   If you treated Philly with pessimism like you do Detroit, you might be hating on the whole direction of the team right now.

        • Aug 22, 201211:16 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Philly – Bynum = better than Detroit
           
          The only reason I think you can flat-out assume the Magic will have a worse record than us without having seen them play is if you believe they’re going to tank right out of the gate. We would be enthusiastic to have Afflalo and/or Big Baby start for us, or to have JJ Redick as our first guard off the bench. Why write them off? They look like they stink, but welcome to Detroit Basketball!

          • Aug 23, 20126:52 pm
            by Max

            Philly with Bynum could very well = the past few years of Mil with Bogut when they were good every other year or few years when Bogut was actually healthy.   Let’s see how Bynum handles the Philly fans after they boo him for dogging it and making light of it during his interviews.
            Philly also, like Chi gutted their depth and it’s a big reason why I think people are overestimating the Bulls this year with the notion that they did fine without Rose in the past.  Chicago’s true 2nd best player in my opinion during the past 2 seasons has been their depth and it’s gone.   If any of Noah, Boozer, Deng go down, they could be mediocre at best.  If 2 of them go down, they could very well be abysmal.  All 3 are injury prone players.
            Monroe and Stuckey are much better than anyone on the Magic’s roster and I have no idea why you think it’s such a given that Baby or Afflalo would start for the ‘Stones.   No idea whatsoever.   They might start on this roster, they might not.   Stuckey would start in any case and Afflalo might start with the idea that Knight should eventually overtake him.   If Baby started, it would just be the stop gap for Drummond.   Not exactly the enthused situation you suggest and it doesn’t refer to the disaster of their 3 other starters, nonexistent bench and rookie coach. 

          • Aug 23, 20127:49 pm
            by Otis

            Assuming Afflalo and Big Baby were Pistons, Afflalo starts at the 2 with Stuckey coming off the bench for instant offense and to run the second unit. This is easily the role that best suits him and the one he thrived in during his rookie season. Stuckey hasn’t established himself as a good enough shooter or displayed enough range to be a particularly appealing option at SHOOTING guard.
             
            Big Baby would start at the 4 without question, especially if your incumbent starter is Jason Maxiell. Aside from rebound and hustle, Baby can shoot the ball and therefore spread the floor. Until Monroe and/or Drummond proves to be a credible threat from 15-18 feet, I’m not convinced that they combine to form an “ideal” frontcourt, like we’re all being sold. Remember back when the Pistons had “some” deficiencies, rather than lacking in almost every measurable category? There was an issue that one of Sheed or Dyess needed to be on the floor at all times or else there was no floor spacing, and no chance to penetrate. Right now that’s the least of our worries, because of all the OTHER things that are wrong with this team, but it could very well be an issue if these two are supposed to represent our hope for the future of the franchise.
             
            We’ll see how Orlando does. They don’t look good, but neither do the Pistons. And I’ve already suggested the possibility that they’ll tank right out of the gate. I just wouldn’t write anyone off at the moment. The Pistons have been terrible for the past few seasons, and I haven’t seen anything to suggest that’s suddenly going to change. They’re finally young, they’re finally versatile, and I can see them building towards something that’s going to be competitive in a few more years, but I would not be the least bit surprised if next season looks a whole lot like last season, only with younger versions of Wallace (Drummond), Gordon (English), Wilkins (Singler), etc. There’s a trade-off when you trade veteran savvy for youth, and there might be some real growing pains going forward. That’s all.

          • Aug 23, 20128:48 pm
            by Max

            I’ll take a younger version of Wallace.  That’s for sure.  

          • Aug 23, 201211:32 pm
            by Otis

            sigh…
             
            I meant that for the purposes of pure contribution next season you’re going to be lucky to replace Ben Wallace’s production with Drummond and Slava. It’s just that it’ll be coming from younger guys with room to improve (especially in Drumm’s case), so you’re building something instead of milking a few more minutes from an old veteran.

  • Aug 22, 20121:59 pm
    by koz

    Reply

    32.9 wins isn’t all that bad. 5 wins above this might get them into the playoffs. If they play hard, smart, and together, it could happen.

    • Aug 23, 20121:46 pm
      by DoctorDaveT

      Reply

      +1
      The best thing for this team would be a gigantic growth spurt for everyone on the team. As if that were reality! 45-50 wins, and a 6th or 7th seed. So…. That ain’t happening.
      The next best thing – which in reality is really the best thing – is to play all of the youth as starters (Drummond, Moose, Jerebko, Stuckey, Knight; bench rotation of Kravstov, Prince, English, Singler, Bynum) and let them learn by losing. Secure one more draft pick before the loss of pick due to trade, and everyone is one year more mature, and ready to seriously compete for a playoff spot.
      By the way – if you can get Ben Wallace back, that’s a no-brainer. Who else would you want training Moose & Drummond?

  • Aug 22, 20124:02 pm
    by John V

    Reply

    I will be very happy with the playoffs. But to get one more lottery pick before we become a perennial playoff team for the next 5-8 years won’t hurt my feelings either.

  • Aug 22, 20126:59 pm
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    42 games in a sixteen game schedule is hardly an insignificant portion of a 66 game schedule. it represents almost two-thirds of all games played. While it would be nice of Drummond in particular steps it up, the real hope for this season lies in the fact that Knight cannot be the turnover machine he proved to be as a rookie. Hopefully there will be some progress in that.

  • Aug 22, 20129:43 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    This doesn’t add up. Last years win% amounted to 31 wins for an 82 game pace. 6 win improvement would give us 37 wins this year.

    Either way its underrating this roster. They should be good for at least 41 wins in this East, imo.

    • Aug 22, 201210:02 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m all for being optimistic. Best case, I think the Pistons can be a surprise team and compete for the eight seed.

      But I fail to see how projecting them in the 30-35ish wins range is underrating the roster. Hell, one third of the roster has yet to play a NBA game yet and three more players, Daye, Bynum and Villanueva, had awful seasons last year. Yes, I hope they exceed expectations and the young players take gigantic leaps this year, but projecting a win total in the low thirties is not underrating anything. More than half the roster is either completely unproven or proved to be bad last season.

    • Aug 22, 201211:20 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      “AT LEAST” 41???? I swear to God I don’t get it. This is insane. Nothing could possibly explain how someone could ever think this. I’m horrified.
       
      This is why people jeep calling the Pistons “diappointing.” They’ll only disappoint you if you cast all logic aside and take a will guess that they’ll suddenly be good out of nowhere, with nothing to support it but dreams and delusion. Not trying to be too mean here, but I am so outraged right now I need to take a walk.

  • Aug 23, 201212:54 am
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    Me “not” <–(lol) being a Homer i will give my honest assessment –
    Pistons record 43-39 8th seed playoffs.  There are 7 teams i would call locks (mia, bos, pacers, bulls, sixers, nets, knicks).
    The 8th spot will come to atl vs. det.  I rate our roster &/or COACHING better than wash, bbcats, milw, magic, cavs, raps.  Monroe would be the best player on all those teams with a slight exception for irving.  i would say b. scott would be only coach i would think about over L. frank, of that group.
    Looking at advanced stats from ashburner at SI today  (http://www.nba.com/2012/news/features/steve_aschburner/08/22/detroit-pistons-lottery-team-series?ls=iref:nbahpt1)
    Our advance stats all improved greatly over the last half of the season when we went 21-21.  So eyes said they look better, record was better and stats proved what we saw.  There was significant improvement from the beginning of the year until the end of the year. 
    milw, wash, raps, cavs have players with heavy injury histories(m. ellis dalembert, nene okafor , calderon barganani, irving varejo) so i think with the amount time those players will miss will definitely affect their records.  I could see a coaching problem in milw with skiles, this is about the time his players stop listening and tune him out.  Dont think that small backcourt can stay healthy all year as well. 
    On the raps who carries them? Monroe should be our guy, who is the raptors guy? bargani? derozan? just don’t see a lot of top talent on that team, valucunias could develop but he’s a project this year. Lowry will help, but is he the guy to lead you to the playoffs? all star?
    magic i think obviously they gutted there roster and hired a rookie head coach…enuff said.  bbcats still need ALOT more talent, but i do LOVE kidd-gilchrest. 
    Washington i think will have injuries upfront putting pressure on wall and for the last 2 yrs that hasnt work, but Wall is a guy im looking to see this year, i think this is a big yr for him,  does he improve and show all star cred or remain same t.o. prone guard who doesn’t win.  beal will help, but just not enough there, also there coach wittman? never been a winner. 
    Now Atlanta vs. Detroit
    Atlanta has a playoff pedigree now with their recent history.  However, they have not gotten far in the playoffs reaching only 2nd rd.  I think Horford is a beast and between he and Monroe this will be the determining factor,  to me.  Whoever wins this matchup, in terms of stats, all-star, stature in the league, leadership leading to winning.  This will be a long year matchup but the one we need to pay attention to all year. Who’s the better player Monroe or Horford? Josh Smith will be on a mission this year as he is going into Free agency and will be looking for one more big time contract.  Now we know the mission will be to get paid, but will that hurt or help the Hawks?  Coaching for hawks w/ Drew i give a C+.  I think he’s good with players, but not sure he’s a good in game manager.  Last year in the playoffs they went back to iso Joe after using a motion offense w/ great ball movement all year, which really helped there efficiency.  They still did not add size, so Horford stays at center and undersized.
    Detroit, has Monroe and i think a good to great coach in Frank. 
    Monroe was in the all star running last year in terms of “if Monroe was on a winning team” he would be in over Hibbert.  With Monroe we can see the talent, the games stats are there pts/rebs and the advance efficiency stats are there with top 15 in PER in the league last year. So i think Monroe is a stud and all star this year.  He’s improved every year and added to his game.  Drummond/Slava will help Monroe a great deal by taking some of the banging away from him, so many times you watch a pistons game and Monroe was their only legit big man, in terms of size and mass.  He would battle all game and tire at the end.  So i hope that helps with his stamina and also hope this was his focus in the off season.  This is his biggest area in need of improvement. 
    Stuckey i look at him as all star caliber this year, meaning avg 19pts 4ast 4reb.  The biggest area of improvement for rodney will be mentality.  His job is now to score, not get the team involved, but looking to get 20 on up every night.  When rodney has gone into attack mode he’s been pretty unstoppable and all star caliber, it’s always been when he has had to “play” pg and distribute that his game slows down.  He also needs to stay healthy.
    Knight i look for him to try to consistently play like he did the first game of Summer league this year.  He ran the team, got ppl easy shots, scored efficiently and defended.  He has too do all these things and hit the 3pt shot.  With his work ethic, smarts and natural ability, i look for him to make a big jump this year.  Not all star level, but show that if his team is winning he can be an all star.  He wont get there by himself, but the team can help him get there, by being a winning playoff team.
    SF will be the biggest position of flux this year.  Too many guys, not enough minutes.  I see a trade at this spot some time before this season starts and yes i think tayshaun is in play more this year.  Maggette’s contract is a big asset. He will while he’s here in getting to the line. 
    Drummond/Slava just have very very basic expectation this year.  Block shots, guard the paint hard, make hard fouls, deter ANYBODY from coming down low with the pistons.  They have 12 fouls to give and each should be an old bad boy foul, get a reputation etc.  The rebounding will be there, the dunks will be there, the rookie mistakes will be there, but above everything have a HEAVY ROUGH paint presence. 
    CV i have no idea, but i think they want to hold on to him for trade as his value will go up on his expiring contract. 
    Singler is in that SF mix, i think it will be to hard to keep him off the court. 
    English can you make the 3pt shot every game consistently?  Your hustle, defense, leadership, all the intangibles are there.  You just gotta make the shot. 
    Bynum, middelton, Daye i think are all players that can or will be used in trades to add “sweetner”.  bynum because of his 3mil exp contract, daye because he may just need a change a scenery as he has all the offensive skills, but does he have a position.  Middelton as a young player on a small contract with maybe some upside. 
    Frank and his staff seem to have great rapport with the players.  The players all seem to be practicing and working together, i think that goes to coaching by providing that type of environment. Frank has a lot of playoff experience with the Nets, leading them to Eastern Conf. final… losing to the Pistons.  I thought he provided a lot of good in game management last year to win games.  Even though a lot of us wanted them to tank, Frank was trying to win and actually did pretty well at that.  He gave big Ben minutes to help win games, he seemed to find a lot of the right combos to finish games even if that left monroe, stuckey, knight or whoever on the bench. Play calling and out bounds play calling excellent and one of the best.  Just have to be sure he doesn’t burn himself or the team out. 
    My Pistons assessment this year… eat it up, tear it apart and call me crazy! 

    • Aug 23, 20121:08 am
      by bugsygod

      Reply

      ***Jerbko, i think will continue to be a great glue guy, whatever you need he can do it differently every night.  Jonas going into his 4thyr in the league you want to see that mental aspect of the game pick up.  To know when to score, rebound, defense, take a charge, just play smart ball.  Maxiel i think will actually have a big influence on Drummond.  Showing him “beast” mode, maxiel eats babies mode.  Its ok to knock ppl down, give somebody a lil elbow.  His 5mil expiring contract is also a nice asset.  I think he will be a guy eventually squeezed out of the rotation, by Drummond/slava

  • Aug 23, 20127:25 am
    by Derek

    Reply

    Well I for one am optimistic about this upcoming season.  My optimism is more based on the incremental improvement I expect to see over last season.  We have a young team and a strong teaching and straight shooting coach.

    The guys are one year under the Frank system so I expect their to be less confusion from the returning guys as it relates to the rotations.  I would like to believe the Rodney Stuckey we saw last year was not an abberation.  If Stuckey comes in with health (physical & mental) we will have a standout SG capable of averaging 19 pts a game for the season.

    To that strong output from the 2, I throw in BK.  Unlike so many of the “posers” in the league who talk a lot about putting in the hard offseason work, this kid really gets it in.  Brandon Knight returns from an offseason program that has yielded approximately 10 lbs of muscle with increased confidence.  We need at minimum 6 assists out of that starting one slot.  I think he can make the bump from 3.8 to 6 asts a game.

    Then there’s Moose, who is capable of any bump in his numbers as well.  I expect a 3 pt and 3 rb bump over last year’s numbers bringing him up to 18 pts and 12 rbs.

    If we are able to get that kind of production bump from those core guys coupled with ahead of the curve contributions from Happy Feet (Drummond), I think we can get anywhere between 36 to 40 wins.

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