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Internal Improvement: Austin Daye

Tom Gores said it better happen. Jonas Jerebko guaranteed it. Rodney Stuckey agreed.

The Detroit Pistons can certainly make the playoffs this season, but given how similar the team is to last year’s, it won’t be easy. It appears the Pistons are mostly relying on internal improvement in order to exceed expectations and reach the postseason.

For our 2012 preview series, Patrick and I will each examine one area where we see realistic room for improvement from each Piston. Today, we look at Austin Daye.


Before he can begin to work on the skills he doesn’t have – toughness, defense, rebounding in traffic, etc. – Austin Daye needs to straighten out one he supposedly does.

Last season, Daye shot 21 percent on 3-pointers and 36 percent on 2-pointers – both horrid numbers. His confidence is clearly shot, and after spending part of the lockout not eating in Russia, Daye is close to getting bounced from the NBA.

If he can re-harness the one skill many (not including myself) are certain he possesses, shooting, he can probably earn at least another year in the league. — D.F.


After three seasons in the league and nearly 3,000 minutes of playing time, there’s still one thing I have some confidence that Daye can figure out how to do at an elite level — shoot the three. By all appearances, he seems like a hard worker. He’s tried to add weight and get stronger, even if it hasn’t worked out. He’s tried to develop an all-around perimeter game, even if it hasn’t worked out. Statistically, coming off a season where he only made 21 percent of his threes and with a pedestrian 33 percent career percentage, it might be foolish that I still think he can be among the NBA’s best marksmen. The numbers certainly don’t back me up and I would never say otherwise. But Daye does have a 40 percent from three season on his resumé, and mechanically, his shot looks flawless and easy. The other areas of Daye’s game have a long ways to go before they are rotation caliber. If those elements are going to develop, he’s going to need minutes, and if he starts making the many open shots that he was either missing or passing up last season, that will be enough to start earning him regular minutes. Non-lottery picks like Daye who are as unproductive as he has been come and go pretty often in the NBA. Daye’s jumper is still the one thing in his arsenal right now that can buy him more time in the league as the rest of his game catches up. — P.H.



  • Oct 18, 201210:31 am
    by John V


    Is putting the words improvement and Austin Daye in the same headline an oxymoron?

  • Oct 18, 201211:07 am
    by Jack Webber


    So Daye is going to be played as a stretch 4? Didn’t we already try this failed experiment two seasons ago?

    • Oct 18, 20122:02 pm
      by freywagg


      Not really. That experiment was with Daye as the starting power forward. This is significantly less stupid of an experiment, while still making little sense in the end.

  • Oct 18, 201211:33 am
    by Crispus


    I believe the title should read “Internal Improvement: Getting Rid of Austin Daye”

  • Oct 18, 201212:13 pm
    by DasMark


    I like the top 3 comments. He’s a player who’s elite skill was shooting, but can’t shoot anymore. 

    He’s way too slow to play the two, way too small to play the 4. And he’s just plain mediocre at the three, as he’s deficient in both size and athleticism.

    I think he came in at a bad time, and his attitude toward the game was soured. That, or he’s a guy collecting a huge paycheck to play a sport, while not being very interested at being good at it.  

    • Oct 18, 20124:28 pm
      by tarsier


      “he’s just plain mediocre at the three”

      Do you know what mediocre means? It means average, not piss poor. And Daye’s play has been awful his entire tenure in the NBA. Prince is a mediocre three. It’d be fantastic if Daye were too.

  • Oct 18, 201212:51 pm
    by RyanK


    I signed up for twitter one day while killing time at an airport.  I follow some of the players on the team.  I read Daye’s tweets and it boggles my mind what a negative attitude he has.  From what I read on there, I would question his work ethic also. 
    Daye needs a trade ASAP.  He needs to be someplace he can get time at small forward for an entire season.  Here we ask him to play power forward and he just isn’t strong enough to do that.  He might struggle to stay infront of small forwards in the league, but his superior length should help him recover.

  • Oct 18, 20121:25 pm
    by George


    Daye is a man without a position, passion, or conviction.  His NBA future is on the line and he hasn’t found any area that he is statistically AVERAGE at besides free throw shooting and shot-blocking.

  • Oct 18, 20121:34 pm
    by sebastian


    Let’s see: WE currently have two guys on OUR preseason roster who were drafted in the same Draft as day, Jonny Flynn (6) and T. Will (11).
    Why not just cut Daye and use his salary to pay, Jonny Flynn or T. Will?

    • Oct 18, 20122:15 pm
      by Tom Y.


      You can’t “use his salary” to pay someone else. If you cut him, you still have to pay him, and someone else on top of that.

  • Oct 18, 20121:43 pm
    by Keith


    Agree with the above. I don’t see any value in Daye. You can’t run an offense through him like we used to do with Tay. He can’t seem to defend anyone at any position. He does have one year at 40% from three, but we was also only 41% overall that year. Meanwhile he shot 30% from three his first year and 21% last year. There is greater evidence that he cannot shoot than he can.
    Also, he’s is far too emotionally unstable to play the deep bench position he’ll continue to occupy if he stays in the league. Even during the draft, he talked about how his good workouts were all about “feeling good at the time.” He isn’t talented enough for teams to focus on how he feels every game, and apparently isn’t any good unless really feeling it. For someone who will be lucky to see 5-10 mpg and lots of DNPs going forward, he simply doesn’t have the attitude necessary to be a contributor.
    As well, he is a reminder of the mistakes that have plagued the Pistons these last few years. The focus on flawed offensive players over defensive talent. The idea of getting versatile positionless players, discounting how versatile they actually are. Lack of coaching and player development. Lack of long term vision and statement of roles. Daye may be able to salvage a career somewhere else, but there’s nothing to suggest he will succeed here, and plenty to suggest he won’t.

    • Oct 18, 20122:17 pm
      by Tom Y.


      Europe, maybe, if he can find a good restaurant wherever he is.

      Or he could probably dominate the D-League, which is still probably better than most 9 to 5 jobs.

    • Oct 18, 20123:29 pm
      by jerrific


      I agree that Daye’s attitude is holding him back. In fact, I think that is the key aspect of his game he needs to improve upon. He act’s like he deserves minutes, not like he needs to earn them. Far too often when he gets minutes he’s discouraged way too easily. He needs to learn to just go out there and fight. It seems to me that his negativity and lack of confidence hold him back more than anything. He could be a passable role player if he improved his attitude to be more like that of Will Bynum’s. 

  • Oct 18, 20124:26 pm
    by say what now


    try him at starting sf and see what he does with the mins. i saw him in summer league w mins and he was makin it rain. dudes gotta shot. pick and pop all day!

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