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Internal Improvement: Kim English

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 Kim English.

Shot selection

In the summer league, Kim English often put the ball on the floor and drove to mixed results. Maybe that was a product of the environment, or maybe that’s how English plans to play, but I hope and think it was the former.

For now at least, especially on this team, English should be what Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus calls a 3-and-D players, someone who focuses only on spacing the floor with 3-pointers and playing plus defense.

It’s tough to dial back a player’s inclination for shooting, but if English can reign it in, he could be much more valuable to the Pistons, who are already overloaded with players who must dribble to contribute. — D.F.

Just make threes

If the Pistons don’t find some 3-point shooting, their offense is going to struggle. Two veterans they were hoping would provide that shooting — Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva — have yet to make a three in three preseason games. Brandon Knight shot the three well as a rookie, but he’s passed up threes in the preseason in an effort to attack the basket.  Threes have never been Rodney Stuckey‘s forte. Ditto for Jonas Jerebko and Corey Maggette. Tayshaun Prince can hit them at a respectable rate, but 3-point shooting is not a big part of his offensive game either.

If the Pistons can’t space the floor, there won’t be driving lanes for Stuckey and Knight and Monroe will have less room to operate in the post. I think English has other skills he could potentially bring — he could be a decent defender and he looks good in the open floor. But for now, if he can shoot, he will have to play regardless of how developed his other skills are. The Pistons need it. — P.H.



  • Oct 15, 20121:54 pm
    by Levi Thieman


    if he can shoot, he will have to play regardless of how developed his other skills are. The Pistons need it.

    this is truly the bottom line 

  • Oct 15, 20121:58 pm
    by Keith


    I think English can be the second coming of Arron Afflalo. Afflalo is a smart defender, though not a great athlete. He’s generally average or a bit above defensively. All those things could describe English. He knows where to go, even if he’s not the quickest out there, and that make a big difference. I don’t expect him to be a great defender, but even average is an upgrade on this team.
    Afflalo also turned out to be a deadeye shooter off the catch. He’s a poor creator and mediocre finisher, but he plays within his role and generally only takes high percentage shots. The Pistons gave up on him as just a shooter, just a role player, forgetting that those things are both valuable. English can do for the Pistons what Afflalo should have. He was a good shooter in college and has probably been our best shooter in summer league-preseason (admittedly without a lot of shots). We don’t need him to initiate offense, just to be an outlet on Knight-Stuckey drives or when Monroe is drawing defenders in the post. He can force defenses to guard him, and that should be a huge boon to the rest of his teammates.

    • Oct 15, 20123:08 pm
      by labatts


      So what your saying is that Dumars will trade him, right?

      • Oct 15, 20123:54 pm
        by G


        …for nothing, he’ll end up being a solid rotation player who becomes a key piece in a blockbuster trade that sends the top center in the country to the Lakers. Kim English, this is your life

  • Oct 15, 20122:11 pm
    by bugsygod


    I think english, middleton are in a battle w/ CV for there playing time as they all provide 3pt shooting.  I think the 2nd unit will be drummond, cv, jerbko, maggette and bynum.  If CV is not shooting/playing well, he comes out and one of the 3 rooks comes in.  This moves jonas to 4 and maggette to either 2or3 depending on who comes in.  6th man jonas, 7th drummond, 8th maggette, 9th bynum, 10th cv, then the 3 rooks, then Daye as DBW(desginated bench warmer)  

  • Oct 15, 20122:47 pm
    by vic


    The dumb thing about the whole stretch 4 concept is that it only worked with Dwight Howard, and Rashard Lewis didn’t even get a championship. 
    Do we even need a stretch 4? Do we need a big man staying away from the paint… Is Greg Monroe a guaranteed double team? Will Drummond demand a double team in the post?

    I doubt it. Kim English should play if we need 3 point shooting, period. Then Middleton/Singler. We don’t need to stretch the floor, we need players to be able to produce in their natural floor spacing.
    I don’t think we’re a stretch 4 team, if that’s even a viable concept outside of Dwight Howard. I think we’re a set a pick and attack the glass team. 

    sorry for the rant, that whole stretch 4 concept just annoyed me right there 

    • Oct 15, 20123:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I don’t care what position they play to be honest. The Pistons need more players who can shoot the three, regardless of position. Not having guys who space the floor is really bad for your offense in today’s NBA. The Pistons just happen to have two shooters who are allegedly fours. I don’t think stretch fours are vital by any means, but shooters absolutely are.

      • Oct 15, 20124:12 pm
        by vic


        what i’m saying is, if you’ve got two guys with the same 3 point shooting percentage. one plays the 2, the other plays the 4.

        Its better to have the 2 stretching the floor because the 2 is playing in his natural space, he can get back quickly on defense to play better defense, he probably can’t rebound efficiently among the trees anyway.

        If you play the stretch 4, he’s not crashing the boards and shooting 3s at the same time. You have less rebounding, and he’s not quick enough to stop the fastbreak.

        • Oct 15, 20124:46 pm
          by Keith


          If the only constraints are a SG who can hit threes or a PF that can hit threes, then PF is probably more valuable. For one, many/most big men are terrible at defending the 3 point line, so a PF will see easier shots from 3. For two, any player that is just shooting threes, his secondary attributes are less important. You could say the same thing about a 3 point SG who can’t drive or defend (a player many teams keep on their bench).
          To be great, certainly the other skills a person has are important. Kevin Love is a superstar because he can hit from any range AND rebounds like crazy. Ryan Anderson is a very good PF because he’s lights out from deep and great on the offensive glass. Sure, you can’t build a team around Anderson, but that’s not what we’re looking for. We just want someone to space the floor for our slashers and post scorers. Without ANY shooters, teams will just put everyone around the paint and stymie any offense we attempt. We need that outlet just to keep defenses honest.

    • Oct 15, 20123:10 pm
      by labatts


      Vic, I’m kinda with you on that.  I think what works better is someone that can pick and pop (Lambieer).

    • Oct 16, 20125:42 pm
      by Crispus


      Wasn’t Rasheed Wallace somewhat of a stretch 4 later in his career? I remember his 3 got pretty legit. He was much better in the midrange and paint than CV or Daye will ever be, but he made some big men step out.

      • Oct 16, 20125:42 pm
        by Crispus


        Oops didn’t read the next comment before I posted.

  • Oct 15, 20122:52 pm
    by Lee


    Rasheed was sort of a “Stretch-Four” for us when we won in 04. But I do agree that we don’t really need a stretch 4. I’d rather have a consistent 3 point threat from the SF position that can hit threes when knight and Stuck penetrate and dish, and when Monroe gets doubled in the post. I think that would be way better than two below average, inconsistent, streaky “stretch-fours”.

    • Oct 15, 20124:03 pm
      by G


      The big difference is Sheed was a stretch-4 by choice, not by limitation. He could play in the low post, defend the low post, and really his best move was that baseline turnaround j, not the pick & pop 3. Daye & Charlie are more limited stretch 4s. Not physical enough to defend or play in the low post, not quick enough to defend the wing, and their games are strictly face up.

  • Oct 15, 20123:25 pm
    by Corey


    The Stretch Four concept will not be significant to this team going forward. Why? By next season at the latest, I expect Monroe to be playing 35 mpg at power forward, with Drummond and Kravtsov taking up Center minutes. Heck, even this year, if Monroe plays 35 mpq, Maxiel plays 22, and Drummond/Kravtsov play 35 minutes between them, that leaves only 4 minutes for a stretch 4. So a 3-pt shooting 4 man may not even get in the rotation significantly this year. The closest we’ll get is Jerebko, if he’s getting his minutes at the 4. He was 38% on corner 3′s last year, so that’s not too bad. And hopefully he’ll improve a little more this year. 

    But we need the shooting from somewhere. With Stuckey an iffy 3 pt shooter, we really need other perimeter players who can shoot the 3.

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