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Jose Calderon leads Pistons to wild win in Toronto return

Detroit Pistons 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Toronto Raptors
Greg Monroe, C 38 MIN | 10-18 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 24 PTS | +10

Monroe played as effectively as he typically does in his good games, but his form was a bit more polished. He made most of his shots outside the restricted area, and he even shot 2-for-2 outside the paint. Monroe hadn’t had this many assists without a turnover this season.

Andre Drummond, C 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -9

Drummond didn’t have his his usual energy. Maybe his lack of stamina after sitting for so long is catching up to him.

Jose Calderon, PG 43 MIN | 8-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +11

Calderon has one of the best shooting strokes in the league, and he could take advantage of it as much as he did tonight more often. Best of all, he didn’t stop running the offense to score his most points since before Valentine’s Day. Raptors fans gave Calderon multiple standing ovations in his return to Toronto, where he spent his first 7.5 seasons. Calderon even headed toward the home locker room at halftime before realizing his mistake and reversing course. He’s an excellent player, and that’s why the Raptors miss him on the court. He’s also a class act, and that’s why Raptors fans miss him in every respect.

Brandon Knight, PG 29 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -5

DeMar DeRozan is more physically mature than Knight, and the Raptors guard used that advantage to score at times tonight. DeRozan isn’t efficient enough to really make Knight pay, but this game shows how much adding a little muscle this offseason could help Knight defensively.

Kyle Singler, SG 19 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -9

Rudy Gay is a gifted scorer, and he used all his moves on Singler, who struggled to disrupt Gay in even the slightest.

Jonas Jerebko, PF 28 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +19

Jerebko really upgraded the perimeter defense behind Singler. Jerebko played exactly how I’ve been hope he would all season: hustling, rebounding and defending. When he’s not trying to be the alpha scorer, he’s still one of the league’s best off-the-bench role players.

Khris Middleton, SF 25 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +16

Middleton displayed a body control I hadn’t seen from him before. He’s had a higher field-goal percentage only once before (a 1-for-1 game), and he pulled it off by twisting and leaning through traffic to make several shots.

Rodney Stuckey, PG 28 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | +17

Stuckey dribbled the air out of the ball as usual, but he can still be very effective when playing that way. The question about Stuckey is not whether he’s any good. He is. The question is whether he’s good enough for a team to thrive when allowing him to play the high-usage role that suits him best.

Lawrence Frank

Frank often plays the starters together or the reserves together for long stretches of the second half if either unit is playing well. A problem with that strategy is subpar players on one unit get to play at the expense of superior players on the other unit just because their linemates are doing well. It’s a bit more difficult to mix and match players and determine which will click well in unorthodox lineups, but good coaches do it. Tonight, Frank did it. Behind a Calderon-Stuckey-Middleton-Jerebko-Monroe lineup, which was +13 in 13 minutes, the Pistons befuddled the Raptors, going on 13-0 and 10-0 runs in the fourth quarter.

Most Valuable Player

Rudy Gay. Gay, deservedly, has a reputation as an inefficient shooter, but he didn’t live up to it tonight. Gay had scored this much (34 points) six times before, but he’d always needed at least four more shots to get there than the 18 he took tonight.


  • Apr 1, 20139:45 pm
    by Trent


    Just watching over the last 10-14days, is there any worth in starting Middleton? He had one of his better games tonight and is showing he could be a decent role player for our club. We know what we will get from Kyle and in the last few weeks we need to figure out everyones worth. Kyle’s lack of productivity coupled with the fact the Khris is our only true 3 I think gives us a recent to either start him or up his minutes.

    Another line-up change we could roll with is the swapping of roles for BK and Stuck. I see this as a win-win. BK can run the point or the 2 and just play whilst Stuck gets time to either decide he wants to be in Detroit or raise his trade value.

    And I’m making this move and drafting Marcus Smart. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=d65tzyf   

    • Apr 1, 20139:57 pm
      by oats


      Why does either Toronto or Orlando do that? I’m seriously unclear on this. Both of them get worse with that deal, and even the trade machine agrees.
      As for Smart, I still don’t get it with him. His shooting and passing numbers kind of suck. I don’t see any reason to think he’ll ever be a competent point guard. If he’s a shooting guard he looks to be somewhere between Stuckey and Tyreke Evans. I’m not seeing the great appeal here.

      • Apr 1, 201310:36 pm
        by gmehl


        I think its because people only look at mock drafts and haven’t enven seen them play. I’ve been downloading games and scouting players myself. I think our draft board should look like this:


        • Apr 1, 201311:48 pm
          by oats


          Mine’s a bit different.
          1 and 2) Porter and McLemore. I keep changing my mind on them. They are my top two though. Right now I honestly don’t know which I’d take. Porter’s the better fit and lower floor, McLemore has the higher ceiling. This one’s tough for me. Yesterday I’d have answered Porter, today I’m leaning towards McLemore. This is one of the few times I’m probably going to make up my mind based on what I hear from pre draft workouts.
          3) Noel. He’s one of the top 3 players in the draft in my opinion. I have the same rating on him as the top 2 guys, but he doesn’t fit as well. That places him 3rd, although the fact that he is a bad fit means I’d be trying to trade him.
          4)Oladipo. I have him clearly rated below Noel, but man would I love to flip the third pick for the fourth and get Oladipo and some other help.
          5) Bennet. I actually have a tier for the top 3, and then these two are tier to themselves. I feel like there is a clear separation between them and the guys either ahead or behind them.
          6) Burke. I love Burke, I just have him rated behind Bennet. This is another situation where I like Burke better for Detroit, but I feel like Bennet is the better value. If Kander thinks Bennet is actually athletic enough to play the 3 I’d rather just keep him, but my personal opinion is that Bennet is an undersized 4. As such, I’d try shopping Bennet to move down. If I fail I’ll give him a year to see what he looks like. There is an outside chance Bennet could make Monroe expendable.
          7) Smart. I have him rated below Burke. His Rodney Stuckey potential is just too high. I like to think he’ll end up somewhere between Stuckey and Evans, but there is an outside chance he blows by that prediction and becomes closer to Wade. I find that scenario highly unlikely, but it exists and that’s enough to make him the next guy on my list.
          8) Gary Harris. This is the start of the tier after Smart. Those first 3 tiers are really small, but I have the top 7 guys with clearly better ratings than the next group of guys. He’s going to at least be a good 3 and D guy, and that makes him a great fit in Detroit. I also think he has a chance to be more than that, but I’ll take the guy who can do that over the rest of this draft.
          9) Muhammad. His shooting numbers have been dropping all year, and he just looks like an inefficient chucker who does little outside of scoring. I’m not thrilled with the guy. Still, he’s the best wing player left.
          10) Michael Carter Williams. I hate his shooting, and I don’t get why his play looks so different in the tourney than he did in the regular season. I also worry about his defense. I have no idea if he can really defend point guards in one on one defense. The team does have Knight so maybe he’d defend shooting guards, but I don’t feel comfortable relying on Knight to be a starter to make MCW look better. Still, he could be good and he is a much better fit than the uninspiring big men that are also in this tier. He’s about one more quality tournament game from jumping Muhammad by the way, and I don’t like putting too much value on the tourney. He’s just slowly gaining data points in his favor, and he’s pretty neck and neck with Muhammad for me right now. He might actually jump Harris if he plays his way in to the finals and looks good there.

      • Apr 2, 20135:27 am
        by PistonFanSinceDay1


        I don’t post on this site often but based off your comments about Singler being better than Middleton, I could understand why you don’t see the appeal with Smart. You might not have a good eye for talent.

        • Apr 2, 20136:15 am
          by oats


          Look, it is not complicated with Singler. Is he good? That depends on how he is judged. He is good for a second round draft pick in his rookie year, and he’s a vaguely useful role player off the bench. He also has no business starting for a normal team. Detroit sucks and traded away the only small forward that clearly deserved to start over him. I think Singler might be a bit better than Middleton because he does more than him, but I’m not even really arguing that he is better than Middleton. I’m arguing he is a better fit than Middleton for this roster as currently constructed. You’ve made absolutely no argument one way or the other as to why I’m wrong, so I don’t know what else I can tell you in regards to Singler.
          As for Smart, once again you’ve not addressed my points at all. He has the same passing numbers as Brandon Knight, but most people see him as a point guard. He also has no 3 point shot and he doesn’t shoot all that well on two point attempts either. He has a knack for getting to the line though. He also is a good defensive player and a good athlete. Compare him to Tyreke Evans in college. Evans put up an extra 1.7 points per game and did so with roughly 5% bumps in field goal percentage and 2 point field goal percentage, while also taking an extra .7 FTA. Smart has an extra .4 rebounds, .3 assists, .9 steals, and .2 fewer turnovers. Smart is a better passer,  but not by enough to make him look like a point guard. Smart is a better defender as well, but Evans was reasonably close and a much better scorer when efficiency is taken into account. That’s why Smart projects as roughly the equivalent of Tyreke Evans, they pretty much did the same thing in college.
          What I don’t get about Smart is why he’s anyone’s top pick for Detroit. That doesn’t make sense to me. I also don’t get why people think he’s a point guard when so few guards with his low assist numbers and high turnover numbers actually turn in to decent point guards. I guess it happens every now and then, but the vast majority never succeed at that position. That doesn’t make them bad basketball players, but being a decent basketball player doesn’t mean he fits in Detroit. If he could shoot I’d be all over him because his defensive potential would make him a great player even if he’s a shooting guard. He can’t shoot. If he could pass I’d probably forgive the shooting thing in the hopes he can develop that skill. He can’t pass. Name a few point guards that could neither pass nor shoot and still became good point guards later? I’ve got none that I can come up with. If he’s a shooting guard, he’s probably in the Tyreke Evans mold. I’d feel better about that if he actually shot the 2 well, but he’s at best average on 2 point attempts. His skill set at the 2 just doesn’t fit well with Detroit, a team that really needs some outside shooting to open up space for it’s big men. Honestly, even if he learned to pass I don’t know how well he fits without at least an average jump shot. If we’re talking about a team with some better shooters to surround Smart with I’d get the love. We aren’t.
          How about this, try making an actual argument. I’ve laid out my thinking pretty clearly. Give me one actual reason why I’m wrong.

        • Apr 2, 20136:59 am
          by oats


          Turns out I did have something more to say about Singler versus Middleton. Their per 36 numbers are pretty similar. Middleton scores a bit more and gets to line more often. Singler has an average 3 point shot so his true shooting percentage is actually pretty much identical to Middleton’s. All Middleton is doing is taking more shots and scoring in a different way. Singler’s a better rebounder, but is a bit more turnover prone. They are pretty much a wash using those metrics. I also think Middleton is a better defender.
          So, Middleton’s defense should give him the edge by looking at what I said in the previous paragraph. The problem is that per 36 numbers for players over 20 minutes tend to be pretty accurate while per 36 numbers for players under 20 minutes tend not to be. The fact that Middleton only plays 15 minutes per game means he can really throw himself in to his limited role while Singler’s 28 minutes requires him to pick his spots a bit more and try to avoid picking up cheap fouls. A lot of players around the 15 minute mark tend to have inflated per 36 numbers, and I suspect Middleton is one of those players. If I was picking someone for right here and now, I’d pick Singler. I also think the primary concern right now is evaluating if Monroe and Drummond can coexist, and the biggest question mark there is if the team needs someone with better range than Monroe. Even if picking Singler is wrong and Middleton is the better player, I still think the team has more of a need for a jump shooter than a guy that scores at the line. Middleton is the guy I want long term, and I actually think he’ll supplant Singler by next year. Right now, on this roster I get why Singler is playing.

    • Apr 1, 201311:51 pm
      by Mark


      Better question, is there any reason to NOT start Middleton?

      Kyle Singler…man, get this guy out of here.

      I’m so tired of seeing him get dominated. Whether at SG or SF, he’s like a cure-all for opposing perimeter players ailments. 

      I wouldn’t even mind seeing Middleton start at SG over Knight either, the way Knight’s been playing lately. There’s something Rip-like about Middletons game, and its not just his #32. I’d like to see him start opposite Calderon (who I think has a little Chauncey in his game).

      But Singler definitely needs to go from that starting lineup. 

      • Apr 2, 201312:13 am
        by oats


        Singler is a better 3 point shooter than Middleton, he is better on the boards, and he does more little things that don’t really show up on the stat sheet. Singler has a good understanding of spacing, and he has a firm understanding of where he should place himself on offense. Part of that is that he also has a better sense of timing as a cutter. All of these things are based on the fact that Singler has more polish than Middleton, but it is also possible that he’s just a smarter player. I feel like Middleton clearly has the higher ceiling, but if the goal is to be as competitive as possible then Singler is the smart play. Similarly, if the goal is to get a good read on Monroe and Drummond it makes sense to pair them with the better shooter in Singler for floor spacing purposes. Don’t get me wrong, he shouldn’t be there next year, but right now he actually makes some sense for the team.

        • Apr 2, 201312:19 am
          by Mark


          I don’t know how you can say Singler is better at all of those things without really getting to see Middleton in extended minutes. 

          imo, Middleton is the smarter more fundamental player. He’s a better offensive player and a better defensive player. I just don’t see it from Singler.  

          Bottom line he’s a defensive liability in that starting lineup, and if we want to be competitive we need him out of there. In reality, we really aren’t trying to be competitive right now, as they’ve said they are using these game to evaluate. Playing Middleton covers both – he makes us better and he gives us time to evaluate him. The Pistons have seen enough of Singler by now to know what he is.

          • Apr 2, 201312:42 am
            by oats

            Every time I watch Singler I notice his understanding of positioning on the court. He’s really good with that. He also makes a handful of really nice cuts to the hoop a game. He really has a firm grasp of moving without the ball. He’s not the kind of athlete that just zooms all over the place, but he knows when it is time to get moving and find his spot. That’s a very useful skill. Middleton on the other hand hasn’t demonstrated that same ability. Yeah, his minutes are lower, but I noticed Singler doing that stuff back when Stuckey was still starting over him so it seems like Middleton has had enough of a chance to show it off. I’ll admit Middleton’s 3 point attempts are not high enough to conclude he can’t shoot, but he was a bad 3 point shooter in college. Throw in his poor numbers in limited minutes and the fact that Singler is a decent 3 point shooter and I feel like I’m on pretty solid ground here too.
            Middleton is the better defender, I agree here. The gap just isn’t that huge. Middleton is solid defender while Singler is bad. Singler is also better on the boards, and rebounding is a part of defense. That helps mitigate the drop off. Defense just isn’t as important for the team in evaluating Monroe and Drummond though. Spacing is a bigger concern, and Singler has him beat there. I agree Singler shouldn’t be a starter when we want to be competitive, but who wants to be competitive in meaningless games this season? I’m not getting it.
            I do want Middleton to play more though. I think Knight looks hurt, and I’d pull him from the rotation. I’d give a large portion of Knight’s minutes to Middleton, but I’d also throw a few to English.

    • Apr 2, 20139:43 am
      by tarsier


      I agree that Middleton and/or English should start over Singler. Even if Singler is a better shooter so that goes better with Monroe/Drummond, it’s not to such a degree as to be hugely relevant.

      And the Pistons do know what they have in Singler, an 8th or 9th man sort of guy for a good team. It’s worth knowing if English or Middleton has any value moving forward.

      • Apr 2, 201312:06 pm
        by G


        Why ruffle feathers at this point? Singler has been a trooper all year, why potentially rattle his confidence by yanking him from the starting lineup with 7 games to go? You can still bring Middleton & English off the bench and give them 20-30 minutes. What if Middleton turns out to be a disaster? Then you’ve potentially ostracized the guy you should be playing.

        I don’t think Singler would necessarily react that way, but why risk it when you can get what you want without upsetting the apple cart. Btw, Singler played 19 min last night, Middleton played 25.

        • Apr 2, 20133:56 pm
          by tarsier


          Fair point. I couldn’t care less about starting vs coming off the bench. But I don’t think there is much to be gained, assessment-wise, from playing Singler at this point.

          There are three Pistons who are big question marks: English, Middleton, and Kravstov. I’d like to see them get significant burn. How is the front office supposed to make any decisions when it doesn’t know what it has? And if the Pistons end up with the fourth worst record (it’s getting pretty unlikely the Cavs overtake them), so much the better.

      • Apr 2, 201312:13 pm
        by sebastian


        I said that Singler was an 8th or a 9th-man way back in November and was almost banished from this PistonPowered site.
        I guess, you guys just need roughly 60 more games to learn what should had been discerned will before Thanksgiving.

        • Apr 2, 201312:30 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          This is so stupid. No one — writer or commenter — has ever said anything differently about Singler than you just said. He’s a solid reserve/rotation player who has been asked to do too much. That has been said from day one by virtually everyone. Singler starting is not a good thing. But that’s not a reflection on Singler, it’s a reflection on how truly awful players like Stuckey, Jerebko, Villanueva, Daye, Maggette, etc. have been much of this season that the Pistons have had to ask Singler do too much.

          You saying Singler is an 8th or 9th man never even remotely caused you to be criticized on this site, let alone banished. You constantly mischaracterizing things that other people say might get you banished, however. It’s unbearably annoying.

          • Apr 2, 20133:43 pm
            by sebastian

            Oh, how I wish I had access to the PP archives.
            Hayes, you have got to be suffering from Blogger’s Amnesia. You, sir, are the very writer/commenter, who has continued the justification for Singler’s starting role in the line-up.
            Singler is at best an 8th or 9th-man on any NBA roster. And, yes even on an NBA roster as awful as the 2012-13 Detroit Pistons roster.
            Singler is not better than Stuckey and never will be.

          • Apr 2, 20133:51 pm
            by tarsier

            “Singler is at best an 8th or 9th-man on any NBA roster.”

            This is just completely untrue. Singler is an 8th or 9th man on a good team. On a very weak Pistons team, he hasn’t even always been the worst of the starters (remember Maxiell?). 

          • Apr 2, 20134:22 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “Oh, how I wish I had access to the PP archives.”

            Um … you don’t have access to the internet? Because the archives are out there. Search away.

            “Singler is not better than Stuckey and never will be.”

            Singler has shot better from two and three, rebounded better, turned the ball over less per 36 minutes, shot better from the free throw line and has a better defensive rating this season. Singler has been objectively and statistically superior to Stuckey this season in just about every way. 

        • Apr 2, 20131:19 pm
          by G


          I’m so glad you’ve been vindicated Sebastian. Now if you ever meet Mandela, you could have something to talk about. 
          “Oh, you were imprisoned by a racist government for 30 years? Well I was BANISHED from pistonpowered.com for saying Singler was an 8th or 9th man. So, yeah…”

          • Apr 2, 20133:53 pm
            by sebastian

            Yo, “G”, my life’s plight can never be compared to the great Nelson Mandela, but I do get the sarcasm.

      • Apr 2, 20132:42 pm
        by oats


        @tarsier. I get that. I’m not dead set on Singler having to start. The original question was, “is there any reason not to start Middleton”. I set off to answer that. Mark questioned me again about my stance on Singler, so I answered. Then Pistonsfan used my argument for Singler to deride my argument about Smart. It looks like I’m way more set on Singler as the starter when I’m really just answer if there was “any reason” to start Singler.

  • Apr 1, 20139:56 pm


    Knight has been horrible since coming back for the injury two weeks ago… just sit him and let him rest… No point in having half way injuried players out there

    • Apr 1, 201310:00 pm
      by oats


      Yeah, he looks hurt to me. I’d just shut him down now and give his minutes to Middleton and English. I don’t know what purpose playing Knight when he isn’t 100% serves.

  • Apr 1, 201310:04 pm
    by haydzzz


    Knight has a lot to work on this summer… Tonight Jerebko and Middleton have to get at Least A’s.. played intense defense on the perimeter in that last quarter (havet seen perimeter defense like that all season) and were very efficient offensively

  • Apr 1, 201310:16 pm
    by Brigs


    hate to say it because they fought hard and deserved to win but it was meaningless and probably hurts a little bit in the long run. I’m definetly scared now that they won with such little impact from Drummond that they are now gonna go on a run and push themselves out of the top 5 in the draft. I was expecting a game or 2 like this from drummond since the fatigue would catch up with him from being out so long but he’s gonna get his legs under him and will win us a few games we really shouldn’t win

    • Apr 1, 201310:38 pm
      by gmehl


      Especially if other teams start tanking :-(

    • Apr 1, 201310:40 pm
      by gmehl


      This who we’ve got left and its not hard seeing us win 4 of 7.


      • Apr 2, 201312:24 am
        by Mark


        MINN, CHI, and Brooklyn own us, so I doubt we win any of those. Though law of averages say we are due to win 1 against them.

        Same can be said in reverse for the BOS game, as we own them recently and they are due to win one on us. Especially at BOS since we are terrible away from the Palace against any good team.

        CHA always plays us tough, so thats 50-50 to me, as well as the Philly game.

        The CLE game is the must lose.

        I see us winning 2 or 3 and if we can avoid winning vs CLE, I think we can finish with the 5th pick at least. 

        • Apr 2, 201312:46 am
          by oats


          Gambler’s fallacy says we are not due. You are misrepresenting the law of averages. Past events do not actually have any influence on future ones, so the concept of being due is nonsense.

          • Apr 2, 20135:19 am
            by gmehl

            So what your really trying to say is we are not going to get/win the NBA lottery and get to choose 1st…damn it :-(

          • Apr 2, 201312:22 pm
            by G

            That’s not what gambler’s fallacy means. Gambler’s fallacy is like saying “well, the last 5 came up heads, it’s due to come up tails”. The odds of heads or tails is always 50/50, no matter what happened before.

            In all likelihood the Pistons finish between 2 & 4 wins better than they are now and end up with the #5 or 6 spot in the lottery. The difference in odds between the #5 spot and the #6 spot is pretty negligible, so I don’t think it matters much either way. 

          • Apr 2, 20132:50 pm
            by oats

            Yes, the traditional version of the Gamblers fallacy has to go with truly randomized events not having the same odds every time. However, it is often applied to any random event. Sports are fundamentally random events, and as such the gambler’s fallacy does apply.

          • Apr 3, 20139:24 am
            by G

            I get what you were saying & gambler’s fallacy kind of applies, although a lot of external factors complicate it when applying to sports. Certain teams DO own other teams, either because of match-ups, genuine hate, or one coach just knows the other too well. I think they also approach different opponents in different ways. The Pistons would get up more for a game against Indiana than they would for a game against Minnesota.

  • Apr 1, 201310:42 pm
    by vic


    I used to be able to count on the Pistons being abused at the 4 or 5. Now its the 3.

    If they can win a game by being semi-competitive small forward by committee  (Singler, Jerebko, Middleton), imagine what they could do with Otto Porter.

    Pistons have a couple good players, lots of good backups. Otto Porter is what’s needed. 


    Throw in an Adriean Payne as a backup big or Nate Wolters as Calderon insurance… there’s a  competitive team. 

    • Apr 1, 201310:55 pm
      by NickB


      I think that Payne is staying in school, or at least he seemed to indicate that from what I’ve read. I wouldn’t mind him though. I’m also all over the drafting Otto Porter.

  • Apr 1, 201311:27 pm
    by Nick


    My dream lineup
    Pg- Calderon/Knight
    Sg-Oladipo/Stuckey or English
    Sf-Brewer/Singler or Middleton
    Pf-Monroe/Villinueva or free agent
    C-Drummond/Slava or free agent
    I think that’s a pretty good defensive lineup.

    • Apr 2, 20138:35 am
      by G


      In your wildest dreams the Pistons draft Oladipo and settle for Brewer in free agency? Man, the expectations of this fan base have fallen low.

      • Apr 2, 20139:08 am
        by Nick


        Expectations aren’t low just realistic. It’s not like Chris Paul is knocking the door down trying to play for the Pistons. Who do you think we should get?

        • Apr 2, 20139:28 am
          by G


          Realistic expectations wouldn’t be a “dream lineup”, would they?

          I’d like to see the Pistons use their cap space to sign one marquee free agent, either Teague, Mayo, Redick, Kevin Martin, Tyreke Evans, or Iguodala. I’d like to see them get a secondary guy like Brewer, Hickson, Dorell Wright, or Marreese Speights. If they don’t get Teague, then re-sign Calderon and get a backup PG like DJ Augustin. I’d also like to see them ship Stuckey out for a late 1st rounder.

          As far as drafting goes, McLemore, Porter, or Oladipo. If they’re gone, then Burke, Bennett or Noel in some order. My “dream” lineup would be:


          • Apr 2, 20139:43 am
            by Scott Free

            ^ I’d like to see them field that squad.

          • Apr 2, 20139:52 am
            by Nick

            Lmao you wanna criticize my lineup and to one you just picked is no better than the lineup I picked. Plus you will have to overpay some players for it. Look I’m not here to judge anybody I’m just a Piston fan that’s it. Everybody has their own opinion and that’s why I like this blog.

          • Apr 2, 201310:54 am
            by G

            I wasn’t criticizing it, I think it’s a lineup that’s better than the one they’ve got. I just thought it was funny that your “dream” scenario had them using their cap space this summer on Calderon and Brewer.

            Btw, my lineup’s better than yours on offense and defense, and my bench is better.

  • Apr 1, 201311:30 pm
    by Nick


    Pf- Monroe/Villnueva or Jerebko

  • Apr 2, 201312:00 am
    by Trent


    is there any point in getting some d leaguers in for the final stretch? Or is there not enough time?


    • Apr 2, 20138:50 am
      by tarsier


      Why D-league guys? The Pistons have English, Middleton, and Kravstov to give extended minutes to.

  • Apr 2, 201310:31 am
    by Detroit P


    You guys are arguing over Middleton and Singler? They both blow and at best be 8th or 9th men.  I’d like to see  Middleton get more minutes though, but all in all….. Their both shitty.  I think a random high ceiling second rounder could be better in the long run.  I’m sry but the loosing is just getting flat out old

    • Apr 2, 201312:06 pm
      by tarsier


      “ I think a random high ceiling second rounder could be better in the long run”

      Isn’t that exactly what they both are? 

  • Apr 2, 201312:16 pm
    by danny


    Id love to get oladipo or smart and run them with knight.  I’m not sold on porter I think he is a good player but not for out team.  But this all depends on who we sign in the FA and hopefully we can get a small foward.  Iggy, dorrell wright, Aminu, or ariza would be nice for out team.  I think I’m sure a certain someone is going to complain and say their opinion is better.

    • Apr 2, 20131:13 pm
      by Nick


      I agree with you about Porter. I think he’s good but not top 5 pick good. If Detroit is picking at 8 or 9 I wouldn’t have a problem picking porter. I change up who I want the Pistons to draft just about everyday LOL. I’m kind of leaning more toward Oladipo aka the college Jordan. Worst case senerio he is a very good role player.

  • Apr 2, 201312:17 pm
    by danny


    Milsap (I know he plays the four he can play the three as well), air bud, and ak are all cheaper options for the 3.

    • Apr 2, 201312:30 pm
      by G


      Millsap plays less than 0.05% of his minutes at SF, and can you imagine him trying to guard Rudy Gay?

      • Apr 2, 20132:20 pm
        by danny


        Could you imagine rudy guarding him?  He played a lot of small forward when he first was in the league and quite a few games last year too. Could you imagine a huge front line that grabs everyboard?

        • Apr 2, 20132:46 pm
          by G


          If Millsap is playing with Monroe and Drummond (which I would NOT advise), then he’d have to position himself out on the wing. I absolutely can picture Rudy Gay guarding Millsap on the perimeter. Or you iso Millsap in the post & clear out, meaning you don’t have rebounding.

          It sounds good until you think about it.

      • Apr 2, 20134:02 pm
        by tarsier


        I know I’m nitpicking, but if that were accurate, it would mean that Millsap has spent less than 16 seconds of his NBA career at SF.

        • Apr 2, 20134:34 pm
          by G


          No, just this year. I make it 1 minute for the year, which can’t be right. I think it’s 5%, not .05%. Forgot to move the decimal. Oh well.

  • Apr 2, 201312:25 pm
    by G


    Will someone please explain to me why Marcus Smart is a good fit for this team? I get that he’s talented, but he doesn’t have a good shot, he has a terrible AST/TO ratio, and he’s not quick enough to guard NBA PG’s. He’s basically Rodney Stuckey with better D, and EVERYONE agrees Stuckey is a bad fit for this team.

    • Apr 2, 20131:27 pm
      by Keith


      To be fair, look at all the fans around here that want to bring in Tyreke Evans, who is the same kind of player.
      I think the difference is talent level. When you look at the list of poor shooting combo guards, there are pretty clear tiers of talents that both make you say YES! and make you want to pull your hair out. At that point it’s all about how much talent you think Marcus Smart has.
      Is he Wade, Young Kobe, or Young Lebron – all superstar players who dominated the ball but weren’t particularly good shooters from year to year? All notably became great defenders very quickly.
      Is he Russell Westbrook – a medium efficiency player who physically dominates opponents and who took a couple years to become a quality passer?
      Is he Eric Gordon or Tyreke Evans – undoubtedly good players, but who need good teammates to excel? Evans started out as a good defender, Gordon made up for size with strength. Gordon has gotten better as a shooter, but both rely more on free throws to remain efficient.
      Is he Rodney Stuckey – a guy who might play point in a pinch, but really doesn’t do anything but draw fouls? Stuckey gets an inordinately bad rap here because our team has been so bad lately. Stuckey has been a good player, just not someone who should have ever been a first or second option.
      Or maybe, he’s just Avery Bradley – a small non-PG who defends like crazy but had little range on his jumper.
      At this point, I think those are your tiers for Smart. I don’t think he’s a true PG, but I don’t really see some intrinsically great value in a true PG. We already have Calderon – who is as true as they come – and our offense still stinks. I don’t see a PG in this draft that would be a better passer and shooter than Calderon. MCW might be a better defender, but he can’t shoot. I’ve always thought Burke would be a very Calderon-esque player anyway (with more shots and fewer assists).
      Smart isn’t a true PG, but he’s a good player. He impacts the game whether he is scoring or not. He rebounds, he defends, and he is a leader on the court. He has poor shot selection, but he isn’t a lay-up missing machine like Stuckey. I think Smart could end up a lot like Russell Westbrook from OKC. He has significant size and athletic advantages over his opponents. If teams put a PG on him, he bullies them in the post. If they put a SG on him, he’s quick enough to get around or get a foul. He has had some good assist games and is no blind scorer. Give him time and opportunity, and he could fit right in with the new age of score first PGs/combo guards that are prominent on a number of very good teams (Miami, OKC, San Antonio)

      • Apr 2, 20132:36 pm
        by G


        Ok, because I see Smart’s ceiling as maybe Tyreke Evans. But for that to happen he would need to buy a jump shot. By the way, I’m not one of those that advocate bringing Tyreke here either, since he fits about as well as Stuckey.

        I think you guys are giving Smart WAY too much credit for athleticism. Westbrook is an INSANE athlete, when’s the last time Smart dunked on anybody? I think the Stuckey comparison is more apt. To be anything more than Stuckey, he’ll have to develop his game. Porter, McLemore and Oladipo bring a more developed game than Smart does.

        By the way, my question was why is Smart a good fit for the Pistons, not why do you like him.

      • Apr 2, 20133:07 pm
        by oats


        Smart hits 40% of his field goals. He’s not exactly Wade or Evans when it comes to making his layups. Oh, and Stuckey finished at the rim in college, he just didn’t translate that to the NBA. Smart plays against better competition than Stuckey did, but he’s also behind where Stuckey was when Stuckey was in college. If he takes a small step back on finishing by playing against NBA defenses he does fall in to Stuckey range. 
        By the way, Stuckey does get a bad rap. Part of that is that he decided he needs to be a jump shooter in this offense, but that’s not a good indication of his talent. Stuckey is a solid player when he actually uses his skills, namely getting to the hoop and drawing contact. I also think Stuckey is a particularly bad fit in Detroit. I also am not a pro Tyreke Evans guy either, I don’t think he fits on this team. I see Smart as most likely topping out at Tyreke Evans and I’m just not interested in that for Detroit.

        • Apr 2, 20134:41 pm
          by frankie d


          just finished watching the okla.state/ oregon tourney game.  dont think i saw smart make a single shot that was not a layuo, a putback at the rim or some kind of shot off the glass within 5-6 feet.  the outside shots he attempted looked very ugly…more of a prayer than a shot.
          the guy will definitely play in the nba, if only because of his defensive ability, but i just don’t see how you take a guy like him – tony allen is another player he reminds me of – with a top 3-5 pick.

          • Apr 2, 20135:05 pm
            by oats

            He’s better at getting to the rim and to the line than Allen, but I wouldn’t put him quite on Allen’s level defensively. I have Smart at 7 because his defense is really good and he’s a good athlete. If he makes improvements in a few areas he actually has a decent ceiling. Plus, this draft is not great. It’s not the disaster most people make it out to be because it has decent depth as far as guys who look like potential rotation guys, but it doesn’t have a lot of high end talent either. In a normal year I’d probably knock him out of the top 10, but this year he is probably about the 6th or 7th best player. I also think he’s a terrible fit in Detroit and he should have a higher value to most every other team in the league than he does for the Pistons. If somehow he was at the top of my draft board I’d try to trade him because of his value for other teams. I doubt I’d end up in that situation since I have Burke ahead of him and the general consensus is that I’m wrong, so hopefully the team doesn’t end up with Smart.

      • Apr 2, 20134:10 pm
        by tarsier


        Tyreke Evans would cost only cap space, precious though that may be. Smart would probably cost one of the franchise’s four highest draft picks since Bob Lanier (with the others being Isiah Thomas, Grant Hill, and Darko Milicic).

        A pick at the top of the draft is just worth a lot more than cap room. So if they are comparable players and you want one, go sign Evans. But draft a better prospect than Smart. 

    • Apr 2, 20131:53 pm
      by frankie d


      i agree wholeheartedly about smart.  i think he will be the one guy who ends up making teams regret taking him in the top 5 picks.
      he reminds me of a more athletic mateen cleaves, without mateen’s ability to drop very nice dimes for his teammates.
      i get why he is an excellent college player and why people are excited about him as a college player, but i just don’t see how he projects to the pro level.  i just don’t know of a player – especially if he’s projected as a point guard – who’s had great or even good success as a pro.  
      the only guy who comes to mind is eric snow.  smart is definitely more athletic than snow, but he has many of the same strengths and weaknesses.  and while i always liked snow as a player, i would never think of him as a top 3 or top 5 pick or even as a lottery pick.
      i’m vegging out watching the oregon-oklahoma state game replay online and i’m watching smart, trying to see how he deserves such a high place in the draft and i just don’t see it.  
      he’s definitely a nice player to have on your team, either as a backup PG or as a starting
      PG on a very special team – like the larry brown/AI team that went to the nba finals with snow as the PG – but for this pistons team and for most nba teams, i just don’t see him as a good fit.

      • Apr 2, 20132:04 pm
        by frankie d


        i should clarify…
        i agree with Gs assessment of smart. i just don’t see westbrook in him at all.  westbrook had a real explosive quality to his game coming into the pro and he just needed to learn how to harness it and exploit it.
        don’t think smart has that kind of explosiveness.  yes, he is extremely athletic for a guy with his size and bulk, but if you put him up against most guys in the nba, imho, he ends up being an average, or slighly above-average athlete.  he’ll lose the huge advantage he has in college in the nba, and  he won’t be able to simply overpower guys the way he does now.
        i don’t get the stuckey comparisons.  stuckey was always a scorer.  he scored everywhere he played.  smart gets his points, but he is not the kind of scorer that stuckey has always been.  smart just doesn’t have that for the buket that scorers have.
        smart has very poor fundamentals.  his shot is horrible.  he takes it off balance and from all kinds of weird angles.  it looks like he has always relied on his huge physical advantages throughout his career. maybe he’ll be able to add to his game as he gets to the pros.  i wouldn’t bet that he’ll be able to completely transform himself, as he’d need to in order to make him worth a lottery pick.

  • Apr 2, 20131:53 pm
    by Nick


    I just found this old article about Oladipo. We need this kid if we are picking #5


    • Apr 2, 20133:26 pm
      by oats


      Jordan played in the era before the 3 point line was a universal thing in college. That’s why he only attempted 3s during his sophomore season, there was a lack of opportunities to take them. Without the 3 point line the game just looked way different, and the area around the basket was far more clogged. Despite that hindrance, Jordan still put up roughly 20 points a game in college. Using the 3 point line and a more open game Oladipo is at 14 points a game. Oh, and Oladipo’s shooting numbers have dropped considerably since the article was written. Oladipo the college player is clearly well behind Jordan the college player and that article is ridiculous.

      • Apr 3, 20137:41 am
        by Tom Y.


        He took less shots and therefore obviously scored fewer points. Though his 3pt.% percentage dropped some throughout the season, his percentage on 2 pointers is still very good. And the article clearly does not say he’s an equal scorer to Jordan. It says he’s got a similar combination of athleticism, speed and power, and may be a better defender than Jordan was at college, all of which may be true.

        To me, he’s at minimum the ultimate role player (something I saw Chad Ford call him), with his D, hustle, rebounding etc., and has the potential to be a really good offensive player in addition.

  • Apr 2, 20131:54 pm
    by Wolverines23


    Marcus Smart and Shabazz Muhammed are both not a good fit for our team, and Smart will not be considered by the Pistons. I can guarantee that. Shabazz is talented and if he’s the only option left, I would take him.

    Detroit’s picks are pretty clear (based on most talent/and needs for the team): Mclemore, Porter, Oladipo, Burke, Noel

    I believe these are the best five players that we need to target. Burke is in this group, because I’m making one assumption and that is that we part ways with Will Bynum and/or Rodney Stuckey this summer, and if Calderon doesn’t resign (but we won’t really know that until after the draft July 1st). 

    My DREAM lineup:

    Calderon/ Trey Burke
    OJ Mayo/Brandon Knight
    Andre Iguodala/Kyle Singler
    Greg Monroe/Jonas Jerebko
    Andre Drummond/Chris Kaman

    There are so many ways of reconstructing this team. I hope Joe Dumars has the brains and vision this time around to use his money wisely.

    Here are the other free agents (both restricted and unrestricted) that would interest me, if I was part of the Pistons team management:

    Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, Josh Smith, Gerald Henderson, Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Chris Kaman, Corey Brewer, Andre Iguodala, Jose Calderon, Jarret Jack, David West, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Earl Clark, Tony Allen, Jeryd Bayless, Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, J.J. Reddick, Chris Copeland, J.R. Smith, Kevin Martin, Nick Young, Steven Jackson, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza, Paul Milsap.

    Looking at this list of players above, there are some who would most likely not sign with us: Chris Paul, David West, Kevin Martin, J.R. Smith, and Earl Clark (only because there likely to resign with their current teams or just wouldn’t play for Detroit, probably even Jennings, and Monta Ellis but I’m not sure about these two). 

    I think the players that are most underrated and would be steals this summer would include: Jeryd Bayless, Corey Brewer, Gerald Henderson, Martell Webster, Jarret Jack, Nick Young, Tony Allen, and Devin Harris. 

    Would love to sign one of the elite star caliber players like: O.J. Mayo, Andre Iguodala, or Josh Smith

    It all depends on how Joe Dumars and the management see this team going forward. He’s made it clear that we rebuild around the draft and save money for free agency either this summer or next. Potentially we could amnesty Charlie V and sign two free agents, one of the elite star caliber players like (Smith, Mayo, or Iggy), and one of the underrated players like (Brewer, Webster, Young). Also draft one of (Mclemore, Oladipo, Porter, Burke).

    This team could change over night, just not sure if the willingness from the management is there. This season has clearly been a huge disappointment and I would expect them to make serious moves because at the end of the day it’s a business, the seats at the Palace are EMPTY.


    • Apr 2, 20134:17 pm
      by tarsier


      I’m fine with resigning Calderon, but if Teague could be had at a decent rate, that’d be a bigger upgrade on defense than it is a downgrade on offense.

  • Apr 2, 20132:34 pm
    by Keith


    Side note, here are some big name and small name players I hope we pursue in free agency.
    The big name (and salary) players:
    1) Andre Iguodala – lockdown defender, great passer, was even a good shooter last year.
    2) Chris Paul – obvious, unrealistic
    3) JJ Redick – elite shooter, sound defender, excels as a pressure valve (for the frontcourt)
    The underrated (and inexpensive) players:
    1) Ronnie Brewer – one of the best defenders in the league, but can’t shoot or handle the ball. Basically Tony Allen without the price tag. Carelessly buried on the bench in NY despite NY playing it’s best ball when he received minutes, stuck behind Durant in OKC.
    2) Darren Collison – somehow perennially underappreciated, he’s a good pass and efficient scorer. Small, and limited defensively, but smart and quick to at least be where he’s supposed to be.
    3) Kyle Korver – elite shooter who also moves the ball well. An ideal floor spacer off the bench. He has a poor defensive rep, but is really average  – which is still an upgrade for us.
    Players I would avoid:
    1) Tyreke Evans – can’t shoot, has no defined position, and is just a slightly shinier version of Stuckey.
    2) OJ Mayo – despite this being a “breakout year” for Mayo, he’s still not as efficient as Korver, Redick, or Collison. Undersized for the 2, and not a PG. Defensively still doesn’t guard either position well. Strikes me as a player who will get a lot of money and be the next Ben Gordon.
    3) Josh Smith – Smith is a very good player, but not nearly as good at SF. Very good defender, passer, and rebounder, but terrible shooter with terrible shot selection. If we didn’t have Monroe, I would like him at the 4, but his game would be a terrible fit with the rest of our team at the 4.

    • Apr 2, 20132:59 pm
      by G


      I’d agree with most of that. Collison is pretty flawed though, I wouldn’t want him as anything more than a backup. Another guy I like that’s low on many people’s radar is Dorell Wright. He’s a good perimeter defender and shoots the 3 pretty well.

      • Apr 2, 20134:29 pm
        by Keith


        I wouldn’t prefer any of those inexpensive guys as starters. I wouldn’t mind it if they had to fill in for someone injured, or we had stronger players around them, but I didn’t mean to imply I wanted Collison (or Brewer or Korver) to be primary players. Brewer could be a starter if only because defense is always useful, but I’d rather use him as a 20 minute or so lockdown guy off the bench.

    • Apr 2, 20133:00 pm
      by Huddy


      I don’t love Tyreke at any price or anything, but I don’t think he can easily be lumped in as a Stuckey type player.  He can shoot, he has a 48% fg percentage which is respectable and his 3pt shooting is on the rise and currently at 33%.  He is not as undersized for the SG as Stuckey and is a better defender imo.  For a player that drives the ball Stuckey is really just horrible at finishing, if he did finish well he would probably look considerably better on the team and I think Evans can and does do that.  If he could just stay locked in at SG I think he would be consistent.
      Overall I would prefer a SG with more proven 3pt ability anyway, just think Evans deserves a little more credit than he gets.  I do like the Korver option though and I don’t think he ever gets mentioned.  He is one of the best 3pt shooters in the league.  Look at how an inside presence like Dwight made all those perimeter guys like Reddick and Pietrus look great,  If Monroe and Drummond can hold it down in there I think Korver could really light it up and for a good price.

      • Apr 2, 20134:39 pm
        by Keith


        Keep in mind Tyreke came out hot from three this year, near 40%. The fact that he is back to 33% tells me it was fools gold and that his shooting numbers have plummeted back to his normal levels the rest of the season. Also, we can’t ignore the years past and mid-range numbers. Evans could build a mansion with all his mid-range bricks. He’s a terrible shooter anywhere outside the paint.
        His FG% is higher than Stuckey’s simply because he doesn’t miss at the rim as often. When he gets to the rim, Tyreke converts at a high rate. Tyreke IS a better player than Stuckey, but the difference isn’t nearly pronounced enough to say he’s a completely different player. Also, while Tyreke was a good defender early in his career, he’s been as bad as anyone on the Kings since. You can probably blame some of that on coaching, but the same could be said of Stuckey (we haven’t had a decent coach since Flip, and he was no defensive guy). Fact is, Tyreke doesn’t try on defense, and doesn’t even know where to be on the floor most of the time.

  • Apr 2, 20134:08 pm
    by Otis


    My friends, can anyone point me in the direction of a resource where I can find +/- stats for various player combinations? I lost count, but we were horrendous when Monroe and Drummond were in the game together.
    For the life of me I don’t understand why everyone pencils them in as some kind of front line dream team, but the offense is terrible when they’re both in the game. Why does nobody else notice this?

    • Apr 2, 20134:13 pm
      by Otis


      Did Drummond play any minutes separate from Monroe? If not, you’re looking at a -9 when they played together and a +19 when they didn’t. But nobody cares about this stat or the fact that the offense just plain looks bad. Sigh.

      • Apr 2, 20134:42 pm
        by tarsier


        Ummm, they mostly didn’t play together. And I have no idea how you get a +19 for when they’re not together with a -9 when they are. That would imply that the Pistons have outscored their opponents by 10 points this season.


        In 250 minutes together, Monroe and Drummond are a -6. That’s pretty decent for how bad this team has been. It comes out to -1 on a per game basis.

        In 3350 minutes without them sharing the floor, Detroit is -350. That -5 on a per game basis.

        But the real reason people are excited about the Monroe/Drummond combo is that their skillsets compliment each other so well, not their production on the floor together because we have been treated to very few opportunities to see that. 

        • Apr 2, 20135:10 pm
          by Otis


          No no no no not for the season, for this game. I mean it should have counted as a good win, but the formula that seemed to have the greatest success relied heavily on contributions from guys like Stuckey-Middleton-Jerebko. And the worst combination we had out there was when Moose and Drummond played next to each other. It’s hard to get excited about the future when this is the case. And it’s not like Toronto has a very good front line.
          And like I said below, I’d start counting as of Drummond’s first start, because all those other minutes were against backups. Last night they were brutal together, and I think they were really bad together against Chicago too, though Chicago’s front line is top notch.
          The real scary thing for me is that they were so bad with those two playing together, but everything opened up when they sat Drummond and shifted Moose back to center where he’s best suited to play. He’s just too slow footed and doesn’t have strong enough moves or a reliable outside shot to be a PF.

        • Apr 2, 20135:19 pm
          by Otis


          Also, this notion that they complement each other in any way is crazy. Two centers who can’t spread the floor don’t complement each other. Monroe needs room and time to operate, and much of his offensive production comes out of isolations, even if it ends up with him finding cutters or open shooters. Jerebko, for instance, complements Monroe nicely. He can spread the floor some, he’s very active all the way out to the three point line, and he’s a good slasher. When it’s Moose and Drummond, there’s no room for anyone to operate and the ball is dominated by our perimeter players (which should NOT be the case for a team built around twin towers).
          I really like both of these guys at center, but they really, really, really don’t complement each other. If Monroe had stronger moves and demanded more attention and forced defenses to react quickly and/or was a serious threat from 17 feet, they might fit. But he’s so slow and has such clunky moves that it’s like he’s walking through molasses. He just doesn’t match up well against most PFs. Wouldn’t it be better to just accept this than pretend that these two are going to be some kind of dominant tandem based on unfounded optimism?

    • Apr 2, 20134:33 pm
      by Keith


      82games.com has +/- stats by 5 man combinations. If you are specifically looking for Drummond-specific numbers, it’s probably not a going to be very useful. +/- is a very volatile stat, and it generally takes a lot of minutes over the course of a whole season to have much confidence in the results. Drummond simply hasn’t played enough overall, and the sample of Greg and Andre together is waaaay too small to be useful.

      • Apr 2, 20134:42 pm
        by G


        Agree, +/- stats in basketball need a lot of work and can be swayed by a number of external factors.

        • Apr 2, 20134:44 pm
          by tarsier


          But even so, the +/- numbers do not have anything particularly negative to say about Monroe/Drummond.

          • Apr 2, 20135:00 pm
            by Otis

            Have you got a link? I mean, these guys haven’t played against starters until just now, and the early returns have looked awful to me. The offense has looked so, so bad. Greg Monroe is a center.
            Also, “nothing particularly negative” sounds pretty awful for two guys who are supposed to represent 99% of our hope for the future. I really don’t like what I’m seeing. If you don’t believe me, look at the floor spacing and ball movement when those two are on the floor together. It looks downright bad.

          • Apr 3, 20138:45 am
            by G

            Here are the 5-man units with Drummond at C (per 82games.com):
            Bynum-Stuckey-Daye-Villanueva-Drummond – 96 min, -5
            Stuckey-Singler-Maggette-Villanueva-Drummond – 71 min, +5
            Knight-Stuckey-Prince-Monroe-Drummond – 69 min, +7
            Bynum-English-Singler-Jerebko-Drummond – 45 min, +2
            Bynum-Singler-Daye-Villanueva-Drummond – 39 min, +36
            Knight-Stuckey-Prince-Maxiell-Drummond – 34 min, +25 
            Bynum-Stuckey-Singler-Jerebko-Drummond – 29 min, -23
            Knight-Stuckey-Maggette-Villanueva-Drummond – 26 min, +6

            This is why I hate the +/- stat in basketball. If one of your key offensive players goes into a funk, you get outscored. If your PG turns it over 5 times in 10 minutes, you get outscored. If one of your defenders is TERRIBLE and starts getting exploited, you’re probably getting outscored.

            And the sample sizes for these are incredibly small. A 3-year set of data would be a start. But, if you’re going for small sample sizes (not recommended), then in the 1st game back, Drummond was -7 & Monroe was -16. In the 2nd game Drummond was +11 and Monroe was +8. In the third game Drummond was -9 and Monroe was +10. 

      • Apr 2, 20135:04 pm
        by Otis


        Yeah, I’m not too worried about five man combinations, especially considering the volatility of the stat, but when you watch a game against another Eastern Conference non-playoff team and your team digs a significant hole with a pair of guys who are supposed to be THE FUTURE, then does a great job of digging out of that hole by keeping them off the floor together, it’s a bad sign. I think they’re just two centers. It was nice to see Monroe hit an open 17 foot jumper for once, but he needs to do that a lot more and/or develop some stronger moves for these two to even be “okay” let alone something special. Know what I’m sayin?

        • Apr 2, 20136:00 pm
          by oats


          +/- stats in single games don’t tell you squat about the pairing over all. Nor would they over a 3 game stretch. In fact, their stats as pair from the time Drummond started to the end of the season doesn’t tell you anything. +/- stats only start meaning something when the minutes gets way up there. I forget where stats guys feel it starts to represent something, but it’s somewhere in the 300-400 minute range if I remember correctly. Without that there is just too much statistical noise and it gets muddled by too many other factors.
          Monroe doesn’t look like a center to me. The things he does well on defense suggest power forward, and the things he does poorly suggest not a center. He’s got the size to play the position, but it doesn’t seem like a terribly natural fit. I think he’s primarily a power forward that can also play some center.
          As for the fit, I’m not convinced it’s as dire as you seem to think. Monroe is comfortable in the high post and played from that spot in college. It’s a good spot to pass from, and that works in his favor. He also like to drop a shoulder and drive to the hoop from there. Drummond meanwhile is not exactly a low post scorer. He gets his points off being active. You can move him away from the rim and teams will have to follow him, not to contest his shot but to avoid losing him when he makes a cut to the hoop. If Drummond is rolling hard to the basket it is tough for a defender sitting back to make a play to stop him. Plus when he goes to set a pick you have to chase that down for the threat of a pick and roll. Have him set a pick up top, then toss it down to Monroe on the block. That will help open up some space for Monroe when he wants to take it down low.
          Both guys do things that can manufacture space. Monroe is a good offensive player, and Drummond is a good enough defender to help cover for Monroe’s defense. The real reason they could work is that Monroe is just a really good passer and Drummond is a great finisher. I’ll agree that if Monroe doesn’t develop a mid range jump shot things will be much tougher than they need to be, but I don’t think they will just be a disaster. I also have noticed that Monroe has turned in to a decent free throw shooter, and that suggests he can turn in to an average mid range shooter for his position. Until I start seeing a good deal of evidence to the contrary I’m going to assume the Monroe/Drummond pairing is going to be successful.

          • Apr 2, 20136:29 pm
            by Otis

            It’s less the actual +/- stat I’m worried about, though I think it would support my point. It’s more about the result. The team was bad when Monroe and Drummond were on the floor, and they played much better when one of them was sitting on the bench. Simple as that. You want to put your best five-man unit on the floor (especially to finish games) and I don’t think they’ve been effective at all together (and maybe finished one or two games together all season). It’s really that simple.
            I’ve heard plenty about how Monroe’s passing is supposed to compensate and spread the floor, and you suggest Andre can wander and teams will have to follow him around, but that’s not what’s happening on the floor. The paint is cluttered with big bodies, and the perimeter guys dominate the ball. I could care less about the outrageous optimism surrounding these two. I’m interested in what happens in games, and they look very bad together so far.

          • Apr 2, 20137:00 pm
            by oats

            Again, it’s just too early to make a definitive conclusion on their fit from 3 games. Give them time to figure stuff out before we write them off. Heck, give them a chance to develop before writing them off. We’re probably about 2 years from having enough evidence that they won’t ever develop in manner to play well together.

          • Apr 2, 20137:31 pm
            by Keith

            I wasn’t too keen on them as a pairing either. Both are space eaters, not creators. Drummond is incredible as the roll man in a pick and roll, but there’s no point in guarding him outside the paint. Monroe has a solid post game, and makes a living on soft shots around the basket, but again, there’s no point guarding him more than 10 feet from the basket. In Drummond’s case, defenders need to be prepared for his dive to the basket. Defenders have no fear of Monroe driving (he’s slow and only has one move), but need to be aware of cutters getting his passes.
            Basically, both utilize the same exact space on the court, and defenders have no reason to do anything but pack the paint when both are together. One will always be superfluous while the other is around. This is the MAIN reason Monroe MUST develop a mid-range jumper. Without that, the Monroe-Drummond pairing is going to murder our offense, because defenses will be able to help off one every time. Look at all the pairings of quality big men in the league. The PF or C has to be able to hit jumpers and pull defenders out of the paint. For Memphis, Z-Bo and Gasol both are dangerous when open from mid-range. In LA, the offense only worked when Pau was hitting and keeping defenders off Bynum. Duncan is the shooter with Splitter, and San Antonio has always preferred stretch 4s when Duncan is on the block.
            The Sloan conference already told us this, but it’s useful to pay attention. 3s are the best shot in the game. They are worth more points, and they open the floor for everyone else. If we realistically think Monroe and Drummond are the future, we will need floor spacers all around them.

          • Apr 2, 20137:49 pm
            by oats

            Agreed on needing floor spacers around them. That’s not in question. It’s why I hate Marcus Smart so much for Detroit. But for the two of them, I tend to believe in talent. Good players have a tendency to figure things out. Sometimes they don’t, but given the age of these two I would like to at least give them a chance. Monroe’s free throw shooting suggests a mid range shot is something he could add, and if not creative coaching still has a chance to figure out how to use them together.
            The biggest difference between Monroe and Pau is that Monroe actually played 2 years out of the high post in college while Pau has been in the low post his entire career. Pau and Bynum really used the same spot on the floor. Monroe meanwhile has shown some ability to play from the high post.

          • Apr 3, 201312:41 am
            by Otis

            Keith is 100% correct. Monroe absolutely 100% MUST develop a deadly 17 foot jumper for this ever to work.
            And to those who preach patience, there is such a thing as recognizing a bad fit (see: Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon on the same roster, eating up like $25 mil a year no less), and by the time TWO more years have passed, we will have committed like $80 mil to Monroe with his extension that’s coming in another year. We don’t exactly have the luxury of wait-and-see if the alternative is trading Moose on his rookie contract and getting a huge haul for him.
            We can’t afford to keep these two and be wrong. It would be much, much, much safer to cash in on Monroe this summer (or at the latest by the next trade deadline) than to wait another year and have to find a taker for that contract. And one thing is for absolute certain: The team who trades for him is going to play him at center where he belongs.

          • Apr 3, 20132:47 am
            by oats

            How do you figure? First of all, a decent jumper is enough to force guys out after him, he doesn’t need a deadly one. Secondly, how many guys on their first post rookie contract lose trade value? His age and production are high enough that he’d need to take significant steps in the wrong direction for his trade value to actually drop. Teams don’t mind paying for productive young big men, and Monroe clearly qualifies as a productive young big man. Keep in mind Monroe is putting up roughly a 16 and 10 at the age of 22. He could be the second coming of Zach Randolph, but with better passing and less attitude problems. Seriously, he could totally be a 20 and 10 with 5 assists a game. It’s not only way to soon to think that Monroe’s value is going to drop in his next contract, it could actually rise significantly.
            The last two years the cap has held steady at $58 million, so that is what we should assume the cap will be when Monroe gets his next contract. It also seems likely the team will save the 5 year deal for Drummond, so Monroe’s next contract is likely to roughly be 4 years and $58 million. If he makes any progress at all his contract will be easy to move. I’m talking just small steps here, he is pretty much worth 4 years and $58 million the way he plays now. I just don’t see his trade value dropping significantly because any team trading for him now knows they are about to pay him a max deal soon, so why should they balk about trading for him after he gets that pay raise?
            Adding that jump shot is also a likely enough event that it makes sense to be patient. Again, his value isn’t likely to drop. If the plan is trade him for a legitimate talent upgrade, I’m all for that. I’m not saying we absolutely must hold on to him. You sound like you are dead set on trading Monroe, and that seems really dumb to me. Young players do tend to get better and talented players have a tendency to figure out how to play together. I’m not even close to closing the book on this front court, and I really don’t understand how anyone could be so dead set on giving up on a player as good as Monroe this soon. This just doesn’t make sense.
            By the way, why is the guy who is a near All Star the one who has to leave? Why not the guy who has 3 starts in his career? Why do you seem so certain Drummond is the one to back? Maybe, just maybe Drummond isn’t the stud we think he is. Or maybe his trade value is just so much higher than Monroe’s that trading him gets us a way better haul. This is part of why being patient makes sense, we don’t even know who should be moved at this point. Right now it seems foolish to move Drummond because his potential is just so high, but if we dump Monroe and it turns out Drummond isn’t going to be significantly better then we might have made a mistake.
            Last but not least, you keep calling Monroe a center. There is very little evidence that center is his best position. Defensively he is decent at contesting jump shots and defending the pick man in the pick and roll. Both of those things suggest he will more competently defend power forwards. He is also unbelievably awful defending the post. That also suggests he is awful at defending centers. Yeah, power forwards play in the post too, but power forwards usually have more varied games so they don’t spend all of their time in the post. Monroe also plays really awful help defense. Center is probably the position for which help defense is the most important because they tend to be closest to the hoop and therefore the guy most likely to be needed to provide help defense. All of these things suggest Monroe is not a natural center. The team trading for him will likely stick him there, but that’s because of how hard it is to fill the center position. I just don’t see a natural center when I watch Monroe. I see a guy who can play either position reasonably well. At center he’s a bigger defensive liability but at power forward his lack of range is more problematic. He doesn’t really have a natural position, so I don’t know why you are so convinced he is a center.
            How about this for the question on Monroe’s position. Who is the best player in the league to pair with him? Duncan probably, but that doesn’t tell us much because Duncan plays both positions equally well. I’m leaning towards Serge Ibaka, so that makes Monroe look like a center. After Ibaka I think I’d take Marc Gasol, and I’m not certain I don’t have the order wrong. Gasol also has decent range on his jumper, is a good defender and can guard the post better than Ibaka, and the passing those two have would just be unfair. If I pair him with Gasol then Greg is a power forward. That’s the problem with all this talk about Greg being a center or power forward. The fact is he can play either and the decision of which is dependent on who he is paired with. Detroit has Drummond, so he’s a power forward, but that doesn’t make him out of position at power forward.

  • Apr 2, 20139:33 pm
    by haydzz


    I think Evans is risky but I think it could pay off, hes quite young (23) can play defense and can handle the ball and create for himself and others. In terms of him suiting our team I think he will, the inside, outside of him and knight would have a lot of potential. Also if pistons get porter in this years draft, the line up would be, BK, Tyreke, Porter, Moose and Dre.. All this in mind that the Pistons will be going for BK at PG which at this point looks unlikely.. But this young group could grow really well together

    • Apr 3, 20139:52 am
      by Keith


      I feel like I’m leaning more and more towards Porter. Porter does everything Evans can do (creates for himself and others, defends at a high level), but he can also shoot. I still wouldn’t want Evans. Read above, but with Moose and Drummond together, we NEED floor spacers in a huge way. Evans is a terrible shooter (earlier in the year he actually was ranked first as the worst bricklayer of the last 10 years). 
      I can point to Memphis again as a lesson. Prior to moving Gay (another ball-dominant non-shooter), Memphis couldn’t even crack the top 20 in offense. This is despite Randolph and Gasol consistently dismantling opponents in the paint. Fact is, there are only so many paint shots available in a game, and teams will clog it up if that’s your only source of points (notably the Memphis offense has picked up considerably by dropping Gay). Evans might be an overall better player than some, but guys like JJ Redick or Jared Dudley would have a significantly more positive impact on our team.

  • Apr 3, 201310:41 am
    by Keith


    Just to throw it out there, but I would love if we could sport the following team next year (realistic, not necessarily dream scenario):
    PG: Calderon (6.5 per year/3 years)
    SG: JJ Redick (FA, 7M per year/4 years)
    SF: Otto Porter (5th pick)
    PF: Monroe
    C:  Drummond
    6th man: SF/SG Jared Dudley (received in trade for Brandon Knight)
    2nd PG: Darren Collison (FA)
    2nd PF: Villanueva (amnesty still costs too much, floor spacer)
    2nd C: Kravtsov (no better options, should be better next year)
    Non-rotation players: Singler, Middleton, Jerebko, English
    Trades: Knight for Dudley – Knight has never been an efficient scorer, even in college, and there’s little to suggest he will be in the future. He’s also not a PG, and looks to score, despite his scoring actually hurting the offense most of the time. He’s young, and may be a defensive ace in time, but we’re not a very good developmental team either, so it’s unlikely he gets to that point with us. Dudley is big, a great offensive rebounder, and a very good outside shooter. He’s an ideal floor spacer who defends well and is on a very reasonable contract.
    Stuckey for a 2nd round pick (and likely filler) – Teams showed at the dealine they are going to treat their first round picks like gold, and that means any chance of getting a first rounder for Stuckey is gone. Also, while I would be remiss to mention that Stuckey is actually a pretty good player, he simply does not fit on the team. He can’t shoot, he can’t realistically run the point, and we no longer can remain a wing-dominated team. An interesting possibility could be the Kings. Should they lose Evans in free agency, they could swap Salmons and a second rounder for Stuckey, and Stuckey could replicate most of what Evans did. We could bury Salmons for the year (which is still ideal, as we would have been forced to play Stuckey otherwise), and wipe him off the books for 2014.
    That’s a playoff team in the East (since we are likely to lose our pick, we need to be either really good or really bad). We have floor spacers around our bigs, decent defenders on the wings, and a still viable cap situation. Porter has the potential to be a star at SF, and grow with the team. Calderon and Redick both would expire by the time Porter’s next contract begins. This also allows us near max cap space again in 2014. We would likely be better off hording that space for future extensions, but it could make for interesting structuring of contracts (we could frontload a contracts for free agents this year so that we stay above the cap floor early but don’t jump into the tax when Monroe and Drummond are extended).

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