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C.J. McCollum to Pistons in DraftExpress/Yahoo mock draft

DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony wrote his first mock draft for Yahoo! Sports, and he has the Pistons drafting C.J. McCollum:

8. Detroit Pistons C.J. McCollum (PG/SG, 21, 6-3, 197, Lehigh, senior): The Pistons’ rebuilding continues. They missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year and won just 37 percent of their games in that span. The Pistons have some nice young pieces to build around, especially in the frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but the backcourt situation is not as promising. Brandon Knight still hasn’t proven himself as a point guard capable of leading a winning team on a nightly basis and Rodney Stuckey has seemingly regressed. The situation at small forward is similarly in doubt. The Pistons will likely look hard at each of those three positions, but are missing quality depth throughout the roster, so nothing can really be ruled out. A highly efficient combo guard like C.J. McCollum could slide in nicely between Knight and Stuckey, giving them some much-needed scoring. The fact that he comes ready to play right away has to be attractive for a team (and ownership group) that is desperate to win at this point.

McCollum has definitely grown on me. He scored well at Lehigh, but he didn’t show much passing skill. I think there’s a good chance that was because Lehigh needed him to shoot so much. McCollum hasn’t proven himself a bad passer. He just hasn’t proven himself a good one.

That’s a difficult skill to test in pre-draft workouts, but it would be essential for the Pistons to make a determination on him. McCollum seems so smart about the approach he takes to scoring that I’m hopeful he has the court sense to become a plus passer – if he isn’t one already, hidden underneath all those points.

58 Comments

  • May 24, 20132:01 pm
    by G

    Reply

    That assist/turnover ratio should concern you if you’re tabbing him as a PG. It looks way worse than Stuckey & Knight’s did. I also have concerns about those shooting numbers being legit, given the small sample size & competition.

    Really disagree about that assessment “highly efficient combo guard like C.J. McCollum could slide in nicely between Knight and Stuckey”. In what world has running out 3 combo guards ever worked?

    • May 24, 20136:28 pm
      by The Rake

      Reply

      I certainly don’t disregard what you mention. That being said, nearly EVERY draft site is comparing this guy to Steph. I also read an extreme low end would be Eric Maynor (who just a year or two ago on this very site people were clamoring for, rightly or not). My biggest gripe with McCollum, admittedly just going off of what I’ve read, is that he lacks ideal size and is a combo guard essentially who (even he admits) has never really played a PG. His interview, he said, “if a team is looking to draft a true PG, then they won’t take me, but if they want a guy who can shoot and play multiple positions, I can do that.”  I’m paraphrasing since I don’t have the quote in front of me, but that is essentially what he wrote. 
      I don’t honestly know, it really depends on who is there/what options we have when our pick comes around. Nothing is out of the question really IMO, we need help everywhere, particularly at the 1,2 and 3 in defined roles, IMO. We’ll see.

    • May 24, 20137:15 pm
      by Sop

      Reply

      Everyone’s talking about the lack of passing but nobody is mentioning his poor defense. Is that something the coach told the star that he can relax on so that he could focus on scoring or simply an inability to focus on that end of the floor. Seeing as this is also a major issue for Stuckey and Knight it is another serious strike against him.

      • May 25, 201310:42 am
        by oats

        Reply

        His sophomore year he averaged 2.5 steals a game, and his junior year he averaged 2.6. It dropped to 1.4 this season, but it could be that he was carrying a larger load on offense. Or it could be that he played in only 12 games and his stats from the year aren’t that reliable. Either way, he has played competent defense in the past and has the potential to get back to it.

      • May 29, 20138:35 am
        by G

        Reply

        I really don’t get the Steph comp since Curry had a long history of producing at a VERY efficient rate while McCollum was really a volume scorer until this year when he only played 12 games. I’ve been saying all year that Muhammad’s 2nd half swoon concerns me, but McCollum’s EXTREMELY small sample size of efficiency concerns me more.

  • May 24, 20132:28 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    In what world has running out 3 combo guards ever worked?
    are you kidding?
    vinnie johnson, isiah thomas and joe dumars were the first trio of combo guards that won a title.  (well maybe not the first.  seattle’s three guards were pretty darn good in what…’79?)   if anyone is to blame for joe d’s fixation with combo guards it is chuck daly because he showed that it could be successfully done.
    mccollum should be the guy.
    the pistons will be lucky if they can draft him at 8.  and if they dont get that chance, pistons’ fans will watch, with envy, as mccollum carves up the rest of the league. 

    • May 24, 20132:36 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Uh, Isiah was NEVER a combo guard, what are you smoking?

  • May 24, 20132:46 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    are are YOU kidding?
    he was one of the first combo guards.  guys like tiny archibald and zeke revolutinized the PG position.  
    frankly, i always wanted him to be less of a combo guard.  but he was what he was.
    how do you define “combo guard”?
     

    • May 24, 20133:17 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Combo guard – usually alternates evenly between playing off the ball and taking the ball up court. Splits time between shooting guard and point guard. Is usually either tall for a PG or too short to be a traditional SG. Rarely averages better than 5 assists per game. Good passer, but isn’t a good enough ball handler to manage the PG duties full time.

      Isiah wasn’t a combo guard. He was a pure PG, many say the best pure PG until Chris Paul came along. Did he need help handling the PG duties? No. Was he a deficient passer? No. When he was in the game, who usually brought the ball up? Isiah. He’s 5th ALL TIME in assists per game. Yeah, they moved him off the ball a little to get Dumars and Vinnie more involved in the offense & to create some different looks, but that didn’t make him a combo guard. 

      • May 24, 20133:45 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        the judgments about being too small or not being a good enough passer don’t have any relevance, imho.
        a combo guard is exactly what you indicated: a guard who splits time between shooting guard and point guard, which is exactly what isiah did.
        daly often took the ball out of isiah’s hands and let dumars run the team, especially in the half court because dumars was more patient and careful with the ball.  there were plenty of times when zeke got on one of his streaks, where he was careless with passes, and daly would have joe run the point for long stretches.  he’d sometimes use vinnie that way also, if he wanted isiah to score more, if he had a favorable matchup.  but, certain guys gave zeke trouble (derek harper used to drive zeke crazy) and joe would run the point during those stretches.  dumars always had a lower turnover % than zeke.
        most importantly, however is the fact that isiah, after his first couple of years in the league, and for the next 8 or 9 years, led the team in shots, every year. (even in his first couple of years, he was always 2nd and third in shot attempts.)
        yes, he got lots of assists, but he also aggressively went for his own shot.  and this was even on teams with guys who shot higher, often much higher, percentages of shots.  it was one of the things that caused the isiah/dantley rift: isiah was jacking up many more shots than AD despite the fact that AD shot a much higher percentage.  AD would delicately refer to that fact sometimes and that obviously did not sit well with zeke.
        if a guard who leads his team in shots for years and years does not qualify as a combo guard, i don’t know what the meaning of the term is.
        a pure point guard would have been a guy who would have deferred to vinnie and joe and AD and even laimbeer, all guys who shot better percentages than isiah.
        isiah never did that.  he was an aggressive volume shooter/scorer, and he handled the ball like a point guard and could dish out assists.  that, to me, is a combo guard.
        nowadays, the term is used in a pejorative fashion. i don’t see it that way.  there are good combo guards and bad combo guards.  unfortuntely for detroit, they’ve not had a good combo guard in years – i always looked at chauncy as a combo guard – and the memory of some very good ones – like vinnie an d joe and zeke – have faded.
         

        • May 24, 20135:34 pm
          by G

          Reply

          The fact is Isiah was a PG and did FULL TIME PG duties until Dumars came along. The fact that he stepped aside SOME (not as much as you seem to think) had less to do with Isiah’s abilities and more to do with what was best for the team.

          Guys that I would typify as combo guards lacked the ability to handle the point on a full time basis. Isiah never had that problem. Btw, being a scorer doesn’t make a player a combo guard. Would you call Chris Paul a combo guard? Or Rondo? Or even Tony Parker?

          • May 24, 20135:48 pm
            by frankie d

            not true.  vinnie always played the same combo guard role with zeke.  it certainly became more pronounced once dumars came on board, but vinnie always averaged solid assist numbers and always played on and off the ball.  lots of times when vinnie was hot, he’d just bring the ball down court, look over the scene and rise and fire.  or maybe dish a dime.
            i have a bunch of old vcr tapes with old pistons games and i love watching some of those old games.
            vinnie was always vinnie, the same player, year in and year out.
            when dumars came on, it gave the team 3 guys who could do what vinnie and zeke were doing, just an incredible trio and very very tough to defend.
            but simply scoring is not the issue.
            when  you shoot more than anyone and you score more than anyone on your team, you are a scorer, and you get assists, which is what zeke did.  
            that is just the reality.
            “true” points like that always defer to the other guys on their teams first, and then score.  
            steve nash, imho, is really the only true PG of the last decade or so.  almost everyone else is really a combo guard.  (at least most of the really good ones on good teams.
            isiah was the opposite.  he scored and then he also looked to feed guys.
            and i’ve always looked at parker as one of the post-isiah combo guards who score and pass.
            again, zeke ushered in a new era of PGs who did both.  
            tony parker and chris paul are direct descendants of isiah.  along with a guy like AI.  without isiah, those guys probably would have never played the game the way they play it. 

          • May 29, 20132:45 pm
            by G

            If Steve Nash is the ONLY guy in the last decade you consider a pure PG, that explains a lot. I’m clearly debating with someone whose definition of a combo guard is completely different from the ACTUAL definition, so I’ll stop debating.

      • May 24, 20135:08 pm
        by danny

        Reply

        I think this is where his definition and yours differs.  He goes by statistics on who is what in this category.  My thoughts on it agrees with you Frankie.  If you can play both positions it means you are a combo guard.  The amount of assists you rack in has nothing to do with it.  Billups was a combo guard someone who scored and eventually asked to get dimes. 
        Trying to argue with him is pointless since he wont budge and is set in his mode of thinking.

        • May 24, 20135:16 pm
          by danny

          Reply

          getting dimes depends on your team as well. If no one can hit a shot well then guess what the dimes dont pile up.  Plus we never know what the coach tells the players to do. 
          Sometimes when Manu comes off the bench he is asked to score and sometimes when he comes off he is told to get assists.  Manu is naturally a 2 guard but he has learned to become a combo guard.

          • May 24, 20135:39 pm
            by G

            Manu isn’t a combo guard. He’s a 2 guard that occasionally takes the ball up. He also plays SF sometimes. You guys are confusing being asked to fill a role with a player’s innate skill. So Isiah played off the ball sometimes, it didn’t take away from his PG skills. Manu bringing the ball up the court didn’t magically transform him into a PG, he’s a shooting guard.

            Btw, Pistons were pretty bad Isiah’s first 2 years, he still got like 8 assists a game. Weak argument. 

  • May 24, 20132:48 pm
    by joe

    Reply

    I know a combo that can be more effective than drafting McCollum and pairing him with Knight and Stuckey. How about drafting Zellar and pairing him with Monroe and Drummond, now that look pretty scary for the opposition! I’m just saying, if the Pistons going to waste their #8 pick?

    • May 24, 20133:04 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      i actually don’t think zeller will be a waste.
      imho, he’s going to be a solid nba player.  and i think there is a very good chance that he will be a very good/borderline all star type player.
      he has skills, an athletic profile, and the motor that usually translates to success in the nba.
      he is not a center.  so if anyone is thinking of him as a center, no he will be a waste.  
      however, i think he can be a very good “stretch 4″, a ryan anderson-type.  the only question – and it is a legitimate one – is whether he can extend his shooting range.  watching him shoot, and knowing how hard he works on his game,, it is tough to imagine that he will not become a better shooter with better range in the next 3-5 years.  when he does that – as a seven footer with elite speed, good touch around the basket, good free throw shooting,  and a willingness to defend – it is tough to see him not having a successful nba career.
      if mccollum is not there, i’d probably draft zeller. 

      • May 24, 20134:26 pm
        by tom

        Reply

        While it certainly never showed up in games, Zeller won Indiana’s 3 pt contest during Midnight Madness. Obviously that’s just a show, but that team was absolutely loaded with shooters, so it is pretty impressive.

        • May 24, 20134:30 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          that is good to know.  you can watch zeller shoot from the perimeter – the rare times he did it – and he looks comfortable.  he has a nice smooth stroke.  as i said, i’d bet that he becomes a good longer range shooter in the nba.  
          and if you have a 7 footer who can run the floor, play defense and hit 3 pointers, that is a valuable guy.
          i’d draft him. 

  • May 24, 20132:49 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    CJ McCollum IS ABSOLUTELY the last person the pistons should pick!  I will admit that i have not seen him play and he maybe great for some team BUT NOT with the mess the pistons have made by thinking every “combo” guard in the country, basically shooting guards that are not tall or can’t shoot (Stuckey) can learn point guard skills.  Part of this is that C. Billups did turn into a good point guard for Detroit how it was built but that was a team built to control the pace. CB couldn’t run a fast break with any consistency etc etc.  POINT guard skills are mostly inherent. To those that are natural it come easy.  Few that i have seen ever learned it and become great at it.   SO NO WAY do we need another TWEENER.  We are still asking that question of Knight and you want to add another player that we will be asking for years can he develop point guard skill well enough to run the team. One of Dumars biggest problems is taking tweeners and have a poorly defined rosters and player roles. STOP it.    PS Joe D was a combo guard. Isiah a point guard and Vinnie a SG.  

    • May 24, 20132:58 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      sorry, but you obviously didn’t see the bad boys play.  or weren’t paying attention.
      the beauty of their backcourt rotation was that all 3 guys could switch off and play either role, depending on what was needed.  
      joe d ran the point plenty of times.  vinnie ran the point plenty of times.
      isiah played off of the ball lots of times.  
      vinnie and joe often played together for long stretches in games.  
      the pistons are largely, unfortunately, responsible for the explosion of combo guards over the last 20+ years.   everyone saw what they did – coaches, players – and tried to emulate them.
      and combo guards are not necessarily bad.
      bad combo guards are bad.  good ones – like the two that indiana plays – can play very well together. 

      • May 24, 20134:30 pm
        by tom

        Reply

        I was too young to have a real opinion as to how each played his position, but to me when you use the phrase combo guard you are referring to a guy who has a major deficiency in one of the defining characteristics of his position. Isiah could score but he had no deficiency in any point guard skill. Similarly Joe could handle the ball and pass, but again no deficiency. On the other hand Knight seems to have a deficiency in his ability to run an offense, thus not a real pg. Stuckey can’t shoot thus not a SG. 

        • May 24, 20134:35 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          see, i don’t see the term as indicating a deficiency or a problem with a player.  imho, it simply describes a guy with dual capabilities. 
          what has happened recently is that the term is used to describe guys who can’t do one thing well enough to qualify as either a PG or SG.  but it doesn’t necessarily have to describe a player in a negative way.  
          a guy can be, like both isiah and joe and vinnie, capable of doing both. 
          imho, the reason joe d has always been so fixated on the notion of only getting combo guards has been because he was part of a group that worked very effectively, all 3 being combo guards.  he sees no reason why he can’t duplicate that success now.
          and with the right players, he might be right. 

      • May 24, 20135:10 pm
        by Ozzie-Moto

        Reply

        Don’t get me wrong  A good combo guard or even 2 on a roster is fine, Best suited off the bench but the Pistons keep ending up with a bunch of 1 and 2s that where neither  is good at  shooting or passing and 3 and 4s that are to short or only shoot 3s or etc….  LACK of definition,.  I am not speaking for any team any time  I am talking about Detroit and the recent habit of picking players an HOPING to find the right spot for them     Good teams and good players know their strengths ….   

        • May 24, 20135:22 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          i have long been on the “pistons need a real point guard” bandwagon.
          and i think that calderone’s presence showed how valuable a “true” point guard can be.
          but watching indiana over the last few weeks has reminded me of how a team can actually succeed with a couple of combo guards and no true point guard.  it also reminded me of how good stuckey and knight looked toward the end of knight’s first year, when they seemed to be working through problems to establish a nice backcourt combo.
          done right,  and with the right players and coaching, i guess i agree with joe d: you don’t necessarily need a real point guard.
          but, as you have indicated, the problem has been that none of the guys they’ve brought in have been right, and, imho, there’s been a lack of coaching that has contributed to the problem.
          again, look at indiana…
          is hill a “true” point guard?
          or is he exactly what dumars HOPES knight could be, if knight developed: a solid 3 point shooter, a good defender and someone who manages the offense competently.
           

          • May 25, 20137:21 am
            by oats

            I’d argue a combo guard is a player who is best served playing off ball some. It’s not playing off the ball, or being capable of playing off the ball that makes a guy a combo guard. It’s having a skill set that is only fully utilized by playing some of both position that makes a guy a combo guard. It should be noted that I also don’t think it’s necessarily a deficiency that makes a player a combo guard. I saw little to suggest Zeke actually was better off playing off the ball occasionally. The team might have been better because it gave them a different way to attack a defense, and it also allowed the other guards a chance to use their considerable passing skills, but I’d say Thomas could have stayed on ball at all times and been just as effective. That would not qualify him as a combo guard in my book, but Joe and Vinnie would.

          • May 25, 201310:51 am
            by oats

            I thought that I clicked reply on a different comment. Oops. Still, it’s directed at one of frankie d’s posts. I’m not repeating it elsewhere because that just clutters things up.

          • May 26, 201311:24 am
            by frankie d

            “I’d argue a combo guard is a player who is best served playing off ball some.”
            well, even by that definition, imho, zeke would most definitely qualify as a “combo guard’.
            again, he routinely led those bad boy teams in shots and scoring.  he aggressively hunted his shot.  (often, imho, to the team’s detriment.)
            one of his problems as a player was a tendency to get involved in  one on one battles within games – every time he played against utah and stockton, he made his matchup a personal battle -and daly was smart enough to make certain that dumars and vinnie actually ran the point during those times, because it gave zeke the chance to run off screens and spot up and attack his man, without te added burden of runnig the offense.

            in my view, zeke is the prototype of the modern combo guard.  he just did it better than anyone before or after, withthe exception of tiny archiballd.  all of the combo guards populating the league now are simply not-quite-as-good versions of isiah.  
            every once in a while a tony parker comes along, someone who is almost up to zeke’s status as the ultimate combo guard, but the tony parkers are rare. 

          • May 29, 20138:05 am
            by G

            @frankie d – You must be high. Isiah put up his best numbers and had his best games when he was playing on the ball. The Pistons were a team in the truest sense of the word, but when they absolutely needed hard-to-get points, Isiah took over. If you can, watch the ’88 Finals again.

            Like oats said, the TEAM was better off with Isiah playing off the ball some because it enabled Dumars & Vinnie to have a bigger impact on the game.

            Zeke wasn’t a combo guard, Tony Parker isn’t a combo guard… Next thing you’ll be saying Payton (with Seattle) and KJ were combo guards… 

  • May 24, 20133:02 pm
    by danny

    Reply

    I love McCollum. Pound for pound, I think hes better than Burke.

    And I dont think our recent history should deter us from taking a potential combo guard; each player is unique. 
     

    • May 24, 20133:38 pm
      by Nick

      Reply

      I agree with danny. CJ is the best player in this draft in my opinion. He is the mirror image of Damien Lillard with the say question marks he had last year. He can run the point in the nba. He has the ballhandling and the basketball iq. He would have more assists if he had some to pass the ball to.

      • May 24, 20137:10 pm
        by Sop

        Reply

        You forget that Lillard averaged significantly more assists than McCollum and in general played a lot more like a point.

  • May 24, 20133:13 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    Completely agree with Frankie D regarding CJM and Zeller. I’m especially intrigued by Zeller. I think the Pistons have to go CJM is he’s there, but I think everyone is failing to realize how skilled Zeller is right now. Zeller is probably the most skilled player in this draft and will thrive in the whistle happy NBA. The NBA is now less physical than college basketball and the Big Ten is the most physical conference in the NCAA. Give Zeller some space and he’ll be a 20-point scorer. People don’t realize that he scores in six different ways, and with ease. He has the *ability* to be a notch below Nowitski if he really wants it. If not, he’ll be a unique offensive weapon — skilled, athletic, a plus rebounder with the ability to put it on the floor. I’d love to see Z, Monroe, and Drummon split minutes for the next six years.  

    • May 24, 20133:44 pm
      by Thiago

      Reply

      I’d also be ok with that!

    • May 24, 20134:33 pm
      by tom

      Reply

      Yup. Zeller’s D may never come around, but he hustles and he’s legit 7ft, so I don’t think he will be awful, but I would be very surprised if he can’t score in the NBA.

  • May 24, 20133:42 pm
    by Thiago

    Reply

    I’d be ok with CJ McCollum. And he’s the one of the few at #8, way ahead of Shabazz.

    But there one thing. I’m not even counting Stuckey as a Pistons player anymore. Even if he sticks around this season, he won’t get past the next off-season.

    We would need a starting SG (Mayo, for example). Then, I’d keep Bynum or Calderon, or sign a new starting PG (Jack, for example), and have Knight and McCollum coming off the bench, with English as a backup for the backup. 

    • May 24, 20136:07 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      way ahead? you guys get way too much caught up

  • May 24, 20134:00 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    think about zeller this way…
    zeller is an inch taller than monroe…
    his standing reach is only 2 inches shorter than monroe’s, though monroe has about a 4 inch wingspan advantage…
    zeller is a better athlete than monroe, in terms of measurables, espcially in his vertical leaps and agility and speed…
    zeller is seemingly a better perimeter shooter, at least he seems more comfortable shooting the perimeter shot, though he hasn’t done it much…
    zeller’s true shooting % and effective shooting % are much better than monroe’s…
    he has lots of nice post moves, even though, like monroe, his shot gets blocked fairly often…
    they seem to have the same high BB iQ, which helps offensively…
    zeller seems to be much better suited to being able to defend on the perimeter, as he appears to have better lateral movement than monroe…
    i have to say that i had soured on zeller, assuming that he would be more of a 5 than a 4 in the nba.
    but if he is primarily a 4, and doesn’t have to bang with the biggest 4′s and 5′s in the nba, i fail to see why zeller cannot have a quality nba career, especially when you compare and contrast him with monroe. 

    • May 25, 20137:11 am
      by oats

      Reply

      Not taking the perimeter shots a lot is a serious understatement. 24 jump shots in 36 games according to Synergy data. To call him more comforting shooting from the perimeter is absurd. As for their shooting numbers, Monroe was the more perimeter oriented of the two and should have been expected to have slightly lower shooting percentages as a result of his more relied upon mid range game.  Plus Monroe is much better on the boards and as a passer. Don’t get me wrong, I think Zeller is the best big after Noel and Bennett, I just really hate this idea that Zeller has a jump shot that Monroe lacks.

      • May 26, 201312:37 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        “To call him more comforting shooting from the perimeter is absurd. As for their shooting numbers, ”
        absurd?
        one of the biggest problems with the pistons’ offense this past year was monroe’s strange hesitance to shoot the midrange shot.  team literally gave him that shot  all year, and all year, he hesitated to take that shot.  it caused a huge problem for the team’s offense.
        what is odd is that he seemed to regress, after looking fairly comfortable taking the shot his second year.
        imho, zeller’s lack of perimeter shots was simply a result of him playing within the team’s offensive structure.  but i never saw him hesitate to take the shot when it was open for him.
        monroe even admitted that he was hesitant to take that shot, in postseason interviews.  frankly, it wouldn’t take much for zeller to be more comfortable than monroe was. for whatever reason, he lost faith in that shot, and hopefully, he will get that confidence back.
        btw, i am not arguing that zeller will be a better player than monroe.  
        my point is simple: he has a package of skill, size and talent that is not rare, a set of attributes that can be found in many nba bigs.  like monroe.  and when guys have those skills, they usually find a way to have a solid – at least – nba career.
        i’d expect zeller to have a solid nba career.  and if he works hard eough, it might be much more than that.

        • May 26, 20136:43 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          i came across a recording of the syracuse/indiana game from this year’s ncaa tourney.
          i watched lots of it, just to get another look at zeller in game conditions.
          i was very impressed, even though he didn’t have a good game.
          one thing that struck me about zeller’s game was that he spent 99% of his time in the offensive zone between the low block and the free throw line.  he wandered above the free throw line only a few times, and then only out to the top of the key, once or twice.
          syracuse just had too much size and length and athleticism and i actually blame indiana’s coach for not adjusting and bringing him away from the lane.  it was like he was just too stubborn to change up what he’d been doing all year.  all of his shot attempts were right there in the lane, right in the teeth of that zone.  would have been nicr if the coach had just brought zeller away from the lane a bit, and found a hole where he could take and possibly hit a jumper or two.
          but that didn’t happen, so zeller got abused by syracuse, getting his shot blocked i don’t know how many times.
          but he showed a lot of quickness and the ability to actually get into a decent position to get a good shot off.  
          and if he plays the 4 and not the 5 and isn’t banging in the lane against the biggest, toughest defender on any team, i think his skill set transfers quite well.  that is assuming he can hit the mid-range and beyond shot.  while there was no evidence of that ability in the game, he has such a nice stroke on his free throws and rumor has it that he can make that shot.
          his game, offensively, becomes pretty simple:take the jumper if his man sags, and if the defender tries to play him tight, he puts the ball on the floor and drives around him.  he’s got a pretty good handle for a guy his size and he should easily be able to drive around most 4′s who try to guard him on the perimeter.  and while his numbers don’t show it, he seems to have good vision and the ability to hit the open man.  again, i just think that crean’s indiana system was so rigid that he was not able to use a lot of the skill he does possess.  once he gets into the nba, he’ll have a lot more freedom and space and he’ll be able to exploit more of his talents.
          he has surprisingly good feet.  he guarded, either on switches or straight up, SF’s and SGs  and was able to cut off syracuse’s guards on pick and rolls.  he did an excellent job of jumping out on traps and had enough speed and quickness to scramble back into the lane before the defense broke down.
          while he seemed to fight and certainly didn’t look soft, he does indeed get pushed around and he’ll have to get much stronger if he’s going to be a good interior defender.
          i actually think crean did zeller a huge disservice this year by not showcasing more of his talents.  while it is good to know who you are and tailor a game plan around your players’ talents, ramming your head against a wall is just plain dumb.  after watching zeller and indiana do that against that tough syracuse zone, you have to wonder what might have happened if he’d tried a few 12 foot jumpers outside of the lane.
          that shot will be there anytime for a PF in the nba.  if zeller can make that shot, he would be a great front court partner for drummond.

           

  • May 24, 20134:07 pm
    by joe

    Reply

    I think you gonna see a lot of teams starting to return to a more traditional line up, because teams are starting to figure out how to guard SF’s playing the power forward position. From what I’ve seen, teams are starting to stick their PF at the top of the key to guard the other team pg, so once the shoot is contested, the PF then head towards the post to help the C secure the rebound. I’ve seen Memphis and Indiana implement this strategy so far.

  • May 24, 20134:53 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    smh …. if we draft McCullom it means w are just turning the wheels.

    There will be several SF and BIG SG available …. I’d take Pope over McCullom, because we need to get out of combo guard mode.

    We are such a flavor of the moment people, just because Steph Curry played amazing and Lillard played amazing does not mean McCullom will be or do the same 

    • May 24, 20136:38 pm
      by The Rake

      Reply

      I don’t entirely disagree, but that also doesn’t mean that McCollum won’t succeed either. I don’t want to be unfair to the kid, but I would rather focus on what our team needs. In general, I agree with the notion that having defined roles helps a bit more, given the way our roster currently reads. I mean Charlie V is a combo also, part stretch 4, part pillow. So there.

  • May 24, 20136:35 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    I’ll not really get involved in the Zeke argument. He is the definition of a PG. Just because he could shoot  and play off the ball on the very rare occasion, means little. I agree much more with G’s “definition” of a combo guard, though I wouldn’t define it by stats, I’d define it by playing style. Zeke is one of the greatest PG of all time, I don’t believe he’s ever been referred to as a combo guard ever before I read it here today. Have fun with that argument though, I’m more focused on McCollum per this discussion and the roles of guys like BK and Stuckey. Chauncey BTW is a PG, not a combo guard. Just because he plays the 2 on occasion with CP3 in LA doesnt make him a 2, he’s a PG, regardless that he never put up big assist numbers. I;m not name calling or anything like that, as far as I’m concerned, this is a Pistons site and we all should for the most part be looking in the same direction. Its not an OSU/Michigan combo site….ugh, that hurt to even write. Peace.

  • May 24, 20138:34 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    A combo guard, to me, is one that can play either position. A player can be a bad combo guard, and be poor at both positions(e.g. Knight currently) or good at both positions, such as Joe Dumars as a player. Or significantly better at one than the other, but at least somewhat capable as both. 

    On Zeller: I am wildly curious as to whether he has a 3 pt shot. If he’s anywhere near having a functional 3pt shot, then he ‘d be a great pick at #8, even if it takes him a year to get nba range on his 3. His size and athleticism would make a great stretch  four, if he can shoot.

    the thing I find odd in the McCollum discussions: people seem to be taking his scoring for granted. The pistons could really use a guy who can reliably create and finish scoring opportunities. if he’s a GOOD combo guard, or just scorer, he could be really valuable even if just by replacing Knight and playing that role better. 

  • May 24, 20139:16 pm
    by Trent

    Reply

    It shoudn’t be could ‘fit in’ with Stuckey is should be ‘REPLACE’ Stuckey. Clearly he has nothing to offer us. If he is on the pistons books come opening night I’d be mighty disappointed. How many chances does this guy get? Stuckey performing in a pistons jersey is a pipe dream! Couple him with Charlie V for an Ice-Cream and a soda pop and I’d call it a win.

  • May 24, 201310:36 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    @Trent Stuckey is a dog pile, but he’ll be on the team, used as a supposedly packageable asset that will unlikely workout. #optimism

  • May 25, 20135:21 am
    by Grizz

    Reply

    I usually agree with Frankie D 99% of the time .. but not this time .. G is right .. Thomas was a pure PG … the best ever or close to that, in my opinion .. A combo guard is someone who CANNOT play PG full time as a starter .. Just because a player can sometimes pass or sometimes shoot off the ball doesnt make that a combo guard .. Was Kevin Johnson a Combo guard? No and neither was Thomas .. Thomas and Johnson are great PGs who can shoot too .. I pass on this McCollum fellow because we dont need someone who might be able to play PG … or might be a combo guard .. Take the best player available .. and that wont likely be McCollum ..

  • May 25, 201310:44 am
    by Sidewalkvendor

    Reply

    If it will come down to zeller, mccollum,mcw and shabazz,olynyk and kcp.i hope it will be between zeller and kcp.

  • May 26, 20134:08 pm
    by The Detroit Combo Guards and Friends

    Reply

    He can’t shoot like Curry or drive to the basket like Lillard so…CJ is the next…CJ

  • May 28, 20133:12 pm
    by S

    Reply

    Guys, 
            Piston’s have to understand what they need and what they have.
    1. PG- Sign Calderon (keep bynum as backup)
    2.  SG – we need somebody here perhaps mayo or evans( Knight can be backup  , trade rodney or let him walk)
    3. SF – best available from draft. Not sure in FA who will be available for this position
    4. PF -Monroe lock for next few years( amenisty CV )
    5. C – drummond lock for next few years

    most important bring a good coach ( Brian Shaw) 

    • May 30, 201312:57 pm
      by jamesjones_det

      Reply

      Calderon is tricky, being he will be 32 next season and my demand top dollar he may not make sense unless you think you can pick up players this summer that make you an instant contender.  If you are still thinking 2 to 4 years out Calderon is not a great deal for high dollar.

  • May 29, 201312:07 pm
    by Pistons Fan

    Reply

    I am good with Knight as our PG.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVkHGXHmay0

  • May 30, 201312:54 pm
    by jamesjones_det

    Reply

    No more combo guards, just trade the darn pick if this is what we can get…

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