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Brandon Jennings and the awesome, amazing, really good, very great 55-point game

In the first 11 games of his career, Brandon Jennings averaged 25.3 points on 47.9 percent shooting and 49.1 3-point percentage, 5.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game.

In that context, Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball thoughtfully reflected on Jennings’ Bucks tenure:

He was very good immediately. Too good. Jennings was a superstar for his first 11 games in Milwaukee, there’s really no other way to phrase it. But 11 games is just enough time to be dangerous in a city with the recent history Milwaukee had in 2009.

If Jennings maintained something close to the production level he produced over his first 11 games over the next four years, he would have been exalted, lawyers would have courted him for commercials and he could be stepping into Ryan Braun’s shoes right now as Aaron Rodgers‘ partner in the local restaurant and good times business.

Bucks fans wanted (hell, we still want to) to believe in something, but they wouldn’t just believe in anything.

By the end of last season, Jennings certainly seemed like “just anything.” Four years into his career, his production was nowhere near what it was over that special first 11 games. It was his fault our expectations got so high, but it wasn’t his fault that we were so desperate that we were still living off 11 games four years later. Those 11 games seem so far in the past now that he’s gone, now that there’s no reason for Bucks fans to try and fool themselves anymore. At this point, he might be as remembered for his sub 30% field goal percentage against the Heat in his final games as the Bucks starting point guard as he is for his 55 point game.

Pistons fans, who didn’t see those first 11 games up close, won’t put Jennings in quite that same stratosphere. However, many Pistons have already recollected the 55-point game since Detroit acquired Jennings.

That 55-point game is not Jennings. We have three years and 71 games’ worth of data to better understand him as a player. If you expect a high-end scorer, you’ll be severely disappointed. Jennings is an acceptable starting point guard, which is a big upgrade for Detroit. Please let that be enough.

Jennings’ tenure in Milwaukee soured, in part, because he couldn’t live up to expectations. Let’s do everyone a favor and not repeat that experience now that he’s with the Pistons – at least until he averages 30 and 9 in his first 11 games next season.


  • Aug 1, 20139:23 am
    by Chris N.


    “That 55-point game is not Jennings.”

    If it wasn’t Brandon Jennings putting up 55 points, who was it?

    • Aug 1, 20139:36 am
      by EMan


      That was Alternate Reality Jennings. If you look closely, you’ll see he had a goatee, the obvious giveaway.

    • Aug 1, 20134:56 pm
      by mongoslade86


      Kelvin Sampson scored those 55 points a game!!! I kid but seriously it did seem like when he was working with Kelvin Sampson for those games he looked good. I don’t know if it is a coincidence but when Kelvin was coaching Eric Gordon he looked like the 3rd best player in his draft class then Kelvin was accused paying players to come to IU and Eric’s production decreased, like I said though it may have been a coincidence.

  • Aug 1, 20139:36 am


    All I want from jennings is 14ppg 42% shooting 10-11 shot attempts,  37-38% 3 point shooting, 7.5-8.5 ast per game …

    • Aug 1, 20139:48 am
      by gmehl


      Shit we were thinking exactly the same thing. Funny :-)

    • Aug 1, 201311:54 am
      by tarsier


      That, 1.5 spg, and no more than 2.5 TO/gm would be just lovely.

  • Aug 1, 20139:43 am
    by gmehl


    I said it in another post that if he can average around 14/15 points and get his assist up to 7/8 per game then i’ll be happy. I am sure Dumars and Cheeks will reitriate this to him and that they need him to be more of a facilitator. With the front line Jennings has at his disposal he has the chance to have a really good season IF he decides to buy into a team first concept. He might even be a candidate for most improved if we get a 6-7 seed and make the playoffs.

    • Aug 1, 201310:00 am
      by I HATE FRANK


      MY BEST CASE SCENARIO – 15ppg 43-44% 9-10ast  37-38% for 3′s …

      Some will say the ast might be too high… Uptempo offense, Half-court Pick and Roll Bigs (Three different options) will boost your ast numbers…ask Steve Nash….

      even if he is getting his ass whipped on the defensive end…..who’s the other options? Bynum? Billups? Siva? so he is gonna probably be play 36-38 mins per-game….

      Im hoping Arnie works on his conditioning….

  • Aug 1, 20139:48 am
    by cr29


    Alternatively- this is a guy that once scored 55 points in a game, but was also traded for Brandon Knight.

    I understand why the Bucks did this, but it really *seems* like it wouldn’t take much of an adaptation in his game to become an efficient point guard. And that would move this trade from good to great. I guess I don’t know enough about Jennings to know if this is possible, though.

  • Aug 1, 20139:48 am


    I have question for Dan , Patrick, that other guy that be Writing…and the commentors…

    Who’s team is this?

    Josh Smith? – He might be the most well-rounded talent, but I didnt hear much many people say the Hawks are his team…Lead by his play?

    Billups? – Aging Vet coming home for one last victory lap or two last victory laps….Experienced Leader?

    Monroe? – Plays hard, and high-skilled…Quiet Leader?

    Jennings? – Fiesty, Firey, Diva-like PG….Emotional leader? Maybe

    Drummond? – the future is on his shoulder, has a big personality…Likeable Leader?

    Before I alway just assumed that Knight was the Leader, he played hard, and when he played well we were always in a position to atleast not get blown out, and when he spoke he spoke like he was the leader of a young team learning to play together. But the team dynamic has changed completely… just a question

    • Aug 1, 20139:56 am
      by gmehl


      I’ve always thought Moose is the leader of this team. He might not be a vocal leader on court but I think he is well respected by all his teammates. I even after all our acquisitions over the summer i still think its Moose’s team.

    • Aug 1, 201310:04 am
      by labatts


      Stuckey’s team!  Am I right?  Who’s with me?  (High Fives)

    • Aug 1, 201310:28 am
      by David


      Too soon to say. This team has such a different roster than last year. You can’t expect returning Pistons to just buy into a new player as their leader and you can’t expect Josh Smith to just accept Moose as the team leader.

      I’d guess that Billups, as a well respected veteran and a former Piston who helped bring a championship to Detroit, is the defacto leader until/unless someone else emerges. And that’s fine. This team will need some time to develop chemistry and gel and, when that happens, leader(s) will emerge. 

      One thing I do like about the Smith and Jennings signings is that they both have a certain amount of fire and edge to their personalities. Something the Pistons have been lacking. Whether or not they end up as the “leader” of the team, I do hope other players pick up some that edge. I’m all in favor of bringing back the BAD boys attitude to detroit. 


    • Aug 1, 201311:22 am
      by Huddy


      I’d go Monroe.  He has had the team on his shoulders pretty much since he was drafted, has been a part of this new squad the longest, and seems to have a good attitude.   I don’t see Smith/Jennings as having the right personality and with two substantial players joining a new team where neither are obviously the best player on the team I can’t see them taking over as a leader.  Chauncey won’t be on court enough IMO.  He may be great in practice and helpful, but he will lack the opportunities for players to look to him to play by example in limited minutes.

    • Aug 1, 201311:37 am
      by sebastian


      Great question, I HATE FRANK, on this day, roughly 2 months before the start of Training Camp.
      I will have to go with Moose. As someone else has stated, he’s been part of this mess the longest, not including Stuckey. (Nobody is going to listen to Stuckey, as his status/position on the roster is unstable at best).
      Monroe is in a position to demonstrate and reinforce his leadership qualities on and off the floor. Plus, Moose became a leader, while at Georgetown during his three years, there. Moose also has the “E.F. Hutton” voice.

    • Aug 1, 20131:05 pm
      by tarsier


      Does it have to be one guy’s team? Why can’t they just be a team?

      • Aug 1, 20131:37 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        @ Tar its always gonna be someones team… even if by default …

        • Aug 1, 20132:07 pm
          by tarsier


          That’s total malarkey. Have yo never seen a real team where it is everyone’s team? There doesn’t need to be an alpha dog.

          • Aug 1, 20133:30 pm
            by apa8ren9

            There needs to be an Alpha if you want to contend and win championships.  That Alpha doesnt necessarily need to be the best player.  He just needs to lead.  It just help a tremendous amount if that person is also an All-star or All-NBA player.

          • Aug 1, 20135:05 pm
            by tarsier

            So whose team were the 2004 Pistons? Because I bet you’ll get about 50% claiming Ben’s and another 50% claiming Chauncey’s.

            Whose team were the three-peat Lakers? Again it’s a split between Shaq and Kobe.

            Whose team were the 2008 Celtics? Try to get people to agree between Garnett and Pierce.

            Whose team were the 2007 Spurs? Some crazy people will say Parker when it was clearly Duncan. Whose team were the 1999 Spurs? There a case could be made for Duncan or Robinson.

            I could go on and on… 

          • Aug 1, 20139:06 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            2004 was Billups team all the way….

            Spurs will be Duncan team until he retires….

            2008 was all about Garnett…

            Shaq and Kobe was rare, but that was Shaqs team 

          • Aug 2, 20139:50 am
            by tarsier

            See, those are your opinions, but I disagree. And so would many others. So what you’re really saying is that it has to be someone’s team in your opinion, not that it has to be recognized as a specific guy’s team. For instance, I would definitely call the 2004 squad Ben’s team. Billups was good but not special. Wallace was the heart and soul of that group.

          • Aug 2, 20139:51 am
            by G

            Alpha dog or no, every team needs a “last shot” guy. Last year we were stuck with watching Rodney Stuckey jack up threes as the game clock wound down because everyone else on the team shrank from the moment. Maybe you don’t need a Kobe or a LeBron-type guy to takeover a game (and I don’t think you do), but what every team DOES need is a guy that doesn’t shrink from the moment. I think that’s Jennings all over.

  • Aug 1, 201310:02 am
    by Alexander


    He averaged 6.5 assists playing with monta Ellis and a bunch of frontcourt players that are still trying to figure out what “offense” is. Jennings is gonna improve as a point guard simply by playing with more talent.

  • Aug 1, 201310:07 am
    by Alexander


    What does that even mean? “Whose team is it”?

  • Aug 1, 201310:15 am
    by Slap Dog Hoops (SDH)


    Brandon Jennings may have not lived up to that 11 game performance four years ago, but he is currently the best PG that the Pistons have had since Chauncey Billups.  He’s no Isaiah Thomas, but he will certainly facilitate better ball movement for the Pistons.  I see them reaching the playoffs.  How about you 

  • Aug 1, 201310:20 am
    by David


    I think a lot of people aren’t giving Jennings a chance, he is still very young 23-24 years old. I think Mo Cheeks will help him get his game to a higher level just as he did with Russell Westbrook.  They will be a playoff team and I think a lot of people are letting them pass under the radar. Had this trade happen with the Lakers or Heat everybody would probably be praising it 

  • Aug 1, 201310:21 am
    by ryan


    You know what I want from Brandon Jennings? I want him to somehow back out of this deal so we can get Brandon Knight back. I’ve lived with this deal for a couple of days now and i still dislike it.

    • Aug 1, 201310:36 am
      by Jack56


      You can’t always live with potential…at some point you have to look at production.

      Jennings can shoot a decent 3, he can pass   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku3skAU8S1s

      And he is a far better PG than Knight right now…does he shoot bad shots too much? Yes, but when there is little offensive structure and you have no quality bigs to pass off to…players chuck the ball…every great PG or even good PG has someone to pass off to…

      Knight’s ceiling is what Jennings is right now…     

      • Aug 1, 20135:13 pm
        by tarsier


        “Knight’s ceiling is what Jennings is right now…     ”

        Jennings is the better of the two players, but that’s just a ridiculous claim. Their styles aren’t all that similar and Knight is already better at several thing s than Jennings. 

        • Aug 1, 20139:56 pm
          by ryan


          Exactly. Brandon Knight is already a plus defender which Brandon Jennings is not.

  • Aug 1, 201311:06 am
    by Crispus


    The quoted article sounds a lot like Linsanity to me.

  • Aug 1, 201311:12 am
    by Kobina


    I really think the ghost of the CV and Gordon signings are haunting this summer’s free agents.  Pistons fans are now bracing themselves for the worst case scenario from any name player we sign, while simultaneously thinking a player like Martell Webster (whose name came up far too much) would have a Rip-like impact once he got to Motown.

    Players change / expand their games when they get to new teams, all the time.  Even the Lebron James changed his game when he went to Miami.  Jennings is in the best pro situation ever, why not expect to see the best from him?  He’s further along than Billups was at this stage of his career and he has Billups to teach him.  This is the best roster we have had since 08 and we still have flexibility to improve.  What is there not to be happy about?


    • Aug 1, 201311:45 am
      by Huddy


      Everyone is afraid to spend holding out for that “perfect” player with the exact skill set that compliments the current roster.  I think fans need to think about this, how many elite PG’s are being dealt to the Pistons in the next 2-3 years and what is the team giving up for them?  Its a balancing act and fans can’t just compare getting Jennings or Smith to which player at that position they prefer they really need to think about who else that they like on this roster leaves to make a move even possible and thats only if the other team is interested.  The goal is to get better and to do so while holding on to as much flexibility as possible so that when opportunities present themselves the team get make a big leap.  The team added talent all around (without losing any major pieces) and still have flexibility after a year of seeing how the team works together…it is really a best case scenario.

  • Aug 1, 201311:41 am
    by Vic


    when the dust settles, what Joe D has done is basically epic.
    2 beasts, allstars, USA olympic bball level talent, at 4 & 5 – Drumroe  - its their team.
    All star potential rookie SG, at very least a plus defender and floor spacer – KCP
    That’s potentially a big 3 efficient basketball players you can build a team around for the next 8 years.
    That would have been enough to get excited…
    Then you add two super talented, under appreciated players who happen to be the best shot creators on their respective playoff teams- Josh Smith and B Jennings. All they have to do is improve their shot selection and you have a top 10 team overnight.

    And you did all this with money left for next year, and with a deep bench to fill in the gaps this year. 

    Im optimistic and I won’t be complaining unLess Cheeks pulls a Frank and starts playing role players ahead of all-star level talents. 

    • Aug 1, 20131:08 pm
      by frankie d


      if smith and jennings are so talented, riddle me this:
      why would atlanta and milwaukee both not even try to keep two young, supertalented players on their teams.  atlanta did not bid to try to keep smith.  they essentially let him walk away for nothing.
      milwaukee did not try to keep jennings.  instead, they clearly told him to take his act elsewhere when they signed teague to that offer sheet.
      wake the f up!!
      the reason both those teams couldn’t wait to let those guys walk is the same reason milwaukee let charlie v go back in “09.  they had watched their acts from close up, found them sorely lacking and realized that they had to move on from those players if they were ever going to move forward as a team.
      are both smith and jennnings very talented?
      you bet, two of the most talented players at their positions in the entire league.
      but both have huge, huge holes in their games and it is unlikely that either will ever fix those problems.   and unfortunately, those problems are the kind you can hide – like dennis rodman’s non-shooting, or rip hamilton’s lack of ballhandling – but they are problems that will invariably be on display each and every game and those problems will absolutely kill detroit in many games this year.
      smith will throw up lots of ill advised threes just when the team doesnt need it.  (at least he is not afraid to take tough shots at the end of games!  a small consoltation…)
      and jennings will take 20 shots on nights when monroe only gets 8 looks at the basket and drummond has about 7 shots, all on offensive rebounds.  and jennings man will burn him for 30 points.
      yep.  another epic fail. 

      • Aug 1, 20131:10 pm
        by frankie d


        it should have read:
        “those problems are not the kind you can hide, like rodman’s shooting…”

      • Aug 1, 20131:58 pm
        by Huddy


        I think your take on their weaknesses is interesting.  How is shot selection the most devastating issue ever encountered by a player?  Shooting ability and ball handling are easier to fix?  That just really doesn’t make sense.  I wouldn’t say it is definite by any means, but as far as possible it is entirely possible to adjust shot selection and should be one of the easier problems to fix because it doesn’t involve a lack of actual talent or athleticism for example.   Do you really think it is more realistic to ask a player to add a skill they currently don’t have than it is to reduce the number of bad shots one takes?  (especially considering having better players to pass to).
        If you at least admit the talent level is high, and consider perfect answers are few and far between so whoever comes to a team must adjust in some way, how is this SO bad?  What FA are you holding out for in your mind?  What guy do you see on another team that is a perfect fit that is definitely going to be on the market in the next 1-2 years?  and to get him who does the team lose?  I understand the argument that holding on to full flexibility makes the team ready to strike, but how long do you do that for?  With how many teams like Miami/LA/Boston/NY exist to plan on bringing in the top FA talent all the time it just seems like some of the negative people are holding out for some in-season trade that may never exists.  It isn’t for the draft because sitting around 8-10 doesn’t get a team anywhere.

        • Aug 1, 20133:04 pm
          by frankie d


          poor shot selection is a reflection of a low BB IQ.  
          the best players, the smartest players, understand when to shoot and when it is better to not shoot and/or pass the ball to a teammate.  sure, there are times when smart players might force shots, but those circumstances are rare and predictable – end of game, if they are trying to get a defender in foul trouble, if they are trying to break out of a shooting slump.  
          a bad shot is as bad as a turnover.  your team usually has no chance to get points – other than through offensive rebounds, which often are not a good option with bad shots as an offensive team is not balanced appropriately to hit the offensive boards – and it also is demoralizing. there is nothing that ruins team morale more than watching one guy chuck up bad shot after bad shot.  you can literally see players run back down court, heads low, shaking their heads.
          broken jumpers can be fixed.  when jason kidd came into the league, he was not a good 3 point shooter.  when michael cooper came into the league he was not a good 3 point shooter.  both of those players worked their tails off and worked on their shots and became decent/good 3 point shooters.
          on the other hand, a guy like monta ellis, no matter how many times coaches have tried, can’t get it through his head that he doesn’t have to take as many bad shots as he takes.  at this stage of his career, jennings is no better than ellis in that regard.
          i think you have it absolutely backwards.  a shot is relatively easy to fix, even if you cannot fix every player who has a broken jumper.
          a guy with bad shot selection is almost impossible to fix, as the problem is between his ears…it is in his head.
          in fact, can you name one single guy with a reputation as a “gunner’  a “chucker”, a guy with obviously bad shot selelction, who was able to rein it in in the manner you describe?
          i cannot think of a single player who has changed in that manner.  i am not saying that that kind of player doesn’t exist, but i am saying that it is rare for that kind of player to change.
          as far as what the team should have done, that is easy.  it should have addressed its needs and signed players who solved their problems.  they have now committed to almost 22 million in salary to two players who do not solve their biggest needs.
          imho, they needed to fill the point guard and SF positions with 2 players who could shoot from 3 and neither smith or jennings does that.  jennings is not a bad 3 point shooter but he is not a good one.  and he has one of the worst FG %s in the league, for players who shoot a lot.
          and smith is simply one of the worst shooters – from distance – in the league.
          so instead of solving their main problems, they have simply created others.
          and yes, patiently waiting for certain deals to happen, especially this season, with all of the teams trying to position themselves for this draft, would have been a much smarter way to use their cap space. it isn’t rocket science.
          instead, joe d has simply filled his roster with players who don’t fit his core pieces – drummond and monroe – and he has created more problemss for those players.
          just idiotic, imho.

          • Aug 1, 20134:00 pm
            by Huddy

            Chauncey had almost the same 3P% and FG% as Jennings 03-04.  His percentages have been all over the place during his career, but not because he has a low basketball IQ, it changes with his role, it helped that he was on an excellent rebounding and defensive team, and he hit big shots so people notice percentages less.
            Jamal Crawford is a great example because he is a chucker, but he has shot considerably better from the field on better teams (at different points in his career) for the same reasons why people think Jennings can.  It is because he has better options available, something Jennings really hasn’t ever had especially competing with Monta Ellis.
            Theres no real way to completely disprove anything you say because its just based on some future scenario that you believe exists, but also could just as easily not exist.  Sure maybe next year or the year after there is an all star waiting to be had for expiring contracts, so I guess you can decide that definitely would have happened and hate these moves or you can accept the increased talent level and see what happens.  The teams still young and has a lot of money coming off the books next year not to mention the moves you hate are generally considered at bargain levels compared to asking price so they aren’t exactly unable to be moved either.

          • Aug 1, 20134:25 pm
            by frankie d

            neither chauncey or crawford are good comparisons at all.
            chauncey has never in his entire career averaged the number of shots that jennings has averaged over his career.  his usage rate is much much lower and his assist percentage has been routinely higher.
            crawford is another bad example.  crawford has remained the same player – for better or worse – since he left michigan.  the difference has always been in how teams use him.  he started off as a PG, evolved into a combo guard and then settled into a role as a 6th man.  but he has always been a shoot first player who thinks shot first second and third.  he hasn’t changed.  coaches have just resigned themselves to the fact that he is that type of player and gotten smarter about how they use him.
            additionally, his true shooting and effective shooting percentages have been consistently better than the numbers jennings has put up.
            finally, the solution to a gunner like crawford, as coaches know, is to simply limit their time on the court.  when they start chucking up bad shots, take him out.   hard to do that with a starting point guard.  making jennings an off the bench gunner, a la crawford or jason terry, is certainly not the role that anyone has talked about with jennings.  however, that is typically what is done with a guy who can’t stop taking bad shots.  again, name a player who has actually changed his game – gone from being a chucker who takes bad shots to being a shooter who takes good shots – because of coaching input.
            what is see are players of that sort who simply get reined in because coaches keep a short leash on them and when they start chucking bad shots, they come out of the game.
            and if i had any faith that joe d was capable of flipping assets – like houston has the last few years – i would be happy to see joe d accumulate assets and then move them for better assets.  unfortunately, his pattern has been to get players, drive down their value by putting them in situations where they will not succeed, and then when they fail and their market value has bottomed out, dump them for zilch. for the textbook example of this move, just refer to the ben gordon to charlotte trade.

          • Aug 1, 20135:08 pm
            by Huddy

            So the flexibility of the new contracts is based on your not liking Joe Dumars?  

      • Aug 1, 20134:07 pm
        by Max


        The Bucks offered 4 for 40 as an extension to Jennings last year and were willing to sign him this year but not for the 12 million he wanted.   

        The Hawks matched Smith’s contract the last time he was a free agent and I just think they are in half assed bottoming out mode after deciding to trade Joe Johnson and realizing their run was over.    I say half assed because they signed Millsap on the cheap and retained Teague.   They had a lot of money this summer and didn’t bother to spend much of it though and that suggests to me they are looking to the future.   

        Both Jennings and Smith though are examples of things getting testy.   When the Bucks and Jennings couldn’t agree on terms and the Hawks matched the Bucks offer to Jeff Teague, they knew things were over.   Smith didn’t want the Hawks to match his offer the last time he was a free agent and let them know that.   I wouldn’t be surprised if he was going to be out the door no matter what the Hawks offered this summer since it seems like he didn’t want to be there since they last resigned him against his will.   

        • Aug 1, 20134:50 pm
          by frankie d


          bottom line is that they were both willing to let both players go.  neither team even bid on their player this summer.
          both players are young.  it says a lot about any young player when a team is willing to give up on that player.  especially when that player is acknowledged as being very talented. 

          • Aug 1, 20135:16 pm
            by Corey

            1- how do you know the Hawks didn’t make Smith an offer? You don’t. Unless you are his agent or work in the Hawks front office, you can’t.

            2- he was an unrestricted free agent who’s first choice was Detroit. He didn’t want to stay. Their offer was irrelevant, if they made one. He gave up on them.

          • Aug 1, 20137:56 pm
            by frankie d

            ok.  there were no published reports of an offer.  certainly doesn’t mean that there was not an offer. but it obviously means that there is a very real /possibility/probability that there was not an offer.  and obviously it was not a competitive offer cause he signed elsewhere for considerably less than he expected to get when he stated on the record that he expected to get a max contract.
            and guess what?  i believe him when he said, at his press conference that detroit was his only option.  i forget his exact words, but he plainly stated that he didn’t have any other offers on the table.
            i take him at his word.

          • Aug 1, 201310:11 pm
            by Quin

            The Houston Rockets very openly were after Smith, but the Howard situation became available. It says a lot to be the next biggest prospect after Dwight Howard.

        • Aug 2, 201312:15 am
          by frankie d


          so what if they were “after” smith.
          money talks, BS walks.
          they never put any money on the table, so it means nothing.
          they could have done it solely as a PR move to placate howard, smith’s atlanta homeboy.
          bottom line is that they never even made him an offer that he could accept or reject.
          money talks, BS walks. 

      • Aug 1, 20135:27 pm
        by Vic


        1. Ok if players that other teams don’t want are no good, then how did the 2004 Pistons win a championship?

        2. Have ever played basketball? What happens when someone bigger than everyone, stronger than everyone, or with more skill than everyone else walks onto the court? They get the ball. Can you imagine Smith or Jennings taking the same shot selection while playing with Greg Monroe & Andre Drummond that they did without them?

        If Drummond can make Will Bynum and Charlie V better, do you think he can make it easier on Jennings & Smith?

        If they can’t figure out how to feed Drummond & Monroe, that’s a coaching failure.

        • Aug 1, 20137:44 pm
          by Scott


          1. A championship without a superstar is an anomaly, which is what makes the Pistons’ 2004 championship so special, especially considering the All-star studded Finals foe (LA Lakers).
          2. Absolutely correct. It is on Mo Cheeks to encourage the perimeter players to feed the ball to the monsters we have in the post. This will cut down on wild shot selection in a major way, as long as Cheeks mandates post play, but those same perimeter players better be able to knock down the 3, because it will be imperative that they can when defenses collapse on those bigs, and make no mistake about it, Monroe,Drummond, and Smith are all above average passers. You also made a point that seems to be overlooked, and that is how much better Drummond seemed to make Bynum and Villanueva, amongst others. Drummonds likely impact on the starting unit has been largely unacknowledged. If we get a couple more bench shooters, we could be a more athletic version of the current Pacers in 1-2 years. We still need the team to mesh well with one another, the 2004 Pistons played team ball better than most championship teams I’ve seen, so like the GO TO WORK crew (no superstar) this Pistons team will need to emphasize team and sharing over personal statistics and pride. It’s a lot to ask of a restructured team , but absolutely not out of the realm of possibility, especially with guys like Billups/Sheed/Cheeks and company, that will demand respect and  accountability. To sum it up 3 point shooting consistency and accountability/TEAM orientation are the biggest obstacles. People will be pleasantly surprised by this team next year imo.

        • Aug 1, 20138:14 pm
          by frankie d


          i didn’t say they were no good, i implied that they were flawed to the point where their value was greatly impaired.  
          and in that situation, those flawed players get picked up on bargain prices, not above market prices, which is what i think dumars paid for both jennings and smith.
          who cares if jennings thought he was worth 12 million.  fact is he didn’t get a single offer this summer.
          smith as a max player?
          max money from where?  obviously no one else agreed.  and when you look at the other contracts handed out this summer, dumars clearly overpaid for smith, who – as he stated himself – had no other offers. 
          this is what he said:
          “This was my only option,” Smith said. “I didn’t have any other options.”
          it was a moment of rare and awkward candor.
          frankly, if he’d signed smith to a really good contract, say like the money that iggy got from golden state, it wouldn’t be quite so bad.  but dumars, as he typically has done over the last few years, conducted a lousy negotiation and paid more than he had to pay him.
          why would this matter?
          when or if they want to move him, his contract looks much better, the cheaper it is.  and a million dollars less may not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps or hurts. 
          i just don’t buy the idea that players like jennings will simply turn off that gunner’s instinct when they get to a better team.  guys like him just don’t think like that.  in fact, in 5 decades of watching nba basketball, i’ve only seen a situation like that only one time and it was a truly remarkable set of circumstances.
          tiny archibald had been a do-everything guard for kansas city and there were times when he took lots of bad shots.  in fact he took over 26 shots a game one year.  but when he went to boston when the celts were moving into the bird, parrish, and mchale era, he cut down on his shots dramatically and changed completely into a guy who passed first and only shot when he needed to shoot.  he averaged 8-9 shots a game during his boston career.
          obviously tiny was a hall of famer and his situation was unique.  he was a chucker and he took lots of bad shots because he was the only weapon on some bad teams.  
          is jennings smart enough to make that same adjustment?
          no one knows and i guess we will see.  i am not optimistic however and i will be pleasantly shocked if it does happen with him here.

  • Aug 1, 201312:45 pm
    by joe


    It’s Drummond team! Last year when Drummond was in the game the Pistons look like a whole different team and when Drummond was injured they look like shit, so it has to be Drummond team plus he’s untouchable!

  • Aug 1, 201312:48 pm
    by Some Dude


    People keep complaining about Jennings 39% shooting. But take a look at Billups % early in his career and even when he arrived in Detroit. He wasn’t cracking the 40% mark either, and he eventually improved. I see no reason why Jennings can’t do the same, and with Billups himself to mentor him.

    • Aug 2, 20137:13 am
      by oats


      That’s not really true. He was around 42% in Minny and his first year in Detroit. He did slip to 39% in the championship year, but he bounced back from that at 44% and remained in the 40s until the year he was traded. His first year in Minny was also his 4th season in the league, the same number of years Jennings has been in. You also need to keep in mind how ridiculously bad Chauncey’s situation was. That 4th year also saw him on his 4th team since entering the league. Chauncey’s situation was so bizarre that he doesn’t make for a good comparison to much of anyone.
      Here’s the more important thing, shooting percentage is a bad way of measuring scoring efficiency because it doesn’t account for the extra point of a made 3 and it doesn’t account for free throws. True shooting percentage is a much more effective means of determining efficiency. In Minny he was at .538 and .555, both pretty good. In Detroit his worst shooting year was that championship season, but he was still a good shooter at .550. The last two years Jennings was at .514 and .510. That’s a bit below average. The two years before that he was below .500, which is well below average. So Chauncey was still a pretty efficient scorer while Jennings is not. If you are curious, there are a few things that give Chauncey that advantage. He took a higher percentage of shots from 3, made a higher percentage of his 3s, and got to the line more often despite taking fewer shots. That is a huge efficiency advantage to Billups. So in short, Chauncey had far less progress to make to become an efficient scorer because he already was one while Jennings isn’t.

  • Aug 1, 201312:54 pm
    by frankie d


    this is from the bucks version of pistonpowered, bucksbetball.
    the writer gives one very good reason why this is a horrible trade.
    frankly, i cannot believe that many of the fans who are supportive of the trade have watched jennings play over the last couple of years.  all you have to do is watch him play – and then look at his numbers – to know what a disaster he is going to be here in detroit.
    can  he get his numbers? sure.  but plenty of nba players could get those numbers if they dominated the ball and shot as much as he does.
    imho, he is a pintsized version of charlie villenueva.
    “He may not be much of a point guard yet, but Knight does have the potential to be one of the  ”three and D” players that are desired are floor-spacing cogs among contending teams already flush with talent.  Knight shoots from long-range about the same as Jennings, but he defends much better than the old Brandon did.
    If the team’s core identity going forward is Larry Sanders and defense, then Brandon Jennings had to go. For as badly as Monta Ellis was maligned for his soft defense, it was Jennings who was the hole in the bottom of the leaky boat. The Bucks were 13 points better per 100 possessions with Jennings off the court than on, and for that he had to go. (They were +3.7 with Monta on.) The Bucks couldn’t afford to pay him like a featured core piece if he wasn’t going to defend.
    On the other hand, Knight burned two embarrassing plays into the memories of his observers: getting crossed up by Kyrie Irving in the Rising Stars Game and getting smothered by a DeAndre Jordan dunk.  Is he a bad defender? Not by a long stretch. Among Pistons players with 500 or more minutes, Detroit was a team-best +4.5 points per 100 possessions with Knight on the court.  And that difference was made up largely on the defensive end as they yielded 7.8 fewer points per 100 possessions with Knight playing.
    The Bucks essentially exchanged their worst defender for the Pistons’ best.  Maybe Jennings will turn that around in Detroit, but he wasn’t going to do it in Milwaukee.
    - See more at: http://www.bucksketball.com/2013/08/milwaukees-newest-combo-guard-a-break-down-of-brandon-knight/#sthash.ewyZG11m.dpuf
    it won’t take long for pistons fans to start longing for the days when they actually had a decent backcourt defender.  a few times watching jennings do his step aside and wave act at a ballhankler – his specialty is trying to poke the ball away from the ballhandler who has scooted by him – and they will long for knight’s defense.

  • Aug 1, 201312:57 pm
    by Jack56


    His 3 pt% is decent…his overall shooting % isn’t great, but that number is influenced far more by offensive scheme and coaching.

    Is it possible that the Piston’s scheme and coaching is no better than the Bucks…yes it is possible, but not likely…IF Cheeks gets a good X & O assistant and they teach Jennings to pass to the bigs….he can be a borderline All-Star candidate.


    • Aug 1, 20131:29 pm
      by frankie d


      cheeks is the most laissez faire coach in the league.  by far.  he is the embodiment of the coach who rolls the ball out on the floor and lets the players play.  
      imho, that is the absolute worst kind of coach for a guy like jennings.
      fans keep talking about jennings getting better with better coaching and because of a mentor like chauncey.  they forget one crucial element in that equation:  the player has to be receptive to that kind of input.  the player has to want that kind of help.  from what has been reported and from the on-court result, it is pretty clear that jennings is actually pretty resistant to coaching input.  i have no idea how he would react to an older player like chauncey trying to help, but one of the reasons skiles just up and left milwaukee and had been trying to get out of there for a couple of years was that he was tired of dealing with guys like jennings and his attitude.
      if skiles got fed up with him and threw up his hands, having a guy like cheeks try to manage him – cheeks, a guy who got cussed out on more than one occasion by his portland players – is not going to be easy.
      sorry, but his entire off-season looks like an even worse cluster—- than the ’09 debacle.  
      you’d at least have thought that joe d would have learned from that screw up and that he would not repeat the same mistakes.  
      i guess that would have been too much to expect. 

  • Aug 1, 20131:19 pm
    by MIKEYDE248


    This sounds exactly like when Stuckey came into the league.  He was eating up defenses and slashing to the hole.  This was one of Joe’s downfalls, thinking that he was going to replace Billups.  I thought he was going to be a poor mans Duane Wade, then it seemed like he stopped doing all the things that made him an impactful player.

    Hopefully Jenning’s didn’t peak in his first 11 games like Stuckey did.  Maybe both players just need a change of scenery…at least we can hope that for both players.

    • Aug 1, 20132:38 pm
      by stuckeyandwhoever


      Stuckey didn’t PEAK really until his third season, long ways away from 11 games then even out.  And is loving that the teams direction is win now.  Billups has endorsed him when most of the city left him out to dry.  Tank mode three years in a row AT least! is huge for players development.  (People don’t realize that)  But thats how much a two pistons legends think of him and how he could handle it.  These off season moves were thought of way in advance, although not specific players.  Frankly I would think this would be the best time to move the team to downtown.  I lived 10 minutes away from the palace and it was good for me going to games but a sports town and state can’t do that for their basketball team.  Not to mention the obvious fact to help the D.  

      Jennings will be better not numbers wise but on decision making.  I had him on my fantasy team last year and at times the best player, but also in the same week one of the weakest.  
      @frankie it is good Cheeks is rolling the ball out and saying earn your bread.  Because even the bench players on this team got too lazy.  JJ..  I could see this team making a long good run the next few years.  But to make every media station affiliated with detroit sports happy I am giving Stuckey one more year to make the situation in Detroit work.

    • Aug 1, 20132:40 pm
      by Gordbrown


      This is so filled with distortions that are repeated over and over again, I don’t know where to start. Billups was traded for a guard and he only moved into the starting lineup because of injuries. Stuckey’s performance as a point guard deteriorated when the talent around him also deteriorated. This was for a couple of reasons. As pointed out up thread, a point guard is generally dependent on the ability of those he is required to pass. Also, every team in the league quickly learned that doubling Stuckey was the key to beating the Pistons. I will concede that Stuckey made this easier by getting frustrated and therefore going out of control. On the other hand, to whom was he going to pass. Finally, as the  talent improved, Stuckey was moved to make way for Knight (albeit originally because of injuries, but once he was in there Knight seemed unmovable, the coup de grace being shifting him to starting 2 when Calderon came). I would like to see Jennings start but only if he can beat out Stuckey, Billups start at the 2 and lots of Stuckey and KCP off the bench (and none of our guards having to hold down minutes at the 3). I think this can work

  • Aug 1, 20131:19 pm
    by boogie


    can someone give me the starting five and bench

  • Aug 1, 20132:58 pm
    by King Ryan


    Frankie D – would ur model for building a team be the same as what the bucks and hawks have been doing? 

    • Aug 1, 20133:14 pm
      by frankie d


      the hawks, yes.  i think they have been making very good moves.  
      i like 3 of their draft choices – schroeder and noriega  and muscala – and getting rid of smith was a great move, though they should have gotten something for him.  keeping teague was also smart.
      and getting the SA assistant to sign on as their head coach was also smart.
      over all, i think they’ve had a solid off season.
      the bucks?
      i am not sure.  i certainly like their coach better than cheeks.  and getting rid of jennings was also a positive move.  but they seem to be going around in circles in some ways, so i wouldn’t endorse everything they’ve done.  overall, however, they’ve done a better job than detroit.  but that bar is really low. 

  • Aug 1, 20133:16 pm
    by DtownBboys


    1. brandon jennings
    2. kcp
    3. j smith 
    4. moose 
    5. penguin 
    6. scoring datome/ defense tony mitchell 
    7. billups/singler/bynum 

  • Aug 1, 20134:35 pm
    by JOB


    competing for 2 gaurd in camp/preseason: Billups, KCP, Stuckey. Billups might be a 20min/game “starter” to add another 3pt shooter.
    I know some people don’t like the Smith and Jennings signing, but then who would you have signed?? this summer or next? I think every negative comment needs to start with YOUR better signing idea. Who knows, we’ve got another 18m freeing up, so we might get that 3rd player anyway

    • Aug 1, 20135:16 pm
      by tarsier


      The Pistons may have $18M coming off the books, but they won’t have that much cap space unless they decide to renounce Monroe (he has a $10M+ cap hold next season).

  • Aug 1, 20135:32 pm
    by King Ryan


    It says something about the players OR something about two teams who have a history of being dysfunctional.

    • Aug 1, 20135:42 pm
      by frankie d


       ”"a history of being dysfunctional.”
      unhh….let’s see.  
      one of those teams has made the playoffs every year for the last 4 years – the hawks – and the other team has made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years – the bucks.
      but the team that scooped up players that those two teams dumped and didn’t want?
      that team has NOT made the playoffs for the last 4 years.
      and those teams have a history of being dysfunctional?

      • Aug 2, 201312:23 am
        by Max


        He said history Frankie.   The Bucks haven’t won jack shit since they had Kareem and Oscar and the Hawks haven’t won since Pettit in the 50s.   They each have one title that is ancient history and the Pistons have three titles in modern times.  Neither team has ever had a great sustained run and the Pistons have had two.   

        You want dysfunctional history?   How about when the Hawks were on course to have their best season ever and people who had called Dominique selfish for years were marveling at how he was playing such a good team game that he should be an MVP candidate……….and this was during Jordan’s Bulls first run of three titles and the Hawks actually had the better mid-season record.   Do you know what the Hawks did? They traded the greatest and most beloved player in the history of their franchise who would go on to lead 3 more franchises in scoring for the year before his career ended for a half a season of Danny Manning before he bolted for the Suns and they lost him for nothing.   Doesn’t get more dysfunctional than that.   

        • Aug 2, 20131:04 am
          by frankie d


          i think recent history is more important than decades ago stuff.

  • Aug 1, 20135:38 pm
    by kamal


    Frankie D, would you say that Paul Pierce was a chucker early in and in the middle of his career but reigned in his shooting when he got better players?

    Kobe Bryant attempted the most in his career the season the Lakers also started Smush Parker, Brian Cook, and Kwame Brown.

    When you got credible guys to pass it to, most players pass it.  Jennings, if he is the diva people say he is, will be happy if he’s one of the league leaders in assists, since stats matters to guys like that.  And if he’s putting up big assist numbers, I’d like to believe the Pistons are doing fine in the win/loss column. 

  • Aug 1, 20135:44 pm
    by frankie d


    comparing pierce and kobe to jennings?
    c’mon…are you serious? 

    • Aug 1, 20137:05 pm
      by kamal


      I see your point.  I wasn’t comparing him to those guys.  I guess what I was trying to do was show that when talented guys don’t have a whole lot of other scoring options around them, they tend to jack up a lot of shots ( a lot of them bad) because they feel this is the only way to win.  When talented guys get some better teammates, they usually shoot less (especially the bad shots).  

      I don’t believe Jennings will take 17 attempts per game with the Pistons.  I don’t even think he takes 15.  Somewhere in the 12-14 range will be fine with me.  As long as he gets the ball to our frontline and hit the open 3, he should do good this year.

  • Aug 1, 20135:46 pm
    by King Ryan


    if ur satisfied with just makin the playoffs then oi should be ecstatic with these moves 

  • Aug 1, 20135:48 pm
    by King Ryan



  • Aug 1, 20135:59 pm
    by King Ryan


    We got the players who led their respective teams to the playoffs… The lakers weren’t dysfunctional at all last year… Lol!!!

  • Aug 1, 20136:05 pm
    by King Ryan


    Total championships for bucks and hawks in my lifetime? 0

  • Aug 1, 20136:06 pm
    by King Ryan



  • Aug 1, 20138:23 pm
    by Tempts4ever


    Why Brandon Jennings Is Still A Free Agent
    or now:
    Why Brandon Jennings (Was) A Free Agent (for so long)
    Under new management now let’s hope Jenningsis will change for the better with a new cast.

    • Aug 1, 20138:26 pm
      by Tempts4ever


      Jenningsis? No. Not Jennings’ sis. But her brother, Brandon Jennings. Yeah, that’s the guy I mean.

  • Aug 1, 20139:07 pm


    theres needs to be a limited amount of words per comment, you guys write way too much

    • Aug 2, 201312:20 am
      by Jon


      i’m glad someone else thinks so too. i end up skipping most of frankie d’s posts bc of their length and in the past when i have read them they just repeat the  same thing over and over

  • Aug 1, 20139:46 pm
    by acr


    I liked the tongue-in-cheek title of this post Dan, nice.

  • Aug 1, 201310:37 pm
    by mike


    Sorry, but I can’t accept you calling Jennings just “an acceptable PG”. His production compares evenly with a lot of the top young PG’s. If you examine even closer his h2h matchups against said PG’s, he either wins or at least holds his own against more of them than not.

    He’s a legit all-star caliber PG imo, who can matchup with almost all of the top PGs in the East that we have to worry about, with the lone exception being Rose, who is a matchup problem for every team.

    But if you look up the h2h vs the starting PGs on all the teams expected to be in or competing for the playoffs, he gives us someone who can match up with all the other ones besides Rose. That’s not just better than what we had, that’s light years better and invaluable. We’ve been routinely owned at the PG position for the last 5 yrs. A position we used to never have matchup issues with when Chauncey was here, To finally have that PG again that gives us an even matchup at that position almost every night, is way more than just “an acceptable PG”.

    I don’t know if you are intentionally underselling him to curb the hype, but he’s a great PG and its time people started to realize the talent we just acquired, and stop acting like its just some marginal move. 

    • Aug 2, 201310:41 am
      by tarsier


      “He’s a legit all-star caliber PG imo”

      Just how many players in the league do you think are all-star caliber? 

      • Aug 2, 20131:17 pm
        by Max


        All Stars are like Presidents, Mayors and Governors.   Once you are elected, you are always an all star.   That’s just one factor that makes the field bigger than 24.  Another are the players who are quite obviously All Star level who haven’t made it yet.   Stephon Curry isn’t officially an all star yet but he’s better than most of the player who are.  

        • Aug 3, 20131:01 am
          by tarsier


          It’s true that you don’t cease to be an all-star, but you do cease to be all-star caliber. Are you trying to tell me that Chris Kaman is all-star caliber?

          • Aug 3, 20133:06 pm
            by Max

            No.   But you’re wrong if you think only 24 players are all star caliber every year.  

  • Aug 2, 20137:06 am
    by Corey


    Last year’s starting 5 much of the year:  Monroe, Maxiel, Prince, Singler, Knight.

    there was only 1 good NBA starter  in that list. Prince used to be, but now is a backup. This team had one quality starter.  They had Drummond, but he really didn’t seem ready for starter minutes early on.

    this year we can project: Drummond, Monroe, Smith,  ???, Jennings.  Fit may well be an issue, but the te now has 4 quality nba starters in its starting lineup, and has an 8th pick to hopefully fill the one whole by season end. And they have several more rotation quality players on the bench: Billups, Bynum, Stuckey,   Jerebko, Singler, plus maybe Mitchell, Datome.

    That is one heck of a lot better, and I am excited to see it on the court. Nitpick if you wish, but I’m so glad we’re in nitpicking stage instead of “oh my god they suck” stage.

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