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Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings among the best/worst newcomers in NBA

Who’s the best newcomer in the NBA? Josh Smith finished fourth in ESPN’s preseason prognostication, and Brandon Jennings ranked eighth.

Who’s the worst newcomer in the NBA, relative to expectations? Smith holds the No. 2 spot, and Jennings is fifth.

So, that clears up absolutely nothing.

The only other player in the top 10 for both categories is Dwight Howard, and that speaks more to the oversized expectations he faces with the Rockets than anything else. Smith and Jennings are truly polarizing, which should make the upcoming Pistons season so intriguing.

Smith is paid as if he’ll be among the best newcomers, and Jennings is paid as if he might be among the worst, which is why the Pistons were wise to grab the point guard in a sign-and-trade. With Smith, it seems the Pistons were more focused on adding talent no matter the cost.

Both Smith and Jennings are gambles in the truest sense of the word. Like the rest of ESPN’s voters, I have little clue which way it will go.

165 Comments

  • Aug 27, 20132:08 pm
    by jerrific

    Reply

    These are the types of moves Joe D makes. He seems to like going after the polarizing,  often written off, boom or bust type. 

    • Aug 27, 20135:42 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Ugh. Does he? I’ll be god damned if that guy doesn’t get credit for everything like he’s some mastermind who’s pulling the strings of the entire league. Adding Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings wasn’t this unusually risky, outside the box type of shocker. He’s upgrading the roster in whatever way he can. If Andre Iguodala was willing to sign here, he’d be here too. Same with Chris Paul or whoever. Smith was the third best free agent out there, and Jennings was a clear step up over Knight. They both came here on reasonable contracts. It’s not any riskier than whatever the average GM is doing. I mean, shit, the guy’s been utterly lifeless for five year solid and is in the last year of his contract. What the hell did you expect to happen this summer?
       
      The only truly WILD swing-for-the-fences move he ever did was the Iverson-Billups trade. You want to say Sheed fits the same category? I mean, he was a polarizing character with question marks, but you can’t act like it was some risky, visionary move and at the same time say Joe “fleeced” the Hawks and stole Sheed. It’s one or the other. You can’t have it both ways.
       
      These are polarizing players, but that’s WHY they were available in the first place. They represent clear talent upgrades on a team that had some of the least talent in the league, and are exactly the kinds of players everyone should have expected Joe to go for. It’s not like this is some big market where he can get anyone he wants, and it’s not like he’s going to sit on his cap space and lose his job. By definition, these are prototypical Detroit acquisitions.

      • Aug 27, 201311:15 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Come on Otis, some of us love eating the shit sandwich’s we get given. All we need is someone to tell us how great they taste so we can munch munch away and enjoy it.

      • Aug 28, 20133:24 pm
        by CityofKlompton

        Reply

        I think he gets that kind of credit because he put the 2004 team together with a string of clever moves, and a lot of fans are hoping that he is about to make a repeat.

        • Aug 28, 20139:54 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          I mean, I understand why he gets so damn much credit for farting or whatever, and how most of the people in this town think he’s Jesus risen from the grave. And credit where it’s due for a handful of very beneficial moves over the course of two years, but it’s bizarre that he gets credit for stuff that’s not even based in reality. Like he’s some wheeling, dealing wild man.
           
          Stackhouse for Rip was a bold move that worked out. Chauncey for Iverson was a bold move that couldn’t have worked out worse. After that… hm. Not much boldness. The man has had a pitiful team for five years, no hope of the playoffs in any of the last four, and he was never once a seller at the deadline. Not once. I’m 100% sure he could have traded Maxiell at either of the last two deadlines. Would have been interesting if he’d pulled the trigger on Tayshaun for a pick and Caron Butler’s bird rights. Would have been VERY splashy if he’d taken up Boston on their offer that would have landed us Rondo and Ray Allen’s huge expiring contract for three guys who ended up outstaying their welcome (Tay, Rip, Stuck), but no.
           
          I know we don’t like to see our heroes fall from grace, but it’s not like Joe got fired before he could take one last stab at building an actual basketball team again. We don’t need to make excuses anymore or rewrite history. All things considered, he’s probably an average drafter, average at trades, average period. He just happened to have concentrated all of his best moves over two consecutive years and somehow managed to basically cancel out all that stuff with nearly a decade of buffoonery.

          • Aug 28, 201311:16 pm
            by CityofKlompton

            I can see what you’re saying.  I agree he gets a little too much lingering credit for the moves building the 2004 team, but that’s the kind of thing an NBA championship does for your credibility.

            However, I think he is a rather adept drafter as a whole, especially when it comes to late first round/second round draft picks.  Sure he drafted Daye and Darko (though, a lot of other teams would have drafted Darko in the same spot), but he also drafted Mehmet Okur, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Delfino, Amir Johnson, Jason Maxiell, Arron Afflalo, Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler, each at the 23rd pick or later in the draft.  That’s incredible value considering where these players were selected.  It may not seem like it, but I would be willing to bet that Joe D has one of the better “batting averages” as far as draft picks go.

          • Aug 29, 201310:13 am
            by tarsier

            Klompton,

            Yes, Dumars has done a very good job in the draft. I have long maintained that while I don’t trust him as a GM, I would love to keep him on in the scouting department (impossible though that may be since another team would probably give him a GM job).

          • Aug 29, 201310:54 am
            by Otis

            I call him an average drafter, because he’s crashed and burned about as much as he’s succeeded. However, when he succeeded, what did he do with the talent he gets so damn much credit for? As in, if he really was this talent expert who KNEW what he was getting, why does he consistently squander it??
             
            “Wow, Joe is a drafting genius! He drafted Arron Afflalo! What a find! Joe must know something we don’t! Wait, what’s this? He’s swiftly thrown Afflalo into the garbage for a sliver of cap space, you say? Well, what matters most is that he DRAFTED the guy.” No. Doesn’t hold water. Seems quite a bit more like he got lucky, had no idea what he had in Afflalo even after he had the guy on the roster for two seasons. What kind of “genius” gets a steal like that in the draft, watches his stellar work ethic and sees him get better and better, then dumps him for nothing? It reflects that he’s probably been getting pretty lucky with some of these late picks.

          • Aug 29, 20132:03 pm
            by tarsier

            He’s certainly gotten lucky. But he has gotten lucky in the draft more consistently than like anyone.

            You think he is an average drafter? Who has drafted better? Yeah, there’s a lot of misses mixed in with the hits. But, by and large, when drafting out of the lottery, an average drafter will have probably at least 3 times as many misses as hits. 

          • Aug 29, 20132:04 pm
            by tarsier

            Drafting Afflalo didn’t end up doing the Pistons any good. But it is evidence that Dumars is a good drafter and a poor GM.

          • Aug 29, 201310:48 pm
            by Otis

            Well, he got insanely UNlucky in 2003 (anyone picking #2 takes Darko there), missing out on some serious franchise altering talent. Then he got insanely lucky in 2010 and 2012 when Monroe and Dre fell to him. Those sort of cancel each other out, I think. I’m just not going to give him any credit for luck, because it doesn’t mean anything. I’m not going to play the “who drafts better” game. I hope you understand. But when we’ve got a PRESSING need for a PG in an astoundingly deep PG draft and Dumars picked Austin Daye, you’ll forgive me if I write any draft success off as a fluke.
             
            As for Afflalo, I know you’d like to compartmentalize drafting and other skills or whatever, but the unifying thread is talent evaluation and valuation. If he thought Afflalo was so great, he wouldn’t have given that fella away for nothing. He would have kept him. The message I get from that abysmal decision is that Joe had NO idea how good Afflalo was, how much he was worth, etc. Gives me the distinct impression he was just lucky to call the guy’s name on draft night.

          • Aug 30, 201312:02 am
            by CityofKlompton

            You sure do chalk a lot of things up to luck.  Also, not being willing to even try naming any GM’s who have drafted significantly better than Dumars only weakens your argument instead of helping it.  Sure, Monroe fell to us, but even after Joe selected him, there were still doubts about whether he was the best pick there. (Notice use of the word “some.”). Also, as tarsier points out, being lucky this frequently on draft night would be a little peculiar.  Would you also say that Ray Allen is less of a three point shooter because he was lucky enough to be wide open for a portion of his makes? Repeated successful value picks is a habit. Not luck. (Yes, much like undervaluing the same players once they’ve been here for a few years is also a habit.)

          • Aug 30, 201312:16 am
            by tarsier

            Klompton put it well, but let me just add this thought:

            Let’s for now ignore Dumars’ drafting in the lottery. I don’t think there is enough of a sample size to make many conclusions there, especially since virtually every pick he made there was a case of “almost anyone would have done the same thing” except for KCP. But it is obviously way too early to judge him on KCP.

            Later in the draft, Dumars has had an extraordinarily high hit rate. You can chalk it up to luck, but it has happened with enough regularity that if it is luck, we can probably just conclude that Dumars is a lucky guy. I don’t care if it’s luck or skill as long as it is consistent enough to make future projections. I want good players out of late draft picks, and I know of nobody–not one–who I would count on to make that happen more than Dumars.

            Also, revisionist history much with your claims on the Pistons’ pressing needs? When Daye was drafted, PG was not a glaring hole. Stuckey was coming off an inconsistent but very promising season and was easily the best building block on the team (and arguably the best player already). And Stuckey was seen as primarily a PG who could also play SG. 

          • Aug 30, 201311:03 am
            by Otis

            Here’s why I don’t play the “Who drafts better?” game: For one thing, I never paid much attention to NCAA basketball until the Pistons started living in the lottery, and the first time I even had an independent opinion of who the Pistons should draft was 2009*. And on top of that, I hardly pay any attention to what other teams in the league are doing. I only have enough passion to care about the Pistons, and the only REAL reason I would ever put energy into college basketball or how other teams draft is to play the “Who drafts better?” game, a boring game that has no winners. I’d have to pay pretty strict attention to college basketball and the needs of 29 teams I’m indifferent about. That stuff just doesn’t interest me. This leaves me free to pay acute attention to the Pistons, and Dumars has not impressed me as anything special in terms of his drafts.
             
            I agree with Tarsier that many of his highest profile picks have essentially been Auto-Drafts, where there’s a consensus pick most, if not anyone, would take. However, in 2003 (when Joe missed) there was a fair portion of fans who wanted Melo, and there was clearly some stupendous talent available. But when he took Monroe and Drummond, there were literally no other sensible options. Joe could have passed on Darko (proving a particular knack for drafting wisely) and defended his decision even if Darko panned out. There was no case to be made for Joe passing on Moose or Dre. As soon as the previous picks where made in those respective drafts, I didn’t have a shred of doubt who we were taking. Not even 1% anxiety that Joe would blow the pick, because there was nobody else within a thousand miles of those guys in terms of best available players.
             
            Then when you move on to his later picks, it’s just a mixed bag of hits and misses, and the way he’s treated some of these misses make it clear that they were lucky picks in the first place. I can think of two cases where his drafting and his handling of a player indicate that he KNEW what he was doing when he made the pick but BLEW IT as a general manager, and they’re Stuckey and Amir. He wildly overestimated Stuckey and screwed up his development, and he sat on Amir too long before jettisoning him for nothing. I don’t know if he let Amir’s once-considerable value deteriorate or if he just gave up and made a quick salary dump, but he couldn’t even just drop the guy; he settled for half the cap relief of Amir’s salary. (If he’d dumped Amir outright he would have had enough cap space to sign Wilcox and keep Afflalo.) But aside from those cases, there’s not enough of a pattern to indicate that he knows what he’s doing. For every Tayshaun Prince and Jason Maxiell there’s a Rodney White and a Mateen Cleaves. Considering that I genuinely believe that 100% of human beings with functioning brains would have picked Moose and Dre (who indisputably buoy Dumars’ drafting resume) should let me get away with saying he’s “nothing special” at drafting instead of “below average” without having to defend it.
             
            *Tarsier: PG was very much a pressing need in 2009. Before Stuckey was inserted into the starting lineup, when it was Rip and AI at guard, I was clamoring for him to start, because I thought he was the best distributor on the team. It didn’t take too long to figure out that, while he may have been the best PG around, he was still a crap PG. Couple that with the fact that Ty Lawson kicked ass and looked awesome, and you have the first season I ever really had a strong opinion as to who Detroit should draft. Couple THAT with the fact that Austin Daye is almost 7 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds soaking wet and you have a bust waiting to happen. A project big man is one thing, a project PG maybe in a different category… but a project SF?? Smack dab in the middle of the first round?? With legitimately promising players available who can help now? You’ve got to be kidding me. Given the available options, I could make the case that Daye made less sense than Darko.

          • Aug 30, 201312:03 pm
            by oats

            Sorry, but evaluating talent of players in the league and evaluating players in college are two separate skills. Just because Joe is good at finding guys with the potential to become solid NBA players does not mean he will properly evaluate them once they are in the league. What’s more, when that happened he was clearly overvaluing shooting and undervaluing defense. All of his comments were about getting shooters on the floor or having two guards that can pass and score. I don’t think I read a single quote where he talked about defense. I’m assuming this is in part an overreaction to the rule changes aimed at changing how the Pistons were playing defense. Dumars clearly made mistakes in figuring out what the league was going to look like, and he clearly missed on evaluating Gordon that year. Adding Gordon made Afflalo the 3rd SG, and that was an unneeded luxury behind Rip and BG.
             
            Those mistakes don’t retroactively counter the fact that he was the only one who seemed to even have a first round grade on Afflalo in the first place though. He got that decision right, even if he later over valued Gordon and jettisoned Afflalo.

          • Aug 30, 201312:04 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            “As soon as the previous picks where made in those respective drafts, I didn’t have a shred of doubt who we were taking.”

            That doesn’t differentiate them at all from 2003.

          • Aug 30, 20133:40 pm
            by Max

            Oats>Otis.  

          • Aug 30, 20136:15 pm
            by CityofKlompton

            Otis, my favorite part about your last argument, for multiple reasons, is the fact that you said you won’t play the “who’s a better drafter” game because that would require you to watch a lot of college basketball AND pay attention to the rest of the NBA.

            First, a player’s college career has almost no relevance to whether he is a successful NBA draft pick or not.  This is measured by his solely (logically) by his success in the NBA.  His college play will dictate where he will be drafted, but it still means nothing because none of it counts for his NBA team.  You can only judge a player’s NBA production when considering how much of a value pick he was on draft night.  Everything before draft night is irrelevant.

            Second, the fact that you haven’t, and are not willing to, look to see what else is going on in the rest of the league means you have absolutely no benchmark for which to assess Joe Dumars’ drafting abilities because you have nothing to compare it against other than hindsight. How could you possibly know if he is actually a good drafter or not?  By this logic, for all you know, Joe Dumars could be the only guy manually drafting players while the rest of the league uses robots to make their picks.

  • Aug 27, 20133:03 pm
    by Oracle

    Reply

    While Smith & Jennings are both a risk, they’re mosly risky for Dumars!

    If they fail to pan out, both have very tradable contracts and unlike CV & Gordon, both have talent that makes trading them easier.

    Having said that, I believe that we will be successful with Smith beyond a doubt because defensively, he’s a real winner. Jennings is more up in the air because he’s a liability defensively.    

  • Aug 27, 20133:11 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    The Josh Smith signing is one I expect to fail but at least we didn’t give up too much to get him and hopefully we can trade him once Joe Dumars is eventually fired. The Brandon Jennings trade was like turning groceries into garbage. We traded away what could’ve turned into a fine meal for a half eaten box of greasy KFC.

    I’m just hoping these foolish moves don’t cause further damage.

    • Aug 27, 20134:37 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      At $4M less per season, Millsap is better value than Smith. But he is not “an all around better player”.

      • Aug 28, 20137:30 am
        by Raphael

        Reply

        Why is Paul Milsap so great?  He never pushed Utah into the playoffs. What has he accomplished?

        • Aug 28, 20138:15 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          A) “Why is Paul Millsap so great?”
          He’s not a great player. But he is a very good one, definitely worth over $9.5M/yr. Smith is arguably worth $13.5M/yr. But I’d rather have a guy who is definitely underpaid than one who is arguably underpaid.

          B) “He never pushed Utah into the playoffs.”
          There is absolutely no way the Jazz made the playoffs just a little over a year ago without Millsap. So, yes, he did push Utah in. In fact, I would argue that they would have also missed the postseason in 2008-09 without him.

          C) “What has he accomplished?”
          Over the past three years (since he became a full-time starter), let’s compare his per-36 numbers to Smith’s. It’s not really fair to compare per-game numbers because Millsap has been on a team with too many frontcourt options whereas Smith has been on one with too few. That has caused Smith to play a lot more minutes:

          Millsap:
          17.9 pts, 8.6 reb, 2.7 ast, 1.6 stl, 1.0 blk, 2.0 to, 51/31/76
          56% TS, 20.4 PER, .209 WS, 113 ortg, 105 drtg
          Smith:
          18.1 pts, 9.1 reb, 3.9 ast, 1.3 stl, 1.7 blk, 2.8 to, 47/30/62
          51% TS, 19.3 PER, .145 WS, 100 ortg, 100 drtg

          Millsap’s typical box score stats are right in line with Smith’s. Not quite as good, but really close (certainly not $4M/yr worse). And Millsap all-around beats Smith on advanced stats.

          • Aug 28, 20139:50 am
            by Some Dude

            I’d argue Smith is worth more, based on things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Their numbers are close. But what seperates them apart is, Smith quickness, jumping ability, overall athleticsm and versatility. Millsap is a 4, and it ends there, but Smith can do other things that are not statistical. Which is way Smith is worth more, and the better better player.

          • Aug 28, 201310:02 am
            by tarsier

            Some Dude, I mostly agree with you. Smith is worth more. Even just based on the numbers because it is more valuable to continue to put up those numbers over more minutes. But mostly because D doesn’t show up as well in the numbers as O does.

            I just don’t think he is worth $4M/yr more. 

            Also, I think Smith is just as much of a 4 as Millsap. Both can play SF. Both are much better suited to PF. 

          • Aug 29, 20139:26 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            You’re under-selling Josh Smith impact on the defenisve side of the ball…

            Per-36 minutes Brook Lopez offensively and defensively is a better (statstical player) player than Dwight Howard…

            There are Stats, and theres the good ole Skip Bayless eye Ball Test, and Josh Smith for years have been so close being mentioned as one of the league superstar…(NOT ELITE) but superstars…

            Attitude, decisions, and perception have held him back…. So i really dont put Milsap in the same league as Josh Smith

          • Aug 29, 201310:15 am
            by tarsier

            Disagree. Josh Smith, on both sides of the ball, is a it-or-miss guy prone to lapses. If Smoove were playing his best D 90% of the time, yeah, he’d be a superstar. But he doesn’t. Millsap doesn’t have the same tools, but he uses what he’s got more consistently. You overestimate the difference between the two players’ actual impacts.

          • Aug 29, 201311:01 am
            by Otis

            As a pretty big fan of Millsap and Smith, I’ll say this: I admire the hell out of Millsap for his work ethic and making the most of what he has, and by contrast it’s frustrating to see someone like Smith who doesn’t make the most of his physical gifts. But that said, at the end of the day, if the impact is similar, I’d rather have the guy who does as much with 70% effort and hope I can inspire him to reach his potential over the guy who’s BUSTING HIS ASS to achieve the same results and can’t really improve. Who knows? Maybe Smith finds his inspiration here and takes off.

          • Aug 29, 20132:06 pm
            by tarsier

            I agree with you Otis. But once again, the question isn’t whether that makes Smith worth more but whether that makes Smith worth $4M/yr more.

          • Aug 29, 201310:53 pm
            by Otis

            It’s basically a toss-up to me. I certainly wouldn’t balk at paying the extra 4 mil for Smith and his upside. I was trying to imply that. Good size for his position and room to grow? Sure. Heck, at those prices I’d take both and trade Monroe for a starting caliber SF. But then, I’d trade Monroe for a starting caliber SF either way.

  • Aug 27, 201310:24 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    at some point some writer have to be smart enough to say the Pistons have upgraded talent, and that alone makes them  MUCH, MUCH Better team…

    If Smith and Jennings was more liked and respected by the media people wouldn’t be dwelling on fit 

    • Aug 27, 201311:16 pm
      by Ryan

      Reply

      Does the talent fit well together?
      Do the new guys have basketball intelligence?
      Are they willing to play smarter and harder?
      Are they worth the money and what we gave up to get them?
      Has our, apparent, win now attitude cost us a shot at developing a real contender?

      If we get the wrong answer to any two of those five questions we’re sunk. I suspect that we’re going to get four or five wrong answers.
       

      • Aug 28, 201310:55 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        Your first four questions are all the same question…Will the new players make the necessary changes to fit on the team? (I agree thats an important question).
         
        What I don’t understand is how experimenting with these guys would “sink” the team if they do not fit.  The team has trade assets and expiring contracts (not to mention options between Smith and Monroe to move for someone else so that the remaining player can move to a more comfortable role).  The only real corner stone (Drummond) isn’t going anywhere.

      • Aug 28, 20139:40 pm
        by Anthony J.

        Reply

        Can everybody simmer down on the spacing issues. Yes we will struggle at spacing the floor BUT we are not the only team. There are a handful of teams who have 3 (and 4 in the case of OKC) starters who can’t effectively stretch the floor. A lot of these teams keep their shooters on the bench and bring them in when needed. Detroit is in that prime position to have an effective bench. You have decent-good 3 point shooters in Chauncey, Datome, Singler, CV31 and even Josh Harrelson. Spacing SHOULD NOT be as big of a deal as you all make it. As long as Mo Cheeks controls the game properly, I think this team will shut people up about the spacing issues. 

        Also I think the key to the starting lineup working will be Brandon Jennings and whoever starts at the 2. A lot of people were on the fence about trading B Knight for BJ (including myself) BUT looking at the starting lineup, this team NEEDS a facilitator and BJ has at least shown some type of ability in being a complete PG (scoring and passing. Somewhat like Chauncey) as opposed to B Knight who has not shown much grasp for the PG position. The reason why I say this team needs a facilitator is because of the fact that Smith and Drummond are both good at the PnR and they both move well without the ball. Brandon Jennings is a PG that can give the ball to Josh Smith while he’s cutting to the rim.

        Secondly, the SG position NEEDS a 3 & D guy. I would hate to put the rookie out there early but KCP is the player that I believe is the best fit for the starting SG gig. Stuckey will certainly squash all hopes of ANY floor spacing in the starting lineup. Chauncey wouldn’t give us much defense anymore which I think is important since BJ struggles on D. Singler and Datome should serve as the Mike Miller/Ray Allen of the team and should be used as specialist off the bench. Bynum and Siva are obviously undersized and they don’t provide much spacing either. Therefore I think it’s safe to say KCP will start.    

        • Aug 29, 20131:16 am
          by oats

          Reply

          Big men who have a 16′ jump shot are floor spacers. Perimeter players practically need that 3 point range to qualify, but since big men don’t cover ground as well even a 16′ jump shot has a similar value. So no, there aren’t many teams that only have 2 floor spacers at a time. For example, Ibaka is clearly a floor spacer. Durant is one of the best floor spacers in the game, and Sefolosha and his .419 shooting on 3s is also an elite floor spacer. That’s 3 guys who can shoot really well relative to their position.
           
          Here’s the list of teams with only 2 floor spacers from last year that are not terrible. Memphis and Denver. That’s it. Memphis is good because they have the second best defense in the league, and manage to piece together an average offense despite bad shooting in the starting lineup. Denver’s success came from dedication to Karl’s hyper aggressive system. They gambled a lot on defense in the search of turnovers because their offense relied on the fast break. When it got to the playoffs and teams were good enough to force them into more half court sets they struggled. I don’t know if the Pistons are willing to run like Denver, and I don’t think they look like a top 10 defense either. So that means the floor spacing issue could be a real problem.
           
          I feel like I need to add that for some people that Mo Cheeks is a large part of the concern. He’s been a bad and unimaginative coach in his two head coaching stints. I personally think the team has the potential to overcome the spacing issues, but I have exactly zero confidence that Cheeks will figure out how to do it. I’m hoping he proves me wrong, but the most likely ways to beat this spacing problem would require him to use a system that doesn’t look even a little bit like what he has done before schematically.
           
          As for SG, I’m leaning towards Chauncey as the opening day starter. I think the team will want to take it slow with KCP. It often takes young guys a while to adjust to the league, and why throw him into the fire before he is ready when there are other options that also make sense. I mean, if he struggles it can be bad for his confidence, and benching him would be ever worse for it. I’d rather hope that the Smith and Drummond pairing can limit the problems of the defense than rush the rookie into a role he might not be ready for. I think that is the likely way the team will go since they’ve taken it slower than was absolutely necessary with most of the rookies. The only one to really get fast tracked into a starting role was Knight, and that was due to injuries. So, with that in mind, I’m leaning towards Chauncey as the favorite since he is the single most proven 3 point shooter on the roster. I also think that Singler is more likely to get the nod to start the season. I think KCP’s defense should allow him to take the job eventually this year, I just don’t think it will be in the first 30 games or so.

          • Aug 29, 20132:03 pm
            by Anthony J.

            You bring up some good points Oats. I do admit, having a big that can consistantly shoot the mid-range is a luxury no doubt. I just hope Moose or even Smith can develop a solid mid-range game (not including the long 2′s from Smith.)

            So true about Cheeks but I’m hoping that our pretty solid bench will force him to make imaginative and good lineup decisions. 

            Seeing Chauncey in the starting lineup is fair enough for me. I would personally hate to see Singler back at the SG spot. I like Singler and all but I think he is much better as a role player off the bench. Hopefully Mo Cheeks gets his lineups right :) 

          • Aug 29, 201311:02 pm
            by Otis

            Um, on the whole big man floor spacing thing, having a power forward who spreads the floor reasonably well isn’t some elusive, priceless commodity. We have one on the roster, and it’s Josh Smith. The standard by which a PF can spread the floor isn’t the same as a SF. Josh Smith spreads the floor plenty for a PF. His abilities when it comes to ballhandling and passing mean he can pretty much stretch an opposing PF out to the three point line, even if he can’t reliably knock down threes.
             
            The difference is that if he’s at PF, there’s much more room to operate, as he’s likely to have three teammates on the perimeter who can spread the floor with long-range shooting. But if he’s at SF, he’s got Drummond and Monroe and their defenders clogging things up. The standard is very different.

          • Aug 30, 201312:52 pm
            by oats

            @ Otis. Josh Smith is an unbelievably terrible shooter. It’s not just no 3 point shots. He can’t shoot anywhere outside of 3′. He shoots .321 on all shots outside of 3′. That’s awful  If you are arguing that his passing is enough to make him a floor spacer, then Monroe is a floor spacer as well. Smith averages 4.2 assists and 3 turnovers a game. Monroe averages 3.5 assists and 2.9 turnovers. The difference between the two is pretty marginal, especially since Monroe’s youth suggests that he is still improving as a passer. So if Smith is plenty good as floor spacer, then so is Monroe. Since Smith is playing SF, that leaves a situation where Smith is clogging things for Monroe and not the other way around. 
             
            I guess you could be arguing that it’s only when all 3 are together that floor spacing is a problem. That would make some sense if it wasn’t for the fact that you only singled out Smith as a floor spacing PF. You also were complaining about the Monroe/Drummond front court not having enough floor spacing even before the Smith signing, so I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that is not the argument you are making. Anyways, you are definitely wrong on one of your two points. Either Smith is not a floor spacer, or your past arguments about Monroe not being one were wrong. 

          • Aug 30, 20133:42 pm
            by Max

            Oats cleans Otis’ clock every time.  

    • Aug 27, 201311:36 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “If Smith and Jennings was more liked and respected by the media people wouldn’t be dwelling on fit ”

      That’s true. If they were the sorts of players who didn’t appear to need to be put in a very specific situation to succeed, that would both make the media respect them more and make the fit not as big a concern. 

    • Aug 28, 20138:38 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I don’t know your criteria for “MUCH, MUCH Better”. I expect the Pistons to be significantly better. I’d project this team as a 38-47 win squad. Is that “MUCH, MUCH Better”?

      • Aug 28, 201310:37 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        i can see 47-38…

        I keep saying the same thing because its so simple….

        if Josh Smith has a typical season we are talking 17-18ppg 8-9rebs 3-3,5 ast 2blks 1.4 stls…folks not matter how you look at it he is a HUGE Upgrade on this roster…. We all know he is NOT going to play 38-40 minutes on the wing… Most nights he is going to win his match up he’ll either be too big and strong or too athletic, and if he doesnt win his match it he is atleast going to make it close… only 3 players in the league will give him season problems Lebron, Durant, and Melo…

        Josh stats say he plays better as the game progresses, he makes better decision offensive..once again probably because by time the 3rd qrt rolls around he is exploiting his mismatch…

        Defensively we cant even start to image the impact he will have not even talking about steals and blocks, we struggled against smaller line ups with stretch 4′s, this year that wont be the issue… also defensively he and drummond will force team to take more jumpers, which will lead to easier offensive in tranisition

        Overrall look at it this way , Singler and Maxiell combined averaged … around16ppg 10rebs 2stls 2blks per-game…and shot around 43-44% ….. Smith production alone is better than two of our last year starters….

        as far as Jenning, He is what we wanted knight o be…a guy that can score the ball, but also facilitate the offense, I can see him averaging 8-9 ast easy….he has incredible handles, and speed..and runs the pick and roll just as well as any PG in the league…

        so yeah…MUCH,MUCH BETTER….

        im not worried about fit because the worst case scenario is he splits time at Sf and PF… Greg and Drummond play around 30 minutes each, and Right Now…Drummond might be one of the best Pick and roll defending bigs in the league…he can step out and defend on the perimeter….we have seen it happen taime and time again… if not something that you want to be exploited but right now in his youth he has that ability…

        So yeah i can see 47-38

        • Aug 28, 201310:52 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          47-38 isn’t happening because that would require playing 85 games.

          What I was saying was anywhere from 38 wins to 47 wins, which also means anywhere from a 6 seed to a 10 seed.

          Obviously Smith and Jennings improve this team. But how much? Is 10 more wins “MUCH, MUCH BETTER”? Because I feel like that’s the absolute most you can bank on.

          • Aug 28, 201311:22 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            sorry misunderstood you and i did not math!

            i dont think Josh smith and Jenning alone…but assuming Greg plays well even if his scoring takes a hit, but he becomes more effective, and Drummond doesnt even have to score..i mean even he gives us 10-11ppg with 12-14 rebs, along with being just an imitimdating defensive presense….

            Assuming , Guys like Billups, Singler, Datome, and pope can be consistent outside threat combined…meaning if singler is having a bad shooting night…pope picks it up..if Pope is off Datome can step ect….

            Asmmuing, we get points from Stuckey and Bynum off the bench….

            what Smith and Jenning will do is make the offense & defense easier for those other guys…. i just think most people are look at it wrong…

          • Aug 28, 201311:43 am
            by tarsier

            If Drummond is typically sharing the court with one of Monroe or Smith, expecting 12-14 rpg from him seems a bit much.

          • Aug 28, 20131:35 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            I actually believe Smith Rebounds will take a hit by design, but he will score more especially in transition

  • Aug 27, 201311:36 pm
    by food4thought

    Reply

    One thing that no one has mentioned (at least not that I am aware of) is that because Smith can drop down and play the 4, which is probably his best position, we can now consider trade possibilities for Monroe… if Monroe can bring in an elite (or potentially elite) perimeter scorer/wing defender, we could then shift Smith down to the PF spot and be a pretty complete team.

    With his fair market value contract, we could also do he same with Smith.  Also, this gives the Pistons insurance should Monroe decide to not resign with the Pistons.

    I will withhold judgment on Jennings until I see him play for a season with this more talented (though unbalanced) roster.   Can he reign in his shot selection?  Can he be at least average defensively?  Time will tell.   

    • Aug 27, 201311:42 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Clearly you haven’t spent much time on these comment boards. After the Smith signing, they were getting lit up with discussions about whether or not Monroe should be traded and what for.

    • Aug 28, 20131:41 am
      by Some Dude

      Reply

      Monroe is too young and valuable to trade. The Pistons will extend him next year. To have 3 very solid big men will be beneficial for the Pistons. Most teams would give an arm and a leg to have the likes of Smith, Monroe, Drummond on their team. And besides, there aren’t any good young “elite” wing players right now. Unless you consider Lebron, Melo, Gay, but that’s not happening and they’re aging. So no, giving up Monroe would not be wise. 

      • Aug 28, 201310:38 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        LeBron, Melo, Gay? One of these names very much does not belong. There have to be at least a dozen wings I’d take over Gay.

      • Aug 29, 201311:13 am
        by Otis

        Reply

        Some Dude: So you have a hot boner for three big men. Big whoop… But what if the team is like an 8 seed, struggles on offense, Monroe and Drummond get abused by defenses that won’t let them get within ten feet of the basket? What then? Do you extend Monroe and hold onto him for eternity just because you like the boner you get from having three top big men who can’t play together and rather than make each other better, you end up with a team that is MUCH less than the sum of its parts?
         
        There is only one player who is too good to trade in the entire league, and it’s the guy who is the single best player. Today it’s LeBron. Monroe is slow-footed, a total shitfest on defense, can’t shoot the ball, and has spent almost his entire career (this wonderful career that’s somehow made him untouchable) at center. He’s very valuable and I’d say more likely than not the team would be better off trading him before giving his no-defense, no-shooting, unathletic, can’t jump ass a max extension.
         
        Also, as an aside that nobody ever mentions: The Pistons have only one (1) five year max contract they can offer under the new CBA. As much as Monroe might have been told he’s king tits and think his sluggish, one-dimensional game makes him the sexiest man alive, that extension is going to Drummond. So Monroe is going to settle for a four year max contract. How do you suppose he’ll react to that? It’ll be the clearest possible way of letting him know in concrete terms that the team values Drummond more. Will he still be the perfect gentleman golden boy once the franchise that’s been sucking him off for his entire career tells him to his face that he’s second fiddle? You people oversimplify everything. “Monroe is good. Don’t trade him!” Ugh.

        • Aug 29, 20132:13 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Why do people insist upon sexualizing a fan’s appreciation for players? It’ stupid, offensive, insulting, and makes me want to ignore the entirety of your argument.

          You can just as easily say “So you really like those three big men” instead of “So you have a hot boner for…”

          Do you feel like wording it that way would take away some of your argument’s oomph?

          • Aug 29, 201311:12 pm
            by Otis

            Ugh. It’s called “style points,” Tarsier.
             
            The reason I say it is because it’s a delusional, bizarre fantasy that Monroe and Drummond are particularly compatible. I paid very, very close attention to the time they shared on the court, and the offense was stagnant and miserable much more often than not. Monroe was exposed as a fraud out of the high post, and was basically frozen with no ballhandling ability and no room to operate. The notion that this team was “set” at PF and C with these two, who each looked fantastic when the other was on the bench but magically disappeared when paired together, who have both only ever established themselves at center, and have proven absolutely nothing as a duo, is so far removed from rational thought or conventional basketball wisdom that it borders on psychotic delusion.
             
            But what else would I expect from a fanbase that would rather make senseless excuses for a GM than actually use their brains to analyze the situation. “BUT HIS HANDS WERE TIED!” Ugh. Shoot me. So yeah, sorry if I make it about sex, but it’s just the only thing I can think of that explains this fanbase’s lunacy.

          • Aug 29, 201311:19 pm
            by Otis

            Ok cool, here’s another one: The attitude the bulk of these fans have towards Monroe is very much like the guy who can’t get laid and marries the first girl who’s willing to have sex with him. We were so starved for a quality big man that they fell head over heels for the first one we got our hands on. We were lucky to draft him so late, and I’d be perfectly alright with giving him a max extension if he was the only center we could get our hands on. But a better option came along two years later. I don’t think his skillset and lack of defense/athleticism is a particularly good fit, and I think we could get a king’s ransom for him if we got rid of him while he’s still on that juicy rookie deal.

          • Aug 30, 20139:33 am
            by tarsier

            If that’s the case, propose what this “king’s ransom” is that Detroit could get for Monroe. What teams have the moon and are willing to give it to the Pistons for Monroe?

            As for the idea that the two of them make the Pistons set at PF/C, it’s far from delusional. Unfortunately, they haven’t played together enough for us to really know. And the early results haven’t been the most promising. But they have such highly compatible skill sets that it really should be a working pairing. The only thing that’s lacking is a consistent midrange game in either. But it seems far from impossible for Monroe to develop that.

          • Aug 30, 20139:37 am
            by tarsier

            And “style points” are only for doing something impressive or clever. Trolls implying that fans of a player are allowing themselves to be penetrated by him are incredibly unoriginal and classless.

            This really isn’t be that far from someone saying “LOL FAG!!!!!!” as “style points”.

          • Aug 30, 201311:04 am
            by Otis

            Whoa whoa whoa. You lost me there, guy.

          • Aug 30, 201311:20 am
            by tarsier

            It may be less offensive because it doesn’t use one particularly offensive term. But not by much. Given that the majority of the audience on sites like this is male, the references to people being sexually aroused by athletes they are fans of largely does come from a homosexual-bashing origin.

            But I suppose it is less direct about it. Apart from that, it is equally classy. Seriously, you think it is clever or funny or stylish to reference someone having “a hot boner” for a player? How did you arrive at such a conclusion? Tell me how this is any better than a response of “LOLOLOL! YOU’RE SO GAY FOR MONROE/SMITH/DRUMMOND!”. I removed the offensive word, so now, seriously, tell me how your comment was any better than that.

            In other words, congrats, you earned negative infinity style points. 

        • Aug 29, 20132:49 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Monroe is better at PF.   

          • Aug 29, 20134:35 pm
            by tarsier

            Monroe is better at PF than whom?

          • Aug 29, 201311:04 pm
            by Otis

            HAHAHAAAHAHAHAH Max you’re the worst.

          • Aug 29, 201311:28 pm
            by Otis

            Okay I’m going to engage you for what I hope is the last time ever:
             
            If Monroe is better at PF than at center, why did he clock almost all of his minutes last season at center? I mean, we all agree that he was one of our two best players, right? Maybe even our best. So what kind of backward ass team plays its best player out of position? What, to make room so that Jason f*cking Maxiell could get minutes?? Oh yeah, talent like that was just SCREAMING to start games. What a legitimate starter, that Maxiell. Or Villanueva or Jerebko, who were in and out of the rotation all year. Stellar options to slide your best player to a worse position to make room for. Right. Bullshit.
             
            Even if you believe Kravtsov was a worse center than Maxiell/Jerebko/Villanueva were at power forward, you can’t possibly believe that he was SO inferior an option as to move your best player out of position to find minutes for those guys and keep Kravtsov out of the rotation. I mean, maybe YOU can, but nobody with any basketball acumen would. Kravtsov was a serviceable backup. During the time when Drummond was down, I can count the number of minutes Monroe spent at PF on two hands. Maybe one. Because at the very least, when there’s nobody in his way on the depth chart, you’re going to put your best player in his best position. Center.

          • Aug 29, 201311:31 pm
            by Max

            Monroe is a better player at power forward than he is at center. 

          • Aug 30, 201312:00 am
            by Max

            Last year:  

            The Pistons talked about taking it slowly with Drummond and lowering expectations all summer for him.  

            When Drummond exceeded everyone’s expectations immediately the Pistons and Lawrence Frank did not change their plans in the least for him and only gave him more minutes in baby steps at best.   

            Maxiell was an entrenched veteran at power forward and Kravtsov was an incoming rookie who barely played any minutes last year and has since been traded twice.   You or I can have our opinion about him but are you really surprised the Pistons started Maxiell who had started many a game before for the team that had drafted him?

            Your whole argument about whether a team would play their best player at of position and what it means is just about your rigid opinions.   Tim Duncan doesn’t like playing center and has always contended he is a power forward.   So has Kevin Garnett for that matter.   Both players have played both positions over the years as the talent they had around them and their coaches dictated.   Was small forward Latrell Sprewell’s natural position?  Not at all but he was the best player on a team that got to the finals while playing there.     When Hakeem was young he beat Magic’s Lakers and got to the finals while playing with Ralph Sampson.  They were the two best players on the team and one of them was playing out of position whenever they shared the court.   

            And Monroe played opposing teams power forward more often than not when he first came into the league and Big Ben was still able to play the other team’s best big and guard the rim.   Monroe needs a center or power forward to have the much bigger responsibility for protecting the rim and he scores more easily when playing smaller players.   If you can find a power forward who can play either big, protect the rim, play above the rim, cover lots of ground defensively and draw the other team’s larger big on offense than maybe Monroe is better at center but Drummond covers all of those bases and I think you can find that package easier at center.  The only problem is shooting but Monroe needs to get better himself to fix that issue.  If he can improve a bit there they are a perfect match.   If not they can rely on the other positions for spacing, be an elite rebounding team that punishes teams inside and gets them into foul trouble or make a trade.   This newly forged team should get a chance to prove themselves first though.      

          • Aug 30, 201312:07 am
            by tarsier

            Monroe does a better job of standing his ground than of chasing around more mobile bigs. To me, in today’s NBA, that’s pretty much the definition of someone who is better at C than at PF–at least defensively.

          • Aug 30, 201311:16 am
            by Otis

            I didn’t read Max’s comment, as per my New Year’s Resolution, but Tarsier is exactly right. Monroe sucks ass at defense no matter what position he’s playing, but he’s less miserable at holding his ground than he is at trying to keep up with actual PFs. Also, he has a large frame but terrible athleticism, so it stands to reason that he’s more likely to add strength that will help him body guys up in the low post than to suddenly start “floating like a butterfly” and keep up with more agile bigs. I mean, he’s a complete pushover either way, but there’s a big difference in both his ability and potential at those spots.
             
            Also his skills make him better suited to play C on offense. He spreads the floor pretty well for a center, but very poorly for a PF. And his high post game is criminally overrated, like he’s some damn wizard at the elbows. Give me a break. Without room to operate, his clunky handles won’t let him maneuver to the basket from 15 feet away. He’s far better in the low post working around the basket. It’s not even that close. He’s a well above-average center, but will routinely lose battles to even average PFs.

  • Aug 28, 20131:27 am
    by Jason

    Reply

    Please put down the Haterade and sip some reality! This team has questionable fits, I grant you. We didn’t get exactly what we wanted this offseason, from coach to free agents. I will grant you this as well. Furthermore, we have been a bad team for awhile now. So I get it. Take Dan’s lead and blindly hate away. 

    Or…

    You can be realistic, positive, and educated. There are only six active Gm’s to win a championship. Joe D is one of them and If I remember correctly he also helped us win two as a player. Where is the loyalty in the D? You want to talk about fits that no one wanted? Billups? Hamilton? Heck even Ben Wallace was an undrafted reject, thrown into the “one sided” Grant Hill sign and trade. Want to hate on Josh Smith? Two players in the NBA averaged 17 Pts 8 Rebs & 4 Asts last year… those two players? Lebron James and Josh Smith. Furthermore, Smith is the only NBA player to average at least 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal per game since blocks and steals became an official league statistic four decades ago.

    Josh Smith wasn’t the prettiest girl at the dance. You wanted D12. Gotcha. You wanted someone flashier than Cheeks. Gotcha. Well look in the mirror! Detroit isn’t exactly killing it with it’s national rep these days. Yet despite our flaws, our city has a lot to offer those with character. We are a (AHEM) loyal sports town unlike Atlanta. We are not L.A., We are not Miami. We are Detroit. It might be cold, we might have some financial problems, but we are proud. We are blue collar. We went to six STRAIGHT Eastern Conference Championships (Not to mention a Sheed closeout away from another title).

    I’m sorry that this is a little rambling and I’m trying to stuff ten pounds into a one pound bag.

    However, I will guarantee that watching Josh in a Pistons uniform next year will make you glad that we have Josh. Playing on the Hawks, in front of the ATL, and you might start jacking up long shots too.

    I didn’t even mention that Jennings is an upgrade over Knight. Groceries to trash Huh? Remember when Stuckey was the groceries? You don’t deserve to be a Piston’s fan, go watch the Bucks. This years team will be decent, make the playoffs, and above all be exciting to watch.

    If you really liked BK and don’t like Jennings… that’s fine. Be classy. Say things like: “I really liked BK’s ability to shoot spot up 3′s and work hard. I also worry Jennings will hog the ball and jack up ill advised 3′s early in the clock. But, I really hope it works out”. Not things like: ” Joe D is an idiot Josh smith isn’t worth a white castle burger and a bucket of puke. We should have traded CV and stuckey in a sign and trade for CP3 and lured Dwight.”

    This might not work, the spacing could be a nightmare. If it doesn’t Joe will get fired and you will have your wish and we can hire Kurt Rambis, Kahn, Flip Sanders, or Matt Millen to be our next GM. Or maybe we can get Isaiah to turn us around like he did the Knicks. In the meantime, stay classy Detroit and enjoy the ride.

    • Aug 28, 20136:41 am
      by adam

      Reply

      Well said Jason

    • Aug 28, 20137:48 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Over the top optimism is certainly an acceptable form of fandom. But I’m sick of people claiming that recognition of flaws is not.

      I’m more pessimistic than most fans (though definitely not all) on this site. This site is definitely more pessimistic than most fan sites. And you know what? I still, on the whole, tend to be overly optimistic about the Pistons. I much more frequently overrate a move when it happens than underrate it. I more often predict more wins and more playoff success for Detroit compared to what they end up actually having than I predict less.

      I dare you to go back through the archives on this site and look at how much success most commenters predict for most Pistons’ players and seasons. There will be the few that did surprisingly well (read: Drummond, the 2003-04 season would also fit if the site went back that far) that were underestimated. But by and large, these negative fans you are pissing on have been excessively optimistic time and again.

      So take your dismissal of my fandom and shove it. I’m just more realistic about the team’s actual chances than you are. That doesn’t make me less of a fan, it just makes me a less blind fan. 

      • Aug 28, 20133:27 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I understand what you are saying Tarsier but I don’t think his comments were directed at you.   He was saying people should be classy and respectful if they are going to criticize and you usually are.   It’s not really your style to compare players to piles of puke or call decision makers idiots even if you say something like they are not very good at their jobs.    

        • Aug 28, 20135:08 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          That could be. But I think there are only a couple commenters on this board who are like that.

    • Aug 30, 201312:10 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Take Dan’s lead and blindly hate away.

      What type of positives should I be bringing up?

      Two players in the NBA averaged 17 Pts 8 Rebs & 4 Asts last year… those two players? Lebron James and Josh Smith.

      http://www.pistonpowered.com/2013/07/seven-positives-and-three-negatives-about-josh-smith-the-pistons-top-free-agent-target/

  • Aug 28, 20136:45 am
    by Kobina

    Reply

    Jason,it’s good to see a Pistons fan on this board.  I don’t know how so many of the “fans” here can say “I like the Pistons, I just happen to hate the following:”1) Their legendary player turned successful GM 2) All their players, except for 2 of them3) Their uniforms4) Also, I want them to be really bad for another season Ironically, this is exactly how I feel about the Celtics, but I’m supposed to hate the Celtics, I’M A PISTONS FAN!!!

    • Aug 28, 20137:55 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Who hates Dumars? Plenty of us think he is a bad GM and therefore want him removed from that position. Is that what hatred means to you?

      Also, WTF do his two championships as a player have anything to do with him as a GM? Heck, the very person you are praising in this comment was just bashing Isiah Thomas’ GMing skills (fairly, I might add, but not by your standards of taking into account player accomplishments). Thomas was a much more critical part of those two runs than Dumars.

  • Aug 28, 20139:23 am
    by AYC

    Reply

    Floor spacing- the Moneyball OBP stat of basketball.  Gets you efficiency and teams can find value.  But just like the A’s couldn’t get over the hump, so too with teams that have floor spacing but B-B+ athletes and talent.  Rebounding and paint defense are core skills and more impactful than “floor spacing”.

    Floor spacing is taking a 37% 3PT shooter over a 31% one at SF.  Maybe good for a single game’s worth of a win in the entire season, at most 2-3.  However, when you factor in the rebounding and post defense?  And when that lower percentage SF/PF has the athleticism to close out on that “floor spacing B athlete” 3 point shooter? 

    MoneyBball will have its limitations shown. 

    • Aug 28, 201310:15 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It’s largely a matter of getting everything you need on the team. Rebounding is among the most likely skill sets to have diminishing returns. That is to say, having good rebounding is very important. But once you have a couple good rebounders, adding more doesn’t do much for you.

      One of the great things about outside shooting is that it doesn’t have such diminishing returns. Maybe going from 4 good outside shooters on the floor to 5 isn’t all that valuable. But until that point, each additional good shooter actually makes a big difference.

      Shooting and defense are really the two skills keep on going a long way in another player even when you’ve already got the skill well-represented on the court. That’s why people love 3-and-D guys.

      Excellent rebounding, ball handling, shot creation, etc are all valuable skills that you need to have an excellent team. But those skills are really only needed in a couple guys. Beyond that, the skills become a bit wasted. 

      • Aug 28, 201311:30 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        Shooting is important, but IMO this team potential already has enough players with shooting ability to make it work or at the very least will have enough flexibility next off season to add 1-2 shooters to complete the puzzle (plus players like KCP should improve with experience).
         
        KCP, Billups, Datome, Singler, CV, Jennings…there is a case to be made for each really for why they are average or might not pan out or might not improve, but that is a lot of options and all of them don’t need to work out for the team to work.  The real contenders in the league aren’t winning because of 4-5 excellent outside shooter..its more like 1-2 3pt shooters.  For all the talk of floor spacing I just don’t see how the Pistons are THAT far from having all the options needed to space the floor.  Unless teams are blowing the Pistons out in the 15 or so mpg that Smith, Drummond and Monroe are together (which seems unlikely because of defense and rebounding) the floor should be plenty spaced most of the game.
         
        I am mostly concerned with Drummond and Smith hitting FTs because I think drawing fouls will be very important if teams are packing the paint because of a lack of spacing.  Foul trouble for other teams could be a real benefit for the Pistons because of how strong they are down low.

        • Aug 28, 201311:46 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          There are plenty of shooters if 3-4 of those guys were always on the court. But given that 2 of Monroe/Smith/Drummond should almost always be playing, there will only be 2-3 shooters on the floor at a time. That’s not really enough.

          • Aug 28, 20131:46 pm
            by Huddy

            well since 3=3 then we are talking about the 2 or 4 shooter possibilities.  With 2 shooters you are basically talking about the starting line up (unless stuckey starts  which is possible but hopefully he does not) and I think the size and defense can allow the team to compete even if their offense isn’t great with the lack of shooting during those 15 or so mpg.  4 shooters are a luxury.  The Clippers don’t have that, Memphis, Houston, Golden State, Denver….these teams aren’t generally playing with 4 shooters.  I think the passing ability of the big men is relatively unique, which affects the offense in a less clear way.
             
            3 is the big number.  Most of the time the team can keep 3 guys on the floor that can hit an outside shot.  

          • Aug 28, 20133:39 pm
            by Max

            Iverson’s 76′s that got to the finals had only Iverson and Lynch as shooters in their starting lineup and Iverson wasn’t even efficient and Lynch couldn’t get his own shot.   Snow, T. Hill and Mutombo were all terrible shooters.  Jennings is a much better shooter than Snow.   Whoever starts at shooting guard could match Iverson’s percentage.   Smith is much worse than Lynch.   Monroe is a better outside shooter than Hill.  Mumtombo and Drummond don’t shoot from the outside at all.   Overall, the Pistons probably have more shooting in their starting lineup.  

          • Aug 28, 20133:39 pm
            by tarsier

            Wow, you really didn’t get this at all, did you?

            My point isn’t that, at any given moment, the Pistons will have either 2 or 3 shooters on the floor and that random team x will have, at any given moment, either 3 or 4. My point is that on average, the Pistons will have somewhere between 2 and 3 on the floor at a time whereas most teams will, on average, have between 3 and 4. So typically, the Pistons will be playing down a shooter.

            And this doesn’t even account for the fact that not all shooters are created equal. The Pistons don’t have any great shooters on their team. Well, we don’t know about Datome and Pope and obviously anyone else could turn out to have improved greatly. But, to the best of our knowledge, the Pistons don’t have anyone who is an especially good shooter. And one of the guys we are counting as a shooter, Jennings, is not a particularly good shooter. He just shoots a lot. He’s not the sort of player you want to leave wide open. But if there is an occasional defensive breakdown and it results in a wide open shot by him, you don’t worry about it that much.

            But even going by your way of looking at things: unless you do not subscribe tot the assumption that most of the time at least two of Smith/Monroe/Drummond are on the floor, then there will definitely be more times of “just two shooters” than the starting lineup. As in, whenever Stuckey or Bynum or Siva gets minutes. They don’t need to be in the starting lineup. If you want one of them on the floor and you still want three shooters, you gotta play CV at PF.

          • Aug 28, 20133:43 pm
            by tarsier

            Also, bear in mind when you compare to Memphis:

            Yes, the Grizz may typically only have three guys with deep range on the floor. And the Pistons too may usually have three guys with deep range on the floor. But the Grizz’ other two guys have strong midrange games.

            Anything that pulls defenders away from the basket helps. 

          • Aug 28, 201310:05 pm
            by Otis

            The Grizzlies comparison is a steaming pile of shit. It’s the most superficial, worthless comparison I ever saw. Just because they are large, doesn’t mean Monroe and Drummond are ANYTHING like Gasol and Randolph. Maybe one day they will get there, but there is nothing connecting the two yet.
             
            Gasol is a better defender, a much better shooter, and yes a better passer than Monroe. There is no comparison. And Randolph, aside from his midrange game, is an absolute BEAST in the low post. Drummond has no post moves yet. He’s dominant at things like putbacks, but not with the ball in his hands. These are what makes Memphis’ front line so good, not just being two large human beings. Skills matter.

          • Aug 29, 20132:00 am
            by oats

            Pffft. The team definitely can’t just copy Memphis and think that will work, but they do provide a pretty useful starting point for how to make something work. The personnel is different, and the Memphis system needs to get reworked to fit Detroit’s team, but that doesn’t mean it should be just ignored.
             
            Yeah, Detroit’s guys don’t match up to Memphis in a one to one comparison. Monroe’s post game is more comparable to Randolph’s, and his passing is comparable to Gasol’s. While Monroe doesn’t possess Gasol defense, Drummond shouldn’t be all that far off from Gasol and Monroe could be close to Randolph on that side of the ball. Drummond doesn’t really compare to either guy well on offense, but he is the best finisher on either team. Drummond also takes very few shots outside of dunking has allowed him to be a very efficient scorer. In fact, now that I mention it, Monroe is also a more efficient scorer than Randolph. The comparison actually works for counting stats. Monroe scored 1.3 more points per 36 minutes than Randolph, and Drummond is only .7 points per 36 minutes behind Gasol. So the Pistons are lacking Gasol’s shooting, but Memphis lacks the efficiency of the Detroit bigs. Detroit’s guys definitely aren’t as good as the Grizzlies big men, but they are close enough and have enough room for improvement that it isn’t that crazy of a comparison.
             
            If that’s all you look at, you might determine that Gasol’s shooting gives Memphis a large advantage, but there are 3 other starters. I’ll start at SG since that is the most relevant spot. Memphis starts Tony Allen. Allen can’t shoot a lick, and he can’t pass either. He is a dead weight on offense. I don’t know who Detroit will start, but he will most likely be a way better shooter than Allen. My guess is it’s Chauncey, a pretty good 3 point shooter. Singler is also in the running and is at least an average shooter. KCP could also win the job, and while it’s hard to credit him as a good shooter yet, I feel it’s safe to assume he will be better than Allen. I guess I have to mention Stuckey too. I think his terrible shooting makes him the least likely of these guys to get the gig, but even his passing gives him a huge edge on Allen for usefulness on that side of the ball. So, looking at the two bigs and the SG, I feel like the two teams are pretty similar.
             
            Conley is a more efficient scorer because he is competent at scoring at the rim, even in the crowded Memphis offense. Jennings meanwhile takes 2 extra 3s a game, which is useful for floor spacing purposes. Prince has a mid range jump shot that Smith lacks, but since SFs are so good at covering space that advantage doesn’t really help floor spacing in any significant way. Josh Smith has actually been the more prolific passer of the two, and that should be about as good for floor spacing as the marginal gain Prince gets from his mid range jump shot. So when it comes to floor spacing, I feel like the two starting lineups have some similarities. The key to Memphis success is the use of Conley and Gasol as adept passers, and the rest of the team is asked to move around a lot to keep stretching the defense to a breaking point. Detroit could try to do something similar, except with Monroe, Smith, and Jennings as the passers. That makes Memphis a somewhat useful point of comparison at a minimum.

          • Aug 29, 201311:31 am
            by Otis

            Here’s what you’re missing, Oats:
             
            Aside from the fact that neither Monroe nor Drummond is as good right now as either Gasol or Randolph (which they objectively aren’t, and that would be enough to dismiss the comparison), the more exigent point is about their particular skillsets and how they fit together on offense. Both can hit a midrange jumper for one thing. That takes a shit-ton of pressure off of each other and spreads the floor like my prom date’s legs (which is to say: enough). Adding to that, Randolph is a LOAD in the low post. He’s either going to get double-teamed or more often than not he’s going to make a basket, whether on his first attempt, or second, or third. If he gets swarmed, he can dump the ball out to Gasol or another shooter, whoever is wide open.
             
            The Pistons can’t do ANYTHING like that. It’s going to be very easy to help on defense against Monroe (and eventually Drummond, assuming he develops post moves someday) and get back to your man if we rotate the ball to the open man. You’re not going to have one of these situations where there are five defenders spread wide apart all over the floor because they don’t want to leave shooting threats wide open.
             
            Remember that Horry shot heard round the world from the 04 Finals? Remember watching Tayshaun try and close out on him, but he never got close? It’s because his man (Bowen? Barry?) was sufficiently far away from Horry that Tayshaun couldn’t stay at home on his man and ALSO rotate in time to help Sheed. And for that matter, Sheed wasn’t babysitting Horry because he left for some reason to go double-team. Floor spacing is everything. It’s how you disrupt defenses, get matchups you want, make the most of your talent. If you can’t shoot the ball worth a damn (which Monroe and Drummond can’t) you can’t create chaos for opposing defenses. They can guard you exactly as they please, and more often than not they’ll beat you.

          • Aug 29, 20134:31 pm
            by tarsier

            Otis, have you seen ZBo play lately? He’s not aging well. I’m not convinced that he is still a better player than Monroe, although the greater range is definitely nice.

            But, yeah, Gasol is a beast. 

          • Aug 29, 201311:36 pm
            by Otis

            Maybe I haven’t paid as much attention to ZBo lately as a year ago. Is he not an animal anymore? It wasn’t long ago that he was powering his way into the low post and rebounding his own misses 3 or 4 times in a row. I faintly remember him slumping badly for a bit, but I’m not so sure it means he’s finished or anything. But my point is that the blueprint, at least for the time when Gasol and ZBo were both peaking, is not a valid comparison to Monroe and Drummond. These pairs have almost nothing in common aside from aggregate weight.

          • Aug 30, 20131:38 pm
            by oats

            Our most recent version of Z Bo was not that dominant, and was a little worse than Monroe last year. On top of that, the dude hasn’t had a mid range jumper for the last 2 years. He’s better than Monroe as a shooter, but .343 on shots outside 10′ is not enough to think of him as a floor spacer. 
             
            Gasol is much better than Monroe or what we should expect of Drummond. Yet you seem to miss me saying right off the bat that the plan is not to copy exactly what Memphis did but rather to change it to what Detroit does have. It’s a starting point, not an end point. So it doesn’t matter if the Gasol/Randolph pairing is better than the Monroe/Drummond pairing. That doesn’t make them useless for a comparison, so long as you realize that comparison means the two are similar and not the exact same.
             
            You also seem to miss me pointing out how few shooters Randolph has to kick to. They start Prince and Allen. Those dudes can’t shoot. That’s my point. The Grizzlies aren’t stretching the floor any more than Detroit’s starting group is. The Grizzlies have Gasol and Conley, Detroit has Jennings and whoever wins the SG spot. So telling me about Horry is completely pointless. I’ve been arguing that Detroit lacks floor spacing the whole time. That doesn’t in any way change the fact that Memphis is equally devoid of shooting and yet managed an average offense. The personnel is different enough that it is not just copying everything Memphis does, but a lot of their offensive concepts can carry over to allow Detroit to come up with something that does work with their personnel.

      • Aug 28, 20133:32 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Passing is a skill you can’t have enough of.  There is nothing like five great passers on the floor together.   

        • Aug 29, 201310:22 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I partially agree with you. But I would refer to it more as court awareness. Most of the time, when the ball is crisply swinging around, that doesn’t require much passing skill. It requires quick and correct decision making. That is really valuable (and for a lot more than just good ball movement).

          When I think of great passing skill, I think of being able to thread needles and perfectly place outlets and time alley-oops and turn what looks like an attack into a pass, but not a risky one. Having one or two guys who can do that is plenty. 

    • Aug 28, 201311:24 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      Uhhh… Hm. Moneyball vs. floor spacing. I’m thinking we have an apples and oranges situation here. Let me try to work through this…
       
      Moneyball (as I understand it) is a philosophy where you properly value something that other teams don’t (getting on base). Because of supply and demand issues, these players come more cheaply than sluggers. Because of the structure of baseball, if you’re getting on base you aren’t making outs, and obviously baserunners are very important. So your guys aren’t mashing the ball, but they’re not making outs either, so there’s traffic on the bases, the opposing pitcher has to work harder and throw more stressful pitches, and so on. Moneyball is a strategy to make the most out of what you have.
       
      Floor spacing isn’t a “strategy.” It’s an absolutely essential element to running an offense. All teams have floor spacing. It’s built into the game. You could theoretically play an entire baseball season where your team drew zero walks (which is as un-Moneyball as it gets). You might not win very many games, but you could do it. You can’t play a moment of basketball without floor spacing, because it’s always there. If you have players on the court, they’re spaced out to an extent, even if they’re all literally rubbing their bodies against each other. And if you’re talking about having “good” floor spacing, this is not a Moneyball concept because that mostly boils down to shooting (a few other skills help too) and shooters are valued and expensive.
       
      Tarsier is totally right about how important it is to have floor spacers out there. You only need a few ballhandlers/playmakers, but you can never have too many shooters. More than most others, basketball is a pick-your-poison sport. It’s not just about how many extra points you’re going to get out of a 37% shooter rather than a 31% guy, but about the threat of the shot. If the guy’s shooting almost 40% from 3, you’re going to want to stay close enough to at least close in and get a hand up to contest the shot. If he shoots 30% you’ll live with it and let him take the shot so you can double-team to prevent bigger threats, and that strategy will usually work. Floor spacing is also crucial to ball movement, because there’s so much more floor to cover when the defense has to rotate.
       
      I know that the hot new thing is to pretend like floor spacing doesn’t mean shit, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even from the pistons PR department there was a lot of chatter about needing good floor spacing around Moose and Drummond (and personally I don’t think all the spacing in the world on the perimeter is going to present enough of a threat to keep offenses from loading up on those two if neither can threaten with an outside jumper), so I’m not sure how anyone could be into basketball enough to post on a blog like this but so ignorant of the game as to think a fundamental staple like floor spacing, something that’s inherent to the game, is anything like Moneyball.

      • Aug 28, 20133:45 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I agree floor spacing is important but I’m curious how people would rate this hypothetical team team with everyone in their prime

        PG:  Rondo 
        SG   Wade
        SF    Rodman
        PF    Big Ben
        C     Shaq

        This team can’t shoot or space the floor for shit but I’m thinking they would still be damn good.   

        • Aug 28, 20135:06 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I think you’re right. But the same amount of talent could be much, much better if there were more shooting and less of other skills.

          Ben was better than Sheed. but Sheed would be a much better contributor to this team. Wade in his prime was better than anything we’ve seen from harden so far. But I’d way prefer Harden on this squad. Rondo is much better than Conley. But I’d rather have Conley for this team. I’m drawing a blank as to who I should compare Rodman to for this exercise. 

          • Aug 28, 20136:11 pm
            by Otis

            Amen. And this is the crux of the “this team probably needs a trade” crowd. It’s all nice and well and good that we can throw the biggest lineup in the league at our opponents, but that’s a fabulous luxury to have. So the team better be DAMN good to keep this roster intact. I just don’t think we can afford the luxury unless we’re winning championships. If Monroe and Smith show significant improvement in their shooting and Monroe takes strides on defense, the lineup might be fine. But otherwise, if you’re in the 6-8 seed range, you’re better off making a trade so that your best players have synergy. That’s another pretty basic basketball concept.

        • Aug 28, 20135:51 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Max, this is a perfect example of how five terrific players can combine to make an atrocious unit because they don’t complement each other. That team would be SCREAMING for at least two trades.

          • Aug 28, 20139:14 pm
            by Max

            This team could hold teams under 80 almost every night and Shaq and Wade could score 30 each.  Almost any trade you make with that squad would make the defense worse–Shaq is untouchable.   There is something to be said for balance but also something to be said for piling on a strength that overwhelms traditional strategy.   Shaq actually produces that situation to some degree by himself on offense in his prime.  A lot of times people just got out of his way and quit on plays.   This team would be a nightmare to score against so they’d be overwhelming on both sides.   Anyway, it’s just an extreme example with five hall of famers on the court and the most dominant big of the modern era.  

          • Aug 28, 201310:18 pm
            by Otis

            1) Shaq could score 30 on any given night. But if you’re putting Ben Wallace next to him up front, Shaq will be double-teamed on literally every possession, so Ben will be forced to carry the scoring burden (good luck with that) and Shaq’s scoring average would be guaranteed to plummet. Also he’ll have ZERO shooters to kick the ball out to. Nobody’s “just getting out of Shaq’s way” in this scenario, because nobody is going to be left on an island to defend him alone and get abused. It’s 2-on-1 every time he touches the ball. Shit, I’d probably triple-team him and let Wallace and Rodman beat me. Why is this so f*cking hard to get into your skull?
             
            2) On a related note, Wade won’t score 30 without ANY driving lanes to get to the basket. I’m talking, he’s never getting to the rim against even a “good” defensive team. Your entire damn team is going to struggle to score 30.
             
            3) There are no less than a thousand easy trades/ways to make the team better. Because you have constructed a terrible imaginary team. Tarsier named one: Ben Wallace for Rasheed Wallace. If you don’t think his shooting and floor spreading ability would help this team overall, I’m scared for you. Even Sheed for Shaq, which would be an overall talent downgrade, would make the team better.
             
            4) This is not news to anyone, but you don’t understand basketball. And you prove it over and over again, several times a day. Can you please switch your focus to football or something? You always suck me into these bogus non-arguments and it’s destroying my brain cells. Please consider it. Football is very popular.

          • Aug 28, 201310:43 pm
            by Otis

            Ugh. You’re dragging me down to your level and it’s humiliating for both of us and anyone reading this.
             
            5) What do you think Rodman’s man is going to be doing on defense in this situation, honestly? Same for Ben’s man. Where are these guys going to be on the floor? I’ll tell you this: They SURE AS SHIT aren’t going to be paying a shred of attention to either of them. So it’s a 5-on-3 defensive scheme every possession. Shaq will have a permanent double team, and Rodman’s man will split his time double-teaming Wade and triple-teaming Shaq. This will be one of the worst offenses imaginable. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to defend Rodman or Wallace for even a second.
             
            6) Tarsier is SPOT ON with his bit about diminishing returns when it comes to rebounds. There are only so many rebounds to go around. If you have four dominant rebounders, there won’t be any rebounds left for your fifth best rebounder. You only need a few guys to gobble them all up. This is a case where you can swap even Austin frickin’ Daye in place of Rodman and the team is somehow better. His teammates can compensate for his weaknesses and he presents a legitimate shooting threat to discourage/punish double teams. Don’t you remember when Drummond would end games on the bench and people would ask why, and Frank said he played Charlie to give Monroe more room to operate, and he did it simply by getting out of the way! Because Drummond doesn’t complement Monroe, he just ensures that there’s even more big bodies in the paint. Nobody is going to say Charlie is the better player, but this is a TEAM sport. You lean on your teammates, they pick you up, you complement each other. This is very basic shit.
             
            Ok that’s enough. I give you a 0% chance of having grasped any of this.

          • Aug 29, 20133:04 pm
            by Max

            In their primes Shaq and Wade could go one on two or three and still score 30 a game.   Shaq never saw single coverage anyway–never.  Iverson had no floor spacing in Philly and was basically going one on five when he took the team to the finals but the defense was good enough to make it happen.   The team I described is much better defensively and Tarsier agreed with me that they’d win a lot of games.  As for the diminishing rebounds thing, this team would get the highest percentage or rebounds available in NBA history and they wouldn’t even have a peer.   You say no one would be paying attention to Rodman and Wallace.   Well, then they would get dunked on when they cut to the basket and would give up an offensive rebound every time they earned a miss.  

          • Aug 29, 20133:08 pm
            by Max

            And Frank was an idiot to ever sit Drummond for even one minute he was ready to play.  

          • Aug 29, 20134:21 pm
            by tarsier

            They would win a lot of games, but what’s your point? That 5 superstars make a heck of a team even if they don’t have well-matched skillsets? That’s true.

            But no team can afford 5 superstars. So you gotta get by with lesser talent. Which means that having matching talent becomes essential.

            Even the Heat have difficulties because James and Wade aren’t the most complimentary superstars. They are talented enough to get past those difficulties. But unless you are suggesting that the Pistons will assemble as talented a roster as the Heat, I will continue to be concerned with fit.

            Also, you’re flat out wrong that nobody single-teamed Shaq. That was a major key to how the Pistons owned the Lakers in the Finals. They stuck just Ben on Shaq, let him have his 27 and 11, let Kobe gun it, but not efficiently, and were able to shut everyone else down. No other Laker ever scored over 10 in a game that series.

          • Aug 29, 201311:39 pm
            by Otis

            Max: I knew your response would be utter nonsense that ignored all the good sense I tried to share with you. I won’t allow you to waste any more of my time.

          • Aug 29, 201311:42 pm
            by Otis

            Tarsier: I swear to God this guy is going to make you dumber if you keep talking to him like he knows a thing about basketball. I genuinely think he might be a small child.

          • Aug 30, 20133:27 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier   Sabonis, Divac and Big Ben played Shaq in his prime better than anyone and required the least help but they all got help.  Sheed helped both Sabonis and Big Ben and Webber helped Divac.    When the Pistons played in the finals of 04, Prince helped quite a bit too and would shade towards Shaq to bother him when he caight it in the post and even blocked his shot when he didn’t see him coming.   

            The point of my hypothetical is largely that no team perfectly fits together but that talent can overcome issues of fit.    Your points about the Heat back this up though you say it is about being as talented as the Heat.  The Heat were the worst rebounding team in the league last year and you are not supposed to win championships with rebounds but the Heat did.    The question I’d ask is whether talent or fit or balance are more important but I think the answer is resoundingly talent.  
             

          • Aug 30, 20133:38 pm
            by Max

            @Otis.   Just wanted to point out that the players Tarsier suggested subbing into my lineup and the ones you did are very telling.   Tarsier reasonably suggested the team would benefit from Rasheed stepping in for Big Ben, Conley for Rondo and Harden for Wade.  He’s absolutely right on all counts even if that wasn’t my exercise.  You on other hand say something idiotic like the team would be better with Daye instead of Rodman, Sheed instead of Shaq and that the team would struggle to score 30 points.    You get so angry and strident with your rants that you just talk a lot of nonsense.   

            BTW:  I’m pretty sure I’m older than you.  You seem like you are in your early twenties to me because that’s the age when young men most often overestimate themselves and think they know everything.    

          • Aug 31, 201312:33 am
            by tarsier

            Early twenties?

            That’s me. I am prone to overestimating myself. But thinking I know everything? No, just more than everyone else (kidding).

          • Aug 31, 201312:36 am
            by tarsier

            I’ve never understood why being older than someone else is supposed to be a point in someone’s favor in an argument. If your argument can’t carry the day without any mention of your age, how does age help?

            Yes, I am obnoxiously proud of my youth. But I don’t use it as a point in my arguments. Be proud of your age. But I recommend following my lead and not using it in a debate. 

          • Aug 31, 20134:01 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier…..I wasn’t talking to you.   My comment started out with an @Otis and he had stated that he thinks I’m a small child on this thread.  

        • Aug 29, 201311:51 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          This whole superstar line up with no shooting ability isn’t a good example in support of the Pistons not even just because of the reasons the hypothetical team wouldn’t succeed.  The team described is more talented in general. 
           
          This is why Houston doesn’t get the same kind of negative floor spacing press that the Pistons do.  Houston is most likely starting Howard and Asik…two players with zero shooting ability that will clog the lane and they have Lin who is a below average outside shooter (and Harden who was pretty average shooting last year for Houston).  The only above average shooting threat in that starting line up is Parsons.  The difference is Houston has 2 established All Stars (just like in your example 5 all stars to Detroits zero).  Houston has spacing issues, which are discussed but are not the only topic of media conversation unlike the pistons.  Houston is considered a possible contender because of the difference it makes to have the elite level of skill that Harden and Howard have.  It is asking much more of the Pistons to have less proven guys make up for spacing struggles.  The same is true for the Clippers with Griffin and Jordan.  That team lacks big men with mid range game and isn’t surround them with 3 pt threats..but they have the best pg in the game.

          • Aug 29, 201311:54 pm
            by Otis

            Does Houston really project to start both Asik and Howard? ESPN’s projected depth chart thinks so, but it sounds like sheer insanity. If they can trade Asik for reasonable value, it seems almost crazy not to. Especially with Camby there for depth. But both this Houston situation and Max’s wacky superstar mismatch are great examples of how you can make the absolute LEAST of your talent when your best players don’t complement each other.
             
            You’re right about the skill level thing. But you’re talking to Max, who isn’t going to listen. He’ll just make another mindless post about how his team would win games.
             
            Also, as for the Clippers: If Griffin was at SF, we would have a comparable situation (without the All-Star PG of course). Griffin’s athleticism and ballhandling allow him to spread the floor just fine as a PF. You don’t NEED some sharpshooting PF to camp out in the corner and nail threes all day for him to spread the floor. But you can’t expect him to spread the floor from the SF position, not without some legitimate shooting threats opening things up. It won’t work if there’s a bunch of big bodies clogging up the middle of the floor. The standard is much different between spreading the floor at SF or PF.

          • Aug 30, 201312:14 am
            by Max

            Such nonsense.  I posted a hypothetical lineup that took defense and non shooting to the extreme and said I was curious about how people would react to the lineup.   I made no comparison to the Pistons.  The Pistons actually have much better shooting than that lineup and the legends team had more talent than a team could probably amass and the players weren’t even all of the same generation.  It was just an extreme hypothetical lineup.   You’re working yourself up just to work yourself up.  

            As for Howard I do think starting Asik could work.  They have good shooting around them and might have to start Asik for his ego since he was so upset when the team got Howard.   You can say what you want Otis but I always thought Orlando underachieved during Howard’s years and failed him because they took the best defensive player in the league and didn’t give him defensive players as teammates but instead some of the very worse defenders in the league.   I thought they made a big mistake when they let Gortat go.   Howard has never gotten any help inside until he played with Pau.   

          • Aug 30, 201311:06 am
            by Huddy

            @Otis for Houston I think a trade is the best bet, but I haven’t seen any indication that will happen and if you look at the other options at PF they seem limited.
             
            For the Clippers Griffins athleticism is that All Star level skill that I was arguing makes the comparison bad, but He is far from a threat even from regular mid range really.  I don’t think his athleticism solves their floor spacing completely, but it helps.

          • Aug 30, 201311:27 am
            by Otis

            Yeah I did actually take a look at their roster and you’re right. Jesus. This is going to be a great example of how two very good centers (including the guy many think is the best in the game) can underachieve when you put them back together. At the very least, you can bet the Rockets have instructed Asik to take a thousand jumpers a day from now until opening night. A trade would definitely serve them well, even if they’re not quite getting fair value for Asik. Something tells me, if they have any brains at all, that their stance on not trading Asik is a smoke screen because they don’t want to look desperate and get forced into a lowball offer. (I wish I felt the same way about the Pistons, but I think they really hope this thing will work.)
             
            As for Griffin, I’m not talking about his midrange game. Never said he had one. But let’s say the 1-3 are all outside the 3 point line, leaving just DeAndre Jordan inside the arc on the weak side. Griffin can use his athleticism and agility to work his way to the basket. On the other hand, if he’s at SF (like Smith figures to be) there’s going to be a lot more traffic to navigate through, because it stands to reason that you have two Cs and PFs real close by getting in your way. Ya see what I’m sayin?

          • Aug 30, 20131:46 pm
            by oats

            I’ve read a lot of Houston fans seem to be hoping Motiejunas takes a leap. They have Greg Smith and Terrence Jones also competing for that 4 spot. I’m betting none of them or Asik starts though. My best guess is they go small like they did in the playoffs. Add Garcia at SF and play Parsons at the 4. They will then always have one of Howard or Asik to be the defensive anchor for a team that will likely still be pretty bad defensively.

          • Aug 30, 20131:48 pm
            by oats

            one of Howard or Asik on the court at all times*. I swear I thought that, but somehow didn’t type 6 whole words.
             

    • Aug 28, 20132:54 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Otis is right that Moneyball is about finding the things that are undervalued. That is what the A’s were doing, they were players with skill sets that contributed to winning but were on the cheap. The problem is people learned from their success, and the relative value of those player types went up. Once that happened they were back in the predicament that started their desire to get into moneyball, namely the fact that they couldn’t compete financially with the big teams. In short, they did not have a whole lot of time where they were really that far ahead of the league and their advantage of knowing what was undervalued was gone.
       
      On top of that, winning a championship is not a particularly useful baseline for success. Yes, champions are always successful teams, but so much of winning a championship is dependent on luck that you can’t declare everyone who fails to do it a failure. The A’s were a successful team. They set a goal of being as good as possible without spending money, and they fielded a good yet really cheap team. They accomplished the primary goal set for them by their ownership, so they were a success.
       
      I also disagree with the point about floor spacing not being effective in basketball, but tarsier already made the point pretty well and I’d largely just be repeating what he said.

  • Aug 28, 201312:00 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    If KCP and Datome work out, the team already has floor-spacing wings.  If they play Smith most of his minutes at PF, there’s little problem.  But even if the spacing issues prove to be as bad as the most pessimistic fear, then the team is one trade (Monroe or Smith for a good floor-spacing forward – or a top PG?) from having a talented, balanced, complete team.  That’s one heck of a lot better off than they were when the off-season started.

    I’d rather be one move away from a good team, instead of 4. 

    • Aug 28, 20133:41 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      agreed

    • Aug 28, 20136:13 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Yes, Corey. But that move is all the difference. You can’t give Monroe the max extension he’s going to get if these three guys don’t thrive together. Chemistry is too important, especially in a market like Detroit.

      • Aug 29, 201311:14 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        Ok so the team might be one critical move away…is that worse than being 4 away?
         

        • Aug 30, 201311:36 am
          by Otis

          Reply

          No, and that’s not what I’m saying. Just saying that if it doesn’t work out, but Dumars does his classic shtick where he holds out hope that the team will work out their chemistry issues, and they never do… this team is going to be F#CKED. Good luck getting fair value for Monroe in a sign-and-trade where he just failed to mesh with two potential All-Stars and is certain to cost max money on a long-term contract. I believe Monroe’s trade value is at its absolute peak right now, and one summer from now it will be at its nadir. The longer this team takes to trade him the less he’s going to fetch.

  • Aug 28, 20133:45 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Incidentally, agree with him or not, here’s an interesting take by SVG (not about the Pistons specifically, but it relates to the issues at hand):

    “There’s a fairly small group of guys who are just going to be successful wherever they go and in whatever system they’re in. I mean, they’re just so talented or so versatile or whatever it is that, wherever you put them, they’re really going to be successful. But I think a great majority of the league and probably some guys that are in and out of the league, it really comes down to getting in a place where you fit what’s going on. So my first year here, we had Keith Bogans and Mo Evans splitting time as the starting 2. And they were both really successful. Courtney Lee started as a rookie the next year on a team that goes to the NBA Finals. 
    If you want them to do things that aren’t really going to fit their strengths, then they’re not going to be as good. And I think that’s why some teams don’t like a guy because he doesn’t really fit what they’re trying to do. And then he goes somewhere else and plays well and people’s first reaction is, “Team A made a bad trade in giving the guy up!” 
    Well, maybe not. He didn’t really fit what they were doing. I think that fit is so important for, I don’t know what percentage, 80 percent of the players in the league. ” 

  • Aug 28, 20134:07 pm
    by Kobina

    Reply

    A cautionary tale for all this talk of fit, spacing and 3pt shooting.  Rashard Lewis was the text book, perfect PF to play next to Dwight Howard, with Hedo Turkogluo at the 3.  That team had ample shooting and spacing, yet were stopped handily by a Laker team with a huge front court and physical, defensive SF.  Yes there were other factors; the injury to Jameer Nelson and the inexperience of the Magic players are right at the top of the list but let’s not undersell the impact of a big, physical team.
     
    After Hedo left the next season, the “perfect fit” that was Rashard Lewis, was quickly exposed as an overpaid, one-dimensional shooter.  The team’s perfect balance fell apart, as well.  I say all that to say, the perfect fit can be an illusion and a trap.  Versatile, talented players can find a way to fit together, rather than being slaves to a predetermined, model of success.  Smith, Monroe and Jennings are talented players; in combination with Dre, we have a lot if options to make this work…  Very well.

    • Aug 28, 20134:58 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’d be pretty happy with a “perfectly fitting” roster that makes the Finals and gets beat handily there.

    • Aug 28, 20136:27 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Shooting and floor spacing are very, very important. That’s our premise. But we’re not arguing that it’s the only thing that matters. The thing you’re ignoring (whether intentionally or not) is that Orlando was anything but a well-rounded team. They had one strategy: Dump the ball to Dwight, and have him pass out of double teams to the perimeter. So it’s either one dominant guy scoring within five feet or shooters nailing threes. That was their bread and butter. There wasn’t much of a Plan B. That’s a pretty one-dimensional approach, and it’s not that hard to game plan against. Especially if you can guard Dwight one-on-one. (It’s not an accident that we dominated them so thoroughly for so long. It literally came down to how we had guys like Ben, Sheed, Dyess and even Max who could hold their own against Dwight.) Incidentally, I never had any respect for Orlando’s game and they could go to ten consecutive NBA Finals and never win a championship that way.
       
      For the past season, where all the chatter was about surrounding Monroe and Drummond with shooters to spread the floor, I was actually getting nervous that we were going to follow that model. Only sort of a worse model, because we’d have two big lugs glued to the paint, neither of whom is the handful that Dwight is, and only three shooters around them. That was one of the reasons I was pleased to land Smith, because I believe you need one of your bigs to spread the floor at least reasonably well, and Smith makes a good backup plan at PF if it turns out Monroe is best suited to center, which he is.

    • Aug 29, 20132:26 am
      by oats

      Reply

      The Lakers were a pretty well balanced team too. Fisher shot .397 on 3s in the regular season and needed to be treated as a threat at all times. Kobe shot a reasonable 35% on 3s, which makes him a roughly average shooter. Trevor Ariza caught fire in the playoffs that year, and shot a ridiculous .476 on 3s. While Bynum technically started, he played less than 19 minutes a game during that series in favor of giving Lamar Odom starters minutes. So the lineup they really relied on was Gasol, Kobe, and 3 floor spacers. That’s a pretty well balanced attack.

      • Aug 29, 201311:56 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Yep. Odom playing over Bynum says it all.

  • Aug 28, 20134:11 pm
    by Terry

    Reply

    Well, well, well…….with the need for change in a competitive free agent season the Pistons made  strong moves with players willing to sign with a non contending team. The “Fit” of players is based on chemistry and basketball IQ. This is a area no one can judge but make demining statements. Joe “D” is being judged on a hard time for the ownership…….. There were bad deals (Drako for melo) and others. But, I say win and all is forgiven. We have players with better talent and this will mean better results. With all the post I see Joe D did one thing………..brought interest back!

    • Aug 28, 20134:59 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      ‘The “Fit” of players is based on chemistry and basketball IQ.’

      That may be part of it. but that’s the part you can’t judge except in retrospect. How well certain skillsets mesh can be judged ahead of time. 

      • Aug 28, 20136:39 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Right. Everyone right up to Pistons PR has pretty much admitted that these players don’t have complementary skillsets. We’ve been told point blank that the starters will probably play relatively short minutes together and that Smith and Monroe will be the primary backups and probably play most of their minutes at PF and C, respectively. No accident, since those are their natural positions. That’s not a recipe for chemistry. That’s wasted talent and potential. If it works out, God bless us all, but unless we’re winning 60 games a year and making deep playoff runs, there are going to be valid questions about this team’s makeup and compatibility. It’s not like you’re going to be able to look back and shrug it off like: “Their skillsets matched, it looked like a great fit on paper.” Because they don’t and it doesn’t.

        • Aug 28, 20139:24 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          How is wasted potential if they all play as many minutes as they can handle?  Rodman used to start at small forward and then move over to power forward when Daly subbed.  You’ll tell me Laimbeer and Edwards can shoot.  Well, I’ll answer back that Smith, Monroe and Drummond can move and involve themselves in pick and rolls.   Also, Smith and Monroe are great passers that can get Drummond dunks.  The team should have tons of steals and blocks that lead to fastbreaks.  Don’t understand at all how you are so sure the skill sets are so mismatched.   

          • Aug 28, 201311:03 pm
            by Otis

            It’s called SYNERGY. Look it up in the dictionary. If your best five players don’t combine to form your best UNIT, you’re not going to have much success in this league. Your best players should complement each other, make each other better, pick each other up. Your best unit should close games for you. If you’re closing games with Drummond on the bench, those are VERY IMPORTANT MINUTES where you have a healthy body sitting on his FAT F*CKING ASS and collecting dust. Your best players should be in the game when it matters most. That’s just good basketball sense.
             
            When it’s crunch time, you can’t have one of your three best players sitting on the bench unless your team is UNBELIEVABLY INCREDIBLE. (It did just so happen that the Bad Boys were unbelievably incredible.) It’s about maximizing the talent you have. This sport, unlike any other, is most about top-heavy talent. You want to have the best player on the floor, the best unit on the floor. If you have five incredible players and an awful bench (like Portland last year) you’re going to win more games than if you have ten rotation quality players but no stars (like Detroit last year). Go look at their records. Top heavy talent wins. Best possible lineups win.
             
            Ever notice this pattern? Good teams keep the game close and TAKE OVER in the last six minutes or so. The Goin’ to Work squad did this ALL THE TIME. Because at the end of the day, they could put the best unit on the floor. That’s extremely important in basketball. It does actually mean something that your best players are IN the game at the end, not cheering from the bench. Oh, and there’s no chance that in any given game you can truly disperse minutes among three players at two positions who can’t play together like you could if you had a clear cut hierarchy where there was a #1 player at each spot. So you’re better off having a legitimate top flight small forward instead of an extra top flight center. I swear to Christ I’m talking to a brick wall.

          • Aug 28, 201311:09 pm
            by Otis

            To cap off my last point: Once in a while, Monroe had to play close to 40 minutes. That’s bound to happen from time to time. You’re going to call on your best player at a given position to play most of the game. There are only 96 minutes to go around at the power positions, so that’s 32 per big, with your backups like Charlie, Jonas, Mitchell, being literally wasted. It would be FAR better to have the flexibility to play each of your best 3 players 38-40 minutes when that’s what it takes to win a game. You simply can’t do that with these guys unless all of them become different players than they’ve been in their careers to date.

          • Aug 29, 20133:23 am
            by oats

            Closing out games is an over rated part of basketball. Points in the final minutes count the exact same as points during the first 40+. Yeah, the NBA does stupidly pretend like every split second at the end of the game is important but it isn’t the rest of the time, and that does give a minor bump to the value of the so called crunch time minutes. Still, it’s just not nearly as big of an issue as you are making it out to be. Most games are won in the first 46 minutes, not the last 2.
             
            As for your other point, how often do teams actually play 3 separate players 38-40 minutes a game though? It’s really not that common. If any one of them gets hot he can extend his minutes. The team will either play an extra couple of minutes with the starting lineup, or someone plays about 5 minutes less than normal. That’s really not a big deal. 
             
            You aren’t completely wrong on these points. These things do slightly limit the value of these guys. That said, I do think you are overstating the importance of these things.

          • Aug 29, 201310:49 am
            by tarsier

            So on this count, I disagree with Otis. I think it is a boon if your 5 best players synergize well together, but not essential. If you have rotations in place that ensure that all your best players are getting big minutes, that’s what really matters.

            I am confident that this team is much improved from last year and should be in the mix for the playoffs. However, if none of the three bigs develops a consistent midrange game, I also believe that some talent will be wasted and that a trade which is a lateral move or even a step back talent-wise could help the team win more. 

          • Aug 29, 20133:16 pm
            by Max

            Drummond and Monroe haven’t shown they can handle anything like 36-40 minutes in terms of their conditioning.   And the best teams don’t keep things close and rely on their best lineup to close out games.   The best teams end games before crunch time even starts. 

          • Aug 30, 201311:50 am
            by Otis

            If anyone ever needs proof that Max doesn’t understand the FIRST DAMN THING about basketball, check out the above comment. Finishing out close games is an absolute staple of basketball. It’s called “crunch time” and it’s when the majority of important games are won. Basketball is not a full-throttle-for-48-minutes sport. Nobody has the energy and personnel to go all out at all times over the course of an 82 game season. It’s important for teams and players to pace themselves, lest they break down in the playoffs and run out of gas. This is why you don’t play your starting five for entire games at a time, and it’s not like winning all 82 games means SHIT for playoff seeding. Even if you drop 12 games, you’re having a historically great season and are going to be a #1 seed. Better to drop a few games if it means you’re fresher for the playoffs when it matters. Everyone knows this. Just not you, Max. Because it relates to basketball, something you know nothing about.
             
            Also, exhibit B is somewhere higher up in the thread where Max said that one of the reasons Monroe didn’t play more power forward last season is that Maxiell was entrenched. ENTRENCHED. As in: “firmly established and difficult or unlikely to change.” YES. Jason flippin’ Maxiell, a career backup, who NEVER, EVER, EVER starts on a healthy, complete team in this league. Entrenched. Right. There would have been a mutiny if Frank dared to take Max out of that starting lineup. Right. Entrenched. The ONLY reason Maxiell ever started for this team is because they were absolutely bereft of talent. But you would know that if you understood basketball. God bless you, kid.

          • Aug 30, 20132:44 pm
            by Max

            Another arrogant, empty and typical idiotic Otis rant where he says nothing of substance, demonstrates total ignorance and shows that he is too emotional, negative and hateful to offer an opinion that resembles anything rational.  He must spend too much time at a tanning booth where they use gamma rays. 

            I’l respond for real with two points though.   When the 96 Bulls won 72 games, they typically ended the game by crushing the other team after half time in the 3rd quarter.   

            Jason Maxiell started the majority of the previous season and then started nearly every game he played last year.   He was the incumbent starter going into last season and he was entrenched at the position in the sense that there was no one to challenge him for the spot given Monroe’s short comings.  Obviously if Kevin Garnett had been on the team than Maxiell would not have been entrenched but KG wasn’t.   Jerebko and Charlie V were not viable possibilities for various reason but the chief one if that they are not rim protectors.    If the Pistons were committed to taking it slowly with Drummond and last year proves that they were than Maxiell was the only option unless Slava had proved capable.  Again, you can have whatever opinion you want about that but the team clearly disagreed with you and he’s been traded twice since.   

        • Aug 28, 20139:30 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Also, Smith playing a lot of power forward and Monroe playing a lot of center facilitates the Pistons getting their best backups and shooters on the court unless Toni Mitchell turns into that kind of player quickly.  I don’t know why you think players playing multiple positions is so negative.   For my part I’d prefer if Charlie V didn’t suit up all season.

          • Aug 28, 201311:13 pm
            by Otis

            It’s not about multiple positions. Multiple positions is fine if you’re DELIBERATELY exercising flexibility when the game dictates it. Starting a PF at SF just because he’s a big name and you have a crowded frontcourt is asinine. It’s not winning basketball. Smith should play SF only when the matchup dictates it, not by default to start every game. Same for Monroe at PF. If Monroe’s best position is center, and Smith’s is power forward (which, face it, they are) those should be their default positions. It would behoove you to have one starting caliber player and one quality backup at every position so that you can pick your spots for unconventional lineups. Make others adjust to you, not the other way around.

          • Aug 29, 20133:23 pm
            by Max

            Smith started the majority of his first 3 years at small forward and he started nearly half of last year at the position.   The idea that he is a power forward who is playing out of position is overstated.   He is better at the position on offense but not defense and the Pistons need him more as defensive small forward than they probably do in any other way.   Guarding the LeBrons, Melos and Georges of the world is the biggest change Smith brings to this roster.  Before signing Smith, the Pistons basically had no good options for defending these kind of players and now the Pistons have one of the best options in the league. 

  • Aug 28, 20138:56 pm
    by Terry Hannah

    Reply

    You are missing the point. These moves are just a start to building a contender. Other moves will be made once this team plays. No team, including the Heat, made one off season addition without later adjusting playing time and adding and removing other players. “Adjustments” is the key here, not the initial moves. Grade them on their ability to make this work like the Heat. Remember, unless you are winning it all everyone else has to make moves and adjustments……on that note…..to say on top adjustments have to be made too. I conclude these moves have improved the Pistons not made them the best, the adjustments will allow the players to achieve greatness or not and this is what Joe D should be graded on.

    • Aug 28, 201311:18 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      The thing I don’t want to see is this team being significantly improved but not really that much of a threat, maybe a 6-8 seed, but stand pat and hand Monroe a fat, bloated contract and hoping the situation improves because Joe is stubborn and attache to Monroe and just hopes for the best rather than striving to maximize the team’s talent.
       
      Assuming we’re not good enough to win a championship next season, I’m sincerely hoping the changes are coming as the season goes. Mediocrity won’t do when we have the flexibility to improve chemistry.

      • Aug 29, 201311:31 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        It seems like most of your criticisms are actually based on what you assume is going to happen the end of next season.  I keep reading you comments and see you saying, if this team works well together then fine…BUT if not then Monroe shouldn’t get a big paycheck and/or the team needs to pursue a trade.  I don’t feel like there are many people that would disagree with you that if the line-up as it is doesn’t mesh then changes are necessary, but you seem to have a lot of negativity about any chance of the current team working out that is really based on what you think will happen (or wont happen) later on.  I just think you are being presumptuously negative.  I fully agree that the team most likely doesn’t have the roster in place to win a championship next year, but there is something to be said for how much can really be done in one off season.  Talent has been added in rookie and veteran forms at pretty reasonable prices.  Who cares if it might take another trade or signing to be a championship contender?  When the time to make that move comes around if the move isn’t made then I’m sure there will be plenty of commenters chomping at the bit to complain…but thats in the future.
         
        I think your perspective is in some ways fair because there have been plenty of mistakes made by the organization that would cause you to worry that they won’t make the right moves down the road, but it really comes off as beating a dead horse when most of your concern isn’t in the now.

        • Aug 29, 20133:25 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Well put  

        • Aug 30, 201312:16 am
          by Otis

          Reply

          My skepticism/negativity stems from a fervent belief that (A) it is important to maximize your talent by putting your players in a position to be successful, and (B) Greg Monroe is significantly better suited to play center than power forward. Even before we signed Smith. there was a lot of talk about how important it would be to surround Moose and Dre with three very good shooters to spread the floor for them. I never bought this philosophy for reasons I’ve outlined in detail in this thread and others. To sum it up: Moose and Dre both looked GREAT separately last season when the other guy was on the bench, and they looked like pure shit together. I’ve never seen two better players make each other invisible, almost as if by magic, by being so incompatible. The paint was a clogged mess, and the offense was 90% perimeter.
           
          So I didn’t have faith that they were a good match even with three GREAT three point shooters around them, so you can imagine how much wasted potential we’re looking at with yet ANOTHER big man playing out of position. It should be very basic to put your best players at their best positions and surround them with players who complement them and vice versa. But it looks like we’re doing the exact opposite. I genuinely think this team has a well above average collection of talent. But I don’t think it looks like our guys are going to be in a position to succeed.
           
          Add to that the fact that Monroe is a poor defender who isn’t athletic and doesn’t really even have any particularly strong go-to moves, but what he does have is tremendous trade value, and it should be clear why I’d like to ship him out. But you’re never going to get fair value for him if you wait the season out and have to sign-and-trade him. The sooner you pull the trigger, the less he’ll be exposed as a liability alongside Smith and Dre, and the longer your trade partner will have him on that cheap contract. I’m just worried that Dumars is going to do what he’s done each of the past ten seasons, stay pat at the deadline, stubbornly try to make this team work, and miss out on the chance to really cash in big on our best trade asset. My concern is very much in the now, because I think this team projects to lead the league in wasted potential. And if it doesn’t mesh by February, I don’t have faith in Dumars to pull the trigger and ship out his beloved Moose.

          • Aug 30, 20132:59 pm
            by Max

            Your whole stance on Drummond and Monroe playing together is colossally arrogant and dumb.  Did you ever think they might benefit from practicing together, lining up together in a preseason and then developing chemistry over time?  Or did you think you could figure out everything about their compatibility by watching a 19 year rookie coming off the bench during the second half of the season to play with a player he’d barely gotten to play with all year. The played so few minutes together last season that you don’t even have a decent sample size for you to base your rigid and strident opinions on.  

            For the record, the first time they took the floor together the went on a 10-2 run and you really need to check out some highlights of Monroe throwing Drummond lobs out of the post.   

  • Aug 28, 20139:52 pm
    by Anthony J.

    Reply

    Like I said when I responded to a comment above, I think the PG and SG position will be key to the starting lineups effectiveness. I think if Monroe develops a mid-range jumper that will help but it certainly won’t rid us of spacing issues because the paint is so close to the 15 foot area.

     The SG position NEEDS a 3 & D guy. I would hate to put the rookie out there early but KCP is the player that I believe is the best fit for the starting SG gig. Stuckey will certainly squash all hopes of ANY floor spacing in the starting lineup. Chauncey wouldn’t give us much defense anymore which I think is important since BJ struggles on D. Singler and Datome should serve as the Mike Miller/Ray Allen of the team and should be used as specialist off the bench. Bynum and Siva are obviously undersized and they don’t provide much spacing either. Therefore I think it’s safe to say KCP will start. 

    My lineups would be:

    PG: BJ
    SG: KCP
    SF: J-Smoove
    PF Moose
    C: Big Penguin (yes my lame excuse of a joke)

    Bench:

    PG: Chauncey
    SG: Stuckey
    SF: Datome/Singler
    PF: J Smoove
    C: Moose/Drummond

    Defensive lineup:

    PG: Stuckey
    SG: KCP
    SF: Singler
    PF: J-Smoove
    C: Drummond

    3-point shooting lineup:

    PG: Jennings
    SG: Chauncey
    SF: KCP
    PF: Datome
    C: Drummond/Monroe

    Specialist:

    Bynum- Instant offense
    CV 31- 3 point shooting
    Harrelson- Extra big man
    Jonas Jerebko- Energy

    Inactive:

    Mitchel and Siva                                              

  • Aug 29, 201312:06 am
    by AYC

    Reply

    Wow, glad to see my ‘Moneyball’ post at least got the discussion going.  It’s an imperfect analogy, but I do think “floor spacing” might be akin to the emphasis on guys who get on base.  I think people are looking at it as a strategy where players who can shoot at all five positions are more desirable than emphasizing certain other skills.  It’s also a good way to find lower priced players who have floor spacing/3andD and maybe come relatively cheaper to a volume scorer or highlight reel type guy.  That being said, at a certain point Shaq is Shaq, Jordan shooting 31% on 3s is still Jordan, and the Fro is still the Fro.  
    The point about diminsihing returns was an interesting one.  There is something to be said for that that you can have a really big jump when you go from 3-4 floor spacers.  Lest we forget that is what we had with the 04 Pistons.  4 guys who could shot the 3 reasonably well (I believe that was the year Rip finally got a decent stroke from 3 pt land).

    Also, our floor spacing problem is largely mitigated if two things happen- Josh Smith can hit like 35% of corner 3s and Greg Monroe can get some kind of jumper going, both of which are not outside the realm of possibility.   One go to jump shot for each. 

    • Aug 29, 20133:11 am
      by oats

      Reply

      Actually, the 5 shooters idea is what Joe was going for with BG and CV, and let’s just say no one wants that repeated. In fact, the way most of the people complaining about floor spacing think was really well explained by tarsier. A starting lineup needs to have a certain collection of skills. They need rebounding, passing, defense, the ability to finish at the rim, and the ability to hit a jump shot. Very few players excel at all of those things, so instead you need a collection of guys that handle those things between them.  That’s pretty different than the OBP reference. A team can be pretty good if they have nothing but high OBP guys. The same is not true of a basketball team with 5 guys that do nothing but shoot.
       
      On top of that, there are very few examples in the last several years of lineups that have been good on offense with less than 3 guys that can hit a jump shot in it. So it’s not that shooting is being valued over other skills, it’s that when shooting is unusually scarce in a lineup it starts having more value than other skills. If the starting lineup is short in another area then it becomes the one that people will be hoping gets added to the lineup.
       
      As for the 04 Pistons, that was still before Rip got his range out to the 3 point line. That wasn’t until 06 for him actually. The Pistons were the 18th ranked offense in 04. In 06 when Rip added that 3 point shot they jumped to the 4th ranked offense with the same starters. Yeah, that extra shooter can be a big deal.
       
      Josh Smith is highly unlikely to shoot .350 from the corner. He’s been in the league for 9 years and is 27. We have a pretty good idea of what he can and can not do. He shot .303 on all 3 point attempts last year, and .283 on his career. He was also pretty consistently awful from all spots behind the arc. It’s also not like he’s a good shooter who doesn’t have 3 point range, the guy hit only .307 on all jump shots last year. I guess it is theoretically possible, but I don’t think it’s all that much more likely than Drummond becoming a 3 point shooter. Neither one of them has demonstrated any ability to hit jump shots at an even reasonable rate. The only thing that really separates them as shooters is that Smith thinks he can shoot but Drummond knows he can’t.

      • Aug 30, 20133:04 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        The Heat were the worst rebounding team in the league last year but they overcame it.  

    • Aug 30, 201312:22 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      The Moneyball analogy is invalid. You referenced the discussion, but did you read my dissection.

    • Aug 30, 201312:23 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      It’s just that… there’s no comparing the two. They’re completely different concepts. You just seem to incorrectly believe that they’re both overrated.

  • Aug 29, 20138:36 am
    by MrShourite

    Reply

    Way too much negative energy. Anyone ready for some football? 

  • Aug 29, 201312:18 pm
    by anacaniwelk

    Reply

    I see Detroit in the NBA finals and winning game 7 on a last second steal by Stuckey who dishes to Charlie V. who hits a 3 at the buzzer.  The surprise this year will be how much Drummond has regressed offensively. Jennings and Smith seasons will be viewed as completely acceptable.

  • Aug 29, 20133:56 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Completely unrelated to this topic, but here is an article that does an excellent job of exploring/explaining the “value” of an expiring contract:

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/72835/caron-butler-and-the-evolving-identity-of-the-salary-dump 

    Excellent piece to consider for those trumpeting how great it is to have Stuckey’s and Villanueva’s expiring contracts for trade bait. 

    • Aug 30, 201312:34 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      Solid article. Good share. The mooks who believe teams are going to line up in droves for Stuckey and Charlie’s expiring contracts are the same sheep who lap up anything else Keith Langlios is likely to write a blog about. Guys just like Max. I mean, here’s a fun exercise that might prove this point: What trades can you imagine this team pulls off for those guys, assuming their play doesn’t eclipse the value of their expiring contracts? Where are the candidates to give away legit, valuable talent to dump salary? It’s nice to read a good dose of reality, but sensible people already know these things.
       
      Also, this gem is killer: “Only the Sixers, reportedly still planning to participate in games next season, are slated to have more cap room going into the season.” Shit had me in stitches.

      • Aug 30, 20133:07 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Huh, when have I said a word about this issue.   Personally, and I know I’ll get shrapnel for this, I’m hoping at this point Stuckey has a bounce back year and develops into a great 6th man.  

      • Aug 30, 20133:12 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        It’s been a long time since I read anything by Langlois, asshole.   And I’ve been noticing that you are getting more than your share of criticism lately relative to your number of posts.   

  • Aug 30, 201312:25 am
    by Terry

    Reply

    Good article, it shows some of the questions asked and answered this year from the Pistons. Success can only be seen after you have it…….. I believe basketball is a unscripted improve, that can be guided and develop but not scripted by design. A lot of moves are made from the desirer to win and not just out of a play book. Meshing together involves a coach using each player to their strengths but understanding the creative edge needed to beat the other team. Some players (PG) need to have this ability in some areas and but others won’t. But the beat coaching systems (GM’s Too) must understand what style of BBall you want to play and overall can you coach it. Don’t rush to judge the Pistons……the Lions have played this preseason and not shown anything…..Thus I say GO PISTONS

  • Sep 6, 201312:56 am
    by tnice

    Reply

    lets see in December were we are and then judge…..PLEASE

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