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Pistons in good/bad position to bounce back from 2012-13

The Pistons finished No. 7 in ESPN’s voting for Team Turnaround and No. 7 for Team Turmoil. No team finished higher in both categories.

What else did you expect from a team that had the best/worst acquisitions of the summer?

Nobody knows what to make of the Pistons, and I like that. It will bring much-deserved attention to their better players, especially Greg Monroe, who has toiled beneath the radar for too long.

At this point, it’s up to the Pistons to make a favorable impression with many more eyes watching them.


  • Aug 30, 201312:12 pm
    by tarsier


    The Pistons are like Drummond last year. It won’t surprise anyone if they’re really good or if they suck.

  • Aug 30, 201312:19 pm
    by Huddy


    I don’t see Monroe benefiting from exposure.  Unfortunately for him he went relatively unnoticed as a very productive player and a steal at his draft spot during his first couple of years and now Drummond will commanding most of the media attention along with Smith because he is new to the team.  Monroe would have to step  into a prominent leadership role to shine.
    Nationally I doubt much interest is really gained barring a break out over achieving season.  Its nice for Pistons fans to have something different to look at and evaluate for the first time in a few seasons though.  Its rough not really looking forward to a season and then hoping the team doesn’t win too many games to get a solid draft pick.  At least now the team has enough talent to excite and fans are probably just going to be looking for the final 1-2 moves to really go to the next level instead of praying in the lottery.

    • Aug 30, 201312:42 pm
      by Otis


      I agree with this. Drummond is the one who’s poised to break out. He’ll start at center and be our best center. Smith is more dynamic and a fresh face, and he’ll be our best power forward. Rather than benefiting from exposure, I think it’s more likely that Monroe is just plain exposed next season. (Which won’t be good for his trade value.)

  • Aug 30, 201312:52 pm
    by Oracle


    I agree with @tarsier, nobody will be surprised(nationally) either way! However, I’m expecting great things, and when a respected stat site picks(analyzes) the Pistons to win 53 games and finish 2nd in the east, that’s a good sign.

    IMO, the Bulls are in the same position, they could blow up or break bad depending on the Rose effect! Ditto Brooklyn, do the pieces fit? Are Pierce & Garnett too old? Can Kidd & Lil Larry coach? Will the Knicks still rely on 3 point shooting?

    The only teams in the east that, IMO, have no question marks are Indiana & Miami, they will be there, but I like how we matchup against both, I just don’t know about our experience and heart at this point!

    The bottom line is that it all makes for an exciting season, and I can’t wait for it to start. Fortunately, we have the Tigers and the Lions to ease the pain of waiting!     

    • Aug 30, 20131:13 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Respected by whom?

    • Aug 30, 20132:27 pm
      by tarsier


      Indiana is possibly the most overrated team in the league. They’ll be solid. But they had just 49 wins last season. Count on them to be in the low 50s this year and a 3-4 seed.

      • Aug 31, 201311:37 am
        by apa8ren9


        Im going to slightly disagree with your use of the term overrated.   They will be overrated in terms of style of play and being exciting to watch by media, but to say overrated in terms of their ability to win in the playoffs?  I dont believe they are overrated.   They are young and have a very good defense that wins big games for them.   Their problem lies in the fact that once Miami fades do they take the place as the big dog or does Chicago swoop in and take over.

        • Aug 31, 20133:08 pm
          by tarsier


          The are like Orlando after their 2010 playoff run. They played at their absolute peak performance and still came up short. And yet people somehow expect them to do even better next year? That is comparable to believing Adrian Peterson’s claim that he can rush for 2,500 yards this coming season. Optimistic predictions should peg him at 1,500. Similarly, the Pacers have less than a 50% shot at even getting back to ECF. There are 4-5 really good teams in the East and one is a near shoo-in. That puts Indiana’s odds at 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 at getting as far as they did last year. The idea that they might get further, let’s just call that an EXTREME long shot.

          • Aug 31, 20134:46 pm
            by Max

            What if Danny Granger is 100 percent all year?   What about Luis Scola?  What if George and Hibbert improve?   Hibbert had a poor regular season but broke out in the playoffs.   What if that carries over for him?  And they improved at their backup PG with Watson.   

          • Sep 1, 20131:25 am
            by tarsier

            “Hibbert had a poor regular season but broke out in the playoffs.”

            Exactly. Which of those is more likely to be “the real Hibbert”? The one we’ve seen for years or the one we saw for about a dozen games?

            I don’t mean to underrate Granger and Scola, those are valuable additions, but they’re not game-changers.

            George just had two seasons of massive improvement? Do you know how insanely rare it is for a player to have a “breakout season” three years in a row?

            In case you didn’t notice, I did predict that the Pacers have more regular season wins this year than last. But they played the absolute best ball they ever have in the playoffs. That’s not usually something that’s repeatable.

            Think about my comparison to the 2009 Magic (yeah, I know I accidentally wrote 2010 earlier). They had several young guys, most notably Dwight, from whom one could project possible improvement. They added to the team Carter, Anderson, Bass, and Barnes. There was every reason to expect more from the Magic in 2010 than in 2009. But they had overachieved so much in 2009 that it was damn near impossible to reach that high again.

          • Sep 1, 20134:21 am
            by Max

            Hibbert and George are young enough that they can improve just by becoming more consistent and confident.   Granger could be a game changing addition.  If he’s even the fourth best player on the team this year they just got a lot deeper and harder to defend.  That said, the last time he was playing regularly he was the team’s best player.  How can that not mean the team could be better this year?    And I think they were much better last year than the Magic ever were.  That was a really poor representative in a final and I’d use Otis’ word “fluky” regarding that team’s post season success that one year.   

          • Sep 1, 20133:49 pm
            by tarsier

            Do Hibbert and George strike you as guys who lack confidence? Especially Hibbert. He already thinks he’s much better than he is.

            And more consistent? Everyone has better and worse games. Some have less variability than others, but that doesn’t make them better. When people talk about being more consistent, they mean cutting out the bad games, but not cutting out the good ones. That’s straight up improvement, that’s not eliminating inconsistency. Also, I have no way to measure this (and neither do you), but George and Hibbert don’t strike me as guys with below average consistency anyway.

            They were much better last year than the Magic ever were? Are you kidding me? The Magic went 59-23 in back-to-back seasons. That is not “fluky”. The postseason success was. But that required a lot less overachievement from them than it required from the Pacers last year. Please, give me some way to back up your assessment that the Pacers are better than they were. Regular season success? No. Postseason success? No. Duration of being good? No. You’ve got nothing. 

          • Sep 2, 20135:45 am
            by Max

            Hibbert does strike me as someone who lacks confidence or I should rather say I have repeatedly read and heard it was so during times he has struggled and I believe his coach has even been quoted as saying so.

            Consistency is not about less bad performances and more good ones.   Consistency is about learning the right way to do lots of things and then actually doing them so often that they become second nature.  This is true of team chemistry as well.  Repetition and good habits lead to greater consistency.   

            Hibbert has been wildly inconsistent.  He has played great for stretches and terrible for stretches before playing great again.  

            I said the Magic getting to the finals was fluky and you just agreed with me so I don’t know why you are arguing about my use of fluky.   That finals appearance was due to a weak conference, Garnett missing the playoffs end the Celtics still took the Magic to 7 and Rafer Alston getting to start at PG because Jameer Nelson was hurt.  Nelson couldn’t even throw good entry passes to Howard.   I don’t care how many games that team won in the regular season because they were poorly built and didn’t have a 2nd player of any real note.   Further, they had two of the worst defensive players in the league starting on a front line with Howard and Nelson or Alston were somewhere between adequate to below average defensively.  Nelson had extreme difficulty guarding anyone bigger than him and he was small.   It’s the playoffs that matter and I never took the Magic seriously in the playoffs.  Some teams are built to win during the regular season.  The Magic were such a team year in and year out during Howard’s days there but because of injuries to other team’s key players and wherever LeBron’s head was that year the Magic got lucky before getting crushed in the finals.   

             The Pacers being better than the Magic comes down to them being better than the Magic.  They didn’t play in the same year so everything you are saying to say I have nothing is largely irrelevant.   I’d say taking the eventual champion Heat to 7 games and giving them a scare was more of an achievement than the Magic beating the Celtics without Garnett and a vastly inferior Cavs team, in comparison to the Heat, before having a bad showing in the finals.  More to the point, I think the Pacers have a much better point guard.   I’d give them an edge at shooting guard.  I’d give them a dominant advantage at small forward.  Their power forward is much better.   The only advantage the Magic have on the court is at center and Hibbert is an all star.   Indiana was arguably the best defensive team in the league last year and George practically hung with LeBron throughout much of the series.   West and Hibbert are both much better than anyone on the Magic other than Howard.  Personally, I think G. Hill was better last year than anyone on the Magic other than Howard but that is more of an open argument.  Is Howard that much better than George that he overcomes all of this?   Is he even really better than George?   I just don’t think it’s close.   

            And btw:  Duration matters much less to me than peak and the timing of the peak and the regular season is peanuts compared to the playoffs.   The Pacers are a young, newly forged team that is still finding itself and didn’t start off as well as they finished.   The Magic that got to the finals and the two 59 teams benefited from playing together for a long time and less reliance on very young players.   These are both factors that could still make the Pacers much better.  

          • Sep 2, 201310:11 am
            by tarsier

            “Hibbert has been wildly inconsistent.  He has played great for stretches and terrible for stretches before playing great again. ”

            Who hasn’t? This is the case for everyone (well everyone good enough to ever have their play referred to as “played great”) in the history of sports. I’m asking for something that shows he has been more inconsistent than an average player. Because otherwise, we are just pitting opinions against each other since my opinion is that he is more consistent than most guys.

            About the Indiana vs Orlando thing:

            Why does it matter that they were different seasons. If Indiana just struggled more because the East is better now than 4 years ago, wouldn’t that be a reason to expect them to keep struggling more. I’m not talking about pitting the two teams against each other. I’m talking about who is liable to have more continued success. 

            But I will grant you this. The Pacers have a greater overall assembly of talent than the Magic did. Yes, Howard back then blew George right now out of the water. But if you compare the rest of the rosters 2nd best to 2nd best, etc Indiana will dominate the rest of those comparisons.

            But guess what, the Magic had a phenomenal system in place and great fit that allowed them to be greater than the sum of their talents. Indiana might also (I don’t know) but definitely not to the same extent. Orlando also had the x-factor that comes from having a superstar. When all else fails, superstars, more often than anyone else, can briefly reach to a higher gear or whatever you want to call it.

            “I said the Magic getting to the finals was fluky and you just agreed with me so I don’t know why you are arguing about my use of fluky.” 

            Let’s put it this way. It was slightly fluky. But this was a back-to-back 59-win team. If they didn’t make it in 2009 but did in 2010, it wouldn’t be seen as fluky at all. Much like how, if the Pistons didn’t get a championship in 2004 but did in 2005 or 2006 or 2007, it wouldn’t be seen as fluky. But it is because nobody expects a team’s success to peak at the beginning of their dominant stretch.

            But if the Pacers had made it to the Finals, that would have been much flukier than the Magic. Because they were nowhere near the class of the East in the regular season. They looked like the Hawks circa 2007-08 – 2010-11.

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