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The Pistons have depth, how will Maurice Cheeks use it?

During the Joe Dumars era, the Pistons — both because of lack of talent at times and coaching stubborness at others — have never had much use for a deep bench. The current version of the roster, however, has at least competent depth at every position, something that we couldn’t really say during any of the last four seasons. How will Maurice Cheeks employ it? Will he, like his predecessors, go with a short rotation, inevitably making a few players unhappy with their minutes/roles? Or will he give a call-out to his early coaching days in Portland, where he had deep rosters and would sometimes play 10 or 11 players regularly? I gave some thoughts in today’s column for the Detroit Free Press:

If we’re counting here, and assuming that rookies Luigi Datome, Peyton Siva and Tony Mitchell are out of the rotation, the Pistons have 11 rotation-caliber players. The last two seasons, Frank preferred a smaller rotation, usually playing about nine guys regularly. Most coaches, particularly coaches of good teams, prefer smaller rotations to give players some predictability, let them get comfortable with specific roles and make managing the game and substitutions easier.

Cheeks experimented with large rotations with the first two Portland Trail Blazers rosters he coached, so it’s possible he’s comfortable managing 10 or 11 players who see the court every night. Depending on the style he wants Detroit to play, the Pistons either will make use of more depth than they have in quite some time or Cheeks will have to start his coaching tenure with some tough decisions about whom to leave out of the rotation.

Incidentally, here are my predictions for the rotation to start the season:

  • Starters – Jennings/Billups/Smith/Monroe/Drummond
  • Rotation – Stuckey/Caldwell-Pope/Singler/Jerebkueva (I think they’ll split backup frontcourt minutes depending on team needs — offense or defense — on a given night)
  • Out of the rotation – Bynum/Datome/Mitchell/Siva/Villarebko

Some notes on why I think that way: I think ultimately Stuckey falls out of the rotation in favor of Bynum, but I think the Pistons will give him an early opportunity to play both guard spots in order to try to build a market for him; I think Billups only plays about 15 minutes per game, so the bulk of the shooting guard minutes will go to Stuckey/Caldwell-Pope/possibly Singler at times; I think Datome’s shooting (if it carries over to the NBA) will eventually get him into the rotation, perhaps at Singler’s expense, but Singler will win the backup SF job out of camp; I think there’s little chance that Mitchell or Siva play much this season.

65 Comments

  • Aug 9, 20139:16 am
    by labatts

    Reply

    I would play Villarebko over Jerebkueva.

    • Aug 9, 20136:26 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I would put Mitchell right in the mix to fight with Villanueva/Jerebko over the chance at scraps of leftover minutes as the 4th big.

      Jerebko an Villanueva do have the advantage that they could play at least sometimes at SF, though.

      Personally, though, I think Jerebko should be playing over the other two in the vast majority of situations. 

  • Aug 9, 20139:28 am
    by Crispus

    Reply

    We should just run the fast break constantly so everyone can play!

    • Aug 9, 20136:30 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The Pistons may have a bunch of players who could crack a rotation, but the drop-off from the starters to the bench is much larger than it has been in recent years. Better not to wear out the starters too much.

      Also, most possessions do not afford an opportunity for a fast break. Rushing too much to get to the other side on offense can be a bad idea when the defense is a bit ahead. That can result in a lot of turnovers. 

  • Aug 9, 20139:44 am
    by DoctorDaveT

    Reply

    With Monroe serving as Starting PF andandand Backup C (meaning Smith gets a ton of minutes as the “backup” PF), there is still “starters minutes” for the Backup SF. I like Singler – but can he outplay Datome for the minutes? Maybe in November, but probably not in March.
    IfIfIf KCP can get up to speed by the trade deadline, we can launch out “Stuckey + CV + any combination of other players not in the Starting Rotation” to get anything in return — and still field a playoff roster regardless of who we get. Get somebody “good” with that – and we’re back.
    Looking forward to hearing Mason’s “Dee-Troit Basketball” with a passion that is real and not contrived.

    • Aug 9, 20136:33 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I would count on Smith getting about 16 mpg at SF. Most of the remaining 32 should be going to one of Singler or Datome. Splitting the minutes rarely produces a better result. A few leftover minutes will probably be picked up by Pope and one of Villanueva/Jerebko (hopefully Jerebko).

  • Aug 9, 20139:48 am
    by DoctorDaveT

    Reply

    Also — based on the roster right now, I can see a fearsome foursome of Big Men in Dre, Moose, Smith & Mitchell – perhaps as early as Spring of 2015.
    Consider a possible three guard rotation of Jennings, Billups & KCP in the Spring of 2015, and there is potential of something special brewing.
    Add to that, you have Datome & Singler competing for the legitimate backup SF position on a good, contending team.
    At that point, we could very well be just one starting SF away from being a legitimate contender.
    For the first time in a loooong time, Piston fans have legitimate hope for real improvement – and quickly.

    • Aug 9, 201310:00 am
      by danny

      Reply

      The combination is pretty scary, depending on what we need in the game cheeks can run a bunch of options.  If we need scoring we can have jennings, billups, kcp, datome and smith on the floor.  Those will be last second shots but look how players can be interchangeable.  I think that is what Dumars was referring too.  On defense we could run dre, smith, mitchell, kcp, and whomever else you guys want at the point. 
      I’m starting to warm up to the Jennings trade, Mo should have him playing the proper way. 

    • Aug 9, 20136:36 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I wouldn’t include Mitchell with Monroe, Drummond, and Smith. That would be a little like talking about the Thunder’s “fearsome foursome” of Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, and Collison. Or the Heat’s James, Wade, Bosh, and Chalmers.

      Mitchell could end up proving he deserves to be in the conversation with the other three. But let’s let him show it before we give him that honor. 

  • Aug 9, 201310:00 am
    by GEORGIO

    Reply

    No way Stuckey will EVER fall out of the rotation in favor of Will Bynum, simply because Stuckey brings more to the table than Will. You guys want Stuckey gone and maybe at some point he will be dealt, but until then he will be in the rotation and higher on the pecking order than Will Bynum. Also not a fan of the Jennings/ Billups backcourt, I just don’t see it happening at least not starting. Can you see Chauncey chasing some 22yr old SG around screens, I can’t and Jennings certainly can’t either. Chauncey will back up the PG and Stuckey or KCP will start at SG. 

    • Aug 9, 201310:33 am
      by sebastian

      Reply

      GEORGIO, agreed, agreed, agreed! The “discarding” of Stuckey, in my opinion as a bit premature.
      Yes, he is in the final year of his contract, but I still believe, if Stuckey plays like he is capable: 15 ppg, 4.5 ast, 3 rbs, 84% ft. Then, there may even be an argument that would support resigning Stuckey. Especially, if he is able to improve his efficiency from the field and the three
      My prediction is that Stuckey will play his azz off: 1) he’s now playing with a talent roster; 2) he turns 28 in April and he, I am sure would like to ink another decent contract, as he enters his nba prime years (28-31). It will be hard for Joe just to “give” Stuckey away, because he represents an expiring contract.

    • Aug 9, 201311:05 am
      by oats

      Reply

      As for Stuckey and Bynum, I think the question is how much will the backup PG get to play with Drummond. If it’s a decent amount then Bynum’s chemistry with the big guy should give him the edge. Otherwise I think I’d give Stuckey the edge.
       
      I’m just not that worried about Chauncey’s defense personally. How many starting shooting guards would abuse Chauncey but not Stuckey or KCP? DeRozan, Waiters, Beal, and maybe Thompson seems like the list to me. Most of the other guys you’d worry about will score regardless of who is defending them. I think the fact that Chauncey is almost certainly going to be the best shooter in the back court should trump that for a team as short on floor spacers as this Pistons roster is. The ideal solution is for Pope to shoot it well enough to get the job, but if he’s only an average shooter or worse I think the smart decision is go with Chauncey. The team will have both Smith and Drummond to help clean up after him anyways, so it shouldn’t be too painful.

      • Aug 9, 20133:34 pm
        by GEORGIO

        Reply

        First of all people forget that Stuckey and Drummond had great chemistry coming off the bench when Stuckey first demoted himself to backup PG, then he got hurt and when he came back Frank made him the back SG instead, which was a mistake. Also this notion that Smith and Drummond will clean up mistakes out front is only part true, what will actually happen is when they step up to stop the opposing guard, they will be out of position and their man will wind up with a dunk or easy layup. Let’s see how long they settle for that before jumping on somebody to stay in front of their man. Stuckey actually is a pretty good defender of shooting guards, certainly better than Chauncey. CB needs to be the backup PG, not a starter.  

        • Aug 9, 20133:48 pm
          by MIKEYDE248

          Reply

          I think you are mistaking the chemistry between Will & Drummond for the chemistry between Stuckey & Drummond.  Every time Will had the ball, it was a dunk for Drummond.  The only chemistry I remember Stuckey having was with the ball as he was trying to dribble the air out of it.

        • Aug 10, 20138:06 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          The Magic were the best defensive team in the league in 09 despite starting Jameer Nelson, Courtney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu, and Rashard Lewis. If the decidedly average defender of Courtney Lee is the second best defender on the best defense in the league then the Pistons can be a good defensive team despite having both Billups and Jennings starting. Yeah, Drummond isn’t as good as an in his prime Howard, but Smith is so much better than anyone else the Magic had. I’m also not projecting them to be anywhere near as good defensively as that Magic team, but top 10 seems like it might still be obtainable.

    • Aug 9, 20133:28 pm
      by stuckeyandwhoever

      Reply

      Of course Patrick will say Stuckey will be out of the rotation in favor of “Will the Trill” Bynum.  I don’t expect anything less from Patrick, that would be uncivilized.

      • Aug 9, 20136:41 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Will the Trill…

        I’m pretty sure that wasn’t intentional, but that would be a hilarious nickname. I’m picturing him squatting on the bench making bird calls. 

  • Aug 9, 201310:24 am
    by tom

    Reply

    I’m hoping for more out of Luigi; I don’t think you spend that kind of money on what is essentially an undrafted free agent unless you expect him to be in the rotation. I also have a hard time seeing Bynum ever getting minutes at Stuckey’s expense – the talent level, the potential trade piece and the money just won’t allow it. 

    • Aug 9, 20136:43 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      You do if you figure he has a chance to be pretty good and there is competition for his services.

      I’m assuming he went undrafted in a previous year so he was ineligible to be picked this year. And 3.5M/2 yrs is a pretty small risk if the ceiling is reasonably high, even if the floor is not in the rotation at all. 

  • Aug 9, 201310:41 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Luigi isn’t going to play much.  All they talk about is he can shoot the ball…when there are 50 year old men who can shoot the ball, but they can’t defend so they are not in the NBA.  I hope I’m wrong.

     

    • Aug 9, 201311:04 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      He is supposed to be fairly athletic as well, but how well he shoots is important.  I think it will be hard to justify playing someone like Jerebko who is a subpar shooter that excels in other areas like hustle and rebounding when those other areas are so well covered with line ups including Moose/Andre/Smith.  Same goes maybe even for singler who is pretty all around average.  I don’t see how all around average is much of a plus when there is so much defensive help and rebounding already in the line up so being a superior shooter will hopefully win Datome PT.

    • Aug 9, 201311:22 am
      by oats

      Reply

      How many 50 year old guys do you think can actually shoot it effectively while playing an NBA game? First of all, being able to shoot in a workout and being able to shoot when putting in the effort of playing a game are two different things. Then there’s the whole fact that the other team is allowed to defend the guy. How many open shots will those 50 year old guys get, and what percentage of those shots will those guys actually have their legs under them enough to get a good shot off? Plus there’s the whole bodies breaking down so they can’t stay healthy thing. It’s not just defense that prevents players from playing that long. 
       
      Also, do you really think Datome is that much worse of a defender then Hedo Turkoglu, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Andrea Bargnani, Steve Nash, Damian Lillard, or any of a ton of other offense only guys that have had successful careers? We’ve seen guys like Kyle Korver and Mike Dunleavy Jr. stick in the league forever and are still useful players while being similar athletically to Datome. This is a game where Steve Novak played 20 minutes a night for a team that won 54 games last year. If Datome’s shooting is for real then I think he likely gets playtime somewhere.

      • Aug 9, 20135:25 pm
        by RyanK

        Reply

        You really need to lighten up.  The point is he can shoot the ball…what else can he do to justify having him on the floor?  The 50 year old thing…just let it go man…just let it go…

        • Aug 10, 20138:51 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          Why does he need to do anything else? Guys who only shoot get on the court all the time. Steve Novak is a great example of a guy that does nothing but shoot. Kyle Korver, Mike Dunleavy, Kevin Martin, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright, Brandon Rush, and even Klay Thompson are pretty much just shooters. Datome was a solid rebounder and passer in Europe. Nobody talks about those things because he is pretty average at those things so they aren’t what gets him on the court, but he should do them about as well as someone like Singler. That’s the real reason he doesn’t need to do much other than shoot, his position is really weak. If he can out shoot Singler then he likely takes over Singler’s minutes pretty soon. It really is that simple.
           
          Also, if the 50 year old thing was intended as a joke then I missed it. Blame the internet. Or just blame dumb people because I’ve actually heard people argue things like Larry Bird could still play 20 minutes a night in the NBA if he wanted to, and that was in person and I’m at least 90% certain they were serious. I can’t ever tell for certain because Poe’s law is right.

  • Aug 9, 201310:58 am
    by Jack56

    Reply

    I have not heard hardly anything about Cheek’s coaching staff…does anyone know who we have?

    Cheek’s is not known for X’s & O’s so who is that guy going to be?

    Any thoughts or insights on our coaching staff?    

    • Aug 9, 20133:41 pm
      by Jack56

      Reply

      HELLO, HELLO, HELLO….Any news about coaches….Cheeks is know for being a motivator and not an X & O guy…until we have that guy we shouldn’t plan on celebrating just yet.

      Does anyone know about our Asst. Coaches other than Sheed?  

  • Aug 9, 201311:07 am
    by Huddy

    Reply

    I would really like to see Mitchell and CV split minutes as opposed to JJ.  I like Jerebko, but on this team the rotation players really need to add scoring, which he just doesn’t do.  Mitchell isn’t a sharp shooter, but he seems to have more upside than JJ on a much cheaper deal so I would prefer to give him minutes as opposed to getting Jerebko in the game who really just doesn’t fit the need of the bench right now.

    • Aug 9, 20131:00 pm
      by Rich

      Reply

      Jerebko was a much more efficient scorer than CV last year.  CV scored more because he shot waaaay too much, but he did so with a true shooting percentage about 5% worse than JJ’s.  CV only shot 4% better from downtown.  And Jerebko’s better overall.

      Datome, Jerebko, and Mitchell are the three forwards I’d like to see get the bulk of the frontcourt minutes off the bench. 

      • Aug 9, 20131:33 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        1 to 1 that makes sense, but his type of scoring isn’t needed and crowds the basket for the better players Monroe/Smith.  Efficiency is nice, but if it doesn’t fit then it won’t be used anyway.

        • Aug 9, 20136:47 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Jerebko’s long range shooting is almost as good as Villanueva’s. And he does many other things much better. Even if those things produce diminishing returns on this team, I’d still rather have Jerebko playing. Besides, if he can generate any trade value, the Pistons could potentially return to max salary cap space.

          • Aug 10, 20138:58 pm
            by oats

            JJ shot .301 on 3s while CV shot .347. That’s not close. Even if you want to count long 2s, CV has a huge advantage. From 16′ and out, CV has an eFG% of .548 while JJ’s is .366. Villanueva very clearly wins the shooting at range comparison.

  • Aug 9, 201311:10 am
    by Jack56

    Reply

    My predictions:

    Starters: Jennings, Stuckey, Smith, Moose, Dre

    Solid minutes: Billups, KCP, Gigi

    Some Minutes: Singler, JJ or CV (depending if they need hustle or shooting)

    Out of Rotation: Siva, Mitchell, JJ, CV, Bynum (Siva & Mitchell can use some D league time)           

  • Aug 9, 201311:22 am
    by Crispus

    Reply

    Who the hell plays center if Drummond and Monroe both get into foul trouble?

    • Aug 9, 201311:33 am
      by oats

      Reply

      Honestly, it’s someone from Smith, Mitchell, CV, or Jerebko. Most teams play a fair amount of small ball, so it’s not like that’s such a far out there idea that they would play one of those guys at center. I’d bet on CV since he’s the tallest player or Smith since he’s the best shot blocker.
       
      The smarter answer is Monroe or Drummond, but I doubt that’s what happens. I really don’t get the fear of fouling out. The penalty of fouling too much is a player doesn’t get to play, so the solution is to not play him. I’d bet guys will almost always play more if they just play through foul trouble than if they get pulled. I guess both bigs could foul out and then we go to the answer above, but how often will that really happen? It doesn’t seem like something worth worrying about to me.

      • Aug 9, 201312:06 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        I feel like there is a 90% chance the team signs another big before the regular season even if it is just to have a guy for situations like this.
         
        I agree with Oats though.  I would rather keep talent on the floor like Smith and play some small ball to change things up than just put out a less talented big man that will just be a warm body that is the “right height”.  I think Smith + JJ/CV/Mitchell would be fine in the front court for stretches. 

        • Aug 9, 20136:48 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I could see having another big man for practice. But this situation is likely to happen infrequently enough (and Smith and Mitchell could probably play C competently enough) that this seems like a dumb reason to pick up some scrub.

      • Aug 9, 20131:02 pm
        by Crispus

        Reply

        Some guys foul because they are tired and can’t play responsible defense though. In that case it makes sense to pull them.

    • Aug 9, 201312:32 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      I’m not necessarily worried about both big guys fouling out. Foul trouble wasn’t a major problem last season, and both will have another year of experience under their belt. If there ever comes a time when both are in foul trouble, you can shift back to the platoon they shared last season at center. We have plenty of PF depth, and the odds of them both fouling out while splitting time at center are infinitesimal. However, I fully expect them to sign a third string center for other reasons.
       
      First and foremost, they need someone to play center on the second unit in practice. I can’t imagine they could hold a productive practice session with, say, Bynum/Stuckey/Datome/Villanueva/Mitchell going against the starters. And if they CAN, that’s quite an indictment on the makeup of your starters. Frankly, it’s bad enough for practice purposes that your first string starting PF and SF double as your backup C and PF. It’s unconventional enough as it is.
       
      My second concern is that having some depth at center will be invaluable to our flexibility should this wildly unconventional lineup struggle to jell together. If you end up trading Monroe (which is a realistic possibility) you don’t want to have to worry about taking back a serviceable backup center as part of the return package. Foul trouble is a distant third concern.

  • Aug 9, 201312:01 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    If Drummond AND Monroe both get in foul trouble, we should still play one of them.  So they both have 2 fouls in the 2nd quarter? Completely irrelevant. If they both have 3? I’d still have one of them in the game. If it’s the fourth quarter and both have 5? Still leave one in.  Why not? It’s only an issue if both foul out.  Our 3rd string center, if we get one, should only play if one of Dre or Monroe is out injured. The guy wouldn’t make the active roster anyway. 
    I imagine our lineups will look like this:
    Jennings/?/Smith/Monroe/Drummond.  In this case, the ?  has to be able to shoot. So either KCP, Billups, or Singler.
    Billups/Stuckey or Bynum /Datome or Singler/CV/Drummond. In this case, we’re putting a P&R guard on the floor with Drummond and 3 shooters. We WILL do this some of the time.  Could swap KCP for Billups.
     
    Jennings/Stuckey/Datome or Singler/Smith/Monroe.  This will probably be a frequest lineup – fairly standard, and lets us play a non-shooting guard more.  With Jennings we should play a big guard – so Stuckey or KCP
    At some point, KCP will hopefully take over a lot of the SG minutes, and move into the starting lineup. If the team really comes together, we’ll see:
    Jennings/Billups
    KCP/Stuckey
    Smith/Datome/Singler
    Monroe/Smith/CV
    Drummond/Monroe
    with Jerebko, Mitchell, Bynum, and Siva spending a lot of time out of the rotation. Bynum only makes it, if at all, in a 3 shooter and Drummond lineup.

    • Aug 9, 20131:02 pm
      by Rich

      Reply

      Coachs at every level are irrationally afraid of foul trouble.  See Larry Brown in the second half of Game 7 of the ’05 finals or John Beilein in the first half of this year’s title game for just a couple local examples that may have cost teams titles.

      You’re completely, 100% right, but what you’re proposing will never happen, unfortunately. 

      • Aug 9, 20136:53 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Yeah, I’ve never understood the fear of fouling out. You’re taking a guy out of the game because you’re worried that if you don’t, he might get taken out of the game? Really?

        Now if the guy has, at that moment, a particularly bad matchup, he’s fouling sloppily because he’s tired, or he seems to have lost his cool, then I understand pulling a guy because of foul trouble. Then you’re saving his minutes for later because he will probably get to play more of them that way. But in general, just playing a guy as if he doesn’t have foul trouble is the way to maximize the effective PT of your best players (which is, I think, the point of pulling guys anyway).

  • Aug 9, 201312:27 pm
    by Byron

    Reply

    How does the D-League work exactly? Why wouldn’t we send Siva and Mitchell there and play them starter minutes?

    • Aug 9, 201312:56 pm
      by Rich

      Reply

      They’ll probably both see some time in the D-league, but the amount of time will just depend on how much of a shot they have at seeing the floor in Detroit.

      In all likelihood, Mitchell will have a real shot to get minutes at the 4 (or even 5 in small ball lineups, particularly if they don’t sign a third center).

      Siva will probably see more time in the D-league, because the numbers game simply means there isn’t room for him to see time.  He can only play one position, and there are four other guys on the roster who can play that position. 

  • Aug 9, 201312:50 pm
    by Rich

    Reply

    I just can’t see Singler staying in the rotation.  There’s just way too much talent 2 through 4 now for him to see the court.

    Datome will have to be worse than advertised to him to even have a shot.  But with Billups, Stuckey, KCP, Datome, Jerebko, and Mitchell on this roster, it would be a shame to waste minutes on Singler.

    I know everyone liked his hustle and his willingness to play out of position, but put his season all together and he was a floor spacer who didn’t actually space the floor (35% from three, 34% on long twos), a wing who couldn’t be trusted to put the ball on the floor, and a guy who no matter the position couldn’t routinely stay in front of his man on defense.. 

    • Aug 9, 20136:54 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “There’s just way too much talent 2 through 4 now for him to see the court.”

      The Pistons don’t have much talent at all at SF. 

      • Aug 9, 201310:46 pm
        by Rich

        Reply

        Smith starts there.  Jerebko is definitely better than Singler, and he’s been better as a 3 than a 4.  And in all likelihood, based on his Italian numbers, Datome should be a solid rotation player.

        • Aug 10, 201312:14 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          “Smith starts there.”

          So that’s one guy who is expected to (read: we don’t actually know this will happen) start there but not play most of him minutes there and a couple guys who are nominally rotation caliber. I think that qualifies as not much talent at the position.

          “Jerebko is definitely better than Singler”

          I agree that he is better, but not that it is “definitely” the case. There is an argument to be made for Singler.
          Singler: 8.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.2 bpg+spg, 1.2 topg, 43/35/81
          Jerebko: 7.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.0 bpg+spg, 0.9 topg, 45/30/77

          “and he’s been better as a 3 than a 4″

          Since when has Jerebko been better as a 3 than as a 4? He has played the majority of his minutes as a PF as long as he’s been in the NBA. So we don’t really have much data to show either way except that coaches (you know, the guys whose job it is to optimize team play) clearly thought he was better as a PF.

          • Aug 10, 201312:47 am
            by Max

            Only way there is too much talent at 2-4 for Singler to stay in the rotation is if Datome and KCP walk into the league as very good players to the extent that he will have no right to be on the court compared to them.   Singler had a pretty decent rookie year and was mostly playing out of position.   If he can just turn that 43/35/81 into 45/37/83 he’s going to have a long career of being in demand as a solid rotational player.  Right now the Pistons would be glad to feature anyone in the rotation who will shoot 37% from long range.  35% as a rookie is much better than 30% from Jerebko.  He probably has a higher ceiling but I think there is more demand for swing players than tweeners.  Everyone says spacing is going to be an issue.

            We have seen perhaps a better Jerebko as a rookie when he was starting for Prince at SF.  I think he looked better in general pre-injury.   Still have some hope he is still building towards being 100 percent to explain why he’s looked worse since coming back.  

          • Aug 10, 20132:40 pm
            by Rich

            Remember when he started the bulk of his rookie year at SF? 

          • Aug 10, 20136:07 pm
            by tarsier

            Nope, Jerebko started 73 games. And Tayshaun was the starting SF for two-thirds of those.

  • Aug 9, 20131:37 pm
    by Gordbrown

    Reply

    There is no way Bynum sees the floor. Those oops to Drummond were fun but they are also an example of the faulty causality fallacy. Or to put this another way, they say more about Drummond and his ability to play with anyone else than about Bynum. Also Datome did not come from Italy to sit on the bench. Best way to help him adjust to the NBA is to put him on the floor.

  • Aug 9, 20133:05 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    The Pistons have definitely been a big bench team in the Dumars era.

    The 2004 team had Corliss, Memo, Hunter, James, and Elden all play significant roles (even Darvin Ham too at times). They used almost the whole roster. You can go back before that to the “Alternatorz” too, also playing a major role in their success on those pre-04 teams.

  • Aug 9, 20133:53 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    Notice how CV wasn’t mentioned in the rotation…hopefully it stays that way.

  • Aug 9, 20134:05 pm
    by boogie

    Reply

    what about kravstov?

    • Aug 9, 20136:54 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      he was traded for jennings

  • Aug 9, 20134:19 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I was listening to the NBA’s Hangtime Podcast and Lang Whitaker said he was in attendance when an impromptu dunk contest broke out among the rookies attending the rookie weekend.   Anyway, Rick Fox asked him about any early candidates for the dunk contest and he said Toni Mitchell was the winner and he had written about it on his blog.     Here’s the link:  There are four highlight videos on the court and all four involve either Mitchell or Siva.   Fun stuff.  

    http://allball.blogs.nba.com/2013/08/07/rookies-hold-awesome-impromptu-dunk-contest/ 

    • Aug 9, 20135:56 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Pretty cool link I found at this site too: 3 bigs that loved to pass to each other  http://allball.blogs.nba.com/2013/08/09/larry-birds-best-passes/ 

  • Aug 9, 20134:31 pm
    by zdh

    Reply

    hopefully singler falls out of the rotation. ideally datome’s shooting will carry over.

  • Aug 9, 20134:34 pm
    by zdh

    Reply

    also hopefully mitchell gets playing time over jerebko

  • Aug 9, 20135:17 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I hope Cheeks has no fixed rotation and basically tells everyone to earn their minutes.   Different players also bring different skill sets to the mix and Cheeks can hopefully rotate to take advantage of whatever the best mafchups are.   That said, while I’m way on board with Smith, Jennings and starting the Drummond, Monroe and Smith front-line, I’m least impressed with Dumars this summer for hiring Cheeks.  
    Just imagine we had George Karl!  He would break Brandon Jennings of taking bad shots pretty quickly. Frankie D seems like the resident Blazer expert on these boards and according to him, Cheeks is likely to let the players do what they want on offense and  that’s worrisome.  

    That said, Jennings said the right things at the press conference, had a lest selfish reputation coming into the league and particularly said he wanted to get back to playing like himself while employing better options.  He even said, “Lob city” which was exactly what I wanted to hear.   

    One thing that seems obvious to me is that Jennigns draws a lot more attention to himself on the court than Knight.  Teams often need two players to contain him.  Jennings is also a much better passer than Knight and handles pressure very well.  

    The spacing issues are real but the Pistons now have a lot of good passers for any lineup.   They also have a lot of speed and athleticism.   The comparison to the Grizzlies so far has focused on the Grizzlies superior shooting while completely ignoring the Pistons superior size, athleticism, ability to play above the rim and speed.  And the do the Grizzlies of last year really have superior shooting to this year’s Pistons?   Tony Allen started for that group and they barely had any three point shooting off the bench.      Last year, the Grizz finished 30th in 3 pointers made –the Pistons finished 22nd–while shooting a worse percentage than the Pistons.  Now the Pistons have added Jennings-who has finished in the top ten 2 out of his four years in 3 pointers made , KCP, Billups, Datome and still have Singler and V.   So the Pistons are actually a much better 3 point shooting team than the Grizzlies were last year.   Doesn’t this help with the spacing issues the front line might have even though they are unlikely to play heavy minutes together?  People can say what they want but having a historically large talented front line is bound to be intimidating and dominating on a a lot of nights.    

  • Aug 9, 20135:29 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    Sweet trade idea i saw today: Trevor Ariza for CV

    TrevoR is a quality defender, can make 3s at SF… Better all around player, starting quality SF, championship experience.  

    • Aug 9, 20136:56 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’d be happy with that. I don’t like Ariza much, but I like him better than Charlie and he is a better fit positionally.

  • Aug 10, 20131:16 am
    by Junior

    Reply

    Not exactly sure why Singler has a bad rap. I see him playing regularly over CV, JJ, Luigi, and Stuck. Not to mention I expect him to be on the floor in closing minutes of games as well. More than expected anyway..

  • Aug 10, 20139:21 am
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    Mitchell seems like the wildcard in all this speculation.  He might languish on the bench this year.  However, he might get run due to his exceptional athleticism and willingness to defend and rebound.

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