↓ Login/Logout ↓
Schedule/Results
↓ Roster ↓
Salaries
↓ Archives ↓
↓ About ↓

Polarizing Brandon Jennings first of four top-70 ranked Pistons

There are a lot of exciting aspects that go along with this #NBArank series, but it’s pretty obvious that the excitement surrounding Tony Mitchell‘s ranking is quite the same as the excitement surrounding the starters and best players on each of the NBA teams.

And with new Pistons’ point guard Brandon Jennings sneaking into the rankings at a surprising No. 70, we get to the point where discussion of, “How’d he rank ahead of that guy?!” is actually worth discussing.

Jennings rankings comes with some shock. Not that Jennings is a bad player, but coming in ahead of guys like Eric Gordon, Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry and Kemba Walker just seems kind of, well, shocking. Maybe the public perception of Jennings fitting in Detroit isn’t that bad.

Last night’s preseason opener wasn’t available on television — and it didn’t say anything about what this team really is — but Jennings seemed to put together an efficient night (15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and five steals). It’s yet to be seen how that will carry over to real games against NBA competition, but it’s a start.

One final nugget courtesy of Dan: Seven teams have at least four players in the top 70. The Nets, Bulls and Warriors have five. The Pistons, Rockets, Pacers and Grizzlies have four.

What do the seven non-Detroit teams have in common? They made the playoffs last season.

27 Comments

  • Oct 9, 20131:40 pm
    by Some Dude

    Reply

    Pistons got 4 starters in the top 70. That’s a big time upgrade.

  • Oct 9, 20131:48 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    What do the other seven teams also have in common? Rockets aside (assuming Asik is one of them), their four top players each play four different positions and have demonstrated the ability to play together successfully. They’re not trotting out two centers and a power forward, with only shaky SG options in their starting lineups. And in the case of the Rockets, it’s probably very safe to say that their top two players (who play complementary positions) will both rank higher than any Piston. Those teams each also have legitimate All-Stars, which is rather different from “perpetually one step away from perennial All-Star status” like our guys.
     
    And in the Rockets’ case, it stands to reason that they’ll be more open to trading Asik if it stands to improve the team. The Pistons’ track record suggests that regardless of how bad the chemistry looks, they’ll sit on their hands until they have no option but to extend Monroe with a max contract and just hope things eventually work out.

    • Oct 9, 20132:17 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Asik is definitely one of them because Lin has already come up. If you have any doubt:
      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/nbarank-hou-2013/2013-nba-player-rankings-houston-rockets

      Also, top 70 is a very arbitrary cut-off. The Pistons also have only 4 guys in the ranking’s top 170. That will put them worse than most teams. And the Pistons won’t have anyone in the top 20.

      The Pistons are much improved over last season. But the fact that they are one of just 8 teams with 4 guys in the top 70 is pretty meaningless.

    • Oct 9, 20133:58 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      The article doesn’t claim that the Pistons are better than the Rockets it is simply implying that the overall talent upgrade has probably given the Pistons to be a playoff team.
      Are the Pisotns a likely playoff team? yes.  Is Brady ranking the Pistons higher than any of the mentioned 7 team? no. 
       
      Also, it may “stand to reason” that the rockets are more likely to make a trade for Asik than the Pistons are, but they have specifically responded to Asik’s negativity toward the Howard signing by saying they will make it work and not pursue a trade.
       
       

      • Oct 9, 20134:09 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I never claimed he was ranking the Pistons higher than any of the other 7. I said that lumping the Pistons in with them requires a very skewed perspective. They are not only a big step down from those other 7, they are a step down from many other teams.

        The Pistons are currently a fringe playoff team. It would not be surprising if they made it or didn’t. 

        • Oct 9, 20136:33 pm
          by Rodman4Life

          Reply

          Tarsier = Debbie Downer.  C’mon dude, stop masquerading as some wise, shrewd basketball purist.  Just enjoy the fact that we’ll be better already!

          • Oct 9, 20139:21 pm
            by CityofKlompton

            I think there is a lot of over-analyzing going on here. It’s an interest fact of the NBA Rankings that of the other teams with four players in the top 70, all of them made the playoffs last season. No need to go beyond that “fun fact.” It’s not a declaration of anything other than that the Pistons have something in common with seven teams that made the playoffs last year.

          • Oct 9, 20139:57 pm
            by tarsier

            Rodman4Life,

            Maybe I’m a downer relative to other fans, but I am currently on a 7 year streak of overestimating the Pistons every offseason.

        • Oct 10, 201310:16 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          @tarsier I should have specified I was mostly directing that @Otis because it seemed his comment jumped from Pistons have players ranked in the same realm as other playoff teams to all of the reasons why the Pistons aren’t as good as those other playoff teams, which is rather unrelated to what the author was asserting in the article.
           
          Everyone has strong opinions, but EVERY article doesn’t need to go back to a debate on spacing and fit especially when the author isn’t making any grand over the top claims about the team in the first place.  The Pistons have added talent, which most would agree and that is a good sign…not a sign of an impending championship or a sign that no other changes are likely needed in the future…just a positive sign for the franchise in general.

  • Oct 9, 20131:52 pm
    by Some Dude

    Reply

    I don’t see any issue with Jennings ranking in front of Walker, Gordon, or whoever else. This ranking has nothing to do with previous season. You can complain all you want about how inefficient or selfish Jennings played in Milwaukee. But it doesn’t matter. People make the mistake regarding this ranking and panel in that they think it’s based on the past. It’s not.

    “We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, in terms of “the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season.”

    It’s all about how they believe the players will potentially perform this year. All the previous years are flushed down the toilet. I don’t see anything wrong with believing Jennings will have a better season playing for Detroit, than those other players playing for likelier worse teams in the Bobcats, Raptors, Wizards, Pelicans, ect. 

    • Oct 9, 20133:28 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      You have to understand that estimates of future performance are largely based on past performance. So yes, that past performance matters.

      • Oct 9, 20133:56 pm
        by Some Dude

        Reply

        It matters a bit in order to form their assumption of the future. But it’s mainly how they feel they will perform as oppose to how they did perform. Example, Harrison Barns is highly ranked less because of how well he played in the playoffs (though that does matter) and more for the fact that they see him getting playing more playing time and having a more significant role this year.

        I mean there are players that moved up in the rankings that didn’t do jack last year. But because those players might receive more playing time because of a open roster spot, or new opportunity, they got ranked higher. It varies from player to player. But I’m just saying what I heard in the Truehoops video.

        • Oct 9, 20134:11 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          You are deluding yourself if you don’t think Barnes’ ranking is because of his playoff performance–which wasn’t even that great. Barnes has no business in the top 100.

  • Oct 9, 20132:05 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    I would put Jennings ahead of Walker and Beal. And for now, ahead of Gordon because I have no idea what to expect when he eventually plays again. I wouldn’t put him ahead of Lowry (although Lowry is just a supremely underrated player) and i’d probably put him just behind Teague, but I could see someone going either way on that.

    But Jennings is also probably behind some people I’d put him ahead of. He is definitely a top 100 player and definitely not a top 50 player. You could probably make a case for him almost anywhere in that range. 70 is not unreasonable.

  • Oct 9, 20133:44 pm
    by Clark

    Reply

    i think we only had 1 player in last years top 70. This is incredibly meaningful.

    • Oct 9, 20133:58 pm
      by Some Dude

      Reply

      Yeah Monroe was 49.

    • Oct 9, 20134:13 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Having better players is great. Arbitrarily making the cut-off at 70 is meaningless.

      As I pointed out, why not choose the equally meaningless cut-offs of 170 or 20 where the Pistons will have 4 or 0 players respectively, both very bad numbers?

      • Oct 9, 20134:35 pm
        by Brady Fredericksen

        Reply

        Is “Four Pistons in the top 75″ less arbitrary of a cutoff? The rankings come out in sets of 10; and today’s set was 70-61.

        • Oct 9, 20134:53 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Of course not. Any number is arbitrary. I get that you have to choose one and it makes sense to do so, We do it all the time, referring to top 10 or top 20 or top 100 guys.

          My point is merely that the exclusivity of the group that puts the Pistons in is misleading. It would be like pointing out that Ellis joins the exclusive company of Wade and CP3 as the only guys to average 19 points, 3 boards, 6 assists, and 2 steals over a season in the past half decade. That’s true, but there are others who deserve to be mentioned with Wade and Paul. And Ellis doesn’t deserve to be. But by choosing the right threshholds, we can make that list happen.

          • Oct 9, 20135:07 pm
            by Brady Fredericksen

            I see your logic, but on the same token, these rankings are concocted as a predictor of how guys will perform this season. Are all of these guys going to play to their rankings? Of course not, but the idea of a team having even four of the top 100 players still has some worth. 

            Talented teams don’t always succeed, but untalented teams never do. Individual talents, at this point, are the only variable with the Pistons that can be sorta-quantified at this point.

          • Oct 9, 20135:46 pm
            by tarsier

            no argument there

      • Oct 10, 20131:19 pm
        by Shawn

        Reply

        I don’t think 70 is as meaningless of a cutoff as some are suggesting.  Let’s look at it like this:  There are 30 teams in the NBA.  Of those those thirty teams there are five starting five positions.  If you multiply five times the 30 teams that means that there are a total of 150 starting positions in the NBA.  If you half that you have 75 positions that could be considered as being in the top half of production if you ranked them as such.  

        Dropping the five from 75 and you have 70.  Usually the players near the middle are pretty much equal any way.  There may be marginal differences but generally they aren’t relevant.

        This is meaningful because now we have four players that are better than average and in the top half of the best basketball players in the NBA.  That is how winning teams are formed.  I doubt we will win a championship this year but we are on our way.  That is what matters. 

        • Oct 10, 20132:25 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Any number used as a cut-off is arbitrary because it makes the difference between x+1 (71) and x-1 (69) more significant than the difference between x-1 (69) and x-50 (20). And that latter difference matters much, much more.

          Also, you seem to misunderstand the concept of average. If you made a lineup of the best, 2nd best, 98th best, 99th best, and 100th best players, it would be much better than a lineup of the 58th, 59th, 60th, 61st, and 62nd best players even though either group would “average out” to each player being the 60th best in the league. Fact: the drop-off from top 10 to top 20 is bigger than from top 20 to top 30, etc.

  • Oct 10, 201312:32 pm
    by Anthony

    Reply

    Who cares about rankings !!!  The overall talent is improved and we haven’t been able to say that in a while.  We should all be excited and get ready for a possible playoff run.

    • Oct 10, 20132:27 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      “The overall talent is improved and we haven’t been able to say that in a while.”

      I’ll have you know that the fans on this site have been able and willing and eager to say that each of the past several off-seasons. 

  • Oct 10, 20132:46 pm
    by LT

    Reply

    ESPN currently has a fan pole where we have an opportunity to rank the NBA’s be PGs. Jennings is not an option. Guys like K.Lowrey, J. Calderon  are options. Jennings was an oprion son a similar ESPN poll earlier this year. WTF… does playing for the Pistons really devalue him as a player to that degree? wow!

    • Oct 10, 20133:39 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Where is this poll?

      If it has about 20 PGs on it, then Jennings would be right on the cusp where it could make sense for him to be one of them or not. 

  • Leave a Reply

    Your Ad Here