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76ers on same level as Pistons?

Essentials

  • Teams: Philadelphia 76ers (6-11) at Detroit Pistons (6-10)
  • Date: December 1, 2013
  • Time: 3:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons were supposed to be contending for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference standings at the very least. They are in the exact spot that was projected for them and yet it still feels as though they are underachieving.

They will host the Philadelphia 76ers today (early start!!) in the prestigious “6-Win Bowl Game” that features two teams with six victories. Sounds exciting right? Meh.

The 76ers have lost three straight games and sport one of the worst scoring differentials in the east. Three players can legitimately make the claim they are the top guy on the team (in no particular order): Evan Turner, Michael Carter-Williams and Spencer Hawes.

That’s it. Seriously, have a look at the names on the team. No one in the arena today will be quaking in their shoes because that trio will be on the floor. This is not to suggest they are scrubs, but rather that they are not elite or even All-Star caliber players.

The roster is a reflection of the direction of the organization. Philly never planned to contend for a postseason berth in 2013-14. They blew up the team during the offseason and made the decision they were going to tank. The upcoming draft class simply seems far too impressive and consequently, the 76ers want lottery balls.

And yet, they have the same amount of wins as the Pistons. I’m letting that one sit for a second.

16 games in, the Pistons are simply not good (small sample size alert!). They have one thing they can hang their hat on and that is offensive rebounding. Everything else is mystery worthy of Dan Brown’s writing skills.

Detroit lost their last game to the Los Angeles Lakers despite leading by double digits to start the fourth quarter. The Purple and Gold converted 20 free throws and also hit 14 triples in that game. That’s a testament to the Pistons’ inability to stop people and boy did it bite them hard in this instance.

To be fair, weird things happen over the course of an 82-game schedule and Wesley Johnson gashing an opponent for 27 points certainly qualifies as such. But still, Detroit has a talented frontline and thus, they simply should be better.

Josh Smith has All-Star talent while Greg Monroe may very well earn a max-level contract or something within its range. Andre Drummond actually has a chance to make the All-Star team this season provided that a few things break right for Detroit.

And yet, they have the same amount of wins as the tanking 76ers. The term “must win” is often overused in sports and also, if we are being realistic, it does not apply in this case for Mo Cheeks. Mind you, failing to beat a Sixers team at home that is trying to lose is certainly bad for team morale.

There is time to right the ship and that starts with beating teams that seem allergic to collecting wins (I realize the irony in that last sentence given that Detroit has a sub-.500 record).  A quick glance at the schedule reveals that this has actually been the Pistons’ modus operandi in 2013-14.

They have feasted on the league’s worst and struggled with everybody else. Perhaps all they need to do is remain in character for this one and win going away…

Read about the 76ers

Hoop 76.

7 Comments

  • Dec 1, 20136:55 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    first game where Drummond actually looked like a real basketball player….

  • Dec 1, 20137:47 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I haven’t watched this game yet (will assess when i get home) but i did follow the play-by-play closely and i noticed a couple of things. The first was that Jennings who had 11 first half assists seems to go into SG mode in the second half. This isn’t the only game he has tried to pad his stats and its starting to get old very quickly. The next thing is that we are crap at holding a lead and i find myself waiting for us to self-destruct coming out of the locker room. They need to play like they are down 10-20 points and stop looking at the score board. Hopefully when Chauncey gets back he can sort that out because its already cost us 2-3 wins. Finally i’ll just mark this one down as a win that we SHOULD’VE won and did. Can’t wait to get home to see Drummond shoot a million free throws and miss them all (jokes).

  • Dec 1, 201310:37 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I don’t think Jennings is padding stats I think Cheeks takes the ball out of his hands in the 2nd half in favor of stuckey

  • Dec 2, 20132:59 am
    by mythx

    Reply

    Look I know this is early. But I think the Pistons need to start making plans for a trade.  The mix on this group is bad. They lack perimeter shooting and ball movement at key times. There are really two ways to think about this. And our draft pick this year will also factor in.
     
    The east is weak and the Pistons could decide to make a push this year and try to up their talent level. A tanking team like Milwaukee may decide to dump long term salary and a Stucky Charlie V Trade for OJ Mayo/Caron Butler would do that for them. Stucky puts up better numbers but Mayo shoots better from downtown. But Mayo has 2 extra years on his deal. Thats why the ending salaries of Charlie and Caron come in as we get an older but legit SF to bring off the bench and Milwaukee trades one expiring contract for 2.  
    If the Pistons decide that they want to reverse course and try to get younger and keep the pic this year trading Josh to Cleveland for Waiters and Bennett may not be a bad idea.  Both have talent and are young but have some flaws.  Cleveland has made no secret of their desire to resign Lebron after this year. A Lebron/Smith/Irving grouping would be versatile and put all those players in their best positions to win. Plus theyh would still have good second line talent in AV,Tristan Thompson and Jarret Jack 
     

    • Dec 2, 20133:58 am
      by domnick

      Reply

      i dont think we need to rush and look for trades this early…. im sure.. we will be active during the trade deadline.. no reason for us to start trading… 
       
      we’re winning with stuckey right now coz he is focused.. we have to take advantage of his good games… rather than trading him early on…
      i wanna trade our trashes first (jerebko, bynum, CV and siva)… the underperformers need to get out of this town

  • Dec 2, 20134:26 am
    by mythx

    Reply

    I would not wish to part with Stuckey either.  Which is really not a sentence I ever thought I would write. But one of the best ways to make the Pistons front line more effective to to add shooters.  The only consistent shooter they have is 37 years old and injured. 
    Mayo has nearly identical production to Stuckey. But he does it more as a shooter than a slasher. Butler also while over the hill is an effective 3 point shooter (and still 6 years younger than Billups.  Those players give you options at the end of a game.
    As for trading the trash who would want any of them? Charlie’s only value is as an expiring deal. Bynum may have some value to a team like Chicago that needs depth now. Jerebko has basically zero value as a player. And while I realize Siva’s limitations he is the best defensive PG on the roster and he makes the barest minimum that a player can make. Unless you need to throw him in to a bigger deal you keep him.
    The only other trade i would consider is trying to bring back Afflalo. But we would have to take on alot of salary to bring him here as Orlando would make us take another contract plus a young player or 2.
    Something like Afflalo and Nelson for Charlie V.,Bynum Singler and MCW. They would dump money and get two young players in return.

    • Dec 2, 20138:53 am
      by domnick

      Reply

      afflalo.. hmmmm not bad but he is also a limited player…
       
      i’d trade cv first… where? maybe ny knicks and get lazy italian shooter

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