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3-on-3: Almost-midseason grades for Peyton Siva, Tony Mitchell and Josh Harrellson

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.

1. The sample size has been small, but what how would you grade Peyton Siva‘s performance so far at the almost-midway point of the season?

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered: The Pistons have an offensive rating of 83.8 when Siva is on the court. The only point guards who’ve led their teams to worse offensive ratings are Eric Maynor, Isaiah Canaan and Jannero Pargo. Siva has shot poorly and turned the ball over at an extreme rate. Of course, it’s a small sample, and Siva is just is a rookie, but he hasn’t shown any potential during NBA games for belonging in the league next season. At least he got his contract guaranteed for the rest of this season, which is a positive indicator for his behind-the-scenes work. GRADE: F

Brady Fredericksen, PistonPowered: Think back to the Pistons’ preseason loss in Orlando. That was a game where he finished with 12 points and eight assists — but also shot 3-for-10 and had nine turnovers. He also played without a backup, and labored through 47 minutes in a loss where the Pistons shockingly blew a big lead. That game literally meant nothing, but he worked his butt off the entire game. His play hasn’t been pretty this year — just like it really wasn’t in that game — but he’s giving this his best try. I know you don’t want to reward a guy for being a hard worker, but if Siva’s bringing that kind of energy in practice for the Pistons, he’s doing all they could hope for right now. Even if his play on the court as stunk (hint: it has), he’s still proving to have some sort of value to the team, perhaps in practice, if they’re continuing to invest in him and his future. GRADE: F+

Ben Gulker, Detroit Bad Boys: Coming out of college, Siva looked like a long-shot to stick in the NBA, and so far in (only) 76 minutes as a pro, he’s looked like a long-shot to stick in the NBA. Of particular concern is a nearly 62% turnover rate, which is definitely inflated by such a small number of minutes, but certainly doesn’t do anything to inspire confidence that he’s capable of handling NBA defenders. I know a lot of fans have been asking for more minutes for Peyton — and that’s understandable given some of the erratic guard play — but right now, he’s simply not part of the answer.  GRADE: D

2. The sample size has been even smaller for Tony Mitchell, but what how would you grade his performance at the almost-midway point of the season?

Dan Feldman: Mitchell has scored efficiently and rebounded and blocked shots at high rates — all during garbage time. He remains the only Piston not to crack the rotation all season. I’ve enjoyed his late-game highlights, but they’re not enough to have me calling for his playing time to increase. Mitchell is talented, and maybe on a team with less big-man depth, he could have a bigger role. GRADE: C

Brady Fredericksen: There’s no recent Piston who’s been more exciting in garbage time than Mitchell. He’s hit 3-pointers, he’s dunked, he’s gotten to the free throw line — he’s basically doing everything he possibly can in the minute-and-whatever time he gets at the end of a blowout. I talked to Mitchell during Summer League, and he’s aware that his motor scared some teams off during the draft. Those stints of bat-out-of-hell play show he’s at least trying to give it his all when he gets in games. He’s just a fun player — definitely one who isn’t ready to be a full-time contributor — but in the minor minutes he’s gotten, he’s been a pretty fun player. GRADE: B-

Ben Gulker: In even fewer minutes than Siva, Mitchell has looked like the raw athlete that has a chance at becoming a rotation-worthy big man if he puts the time into disciplining and refining his game that excited many of us when Joe Dumars selected him. Opportunities are certainly limited given the Pistons’ frontcourt, but as a second-round pick on a second-round contract, I hope he sticks for at least one more season. Where will you get another big man with this kind of upside for less than a million bucks per season? GRADE: B

3. He’s bounced in and out of Maurice Cheeks‘ rotation thus far, but what grade has Josh Harrellson earned at the almost-midway point of the year?

Dan Feldman: Harrellson has been extremely productive. He does all the big-man things — score inside, rebound, block shoots — well, but he also leads the Pistons’ top 10 players in minute in 3-point percentage (37.0)! That’s partially an indictment of this roster’s shooting, but good for Harrellson. Unfortunately, the Pistons’ optimal lineup — featuring a staggered use of two of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond — leaves no meaningful role for Harrellson. GRADE: B+

Brady Fredericksen: Remember how we had the running joke of Everyone Loves Kim English? I think Harrellson could eventually get that with fans, too. The guy’s nickname is Jorts, he’s huge and he likes to shoot 3-pointers; what’s there to hate? But he’s not a great defender against agile, athletic guys and he’s lead-footed, but when he comes into the game for those short stints, good things happen. I don’t think his recent lack of PT has been all his fault — Cheeks is trying to find a sustainable rotation — but the good flashes have been much more apparent than the bad ones from Jorts so far. GRADE: B+

Ben Gulker: I am a huge Jorts fan. How can you not be? If anyone on the Pistons deserves more minutes (and more shots), it’s this Josh. When given time, Jorts has provided respectable rebounding and plenty of hustle, but more importantly, he is a fantastic three-point shooter. Unfortunately for him, he’s playing behind a franchise-caliber center, and he’s not particularly suited to defending mobile power forwards (playing him out of position is rarely an option). I’d love to see how a Monroe-Harrellson frontcourt works with three other shooters on the floor for extended minutes. On paper, it should work on offense, but I’m not sure we’ll get. This grade will certainly seem high to a lot of people, but relative to expectations and contract size, Jorts is performing as well as could be hoped. GRADE: A+


  • Jan 13, 20145:44 pm
    by Lee


    Wow, this is so biased and anti-Siva it is just laughable.  There is no one that PistonPowered loves to hate as much as Siva except perhaps for Greg Monroe!  Of course no one could be bothered to look at his D-league scores–28 points in a little over 24 minutes in his first game or the 27 points, 10 assists, and 8  steals after his wrist injury or the fact that he he hit two free throws in the final 3.9 seconds to seal a victory for the Mad Ants after coming back from a 20 point deficit.  
    76 minutes of NBA playing time  does not give an adequate representation for what Siva can or cannot do in the NBA especially as he had no practice time with the team or in training camp due to injury.  
    My grade for your evaluations:  F minus.  

    • Jan 13, 20145:50 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      “so far”

      • Jan 13, 20146:01 pm
        by Lee


        Just pointing out the glaring omission that “so far” does, in fact, include Siva’s excellent d-league performance or many things he does well.  To give Tony a B and Siva an F is ridiculous.  But then Tony didn’t get drafted instead of Trey Burke (not Siva’s fault) or win the national championship.      

        • Jan 13, 20146:19 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Siva didn’t get drafted over Burke. I didn’t factor in the D-League at all.

          • Jan 13, 20146:36 pm
            by Lee

            I was not implying that Siva got drafted over Trey Burke, obviously not.  Only that there is bad feeling about Trey Burke not being selected that carries over to the fact that Siva was selected period.  My point was the title does  not say mid-season NBA playing time grades.  So why wasn’t d-league experience included.    
            As far as Brady Fredericksen’s reply below, again, no attempt to look at what Siva did in d-league or the fact that he played without benefit of practice with the team or training camp due to injury.   So Kim English has some short stint good numbers and I am supposed to conclude that Siva will go the way of Kim English.  Please!
            Come on, guys, just admit you don’t like Siva, never did, and cannot and will not give him a fair shake compared to other players and we’ll call it quits.In fact let’s call it quits anyway because there would be little you could do to convince me you have the least intention of being fair. 

          • Jan 13, 20148:35 pm
            by Huddy

            so Siva has some short stint of good numbers vs sub par competition and were supposed to believe he will go the way of a good NBA player?  He performed bad vs NBA competition and his biggest sample size (college) really were very unimpressive numbers.  Never been a good shooter/passer and played good defense in a college trap system unlike anything he will play in the NBA.  Look at where he was drafted.  Nba talent scouts put him in the end of the second round Where Players might complete a contract and long shot will even be nba role players.  Assuming his future is bleak is the safe bet in reality.  Lots of players do well in the D leave ( not just English) few contribute on the level that matters.  Mitchell is first round talent with motor questions that he has used his minutes to respond to as best possible.  Siva starts with low nba expectations and does nothing in nba games to prove otherwise.  Grades are tough in low minutes, but Siva Hasn’t moved the needle.

        • Jan 13, 20146:24 pm
          by Brady Fredericksen


          Siva PER: -4.46

          Mitchell PER: 17.88

          Skewed with minimal PT, obviously but either way, Peyton Siva has gotten on the floor and done two things in his career so far — foul and turn the ball over. He’s got 24 combined fouls/turnovers and just 20 combined points/rebounds/assists so far.

          So… so far, he’s been bad. You know who else put up great short-stint numbers in the D-League? Kim English last year.

        • Jan 13, 20146:55 pm
          by Brady Fredericksen


          I interviewed Siva in Orlando during that game I described, he’s a great guy. Really nice. Just not great at basketball.

          • Jan 13, 20148:06 pm
            by gmehl

            Brady you really need to change your avatar man… you look like the green wiggle :-)

    • Jan 13, 201411:10 pm
      by oats


      “There is no one that PistonPowered loves to hate as much as Siva except perhaps for Greg Monroe!”
      PistonPowered has an anti-Monroe bias? I know some of the people in the comments do, but that’s not really indicative of the site.

      • Jan 14, 201411:26 am
        by Tim Thielke


        I can’t speak for the other writers, but probably the guy I am most disproportionately inclined toward hating is Villanueva.

  • Jan 13, 20148:45 pm
    by JYD for Life


    There really was no reason not to draft Seth Curry instead of Siva.  It’s not like we need outside shooting or anything…

  • Jan 13, 20149:06 pm
    by brgulker


    We didn’t consider the D League because D League games mean even less than preseason games :)

    • Jan 13, 20149:30 pm
      by Huddy


      Agreed.  skill level is worse due to fewer players that will actually make teams being present.  If anything might say it is more organized.

      • Jan 13, 201410:42 pm
        by Parsons


        See I don’t agree with that. At least in the D league he’s playing. Even at practice when I played in high school the starters played most in practice, the bench 5 was the other half of the 5 on 5s and everyone else just watched and waited to run lines. Thankfully I was a starter but I always wondered how someone who never touches a basketball can get better? Siva is not an NBA player yet and I really don’t see how riding the bench next to Jerebko could make him better. At least in the D league he’s playing. He wasn’t doing particularly well in the D league anyway and neither was Mitchell for that matter. I know competition is better but not if neither does anything.

        • Jan 13, 201411:22 pm
          by oats


          They aren’t talking about developing him though, they are talking about grading his performance. It can be both helpful as a development tool and useless as a grading tool.

        • Jan 14, 20147:51 am
          by Huddy


          I’m only comparing d league to summer league level of competition.  He will benefit from getting as much experience as possible.

  • Jan 13, 201411:04 pm
    by domnick


    about mitchell, i think he has a shot at SF. but for siva, i’d say good luck to him
    jorts is just efficient… if he can shoot then he is important.. i’d say… lets play him more than CV…

    • Jan 13, 201411:19 pm
      by oats


      I think Mitchell is incapable of defending SFs for long stretches at a time. He was worse in both the 3/4 court sprint and the lane agility drill than Singler, a guy most people think is a bit on the slow side for a SF. He’s a great athlete for a PF, and a pretty poor one at SF.

  • Jan 14, 201412:13 am


    @smitty it’s obviously the influence if pistons powered

    • Jan 14, 20141:25 am
      by Smitty


      Haha yeah. If that’s he case shouldn’t we be trying to add a SF.

  • Trackback

    Jan 14, 20143:00 am
    by Rocky Statue Museum Blog


    At Almost 4 Feet High

    [...] e due to fewer players that will actually make teams being present.  If anythin [...]

  • Jan 14, 20145:49 am
    by Vince


    *Looks at grades and reasoning*

    Yeah I’m done.
    Siva gets an F – I am so done with explaining myself on this site, Siva plays something called defense, now, I don’t know if y’all know what that is, because in case you were actually watching the games, you’d realize only one Piston guard plays D. Siva has not had consistent minutes and has played spot minutes in random situations for the Pistons. D-League. Dude played well, not exceptional, but he played well, but I guess pre-season is a great way to judge a player, I mean Josh Smith was hyper-efficient in pre-season and as a result he has been so good this season. I mean following your logic there is a correlation right? 
    Mitchell gets a C – Alright… Fair enough. Dude has played about 40 minutes, his per-48 stats are off the charts, so of course this guy is the second coming of Rodman. Logical. Completely logical. Again. D-League. Mitchell was so raw. Mitchell IS so raw. He is very athletic, but he doesn’t know how to use his athleticism yet, he needs solid coaching and proper development to become a solid player. That being said I’m fine with this grade, a bit generous considering your previous benchmark, but this is the standard I’ve come to expect from here.
    Completely agree with Jorts though. So theres that. At least I know you’ve been watching him play.

    • Jan 14, 20145:58 am
      by Vince


      Also Brady, your comment about PER made me laugh. Did you know that Charlie Villanueva had a PER of 27 after two-three games this season? Damn man, Chunky must have been playing like LeBron out there, oh what? He played about 15 minutes over those first three games? But that totally means he is a superstar right? Right? What? His PER isn’t 27 anymore? PERs CHANGE? OMG SERIOUSLY? Wow. I’ve learnt something today. PERs change dude. But I guess you knew that already… What is it you guys always say about players and stats when they don’t go your way again? OH. Small sample size. Right. Those. 

      • Jan 14, 20141:19 pm
        by Brady Fredericksen


        PER is flawed, totally flawed, but when any statistic is skewed to the extent that those guy’s PERs are, it’s worth noting. Especially since they have no stats to speak of otherwise. If you’ve got any statistic and it’s in the negatives, I don’t think your eyes are lying to you — that stinks.

      • Jan 14, 20141:40 pm
        by Tim Thielke


        Small sample size would be a reason not to draw future conclusions based on these performances. However, if you are grading what has been done, the size of the sample is irrelevant. Siva has been abysmal. He has barely been abysmal because he has barely played. But to the extent that we can judge him, he has been one of the absolute worst players in the league.

        Similarly, in those 15 minutes of play you referenced about CV, he was fantastic. We had no reason to think he’d continue to be fantastic, but in those couple minutes, he was. If I had to grade him on just those minutes, would I give him an A+? No, but that’s because the fact that he’d only garnered a couple minutes was telling of the fact that he wasn’t all that good. But he would certainly get a good grade because what little we could judge would have been positive.

        So Siva has a double whammy. We know he’s not very good because he can’t beat out pretty weak competition for minutes. And we know he’s not very good because when he does play, he’s awful. We don’t know he’ll never be good because there’s not much evidence either way. But what we do have supports the idea that he probably won’t (as does the fact that nobody wanted him in the first 54 picks).

    • Jan 14, 20148:06 am
      by Huddy


      sivas defense has been ok in his limited minutes and the comparison to the other piston point guards is useless since they are all bad defenders.  Being marginally better at defense than bad defenders isn’t a strong sign that he is destined for this league.  Very few players his size carve out a career based solely on defense because they have to be very good to make up for the size they give up.  What are the chances siva becomes an elite nba defender?  It’s much more likely the pistons add a reserve with broader skills or At least with more size to compliment their small guards.

    • Jan 14, 201411:36 am
      by Tim Thielke


      Who has Siva shut down? Opposing PGs have typically put up numbers slightly above their averages with Siva on them. When you are horrendous on offense, you have to be better than almost average on defense to make up for it.

      Admittedly, he has played so few minutes that his F isn’t very meaningful. But in his very limited NBA play, that is what he has deserved.

  • Jan 14, 20147:48 am
    by Derek AKA Redeemed


    Jorts was well on his way to becoming a fan favorite with his range and grit

  • Jan 15, 20141:28 am
    by anacaniwelk


    So true Lee, once Pistons Powered renders an opinion on a player it’s set in stone.  Once they do, they dedicate themselves to defending their opinion…..regardless of how the player plays. Drummond and CV are easy targets for them.  Drummond is the “second coming” regardless of his enormous shortcomings, ie. poor defense, horrific half-court offense, and the NBA’s worst free-throw shooter. When CV makes his shots they mock him, when he doesn’t they mock him. Incredibly biased and unfair. I think their parents screwed them up.

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