I just had a couple of minutes to calculate some Sprocket Points for the Pistons. Here are the top lines. (The value used in the comparison is the Sprocket Points Index - % of Team Sprocket Points / % of Team Minutes Played. A value of 100 is the average Pistons player. Above 100 is good, below is bad, relative to the team’s average production.) Overall the team is far less productive than last year. Sprocket Points per game are down nearly 9%. That’s the second biggest drop in the league. The Pistons dropped 14 places from 8th to 22nd in the Sprocket point team ranking. That corresponds to a drop in winning percentage from 2nd to 16th, also a drop of 14 places. (Note: Team numbers are through the all star break. They may be a little higher after the last few games. Player numbers include all games except last night.) Best player McDyess – index of 136 Dyess has been far and away the most productive Pistons player. He’s shooting 52%, pretty amazing given the kind of shots he takes, and averaging 9.0 boards in only 28 minutes a game. That’s an 11% improvement over last year. Next tier – Sheed – index of 112 Sprocket Points down about 10% from last year, mirroring the overall team decline. Amir – index of 110 Amir has taken a 24% drop in productivity this year while playing more minutes. He’s simply not the player he was last year when he had the highest index on the team at 132. Max – index of 108 Max is down about 8% year over year. He’s shooting the ball better, but free throw percentage, rebounding, and blocks are way down from last year. He’s also playing fewer minutes per game. Prince – index of 107 Tay is up over last year despite the team decline. Last year’s index was 95. That’s being driven by a healthy increase in his three point shooting percentage (up to nearly 40%) and he’s having a career rebounding year, up a board and a half per game over last year. Easily the most improved player. Below average in productivity Rip – index of 89. Rip’s drop is nearly 12%, a bit bigger than the team average. He’s at 11.9% of team minutes versus 12.2% last year, only down about 0.4 minutes per game, so the decline isn’t from a decline in playing time. I’d guess it’s mostly from a lack of Billups who got him the game exactly where he wanted it exactly when he wanted it. Stuckey – index of 96 That’s up from 87 last year even with the increase in minutes. Not exactly Billups like (Billups was the second most productive player last year with an index of 121.), but still he has stepped up his game a bit more than his increase in minutes would have predicted. Not bad for a near rookie. AA – index of 53 His minutes are about the same as last year, and while a 53 is pretty bad, it is a bit better than his 47 from last season. Walt – index of 73 That’s down from 85 last year, a 20% decline in Sprocket Points per game. But the Dr J index is way up. New guys AI – index of 93 Better than Rip, and not bad for someone who shoots that much. Bynum – index of 100 Not too shabby. Kwame – index of 95 Could be worse. Actually, he’s shooting over 56% and rebounding well for the minutes he plays. His turnovers per minute are twice as high as any other big man, just about the same as Bynum, Stuckey, and AI. Maybe he should be playing point.