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Breaking up the Pistons - Sprocket Points Evaluation

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by dba, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    For me there are two reasons to think about breaking up the starters.

    - The current Pistons’ starters are among the least athletic in the league. No speed, no high flying, no ability to create a shot, and little clutch scoring.

    - Perhaps the sense of complacency we’ve all felt won’t be dissipated just by the coaching change, and change needs to be made just for the sake of change.

    I think the coaching change is enough for the latter. Notice has been served. But the open question is of course whether Stuckey, Johnson, and Affalo can provide quickness and the ability to create shots the team needs. That’s a lot to lay on young players. Maybe with another season of experience under their belts, but the team as currently configured (assuming a back up small forward appears somewhere), doesn’t get past Boston unless they take a step back. Maybe another ECF, but probably not a finals appearance.

    So, that leaves making a trade. And, any trade has only four possible outcomes…

    - Acquire a comparable or better player at the position traded
    - Replace the traded player with a current bench player who doesn’t miss a step
    - Acquire talent so much better at another position that the downgrade to a current bench player at the traded position doesn’t matter
    - Take a step backwards

    Below I’ll look at the big four and evaluate them based on these criteria. My conclusions are…

    Billups – Can’t make the team better by trading Billups. He has to stay.
    Hamilton – Can upgrade the team by moving Rip and he should be shopped.
    Prince – Can upgrade the team by moving Tay and he should be shopped.
    Wallace – Can’t make the team better by trading Wallace. He has to stay.


    Billups
    CB took a bit of a step back this year, ranking 10th among point guards in total Sprocket points. Still, he was the second most productive member of the Pistons (behind Amir) relative to the minutes he played.

    Acquire a better player –
    Probably not possible. Paul, Kidd, Nash, Williams, Calderon, Ellis, and Miller are probably untouchable. Davis might be possible given recent rumors, but why would Golden State take on slow footed Billups? Iverson seems to be available, but probably costs too much to make a trade work. No one else is better.

    Replace CB with Stuckey –
    Stuckey was impressive last season, for a rookie. But, he’s still got a long way to go to make up for all the things Billups does on the floor. Stuckey gets to the line (11th in free throws per 48 minutes among point guards, Billups is 4th), but is 37th in points per 48 minutes, 50th in assists per 48, etc. Stuckey would need to raise his statistical production by nearly 40% to equal Billups’ 48 minute Sprocket Points numbers. Stuckey’s 19% shooting from three isn’t going to force anyone to guard him on the perimeter.

    Acquire better talent elsewhere –
    Maybe possible, but a lot hinges on the point.

    Take a step backwards –
    If Billups goes, this is where I’d place my bet.


    Hamilton
    Rip is also down a bit from last season in the Sprocket Points ranking, coming out 13th in total Sprocket Points and 16th on a 48 minute basis among shooting guards. Among the Pistons Rip ranks 7th in production efficiency (% of Sprocket Points / % of team minutes), below the average.

    Acquire a better player –
    McGrady (8th) and Redd (11th) have been mentioned and would be upgrades. Mike Miller might be had at the continuing Memphis fire sale, and is ranked 9th among shooting guards. Could you pry away Jason Richardson or Brandon Roy? Anthony Parker or Ricky Davis aren’t too much of a step down.

    Replace Rip with Affalo –
    Affalo is a fine young prospect. If he were to play Rip’s minutes, and increase his production by about 37% there would be no letdown at the two spot. That might be too much to expect, but his defensive intensity might help to make up the difference. Paired with Stuckey there just isn’t enough firepower though.

    Acquire Better Talent Elsewhere –
    Possible. CB, Tay, Sheed, et al with a new top line player could make up the Rip gap.

    Take a step backwards –
    It seems to me less likely this would happen by trading Rip.


    Prince
    Prince is 12th in total Sprocket Points among small forwards, but only 31st on a 48 minute basis. He’s just above Hamilton for the Pistons ranked by production efficiency. Not an earth shattering year for Prince, in fact a step back.

    Acquire a better player –
    Anthony is second only to LBJ in Sprocket Points among 3s and is clearly an upgrade. Might Rudy Gay be available ranked 6th? Josh Howard ranked 7th? Jefferson, Kirilenko, Maggette, and Gerald Wallace are all comparable players in terms of total Sprocket Points, and all but Richard Jefferson are better in production efficiency.

    Replace Tay with ??? –
    No one in the wings.

    Acquire Better Talent Elsewhere –
    Any incoming trade would need to upgrade another position and supply a second player to replace Prince with at least similar production. Seems a long shot.

    Take a Step Backwards –
    Unless you can upgrade, then I suspect losing Prince and the calming influence he has on the floor makes for a step backwards.


    Wallace
    Sheed ranks 15th among centers in total Sprocket Points and 30th in Sprocket Points per 48 minutes. On the Pistons he’s third best in production efficiency, just behind Billups and just above McDyess.

    Acquire a Better Player –
    Kamen, Horford, and Biedrins have been mentioned and are upgrades at the five spot. None provide the defensive presence Sheed brings nor the ability to hit the three. Either playing beside Sheed would be formidable tough if Wallace were moved back to the PF spot. But, trading Sheed and making the team better up front seems tough. And, as has been mentioned, saving his expiring contract until next February is likely a better choice.

    Replace Sheed with ??? –
    Samb? I like him, but not this year.

    Acquire Better Talent Elsewhere –
    Tough. Incoming players would be acquired for what they do on the offensive end. None would replace what Wallace does on the defensive end.

    Take a Step Backwards –
    Unless an amazing blockbuster is sitting out there with multiple players moving, I don’t see a way to move Sheed without making for a poorer team.
     
  2. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    Well done. Nice analysis.
     
  3. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Great job dba!
     
  4. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    Great job!

    Another thing to consider is Sheed's expiring contract. If its valuable to another team, it would be valuable to us. The 2009 UFA group is better than this one.
     
  5. max

    max All-Star

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    Great analysis.

    In my opinion, I am mainly concerned with the switch.

    Find out which player/players are the root cause and move them.
     
  6. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    This is exactly what these analysis don't consider - heart and desire.
     
  7. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Whatever...:stirthepot:
     
  8. Warthog

    Warthog Bench Warmer

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    dba, great analysis. i'm a big stat guy too, but i think the one thing with chauncey and stuckey...despite chauncey's favorable production numbers, the fact is stuckey stepped in and one big playoff games on the road and played great in the ECF. stats or not, he's proven as a rookie that he can perform on the big stage, and that negates some of the raw data analysis and reasoning for saying he must stay.
     
  9. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    He did indeed. I'm just scared of his shooting. Even in the playoffs he only managed 37% shooting, though better from three than during the regular season.

    Without a point who requires being guarded at the three point line and takes away a defender, I'm just not sure anyone else can score (against possible doubles). And it's a lot easier to take away Stuckey's drives if you don't have to get up on him outside.
     
  10. round

    round All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion

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    and as great as he did in the playoffs lets not get to carried away, there was no accounting for him really in the oppenents def plans.... lets see how he adjusts when the def starts to account for him, to go with him as our only true pg next year is really taking a chance.... we don't know what he'll do playing serious mins day in and day out.... we all can hope he's ready but nobody truely knows how it will/would go with him given the keys.
     
  11. Smoooth

    Smoooth First Round Draft Pick

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    We should see how the new coaching system will affect the team, then we go from there.
     
  12. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    The problem is that those things won't come up until the conference finals...
     
  13. Nemo

    Nemo Fantasy-Football Snub Forum Donor

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    Figure we only make it to the 2nd round next season...:stirthepot:
     
  14. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Nah, it will be a heroic effort by the Pistons for coach Curry. Lets get ready for the parade.
     
  15. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    The current Pistons’ starters are among the least athletic in the league. No speed, no high flying, no ability to create a shot, and little clutch scoring. [Quote DBA]
    -
    Thanks for digging up the raw data. Another thing raw data doesn't show is the cohesiveness of the 5 players. 59 wins does.
    ---But I have a problem with your premise: can't create a shot ? not clutch ?
    What about our P&R ? How about a clutch block ? As for a high fly-er Maxi will throw it down on you ???
    ---But the synopsis is right, you can't replace these guys without big risk.
     
  16. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Maybe I've just seen too many fourth quarters in game six where no one seemed to want to take the ball and score. It's been default, default, default, bad shot, other team running the other way. Billups trolls for fouls first and good shots second, Rip's big quarters always seem to be the first, and Tay can back anyone down until the double shows up and it always does in the fourth. Sheed can generally score from the post some in the fourth, but even he gets chased out by double and triples especially when no one else seems to want to be a threat.

    Maybe that's bad coaching, maybe it's over-confidence, don't know, but it sure seems a problem to me.
     
  17. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    They just can't hang with the top 3 teams.
     
  18. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

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    I think part of that has to do with the coach's game plan. We all know this team was very good in crunch time a few years back.
     
  19. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    As far as Bup-Bup trolling for fouls, you ibtch when he jacks a tre, now you gripe when he uses his skills to draw fouls.
     
  20. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Not me babe, I'm a downtown fourth quarter guy.

    But come on, how many times have you seen CB or Rip throw themselves sideways through the air while shooting, looking for a foul when they could have taken a higher quality upright shot with a much better chance of going in?

    They're both knock down shooters, but neither is all that great at finishing after contact.
     

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