Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by kpaav, Jan 24, 2013.
People like you make me itch.
When we beat the Bucks the Buck announcers were saying, "this is strange, we're 2-1 against the Bulls and Pacers yet 0-2 against the Pistons ?"
Where P99 ?
Grading the Pistons:
Frank. Can't tell. We just don't know how badly Dumars is hamstringing him on his game to game decisions about who plays. If this is all Frank's mess, its a pretty bad one. And yet, hey, look, the Pistons have been looking like not an average team, but an above average one more likely to win a game on a given night than lose one. This Orlando game tonight, it was an away game, against a very determined home team tired of losing.
And who knows. Stuckey did not play tonight, and so, the first sub off the bench was not Stuckey, but English instead. An actual shooting guard. Could this be a trend? Did Frank sit Stuckey just to give him the courage to change something that needs changing? Well, until I see if playing English was just a fluke, or if Frank is actually going to play the guy to see what we have, I won't grade him. Not yet.
Some of the factors I use in grading a coach: Do the rotations make any sense. Is the team playing decent basketball. Are young players getting developed?
I'll start with young players. We are playing Drummond a lot of minutes, for the average rookie anyway. Is it enough. Maybe not enough to optimize our wins, but certainly enough so that he is progressing.
Singler is also an NBA rookie. And he is starting for us. The coach as a matter of fact sees Singler as a shooting guard, small forward, and power forward. In other words, the coach finds almost no end of reasons to play Singler.
In all, thats 2 rookies as a large part of our rotation. On that score, I will not complain. I think he could do better, and hey, playing English more minutes is exactly what I am talking about. Again, is tonight a fluke?
Do the units make sense. To start the year, not in the slightest. Our starting unit of Knight, Stuckey, Tay, JMAX, and Monroe could not work, did not work, and will never work. Not enough shooters, Monroe is jammed up with nobody to kick it out to that can do anything. Stuckey is worthless without the ball. Switching roles - no way, as while Knight can make an open 3, he is not a shooting guard. Tonight, he made 5 threes, not one off his own dribble and just one off a pick. All open shots. (as that pick completely wiped his man away if I recall.) It is great that a point guard can make an open shot. Great skill for a point guard. It does not make him a shooting guard.
More on the rotations. It got a lot better when Singler replaced Stuckey with our starters. Singler. Now, Knight was the undisputed point guard, and Singler could shoot the ball pretty well. Still though, our rotations were still jacked. JJ was playing backup power forward, and not able to for one moment function as an NBA power forward. JMAX was still too short to start as a power forward in the NBA. And Drummond and Monroe never got paired up, so we basically never had a decent front line ever the first month or more of the season.
Worse, Bynum and Stuckey were now paired in the backcourt. Ouch. Since Stuckey went to the bench, where Bynum already was, it was horrid. Bynum quit playing, things looked a bit better.
Later, we added in Maggette. Who is injured. Can't move. He might have helped in one win by being able to shoot. Soon, CV started playing for some outside punch. Then they added Daye for still more outside punch. And hey, our bench started looking pretty good. Only trouble is, we blew Washington away so badly and Bynum got some garbage time. Coach liked what he saw in that GT, and voila, Bynum was back in the rotation. Again, paired up with Stuckey for, oh, of course, disastrous results.
Which brings us to today. Stuckey held out. Mysteriously. And our bench, for the first time in a long time, had a big run, 16-0 in the 2nd quarter. (after coming out weak to start the quarter, they rocked after a needed time out.) Look, its not Stuckey or Bynum so much, as the fact the formula is right. A point guard. Three decent outside shooters with him, and one guy that presents problems for them around the basket. Now, me, I will choose the 6-5, fairly strong Stuckey to play point for the subs, as on the defensive end Stuckey has a lot more versatility to work with. And on the offensive end, yes, I want my point guard to crash inside as much as possible to help build foul trouble on the other team.
And our starters? Still mostly the same problems. They can't consistenty defend inside or clear the defensive glass. Knight has only one strong shooter to pass to. Knight can't shoot under pressure. Pretty simple to defend this group, just keep an eye on Singler, everybody else jam the middle on us.
And yet, we again, are winning a lot of games of late. And not just the cellar dwellars. The losses we have had lately are mostly very close games.
In all, compared to how many wins we could have right now, vs. what we have, I have to give the coach a D-.
English started playing early in the year. That should have never stopped. Coach should never have had JJ at power forward. He should never have had anything but Stuckey in the backcourt with the subs, and Bynum only as an emergency point guard. JMAX could have started, sure, but the complete non-use of Monroe paired with Drummond should never have happened. The Maggette thing - that is on Joe Dumars. All for playing Daye, but he should never have been taken out of the rotation last year nor sat to start this season. CV - still don't think he belongs on the team. Thats on Dumars for having the guy on the roster, and Frank for playing him or some such combination depending on if Dumars forced that. Tay is overplayed. Middleton should be pushing him for minutes.
Compared to what has been used for rotations - I believe that most of the losses to this point would not have happened if we kept the players we used confined to the following: Stuckey, Knight, Singler, English, Middleton, Daye, Tay, JMAX, Kravtsov, Monroe, Drummond. And of these, limited the minutes to an as needed basis for Prince and JMAX. In other words, the way we should have gone, is with our youth.
Who won the game tonight? Max did not play much. Tay was 3-13.
(English played, but since he is a rust bucket at the moment, I will not mention him for this discussion.)
Bynum. Is 30 now. Not really young. Stuckey could have played his minutes. CV played. Not old. Not young.
Young guys that played tonight: Knight, Singler, Daye, Monroe, Drummond.
Young guys who should have: Knight, Stuckey, English, Daye, Singler, Middleton, Kravtsov, Drummond, Monroe. And these should have been the guys playing most of the minutes, to this point in the season.
Well, since English did play tonight and Stuckey has played most nights this year, we just need to add in 2 players, Middleton and Kravtsov, to have a winning, young and promising team.
Finally. Playing the right way. You do see some of that. Knight made a lot of good decisions tonight, and you could tell that he and coach are on the same page on what those decisions should be. I'll give a below average grade though, as other teams we play are obviously playing better team ball than we are. Yes, not having the rotations down, and not having rotations that actually even work does get in the way of good execution - but hey, kind of late in season to listen to any excuse about poor execution at this point.
He's shown me everything that I've wanted to see, and I'll cut a One and Done big man some slack. He doesn't have a post game, but that will come with time, probably next year. He's obviously working on it. He's done everything that he's been asked to do, and done it well. Future All-Star.
He's getting lighter minutes than most guys in his situation, but you'd expect that on a team where there is a fluid rotation. Frank is seeing what works. Before the season, the question was- Is he a 15/8 guy, or a 20/10 guy? He looks like a 17/9 guy. Now the question is- can he play with Dre? A month ago I wasn't so sure. Now, I'm cautiously optimistic. My feeling was that he needed to take his game inside 15 feet and move it out to 18 feet. I think that he's done that over the last few weeks. It's too early to tell, but it looks promising. If he can make that 18 footer one of his bread and butter shots, then we're golden. His defense against quicker PFs needs to improve, but it doesn't have to be great. Right now, there aren't too many teams that can match up with both of our bigs on their end either.
He's doing exactly what he needs to do. I can't fault a guy for his physical limitations. Maxiell is giving us what we hoped Maxiell could give us, which is what you'd expect in a contract year. The nightmare scenario is that Joe rewards him with a three year, 15 million dollar contract. As good as he's been, this is a guy who might not even be in the rotation next year. He's currently our fourth best big man.
He's being an exceptionally efficient version of himself. We're seeing less IsoTayshaun, and more quality team basketball. He's been better than I expected, and I expected him to be average.
He's been a below average starter. However, he has also been a rookie who has been playing out of position. He's a serviceable defender against guards, and I believe, a better than average defender against SFs. Excellent shooter. Moves well without the ball. Always makes the right pass. His +/- numbers don't lie. He should be an excellent side kick to whichever stud wing that we pick up.
Chuck V- C+
Nothing can really make up for his performance during his stay here. Sometimes he has underperformed his contract. Other times he has been a complete bum who just steals money. This year, however, he has been a solid stretch four off of the bench. He's rebounded acceptably and even played some defense. He has been a better than average reserve PF, thus the grade. We have entered a bizarro alternate universe, where most NBA teams would love to bring Chuck V off of the bench. He's probably our third best big man. Weird.
He's doing exactly what he has always done, except this year he's shooting a nice three-ball and acting as a catalyst for the second unit. He has benefited from playing with shooters to spread the floor for him, and Dre gives him a few easy assists a night, but has given the bench a viable volume scorer. CONTRACT YEAR! Like Maxiell, the nightmare scenario is that Joe rewards him with a three year, 15 million dollar contract. As good as he's been, this is a guy who might not even be in the rotation next year.
Statistically, he's basically the same player that he was last year. That's not good. He's also been inconsistent, which is also not good. I don't want to be an apologist, but I would say that playing with Maxiell and Stuckey hasn't helped him much this year. His numbers would look a bit better with a stretch four to help spread the floor, and more floor time with Dre to pick up some easy assists. Ultimately, he'll need to develop a pick and roll/ pick and pop game, if he's going to be a quality starter. Alternatively, he could be a quality starter if we initiated a lot of our offense through the post or a stud wing. Over the last five games, he's averaged 19points and five assists per 36 minutes, but it's too early to call that a trend. I'm waiting to see how he finishes the year before I give him a serious grade. If he finishes the year the same way he started it, then this grade will be a C-/D+.
If this was a grade for his entire career, then it would be a D-. This year, however, he has emerged as a solid reserve SF. A couple years ago, I said that Daye needed to have two bankable skills in order to be a quality starter. Right now he has one. He can flat-out shoot. He's developed into a competent, if unspectacular defender. If he could learn to use his length defensively, like a young Tayshaun Prince, then he might become starting material. As of now, he's just a solid bench guy, hence the grade.
The only reason that this is not a F is that he hasn't had a lot of opportunity. Having said that, when he had some opportunity, he looked bad. With the current rotation, the only spot for him is as a reserve PF. This would mean that Chuck V would have to start, and Maxiell would have to be dropped from the rotation entirely, which isn't likely to happen anytime soon. It's too early to write him off, and I think that he'll get another chance, but it's been a bad year for him.
In his defense, the personnel groupings haven't been ideal for him. He needs shooters to open the floor for his super-colliding. He could probably be a decent starter on this team, but you would have to insert Chuck V into the starting lineup, and drop Maxiell from the rotation. He could lead the bench as a PG/ volume scorer, but Will Bynum has taken that spot. As of right now, he doesn't really have a role on this team. Since he failed to bring more to the table than either Maxiell or Will Bynum, he gets an F.
All other players and coaches get an INC. I'll wait to see how Frank plays out the year, but for the most part, I've liked what I've seen. Sometimes playing time has more to do with proving a point to the team, and developing players the right way, than trying to win a specific ball game. I'm cool with that. It might mean that we get to keep our first round pick next year.
The improvement is barely linear. At this rate we might reach .400 and still light years away.
I believe Dumars is so hands off he's a waste as GM, IDINLT [In Dumars I no longer Trust].
If Frank is adjusting to the competition, it's not moving us forward. Make people adjust to us. All these different rotations just confuse everyone. He can't make everyone happy.
But then again consistent rotations might make us predictable. But our players would know there jobs.
A= .650 or better
F= .399 and less
If we can get a win percentage in the 400's with THIS team, I would consider that a decent season.
I miss the days when 10 wins in the postseason would get a Piston's coach fired.
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