Grading the Pistons at Mid-Season

Discussion in 'Pistons and Basketball Articles' started by Superstarov, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Superstarov

    Superstarov First Round Draft Pick

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    Well, we made it.

    41 (now 42) games down, halfway through our first season in the Flip Saunders era.

    Amazingly the Pistons lead the NBA by a large margin, having already knocked off the Spurs home and away while preseason contenders Miami, Cleveland and Indiana are all experiencing inconsistency and personnel issues.

    [​IMG]
    Allen Einstein - NBAE/Getty Images

    Euphoric with the recent 10 game winning streak, we rounded up staff members and stuck them in a room to grade the Pistons through the midway point of the 2005/6 season. Here are their findings and conclusions.


    Read on and enjoy.
    -themicrowave

    Chauncey Billups

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    Melissa Majchrzak (NBAE/Getty)

    Overall grade: A


    TBird: A+
    The unquestioned leader of the team, Chauncey seems to have found the perfect balance between scoring and distributing, always seeming to know when to do which. As always, he seems to play his best in crunch time. A legitimate MVP candidate, CB has (along with Steve Nash) established himself as one of the top two point guards in the game.

    The Low: A-
    I can't really give Billups anything other than an A so far this year based on his magnificent play. He has distributed the ball almost perfectly, kept his turnovers down, and essentially torched opponents offensively at will. I would have to attribute the "-" to the fact that he has had a drop off in offensive production as of late, but has maintained his status quo when it comes to running the offense. Although my vote would to Chauncey for MVP, he obviously would need an 82 point game to get it. A near-perfect season for Billups so far.

    Max: A+
    Off to the best season of his career and arguably the best point in the league. Gets it done on both ends of the floor and has been running Flips system to perfection. MVP? If the Pistons win at least 65 then he has a shot.

    MotownPride: A
    Like most Pistons fans, I have enjoyed the evolution of C-Note from an underachieving guard to an MVP candidate. Billups has been considered one of the top premier guards in the NBA by his peers for the past couple of years. But this year, Billups's ascension to the NBAs elite has never been as pronounced.

    We've been blessed with another season of crunch time daggers delivered by the Denver native affectionately known as "Big Shot", but this alone has not transformed Chauncey into one of the most valuable players in the game. In a word, it has been FREEDOM. C-Note has been rewarded for his years of studying in the dojo under Flip, Carlisle, and LB with the keys to the Pistons offense, the Lamborghini of the NBA this year. ...and Chauncey has responded with a stellar driving record. With career highs in FT%, Assists, and T/O to Assist ratio, we've seen him completely dominate games in the stretch this year by consistently making the "right play". Mr. Big Shot has somehow managed to become, believe it or not, more clutch.

    Unfortunately, Chauncey's added aggressiveness on offense seems to have come at the expense of the defensive intensity that earned him a spot on one of the All-NBA defensive teams last season. The drop off has not been significant enough to alter his final grade. Factor in Chauncey's on-court leadership and it becomes impossible to give the quarterback of this team anything less than top marks.

    Superstarov: A-
    Solid. Great job in developing his passing, and still good defense. Sometimes his shot selection is disappointing. Is he still Mr. Big Shot?


    Richard Hamilton

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    (Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Overall grade: A


    TBird: A
    Having by far his finest season, Rip seems a perfect fit for Flip’s offense. In addition to his always dangerous mid-range game, Rip has developed a surprisingly effective three-point shot. Together with CB, arguably the top guard combination in the league. Should be an all-star this year.

    The Low: B+
    There's not a lot to complain about, but I would like to be as objective as possible. Hamilton has been spectacular offensively and has maintained if not improved his ability to light up the scoreboard. He has done a masterful job of adding the 3 pt shot to his arsenal and shooting it at a high percentage. There is only one area of Rip's game that I would like to see slight improvement in and that's his perimeter defense. Rip has a habit of over committing to players when he wants to be serious about D and it often leaves him vulnerable to getting beat off the dribble by quick guards. For the most part, his defense is solid, but as most Piston fans know all too well...dribble penetration can be the death of us some nights. Great season thus far, nonetheless.

    Max: A
    Seems to improve on his weaknesses (defense, rebounding, ball handling, 3-point shooting ) every year to go along with his fine perimeter shooting. Excellent at wearing down the opponent on both ends of the floor. Best in the league at coming off screens. Really starting to look like R.Miller this season with the increased range. One of the toughest players in the league at playing through any kind of injury/discomfort. Reminds me of a Samurai.

    MotownPride: A-
    For years Rip has been the most consistent offensive performer for our Detroit Pistons. Committed to improving his game, Rip brought a secret weapon to the best starting 5 in the game this year....the 3 point bomb. The results have been mind-boggling. Entering into the mid point of the season, Rip has easily become our best 3-point shooter. Amazing. Looks like Rip's development of that shot wasn't stupid after all Larry. Perhaps benefiting the most from Flip's offense, Rip has emerged as one of the most unstoppable scorers in the game. Rip's defense like Chauncey's has dropped off from last season, his best defensive season to date.

    However, the key to this impressive regular season record thus far has been consistency. No Piston has been more consistent than Rip this campaign. For the second half of the season, Rip needs to continue to attack the basket with regularity to prevent his game from drifting to the outside. (Very tempting considering his early success from behind the arc.) Overall, Rip has been impressive and deserves all-star consideration. Unfortunately, in an Eastern Conference with so many dominant guards Rip's chances of going to Houston are remote at best.

    Superstarov: A
    Rip is Rip to the extreme this season. Still running his match-ups ragged, and nailing the mid-range jumper. 3’s have improved and his man to man defense is underrated.

    Tayshaun Prince

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    (Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Overall grade: B+


    TBird: B
    While still solid, Tay is the only starter who seems to have flattened out as the season has gone along. Settling a bit too much for the perimeter shot when on most nights he has a mismatch in the low post. While perhaps not the shutdown defender we thought we had a year ago, Tay remains our best perimeter defender and usually guards the opposing team’s best offensive wing. Perhaps more noticeable when he isn’t on the floor than when he is.

    The Low: B
    I am generally pleased with Tayshaun's resolve this year. He is noticeably more active and aggressive. I think, at times, Tay is my favorite Piston. I love his demeanor and the way he gets the most out of his thin frame. I love the way he sees the floor and plays the game at HIS pace. Some minor concerns for Prince: He is still quite streaky, when he's off, he's WAY off. Also, he still finds a way to disappear in some games when another player is having a good night.

    Lastly, I think he is a little too relaxed on D this year. I believe it's partially from that improved aggressiveness and he is more or less asserting himself as need be. Knowing he can shut down most players at his position I think has lent Tayshaun to kind of "turn it on" or "turn it off" at times. For example: During the Houston game, although McGrady was on fire, Prince really did not seem to be as focused or "dialed in". He really seemed unsure of what McGrady was going to do and often looked as if he was reacting instead of asserting himself on D. While Tay's game is rounding into All-Star form, there are still a few kinks in the armor that shouldn't be there for long.

    Max: A-
    ot exactly having a standout season. Some expected more with the contract extension. Just being the same old Prince. Opportunistic scorer, solid D most nights. There is a reason why the scoring differential sores way up when he is on the floor.

    MotownPride: B
    Well, we definitely haven't seen the breakout season we were hoping for with Tayshaun. His defensive efforts have not been as awe-inspiring as last year. (consequently, he was my pick for best defensive player last year on the Pistons team) After a fast start, we also have not seen much offensive aggressiveness by the Prince of the Palace. All that being said, Tayshaun has unquestionably been the best team player out of the starting five this season. That says a lot considering his peers.

    When Tay is on the floor, the entire team seems to just get better. His league leading +/- ratio speaks to this point. Tayshaun does all the intangibles: timely rebounds, assists, defensive stops, clutch 3s, steals....you name it. Complete player. Complete teammate. Yet, he still lacks the intensity at times that would promote him to all-star status. Perhaps the second half of the season?

    Superstarov: B+
    Because he still guards the other team’s best player night in and night out. Poor shot selection at times, and needs to attack the rim on offense and defense. Maybe with some of the reserves getting more time, he’ll play with more energy on offense.


    Rasheed Wallace

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    (Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Overall grade: A-


    TBird: A-
    Having his most consistent season as a Piston, ‘Sheed has put his versatile, inside/outside game on display this year. Has been more assertive offensively than in the past, taking over several games at key moments. The only concern at this point would be his technical fouls, which have him on pace to miss several games due to suspension. This could also be an issue if we work our way deep into the playoffs.

    The Low: B+
    While I would love to give Sheed an A for his performance this year, I still think he has a habit of vanishing from time to time. Not from a lack of effort, but strictly from an absence of statistical production. He still thinks and reacts to the game at the highest level, but I would like to see him not have those 5-6 game stretches where the team struggles a bit and wonders where Sheed is. Maybe they can hire a ventriloquist to curse from Sheed's direction so he gets T'd up early on and it riles him into the game. All jokes aside, Sheed has been near-perfect as well and if we can get those disappearing acts down to 1 - 2 games max, here comes an easy trip to the ring.

    Max: A-
    Great team player and is off to his best season as a Piston. Prefers not to be a go to guy but many times he is our best option. Needs to exploit more mismatches. Probably the smartest player on the team and has been making progress on the techs. Amazing how he always finds ways to help the team even on off nights. Still gets an A for being part of the best starting 5 in the league.

    MotownPride: A-
    Sheed is on a mission. Did you hear me? SHEED IS ON A MISSION! We saw this immediately when Sheed came into camp in shape and ready to play after a vigorous off-season regime. I think Chauncey said it best. When Sheed has the inside/outside game going he is unstoppable. Great Post game. Improved 3 point shooting. What's not to like? Well, at the beginning of the season I would have said defense. Too many easy buckets by the opposing big man. This trend has finally begun to fade and we have been blessed with dominant play by our starting five as a result. Our bigs are the last line of defense. When they play solid D, our point differential traditionally inclines, our starters get rest, and our bench sees development time.

    The Sheed Technical Foul counter probably isn't the best for our team, but as a whole you have to say that this has been Sheed's best season since he left Portland.

    Superstarov: A-
    His ability to spread the defense with his range is an invaluable asset. His motivation seems to be consistent this year, and his defense is still solid, though rebounding has been a small problem. Needs to stop mouthing off to the refs so much, I think some of the other Pistons are learning this bad habit.


    Ben Wallace

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    (Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Overall grade: B+


    TBird: B+
    Still the heart and soul of the team, Ben seems to have taken it up a notch after a so-so start. His role in the offense has been reduced somewhat under Flip, but he remains near the top of the leader board in rebounds and recently moved into the league’s top ten in blocks.

    The Low: B+
    Ben has been a man among men on the boards this year. I don't think he quite has the DPOY locked up at this point, however. I would like to see a few more blocks from the mighty one, yet he is doing more than enough to keep this squad on top of the league. The one thing I've noticed this year is that Ben has dropped off a bit with regard to his offensive efficiency. I was in the crowd that appreciated the work Ben had been doing on his offensive game during the off-season and was hoping I'd see an increase in FT% and a few new wrinkles in his low post offensive game. Although Ben may never be as fluid as "The Dream" on the post, the improvement and progress was visible and I felt it was a valuable asset to this team in the long run. Furthermore, when he can't out jump people anymore, it will help to have a 12 ft turnaround under his belt...but I digress. Still the boss in the paint and doing it well.

    Max: A-
    What can you say? Had a bit of a slow start but he is back at 100% tearing up the glass and the opponents.

    MotownPride: B+
    Ben had a very slow start. After the first couple of weeks we saw a Ben Wallace that was not amongst the leaders in rebounds and blocked shots. That was then. One pair of red goggles and a couple months later, Ben has once again emerged as the standard for defensive play in this league. His play has been outstanding. Increased FG%, league leader in rebounding, and a sky rocketing blocks and steals average has made him the MVP of the Pistons for the past month or so. Ben is returning to his defensive intimidating ways. Together with Rasheed, they make the best defensive front line in the league. More than ever Ben appears to be making the timely free throw, although his FT% is still nothing to be proud of. Although he appears to be the odd man out of the offense, Ben has found other ways to score and as a result the offense has become much more fluid. If Ben can continue his intensity, I fully expect for his grade to be promoted to an "A" by the end of the season.

    Superstarov: A-
    Works his butt off on the boards, whether he wins the battle or not. Offense and free throws are still pretty offensive. Still the team’s emotional leader.


    Flip Saunders

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    (David Sherman - NBAE/Getty Images)

    Overall grade: A


    The Low: A-
    As of right now, Flip and the rest of the squad are making me look pretty silly with regards to my regular season win prediction. However, I will hold off on giving Flip a solid A until I can see some playoff action. I will say there are minor things that concern me as bad habits that could catch up with Detroit in the playoffs. I'm a little concerned with the over abundance of perimeter shots conversely leading to a lack of points in the paint. These will become crucial in the playoffs and cold outside shooting can spell the end of your NBA dream season. Additionally, the team will slack defensively from time to time resulting in career nights for players who have no business having career nights against us (Zach Randolph). Other than that, my only concern is the occasional lack of rebounding which can put us in a bind with opp. 2nd chance points.

    But with all of that being said, Flip has come in and not made drastic changes, such as forcing the guys to play zone too often. He hasn't given playing time to people who haven't earned it. Finally, he's more or less maintained our defensive efficiency while trusting the guys to take good shots albeit quick ones. He's done a good job so far and I hope he continues to do so.

    Max: A+
    How do you replace a HOF coach? Keep what he taught the team and add to it. Pistons are having a historic season with no animosity whatsoever (except Darko). Lets see how the teams responds to him when it hits its 1st rough patch and especially in the playoffs. So far I am not seeing all the knocks against him (leadership issues, no D ). Don't hold his playoff experience against him as he has only coached one team prior. I love the way he has taught the team to break down zones. Flip was the 1st to use them so its only natural that he is the best at knowing how to beat them. Teams gets so many open shots against zones its ridiculous.

    MotownPride: A+
    It was no secret that the successor to whom some consider the greatest coach in the game today would have huge shoes to fill. Flip has put on the shoes and his toes are sticking out of the front. Let's get the bad out of the way....
    The Pistons fans/mgmt still have not seen enough to formulate a definitive opinion on Darko and this is primarily due to Coach Flip's management of the Serbian Gangsta. The Evans/Delfino playing time battle has made for some questionable coaching decisions by Flip. The defense of the team is not as dominant as in past years.

    Now the good...

    This is the best coached Pistons team using the existing starting 5 of the entire "Going to Work" Era. The Offense and Defense are both capable of playing at a championship level. No one is close to playing at the Pistons level this year. San Antonio is a distant second. We are the best road team the NBA has seen in years. Everyone on the roster (outside of Darko) appears to be happy. The bench is finally beginning to round off and establish an identity. The Bulls regular season record for victories is in jeopardy.

    Need I say more?

    Superstarov: A
    Seems to have done a solid job of keeping his guys motivated and playing well, even with a ridiculous record. His offense has breathed new life into this team, and his zone defense has proven valuable in times of foul trouble. He strikes me as very intelligent if not a little eccentric, definitely more flexible than our last coach.

    Antonio McDyess

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    (Garry Dineen - NBAE/Getty Images)

    Overall grade: B


    TBird: B-
    After a slow start, Dyess has picked up the pace and has increased both his scoring and his shooting percentage. Not quite the consistent offensive threat off the bench that we grew accustomed to last year. Still, provides valuable rest for Ben and ‘Sheed without a huge drop-off. Could probably start on many teams in the league.

    The Low: B
    After a slow start, McDyess has come on very strong and has been a solid and consistent contributor. His 10-12 ft jumper has been automatic and he is beginning to block shots with regularity. I would like to see a little more rebounding from Antonio and he struggles a bit when forced to move his feet, seemingly unable to draw charges. Nothing major, however, is wrong with this guys game and we are benefiting from the chance other teams were unwilling to take. Great season so far.

    Max: B
    Slow start but he is back. Finding other ways to score since his recovery. Should merit some 6th man talk.

    MotownPride: B
    At the beginning of the season, Dice couldn't hit the side of a barn. But instead of letting that bring his confidence level down, Dice stepped up his rebounding and defense. Eventually, the jump shot came and the result is a priceless sub that can replace Sheed or Ben with little drop off. Easily the most reliable player from the bench. A strong second half performance could bring back talk of potential 6 man of the year consideration.

    Superstarov: B+
    Since getting used to the offense, he’s solid as can be off the bench. Didn’t get discouraged when his shots weren’t dropping, and played hard at both ends. 6th man candidate.


    ~~~


    Carlos Arroyo

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    David Liam Kyle (NBAE/Getty)

    Overall grade: C+


    TBird: C+
    A bit of a puzzle. A talented playmaker who can’t seem to put two good games in a row together. His obvious talent handling the basketball is offset by a tendency to over dribble, causing stagnation in the offense. His porous defense of a year ago has improved marginally. Probably would be better off in a situation where he can start, but given the lack of decent backup points around the league, it would be surprising to see him dealt at this point.

    The Low: C
    While I am not officially in the "I hate Carlos Arroyo" fan club, I am constantly amazed at this guy's ability to dribble away large portions of our lives on a game by game basis. However, when thinking clearly, Arroyo can get to the basket AND distribute the ball when on the break. From time to time, he will play a 2 - 3 game stretch where he runs the offense properly, but he ALWAYS reverts. My fear is that he will revert for good once the playoffs start and all the marbles are up for grabs. If he proves me wrong I will be thrilled, but then again...Chucky Atkins never proved me wrong.

    Max: B
    Great TO/Assist ratio. Nice playmaker but he needs to continue working on setting up plays sooner as he often eats too much clock. His outside shot is too poor to ever be a solid 3rd guard but he is a nice backup PG.

    MotownPride: C+
    The Good ~ Low turnover to assist ratio and excellent court vision. The Bad ~ Poor FG%, inability to finish lay-ups, defensive liability. The Ugly ~ Dribbles too much and as a result makes the offense easy to defend at times, HOT HEAD!

    Superstarov: B-
    Shows some flashy playmaking, and a valuable emotional spark. Needs to work on his shot selection, needs to work on completing passes instead of making them look slick, defense still a little suspect.

    Carlos Delfino

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    Terrence Vaccaro (NBAE via Getty Images)

    Overall grade: B


    TBird: B-
    To his credit, has developed from a huge question mark into a contributor this year by earning his way into the rotation. His ability to create off the dribble is a skill unique on this team, and he has recently displayed the ability to can the three-point shot. Has made a bigger contribution than his statistics would indicate, supplying Tay with some quality rest.

    The Low: B
    I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised by Delfino's play of late. It did take him a little bit of the season to get up to speed, but he has steadily improved his offensive consistency as the year has progressed. I am pleased with his overall effort, although, I would like to see a bit of improvement defensively. Oddly enough it has been happening as of late. I'm seeing less and less reaching and a bit more physicality and movement from Carlos. I'll be more than happy to keep this guy around if he continues in this fashion. The Pistons need solid guys who are willing to put forth effort on both ends, not just one.

    Max: B
    Nice comeback this season and he seems to be completely over the knee surgery. This is what I expected from him last season. Provides energy off the bench and knows how to get things done. Great slashing ability. May never be a starter but he may be a 6th man some year. Intelligent player for his limited NBA experience.

    MotownPride: B
    Emerging as the clear second scoring option off the bench. Tales of his defensive shortcomings have been grossly exaggerated. Has been so impressive in the game that Flip is forced to give him playing time. Should be a terror in the second half!

    Superstarov: B
    As of late, he has really shown a knack for giving a lift off the bench. Needs to develop his Defensive positioning. Flashes of greatness when slashing to the hoop, and nice touch from beyond the arc.


    ~~~


    Maurice Evans

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    D. Lippitt/Einstein (NBAE/Getty)

    Overall grade: B-


    TBird: B-
    Still a work in progress as he grows accustomed to playing with a new group of players. A bit inconsistent, he can have a significant impact one game and disappear the next. Better offensively and not as good defensively as many expected. Has improved markedly, looking much more comfortable on both sides of the ball, in the last five games. I would expect his second-half grade to improve.

    The Low: B
    I must say I am happy with Mo at this point in the year. I didn't think he would contribute much when he was acquired, but I have been proven most wrong at this point. Mo has been excellent from long range this year and never seems to take a shot when he shouldn't. I love his defensive presence (see McGrady when every one else got torched) and his rebounding justifies his being on the floor. The only thing I would really like to see from Mo in an increase in consistency. For the most part he does what he's there to do, but he does fail to show on some nights. Fix that and he's perfect coming off the bench.

    Max: B
    I love his energy and most of all his intensity on the offensive glass. His energy often rubs off to the other players and he has helped turn around the mini rebounding funk the team was in. Also a nice shooter. He does need to work on consistency. Getting better but I still never know what to expect game to game.

    MotownPride: B-
    The Good ~ Jump shot, FG%, great finisher, offensive rebounding. The Bad ~ poor ball handling. The Ugly ~ Tales of his defensive effectiveness have been grossly exaggerated.

    Superstarov: B
    Good energy player off the bench: Hustle. Decent shooter, and powerful dunks. Defense is improving, but seems to stand around a lot on offense.

    Darko Milicic

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    Allen Einstein (NBAE via Getty Images)

    Overall grade: D-


    TBird: D
    A huge disappointment. The limited minutes he was receiving earlier have slowed to a trickle due to his lackadaisical effort. Extremely talented but lacks heart and toughness. Recent trade rumor involving Kelvin Cato show just how much his stock has fallen. Would be unsurprising to see him dealt before the deadline.

    The Low: D
    The only thing keeping me from giving this guy a big fat F is his play in the preseason. That's the only time since I've been here that that guy has shown me any reason to keep him around. It's been said enough times, if you can't play with Ben, Sheed, and Dyess in practice and get better, than you probably aren't any good. There is no reason for this guy to show no effort, court awareness, or overall fight when he's on the floor. I don't care if you are the #0 pick ahead of Lebron, if you can't get on the floor and fight like you want it, then I don't need you here. You are not owed playing time and you will NOT be given it. If he gets this and goes after it like he should, then maybe his grade will change, but for now...

    Max: F
    He has failed. Lost his spot in the rotation and seems to have given up on ever playing for the Pistons. Whatever he is doing or not doing to irk the coaches into not playing him he needs to figure out. Sooner than later as its just going to follow him to another team. Maybe one of these days the sea will part and Darko will come into a game and dominate. I still have a glimmer of hope and would love to pass him at the end of the season.

    MotownPride: C-
    Great preseason, but still has yet to show that he is ready to play on the biggest stage in the world. His rebounding and toughness are still in question. Tremendous potential and upside. Flip has not done much to motivate Darko, but Darko remains Darko's biggest obstacle.

    Superstarov: D
    His “breakout season” has been more of the same. Complaining about playing time and going through the motions when he does play. Needs to step it up, or move on.


    ~~~


    Jason Maxiell

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    D. Lippitt/Einstein (NBAE/Getty)

    Overall grade: B


    TBird: B+
    Has shown some nice things in very limited playing time. Likely to play a larger role in a few years. Always gives 100%.

    The Low: A
    This guy is what Darko should have turned out to be like. My goodness, I've never seen a rookie (outside of Shaq) come into a game and dunk on vets like he hates them. This guy comes out like a monster, plays at 110%, and will eventually force his way into playing time. Something Darko should have tried to do LAST season. He's on his way gents.

    Max: B
    Why not? He has been taking his lack of PT like a champ. Great agility for his build. Never complains about when he comes in. Has great leaping ability, nice potential as a Defender/Rebounder - Kind of like a mini-Ben. Surprisingly has a nice mid-range shot but needs to work on FT shooting.

    MotownPride: B
    Not much to complain about here. Besides his free throw shooting. One thing is for certain.... When J-Max enters the game, someone is getting dunked on. Plays every second on the court with aggression. Darko take notes. Maxiell has Pistons blood oozing through his veins. I would love to see him become a more integral part of the team in the second half of the season and possibly make the playoff roster.

    Superstarov: C+
    He plays with energy whenever he’s put on the floor. Trying to do too much? Trying to make too much of an impression.

    Dale Davis

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    Allen Einstein (NBAE/Getty)

    Overall grade: B-


    TBird: Incomplete

    The Low: A
    For what it's worth, DD is not one of my favorite players on the planet, but this guy has been nothing but professional since the day he arrived and has put his hard hat on WHENEVER he's been called on. I obviously would like to see more from Davis on the court to give a proper grading, but he's done his share for now.

    Max: B
    He gets a B for being a great team player. Dale expected to play more than he has but has not complained at all. Not one bit. Always ready when called upon.

    MotownPride: C
    In limited minutes, Dale has not shown much. His value to the team will not be realized until we meet Shaq/Duncan in the playoffs.

    Superstarov: C-
    We all know what he’s capable of, or do we? He looks like he’s really lost a step. Is he a Shaq stopper, or just another body to throw at the Diesel?


    ~~~


    Lindsey Hunter

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    Victor Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images

    Overall grade: Incomplete


    TBird: Incomplete

    The Low: Incomplete
    We all know what kind of havoc LH can cause for the opponent, so I'm just looking forward to having him back up to speed for the playoff run.

    Max: Incomplete
    Come back soon.

    MotownPride: Incomplete
    Hurry back Lindsey! We could use your defensive aggressiveness. We are hoping that it is contagious.

    Superstarov: Incomplete
    I expect Lindsey to be Lindsey when he comes back. Consummate Professional.


    ~~~


    Amir Johnson

    [​IMG]
    D. Lippitt/Einstein (NBAE/Getty)

    Overall grade: Incomplete


    TBird: Incomplete

    The Low: Incomplete
    Having seen little to nothing of this guy except in summer league and preseason, I can only hope this guy is taking full advantage of the beating he's getting from Ben, Sheed, Dyess, & Brahma.

    Max: Incomplete
    A dunk and a block at the end of a blowout? Still not enough for a grade. I have high hopes for this kid. Very athletic and has a great attitude. Perhaps we will get as lucky with this late pick and we have been unlucky with #2.

    MotownPride: Incomplete
    The high school phenom. I thought he'd never see the court this season, however we were able to catch a glimpse during some garbage time in the Minnesota blowout. Unfortunately, the only question surrounding Amir this season is if Joey D. will ever ship him to the D-League.

    Superstarov: Incomplete


    ~~~


    Alex Acker

    [​IMG]
    D. Lippitt/Einstein (NBAE/Getty)

    Overall grade: Incomplete


    TBird: Incomplete

    The Low: Incomplete
    From what I saw in summer league, this guy is my favorite rookie. Playing much like a smaller Tayshaun in Vegas, I can't wait for this guy to find his way into the rotation.

    Max: Incomplete
    I hoped he would get a shot against Milw on Wednesday (Jan 25th). Still waiting to see his 1st official NBA point.

    MotownPride: Incomplete
    We thought we might see some playing time for Acker during the Carlos Arroyo suspension. Unfortunately, his Mom still has the VCR queued because he never saw the court. Acker is a gym rat. If there was a such thing as an Incomplete A, Acker would get it. Great attitude.

    Superstarov: Incomplete

    Your Comments?
     
  2. Abe Froemen

    Abe Froemen First Round Draft Pick

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    Great analysis guys I was almost surprised by how much everyone agreed on Flip.

    The starter’s grades we right on pointing out the good and the bad. What they have done great and what they need to work on

    I thought the bench grades were fair (cept our poor little Darko should be an inc. as well)

    Keep up the great work with the forum guys it is the best!!!!!!!! :nod:
     
  3. ggazoo69

    ggazoo69 Team Captain Forum Donor

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    Nice work, fellas. Way to bring it. All the grades seemed about right to me. I hope that you will do Final Grades, too -- after the playoffs, that is.
     
  4. 16 Mile

    16 Mile Bench Warmer

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    Agree with most of the grades, however, I'd have given Delfino an A-, considering where he's come from, and his all around game off the bench. If he gets his jumper down, he could be a solid A by the end of the season.

    I'd give Evans an A for effort, but a C for execution, too many flaws in his game, and unfortunately, they seem to be physical limitations (slow, poor ball handling, and poor reaction skills) so I don't see him improving.
     
  5. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    The Lows grades were always the Lowest. Is this not your team? You're just mean.:mad:
    PS. where's the back round music?:nod:
     
  6. ggazoo69

    ggazoo69 Team Captain Forum Donor

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    Low is a critical thinker. Nothing wrong with that. We need more of it.
     
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Well his name is "The Low". Would you rather he false advertised? :eyebrows:

    He's only low on a couple, gave some love to Dale D. and JMax. The Low likes the Brahma.

    Besides, too much love doesn't give the boys room to improve.

    I'm really proud of these 5 guys for putting this together. Agree or disagree, the effort is worth an A+ in my opinion.
     
  8. Pwn Toney

    Pwn Toney All-Star Forum Donor

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    Yeah, I am pretty evil. I do a good job of making people scared too:director:

    He he. Besides, I'd need Micro's permission to include background beats in my opinions, furthermore, I haven't figured out the technology for only having it play while you read my stuff....:eyebrows:
     
  9. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    I wonder if Roscoes server could handle some backround music options. I know G/man would like "Shaft".
     
  10. Lee356

    Lee356 All-Star

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    hi

    None of you got it all right. Max did the best among you. Some faults. One, how can you think Arroyo can have that many bad games and still be a league leader in his assist numbers? What, he has totally brilliant games too? They sure must be brilliant beyound belief. Two, Darko had 6 five minutes shifts over 14 games before being taken out of the rotation. Not much of any kind of chance. Three) Tay and Ben win games for us. It may not be flashy, but anything but an A grade for these two in the midst of a 37-5 run is way out of line. 4) I am as high on Maxiell as anyone. But any grade other than incomplete for a player who has zero seconds of game time when the game still counts is unacceptable.
     
  11. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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    Re: hi

    ..and of course you have it right more than anyone on the panel, right Lee? LMAO!

    I do appreciate the feedback though.

    I will prefix this response by saying that the views expressed in this rebuttal do not reflect the opinions of PF.com and blah..blah..blah..blah..blah..

    One, how can you think Arroyo can have that many bad games and still be a league leader in his assist numbers? What, he has totally brilliant games too? They sure must be brilliant beyound belief.

    I would guess that this comment is not directed toward me based on my analysis, but it is important to say that grabbing a stat out of your arse does not tell the entire story. Besides, the fact that your entire arguement is predicated on "look at his assists to turnover ratio" is pretty lame and probably does not deserve a response. Here's one anyway. Carlos has been inconsistent and we've watched Flip's confidence in him waiver back and forth all season. Right now his minutes have mysteriously begun to dissipate again. Arroyo has times where he is absolutely brilliant. His court awareness and passing ability inspire oohs and awes, but then he will follow that up with a game where his inability to finish at the rim, make the outside jumper, play effective defense and initiate the offense expeditiously hurt our team. Up and down season. "C+" is an accurate grade in my humble opinion.

    Two, Darko had 6 five minutes shifts over 14 games before being taken out of the rotation. Not much of any kind of chance.

    Darko was given time initially and lost it based on his lack of heart and determination. He is the antithesis of Maxiell. The effort has not been there the entire season and as a result he has recieved a poor grade from the panel. That simple. I gave Darko a C- because I do believe that he has had at least some memorable moments during his limited time this season, but I think I was very liberal with that grade.

    Three) Tay and Ben win games for us. It may not be flashy, but anything but an A grade for these two in the midst of a 37-5 run is way out of line.

    You obviously have a right to your own opinion. Ben's "B+" grade came from me due to his slow start. I think most who graded Ben said that his mark is on the rise. To give him a perfect grade, in my opinion, would be to completely neglect his poor start.

    I think that although Tay has been invaluable to our team, his defensive effectiveness has gone down a notch from previous years. I think we have also seen many situations this year where he has vanished and his offensive aggresiveness has been questioned. I think that giving Tayshaun a "B" is a very fair grade as it does not take away from his contribution while expressing that there is room for him to improve in the second half of the season.

    4) I am as high on Maxiell as anyone. But any grade other than incomplete for a player who has zero seconds of game time when the game still counts is unacceptable.

    I disagree. You seem to be suffering from Darkoitis as well. Any playing time a young player is fortunate to get is valuable and useful for evaluation. If you are a player with star potential your goal should be to dominate whatever second tier competition that might be on the court with you. When Maxiell is in the game you see that passion to be the best. I reward that effort with a "B".
     
  12. Superstarov

    Superstarov First Round Draft Pick

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    Well, I guess the whole thing was a big fat stupid failure.

    :hurt: LEE doesn't agree with it.

    Looks like we wasted our time again everybody.
     
  13. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    Piston grades:
    Big shot...A+
    Rip.........A
    Sheed.....A
    Ben........A-
    Tay........B
    Dice.......B
    Mo.........B-
    Arroyo....B-
    Delf........C
    Darko......C-
    Rookies....A
     
  14. max

    max All-Star

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    Thanks for the props out to most of you. I know its not the best you will see but I think its pretty good for a bunch of amateures trying their best. This basically was a nice prop thrown to us for volunteering our time helping with this site. Other members are of course free to post their own here.

    I pretty much gave the starters nothing less than an A- since the team was 36-5 because of them. Bench players had a rough start but have been getting better. Actually were the reason we won a couple of the recent ones.

    On Darko. He lost his spot so to me that is failure. Its up to the player to figure out what the coach wants to see. I could understand with LB but Flip is a players coach. Flip came in here with every intention of playing Darko and something happened to disconnect with what the coach wanted of him. Its still not too late though.

    Other than that Its just hard to knock this team now.
     
  15. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    You tell'em Lee.

    Starting 5 all "A"s. No one has played better.
    Dyess - "C"; his shot, burr
    Mayhem - "B+"; D and ball handling
    TDrib - "B-" ; Two completely diff coaches gotta mess with your head.
    Fino - "B+" ; getting his groove on.
    Darko - "C-" ; Keeps DD company.
    DD - "C+" ; Keeps Darko company.
    everybody else incomplete
    Flip - "A-" ; Doesn't play bench as a unit.
     
  16. Warthog

    Warthog Bench Warmer

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    Re: hi

    not much to say with regards to whether i agree with the grades or not, i just wanna say that these new article ideas are sweet and that this was a fantastic read
     
  17. vthomp

    vthomp First Round Draft Pick

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    Good job with the grading it is pretty much on point. This team will get better and there is always room for improvement no matter what.

    This team is just wining games in the process of improving everyday. The question is will all these guys reach there potential at the right moment? that being the Playoffs as the goal. With the mid season grades till the playoffs i think the answer will be yes!!!:ohwell:
     
  18. pistonsloyalist

    pistonsloyalist First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: hi

    Agree wholeheartedly.
     
  19. pistonsloyalist

    pistonsloyalist First Round Draft Pick

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    Agreed. Flip publicly rebuked Darko for a lack of effort earlier this season, and Joe D. has stressed that Darko's continuing "mistakes" are keeping him on the bench:

    "We don't have the luxury of putting him out there and saying, 'Oh, we'll just let him play through his mistakes for 15-20 minutes.' We're too good a team, and his mistakes are too high right now."

    I don't think that Flip and Joe D. would have talked so unflatteringly about Darko in public unless they had strong feelings on this subject. Joe and Flip are plainly disappointed with both Darko's attitude and his lack of progress, and I suspect that they think the former is contributing to the latter.
     
  20. max

    max All-Star

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    True, the official stance on Darko as soured this year.
    I will be surprised if we still have him after the trade deadline.
     

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