How close is this team?

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by Laimbrane, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    826
    The Pistons are clearly not a good team right now, but the question is how not good are they? Are they hopelessly terrible, a la Charlotte, are they a poorly coached collection of talent that could be a playoff team if they were helmed by someone that knew what they were doing, are they better than this but bitten by the injury bug this year, or is it some combination of the three?

    I think, at this point, you have to look at what it would take to turn the team into a top-5 team in the East. Where are they respective of that?

    The way I look at it, they have very few known commodities going forward. We pretty much know what Greg Monroe is - a David Lee type of guy that isn't overly athletic but makes the best out of what he has, and as long as he's not the defensive anchor of the team, his defense is not egregiously bad.

    Other than that, what do we know they have under contract for next season? This is how I see it:

    Starters on most teams
    Drummond: Athletic big, already a defensive force, needs to improve offensively, terrible free throw shooter, but despite his flaws possibly already one of the best pure centers in the league.
    Monroe: Not a very athletic big, sneaky offensively though overmatched against stronger players, high basketball IQ, needs to improve defensively, cut down on TOs, and stop trying to make "And-1" happen.

    Starters, but for (at most) a third of the teams in the league
    Knight: Very quick, hard-worker, good shooter, small, not very strong. Leadership-by-example. Needs to cut down on TOs and improve his court vision (if it can be improved). Needs to learn how to shoot layups.
    Stuckey: athletic, strong, fearless, capable of scoring in bunches against inferior competition, but way too confident in his own abilities. Almost no intangibles, doesn't make his teammates better, reached his ceiling years ago.

    Desperation starters, capable bench role players
    Singler: solid bball IQ, limited athleticism. Good shot and range. Not great defensively, has a mildly successful "buckets" viral video.
    Jerebko: high motor, decent range for a big, excellent offensive rebounder, good size. Limited athleticism, not strong enough to guard 4's, not quick enough to guard 3's, is Swedish. Ladies love him.
    BoT: low motor, good range for a big, one of the quickest shots in the league, good size that he doesn't use, below-average defensively, lousy rebounder, wasted skills, alopecia.
    Middleton: good shooter, athletic, quick, seems to have a solid bball IQ. Capable defensively. Not very strong, still has potential. Cheap.
    English: High IQ, good motor, hard worker, average shooter. Small, not a lot of athleticism, but looks like a good defender. Cheap.

    Deep Bench
    Kravtsov: Big, somewhat athletic for his size. Average rebounder, still learning the NBA game. No real offensive game other than dunks. Terrible free throw shooter so far. Every team has to have an untalented 7-foot white guy at the end of the bench, but Krav is a little expensive for that role.

    Team grades (1-10 scale)
    Offense (4): They're a mediocre offensive group with limited ability.
    Shooting (3): The team appears to have solid shooters, but of that group, only Drummond and Krav have above-average (.490+) eFGs. Monroe misses an alarming percentage of his short-range shots, and the rest miss a lot of easy shots.
    3-Point Shooting (3): Knight is the only one of this group above that is hitting above 35%, though to be fair, Singler is hitting exactly 35%. Still, English, Jerebko, Stuckey, and Middleton are all shooting below 30% from beyond the arc, and nobody on this team you can call a threat (excluding Calderon, who I'm not counting here because he's not signed for next season).
    Free-throw shooting (4). Their percentage this year is high, but that's based on Calderon, Bynum, Daye, and Prince. Singler and Middleton excel in this area, but Drummond, BoT, and Krav are three of the worst in the league (for BoT, who makes his name off of his offensive game, this is inexcusable).
    Ball-protection (3): The team is very turnover prone and doesn't pass all that well. Part of the issue is the Rolodex rotation that has sapped chemistry development, but Monroe and Knight are not good ball-handlers even though that is supposed to be their strength/role.
    Ball-distribution (2): Nobody up there is what one would call a "distributor." Hopefully Knight gets better.
    Rebounding (7): One of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league, actually - Drummond is already the best offensive rebounder in the league, and Monroe and Jerebko are pretty good at it, too (though Monroe pads this stat a lot with his own misses).
    Clutch scoring (1): Is there anyone in this group you would trust with the game on the line?

    Defense (3): For a team that is supposed to have a defensive identity, they really suck.
    Rebounding (6): They're actually okay. They give up a lot of inside shots, which means opponents are fighting for the ball, so that skews this. Monroe and Drummond are good defensive rebounders, and even CV is serviceable. Somehow, though, Jerebko is a terrible defensive rebounder, as he collects less than 15% of the available ones (that puts him at 200th in the league).
    Positioning (2): Terrible. They're out of position all the time because they're not athletic defensively. Their defensive system requires their wings to be able to close quickly, but they don't; I can't count how many times I've watched Singler and CV running to the corner to catch up to their man like someone waving for a taxi. I think this will improve with Drummond roaming the paint making up for PG mistakes, but it's pretty bad right now.
    Thievery (2): The Pistons do not get a lot of steals. Monroe is decent in this regard, but again, their system is a bend-but-don't-break (that does too much of both) because of a lack of athleticism among their players.
    Motor (3): Low defensive motor. To be fair, at this point in the season it's hard to judge because nobody really gives a crap.

    So summing it up, this team is missing leaders that can shoot and play defense at the 1,2, and 3 positions. That shouldn't be too hard to locate, right?
  2. J-Train

    J-Train Team Captain Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    260
    Very nice post. This team has pieces, but they either don't necessarily fit together or are missing an additional piece that allows certain combinations to work. This team has more talent than Rick Carlisle's first team, but that team fit perfectly together. This team obviously lacks the talent of the '04 squad, which also worked together perfectly.

    Dre and Moose are high quality starters. I'm cool with Moose's shortcoming on the defensive end, because I love his mismatches on the other end. He'll struggle with high energy PFs and stretch 4s defensively because he he can't cover ground like some forwards, but those guys can't guard him. Still, we'll have to go small versus teams like Miami, New York, and Brooklyn. Greg can't be asked to guard power threes like Lebron, Melo, and Wallace. We need a guy who can at least compete with those guys defensively who isn't a total liability offensively. I'm not sure that guy currently is not on this team, but maybe JJ could fill that.

    I'm obviously a Knight fan, but I am not unaware of his current limitations. You need three bankable skills to be a quality starter. Knight has two. He can shoot and defend. He can't get his own shot in the half court, and while he's unselfish, he also can't run the pick and roll, which hampers his ability to run half court sets. He's very good in transition, and I love his intangibles. It's hard to believe that he won't add a third skill to his game. Right now, that all adds up to High Quality Bench Player. Ideally, he would get 13 minutes a game as aback up PG and another 10-13 as a floor stretching SG. You have to have a plan for him. He could be a borderline All-Star 2-3 years from now, in the right situation. If we can't re-sign JC or draft Burke, then I believe that we could still be a playoff team with Knight running the point. He would just need better players around him.

    Stuckey has two bankable skills. He will probably never add a third. If he could have added a third bankable skill, then he should have done it already. He's a very good penetrator/volume scorer, and also a very good on the ball defender. He dominates the ball too much to be your starting PG, and he can't shoot well enough to be your SG. He's an absolutely horrible wing defender, due his complete disinterest in fighting through side screens and closing out on shooters. In short, he's a good lead guard for your bench as long as he only guards opposing PGs, and your other guard can shoot.

    JJ is a nice 20 minute bench guy. He can play the 4 if paired with Dre, and is a nice 10 mpg guy at the 3. He might be the guy who defends the power threes.

    Singler is a plug in player. You can start him if you have four other good starters. You can bring him off of the bench whenever you need him. He's a nice guy to have in the new salary cap era. You just can't have five big money starters nowadays.

    I don't trust Chuck V. He's a nice guy to have for 10 mpg. If he's playing well, then he can play more.

    Middleton could be a player at both wing spots. It's too soon to tell whether he's a 15 minute guy or a starter.

    This team needs to either re-sign JC or draft Burke. We need a shot blocking, rebounding big man to back up Dre. A 10 minute a night guy would do the job. We need a tough as nails wing defender who can also get his own shot.

    If you can get that, then this is a top four seed.
    brofmfa likes this.
  3. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4,761
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Gender:
    Male
    Good posts guys.

    Mostly agree, except this:
    Stuckey's "good defense" is more of a myth than fact these days. I've watched him very closely, looking for any reason to keep the guy on the team. What I realized was that his defense is atrocious. He can't challenge shots, and when someone passes him, he employs the patented BoThug defense. At this point, Singler is a better overall defender than Stuckey and that is very sad.

    I don't think overall talent/coaching-wise we are any better than Charlotte, Orlando, Phoenix and other current bottom feeders. The only thing we have going is that there is an overall hope, even expectation of eventual elite status with this team, thanks to the winning culture legacy of the organization. You add some cream of the crop talent to the Pistons team and it is completely conceivable that we'll make noise in the playoffs. You add the same level of talent to Charlotte, and you get... a lottery team that barely misses the playoffs.

    That being said, we need to add a stud SF who can shoot the ball. You look at the weakest link on the starting lineup: Singler. We gotta upgrade that. If we fix the gaping hole there and add a GOOD paint enforcer (someone with Maxiell's heart, Slava's size, and at least JJ's shooting touch) we're good.
  4. Nemo

    Nemo Pun Master Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Messages:
    12,146
    Likes Received:
    1,435
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lake Elmo
    we're about 5 years from a .500 record.
  5. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    15,271
    Likes Received:
    3,303
    Location:
    Michigan
    A good draft and a smart summer and the Pistons are playing .500 ball and back into the playoffs next season.
  6. kpaav

    kpaav Team Captain Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    252
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Fransisco
    I'll add that one KEY ingredient that we lack besides the obvious talent is an identity. Those Carlsile Pistons, the Bad Boys, the LB goin to work squad all built cohesiveness from a top down philosophy. I think it is tough for young players to perform in such a vacuum (of despair?) that is the current squad. Are we a defensive team - not really with JC and Singler starting. Are we a running team? nope. Floor spacing? Nope. This was JD biggest mistake and I haven't seen the coaching staff and management try and fix it.

    What should our identity be. The next few months will be critical.
    J-Train likes this.
  7. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,651
    Likes Received:
    2,723
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Ricky Davis would get us back on track.
    basketbills and J-Train like this.
  8. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Gender:
    Male
    I hope I have said this before, but seriously guys, stop with the stud talks. We ain't getting a superstud in FA. When you are Detroit, it is all about the pieces fitting. We are more Denver than LA, Spurs than NY. I honestly think that Houston has it right. Put together a team which is serviceable one way, and scorching the other. They chose offense, I reckon we have the pieces for defense.

    It starts with Drummond and Knight. Who are far and away the best and most aggressive defenders on the team. From the draft you take an Oladipo type character and add a Tony Allen/Wilson Chandler at the 3. Chandler and Knight can spread the floor, oladipo can shoot well enough mid range to run through Moose/Drum screens and play a Rip H role. Instant spacing. Still below average offensively.

    But they will torture teams in the half court. Everyone in the 5 is quick enough in transition to contain even the fastest teams. Grind victories out.

    Stucking has one bankable skill and that is banking cheques he don't earn. He is a poor volume scorer, can't defend and adds nothing to the locker room. He is less mercurial than Michael Beasley and just as much as a locker room cancer. Waive this joker and save the $4 million. No one will pick him up.
    Nemo and Laimbrane like this.
  9. Ernie the Slow Adult

    Ernie the Slow Adult All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,695
    Likes Received:
    1,657
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    I feel like the 2 spot is as big a weakness, if not bigger weakness than the 3. It may be unlikely, but it is at least conceivable that Singler could start at SF next year. They can't go into next year with Knight and Stuckey at the 2.
    J-Train likes this.
  10. Ernie the Slow Adult

    Ernie the Slow Adult All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,695
    Likes Received:
    1,657
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    I thought Drummond looked his best this year when they surrounded him with shooters. He made people better defensively. You've got to score at some point.
    J-Train likes this.
  11. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    826
    I think that, with the way the league is going, having a Two-Towers identity has potential. Monroe at the top of the key, Drummond down low, three guys on the wing that are a threat from deep and off cuts. That means you have to sustain it off the bench, though, which means they need to go after another big in free agency - someone like Okafor - or go big in the draft - someone like Noel - and get their wing in free agency.

    (Side note: Could the team find 30+ minutes a game for Monroe, Drummond, and Noel? That would be a tough group to score inside on.)

    Defensively, Porter or Oladipo would go a long way toward making this a respectable unit. If you add someone like Porter to Calderon, Knight, Monroe, Drummond, you have three guys that can shoot the three (JC, BK, OP), three guys that are capable of being + defenders (OP, BK, AD), three guys that can rebound the basketball (OP, GM, AD), three guys that can act as distributors (JC, BK, GM), three guys that are + FT shooters (JC, BK, OP), and five guys with great initials (JC, BK, OP, GM, AD). None of them excel at getting their own shot, but a creative coach can work around that.
  12. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    826
    FIFY

    Actually, I think Singler would be a pretty serviceable 2 - better than he is at the 3. His lack of quickness wouldn't be as much of an issue if he had Drummond behind him, and he could use his height against a lot of the 2's in the league.
  13. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Gender:
    Male
    I agree with everything except Porter. He is listed at roughly 95kg and 6"8'

    To put that in perspective, I am a 24yr old caucasion male, 1rm squat of 120kg. I weigh a shade under 90kg at 6"1'. I'm pretty average build.

    People like LBJ, Carmelo, Rudy Gay will absolutely ice this guy. He doesn't stand a chance.
  14. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Gender:
    Male
    Knight and Chandler can shoot 3's, Oladipo can run through screen and shoot 15-20 footers. Run Hi-lo sets with Dre and Moose and thats a lot of space particularly for hook baseline runs, and J turns through the key.
  15. max

    max All-Star

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7,409
    Likes Received:
    401
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    my bunker in the Carribbean
    Really? You think so? I am just not seeing it.

    02 had Ben Wallace, Stackhouse, Corliss, Robinson, Barry,

    Monroes PPG is roughly the same as what Corliss gave us off the bench that year.

    I see 2 good pieces on this current team - Monroe and Drummond and Drummon did not play very much this year.

    All the rest are filler. You can make good cases for keeping anyone besides them but they are all easily replaced. Even Knight I am starting to lose faith in. Beginning of of the year I may have had him in the keeper col but now - I dont know

    I see our issues as mainly talent related but our coach is not the best either.

    We had some unknown former 2nd round pick called the Bucket Man starting for us for crying out loud - that kind of says it all.


    With that said I actually think we can be a playoff team with one summer of smart calculated moves. We already have the hardest part done - getting a decent front court.
    Ernie the Slow Adult likes this.
  16. webz

    webz All-Star Snub Administrator 2x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,405
    Likes Received:
    694
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Not having talent limits what you can do identity-wise. No use proclaiming a defensive identity if your defenders are terrible.
  17. jayborne

    jayborne Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    66
    [​IMG]

    When the roster looks a lot more like this, the team will be much closer to being respectable.
    J-Train likes this.
  18. round

    round All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    345
    Location:
    Michigan/Glasgow
    With the right moves this team can win 50 games next year..... with the wrong moves it will be lucky to win 30 games.... so many things that must happen or will happen I honestly have no clue what to expect between now and training camp ending in the fall.

    We could have 3 or 4 new starters from the start of this season to next.... Monroe is the only return starter for sure... (unless he's traded too).

    Right now I'm starting to chase the Burke bandwagon, another good weekend and I might be jumping on it.... If we go that way, we need a vet PG but do we spend the amount to keep Jose or get a vet on the cheap?

    Doing that makes us probably a worse team record wise next year but IMO raises the ceiling for the young team once it finds itself in a year or two.... I'm ok with that.
  19. J-Train

    J-Train Team Captain Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    260
    To a certain extent, we disagree on Stuckey's defensive abilities. Stuckey is possibly the worst team defender that I have ever seen. Doesn't fight through pick and rolls, unless it's "His Guy". Refuses to close out on shooters. I would rather he not be on the team, but he IS really strong defending the guy with the ball. It's about the only time that he shows some pride.

    We absolutely need another shot blocker and a stud wing.
  20. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    4,761
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Gender:
    Male
    Next year, it's playoffs or bust. If we don't make the playoffs next year, Joe D. should be fired. He sent a first rounder to get rid of Gordon's contract. If we don't make the playoffs, we'll be a lottery team without a lottery pick.

Share This Page