Monday, August 16, 2010

Detroit Pistons Offseason Review

Detroit is not a team I had often thought about prior to tonight. When I started thinking about what to write I began to realize the teams woes followed a certain theme. Detroit is a team full of sixth men, with a few nice prospects. The problem is they have all these fellows who would be great additions to teams with a good foundation, but they are not good starting points for a rebuilding franchise.

I'll start with Rodney Stuckey who has been their most disappointing player. Although scoring quite a bit his efficiency has not been superb. A look at his field goal percentage and three point percentage tells the story (shooting a lack luster 40% from the field, and atrocious 22% from 3) His inefficient scoring is not the only problem sadly. Stuckey struggles performing his duties as a point guard having trouble with court vision and awareness. His ineffectiveness as a floor general has been a big factor in the Pistons being a bottom team.

Not to say it has all been bad for Stuckey, even on poor percentages he still put up mediocre numbers. Hopefully as he continues to gain experience as a point guard things will come together for him. He has a lot of room to improve still. Stuckey right now would be a good sixth man. As a starting point guard, you really need to be able to get your team organized and running smoothly. As the sixth man he would be less responsible for distribution and be able to have more of a scorer mentality, a more suited role for his current skill set. However Stuckey has the highest plus minus on Detroit. Also he is 9.6 points above backup Will Bynum in terms of plus minus. Thus what I am trying to say is in an idealized setting he would be a backup and develop his skills in a lesser role. On the Pistons who do not have a great point guard option other then Stuckey it would be disastrous to demote him to sixth man.

Rodney Stuckey has been given high expectations being compared to 50 cent and even Dwyane Wade. He has had a hard time living up to this lofty praise. Image from here

The Pistons went on a spending binge during the offeason of 2009. One of the guys they shelved out a huge contract to was former Chicago Bull Ben Gordon. Gordon had impressed the world with his performance against the Celtics. However although some had been enchanted by his performance most still realized the reality of things. Gordon was/is still a 1 dimensional player who really brings very little to the game other then scoring. The Piston's brass was not one of the many people who had come to this obvious conclusion. Like Stuckey, he is not a fundamental piece to a winning team and is more suited to a 6th man role (if the team wants to be successful)

Charlie Villanueva was also a benefit of the Pistons 2009 spending spree. Sadly the Pistons retained the same theme that the Gordon signing followed. Scorer who does not play defense, or bring much to the table other then scoring. Again, these sort of signing can be beneficial if proper infrastructure is already in place. For example, if a team with a solid foundation, i.e the Spurs wants to add some punch off the bench, or add a bit more scoring to an already stout defensive starting lineup. Detroit is neither and they need to bring in winning type of players to get on the right track. Villanueva's development has been disappointing to me. He has not really added much to his game since his rookie year. I liked his personality a lot when he was a Raptor so it is sad for me to witness his stunted growth.

I'll continue getting the Piston's negatives out of the way. Like Stuckey, Jason Maxiel's development has been extremely disappointing. Other then the occasional highlight play, Maxiel has added nothing to his game. Actually, he has even regressed as a player statistically. Tracy Mcgrady is washed up (sorry t-mac), Richard Hamilton is declining, and Tayshaun Prince is just not that good.

Will Bynum is an interesting player. Resigned this summer for 3 years 10.5 million is a solid price for a decent back up point guard. He is a nice scorer to bring in off the bench who occasionally throws down some monster dunks. You can't hate on his game for the price he is paid but like many of the Detroit players he does not bring much other then scoring. Another knock on Bynum is his synergy with the other Detroit guard.

There are some bright spots for the Pistons. They do have some young players who look to be of the winning mold.

Demar Derozan was not happy with his exclusion from the Rookie team. Thuy models her new Derozan Jersey in support of our dear Raptor. Cheer up Demar!

Jonas Jerebko is a young Swedish forward who brings a lot of energy to the game. The sophomore brings great hustle which is evident in his body language and high offensive rebounding numbers. He looks to be a good piece for the Pistons moving forward. Fellow sophomore Austin Daye did almost nothing in his rookie year, he has shown flashes in summer league that he can be a very nice player though.

With the number 7 pick of the 2010 draft the Detroit Pistons selected Greg Monroe. There are mixed feelings on Monroe, many are pegging him to be a disappointment already. While I wont make any predictions on whether he will be a bust (I have not seen him play very much) he does seem to lack the elite level athleticism and desire to be more then a serviceable player at this level. That said he appears to have a nice overall game (although nothing blows you away) and displays good passing ability (actually he is quite an impressive passer from what I have seen) It will be a refreshing change to have a player who enjoys passing on the Pistons for a change. I am predicting him to have a serviceable career and a solid rookie season.

Ben Wallace revitalized his career by returning to where it all began for him (I know he was not drafted by Detroit but you know what I mean..)

The one, other bright spot for the Pistons was the return of Big Ben. Wallace just looks right in a Piston's uni and injected his career with a jolt of life in 2009/2010. Look for him to continue being an extremely serviceable C for a year or two.

To sum it all up, the Pistons players have very little synergy with each other. This is true except for a few players who I expect will be starting pieces in their rebuilding process. It will be a struggle this year in Detroit, I am expecting them to end up around the same record as last year. Slight improvements and Monroe's addition will be offset by the improved Eastern Conference.

Estimated Regular Season Record: 28-54 (Thirteenth in East)
Offseason Grade: C+ (Will regret passing up on Cousins if they could of had him but
Monroe was still a nice pick, and T-Mac probably wont add much)

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