11-12 Season Review

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by Slippy, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    Yeah we got 9 or so games left but by now we have a good body of work to review and it won't be tainted with inflated stats against tanking teams. Playing like an all-star now is like doing so in the preseason. Useless. So how did the season play out for these guys and what do we want to see going forward?

    Ben Wallace: Watching Big Ben was like watching a legend being born or at least a VHS tape of your favorite NBA superstar. Even with his best days far behind him, he still managed more than his share of crafty plays and each time he grabbed a rebound he had no business grabbing, or drew a foul on an over the back flop or blocked a shot down the stretch we realized as Pistons fans, we were treated to something special when he became a Piston...both times. Grade: A. Damn skippy.

    Jason Maxiell: Can you credit Roy Rogers with Jason's expanded game or is it just because he got more minutes? Maxiell has always found his way to the highlight clip with nasty dunks or sick blocks but beyond that, his pedestrian rebounding and poor offense have contributed little to the win column. This time around he was able to hit the 18 footer and for a team struggling to get buckets, its been huge. Its helped open up the lane for Greg and got us out of some sticky situations. Inserting him into the starting line up definitely helped turn the season around. Still, he's a 20 minute guy thats not going to get a ton of rebounds. Maxiell starting is more an indication toward the lack of talent (you heard me CV!) than it is about Maxiell's emergence. Keeping this level of impact on the court while taking on a reserve role would be ideal. Grade: B-

    Rodney Stuckey: I was skeptical of Super Collider coming back and sharing his point guard role with Knight but the guy has made me eat crow. Crow Stew, Crow gumbo and Steamed Crow with ginger and green onion. I think Rod's found some inspiration in Knight but he's taking on a big brother persona and I think its going to pay off long term. He's still the best ball handler and a deft passer but free from the responsibilities of running the offense full time, he's been able to play to his strengths colliding with everyone and everything except gatorade coolers and supermodels in the 2nd row. Some of Stuckey's points come at the expense of the team playing as a unit and I'd like to see him pick his moments better. Still, the guy can carry the team on his back for a few games. I'd like to see him take his mid range J to the next level. He would be unstoppable. Grade: B+.

    Brandon Knight: As you can see by my grades, I'm a homer. I'm a BK homer too. This kid was like a double shot of 5hour energy drink with a Rockstar chaser to a hapless team looking to forge any sort of positive identity. But a closer look at the ingredients and you see there's a lot of nutritional things left to be desired. He dribbles too high. Needs an open floor to power up his FTL drive to the hoop. Is behind Walker D in running the offense. Thrown into the fire like any lottery pick should be, he has had his ups and downs. He's shown he belongs in the league but we need him to be a top flight PG. Next season, I want to see him making huge strides in controlling the offense. As it is, he hasn't wowed anyone relative to his draft position. Grade: C+

    Greg Monroe: During the first 20 games he would have gotten an A. He was getting post points, put backs and assists. He was a beast on both sides. Either wear and tear over the course of the season or an epiphany that its not worth it to keep running into brick walls for a lottery bound team has caused his effort levels and effectiveness to drop off. I see Greg as our franchise guy but he gets shut down by long and athletic front lines. He needs help. Also, he needs a jump shot. Or confidence in his jump shot. And a reverse pivot move to break up the number of times he drives left. And to stop crying "and one" like its a park game. Grade: B

    Ben Gordon: The best thing I can say about this season with BenGo has been that he probably helped us stay in contention for the 6-8 lottery block. Without him, we may have actually been in the 8-10 range. Who the hell dribbles for 5 seconds to pass to Ben Wallace with 2 seconds on the shot clock? Of course passing to the worst scoring option as the clock winds down implies that he didn't step out of bounds or dribble off his foot which happened...a lot. I tried to get behind him when he got semi-hot but all he did was stay in that luke-warm range when bacteria grows and spoils your food. His percentages are relatively close to other years. This is what you are getting. Maybe he needs a good PG to get him shots. Well, we don't have that here. At $10 million, you need to be a little bit more versatile than that. Next year, I hope to see a trade. Grade: D.

    Princeolation, Tayshaun: When the team looked like a bunch of YMCA all-stars in a pick up game vs. the NBA, Prince was the guy who knew what he was doing. He was in the right place to receive a pass and did every thing relatively well. Then sometimes...he got the ball. The legend has now been etched into the psyche of piston-fandom and it goes by many names: Taysolation, Isotayshaun. As inevitable as the changing tides. Its like that old Michael Jordan video where every thing goes into slow motion...only the only thing in slow motion is Tay. In terms of leadership, I latch on to Ben Wallace and Rodney Stuckey. I am not so sure of Prince. I kinda believe that he is being held on to so we can make a trade where he has a good situation and we get like a 2nd round pick. Go Joe! Grade C+

    Jonas Jerebko: The Swedish Eagle took a giant leap after missing last season - a giant leap to the side. Outmatched as a starting PF, Jonas looked moderately better coming off the bench. The dude is athletic, finishes well and can shoot the long gun. A pass first PG would help JJ immensly as he moves very well without the ball. He was inconsistent as a young player usually is and suffers from the same malady as just about every other tweener in the NBA. Getting more consistent would be a good start for next season. I really think JJ's number will reflect how good the team is vs. how much better he is getting individually. Grade C+

    Austin Daye: So much has been written about the guy this season that if you took the time to read it all, you'd have spent more time than he did playing during the season. Uneven play. Catastrophic lack of confidence. I want to give him one more shot. The things he needs to work on are too numerous to put here. I'd get him away for Charlie at all costs. Grade D-

    Charlie Villanueva: I'm glad I don't own the Pistons so I don't have to pay someone to watch games when I charge other people $20 for cheap seats and $6 a hot dog. CV can start tomorrow and go 18 and 8 for the rest of the season but he'll still get a Grade: F-

    Will Bynum: Walked D showed us how to run an offense and Bynum showed athleticism still wins out. He needs to go to another team that needs a change of pace scoring PG. He needs to have that fight in him to be good. There's no incentive for that for him here. Grade: C

    Walker Russell: The guy is a jumpshot from having a place in the league. It may be at the end of the bench but he'd have a place. He filled in admirably when we were hit with the injury bug and then rode the pine as better talent played ahead of him. He did his job. Made few mistakes and was an overall positive addition to the team. Not much more was expected. Grade B

    Vernon Macklin: We give guys 2 years to stick to the team. Will his D-league numbers translate into a reserve forward contribution?

    Ok. We are officially in the future compared to when you started reading this. I'm interested to know what grades other folks here would give. So...throw some grades out!
    coynejeremy, S.J., The Panda and 5 others like this.
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Hall of Fame Forum Donor

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    Excellent comments. I'd give only two people a "B" grade...and nobody an "A"

    Giving CV an "F-" musta been fun........:)
    roscoe36 likes this.
  3. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I'm good with everything except Prince. I know the praying mantis thing is pretty easy to make fun of, but (without any real evidence to back it up) I would say he's been the best player all year. He's on the downside, and ought to be moved to a contender, but I'd at least move him up to a B or B+ for what he's done this year.
  4. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

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    What about that Wilkins dude? I'd give him a C-. He did his best, and played good enough defense to remain a rotation player. He can't shoot the ball, and he pumpfakes at an alarming rate apparently.

    Oh, and then there's that Swedish guy, who probably deserves a C. He's been very inconsistent. He had some great games, he had some horrid games. The one thing he really clearly solidifed this year is that he's not strong enough to be a starting PF. I think he shined when Frank put him in the right role: the spark plug off the bench. Someone really has to show him how to finish when he's 2 feet in front of the basket. He can do the drive under reverse layup thing ok, and he can hit mid-to-long range jumpers. So, that's a start.

    Let's also not forget Frankieboy. Tintin had a decent enough year to warrant a B. He had some head scratching rotations, but his emphasis on defense was good (play good D and you can freestyle on offense mantra). He also started doing a better job managing the rotations as the season went on. I'm hopeful for next year.

    Pistonsforum.com: A+ Nowhere else you can find such dedicated, awesome fans.
  5. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    I knew I was missing somebody!
  6. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I can't argue with any of these grades, Slippy. Good work.

    I'd give Coach Frank an A-. This team has improved tremendously on many fronts. They are now getting more wins than this roster of talent should be getting.
  7. Ernie the Slow Adult

    Ernie the Slow Adult All-Star Forum Donor

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    This is an interesting perception. I too think Frank has done a grrrrr-eat job and the team has improved, but in reality this is still a very, very bad team.

    I feel like the Pistons have morphed/improved into a tough, somewhat physical man to man D type team, but they really are a horrendous defensive club.

    I kind of like the group that has played this year though.
  8. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I can't disagree with anything here. Very fair and thoughtful.

    CV is lucky that he didn't get any playing time, or his grade may have been way worse (maybe an H).
  9. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    I don't disagree with a lot of what Slippy wrote. I think it's a pretty accurate assessment. I tend to approach it from a perspective of how much the guy is being paid to do what he does.
    For that reason, I might grade Gordon, Stuckey Prince and Maxiel a bit lower. (CV too if it were possible)

    I'm not hating on Stuckey. He's made strides this season and been damn good at times!
    ...but I'd still rather have a host of other players around the league for what he's being paid.
    This isn't Stuckey's fault, it's Joe's fault.

    Which leads me to:
    Joe Dumars is my all-time favorite Piston. It pains me to have to grade him a big fat 'F' for the 2011/2012 season. Although the team needed to rebuild, he decided to re-sign. I thought he absolutely blew-it during the abbreviated FA period prior to the season. He's assembled a team loaded with untradable contracts and under-performing plyers. Because of this, his phone remained silent at the trade deadline.
    He can't even take credit for what appears to be a positive coaching hire.
    Mogilny likes this.
  10. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    I would give Frank an A- for coaching. There were some lineup issues but you need a decent sample size to really see if it wasn't going to work. But he stuck to his guns mostly and we do some nice things. We are competative in the rebounding race. We may get beat out but we're shooting so poorly that its bound to happen. We're undersized too. So outrebounding teams or hanging close is good to me. We attack the basket. We don't super collide all the time. We mix it up. Cutters, post ups, drives, put backs. We're not just a jump shooting team anymore. It would be good to have a shot blocker to funnel oppponents toward so hopefully we get one in the draft.

    Dumars gets a D from me. I don't like the Prince signing but for this year, it was good. Things need to run smoothly for the young guys to learn. Prince is good for that. Stuckey was a pretty good signing IMO. I like him better than Nick Young. It may have been better in the long run to have let them walk but I am comfortable as to how the season played out. I like drafting Knight. And its not like he gave up assets for Lamar Odom. Still he seems to have missed Speights, Mullens, and a number of marginal guys who may have had solid impacts on the team. Its probably because he had $7 mil tied up with a guy getting saunas and cold showers so he can hurt his ankle napping.
  11. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Okay, if I have to dispute a grade, it would be Brandon Knight. As a 20-year old rookie running a team, I would have to give him at least a "B". A "C+" is pretty harsh. He deserves a lot of credit for Stuckey's improvement. The guy can shoot the ball from deep. He isn't a natural PG yet, but he is learning on the fly. For $2.5 million, he is probably worth an "A".
    The Panda and Slippy like this.
  12. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    If he had a full preseason and training camp to learn the offense, I think it would be a different story. With the helter skelter (lack of)-offense, there was nothing to run and you had guys like Prince taking over the game. It was fugly. Everyone looked superbad. From the get-go I really was just hoping he'd adjust to the pace and style of the NBA. He did a great job and definitely put his stamp on the game. Whether that translated to wins or not is up for grabs but not a lot of players can say that. From snagging rebounds to attempting to stuff a milwaukee C going for a jam, he brought competativeness and the team needed it. However, his handle was shaky and more often than not, I saw Stuckey handle the ball. The team needs to hand the keys to Knight and Monroe. Stuckey can still be the #1 scoring option tho.
    alexa032 and BillLaimbeer like this.
  13. The Panda

    The Panda All-Star Forum Donor

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    First up - Awesome write up. I really enjoyed reading that, and it warms the very cockles of my heart to see major strides taken by this team forward.

    Couple of disagreements. Firstly , Villenueva. I don't grade people who don't turn up. And this guy is going the Lamar Odom way. He is not even putting in the minimum effort for the team. Despite what everyone may or may not think, this guy does have the ability to confuse defense with his ability to shoot. If he had played at all this year, I think we may have seen some trade value. As it stands, he is a DNF and a Discontinue. It's a show I don't want to watch, and like Lamar, he doesn't want to be here. Put him on waivers, amnesty him, order a hit. I don't car, quite wasting valuable box score space with his name.

    Brandon Knight. I love this guy. He has all the right things in place, particularly work ethic and his willingness to take advice, to be a really great glue guy. Like other have said, he needs to step up and boss this offense around and control the team. I think its half confidence, and the rest lack of training and poor surrounding team, but he certainly has the capacity to put up some decent points with good efficiency with a 3 point threat, and with his IQ right, rack up 8-10 assists a game. He isn't triple double material like Rondo, but his ethic and humility make him a lock for Pistons love.

    Munroe - It's obvious this guy is never going to be DHoward dominant. But maybe his sneaky little rise to the top of forwards in the league is indicative of a Duncan move forward. Not going to lie, have been less than impressed recently, but this season has been a feat for this guy and nothing less.

    Ben Gordon. I have nothing good to say about this guy at the moment. I don't care he shot 9 from 9.

    Lawrence Frank - A+. I didn't expect much from this guy, but I have seen the light. He preaches defense. He works hard. He gets into training and he is passionate. His x's and o's might not be the best, but I can't see many other guys stepping in to pick up the pieces from Dumars train wreck.

    Dumars - F. Stuckey has come good. But he never knew that would happen. Prince has done well, on and off. But he didn't know that would happen. This team should have been blown up Blazer style two years ago. As it stands, we have barely enough talent, and no cap space for two years. Our only trade pieces are things we need to keep. Its a total hole. I am guessing that there will be a serious effort to remove at least one deadweight object from the team this offseason, and I think we may have to sacrafice something we want to keep to do it. Waiting it out is no longer an option.
  14. Ernie the Slow Adult

    Ernie the Slow Adult All-Star Forum Donor

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    I think the worst case analysis of Knight's year would be that he played major minutes all year and didn't kill the Pistons. I never felt he was out there in place of someone more deserving.
    I disagree that Stuckey handled the ball in place of Knight. I don't recall (I may just not have been paying attention.) Stuckey bringing the ball up court much over the course of the year. I guess he must have when he was paired with Gordon, but I don't think he has done it recently.

    I think one of Frank's best moves has been playing Stuckey at the 2 full time. It has cleared his head, it seems.
  15. S.J.

    S.J. Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    We are in the 8-10 range.. And we can rise up.. as we usually do in our last 10 games when we start winning meaningless games.
  16. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    There was a stretch when Stuckey handled the offense and Knight was shifted to the 2 guard spot. It could just be my perception out of whack.
  17. alexa032

    alexa032 Team Captain

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    Nah, your perception is fine. Stuck started at the 2 after Knight got the starting PG spot, yes, but he still had the ball a lot of the time. That's changed now, but Knight has played the 2 a bit more again with the re-insertion of Will Bynum in the rotation. Drives me nuts I tell you.
  18. 2Tough4You

    2Tough4You Bench Warmer

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    People are overrating Stuckey to be honest. His numbers are down across the board this year compared to last and he's been downright awful in the month of April. I'm talking, worst player on the team kind of bad.

    He had 2 great months. But otherwise, he was pretty meh. I'd give Stuckey a C- at best.
  19. Nemo

    Nemo Hall of Fame Forum Donor

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    I've been looking to join the Stuckey bandwagon...........let's look at the stats, this year vs last season.

    minutes.........30 per vs 31 per last year.....
    assists............3.9 per vs 5.2 per last year...
    FG%.............43% vs 44% last year...........
    3 point %.....33% vs 28% last year.............
    FT%............83% vs 87% last year.............
    Rebounds...2.7 per vs 3.1 per last year.....
    PPG........15.1 per vs 15.5 per last year.....
    Turnovers...1.9 per vs 2.2 per last year....

    These stats seem to show no improvement as 2T4Y indicated.
    He did start poorly, but had a good 2 months...followed by mediocrity........
    Overall........he was Rodney Stuckey.
  20. S.J.

    S.J. Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    What about the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) .. Anyone knows how much did he had last year and this year?

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