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!