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?