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Matchups Thread

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by Laimbrane, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    Because I have the day/week/month off (teachers should never complain about anything), I figured I'd take some time to start going through some of the different teams that the Pistons will face in order to get an idea of where the Pistons should be good this year. (Disclaimer: There is now way I'll do this for all 29 other teams, and probably not for all Eastern Conference teams)

    As an example, let's take a look at the Pistons vs. the Heat...

    PG: Jennings vs. SNC (Super Nintendo Chalmers)
    This is probably a wash. Both are good three-point shooters. Jennings is much quicker and more of an offensive fulcrum, while SNC is a more efficient shooter and marginally better defensive player. Jennings is significantly more talented than SNC, but he's been used much more smartly than Jennings has, so coaching can definitely be a mitigating factor; if Jennings plays within his skillset, this is a win for Detroit.
    SG: Pope (projected) vs. Wade
    Wade by a mile. Even getting older, he's still one of the top shooting guards in the game and is one of the best players of all time, while we don't even know what Pope brings to the table other than probable three-point shooting. Wade is a very good defender for his position as well, but all we know about Pope is that he's tall. This is actually the key matchup; last year, when Wade didn't play, Singler had a good game, the Pistons were more efficient as a team, and they won by 10. They lost by 12 and 14 in the other two games, though, so you can see how important this battle will be.
    SF: Smith vs. James
    James is going to win every matchup you could put him in, but at least Smith competes, and the nice thing about this is that Smith's strength (defense) is exactly what you want out of him in this matchup. He'll make things tough for Lebron, and while Lebron will still get his, at least you know that Smith will make him work for it. On the other end, Smith shouldn't be the focus of the offense, so James' excellent defense won't detract too much from the Pistons' offense.
    PF: Monroe vs. Bosh
    Monroe fares pretty well here. Last year Monroe went averaged 20 points (on almost 60% shooting) and 11 rebounds per game while Bosh averaged 15.6/7.3. Monroe has the size advantage here and is able to work down low; Miami couldn't contain him, and Detroit could hide his weaker defense on a mid-range shooter.
    C: Drummond vs. Haslem
    Drummond by a mile. Haslem's job is to rebound the basketball, but Drummond does that way better. The only worry would be if Haslem gets hot, but being that he's not an offensive threat, Drummond should be able to play off the ball a little more and dissuade Miami's penetration game. Haslem won't be able to do anything special to stop Drummond on offense, since he's mostly an opportunist anyway.

    Bench:
    Miami: Miller, Battier, Allen, Birdman, Anthony, Jones, Lewis, Cole, Varanado
    Detroit: Bynum, Billups, Stuckey, Singler, Gigi, CV, Jerebko, and Mitchell

    Miami's bench is probably superior. Allen gives them a guy that can win the game off the bench all by himself if he gets hot, and Anderson was absolutely pivotal for them last year. Battier and Miller are role players that do their job. Meanwhile, the Pistons have a guy that used to be great (Billups), an Italian unknown, a rookie, two expirings, Jerebko (who actually could play an important role as an offensive rebounder), and Singler, who shouldn't have started for them last year. Getting good use out of that group will be important for this team's success. It will also be a challenge.

    Coaching: Cheeks vs. Spoelstra
    Spoelstra has taken his squad to three straight NBA finals, created one of the most complex, innovative offenses in the game, gotten two superstars to defer to a third one that doesn't want to be deferred to, gotten his team to play some of the best defense in the league, and repeated as NBA champions without a true center. Cheeks has a sub-.500 career record and is best-known for teaching Andre Iguodala how to be a good guard. This one isn't even close.

    Mitigating circumstances:
    Injuries/age: The aforementioned Dwayne Wade injury history is the major factor here. If he's hurt, I'd put money on the Pistons. If he's playing, I wouldn't.
    Location: Simply put, Miami has been almost unstoppable at home. Don't expect the Pistons to beat them there. Thankfully, though, I believe two of the games are in Detroit this year.

    Pistons' probability of winning at home: 50%
    Pistons' probability of winning in Miami: 20%
     
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  2. McQuack

    McQuack Bench Warmer

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    Mike Miller is no longer on the Heat. He was waived, and he have now signed with the Grizzlies.

    Also, if Oden can play 10-15 min, that would be huge for them.
     
  3. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    To me, the "mitigating circumstances" weigh heavy on any potential success that Miami will have.
    Wade, Oden and Ray Allen are all question marks as far as health is concerned. If they're good to go, they'll be all right. If not, it becomes a 1-man show with Bosh as a supporting cast member.

    I don't think that the Pistons are in Miami's league yet.
    That being said, I think Miami is a #3 seed behind Indiana and Chicago next season.
     
  4. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    Miami often looked better, especially against Indiana, when Wade was riding the bench and James played with Bosh and a few shooters. I remember someone calling Wade "so bad he's a human manifestation of a headband" when Spoulstra couldn't hold him on the bench any longer in the third quarter of the headband game. They are still the favorites with a Wade in the condition he was during last playoffs imo. A healthy Wade would ofcourse be better, like 27 wins in a row better. And I doubt Oden being out would make any difference, that guy is as done as they come.
     
  5. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I'm looking forward to the Pistons vs. Pelicans breakdown.
     
  6. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Nice writeup. You're up Bill.
     
  7. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I will wait until Joe signs English before I do my write-up.
     
  8. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    Bwaaak! Bwaaaak! Bwwaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkk!
     
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  9. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    Dang... forgot about Oden, and I wasn't paying attention to the Mike Miller thing. You're right about how Oden could affect the team, but let's be honest - that's a big if.

    Matchup: Brooklyn Nets

    PG: Jennings vs. Williams
    Two pretty similar players - good offensively, bad defensively. Here's the thing about Jennings, though - I think he has the talent to play well defensively. He has a tendency to overpursue, lunge, etc., then gives up (watch this video), but he appears to have the lateral quickness and - if taught well and positioned properly - seems like he could be disruptive enough to be effective out at the top. The same is not true of Williams, though Williams is a much more efficient offensive player. Whatever. Deron Williams is obviously better.
    SG: Pope (Projected) vs. Johnson
    Johnson obviously wins here, but he is an overrated defender and had a down year last year. I don't know what interesting new things I could say about this matchup - Johnson is one of the best in the game, Pope is an unknown - but Pope being able to defend Joe could make a big difference.
    SF: Smith vs. Pierce
    If you look around the top teams in the conference, you can see why it's important that the Pistons have a really good defensive player at the 3. James, Pierce, George/Granger, Melo, and - to a lesser extent - Deng are all very good players that are the offensive lynchpins of their teams. Pierce is getting up there, but he's still a deadly shooter and solid defensive player that will have KG behind him. Unlike against Miami, though, Detroit is going to need Smith to bang down low against PP and wear him down. If Smith can establish himself inside, that could open some things up for Detroit.
    PF: Monroe vs. Garnett:
    Monroe just might win this. He was surprisingly efficient against Garnett last year, going 20/13, 15/11, and 24/17 on plus-.500 shooting in his three games against Boston, and held Garnett in check during his stints on the floor with them. I'm as not-a-fan of Monroe as a Pistons fan is going to get, but this seems like a push, at the least.
    C: Drummond vs. Lopez
    Lopez broke out last year, showing himself to be an offensive force. Against the Pistons, however, he was merely good, averaging 16/7. Additionally, the game they played against Detroit where Drummond didn't play, Brooklyn blew Detroit out (though it was mostly because Williams went off for 31). Drummond is a game-changer on the defensive end, and with this squad, he'll have his work cut out for him.

    Bench:
    Evans, Blatche, Kirilenko, Terry, and Livingston is as good a bench unit as you'll find in this league, and probably could beat bad teams all by themselves.

    Coaching:
    Kidd is a complete unknown, and it will be interesting to see if he can hold this squad together. People seem to be making a big deal of him having Frank on as a bit of a coaching mentor, but it feels a bit to me like getting excited about having Theoden having Wormtongue whispering in his ear.
    Again, though, it's not like the Pistons have a coaching giant. I'm concerned that Cheeks is going to be a weakness this year.

    Mitigating Factors:
    Brooklyn (well, Pierce and Garnett) is getting old, so age may start to show, especially if/when they get to the playoffs.
    While Brooklyn won all four games last year, the three non-blowouts were by a combined 8 points. Both teams significantly upgraded their rosters this offseason, so we'll see how that affects things, but I think Brooklyn got a little better than Detroit did.

    Pistons' probability of winning at home: 40%
    Pistons' probability of winning at Brooklyn: 30%
     
  10. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

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    I think you are overrating Monroe against multiple all star Bosh and multiple multiple all star Garnett, who was widely considered to be one of the best interior defenders outside of Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol. Bosh is not so great because of the system he is in, they give up rebounding opportunities in order to get open shots. Garnett changed teams offensive rating by 15 odd % and the Celtics became a total sieve when he sat.
     
  11. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    I'm going based on empirical evidence, and the evidence showed that Monroe played well against him.
     
  12. The Panda

    The Panda Garbage Post All Star Forum Donor

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    A handful of games does not count as empirical evidence. Small sample size.

    Garnett as a defensive anchor unlike anyone in the league. Check out the Celtics ORtg against/DRtg for like, the last 6 years. Bosh is a silly good player and has been for 8 years.

    Monroe is a big fish in a small pond.
     
  13. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    One thing that I haven't fully appreciated until now is how formidable our front court will be in terms of steals with Smith at SF, Drummond at PF, and Drummond at C. Those 3 will probably lead the team. Add the shot blocking, rebounding, and passing ability and we have a ready made fast break offense.

    Maybe finishing ability on the break will be the best biggest thing to look for in our starting SG.
     
  14. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    Small sample size or not, it's still empirical evidence.
     
  15. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    Actually, I looked up all of Greg Monroe's games against Boston (and Garnett):
    2010
    0-6, 0 pts, 10 reb (the second game of his career, 18 minutes)
    2-3, 4 pts, 0 reb (9 total minutes)
    5-5, 13 pts, 9 reb (35 min)
    4-6, 11 pts, 14 reb (34 min)
    2011 (Strike-shortened)
    9-12, 22 pts, 9 reb (34 min)
    11-14, 22 pts, 9 reb (36 min) (Garnett didn't play)
    8-19, 17 pts, 10 reb (33 min) (Garnett didn't play)
    2012
    8-11, 20 pts, 13 reb (31 min)
    6-12, 15 pts, 12 reb (38 min)
    11-22, 24 pts, 17 reb (39 min) (Garnett didn't play)

    Unfortunately for my analysis, Garnett didn't play in all of those games. In 2010, KG seemed to have a positive effect on him. In 2011 and 2012, however, in the games Monroe played, he still averaged 19 points, 11 reb on 66% shooting. Still a small sample, but there's no reason to claim that KG held him in check; in fact, Monroe's always shot an unusually high percentage against him.
     
  16. McQuack

    McQuack Bench Warmer

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    I'm hoping for the Nets if we make the playoffs. I think if we keep up the pace and crash the boards, they will have a really hard time to keep up with our young, athletic team. The longer the series goes on, the better it is for us. I can imagine a 38 year old KG would be pretty tired after boxing out Drummond and Monroe for 5 straight games.
     
  17. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    The Nets look like a pretty tough opponent, we lost every matchup. I'm hoping for Indiana.
     
  18. McQuack

    McQuack Bench Warmer

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    Everyone is going to be a tough opponent. The top of the East will be very strong next season.
     
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  19. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    Indiana Pacers

    PG: Jennings vs. Hill
    Hill and Jennings are pretty similar in that they are score-first point guards. Hill is a better defender, Jennings is a better distributor. I think I'd have to give a slight nod to Hill here, but it's pretty close. If Jennings truly does want to be a better point guard, that could change everything about this matchup.
    SG: Pope (projected) vs. George (Projected)
    I'm not entirely sure what Indiana is going to do between Stephenson and George, but my feeling is that they'll go big and start George and Granger. This will give a lot of teams problems, including the Pistons. George is actually a solid secondary guard, a good passer and good three-point shooter. Again, we don't know what we have with Pope, but George is almost assuredly the better player.
    SF: Smith vs. Granger
    Two very similar players... Granger is the better long-range shooter, but Smith is a better defender. Smith will also cause problems for Granger inside, which means they'll likely keep DG on the perimeter. This is another very even matchup that I'm going to give a slight edge to Granger. Mitigating circumstance though is that Granger is coming off a season-long injury, and we don't know how well he'll recover.
    PF: Monroe vs. West
    Again, pretty similar players - 17 to 18 points, 9 to 10 rebounds a game. West is a little bit better at everything except rebounding, so I have to give the edge to him.
    C: Drummond vs. Hibbert
    I admit it, there's a slight bit of homer in me here. Hibbert has a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in the game, but Drummond is every bit his equal and a MUCH more effective offensive player. Most people outside of Detroit, I think, would scoff at this, but I think Drummond gives the Pistons an advantage. In fact, what you might find is that the Pistons switch and have Drummond on West and Monroe on Hibbert, since Roy is as awkward shooting the basketball as Monroe is.

    Bench: Scola, Stephenson, Watson
    I'm assuming a lot here, but I think the Pistons' bench is a little deeper. Stephenson is obviously very good (he started on a conference finals team), but the Pacers are really going to miss Hansborough. Scola is slightly-above-average.

    Coaching: It's going to be hard to ever call this in Detroit's favor.

    Mitigating Circumstances:
    The Pacers won by totals of 11, 19, 32, and 18 last year, though the last two saw the Pistons without Drummond. They had a balanced offensive attack and Detroit could not score well against them. The Pacers get Granger back and lose TH, but the Pistons upgraded Knight for Jennings, Singler for Smith, Stuckey for Pope (hopefully), and Maxiell for Drummond. Detroit definitely improves much more overall, but the question remains as to whether it's enough.
    Danny Granger is coming off of injury, so we don't know how well he'll play, or even if he'll start.

    These are two fairly evenly-matched teams, and they'll play some ugly basketball. Indiana's players are mostly better defenders. It's a tough one to predict.

    Pistons' probability of winning at home: 45%
    Pistons' probability of winning on the road: 35%
     
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  20. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    I think this matchup looks closer than the one against Nets or Miami. I think we'll have they edge at PF with Smith being superior to West and Monroe equal. They will win SF by a margin with Granger or George there most of the time and certainly win the SG position.

    Pistons will obviously be dogs in all matchups since we'll meet a 1-4 team but I think this is where we have our best chance.
     

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