This is getting ugly

Out of 19 games, the Pistons have won only 6, and tonight we’re scheduled to play the Orlando Magic – a team that made fools of us in the second half earlier this week.

Unfortunately, the Wins Produced numbers offer little consolation; we really aren’t any better than our record. As a whole, our roster has managed to produce exactly 6 wins, and only 2 players who have played significant minutes are performing above average for their position.


After solid play early, Stuckey and Gordon are regressing toward their respective means, which I guess I’m not completely surprised about. I had hoped against hope that their improvements were lasting, but alas, it appears they are not.

On the upside, Ben Wallace and Tracy McGrady – who will make less than $3 million combined this season – are playing very solid basketball. However, that’s little consolation, given that their age eliminates them from being parts of any future core of players. Tayshaun appears to be rounding into form after an awful start. Did someone say “trade value”? Monroe, while struggling to put the ball in the basket and avoid getting stuffed by opposing bigs, is still rebounding very well, which is a good sign for the future … or at least the best one I can find.

Beyond those few things, however, this team is simply playing ugly basketball, and given the history of the players employed, it’s unlikely we’ll see a much better product.

16 thoughts on “This is getting ugly

  1. Ben,

    I just watched the last 6 minutes of the 4th quarter in tonight’s game. What I saw was a prime example of inept coaching by John Kuester.

    For the last 6 minutes, he chose not to make a single substititution for the following set of 5 players:

    PG, Stuckey
    OG, Gordon, -11 [instead of Hamilton, -2]
    SF, Prince, -7 [instead of Daye, -4]
    PF, Villanueva, -9 [instead of Maxiell, -1; or Prince, -7]
    C, Monroe, -13 [instead of Wallace, -3]

    while he watched what was once a 5-point deficit at the start of the 4th quarter turn into a decisive 13-point victory for a drastically undermanned Magic squad.

    Choosing to allow someone like Charlie Villanueva to play the type of game he is playing this entire season for the final 6 minutes of a very, very winnable game like tonight’s is legitimate grounds for dismissal, in and of itself … since whenever Charlie V is on the floor the Pistons are actually playing 4 vs 5 on defense.

    Is this the sort of nonsensical player rotations that have been in effect for Detroit this entire season?

  2. What’s sad khandor is that CV has actually been one of our better players in the front court, as evidenced by the WP numbers above. He’s light years better than Maxiell, who for some reason your +/- numbers dictated should have been in the game instead of CV. Unfortunately, and brgulker’s post point this out, the team is deficient on win producing players. Gordon led the team in rebounds, but you argue taking him out in favor of Hamilton? There isn’t a win-win proposition going on with this roster. We only have 2 above average players according to WP. The rest it’s like flipping a coin to see who should be on the court and not.

    Problem is even greater in that our only two above average players happen to be aging vets on short term contracts. Where is the future? This says we should be playing Wallace and Mcgrady 40 minutes a night if we want to have any success, but reality is that our two best players can’t hold up for 40 minutes a night, so what are the options?

  3. The roster sucks. On top of that, several players are redundant and overpaid, which compounds the weakness of the roster by making minute distribution among the vets and rookies alike unnecessarily difficult. And on top of that, Joe D clearly said at the beginning of the season the main goal is to make the playoffs. While this roster might have been able to eek out an 8th seed, IMO, making that the overarching goal of the season was not in the long-term interest of the team.

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  5. I was talking to a friend of mine about Rip, and he was adamant that Rip would improve because he is “always a slow starter.” I don’t remember that, really, but I did think back to how McDyess had that rep for awhile and I thought that a potentially interesting project for you (do my bidding!) would be to look at win score for Pistons by game for a few seasons and see if there are patterns, like Rip tends to peak later in the season. It seems most likely that the up and down games would be scattered randomly, but it might be interesting to see. Does all-star break have an effect? etc. Hopefully Andres’ automatic stuff can do this, but I confess that I don’t know.

    • This is a very interesting idea. I don’t know of a way to automate this process, however. I could play with a few things, but it would probably only get us Win Score, not Wins Produced or WP48. I might also ask a few others who are way more knowledgeable than I am how we could go about this.

  6. Ben,

    If John Kuester glues Charlie V’s rear end to the bench for tonight’s game against the Raptors, the Pistons will probably emerge with the W … even though CV usually plays well on offense against his original NBA team. OTOH, if he gives CV his usual run of minutes, then, Detroit will probably drop another winnable game against a depleted Raptors squad playing without their Starting PG.

  7. Watching Kuester start the 4th quarter with a quintet of Bynum, Gordon, Daye, Villanueva and Monroe … and seeing the Raptors immediate cut the 16-point end of 3rd quarter deficit to 11, in only 2:33 … is rather comical.

  8. The score is 110-107 for Detroit with 2:24 left in the 4th quarter … and the Pistons are playing defense in a perpetual 4 vs 5 situation, as long as CV is on the floor.

  9. Give the Raptors a great deal of credit for fighting all the way back from a 25-point 3rd quarter deficit, but … anyone who thinks that John Kuester is NOT the main problem with THIS edition of the Pistons is living in LaLa-land.

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