11 thoughts on “It doesn’t get much worse than this

  1. Pingback: Disarray in a video: Benched Pistons laugh as John Kuester gets ejected « PistonPowered

  2. Pingback: Buzz Mixx - Disarray in a video: Benched Pistons laugh as John Kuester gets ejected

  3. FYI …

    Coaching change coming in Detroit

    Unfortunately, if Darrell Walker is the person who is chosen to fill this head coach position on an interim basis, then, the situation in Detroit will not really be a whole lot better than it has been for the last 3 seasons.

    It’s a wholesale mess right now that needs to be cleaned-up by Joe D., before any other steps are taken to put the franchise back on the road toward respectability.

    The pity of the situation is that it did not need to escalate to this point, if the signs of Kuester’s lack of fit with this group of players had been recognized sooner by a host of others, including Joe D., himself, and an assortment of Pistons supporters … who think that the main problem in Detroit has simply been the overall “poor” quality of their players during recent seasons, as reflected in the stats associated with a simple metric like “Wins Produced”.

    • I don’t buy your assumption that if the coach and players don’t fit, it’s the coach who should obviously go. You simply haven’t watched enough Pistons basketball to understand that these players have quit on three coaches in a row now. The players are the root of this particular problem.

  4. I doubt that the opinion of “an assortment of Pistons supporters” would have affected anything. Khandor, that was just a shot at those fans who use advanced basketball metrics. The players, coaches, and the Pistons organization as a whole are not going to make decisions based on this subset of fans.

    • Exactly, and I’m not naive enough to think my opinion or this blog has any bearing on the Pistons community, much less decision makers. It’s simply an outlet for me to give voice to my opinions and Wins Produced analysis of the Pistons. No delusions of grandeur here…

  5. The fact is …

    You nor anyone else actually knows for sure what effect would have occurred if “an assortment of Pistons supporters” had not made the basic mistake of thinking that this team’s main problem for the last few years has been the relatively “poor” quality of its players rather than the relatively “poor” quality of its head coach [and staff].

    PS. Please take note that I did not use the words “fans” in my earlier comment. If I’d wanted to refer only to Pistons “fans” in what I wrote before then I would have used that specific word, as opposed to the actual word I used instead.

    • khandor,

      No one that I know argues Kuester is a good coach. My opinion is that he hasn’t performed well, but he has also been dealt a very difficult hand.

      What I can’t grasp, though, is why you continue to argue that the cast of Pistons players is any good. The veterans we employ have very clear histories. Apart from McGrady and Wallace — both of whom are in the twilight of their careers — none of these players has ever been more than a role player. Prince is probably the best of the bunch, but he’s arguably a 4th or 5th option for most Playoff teams.

      In a perfect world — with players performing at career high levels, no injuries, the best coaching in the world, etc. — this team would peak around 35-40 wins. I think most people would agree with that statement. But perfect rarely happens in the NBA or any sport, if it happens at all.

      The Pistons just aren’t that good. One injury has the potential to derail them. One key player having an off year has the potential to derail them. Poor coaching choices have the potential to derail them. All of those things have happened this year.

      I don’t understand your fixation with one and only one of those things, and your complete denial of the rest. It doesn’t make any sense.

      • Ben,

        If a top notch head coach like Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers, Rick Adelman, Hubie Brown, Larry Brown, Pat Riley, Bill Sharman, Red Holzman, Red Auerbach, etc. … or even, perhaps, someone like Rick Carlisle, who is far less-heralded but still a very solid coach in his own right … would have been the Pistons’ sideline boss this season, with Detroit’s current collection of players:

        STARTERS: PG/Stuckey, OG/Hamilton, SF/Prince, PF/Maxiell, and, C/Monroe;
        KEY SUBS: PG-OG/Gordon, SF/Daye [McGrady], PF-C/Wilcox and PF-C/Wallace;
        RESERVES: PG/Bynum, SF/McGrady [or Daye], PF/Villanueva;
        EXTRAS/OUTS: OG/White, SF-PF/Jerebko and PF/Summers

        IMO, there is a very good chance that this exact same team would be playing approximately .500 basketball with a solid shot at making the playoffs and, possibly, finishing as high as the No. 6 seed in the EC.

        The chief reason this year’s team is so far below the .500 mark is the poor work done, so far, by John Kuester.

        PS. What doesn’t make any sense is the blinders which certain Pistons fans have had on since the beginning of the season, when comparing the talent level of the players on Detroit’s roster with that of Milwaukee, Charlotte, Indiana and Philadelphia … each of which is not significantly superior to the Pistons’ situation this year. The stark reality is that Doug Collins, Jim O’Brien/Frank Vogel, Larry Brown/Paul Silas and Scott Skiles have each out-coached John Kuester, to some degree, thus far. Period.

    • It is possible that the Pistons organization is aware of the Wins Produced metric, but it seems unlikely that they use it in any serious way. It seems like every deal done recently (Billups and Afflalo for AI, signing Gordon and Villanueva) have all been bad ideas as far as wins produced. So I find it unlikely that any Pistons supporter (do you mean someone in the front office?) with significant influence takes wins produced seriously.

      You seem to be claiming that the Pistons organization has done badly in part because it thinks its players are not very good. All I have ever heard from the Pistons has been the exact opposite. We have fired coaches pretty quickly in relation to the rest of the league and the rhetoric from Dumars has been one of “coming together” not needing new guys. He has paid pretty heavily for these guys (unforced) so I think that is an indication he believes in them. There are rumors he wants to resign Prince and all signs point to him resigning Stuckey. None of these actions say to me that Dumars thinks talent level is to blame. It seems he thinks, like you seem to think, that a different coach or different strategy as far as minutes and attitude will be enough. I hope you are both right, but I severely doubt it.

  6. Ra’s Head,

    The different perceptions which exist about, “Why a specific team is under-achieving, at a given point in time, have an effect on the culture which, both, engulfs and eminates from that team.” These perceptions can be influenced by a multitude of different voices/sources, including, but not limited to:

    – what the players and coaches [and support staff] do and say on a regular basis
    – what management does and says about the team on a regular basis
    – what members of the local, national and inter-national main-stream media do and say about the team
    – what members of the local, national and inter-national non- main-stream media do and say about the team
    – what members of the academic and literary communities do and say about the team
    – what so-called basketball experts do and say about the team
    – what legitimate basketball experts do and say about the team
    – what “fans” do and say about the team
    – etc.

    IMO, the Pistons would have been able to perform at a higher level of proficiency each of the last 2 seasons, if they had been coached by a top level practicioner, rather than John Kuester, because the players which they’ve had on their roster … although not nearly good enough to challenge for the top positions in the Eastern Conference … have, in fact, been of a “good enough” calibre to challenge for a mid-to-lower tier playoff position – e.g. by finishing somewhere between 40-50 wins – if afforded the opportunity to work for that type of rare coach, as at least some of them have had in the not-too-distant past for the Pistons organization [i.e. toiling under the direction of Larry Brown].

    IMO, those who think that the solution to a specific basketball team’s assorted problems can always be found in the replacement of its “poor” players with a slew of “above average” players simply do not understand the proper role played by an elite level head coach, who … by definition is a rarity, but also … is proficient at getting the most out of the individual players on his/her team, on a consistent basis.

    PS. Long after he retired from coaching, John Wooden was asked if he thought it would be for a single US college program to dominate the NCAA Championship the same his teams had done throughout the 60’s and early 70’s, given the dilution of talent across the entire continent. His answer is most revealing. According to Coach Wooden, it certainly would be possible … if the right coach came along … because when talent is diluted amongst a greater number of teams than ever before, then, truly HIGH CALIBRE COACHING CAN INDEED MAKE A VERY REAL DIFFERENCE, in the separation of winning programs from losing programs, as opposed to any one team [or a small group of teams] simply having a collection of MORE talented players than everybody else.

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