The State of the Detroit Pistons
Having watched the past couple of seasons and this years Orlando Summer League, I gotta say at this time I'm pretty damn happy to be a Pistons fan. That's shocking to think just a few years ago it looked like Joe Dumars put them out of contention for the next 10 years after signing BG and Charlie V and now its looking like they have one of the more promising core group of young talent in the NBA.
First off we got Greg Monroe in 10, who looks to me like a perennial All-Star for the next few years. This is a guy with an awesome motor, runs the floor well, has a nice 15 foot jumper, nice touch around the rim, rebounds and has the strength to bang. Monroe is also not a bad passer so much in fact that the Pistons ran their offense through him alot of times last year. He's also a team first guy with great work ethic and it looks like he's bought in to what Detroit is trying to do right now.
Next you have a guy like Brandon Knight we scooped up last year. Its hard to think this dude was 19 last year in a lock out shortened season would have the type of poise that he came with last year. Watching B Knight last season its easy to see that he has the work ethic and mental capacitiy to pick up on the neccesities of becoming a better floor general next year or in the future.He also flashed his ability to score off the dribble (awesome ball handler), in transition (tons of speed and quickness), and from deep. This summer it looked like he bulked up quite a bit and he seemed much more poised running the Pistons offense this year in SL. Never really took a real bad shot and made pretty good decsions the vast majority of the time. Not to say he'll ever have this much strength, but I can see him turning into a Chauncey Billups type player with more speed in the future. The bottom line is this guy has a ton of talent a ton of character and you know he's gonna be in that gym working hard to become a better player day in and day out.
Now you add in Andre Drummond. Now I can see why people call him the biggest risk in the draft having watch him in SL. This guy has everything you could ask for physically in a center. Damn near 7 foot with an even bigger wingspan and a 35 inch vert, weighs 270 lbs, runs like a deer and oh by the way he's 18. After watching him this summer I can see where the questions about his motor come from. He just doesn't seem to remember to body up down low for positioning whether its on defense or on the boards. Alot of times he sort of lingers around in the post and just tries to out jump everybody. While he might be able to get away with that against his SL comp, that type of effort won't cut it in the league. However when he DOES use his size and strength to bang down low he seems to always come out on top. In Orlando he shut down the likes of Enes Kanter Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo when asked to defend each respectively. The potential is evident and the encouraging part of his future is his high character. Everyone in the Pistons organization from Joe Dumars, Lawrence Frank, Ben Wallace...they all speak highly of his character ad willingness to learn. I fully believe that Frank is the right guy to get Andre to maximize his god given attributes while also expanding his game. All this too will also come with maturity over time as this year really could of been his freshman year of college.
Another guy who really impressed me was Kim English. He had a maturity to his game out the gate in Summer League which is something you would hope for in a 23 year old college vet. What I loved about his game was that he never tried to do too much. He could spot up for threes and knock them down at a high rate but also have enough sense to kick it back out if the shot wasn't there. He has scorers mentality but a team mentality first and foremost. The prototypical complimentary "Bruce Bowen" glue guy. He hustles on both ends which leads to alot of the fast break buckets he scores where he is pretty good at finishing. The most impressive part of his game to me and to many others was his defensive abilities. He can be a shutdown one on one defender at times but he also has the awareness on that end to pick off passes for easy transition oppurtunities.
Austin Daye was a dude who I was dissapointed Joe Dumars decided to take and I can't say that I still don't feel that way. While Austin showed glimmers of what he could do in Summer League, he also proved once again what his downfalls are. When his jumper is on its pretty hard to defend the guy with the size he has combined with the array of shots he has. However getting to the rack against athletic NBA 3's is and will probably always be a problem for him as he has little to no quickness with the ball in his hands. His height benifits him at times jumping up for boards down low but his strength for a 4 year vet is downright pathetic.Even in SUMMER LEAGUE he's constantly getting pushed around, backed down, boxed out by guys 2, 3, 4 inches shorter than him which almost seems to erase his height advantage. While he has a nice offensive game and a hell of a jumper, without at least adding some muscle I don't see his game expanding to much more than it is now. What I think really sets Daye back is his attitude on the court. When things don't go his way he seems to whine and shut down, not something you'd hope to see out of a guy going into his 4th season.
The wildcard of the Pistons Summer League to me was Kyle Singler. Pistons took him in last years draft and I honestly almost forgot about since he was playing overseas this past year. However seeing him in this years Summer League I was more than impressed. He looked alot stronger since his Duke days and a hell of alot more explosive and agile. He looked good defending and made a few plays picking off passes. he showed he could score on his own off the dribble or in the post and also knocked down spot up jumpers at a nice rate. So far I like what I've seen out of him and I think he's gonna see some solid minutes in Detroit this year.
As for the veterans in Detroit, they have the veteran leadership with Big Ben and Tayshaun sticking around added on with a guy like Cory Maggete. I like the effort and versatility that Jonas Jerebko gives as well. A question mark I think for the Pistons has to be Rodney Stuckey. I just don't see him fitting in with what they have going for them right now. Whether they part ways with Rodney or not could be big for Detroit in the next 3 to 4 years.
All in all you gotta be happy in the direction Detroit is headed. We have some NICE young talent with huge upside. 5 years from now we could be looking at a sqaud much like that of the early to mid 2000's in Detroit. What you have to like most is the total culture change Joe Dumars, coach Lawrence Frank and even new owner Tom Gores has employed in Detroit. Everyone from the front office, the coaching staff, down to the players all show high character and accountability and look to be working as hard as possible to get back to that higher class in the NBA. The Pistons look like they're bought in on winning the right way and look to be on the right path to doing so.
nice post. goes to show how important the draft is, especially drafting the best player available. detroit have stayed flexible three years in a row, not fallen in love with their existing players, and had knight, monroe, drummond slip to them- as well as a couple of smart picks in the second round. if these guys develop in the right way, and they find a wing who can create their own shot, they coul be great in a few years time.
I always thought an Evan Turner type of guard would fit in great....maybe give B Knight an opportunity to spot up from time to time and just balance out the floor with another guy who's a legit threat to score off the dribble
Coming off of a season in which he was named both the Big East Player of the Year and the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Thabeet was sure to be the next big thing in the NBA.
Instead, injuries and a lack of postseason success have defined McGrady’s career, and now at 33 years old he seems to have aged at a faster pace than his peers. Even as we talk about how Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and Grant Hill still have plenty left in the tank despite pushing 40, McGrady looks more like a former NBA player.e324
Part of the problem, of course, is that unlike some of the all-time greats McGrady didn’t stay in elite shape during the NBA offseason. Like many players, he would count on being able to play himself into shape in training camp rather than staying ready during the summer, and while he was good enough to survive that way for a while, it did catch up with him fairly quickly. 21321
Given how far his game has fallen off – he hasn’t averaged double figures since 2008-09 in Houston – teams are looking at him as a veteran presence more than a scoring threat, and he isn’t inspiring confidence in teams looking for a veteran voice.r32323
It wasn’t so long ago that O.J. Mayo was one of the hottest names in the rumor mill. The Indiana Pacers tried to get him several times, the Minnesota Timberwolves were among the other interested teams, and yet Mayo found himself looking for a home in free agency this summer. 4352
The Dallas Mavericks count themselves lucky to have added Mayo for this 2012-13 NBA season, and Mayo is confident that the new-look Mavericks can go far, even further, perhaps, than the super-hyped Los Angeles Lakers.jtmtydsa212
Only he wasn’t. He appeared in 68 games for the Grizzlies as a rookie, starting 13 times, and managed just 3.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest. As disappointing as that was, his numbers were even worse the following year, and the Grizzlies dealt him to Houston before the NBA trade deadline, acquiring Shane Battier in the process.24121341
Houston’s then-coach Rick Adelman saw nothing in Thabeet that made him want to play him, so he appeared in just two games for the rest of the season and didn’t score a basket. Rockets management hoped that incoming head coach Kevin McHale could reach Thabeet the following season, but even he could only coax 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds out of the Tanzania product. 65776
He appeared in just five games for Houston last season before the Rockets sent him to Portland, where the Blazers gave him more minutes and a real shot to be a rotation player, but were so disappointed in what they saw that they didn’t so much as make him an offer during free agency.34523
I freely and proudly admit, I’ll be rooting for Royce.
He called leaving the best decision for his family and wouldn't throw people under the bus. Now that he's comfortably in Miami, however, Allen is telling the real story. Allen has confirmed he felt unvalued in Boston, saying the blame for him jumping to Miami rests completely with the Celtics.
Kevin Garnett says he’s lost Ray Allen’s phone number. Apparently Garnett’s friendship, as well as the admiration of millions of Celtics fans, went out the window when Allen decided to ditch the green and white for South Beach. While that doesn’t make him quite as reviled as LeBron James is in Cleveland, it has turned him into something of a villain in certain parts of the country. Despite the vitriol, Allen insists that the Celtics share just as much of the blame for him leaving
The really crazy thing, though, is that he might not even be done. Julius Randle, the #1 overall prospect in the country, and Andrew Wiggins, who could reclassify as a senior and easily take over the #1 overall position in the country, are both considering Kentucky as well. That would basically give Calipari six of the top high school players in the country. On one team.
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“(Coach Wittman) just keeps telling me to be aggressive,” Beal said. “Everybody keeps telling me that. I am trying to be aggressive, but at the same time I am not trying to force it on offense. Really I am just trying to let the game come to me, but at the same time, the coach wants me to be in attack mode all of the time as well as my teammates. It is just a learning process for me. I know I am not used to it. It is the same thing I went through last year in Florida, just coming in and getting used to a new system and new guys and trying to fit in accordingly, but I have to be more assertive.”
Wade, 30, missed 17 games last season, more than a quarter of the lockout-shortened schedule. With the pressure off Miami thanks to its 2012 title and with Ray Allen on board as a key addition to the backcourt, Spoelstra enters the season with the ability to limit Wade’s workload more than he has in past seasons. Wade’s scoring production has declined for three straight seasons, in large part to accommodate James’ arrival, and his playing time dropped last season to a career-low 33.2 minutes per game. Those trends should continue this season. Don’t get that twisted: Wade is still in or close to his prime. But keeping him fresh and healthy for May and June is all that matters here.
The next three remaining preseason games will be very hectic to deal with, with all of them being completed in a four-day stretch until Miami opens up the season against the Boston Celtics on October 30.
“Not at all,” Beasley told HOOPSWORLD when asked whether or not he has something to prove going into the season. “As far as the world, what they think – whether it be good or bad – is not really a concern to me. … [The Suns] asked me to play how I know how to and basically just do everything the team needs.”