According to the box score, only 12,567 tickets were sold to last night's game -- and if the turnout was anything like Monday's affair, my guess is only half of the fans with tickets showed up. That's a shame, because judging what we can see from the highlight reel and the box score, there's a lot to like. Such as ...
... Will Bynum scoring 23 points on eight shots (5-8 FG, 12-12 FT);
... Ben Gordon scoring 24 on 10 (6-10 FG, 4-5 3P, 8-10 FT);
... Rodney Stuckey scoring 21 on 13 (9-13 FG, 3-4 FT).
Obviously we can't expect that trio to remain quite as efficient all season long, but is anyone surprised by the production? I'm not.
To be fair, Milwaukee's starters barely played (and a pair of rookies, Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks, led Milwaukee's guards in minutes), but who cares? Bynum and Gordon won't be facing starting-caliber talent on most nights in the regular season, either. When you toss in the fact that Rip Hamilton will be scoring at his usual 16-18 point clip, it's pretty clear Detroit's backcourt will be carrying the team on most nights.
I think it’s safe to say, with decent accuracy, that we will probably have one of the top– if not THE top– scoring backcourts in the league this year. They’re all going to average double-figures, easy, and I don’t think 60ppg is out of the question– that’s 15ppg each between the four guys. And like it’s already been said, all four of our guards can go for at least 20 on any given night– hell, 3 of them have gone for 40+ and the Grand Master put up 28 in a quarter. Can any other team boast anything that comes even close that? Yeah, you’ve got the superstars (Kobe, D-Wade, etc.), but none of those teams have high-level scoring ability 4-deep at the guard positions. It’s a little bit ridiculous. When people play the Pistons this year, they’re going to have to gameplan for 48-minutes of starter-quality backcourt play. There’s literally no drop-off during ANY of the backcourt combos we’ll likely be putting out there.
Don’t forget we’re still playing without maybe the second-most important player we have. The Hairless One is the guy that keeps the opposing bigs honest. They leave him to rotate on a drive and he can hit the shot from anywhere; they stay home on him, and our guards slash and score/kick/whatev. Seriously, you look at our pieces, and offensively– OFFENSIVELY– we have the potential to be one of the better offenses anyone’s ever seen, especially if Tay/Daye/CV are consistently hitting the outside shot.
Defensively, meh. Just work hard, don’t give up 100 pts/game, and I’ll be happy.
Also, I found this nugget from the recap mildly amusing:
Stuckey, Will Bynum and Ben Gordon combined for 68 points in Detroit's 113-104 victory over Milwaukee, including a fourth-quarter stint that saw Stuckey playing small forward while the 6-3 Gordon and 6-foot Bynum filled the guard spots.
``We've never tried that before, not even in practice, but I thought it was great,'' said Stuckey, normally Detroit's point guard. ``I'm not worried about guarding bigger people - I can handle myself out there.''
New Pistons coach John Kuester also was happy with the combination, especially since it allows him to rest Hamilton and Prince.
``Those three guys are going to stretch a defense, and give Tayshaun and Rip a chance to save their legs and have more explosiveness,'' Kuester said. ``I'm sure teams will try to post them up when we play that group, and that's where we will have to get help from our bigs.''
Michael Curry gave the three-guard lineup a bad name, mostly because he tried using it with Tayshaun Prince at power forward while sticking with a slow, grind-it-out offense that negated the lineup's speed and exposed its lack of size. It was a clusterf**k.
When used properly, a three-guard lineup can work (see: the numbers 11, 4, 15 hanging from the Palace rafters). I'm not completely sold on using this version very often until I see it with my own eyes (the lack of height could easily be exploited), but if it contributed to the trio's incredibly efficient production, you can't argue with the results.
Last but not least, two games, two ejections:
The officials called 68 fouls -- 26 more than the average regular-season game last year -- and ejected Carlos Delfino and Austin Daye for fighting in the final minute. Fellow rookie Jonas Jerebko was ejected in Monday's win over Miami after a scuffle with Jamaal Magloire.
``I have no idea what I got thrown out for - I was getting ready to shoot the technical free throws when they told me was I was gone,'' Daye said. ``I know I didn't throw a punch - it would have been stupid to do that after Jonas got thrown out of the last game.''
I like that Detroit's rookies are playing with a chip on their shoulder, but is anyone else starting to think these replacements kind of suck?