Been out for a while, but I have managed to watch the first three Pistons' games of the year.
Observations: The Pistons must play at a fast tempo. When they slow the game down, their offensive production slows down. It's been said before, and I have to agree, this Pistons team is much better suited to an up-tempo game than the grind-it-out style of the 2k4 championship team.
1)Stuckey and Bynum like to get to the basket which is a lot easier when the defense isn't set.
2)The Pistons (still) don't have a consistent post threat to force defenses to sag into the paint. As a result the defense pushes out on our perimeter players (see: Chicago, 10/30)and the offense stalls, our slashers are doubled and forced to give up the ball and our shooters end up launching a lot of contested 20 footers and the Pistons lose.
The Pistons have more problems than tempo, of course, (like defense, defending the pick and roll, or just defending on defense. I'm looking at you, Maxiell.) but picking up the pace would help with easier buckets and put pressure on opposing defenses to get back and try to stop our athletic young players from getting into the paint and scoring and/or getting fouled or kicking out to trailing shooters.
Stuckey is the team's best overall player and needs to become the go-to-guy in the clutch if he wants to take the next step to stardom.
Bynum has only played one game.
Gordon, you just keep shooting it bro (67% from 3) that's why you're here.
Hamilton looks out of place with the new squad. He is shooting poorly (38%) and is turning the ball over too much. Can he come off the bench? Will he be traded?
SF's: Prince (14, 4 and 2)is steady as usual. His expiring contract is biggest trade chip the Pistons have, but can they afford to trade him. No, no they can't..
T-Mac is a conondrum wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a knee brace. He's like the old guy at the park that throws some slick passes, plays some scrappy "D" and shoots off one leg cause he's a lil' bit nervous about landing on ole gimpy. I don't like giving him minutes that DaJuan Summers can be using, but I guess the guy does deserve a chance to prove himself. The question is, how long do you wait ?
DaJuan Summers: See, "T-Mac Stole my Minutes" by D. Summers.
5, 4 and .03 are underwhelming numbers for your starting power forward and if Daye doesn't improve soon then CV31 will step into the starting line-up. CV is already averaging more minutes per game. (21-Daye, 26-CV).
Villanueva has actually looked...tough at times during the last three games. He has been looking to pass the ball more and is really trying on the defensive end. I would not be suprised if he ends up starting in the near future.
Monroe needs more minutes. He is, right now, our best low post offensive weapon. He's going to get burned at times on D, at times he's going to get pushed around, but the Pistons are anemic offensively in the post, it can't get any worse, can it?
C's: Wallace is still a beast. He's a monster on the boards and sometimes it seems like his defense and hustle are the only thing keeping the Pistons in the game.
Maxiell has hit his performance ceiling and the twenty minutes a game he's currently playing need to be shared with Monroe. The sooner the better.