Well, after all the wonderful discussion generated by my post on the Pistons backcourt, I thought I'd try to generate some more talk about the frontcourt playing options. Since my suggestion of moving Stuckey to SG was greeted with much derision, I figured I'd offer a safer option this time: moving Daye to Center.
Reasons why this is a good idea:
1. It builds on Daye's experience at PF last year and, as everyone knows, NBA PFs and Cs are pretty much interchangeable these days.
2. Gets Daye on the court, AND allows us to play Jonas at SF and Monroe at PF.
3. Creates a matchup nightmare for opposing teams' centers because of Daye's ability to shoot 3s.
4. And best of all, ...
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... it allows opposing teams' centers to experience what it feels like to be "Shaq for a Day(e)" when they play the Pistons.
Okay, now I'll try to get serious. Although I thought it was a joke last year when it was first suggested that Daye would start at PF after Jonas went down, and then that actually happened! So I want to go on record as saying that unless we're in a situation where we need to put as many 3-point shooters on the floor as possible, or the other team is trying to outskinny us at the 4, that we NEVER try that experiment again.
So on to the respective frontcourt spots:
Center: Starter is Greg Monroe. I know some people think he's better suited to be a PF, and that may be true in an ideal world where we have a Dwight Howard type to man the middle. But for this Pistons squad I don't see any better option. I also think Monroe has to develop a consistent jumpshot to play PF. Centers can get away with not being able to shoot, but it's a much more glaring weakness in a PF. First backup is Ben Wallace. Hopefully he can give us 15+ quality minutes a night (and more on those occasions when Monroe gets in foul trouble) and anchor the second unit defense. Other options are Maxiell, Wilcox (if we keep him) and Macklin (if he makes the team).
Power Forward: Starter is Jonas Jerebko. Many people think he's better suited to play SF, but I think we probably need him more at PF on this squad. Hopefully he's fully healed and the work in the weight room has better equipped him to bang with the big boys. I don't think we know yet how good he can be, but I expect he'll be a strong contributor for years to come. First backup is Charlie Villanueva. I think an argument can be made for Wilcox (if he stays) based on how he played toward the end of the year, though his game probably pairs up better with Monroe's than it does with Wallace's. An argument can also be made for Maxiell, I suppose. But CV should be good for 15+ minutes a game for his ability to stretch the floor and his occasional hot hand.
Small Forward: Starter is Austin Daye. I'm assuming we don't hold on to Prince or McGrady, because there's really no point to it. Prince is clearly worth more than this team can afford to pay him. I think an argument can be made that keeping McGrady at a vet minimum contract is worth doing because of his versatility, but there's no point to paying him much more. Daye needs the opportunity to show us what he can do at SF. First backup is Kyle Singler. He should be more ready to contribute than are most rookies. Hopefully he'll bring the same kind of hustle and scrappiness to the second unit that Jonas provides for the starters. Jonas can also play SF, of course, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets some time there. (For instance, I can see JJ doing a decent job guarding LeBron, but I don't see how Daye can manage that matchup. But maybe Daye could match up better with Bosh, who only outweighs him by 35 lbs.) Hamilton and Stuckey have also played some SF for us, so that's another possibility in a pinch.
I think the goal has to be to give the young guys as much playing time as possible, AND to give guys a consistent role on the team. I don't know if this team can win 30+ games, and don't really care. I think the priority is developing the young guys and identifying what the key next pieces need to be. We probably need another athletic big up front who could team up with Monroe and Jerebko, but hopefully we'll discover this year whether that's the greatest priority or not. We might also find that we are just as much in need of a wing to play at SF or SG.
Anyway, seeing as we don't know when or if the games will begin again, I hope this gives us something to banter about.