I honestly hope to be proven wrong, but I think the playoffs are finally out of the picture. We are 8 games back with 32 games to play. Our schedule gets a little easier in the next few weeks, but overall it's still pretty tough considering we have more road games left than home games. And currently, we're behind the pace that we were last year...shoot, even 2 years ago. The Pistons currently have a winning percentage of .360. In 2011-12, it was .379. In 2010-11, it was .366. But, there are still 32 games left and we've only played two with Calderon and four without Prince.
We're likely to lose today, probably after going up by 10+ points at some point in the game, and Andre's status is still up in the air. Fridays should never be this depressing, it's the beginning of the weekend. So, I find myself in search of a happy place. Let's analyze some stats and see if I can find anything to be happy about. First we'll just look at this year.
Well, that looks pretty standard. We shoot better in our wins than we do our losses (except for the damn Free Throws) and defend better in our wins. We average nearly +14 PPG in home wins and +10 PPG in road wins. But we're sadly -8 PPG in home losses and -12 in road losses. Hopefully there's something better in our other season's stats.
When we rebound more, assist more, block more, turn the ball over less...we win. Seems pretty standard. However, though our defense has been pretty decent this year, there doesn't seem to be much consistency in the wins and losses defense wise. Well, no real happy place here, it's all as it should be expected. What about year by year stats?
Ok, so just comparing this year to our previous years offensively, it looks bad. We're shooting better than last year at everywhere but the stripe. However, over the last 6 years, this year's FG% ranks second to last, 3P% ranks third, and FT% dead last. Point per game is ranked third and is almost a four points better than last year. And currently, only 2010-11 and 2009-10 had worse winning percentages than this year.
Now defensively, there are some bright spots. This year's OPP FG%, FT% and 3P% is second over the last six years. All coming behind the 2007-08 season. However, this year's OPP PPG ranks 4th. This is because the opponents are getting more shots because of more turnovers. Just look at the non-shooting stats.
Some of these numbers are actually surprising to me. We're getting the most offensive rebounds (tied with 2009-10) and defensive rebounds in the last six years, even though Ben was on 3 of those teams. Does this speak to Andre's skills???? I was even surprised at the number of PF per game, I though they'd be some of the highest in the last six years, but it's actually second lowest. But the ones that don't surprise me, tied for most blocks in the last six years, most turnovers and second least in steals. I'm pleasantly surprised at the assists per game though.
As far as our opponents, I find the numbers rather discouraging. They're rebounding the most this year compared to the previous 5, second most steals, most blocks, and second fewest turnovers. I want to take the lower assist numbers to mean that we're making them work harder to get their points, but that may not be the case. So while I thought defensively we were doing better, that only appeared to be in points. But points is what wins you the game.
Now, I don't expect Calderon to help in all of these areas. Honestly, I don't know how much he can do to help any of these areas really except for assists and turnovers. It was said the other day in a game thread, that for the PG to pick up assists, his players have to make the shots. I fully believe this to be true, so the fact that he had 9 AST in his second game, before having had a full practice, with how bad our shooters have been, is encouraging. And though he did have three turnovers, you could tell that really got under his skin and he's not going to let that happen often.
Early on in the season, I was able to show that the Pistons were doing better than last year. And in some respects, we still are. But it does go to show that the recent skid the Pistons have been on can really bring those numbers down. I hope they respond and start winning more games, but the schedule doesn't get much easier. Andre has been the best thing about the Pistons season so far. While I thank Tayshaun for his contributions, his trade for Calderon is the second best. But Monroe is having a lackluster (though still good) year, Jonas was riding the pine too much this year, we're still a piece or two away from a playoff-esque team, and we have a lot of cap room that could be spent very unwisely this off season. Though I love my Pistons, will continue to watch them, and HOPE for a win every night regardless of our opponent, after looking at the data I'm not feeling too happy about this season. It definitely seems like a lateral step or slight step back. What are your thoughts?