Xstream's extreme Pre-Training Camp Predictions

Again, I see a FanPost that makes me want to give my answer and run with it. There are over 100 days left before the start of the regular season. There is plenty of time left for Dumars to pull off some trades to free up roster spots, upgrade a position (which I could only imagine would be SG), but Dumars may be done tweaking.

"I know we can compete for (the playoffs) now," Dumars said. "We’ve upgraded the talent, the shooting, the leadership, the athleticism. I’m really comfortable if we had to go into the season with this roster. But you can’t shut the door and say, ‘OK, we’re done.’ " From The Detroit News

The reason why I can only imagine SG being the only position to upgrade is because of Chauncey. Not because he is our answer at starting PG, but because while he was brought in to win, he also knows that Joe really wants him to mold Knight, and maybe even Stuckey (oh I hope not), to become more of a point guard than he currently is. As far as the other positions go, Smith will likely be the starting SF though he won't get most of his minutes there (Datome, Singler, Middleton and maybe even Mitchell will fill out the rest), Monroe and Smith will eat up at least 95% of the PF minutes, and Drummond, Monroe and Slava will likely eat up all of the C minutes. Assuming Chauncey starts to start the season and molds Knight into a better player, SG is the only position where there is no quality starter.

So for this article, let's imagine that we go into the season with the Roster as it's currently constructed and Siva is sent overseas. For whatever reason, we don't or are unable to trade Stuckey and/or Villanueva for anything (not even a bag of Pizzaria flavored Combos). Here's how I'd like the roster and minute allocation to look.

  • PG: Billups (25), Knight (15), Bynum (8)
  • SG: KCP (20), Knight (10), Stuckey/Singler (18)
  • SF: Smith (12), Datome (18), Middleton (18/10)/Mitchell (18/8)/Singler (18)
  • PF: Monroe (25), Smith (20), Mitchell (3)
  • C: Drummond (30), Monroe (10), Slava (8)

Now, the above list has 12-13 players playing on any given night. We all know that isn't likely to happen. As a matter of fact, in Cheeks' last full season with Philadelphia (sorry I didn't have the time to do his whole career), here's how many players he played:

  • 8 players: 5 (2 wins)
  • 9 players: 16 (8 wins)
  • 10 players: 30 (17 wins)
  • 11 players: 20 (9 wins)
  • 12 players: 11 (4 wins)

That team won almost half of its games and it seems there's almost an even distribution of wins per number of players played. However, the bulk of the games were played with 9-11 players. To adjust my minutes for 11 players, I think it'll look something like this:

  • PG: Billups (25), Knight (15), Bynum (8)
  • SG: KCP (20), Knight (10), Stuckey/Singler (18)
  • SF: Smith (10), Datome (20), Middleton/Singler (8)
  • PF: Monroe (25), Smith (23)
  • C: Drummond (30), Monroe (10), Slava (8)

Sadly, this means that Jerebko and Mitchell will likely be on the bench most of the season barring injuries or blowouts. Gladly, it means CV is relegated to the bench. I also think that Stuckey may be on the pine as well, but he may play to begin the season to up what little trade value he has left (27 years old, last year on his deal, etc.).

Now, here's where it gets extreme. There are two enigmas on the roster in terms of production: KCP and Datome. So for them, I'm going to use their college and international stats and see if I can come up with some projected stats for the Pistons upcoming season. For all players, I'm going to take up to their last three years of stats (if available) in a per36 model. I'm then going to apply it to the minute allotment I have above and see what the potential statline will look like. So for instance, Bynum put up 14.2 FGA per36 combined over the last three years, making 6.2. If he were to play around the 8 MPG I'm proposing, he'd likely shoot 3.15 shots per game, making 1.37.

So after having crunched the numbers in Excel:

Stat 2012-13 2013-14 Net +/-
FGM 36.3 36.0 -0.3
FGA 81.0 76.3 -4.7
FG% 44.9% 47.1% +2.2%
3PM 6.3 6.2 -0.1
3PA 17.6 17.7 +0.1
3P% 35.6% 35.1% -0.5%
FTM 15.9 18.6 +2.7
FTA 22.8 27.1 +4.3
FT% 69.9% 68.6% -1.3%
ORB 12.1 11.7 -0.4
DRB 30.0 27.1 -2.9
TRB 42.1 44.0 +1.9
AST 21.2 19.4 -1.8
STL 7.0 8.0 +1.0
BLK 4.9 5.8 +0.9
TOV 15.1 14.3 -0.8
PF 19.8 18.4 -1.4
PPG 94.9 96.9 +2.0

Now here are some things to note about the above data. and did not have ORB and DRB splits for KCP and Datome (that's why 11 + 27 != 44). Also, there are players that I did not have 3 years of data to go on: KCP, Drummond, Knight, Middleton, and Slava. And lastly, these numbers would look quite different had I used Datome's and KCP's last years of stats. For instance, Datome's 3P% has been the same the last three years, 42%, but he went from shooting 3.3 a game to shooting 4.5 a game. Slightly the same could be said about KCP in that he went from shooting 30.4% his Freshman year from 3, to 37.3% his Sophomore year. For players who did have three years of play, I didn't want to use their stats from last year alone, especially if they were in a contract year and played one of their best seasons of their career (this is about Will Bynum). Also, I did not use Singler, instead using Stuckey and Middleton. Why? Eh, gut feeling really. He's likely to play because he does have some talent, but not using him kept me at 11 players.

So, where does this put us if this were to be the case? Well, 8-10 of the 18 categories were a NET -, but that's not necessarily that bad. I say 8-10 because as stated above, two of those NET - categories were ORB and DRB, for which we don't have stats on Datome and KCP. Personally, the most concerning NET - categories are 3P%, FT% (really, this could get worse?), and AST. Other than that, this looks to be about the same team as last year, except for maybe the intimidation factor.

I know how unrealistic these projections can be. Had we scored 96.9 PPG last year, we'd have been tied with the Brooklyn Nets for 17th in the league (we were 22nd). If we would have had 1.9 more rebounds a game, we would have tied for 5th in the league with Milwaukee Bucks (we were 13th). If we would have had 0.9 more blocks per game, we would have been tied with Charlotte Bobcats for 6th in the league (we were 16th). Hell, even steals would have been a major improvement going from 25th to tied for 15th with the Phoenix Suns.

I would love for these projections to be pretty close to accurate. There are other teams that have gotten better obviously, and there are factors that aren't calculated in basic stats. I plan on making another one of these articles immediately after the preseason ends since we'll have gotten a few chances to see the team in action and the roster will be more secure by then. How do these projections make you feel? Would you be ok with them if that's how the season turned out? Give me some feedback so that when I do write the other article later this year, I have more to go on.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the Detroit Bad Boys community and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all fans or the staff at DBB. The DBB staff reserves the right at any time to edit the contents of FanPosts as they reasonably see fit.

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