Most people here have been justifiably (very justifiably) negative about the Josh Smith signing. I'm not a fan of it either. I understand that this puts Monroe in a precarious position, and that our cap flexibility is iffy now, I get that. I think we all do. But the doom and gloom scenarios people are painting are just draining, so this is a thread for positive ideas and opinions. The positive outlook I take from this is that this team can play defense now, a la the Memphis Grizzlies. The Memphis Grizzlies do not have any great 3 point shooters, do not have significant scoring threats on the wing. Yet they got to the 5th seed in the West, a tougher conference then ours, through tough defense anchored by the big men. They run their offense through a big man who can pass, Marc Gasol, and conveniently we also have a big man who can pass. Now if only the Grizzlies coach was out of a job and we were looking for a coach... (ah dammit, I went negative, shit)
Anyway, defense. Through interior defense that prevents the drive and kick that 3 point shooting teams use so well, we can quell a lot of teams in this league. With the pieces we have, we have the paint locked down. Drummond is excellent, people tell me Monroe is a good P/R defender, and Smith off the bench is an excellent post defender. If Cheeks (and hopefully Sheed!) can coach right, we can shut out the paint if we so desire. That's pretty good. Now I don't know much about statistics, but it would seem to me that with his size and mobility Smith would be able to defend small forwards well. I know Mike Payne said that stats show he is an average perimeter defender, and even if worst case scenario he pans out that way, he is at least competent. KCP also shows a willingness to defend though all the footage I've seen, and in my optimistic viewpoint, he could be a very solid defender. If coach Cheeks can teach our team to close out on shooters like Frank never could, then our defense can be excellent. Now it all rides on the coaching, but we do have the potential to have great defensive ability at four positions on the floor.
That brings us to the need at point guard, which I would ASSUME would be a big priority with Joe Dumars, but as Jose Calderon has left us and my man Jarrett Jack was swept up by the Cavaliers of all people, I don't know anymore (sorry, dipped into negative territory again there). My hope would be that the Bledsoe/Dragic overlap doesn't mesh, just like the Hamilton/Gordon overlap didn't work, and we trade for Dragic while the Suns go into full tank mode. I mean, look at this guy. Pretty legit.
Even if this Rondo for our beloved Monroe trade comes to fruition, which I agree would not be smart, it would still make us basically a suped up version of the Grizzlies. It would be like the Grizzlies capable of a fast break with KCP, Smith, and Drummond. Anyway, I'm hopeful (yet have become increasingly less hopeful as the summer has gone along) that we can snag a good point guard within the next 2 years because there are so many of them out there in this league.
And I think the most important point to not be gloomy is that we have ANDRE DRUMMOND. By virtue of that fact alone we are not doomed. An incredible offensive rebounder for a rookie, an incredible shot percentage, incredible athleticism, incredible lateral movement for a big man, got two on ball steals off Dwyane Wade in two straight possessions, and is only 20 years old. I might be crazy but I think he will be the best center in the league in 5 years.
We were terrible for most of last year because 1. Abysmal coaching and 2. Andre Drummond did not play much. How many 10-point leads did we give up to lose the game last year? It has to be over ten, right? If Mo Cheeks is BARELY a competent coach, he will be miles better than Frank, and Andre Drummond will playing the minutes he deserves, and god willing we will win regular season games where we have a 14 point lead late in the 3rd quarter.
So to conclude, if the Pistons can get their defense down pat and hopefully secure a competent point guard, this team can improve year to year. I don't see any reason why we can't be a 6th or 7th seed in East. Then we try our luck with the Pacers, get some playoff experience, and try again next year and go farther. Obviously there is always a chance it could go down in a pile of flames. Just ask the Lakers. But why would we want to spend our time dwelling on that? I know DBB is fully of very eloquent (and funny) people who can express brilliant manifestos (better than I can for sure) about how Dumars fucked up, but how about some optimism for our Pistons, at least in this thread. Or tell me that the Pistons being a 6th seed is crazy, I'd be good with that too. I like hearing my arguments painstakingly shut down because it lets me know I'm dealing with smart people on the internet, which is a rarity indeed. But be positive if you can help it. Whatever you write, just don't let it involve trading Greg Monroe or else people will swoop down on you like vultures.