I just read Tom Haberstroh's "Awards" article over at ESPN Insider, and it was very, very painful. In short, his awards demonstrate just how awful it was for Dumars to let Calderon go and replace him with Jennings. It seems as though Haberstroh gave out these awards specifically to give Pistons fans one more punch in the gut.
Here are the awards he gave to Brandon Jennings:
- Most Drives Allowed: Jennings allowed more opposing players to blow past him (491) than any other player in the NBA. I knew it was bad, but wow.
- Most Opportunistic Scorer: Jennings padded his stats during blowouts more than any other player in the NBA, scoring 8.2 more pts (Per 36) during double-digit leads (granted, the Pistons were blown out a lot) than when the games were close. This is even more painful when contrasted with Calderon's awards…
Jose Calderon was also given two awards:
- Deadliest Open Shooter: "Calderon shot 50 percent on unguarded catch-and-shoots this season, giving him a league-leading 74.6 percent effective field goal percentage once you account for the added value of the 3-pointer." Yeah, as if the Pistons needed that.
- Least Opportunistic Scorer: Yes, the exact inverse of Jennings' above award! "In close games (score within three points), Calderon scored 15.9 points per 36 minutes, which is 4.3 points higher than he put up in routs (11.6 points per 36 minutes)."
I know we're mostly in the "Thanks, Joe" mode now that he's gone (and I do thank Joe for the memories), but boy, it really does hurt to see it laid out so clearly. We could've kept the guy who really fit our needs, but Joe let him walk (according to Calderon himself) and went instead with Smennings.
Now, where are all the articles about new GM candidates and NBA Draft Lottery dreams? I'll leave those to the real writers around here...