A new series we at DBB would like to run this year is player performance appraisals on a game-by-game basis. These grades will be based not only on the box score, but also how well they looked on the floor. First up, the 2015-16 NBA preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers.
Here's how the appraisals will be scored. A player will only be scored if they entered the game. Each player will be given between a 0 and a 10 based on their performance in the game. A player receiving a 0 means they did not provide any production to the game one way or another. A 10 is the best. Also, though not a player, Stan Van Gundy will also be receiving an appraisal as well as a final team appraisal.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: 9.5
KCP has been praised by Stan Van Gundy during training camp, calling him the best player in camp last week. I said he had the chance to be the Pistons breakout player of the year. In his 2015-16 player preview, Steve Hinson explained just how likely it was for him to have a great year. Van Gundy said KCP was shooting at a high percentage during camp. Well, he went 7-for-9 overall and 6-for-7 from distance for 22 points. This was all in 26 minutes as he and Andre Drummond sat out the final 16 minutes. KCP also added two rebounds, four assists, and a steal opposite three turnovers.
Andre Drummond: 9.0
Drummond had a good game stat-wise despite playing without Reggie Jackson. Finishing with 16 points on 7-10 shooting, Drummond showed a bit of a post game. His hooks looked smooth and comfortable. As far as rebounding goes, he lead the Pistons with nine. Not easy to grab rebounds when Paul George is hitting everything he's throwing at the rim. And it can't be ignored, but he was 2-for-3 from the free throw line.
Stanley Johnson: 9.0
The box score says a lot: 26 points on 17 shots including 3-for-6 from distance. He also added three rebounds, four assists and two steals. He got to the line Justise Winslow times -- nine, making seven of them. The only negative on his scorecard would be the six turnovers. But, honestly, those have to be taken into context. A good portion of the time he was out of position playing point guard due to injuries to Reggie Jackson, Steve Blake and Brandon Jennings, and foul trouble and ineffectiveness of Spencer Dinwiddie. Also, rookie adjustments.
Jodie Meeks: 8.5
If this is the healthy Jodie Meeks we can have all season, I am not sure there is a better starting/backup shooting guard combination in the league. Meeks saw 26 minutes of action as he backed up Dinwiddie at the point guard position some, and he made the most of it. Getting off 12 shots, he connected on six of them. Unfortunately, he was only 1-for-4 from distance. He ended the game with 15 points, one rebound and one assist. But most importantly, he did not turn the ball over (one of only four Pistons to not turn the ball over).
Joel Anthony: 8.0
Anthony, as always seems to be the case, was the definition of efficient. He played 19 minutes, shooting 2-for-3 from the field, 2-for-4 from the free throw line, grabbed seven rebounds and had two blocked shots. Though Aron Baynes will likely be Drummond's immediate backup in the regular season, Anthony is not a bad third center.
Reggie Bullock: 6.5
His shooting was not great at only 2-for-6 (both three pointers), but in only 18 minutes he also contributed three rebounds and four assists. Bullock has a shot to make the team if he sticks to his 3-and-D style of play.
Marcus Morris: 6.0
I kind of expected more from Morris, but it is only one preseason game. Unlike our previous large power forward playing small forward, he didn't push things too much. He got his rebounds (8), he got some assists (3), stole the ball (1), and collected eight points on 3-for-9 shooting. He also went 2-for-2 from the line and limited himself to only one three point attempt.
Ersan Ilyasova: 5.5
I've always liked Ersan and for some reason I have memories of him hurting the Pistons. This was not the Ersan I hope shows up for the season. Yes, he played all summer and he suffered a minor injury just a few days prior. But only one three point attempt out of his four shots is not what we need from him. He did collect four rebounds, an assist and a steal opposite four turnovers. Also, his defense on Paul George was ugly.
Anthony Tolliver: 3.5
I like Anthony and do not expect a lot from him this season as he'll probably get very limited minutes (considering Johnson's game), but 1-for-4 is just ugh. The only other stat he collected was an assist, but he also played the fewest minutes on the team.
Spencer Dinwiddie: 3.0
This was your chance Spencer. Lead guard with no backup. Van Gundy stated before hand that if this was a midseason game he would use Dinwiddie for the whole game, but his limit would be 36. Well Dinwiddie was limited to 25 minutes thanks to fouling out. He was only 1-for-6 (blank from deep on two tries), had four rebounds, four assists and three turnovers.
Stan Van Gundy: 8.0
This is hard to gauge as Van Gundy does not have his full squad and was without a backup point guard. However, once he saw what the Stanimal was able to do manning the point position, he limited his lineup well. What was interesting was that Reggie Bullock made it into the game and Darrun Hilliard did not. Hilliard had helped man the point some in the open practice. Is Hilliard on the bubble or is it because of his facial injury?
The defense was not there. Paul George is a great player, but 20 points in the first quarter is inexcusable. Also, there were too many long rebounds that the Pistons should have had. Plus, 19 turnovers is not something the Pistons should get used to. But they did have 12 fast break points to Indiana's six. They had 38 points in the paint. And while that is lower than previous years, when you realize that the goal is to give Andre room and he had 16 of those points, that's ideal. So it looks like the offensive schemes are taking place.
Do you agree with the performance appraisals? Let us know in the comments.