Jonas Jerebko enjoying fresh start with Celtics
Since joining the Boston Celtics, Jonas Jerebko has averaged 8.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game, with the Pistons this season, the Swedish forward averaged 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in one minute less of game time. Shooting-wise, the fifth year player is red hot, knocking down 55.6% of his 3s for the Celtics, complemented by his 51.4% overall field goal percentage, which are both career highs for Jerebko.
"I've put in the work to play, I've always been ready, and stayed ready. I love it (the Celtics fanbase cheering for him), the organization here is first class, their coaching staff is really good, my teammates have been teaching me the plays, its been great. It was just great getting a fresh start, I appreciate Detroit and all they did for me, but, y'know, it was time for me to move on, and I feel great in this new situation, it's a great organization and I'm proud to play for the Boston Celtics. I watched them growing up and now I'm here. Everybody knows who the Boston Celtics are, so I'm very proud."
Brad Stevens lauded the 28 year-old when he first arrived, and has continued to reward his strong play with consistent minutes - something that was hard to come by in Detroit. Celtics' GM Danny Ainge also praised Jerebko, explaining that he had been on their radar for a while and were very happy they'd found a way to include him on their roster.
Both Ainge and Stevens would like to keep the sharp-shooting bigman past this season, but his $8.5 million cap hold has led them to consider renouncing his Bird rights and try re-sign him once they've landed their proverbial big fish during free agency. The move would also have to factor in whether or not Jerebko would be willing to come back to Boston, most likely on a cheaper contract, but he didn't divulge much of his free agency plans.
Stan Van Gundy looking to hire more analysts over the offseason
Stan Van Gundy's arrival led to many changes within the Pistons' organization, there was a rehaul of the team's scouting department, which is now one of the most active in the League, and after updating the analytics prior to the start of the season, SVG has decided he wants more of them by his side. As Stan told Pistons.com's Keith Langlois:
"There are a lot of things that can't be quantified with numbers and you have to know the player you're getting involved with. You have to know the fit with your team. Things like that you can't quantify, but that doesn't mean that the numbers aren't useful. They're part of the entire picture. If you're relying only on numbers, you're making a mistake. And if you're not using them, I think you're making a mistake. You've got to put everything together. It's not an exact science, but the analytics make it a little bit easier and a little bit better."
This Pistons, who are already ranked among the best in the Association in terms of analytics, were represented by four of the team's front-office members at the annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT. Van Gundy, who was once a featured guest at the conference when he was out of the coaching pool, has always believed in the story numbers tell, even before it was accepted as a mainstream practice in the NBA.
Although he doesn't base all his decisions based on data, SVG uses it alongside scouting reports and the eye test to form a better understanding of what it is he is studying. Stan has surrounded himself with analysts, and plans to hire more during the offseason as to get a better grasp of the team, and its opponents' defensive and offensive productivity. Billy Beane and his analysts revolutionized baseball with his use of analytics in 2002, and maybe Stan Van Gundy is about to make his name for the exact same reason.
Will Chauncey Billups be the new Denver Nuggets' head coach?
Are we about to see Mr Big Shot calling plays from the sideline next season? The Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman seems to think that the championship point guard is the best candidate for the job in Denver, and points to his "passion, presence and credibility" as both a player and leader as the main reason for the potential move.
Chauncey has always been clear about wanting to be a part of the NBA after he retired, but he wanted to be more of an executive rather than a coach, although he has all the credentials that could translate into a successful coaching career. Hochman uses Jason Kidd's success in Milwaukee as evidence supporting Billups' case; compounded with the fact that Chauncey has always been a natural-born leader with whom players can identify, there is definitely a sense that the former Pistons floor-general could do a better job than the newly departed Brian Shaw.
Could Billups restore some faith in his home-town Nuggets? The roster in Denver certainly has the tools to succeed in the tough Western Conference, and many have pinned the blame on the team's recent failures squarely on the shoulders of Nuggets management, who fired George Karl after a franchise best, Coach-of-the-Year season in 2013.
Hochman believes that the players can rally around Billups, who was always a respected veteran presence on and off the court, and thinks that the Colorado-native could reach out to coaching greatness to help re-establish basketball in Denver.
If the Nuggets were to hire Billups, he would need a consigliore, a wise, older coach to serve as his sounding board. Maybe Billups could talk his former coach Larry Brown to returning to the NBA game as a top assistant? Brown, now coaching at Southern Methodist, has done it all, and he could return to Denver, his old ABA (and NBA) stomping rounds, to reunite with the man who won Larry the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
Although a tad overly optimistic on his part, Hochman does make a good case for Chauncey Billups' return to the sidelines; there is no denying his success and leadership create a powerful mix that could translate into a successful coaching career, but will we see it happen?
Tweet of the Week
Houston, we have a problem. Turns out it's you. pic.twitter.com/9eY9dz8A8l— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) March 5, 2015