Common opinion has been that the Pistons have been much improved since their trade of Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings for Tobias Harris. The quickest and simplest stat to back this up is the win percentage. Before the trade the team was at 50%. Afterward, they've been winning at a 61.9% clip. So the team must be better now, right? Let's take a look at the stats and see if they say the same thing.
(I've compared three sets of stats here. The first, and unseen, group of stats is the player's averages from the start of the season until February 15th. The second set is the player's stats from January 15 - February 15, to show how they were playing leading up to the trade. This is on the top row. The third set is the player's stats from February 16 - March 30. This is on the bottom row. Boxes that are red are worse than their season stats before the trade. Boxes that are blue are better.)
Marcus appears to have benefitted from playing next to Tobias. His minutes are slightly down and his shooting percentages are much improved. I assume that his workload has been eased both on offense and on defense, with Tobias being able to switch with Marcus occasionally on the premier wing matchup that Marcus has been drawing.
KCP hasn't seen the same boost that Marcus has. He's playing more and shooting worse, according to these numbers. It does seem like he's become more of a facilitator, with his assists rising and his turnovers falling.
Dre has seen a boost since Harris joined the team, but his numbers are still down from the beginning of the season when he was setting the league on fire. He's seen a significant boost to his shooting numbers, and in fact has NOT been the worst free throw shooter on the team since the Harris trade! His rebounding, turnover, and scoring have all improved since the trade.
Reggie has seen a slight drop off since Harris joined the team, and overall his numbers are lower than the beginning of the season as well. Most notably his 3-point shooting has plummeted, while his free throw shooting took a big jump. Unfortunately, his free throw attempts haven't risen with his newfound proficiency.
Wooo, Stanley. The rook's stats have not benefitted from the arrival of Tobias Harris. His minutes have been cut, although that probably has more to do with a different guy in this list than it does with Harris (and his injury). As a result of his decreased role, he has decreased stats as well. He's shooting worse from the field overall, and although his 3-point shooting is up a little since the trade it's still worse than his season average.
Steve Blake is back baby! He's been kicking... wait a sec. Hm. Actually this might not be so good. He really wasn't playing the month before the trade (2 games). His shooting has been miserable, but fortunately he's only shooting four times per game. His free throw shooting is up, but he's barely getting to the line. Overall, there's not much to speak of here, and Stan has already indicated they'd be looking for someone else to fill this role next season.
Here we go! The Other Reggie has been balling out since Tobias hit the scene, and he's been grabbing those minutes away from Stanley to do it. He's shooting like the Sundance Kid lately, posting a 50/50/90 shooting line that's hard to find outside of Golden State. We haven't seen this from Bullock since preseason, and hopefully he continues his positive impact.
Here's another Piston that's been having a good run lately. Baynes's streak of play was going on before the trade, but he's kept on going right through it. Fit as a Mallee Bull, he's gone off like a frog in a sock and hopefully his chooks won't turn into emus and kick his dunny door down. (I may not have used all of those correctly, but hopefully I didn't completely play a Barry.)
The Tollivese has slowed considerably since the trade. Tobias is likely the one who has eaten up these minutes, as Ersan was only averaging about 27 min/game while Tobias is around 33. That accounts for the drop in rebounding numbers, but in seven less minutes per game he's still attempting the same number of shots per game. His 3-point shooting has dropped a bit, but stone the crows and strike a light (I'll stop now) his free throw shooting is awful. I'm sure that will bounce back later.
Hilliard has been seeing a nice second half of the season. He's showing a nice 3-point stroke, but his shooting from inside the long line has dropped off. Otherwise he's stayed pretty consistent.
The man of the hour! The move to Detroit has been good for Tobias. In virtually the same number of minutes per game, his shooting numbers are up across the board, significantly so in the case of 3-point shooting and free throw shooting. He's not grabbing as many rebounds, but who does next to Drummond? He's also seen a small bump in his assists and turnovers. Overall it seems like Detroit has been a good fit for Tobias.
Looking at the individual player stats honestly doesn't tell me a whole lot. While Detroit may be a good fit for Tobias, has Tobias been a good fit for Detroit? Maybe the team numbers will do a better job of shedding light on the answer to that question.
Before the THE
|GP||W||L||W% (15)||FGM (16)||FGA (1)||FG% (26)||3PM (11)||3PA (9)||3P% (23)||FTM (24)||FTA (7)||FT% (30)|
|OREB (1)||DREB (T14)||REB (3)||AST (29)||TOV (5)||STL (21)||BLK (28)||BLKA (8)||PF (7)||PFD (7)||PTS (18)||OffRtg (18)||DefRtg (13)||NetRtg (14)||TS% (28)||PACE (15)|
Here we see a team that has some pretty clear strengths and weaknesses, but is overall mediocre. Strong in rebounding, taking care of the ball, and not fouling. Weak in shooting and creating turnovers. The team played at an average pace, won the same amount as they lost, and scored the same amount of points that they allowed. Mediocrity! So glad that they picked up Tobias and really started turning things around.
Since the THE
|GP||W||L||W% (8)||FGM (12)||FGA (9)||FG% (19)||3PM (11)||3PA (11)||3P% (21)||FTM (16)||FTA (9)||FT% (27)|
|OREB (8)||DREB (8)||REB (5)||AST (21)||TOV (15)||STL (28)||BLK (29)||BLKA (3)||PF (7)||PFD (11)||PTS (14)||OffRtg (16)||DefRtg (18)||NetRtg (18)||TS% (18)||PACE (22)|
What the Heck? I thought there was a turnaround! Ok, shooting numbers have come up SLIGHTLY from before Tobias joined the team. They are actually rebounding the ball less, but maybe that's connected to fewer missed shots than before. Their passes are turning into buckets with more frequency, and they are taking care of the ball with the same proficiency. They're generating fewer turnovers off of blocks and steals. Most importantly, while the Pistons are scoring the ball at a better rate, they're allowing even more points than before, resulting in a net rating of -1. How in the wide world of sports are the Pistons playing better if the stats say that they are letting other teams score more than they do!?
Advanced Stats in Wins
|OffRtg (15)||DefRtg (22)||NetRtg (25)||TS% (23)||PACE (25)|
Even when the Pistons win, they aren't setting the league on fire. Their O-rating is average, their D-rating is below average, and their other numbers are too.
Advanced Stats in Losses
|OffRtg (26)||DefRtg (21)||NetRtg (28)||TS% (24)||PACE (18)|
I think this is where things make more sense. When the Pistons lose, they LOSE. Here are the 8 losses since the trade:
|@WAS||Loss by 12|
|vNOP||Loss by 5|
|@SAS||Loss by 16|
|@NYK||Loss by 13|
|@CHA||Loss by 15|
|@WAS||Loss by 43|
|vATL||Loss by 4|
|vATL||Loss by 17|
And there it is. That embarrassment to Washington skews everything. Take it out, and the NetRtg before is +0.2, and afterward is +2. A NetRtg of +2 puts the Pistons in 11th place in the league since the Washington game, and that number would rank 11th overall for the entirety of the season as well.
The Pistons still aren't setting the league on fire. Tobias Harris hasn't turned Detroit into Golden State, but out of all the stats here the most important one is still the first one listed at the top of the page. Before the trade, the Pistons were winning at a 50% clip. Since then, they're winning 61.9% of their games. Over an entire season, that would be good for #3 in the East and #7 overall.
Before the trade for Tobias Harris, the Pistons won the same number of games they lost.
Since the trade for Tobias Harris, the Pistons have won more games than they lost.
The Pistons are better with Tobias Harris than they were without him.