The Detroit Pistons have started the new NBA season 2-1, with a tough loss to the Wizards sandwiched in between impressive victories against the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks.
It’s still, early, of course, and small sample size and all that. But there are things fans have been clamoring for since the end of last season, and fans have expectations (both high and low) for each player on the roster.
If you are a Lions fan and read our friends at Pride of Detroit, you may know they do a stock report following every game. That is the plan for this, as I bring it over to our wonderful community. I would’ve done it sooner but my account got locked out of article writing mode due to being idle for 3 months while I was gallivanting in Europe. Now that I’m back, lets go.
The idea is to give kind of a running report on each player throughout the season. I’ll present one player with stock up, one with stock down, and “quick hits” on the rest of the roster.
Stock Up: Tobias Harris
Buy all the Harris stock. The man has started the first three games in scorching form, averaging 24.3 points while shooting 55.8 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from 3. Fans were absolutely craving a higher usage rate for Harris and they have gotten it, with the Tennessee product soaking up 23.1 percent of possessions, resulting in highly efficient play, with a 26 PER and true shooting percentage of 65.2. Harris has become the Pistons go-to guy both early and late in games, and has developed nice chemistry with Reggie Jackson.
Stock Down: Jon Leuer
It may be a tad unfair to put Leuer here because he has done some nice things, but the truth is that he has largely failed to deliver on the $10 million annual salary he’s currently slated to earn. His 3-point shot has apparently deserted him (he’s only attempted two all season), and he has struggled some on defense against mobile power forwards (lots of people would struggle on Kristaps Porzingis though). He has done some nice things, like find open niches under the basket and provided an option for a small ball center, but he’s largely underwhelmed.
Reggie Jackson: Neutral, Trending Up
I wanted to put “stock up” so badly, but we need to see a little more for us to believe the resurgence is real. Jackson has taken care of the ball well and distributed fantastically, but has struggled shooting and has fallen into ball dominant stretches at times.
Andre Drummond: Neutral
Andre Drummond leads the league in free throw percentage. Great!. But Drummond also still struggles to keep his man in front of him on defense, and fouls too often. Promising signs, but the dirty end of the floor needs work.
Avery Bradley: Neutral
Bradley has been okay in his first three Pistons appearances. He’s 50 percent from 3 (4-8), but has taken a lot of shots from the midrange. He’s also shown a somewhat worrying tendency to commit fouls reaching in 30 feet from the basket.
Langston Galloway: Stock Up
If you recall, I was a massive fan of the Galloway signing at the time, and he’s largely been impressive so far. He received a DNP-CD @ NY, possibly for injury, but has hit the three at a decent rate, defended hard and provided strong bench minutes, forming a nice combination with Ish Smith.
Anthony Tolliver: Stock Up
This is the Tolliverse, we are all just living in it.
Ish Smith: Stock Up
Ish has largely continued where he left off last season. Thing is, he’s probably still best as a back up point guard. What makes that OK, though, is Jackson’s promising play through the first week, allowing Ish to feast on bench units, pushing pace and combining with alter egos Dish Smith, Swish Smith and Fish Smith™.
Stanley Johnson (offense): Neutral
You can never ignore an 0-for-13 game, but a lot of Johnson’s shots went in and out. He’s shot 6-for-10 the last two games though, including 2-of-5 from 3, and is at 87.5 percent from the free-throw line. He’ll never be an offensive force, and that’s OK in this starting lineup.
Stanley Johnson (defense): Stock Up
I felt it was only fair to give Stanley two reports because he’s so volatile and divisive. His D during the Charlotte game was seriously impressive and while he was brought back down to earth a little by Porzingis (he was giving up 8 inches, ffs), he’s gained the trust of SVG. Who plays 40 minutes while shooting 0-for-13?
Luke Kennard: Stock Up
Kennard showed some impressive moves against Washington, with an array of pump fakes and a deep 3, waving off a Moreland screen in the process. His defense has been inconspicuous, at least to me anyway, and he’s done enough so far to have me cautiously optimistic about his role going forward.
Henry Ellenson: Neutral
Ellenson had a very promising game in the opener against Charlotte before receiving a DNP-CD @ WAS, followed by four invisible minutes against New York. At this point, seems like a matchup guy, but did show promise as a stretch-5 vs. the Hornets, an interesting wrinkle for the future.
Boban Marjanovic: Stock Down
Being inactive for the first two games did not sit well with the Boban Mafia, and he was duly activated for the trip to Knickerbockerland. He received four minutes and looked totally out of his depth defensively. Not the best start for Boban to the season, but he’ll split time with Moreland where the matchup suits.
Eric Moreland: Neutral
Hasn’t attempted a field goal and pulled down minimal rebounds, but is always seemingly in the way. Hasn’t done anything wrong, but been unimpressive at the same time. Thoroughly neutral.
Reggie Bullock, Dwight Buycks, Luis Montero: Privately Traded Enterprises (PTE)
The Pistons face the Sixers tonight at Little Caesars Arena. We’ll have a new stock report the following morning.
What does your stock report look like? Have your say below.