Posts Tagged ‘Chucky Atkins’

Curing what ails the 2009-2010 Detroit Pistons

Friday, March 5th, 2010

After losing their last 2 games against the Boston Celtics and the New York Kincks, it will be very interesting to see how the Detroit Pistons respond this evening, when they journey to Cleveland to take on the team with the top W-L record in the NBA.

While many Pistons fans are lamenting the atrocious state of their squad which was sitting at the top end of the Eastern Conference just 2 seasons ago … this corner of the blogosphere does not share a similar level of doom and gloom concerning the goings-on in the Motor City over the last 12 months.

If the Pistons’ everyday rotation/line-up was to look like this:

STARTERS
1. PG, Stuckey [32 MPG, best multi-dimensional PG with good size]
2. OG, Hamilton [32 MPG, best offensive Wing scorer with good size]
3. SF, Prince [30 MPG, best defensive/rebounding Wing player]
4. PF, Maxiell [26 MPG, best rebounding front-court player]
5. C, Brown [22 MPG, best interior defensive/rebounding player]

KEY SUBS
6. PG-OG, Gordon [32 MPG, best combination Guard with solid perimeter J]
7. SF, Jerebko [18 MPG, best defensive/rebounding back-up Wing]
8. PF, Villanueva [22 MPG, best perimeter-oriented scoring Big]
9. C, Wallace [28 MPG, best interior defensive/rebounding Big]

RESERVES
10. OG-SF, Daye [injury replacement minutes which would be a lot this yr]
11. SF-PF, Summers [injury replacement minutes which would be a lot this yr]

EXTRAS
12. PG, Atkins [DNP-CD]

OUTS [who should be package with another asset in exchange for an inside scoring Big]
13. PG, Bynum [amongst the very best back-up PG's in the NBA]
14. PF-C, Wilcox

what Detroit would find is that:

- the rhythm for their 3 principal Guards [i.e. Hamilton, Stuckey and Gordon] would be much improved
- the quality of their PG play overall would be more consistent [i.e. with Stuckey and Gordon, exclusively, running this team]
- their overall level of “Team Cohesion” would improve significantly
- their interior defense would be improved
- their Guard oriented Team Scoring output would be much improved

ROSTER COMPARISON FOR DETROIT AND CLEVELAND

Pos

PISTONS

RATING

Pos

CAVALIERS

RATING

COACH

 

Kuester

1

 

Brown

3

SUB-TOTAL

1

SUB-TOTAL

3

STARTERS

PG

Stuckey

3

PG

Williams-M

3

OG

Hamilton

4

OG

Parker

3

SF

Prince

4

SF

James

5

PF

Maxiell

3

PF

Jamison

4

C

Brown

3

PF-C

Hickson

3

SUB-TOTAL

17

SUB-TOTAL

18

KEY SUBS

PG-OG

Gordon

4

PG-OG

West

4

SF

Jerebko

3

OG-SF

Moon

3

PF

Villanueva

3

PF

Powe *

3

C

Wilcox *

3

PF-C

Varejao

4

SUB-TOTAL

13

SUB-TOTAL

14

RESERVES

PG

Atkins

2

PG

Gibson

3

OG-SF

Daye

3

SF

Williams-J

3

SF-PF

Summers

2

PF

Jackson

2

SUB-TOTAL

7

SUB-TOTAL

8

TOTAL

38

TOTAL

43

EXTRAS/OUTS

PG

Bynum #

4

OG-SF

Green

3

PF-C

Wallace

Injured

C

O’Neal

Injured

LEGEND: RATING – From 5 [highest] to 1 [lowest]; Pos – Position; * – Replacement for injured player; # – Valuable player who should be traded in a package with another asset, in exchange for an interior scoring Big.  

Contrary to popular belief, this year’s Pistons team actually has a good deal of solid NBA talent that is simply not being used properly by their head coach.

———————————–

PS. Just because Daye [i.e. talented OG-SF scorer] and Summers [i.e. talented PF-SF defender/rebounder] haven’t been given the opportunity to play a whole lot of minutes yet this season, Pistons fans should not make the mistake of thinking that either player has a lower long term ceiling than Jonas Jerebko, who has shown great promise thus far in the limited [but increasing] minutes he has received. Pistons fans were told in the summer that the player they were getting in Jerebko has REAL ability to become a solid contributor to a high end team in the NBA, as his career continues to develop. Few chose to believe what they were told at the time. Time has proven, once again, that they were wrong, and that what was said by yours truly was highly accurate. Well, the exact same thing also applies to Daye and Summers. As the next 2 years continue to unfold, what astute Pistons fans should begin to see more and more is that both of these young men have the capacity to develop into frontline contributors for Detroit, down-the-road a piece … provided that each one is eventually used properly by the team’s head coach who, unfortunately, should be someone other than John Kuester. Until Joe Dumars fixes his problem, in this regard, and identifies a proven high end NBA head coach [e.g. Jeff Van Gundy] who can lead his team properly, the abundant talent on this team is merely going to waste.

3-guard rotation does the trick for Stuckey and the Pistons

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Here’s what yours truly had to say about the Pistons’ fortunes this season back in August and September [2009] with a few of their ardent and vociferous fans at the otherwise terrific site, DetroitBadBoys.com, concerning:

i. The continued development of Rodney Stuckey
ii. The proper role for Will Bynum
iii. The proper role for Rip Hamilton
iv. The proper role for Ben Gordon
iv. The proper role for Ben Wallace
v. The proper role for Jason Maxiell
vi. The proper role for Charlie Villanueva
vi. The proper roles for Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers and Deron Washington
vii. The proper decisions for John Kuester
viii. The effect of a 3-guard rotation on Team Cohesion
ix. The effect of Team Cohesion on Winning [i.e. Efficency, Effectiveness and Team Excellence]

It’s contagious

Yes, it’s a huge thread with 651 comments [!] … many of which are immature and inane by a certain sub-set of Pistons fans active on that site … but, if you take the time to parce out what was actually said there by yours truly, you should be able to see just how accurate many of those initial comments have been to this point in the Pistons’ season. :-)

Since that time there have been several other articles and discussions concerning the Pistons’ plight this season, at the guard positions, in a variety of different locations on-line:

Could Will Bynum become the Detroit Pistons’ franchise player? [Nov 18]

Bynum or Stuckey? [Nov 19]

Will Bynum > Rodney Stuckey [Nov 20]

Bynum gets love, Stuckey gets none [Nov 25]

Detroit: Stuckey or Bynum – who should start? [Nov 25]

culminating in yesterday’s declaration by the NBA:

Stuckey the East’s Player of the Week

If the Pistons’ long term goal is to eventually regain their former perch at the very top of the Eastern Conference, then, what they’ll continue to do this season is … exactly what yours truly said in the “It’s contagious” thread,

because when a lead guard like Rodney Stuckey [PG, 6-5] gets an opportunity to play the game in this way alongside other elite level performers like:

GUARDS and FORWARDS
Rip Hamilton [OG, 6-7], Ben Gordon [OG-PG, 6-3], Tayshaun Prince [SF, 6-9], Jonas Jerebko [SF, 6-9], Austin Daye [OG-SF, 6-10], Dajuan Summers [PF, 6-9] and Deron Washington [SF-OG, 6-7]

POWER FORWARDS and CENTERS
Ben Wallace [C, 6-9], Jason Maxiell [PF, 6-7], Charlie Villanueva [PF, 6-10], Kwame Brown [C, 7-0] and Chris Wilcox [PF-C, 6-9]

his team has a chance to become a dominant force for years to come, in the NBA, with the benefit of Top Notch coaching and personnel management.

Clearly defining the proper roles for your team’s 2 Point Guards [i.e. I. The Starter; and, II. The Primary Back-up] within an almost exclusively 3-guard rotation, at the Point and Off Guard positions, is a MAJOR COMPONENT of building an elite level squad, when:

* One of your MAIN COGS is an expensive free agent signee, like Ben Gordon, who just happens to be 6-3, 205, and a Combination Guard that can stretch the defense with long distance 3′s and by creating high percentage shots off the bounce, either, for himself or his teammates;

* Another of your MAIN COGS is a seasoned [and wily] veteran, like Rip Hamilton, who is an expert at moving without the ball in his hands and scoring within the mid-range area of the floor; and,

* The 3rd of your MAIN COGS is a terrific young stud, like Rodney Stuckey, with good size and physicality, plus the ability to [A] drive the ball to the bucket and score, [B] convert free throw attempts into points scored, [C] knock down open jump-shots, [D] create high percentage shots for teammates, and [E] Defend and Rebound his own position, in an elite level manner.

The Pistons have now won 5 games in a row, and 6 of their last 7, overall; including 2 solid home-court victories against Atlanta [17-6/.739; 2nd, Southeast] and Denver [17-7/.708; 1st, Northwest].

A healthy Rip Hamilton [OG] is now back in the starting line-up, beside Rodney Stuckey [PG].

It is going to be very interesting to see what John Kuester proceeds to do with a healthy Ben Gordon [OG-PG] and Will Bynum [PG], when each one is ready to return to the Pistons’ regular rotation.

If he slots Gentle Ben [OG-PG] into the rotation as Detroit’s #3 guard, in support of the Stuckey [PG]/Hamilton [OG] pairing … and, alongside of a Maxiell [PF]/Wallace [C] front-court tandem, with support from Villanueva and Brown, and a Small Forward split between Jerebko, Daye and an eventually healthy T-Prince … then LOOK OUT [!], because the Pistons will be joining the Hawks as the “next best two teams” in the EC this season, on the heels of the Celtics, Magic and Cavaliers.  

If he does not do this, however, and, instead, simply returns to using 3 [or more] Point Guards [i.e. Stuckey, Bynum, Gordon, and Atkins], on a regular basis, or using Rip Hamilton frequently at the SF position, in a “small” line-up, or using a 4-guard [or more] rotation, at the PG and OG positions [i.e. Stuckey and Hamilton; Bynum and Gordon; Player X and Atkins], etc., then, unfortunately, the Pistons will continue to flounder this season, hovering about the .500 mark and performing in an inconsistent manner. 

High End teams in the NBA have Quality Depth throughout their roster.

One of the other distinguishing characteristics of these teams, however, is that they are each intelligent enough to pare their rotation down to a “working group” of only 7, 8 or 9 [max.] players; with the rest being able to accept their fate and their proper lesser roles, as reserves, this season.

The first Moment of Truth this season is about to arrive for the Pistons.

How John Kuester chooses to handle it will become a defining moment of his tenure as the head coach for their team. 

Related:

Rip Hamilton praises Pistons coach John Kuester, team’s pluck

Where and how exactly the Pistons lost last night’s game vs the Raptors

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Detroit Pistons 99
TORONTO RAPTORS 110
Wed Nov 04 2009 – Game Scoreboard

After battling back from a 17 point 3rd quarter deficit to take a 1 point lead mid-way through the 4th frame, the Pistons then came unglued during a key stretch of 4:25 which, ultimately, sealed their fate in this game:

Line-ups

Time

Team

PG

OG

SF

PF

C

SCORE

Q4

Det

Calderon

Jack

Turkoglu

Bosh

Bargnani

91

07:13

TOR

Bynum

Gordon

Stuckey

Maxiell

Daye

90

Play-By-Play

 

 

4th Quarter

 

#1,+ Daye/+1

 

07:13

Turkoglu Layup Shot: Missed Block: Daye (2 BLK

 

Daye Rebound (Off:0 Def:3) 

07:11

 

 

 

07:07

Bosh Foul : Shooting (1 PF) 

#2,- Maxiell/-1

Maxiell Free Throw 1 of 2 Missed 

07:07

 

 

Team Rebound 

07:07

 

#2,- Maxiell/-2

Maxiell Free Throw 2 of 2 Missed 

07:07

 

 

 

07:07

Turkoglu Rebound (Off:1 Def:3) 

#1,- Daye/0

Daye Foul : Personal (3 PF) 

06:52

 

 #3,- Bynum/-1

 

06:40
[TOR 93-91]

Calderon 3pt Shot: Made (9 PTS) Assist: Bosh (1 AST) 

#1,- Daye/-1

Daye 3pt Shot: Missed 

06:18

 

 

 

06:17

Bosh Rebound (Off:1 Def:5) 

 

 

06:08

Calderon Pullup Jump shot: Missed 

 #3,+ Bynum/0

Bynum Rebound (Off:0 Def:3) 

06:06

 

 #3,+ Bynum/+1

Bynum Driving Layup Shot: Made (15 PTS) 

05:58
[DET 93-93]

 

#2,- Maxiell/-3
#3,- Bynum/0

 

05:41
[TOR 95-93]

Bosh Jump Hook Shot: Made (22 PTS) Assist: Calderon (1 AST) 

 

Timeout : Official 

05:22

 

#3,- Kuester/-1

Maxiell Substitution replaced by Wallace 

05:22

 

#4,- Stuckey/-1

Stuckey Jump Shot: Missed 

05:16

 

 

 

05:15

Bosh Rebound (Off:1 Def:6) 

#1,- Daye/-2

Daye Foul : Shooting (4 PF) 

05:01

 

 

 

05:01
[TOR 96-93]

Bargnani Free Throw 1 of 2 (17 PTS) 

 

 

05:01
[TOR 97-93]

Bargnani Free Throw 2 of 2 (18 PTS) 

#1,- Daye/-3

Daye Running Bank shot: Missed 

04:41

 

 

 

04:39

Turkoglu Rebound (Off:1 Def:4) 

#1,- Daye/-4

Daye Foul : Personal (5 PF) 

04:33

 

 

 

04:33
[TOR 98-93]

Bargnani Free Throw 1 of 2 (19 PTS) 

 

 

04:33
[TOR 99-93]

Bargnani Free Throw 2 of 2 (20 PTS) 

#4,- Stuckey/-2

Stuckey Driving Layup Shot: Missed 

04:09

 

#4,+ Stuckey/-1

Stuckey Rebound (Off:2 Def:7) 

04:08

 

#4,- Stuckey/-2

Stuckey Tip Shot: Missed 

04:06

 

#5,+ Wallace/+1

Wallace Rebound (Off:4 Def:4) 

04:05

 

#5,- Wallace/0

Wallace Layup Shot: Missed 

04:04

 

#4,+ Stuckey/-1

Stuckey Rebound (Off:3 Def:7) 

04:04

 

#3,- Kuester/-2

Daye Substitution replaced by Villanueva 

04:04

 

 

Jump Ball Bosh vs Stuckey (Bargnani gains possession) 

04:04

 

#4,- Stuckey/-2

Stuckey Turnover : Lost Ball (1 TO) Steal:Bosh (2 ST) 

04:04

 

 #3,- Kuester/-3

 

03:47
[TOR 101-93]

Turkoglu Pullup Jump shot: Made (14 PTS) 

 

Team Timeout : Regular 

03:45

 

#6,+ Villanueva/+1

Villanueva Running Jump Shot: Made (16 PTS) 

03:27
[DET 95-101]

 

#6,- Villanueva/0

 

03:06
[TOR 103-95]

Bargnani Pullup Jump shot: Made (22 PTS) Assist: Jack (6 AST) 

#6,- Villanueva/-1

Villanueva Turnover : Bad Pass (2 TO) 

02:46

 

Individual Good/Bad

PISTONS

GOOD

BAD

#1 Jason Maxiell/-3

 

- missed FT

- missed FT
- failed to stop Bosh jump-hook

#2 Austin Daye/-5

- 1 BS
- DRb

- PF

- PF/2 made FT’s
- PF/2 made FT’s

- 1 missed corner 3
- 1 missed running bank shot

#3 Will Bynum/0

- 1 DRb
- 1 made driving layup

- cover down on Bosh = Calderon’s made 3
- cover down on Bosh = Jump-hook

#4 John Kuester/-3

 

- Subbed Maxiell w/Wallace

- Subbed Daye w/Villanueva
- Turkoglu’s made pull-up jumper

#5 Rodney Stuckey/-2

- ORb
- ORb

- 1 missed jumper

- 1 missed driving layup

- 1 missed tip shot

- 1 TO

#6 Ben Wallace/0

- 1 ORb

- 1 missed layup

#7 Charlie Villanueva/-1

- 1 made running jumper

- bit early on shot-fake 1 dribble jumper by Bargnani

- 1 TO

 

LES FAUX PAS DES PISTONS

1. Ben Gordon’s individual game stat line from last night looked like this: 

 

POS

MP

FGM-FGA

2FGM-2FGA

3FGM-3FGA

FTM-FTA

+/-

ORb

DRb

TRb

AST

PF

ST

TO

BS

BA

PTS

KPM

GORDON

G

45:30

10-19

8-14

2-5

8-9

-3

0

2

2

4

1

0

0

0

1

30

+23

yet, during this stretch of 4:25 in the 4th quarter … with the outcome of the game still in doubt … he did not have the opportunity to shoot the ball even 1 time.

2. When the Raptors made 3 substitution at the 8:42 mark of the 4th quarter … i.e. replacing Amir Johnson with Jose Calderon/PG, Marco Belinelli with Hedo Turkoglu/SF, and Demar DeRozan with Chris Bosh/PF; while leaving Jarrett Jack/OG and Andrea Bargnani/C on the floor … and the Pistons responded with a made 3-PT shot [vs Bargnani/Jack] and a driving layup by Bynum [vs Turkoglu] to re-gain the lead [91-90], John Kuester fell asleep at the switch and decided to continue with the same 5-man unit he had on the floor at the 7:22 mark when Jason Maxiell was called for a PF vs Chris Bosh [defending on the Left Block with the aid of a solid cover down by Rodney Stuckey].

At that precise point in the game John Kuester missed the opportunity to re-work the Pistons’ line-up so that:

* Jason Maxiell was not assigned to cover Chris Bosh

* Austin Daye was not assigned to cover Andrea Bargnani

* Rodney Stuckey was not assigned to cover Hedo Turkoglu

* Ben Gordon was not assigned to cover Jarrett jack

and,

* Will Bynum was not assigned to cover Jose Calderon.

If John Kuester would have made the following subs, instead:

Stuckey vs Calderon
Gordon vs Jack
Villanueva [replacing Bynum] vs Turkoglu
Maxiell vs Bargnani
Wallace [replacing Daye] vs Bosh 

… the Pistons would have been in a much better situation, based on the individual match-ups on the floor, at that time, and would in all likelihood, have been able to fight the Raptors down to the last possession of the game.

3. Instead of making those exact subs at that specific point in the game, John Kuester waited for:

i. Chris Bosh to face-up first Maxiell [Right Block], draw the weak cover down from Bynum [who, at less than 6'0, is useless as a cover down defender], kick-out to Jose Calderon … who buried a huge 3-ball [6:40], to give the Raptors the lead, once again [93-91]; and,

ii. Chris Bosh to re-post vs Maxiell [Right Block], then attack middle with a made jump-hook [5:41, on another weak [late] cover down from Will Bynum;

before he replaced Maxiell with Wallace [vs Bosh], and,

iii. A jump-ball to occur [4:04] before replacing Daye with Villanueva.

——————————

An old coaching bromide that says,

Players win games in basketball; but, sometimes, coaches can lose them.”

Last night’s final outcome for the Pistons was a prime example of the latter situation … even though Detroit was forced to play without 2 veteran starters, i.e. Rip Hamilton [OG] and Tayshaun Prince [SF], in the 2nd bill of a back-to-back.

Full marks to the Raptors [2-2], however, for seizing upon these gaffes by Detroit … i.e. specifically, Will Bynum/PG and John Kuester/Head Coach … to win a crucial game, from their perspective, as they now head out on the road for 7 of their next 8 contests.