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Shade
01-15-2007, 12:50 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2731833&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines

So, what do you all think about this? Does this make Detroit better? Worse? About the same?

JB's Breakout Year
01-15-2007, 12:55 PM
Could be I'm underestimating the guy, but from what I've seen of him lately, he's a shell of his former self. He seems to be playing on one leg.

And it's not like he was ever a big-game player. O-ver-ra-ted....

Kstat
01-15-2007, 12:57 PM
:cloud9:

Webber is a guy that can't get up and down the floor anymore. There's no doubt about that.

However, he still retains all his skills in the halfcourt. The passing, the rbounding, th ability to put the ball on the floor at 6'10".

Put him on a good halfcourt team, and he can still be effective, IMO.

How will it work out? We'll see. Could mean a title, could mean a first-round exit.

All I know is this is going to be fun. My childhood hero is a Piston. Wow.

Skaut_Ech
01-15-2007, 01:04 PM
Seems kinda silly to me. They already have Maxiel, who's a hoss, Amir, McDyess, Rasheed and Nazr crowding up the Piston's front court, while they've got a weak backcourt. If they move Nazr or Dale for legit backcourt help, then I say it's a good move.

I think Chris will play motivated in Detroit, despite how truly faded his skills are. One thing that strikes me is that it kinda skews their front court, if they move Dale or Nazr. Then you have a bunch of mid-range jump shooters manning the post, casue you have to think Webber's minutes will eat into what little AMir or Maxiel can get.

Destined4Greatness
01-15-2007, 01:06 PM
Meh, just make sure he knows how many timeouts the team has.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 01:07 PM
Amir wasn't going to play this year regardless.

Maxiell will still likely get his 8-10 minutes.

The guy this hurts is nazr, and we can deal him. If that doesn't work, Dale has a nice contract too. If that fails, Dice is also in a contract year. There really isnt a guy we'll have problems moving.

As for Joe Dumars, he's GOING to make another move. As you said, we now have too many good big men. He's looking at Bonzi Wells and MoPete, but if that doesnt work I think he'll find someone else.

This current pistons team isnt the same one that will finish the season, even with Webber. That's a lock.

bulldog
01-15-2007, 01:10 PM
Here's the thing: if he's willing to accept a role with limited minutes, and oesn't totally screw up their D, it's an OK move, particularly if it frees them up to make another move.

But I'm worried the Pistons have become a much, much worse defensive team for the 10-20 minutes he's on the floor. They don't have Wallace to mop up his mistakes anymore.

Also, I love this: they're also getting Marko Jaric, apparently.

Detroit Pistons, worst defensive team in the NBA.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 01:13 PM
But I'm worried the Pistons have become a much, much worse defensive team for the 10-20 minutes he's on the floor. They don't have Wallace to mop up his mistakes anymore.



Actually, they do.

and BTW, the Pistons are 4th in the NBA in defensive FG% and 6th in points allowed. The idea that they can't play defense anymore is silly.

Is webber a weak defender? Yes. But (A) we're playing him at center, where his mobility will be less of an issue, and (B) Rasheed Wallace is still a premier help-side shot blocker.

Don't think Joe hasn't thought this over.

As for Jaric, I hope we don't get him, but it's not like he can be any worse than the backup PGs we have right now.

Anxiety
01-15-2007, 01:14 PM
Also, I love this: they're also getting Marko Jaric, apparently.

Detroit Pistons, worst defensive team in the NBA.

Jaric can actually play defense and you apparently have not seen him play.

travmil
01-15-2007, 01:16 PM
I think the biggest thing is the versatility it will afford the Pistons from the power forward spot. Just when you get used to guarding Rasheed outside and McDyess inside, they bring in Webber who can dissect a defense from the post with his still incredible passing. There are lots of guards that would LOVE to have Webber's knack for making the right pass at the right time. That skill won't diminish nearly as much as his other skills will. In short, I think it's a big move for the Pistons. Maybe not a championship move but this makes them better and they already had as good a shot as any of coming out of the East.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 01:20 PM
I think the biggest thing is the versatility it will afford the Pistons from the power forward spot.

Webber will be our starting center.


. Just when you get used to guarding Rasheed outside and McDyess inside, they bring in Webber who can dissect a defense from the post with his still incredible passing.

I agree with that. He can still pass as well as any big man in the NBA.


There are lots of guards that would LOVE to have Webber's knack for making the right pass at the right time.

http://www.nba.com/media/pistons/hamilton_170_030423.jpg



That skill won't diminish nearly as much as his other skills will. In short, I think it's a big move for the Pistons. Maybe not a championship move but this makes them better and they already had as good a shot as any of coming out of the East

Agreed once again. It doesnt guarentee us anything, but you can't say we're not better with him.

Hicks
01-15-2007, 01:21 PM
Adding him for peanuts is going to help them out. I'm not sure how much.

travmil
01-15-2007, 01:28 PM
Webber will be our starting center.

That's even better then. So versatility out of the frontcourt in general rather than just the PF spot. That means theat you have to account for three frontcourt players with vastly different, and possibly even complimentary styles. Not an easy thing to do. So you have to account for Webber's passing out to Rasheed, and then account for Tayshaun's hustle plays on the rare occasion that Webber makes a bad pass. I think it's really hard to argue that this isn't a good move for Detroit.

Unclebuck
01-15-2007, 01:29 PM
The Pistons defense will suffer with him on the floor. But they'll be better offensively - so who knows if the Pistons will be better overall. C. Webb still has the best hands in the NBA.

Clearly however, this is not like 2004 when Sheed was added.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 01:31 PM
That's even better then. So versatility out of the frontcourt in general rather than just the PF spot. That means theat you have to account for three frontcourt players with vastly different, and possibly even complimentary styles. Not an easy thing to do. So you have to account for Webber's passing out to Rasheed, and then account for Tayshaun's hustle plays on the rare occasion that Webber makes a bad pass. I think it's really hard to argue that this isn't a good move for Detroit.

Well, the idea is that defensively he'll be less likely to be out-quicked, and offensively he'll be able to out the ball on the floor against slower players.

It's really the passing possiblities that make me the most excited. Both Webber and Sheed can pass extremely well for big men. We can do a lot more back-door cuting and high post action with both guys on the floor.

Quis
01-15-2007, 01:39 PM
Great news for the Pacers. C-Webb has about a 5:1 negative/positive ratio at this point.

JayRedd
01-15-2007, 01:48 PM
C. Webb still has the best hands in the NBA.

Exactly. You never lose things like this. You also don't lose things like being able to hold the ball at the elbow and pick apart the interior defense with crisp passes. Him setting that mid-range screen for Rip is going to be scary. Either Rip will be open for his patented 8-foot shot off the curl or Webber will open up off the screen and face up from 15 feet. Either way, the defense is on its heels.

This is a very good move for Detroit, IMO.

You can argue about the defense if you want, but Billups, Rip, Tayshaun, Sheed and CWebb all on the court is pretty damn tough to stop from scoring. Not to mention the fact that they probably have the best shooting front court in the League. When Sheed is raining from the outside and CWebb is hitting his 18-footers, the paint is going to be WIDE OPEN for Chauncey and Rip.

This is not helpful for us.

BlueNGold
01-15-2007, 02:05 PM
I doubt that Mr. Timeout will add too much for them. Dale Davis, even if he's a grey beard, makes a better C than C-Webb. C-Webb is soft and a poor defender...and is having the worst year of his career this year on offense.

He also disrupts your team with injuries. He has only played a couple full seasons in the 21st century.

I could see him coming in as a backup PF with Sheed moving to C, but isn't that McDyess's role? I don't think Webber is an upgrade over McDyess.

I think the Pistons know they need some help at C, but C-Webb is not the answer.

BTW, I think Dumars was fortunate with the Sheed trade and has been making questionable decisions ever since. Nazr has been a crash and burn. Giving up on Darko, who is still only 21 yo, was a mistake. Letting Ben Wallace get away was enormous. Not saying the Pacers have made good moves, but Dumars is not the GM-god some thought he was a couple years ago.

bulldog
01-15-2007, 02:26 PM
Jaric can actually play defense and you apparently have not seen him play.
I have seen him play, and Jaric perhaps can play defense, but apparently hasn't been in the mood for several years now. :laugh: Seriously, though, as many match-up problems as he creates on the offensive end with his size, he has horrible problems with smaller, quicker guards. Hopefully Flip can figure out a way to use him and match him up correctly.

And, Kstat, how many centers in the East can Webber guard?
Cavs: Webber would struggle with Ilgauskas, but they run small and mobile these days anyway.
Bulls: Ben and PJ aren't a problem on offense per se, but they are going to get a lot of offensive rebounds.
Miami: Webber can't guard Shaq.
Orlando: Dwight Howard? No way.
Indiana: He can't guard JO when JO and Al are the frontcourt.

So that's 4 of the top 5 teams in the East where he would be a severe defensive liability, and his footwork has declined so much that he's an awful liability on the defensive boards.
The 76ers, of all teams, benched him, and they did it for a reason.

Pistons will be significantly worse on defense when he's in the game. Hopefully the bump he provides for the offense is worth it. But in my opinion it won't be.

BlueNGold
01-15-2007, 02:39 PM
Exactly. You never lose things like this. You also don't lose things like being able to hold the ball at the elbow and pick apart the interior defense with crisp passes. Him setting that mid-range screen for Rip is going to be scary. Either Rip will be open for his patented 8-foot shot off the curl or Webber will open up off the screen and face up from 15 feet. Either way, the defense is on its heels.

This is a very good move for Detroit, IMO.

You can argue about the defense if you want, but Billups, Rip, Tayshaun, Sheed and CWebb all on the court is pretty damn tough to stop from scoring. Not to mention the fact that they probably have the best shooting front court in the League. When Sheed is raining from the outside and CWebb is hitting his 18-footers, the paint is going to be WIDE OPEN for Chauncey and Rip.

This is not helpful for us.

I don't see their offense being any better than when McDyess is in there, particularly at this stage of Webber's career. Dice can spot up from 15 ft as well. 5 or 6 years ago, it would probably be pretty brutal. Right now, C-Webb is shooting under 40% from the floor as his ppg is dropping precipitously. He is an old 34 yo.

Now, Maxiell could be a good one...but he is not the answer for the C position either.

JayRedd
01-15-2007, 02:39 PM
Miami: Webber can't guard Shaq.
Orlando: Dwight Howard? No way.


Nazr will have to play more against these guys. But every team in the League struggles against these two and Yao regardless


Indiana: He can't guard JO when JO and Al are the frontcourt.


Sheed can check JO, Tayshaun on Al and CWebb on Foster

AesopRockOn
01-15-2007, 02:45 PM
so what's the next move for them?

Jermaniac
01-15-2007, 02:47 PM
Bulldog where did you read about them getting Jaric? Why would they trade for that contract.

bulldog
01-15-2007, 02:55 PM
Nazr will have to play more against these guys. But every team in the League struggles against these two and Yao regardless
Sheed can check JO, Tayshaun on Al and CWebb on Foster
We could just run JO, Al, Granger. Then Webb doesn't play. And apparently they're looking to trade Nazr.


Bulldog where did you read about them getting Jaric? Why would they trade for that contract.
It's in the ESPN article.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 03:06 PM
Nazr and Jaric both have the MLE deals. So if they deal Nazr, Jaric is a natural candidate.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 03:07 PM
We could just run JO, Al, Granger. Then Webb doesn't play. And apparently they're looking to trade Nazr.



The question you should ask is, how does Al Harrington check webber in the post.

As bad as you're saying we'll be wth him, Al Harrington isn't any better defensively. which is the reason the pacer have changed his position on the team about 50 times this year. CWebb could back him down all night.

And again, w're still one of the top defensive teams in the NBA. Webber's not a great defender, but he wont make us a bad defensive TEAM all by himself.

And I'm not trying to pick on the pacers, but that is the flawed logic. If every team in the league tries to go small and athletic to take advantage of chris webber's defense, chris webber will be able to take advantage himself at the other end. Plus he has rasheed wallace to give him defensive help.

CWebb isn't going to be as easy to exploit as you might think.

Jermaniac
01-15-2007, 03:17 PM
LMAO AT Chris Webber in the post, the guy lives around the free throw line.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 03:19 PM
LMAO AT Chris Webber in the post, the guy lives around the free throw line.

Playing center, he will. Most likely we'll be using him at the high post, making passes to guys like prince and rip cutting down the lane. Maybe if he has a real big guy like illgauskus on him, he'll put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket.

I'm just saying that if you put a small guy on him to out-run him, he'll just go to plan B and back him down.

Roferr
01-15-2007, 03:39 PM
The Pistons are trying to catch lightning in the bottle twice. They made the right move when they brought Rasheed in, he was just what they needed. But as it stands now, with his bad knee, Webber is not a very good candidate for a contending team.

I think he will just mess up their chemistry the same as when he came back from his injury with the Kings. The Kings went from a front runner without him to a floundering team with him. If he had played in the flow of the offense, things would have been fine but he had to have enough touches and shots to ensure that he was still "the man." Peja, Christie, Brad, and Jackson all suffered when he returned. They had a tremendous team with great chemistry, until Webber rushed his return.

If he plays around 15 minutes as a role player, he can be beneficial but I don't think his ego will allow him to take such a diminished role.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 03:41 PM
the difference is the kings were a run-and-gun team and webber is now a halfcourt player. They couldnt get out and run with him in the game. Philly had the same problems.

The pistons don't have that problem. They want to set up in the halfcourt.

Webber can still contribute, it just has to be at a slower tempo.

Roferr
01-15-2007, 03:48 PM
the difference is the kings were a run-and-gun team and webber is now a halfcourt player. They couldnt get out and run with him in the game. Philly had the same problems.

The pistons don't have that problem. They want to set up in the halfcourt.

Webber can still contribute, it just has to be at a slower tempo.

The Kings were a run and gun team without Webber. When he was playing, the were more a half-court team. So in that respect, Webber may be able to help out in a half-court scheme.

bulldog
01-15-2007, 04:11 PM
LMAO AT Chris Webber in the post, the guy lives around the free throw line.

I'd just like to second that. His only contribution on offense is to hit jumpers and open up the flow with passing.

Honestly, I worry that the it's one too many jump shooters for the Pistons. And what happened to running, I haven't seen Detroit play too much this year but didn't Chauncey like to push the ball, how does he fit in with that? And Kstat, you still haven't adressed the fact that his feet are so bad he can no longer move to get rebounds, although his good hands compesate somewhat, he still makes the line-up much worse on the boards.

I think Webber might be effective in short stretches with the second unit where his defense can be masked and he can compensate for the offensive defeciencies of some of the role players. If they sign him for cheap and use him in that role, its a great move.

But is Webber really willing to accept that role? The same guy who wouldn't step down when Peja was having an MVP season? The same guy whose attempt to coexist with Iverson was a total disaster? Some guys just like being the alpha dog.

Now Karl Malone made the transition quite well when he went to the Lakers, so it might work, but I don't know if Webber has the temperment.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 04:14 PM
And Kstat, you still haven't adressed the fact that his feet are so bad he can no longer move to get rebounds, although his good hands compesate somewhat, he still makes the line-up much worse on the boards.

Um, what?

He still gets plenty of boards. he's been a steady 9-rebound guy ever since he came back from his injury.

His feet are bad now?

It's his knees, not his feet. He had the same injury amare had.

Webber's lost his quickness and his jumping ability, but in no way are his feet a problem. He's still very mobile, he's just not as fast end-to-end.

Webber's job isn't going to be the go-to guy. It's going to be to compliment the other 4 starters on the floor offensively, and make the defense pay for double-teaming.

wintermute
01-15-2007, 08:51 PM
any time a team can add a veteran guy for the minimum, it's a good move i think. and i'm glad for webber that he has a chance to rejuvenate his career in his hometown.

but other than that, what is there to say from us pacer fans? what the pistons do to improve their team is now immaterial to us, other than maybe serve as a blueprint for our own improvement. i guess there are still residual emotions from the "rivalry" years, but in all honesty detroit is still a legit contender while we are now in semi-rebuilding limbo, which might turn into full-blown rebuilding come season's end.

well ok, it does impact us because detroit is now in the market for backcourt help and they have good big men with decent contracts to swap, whereas we are in desperate need for a new backcourt and have attractive trade assets to offer, like... uh... well... :blush:

Eindar
01-15-2007, 09:19 PM
It's a good move, as long as Webber will accept his role as a guy who plays 15-20 minutes per night as the 4th-5th option. The other problem is that while Detroit does tend to set up in the half-court, they can and will run when given the opportunity. With Webber in, those opportunities are gone, because Webber will almost always be the last guy down the court, so getting early offense will be a lot harder, doing it 4 on 5.

I don't think this has the same impact as landing Rasheed for nothing, but it's a definite upgrade. I also don't know if I'd ditch Nazr just yet. The guy's a solid player, and his contract is reasonable. I'd have to wait until I could be sure Webber is going to mesh with the rest of the team.

Kstat
01-15-2007, 10:07 PM
Nazr pretty much asked for a trade if we signed webber, because he wants to play 30 minutes somewhere.

Dice wanted Webber here, so its doubtful he gets dealt.

Very likely that we deal Nazr or Dale and flip murray for a couple more players.

the main target is MoPete, but I'd take bonzi wells or damien wilkins too. Brevin Knight is another guy we might go after.

Marko Jaric should be a last resort option. Don't like his game.

SwissExpress
01-16-2007, 08:25 AM
:cloud9:

Webber is a guy that can't get up and down the floor anymore. There's no doubt about that.

However, he still retains all his skills in the halfcourt. The passing, the rbounding, th ability to put the ball on the floor at 6'10".

Put him on a good halfcourt team, and he can still be effective, IMO.

How will it work out? We'll see. Could mean a title, could mean a first-round exit.

All I know is this is going to be fun. My childhood hero is a Piston. Wow.

Wow, Kstat is optimistic about a change :-o
That's some change :)
But really, I completely agree with him. If Webber is going to play good someplace, Pistons is one of a few. I hope Pistons get stronger after this. East isn't the same with Cavs as the best team.

TheSuaveOne
01-16-2007, 09:18 AM
Something that has not been mentioned yet, is the fact that Webber will be getting hands on help from Arnie Kantor. If he can help resurrect the career of McDyess, I am hoping he will be able to do the same for Webber. It may not be seen this year, but more likely after a full season with Arnie behind the scenes, Webber may be a deal for the Pistons if they can get him healthy and give him the ability to play above the rim again...la

Kstat
01-16-2007, 02:23 PM
Arnie Kander said yesterday that he thinks webber's lack of mobility isn't knee-related, it's from him moving improperly post-surgery on his left ankle, and he thinks it's very correctable.

Kander is the closest thing you can come to a miracle worker as far as NBA trainers go, so I wouldn't put it past him. There's a long list of NBA players that he's rehabilitated from injury.

ChicagoJ
01-16-2007, 03:42 PM
Webber will be our starting center.

Don Nelson would roll over in his grave, if he were dead.

Kstat
01-16-2007, 03:56 PM
Don Nelson would roll over in his grave, if he were dead.

Nelson started webber at center too, now that I think of it...

ChicagoJ
01-16-2007, 04:04 PM
And that's why Webber threw a fit that ultimately left Nellie unemployed, Webber in Washington, and Sprewell choking his new coach.

Somehow, I've got to find a way to blame all of *that* on Artest too. :devil:

Kstat
01-16-2007, 04:13 PM
I wouldn't have played him at center back then either. They had tyrone hill.

ChicagoJ
01-16-2007, 04:36 PM
Hardaway (Avery Johnson)/ Sprewell/ Mullin/ Owens/ Webber?
Hardaway (Avery Johnson)/ Sprewell/ Mullin/ Owens/ Gatling?
Hardaway (Avery Johnson)/ Sprewell/ Mullin/ Gatling/ Webber?
Hardaway (Avery Johnson)/ Sprewell/ Mullin/ Owens/ Viktor Alexander?

With Tim, Spree, Mullin and Billy Owens at the 1-4 spots, I can't think of any reason why Webber would've played anywhere other than center? However, since Timmie missed that season with injury Nellie started Sprewell at PG and shifted Mullin to SG and Owens to SF. They were all going to move back "up" to their natural positions when Tim returned. And they were a 50-game winner in spite of Hardaway playing zero games that season.

http://www.basketballreference.com/teams/teamscores.htm?tm=GSW&yr=1993&lg=N

It still makes me laugh that the critics were at that time saying the Nellie was "too rigid" and "too old school" (because he was simply insisting that Webber play center on a team that was LOADED at the 1-4 spots but was a doughnut team) and yet he remains one of the most player-friendly and innovative coaches in the game, period (the exact reasons he did not work out when hired by the Knicks to replace Riley - they didn't want change)

In hindsight, the Warriors should've traded the pick for a veteran to replace Marčiulionis, or upgraded their backup for Hardaway from Avery Johnson and Keith ("Mr.") Jennings, and avoided Webber altogher, using either the second or fourth combinations from above.

EDIT - PS, Tyrone Hill moved to Cleveland the same summer Webber was drafted, they didn't play together.

http://www.basketballreference.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=HILLTY01

Kstat
01-16-2007, 05:31 PM
I must have been thinking of gatling.

JayRedd
01-17-2007, 03:27 PM
David Thorpe has quickly become my favorite source of player analysis. His knowledge is first-rate, he's clearly studied A LOT of tape, and he doesn't write with the same arrogance that so many "NBA insiders" do. Basically, he's humble and just states the facts how he sees em. I respect that.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=thorpe_david&page=ScoutingWebber


Scouting breakdown: Does C-Webb still have game?

http://espn-ak.starwave.com/i/story/design05/insider_byline.gif (http://insider.espn.go.com/insider/index)
http://espn-ak.starwave.com/i/columnists/Thorpe_David_55.jpg
By David Thorpe
Scouts Inc.


(http://log.go.com/log?srvc=sz&guid=BFFA2B41-289F-4A47-B9D8-ED0C76BFDC15&drop=0&addata=1332:312:271732:65&a=1&goto=https://www.providiancard.com/bap/envwa/jumpApp.jsp?offer_id=esp02&banner_id=espngeneric01022007bgen1b146x0462500)


Now that Detroit has Chris Webber (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=1272), what exactly have they got?
<offer> Have they got, arguably, the best passing big man in the league? Yes. </offer>



A center with amazingly sticky hands? Yes.


A player who can score inside and rebound in traffic? Yes.


In the former Fab Five star and a career 21 and 10 man, have they got a Hall of Famer? Likely yes.


But have they also got a player who is more "washed up" than ever, one who is practically immobile for long stretches of the game, and a guy who might make a negative impact on a team with title aspirations? I'd have to say yes to all.


I've studied a good deal of Webber game film from this season, and here's what I see:


AS A POST PLAYER
Webber is now, exclusively, a below-the-rim player. He still has exceptional timing and patience on his post moves, but his lack of explosiveness limits him. In particular, it compels him too often to settle for a hybrid jump hook -- a one-armed shot that is taken with poor body mechanics and consequently goes in far too seldom for a player who expects lots of touches and a starting spot.


Often he tries to get an angle to the basket, twisting and turning while he slowly backs his man down. But his lack of agility keeps him from exploiting most defenders, so he fails to get the angle, and shoots the hybrid hook from seven to 10 feet, which is a difficult distance to be sure -- inside five feet would be ideal for this type of shot.


He doesn't have much of a left hand, further limiting his options inside. Without an angle to the rim or the ability to explode and finish over a defender, he often resorts to throwing up a shot, contorting his body and falling down after he releases it, hoping for a foul call which rarely comes. With a poor field goal percentage of 49.4 on "close shots" (according to 82games.com) and only 28 free throw attempts in 18 games, it is fair to say that Webber is not a solid low-post option for a half-court offense.

AS A PERIMETER PLAYER
C-Webb's perimeter skills don't appear to be much better, except for his passing. Most people consider him to be an excellent shooter for a big, with decent range, up to about 18 feet. I am not one of those people. His shooting motion always has been suspect, as the ball is brought up too far away from his "core."


More importantly, the ball does not go in the hole often enough. His effective field goal percentage is .285 on perimeter shots -- terribly low. Desmond Mason (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3416), considered to be amongst the worst shooters in the league, is at .289. (Effective field goal percentage, or eFG%, incorporates both 2-point and 3-point field goals, taking into account the added value of 3-pointers.)



Webber is still an adept shot-faker with excellent timing, so he can get his defender to bite on a fake and then go by him toward the rim. But he moves so slowly now that the defender can recover and cut Webber off or a help defender can arrive with time to spare, and he is forced to repeat his shoot-and-fall-down routine. Smart defenders lay off of him and invite the long shot.


AS A PASSER
For a passer to be effective from the elbow or high post, good spacing is important -- and the defenders must also be "hugging" the players they're guarding. All of that opens up the interior passing lanes.


Webber is a willing, often brilliant passer who has averaged 4.3 assists per game for his career. But when his defender can lay back a bit, not respecting C-Webb's outside shot, that limits his effectiveness as a distributor. The defender serves as a "paint keeper," cutting off many of Webber's passing angles to the cutters.


Last season Webber's assists fell to 3.4 per game, the lowest of his career, even though his minutes were up to 39 a game. In 18 games in 2006-07, he's at the same per-game average (though in eight fewer minutes a game).


AS A REBOUNDER
Webber can still help a team on the glass, using his incredible hands to suck up caroms that come near him. And he is often willing to bang in traffic when the ball comes his way, getting his fair share of 50/50 balls.
But he can not rebound out of his area, and he has trouble finding and boxing out his opponent -- especially if the opponent is quick.
In my observations, I found him to be an engaged rebounder on most occasions, mentally, but his legs just don't (or can't) do what his brain is asking for.


AS A DEFENDER
Unfortunately, the same can not be written when describing his defensive abilities. He just seems to have no interest on that side of the court.
He does not bravely defend important spots on the floor, and too often he gives his player an angle to the rim that ensures an explosive or high-percentage finish.


With his sense of timing and experience, he will get an occasional strip, reaching his hand across his opponent's body and raking the ball away. But well-schooled players punish Webber on this, keeping the ball away from his large, sticky hands and getting to the rim with ease.


AS A TEAMMATE
My biggest concern about Webber is this -- how does he see himself?
Does he know that he can not do what he once was terrific at?


Will he be willing to accept whatever role he is assigned? Can he do what some of the vets, especially Gary Payton (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=259), did in Miami last year?


If the answer to any of those last three questions is no, he's in for a rough time.


But there is a bright side: For a title hopeful like Detroit, a humble C-Webb can provide smarts, experience, size, and passion for a ring, all valuable assets in May and June.


David Thorpe is an NBA analyst for ESPN.com and the executive director of the Pro Training Center in Clearwater, Fla., where he works as a personal coach for Udonis Haslem (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3765) (Miami Heat (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=mia)), Orien Greene (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3979) (Indiana Pacers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=ind)), Alexander Johnson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=4173) (Memphis Grizzlies (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=mem)) and Kevin Martin (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3843) (Sacramento Kings (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=sac)). You can e-mail him here (http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/mailbagESPN?event_id=13886).

Video scouting services used in this report were provided by Synergy Sports.