PDA

View Full Version : From the Oakland (Mich.) Press



indygeezer
06-22-2008, 11:24 PM
No mention of us but thought another view would be of interest:
=================
http://www.theoaklandpress.com/stories/062208/spo_20080622290.shtml

PUBLISHED: Sunday, June 22, 2008
Pistons see the draft as the start of something big




By DANA GAURUDER
Of The Oakland Press


AUBURN HILLS -- Drafting at the bottom of the first round is a big deal for the Pistons.
Advertisement


When they finally go on the clock with the No. 29 overall selection in the NBA draft Thursday night, they will most likely be choosing among a group of big men. Normally, quality power forwards and centers are hard to find after the lottery picks. The depth of talent at those spots this year gives the Pistons an opportunity to fortify their frontcourt.

"One of the things about this draft is it's much deeper in bigs than in probably the last four or five drafts," said George David, the Pistons' director of player personnel. "That's a little unusual. Usually at this spot, there aren't a lot of quality bigs left. This year happens to be an exception. It's weaker in the perimeter areas and heavier in the bigs."

The Pistons will go with the best player available philosophy but it would be a surprise if an enticing small forward or shooting guard fell into their laps. Only one point guard, Kansas' Mario Chalmers, is projected to be a late first-round selection and the Pistons already have an All-Star (Chauncey Billups) and a future franchise player (Rodney Stuckey) at that position.

Of course, there's no guarantee that Billups or any of the other starters will be back next season. President of basketball operations Joe Dumars decreed earlier this month that he was willing to trade any of his players except Stuckey.

Even if Dumars doesn't make a significant trade, he has a lot of decisions to make regarding his bench. There are five unrestricted free agents on the roster -- Jarvis Hayes, Theo Ratliff, Lindsey Hunter, Walter Herrmann and Juan Dixon -- and there's a strong possibility that none will be back. Hunter and Ratliff might retire, Herrmann will explore opportunities overseas, while Hayes and Dixon don't fit into their plans.

That means the Pistons, who also have the second-to-last pick in the second round, will almost certainly draft a player who can step right into the rotation. Their scouting staff has uncovered some jewels in the bottom third of the first round since Dumars took charge in the summer of 2000. Tayshaun Prince is the most celebrated example of the Pistons' scouting staff finding a major talent in that range. Jason Maxiell and Arron Afflalo are also examples of players that were overlooked by the majority of teams.

In each case, they came into the league ready to contribute. Prince was a four-year star at Kentucky, Maxiell played four seasons under fiery Bob Huggins at Cincinnati and Afflalo led UCLA to two Final Four appearances.

Their success with seasoned college players in the late first round makes the Pistons naturally inclined to pick another one.

"What it does is it defines your standard," David said. "Your standard is defined by Jason Maxiell and Arron Afflalo. At 59, the standard is Amir Johnson and Cheikh Samb and Alex Acker. We're defining our standard. That's how it comes into play."

By draft night, the Pistons will have brought in approximately 50 players to their practice facility for workouts and interviews. That includes players they're looking at in the second round as well as the first. But a workout is not a requirement for selection.

That point was driven home last season when the Pistons surprised just about everyone but themselves by picking Afflalo at the No. 27 slot after grabbing Stuckey at No. 15, courtesy of the 2006 Darko Milicic trade with Orlando.

The Pistons were unable to schedule a workout with Afflalo but were convinced he'd be a perfect fit in their system by watching him play many times in person and on tape.

They've seen all the players projected to be in late first round this year numerous times during their careers.

"Probably with the exception of some of the international players," David said, "we've seen them play at least five times."

As might be expected, the mock drafts have the Pistons selecting a variety of players but each is a big man. Draftexpress.com, Hoopshype.com and Hoopsworld.com predict they'll pick University of California center DeVon Hardin. Collegehoops.net projects Memphis power forward Joey Dorsey to be their man.

SI.com goes with Indiana power forward D.J. White while ESPN.com's latest mock draft has them selecting Rider power forward Jason Thompson. nbadraft.net predicts the Pistons will pick a foreign big man, 7-footer Alexis Ajinca.

In other words, it's all guesswork. The Pistons aren't tipping their hand but they've targeted a few of those big men. It's just a matter of which one will fall into their laps by the time 28 players are taken off the board.

"When you're picking in that range, you eventually get to a point where you know which players you're happy with at that pick and which players you're not happy with at that pick," David said. "It's a matter of how many of the guys you're happy with are still available."

Contact Dana Gauruder at dana.gauruder@oakpress.com.

Putnam
06-23-2008, 08:04 AM
President of basketball operations Joe Dumars decreed earlier this month that he was willing to trade any of his players except Stuckey.



Wow! That's a lot of love for a kid with 2 NBA starts.

indygeezer
06-23-2008, 08:30 AM
Wow! That's a lot of love for a kid with 2 NBA starts.

I've been trying to understand this "need" he seems to have for breaking up the team. 99% of the E. Conf would love to have their problems. Yeah, Boston passed them this year and they need to add to the team, but to completely destroy a perennial contender? I don't see it.

DisplacedKnick
06-23-2008, 09:11 AM
I've been trying to understand this "need" he seems to have for breaking up the team. 99% of the E. Conf would love to have their problems. Yeah, Boston passed them this year and they need to add to the team, but to completely destroy a perennial contender? I don't see it.

I think you can interpret this as, "I'd trade any single player if it would help us improve."

Not that he'd deal the whole team, though I'd be VERY suprised if he let Chancey go. In particular, I think Rip will be on the block. But he'll want something very good in return.

Fool
06-23-2008, 10:19 AM
If he's smart, it'll be the other way around.

As for not understanding the need to move when its clear the team you have can't get it done ... I don't know what to tell you.

avoidingtheclowns
06-23-2008, 11:15 AM
If he's smart, it'll be the other way around.

As for not understanding the need to move when its clear the team you have can't get it done ... I don't know what to tell you.

so you're saying the team is mentally weak?...........

indygeezer
06-23-2008, 11:23 AM
If he's smart, it'll be the other way around.

As for not understanding the need to move when its clear the team you have can't get it done ... I don't know what to tell you.

There's been talk of Tayshawn...Rip....Billups etc. This team has been majorly competitive, tweaking is needed not a major trade involving these guys.

Justin Tyme
06-23-2008, 11:37 AM
I think you can interpret this as, "I'd trade any single player if it would help us improve."

Not that he'd deal the whole team, though I'd be VERY suprised if he let Chancey go. In particular, I think Rip will be on the block. But he'll want something very good in return.

In everything I've read, I don't believe I ever recall seeing Rip's name as being traded. The names I see most is Wallace, Prince, and Billups. What makes you think Rip b4 Billups? Stuckey is heir apparent to Billups, so I don't see Detroit having anyone to replace Hamilton unless they trade for his replacement.

DisplacedKnick
06-23-2008, 11:57 AM
In everything I've read, I don't believe I ever recall seeing Rip's name as being traded. The names I see most is Wallace, Prince, and Billups. What makes you think Rip b4 Billups? Stuckey is heir apparent to Billups, so I don't see Detroit having anyone to replace Hamilton unless they trade for his replacement.

Stuckey's not really a PG - Detroit's been playing him there because they want to get him minutes. They move Rip and Stuckey steps right in at SG.

Not that he's a great outside shooter at this point but neither is Rip - they can pretty much use Prince, Billups & Rasheed for the outside shot and plug Stuckey in to do most of what Rip already does.

They may want to try to move him over to PG eventually but that's not what he should be doing - not right now anyway.

So I think they try to move Rip first because they have his replacement on the roster and it's a guy they've really been wanting to give minutes to.

As for what names are being mentioned, I don't pay much attention to that with Detroit.

Fool
06-23-2008, 11:59 AM
so you're saying the team is mentally weak?...........

I think the team is unmotivated and requires a coach who is less laissez faire when it comes to giving maximum effort. I feel bad for Dyess who came expecting the team to have the kind of drive they had in 04 and only got to be with a team with that kind of drive for one year.

indygeezer
06-23-2008, 12:05 PM
I think the team is unmotivated and requires a coach who is less laissez faire when it comes to giving maximum effort. I feel bad for Dyess who came expecting the team to have the kind of drive they had in 04 and only got to be with a team with that kind of drive for one year.



Brother you just said a whole mouthful. Agree 100%.

Fool
06-23-2008, 12:15 PM
Stuckey's not really a PG - Detroit's been playing him there because they want to get him minutes. They move Rip and Stuckey steps right in at SG.

Not that he's a great outside shooter at this point but neither is Rip - they can pretty much use Prince, Billups & Rasheed for the outside shot and plug Stuckey in to do most of what Rip already does.

They may want to try to move him over to PG eventually but that's not what he should be doing - not right now anyway.

So I think they try to move Rip first because they have his replacement on the roster and it's a guy they've really been wanting to give minutes to.

As for what names are being mentioned, I don't pay much attention to that with Detroit.

They've been grooming Stuckey as a PG from the start purposefully, not because there were more minutes available at PG. They let go of Murray and had Hunter sit out more than he had to just so there wouldn't be a problem minute wise at PG. Basically, their only veteran backup guards were both PGs and they cut them both out of the regular season plans so Stuckey could play point. They've also made it a point to always portray Stuckey as the future PG whenever they speak of him to the media.

I also think saying "he does what Rip does already" is miss-characterizing Rip. Stuckey doesn't produce 20ppg in the regular season and the playoffs without fail while never really dominating the ball. Stuckey's offensive game (so far as he's shown in his one year anyway) is dribble penetration which always requires more time with the ball in your hands. Its a very different game then Rips and changes the dynamic of the offense if he was put in to replace Rip. It's also very questionable that he'd be successful as a catch and shoot guy as not everyone excels at that type of game.

DisplacedKnick
06-23-2008, 12:24 PM
They've been grooming Stuckey as a PG from the start purposefully, not because there were more minutes available at PG. They let go of Murray and had Hunter sit out more than he had to just so there wouldn't be a problem minute wise at PG. Basically, their only veteran backup guards were both PGs and they cut them both out of the regular season plans so Stuckey could play point. They've also made it a point to always portray Stuckey as the future PG whenever they speak of him to the media.

I also think saying "he does what Rip does already" is miss-characterizing Rip. Stuckey doesn't produce 20ppg in the regular season and the playoffs without fail while never really dominating the ball. Stuckey's offensive game (so far as he's shown in his one year anyway) is dribble penetration which always requires more time with the ball in your hands. Its a very different game then Rips and changes the dynamic of the offense if he was put in to replace Rip. It's also very questionable that he'd be successful as a catch and shoot guy as not everyone excels at that type of game.

Except Stuckey did excel at catch-and-shoot in college. His movement without the ball is excellent and he's very good at using screens. He averaged 20 mpg last year and he did it by backing up both Rip and Billups. What I'm saying is they can groom him for PG all they want but there's a much greater drop-off if they trade Billups and ask Stuckey to run the team than if they trade Rip and ask Stuckey to be the off-guard. At least for this coming season.

In one case they let go of their best outside shooter for someone who doesn't have an outside shot and someone not ready to run an NBA team full-time yet. In the other case they let go of a guy who's mainly a mid-range shooter and slasher for a guy who's a mid-range shooter and slasher and won't have the pressure of running a team in a situation where not winning is unacceptable.

Stuckey should not be Detroit's starting PG next season. Worst thing you could do to him.

Fool
06-23-2008, 01:12 PM
There's a greater drop-off defensively if they leave Billups on the court and take Rip off it. Stuckey played for Eastern Washington and if you watched him in college you are a bigger college hoop fan than I am but I think its safe to say he was the most talented guy, by far, on his roster and probably wasn't playing off the ball catch and shoot the majority of the time.

Yes, there's a drop off if Stuckey starts at either position next season and the PG role necessarily effects the team more, but if he's going to be a PG (and his strength and size advantage go out the window if he's not a PG) then he needs to play it. His teammates being able to ignore him easier if he's at SG isn't a benefit to anything but the regular season win tally.

Naptown_Seth
06-23-2008, 02:01 PM
If he's smart, it'll be the other way around.

As for not understanding the need to move when its clear the team you have can't get it done ... I don't know what to tell you.
We have different definitions of "clear" then. Remember in 84 when it was clear that Magic couldn't beat Bird anymore.

Since when does losing to another great team mean you're done. The Spurs have basically kept the same core together after several shortened runs, only to come back the next year and win again. They don't say "I'll trade Parker, Ginobili and anyone but Duncan, this thing is stuck".

I mean why fire the coach if the players are the problem? Isn't changing the coach a big step already? Did Rip play like a guy that has no chance to win games for your, or Billups for that matter?

Fool
06-23-2008, 03:33 PM
Those are Dumars' words which I've learned to trust to a great degree. In the interviews and pressers he's had since the playoffs he's said that the team has lost the last three years the same way, they had the talent but not the motivation/intensity.

As for the Spur comparison, the Pistons don't have the best power forward to ever play the game and the Spurs certainly have considered moving Parker (remember they offered Jason Kidd a contract in his last free agent year). The Pistons also don't have 3 championships with their core nor Greg Popovich as their coach. And if they thought they could upgrade his position, I have zero doubt Pop would move Ginobili in a second, not because he doesn't like him (which I'm sure he does) but because he's not sentimental and knows the achieving the goal of winning a championship comes with costs.

Why is the problem either the players or the coach. You can't see flaws in both and act on both?

DisplacedKnick
06-23-2008, 03:59 PM
Those are Dumars' words which I've learned to trust to a great degree. In the interviews and pressers he's had since the playoffs he's said that the team has lost the last three years the same way, they had the talent but not the motivation/intensity.


Isn't that THE description of a coaching problem?

grace
06-23-2008, 04:04 PM
Isn't that THE description of a coaching problem?

Or your team is nothing but a bunch of bozos.

Fool
06-23-2008, 04:15 PM
If you believe it takes a coach to motivate the players, then I guess so. If you think the players should be self-motivated then I imagine you think its THE description of a player personnel problem.

IMO, the coach is partly in charge of the motivation, partly in charge of developing the young talent, and 100% in charge of the game plan. I don't particularly think the game plan was the best that could have been in place, but I don't think Rivers had the best game plans either. But that's sort of besides the point.

DisplacedKnick
06-23-2008, 11:35 PM
If you believe it takes a coach to motivate the players, then I guess so. If you think the players should be self-motivated then I imagine you think its THE description of a player personnel problem.

IMO, the coach is partly in charge of the motivation, partly in charge of developing the young talent, and 100% in charge of the game plan. I don't particularly think the game plan was the best that could have been in place, but I don't think Rivers had the best game plans either. But that's sort of besides the point.

The biggest job of a coach is to keep players focused and instill a winning attitude. That's number 1. It's why that pontificating SOB Phil Jackson has all those rings - because he can get players to focus when they need to, not because he's been able to design some magical game plan. It's how Larry Bird got the Pacers to the finals.

Most NBA coaches know their X's and O's. It's whether they're able to get the players to buy into what they're trying to do which makes the biggest difference with how successful they are.

Fool
06-24-2008, 09:42 AM
So the Lakers lost to the Celtics because Rivers is a better motivator than Jackson?

I think you underrate the role of strategy in a game where "match-ups are everything".

Tony Robbins would be a terrible NBA coach.

avoidingtheclowns
06-24-2008, 10:00 AM
Do you always respond to posts with answers that are roughly on the level of a third-grader's?

i certainly try to

rexnom
06-24-2008, 10:03 AM
i certainly try to
Your mom tries to.

SoupIsGood
06-24-2008, 10:28 AM
I'll follow suit. (BTW, I don't know who Tony Robins is - probably missed some wiseassery there.)

JayRedd
06-24-2008, 10:34 AM
atc is a doody-head.

On topic, if Joe is moving Rip, Larry better be making some damn phone calls.

DisplacedKnick
06-24-2008, 01:20 PM
So the Lakers lost to the Celtics because Rivers is a better motivator than Jackson?

I think you underrate the role of strategy in a game where "match-ups are everything".

Tony Robbins would be a terrible NBA coach.

So you consider Doc Rivers a superior strategist to Phil Jackson?

Glad to know you think Phil should be attending the Doc Rivers coaching school.

Fool
06-24-2008, 01:27 PM
I think Tom Thibodeau's defensive game plan out did Phil Jackson who's never been an X and O guru and has never been the most strategic of those minds championing the triangle.