What's on the Menu? "mmmmmm . . . Basketball!!!!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SDH's 2012/2013 NBA Worst to First Previews & Predictions: 28. Detroit Pistons

Overall Win/Loss Record :  25-41, fourth place Central Division

Last Season’s Rank

Projected 2012/2013 Finish

Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank
  • Points Scored: 90.9 (27th)
  • Points Allowed: 95.7 (14th)
  • Team FG%: .438 (25th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .462 (25th)
  • Rebounds per game: 40.3 (26th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 40.7 (8th)

Returning Individual Statistical Leaders
  • Scoring: Greg Monroe (15.4)
  • Rebounds per game:  Greg Monroe (9.7)
  • Minutes per game: Tayshaun Prince (33.3)
  • Assists per game: Rodney Stuckey (3.8)
  • Steals per game:  Greg Monroe (1.3)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Greg Monroe (0.7)

Projected Starters Based on Last Season’s Performance, Veteran Seniority and Projected Impact

Key Reserves Based on Last Season’s Performances, Veteran Seniority and Potential Impact.
  1. Corey Maggete (SF)
  2. Austin Daye (F)
  3. Kim English (SG)
  4. Kyle Singler (F)
  5. Will Bynum (PG)

2012/2013 Projection:  20-62, last in Central Division, headed towards rock bottom


For Pistons fans, the last four years have been an absolute nightmare as they say their beloved team go from the league’s elite to complete train-wreck.  The obvious blame for this mess has to go to the Piston’s GM, Joe Dumars who just had to mess with a good thing which has led to damaging results.  Instead of improving the team by freeing up cap space by sending away their prized veteran who helped bring the team to two NBA Finals, it completely backfired by epic proportions.  All the players that had been signed with the Pistons’ cap space turned out to be complete busts and fans of Detroit had to endure witnessing their team completely fall apart right now. What is even more shocking from this sad episode is that despite his obvious missteps singlehandedly destroying a one time world class franchise, Joe Dumars still remains as the head basketball man in Detroit.

During the past four years, Dumars has covered his behind shifting the blame to his coaching staff along with singling out and alienated the player that brought the team so much success in the first place.  Now it seems as if Joe has no one else to shield him from his blatant incompetence in handling the entire team as most of the veteran players have bid a not so fond farewell to Motor City.  Players such as Rip Hamilton whom came through for the Pistons night in and night out were suddenly given the cold shoulder and discarded in favor of players who had little if any of the experience or basketball IQ that he and his former teammates had.  Tayshaun Prince, who was once considered a vital cog in Detroit’s glory years now can be viewed as a dead weight dragging the team further into irrelevance.  At least to the relief of many, the Pistons have managed to rid themselves of two of Dumars’ biggest roster blunders.

To start off, Dumars has jettisoned his first embarrassment Ben Gordon, who at one time was his prized free agent signing three years ago, to the Charlotte Bobcats managing to wrangle a first round pick in the process.  Unfortunately, the pick is lottery protected and Dumars was forced to take in another bloated contract of an even more useless player in Corey Maggette.  Like Gordon, Maggette has two years left remaining on his contract and is owed about 20$ million; however, unlike Gordon, Maggette has nothing left as all his skills and athleticism has left him.  The addition of Maggette does give the Pistons an additional chip for a possible midseason trade.  Add Maggette’s contract to Charlie Villanueva’s erroneous deal that will expire at season’s end, Dumars has a couple of pieces to get a quality player whom will hopefully wipe away the stain of his past failures.

In spite of himself, Dumars has also managed to find a few hidden gems in the past three NBA Drafts that can be used in the rebuilding of the team he helped demolish.  Greg Monroe, whom Dumars picked 7th two years ago, has become the Pistons’ go to man on offense as he led the team in scoring and rebounds.  Dumars found another hidden gem in Brandon Knight, whom he picked in last year’s draft, as Knight proved numerous skeptics wrong having a rather impressive rookie season.  Knight was one of the league’s best rookie performers as he started in all but six of the Pistons’ games last season, finished as the team’s third leading scorer (12.8ppg), and co-leader in assists per game (3.8).  Unfortunately, Knight’s presence still did not fill the void of veteran Chauncey Billups, whom Dumars foolishly discarded in favor of the expiring contract of a broken down Allen Iverson four years ago.

It’s sad to think that if Dumars had not played God and allowed his championship squad run its course, the Pistons would have been still winning fifty or more games.  Flip Saunders and company would have kept Detroit in the playoff while still remain an outside shot to reach the NBA Finals—similar to the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics.  If Dumars had remained patient instead of acting rash and rather arrogantly, he would have had the expiring contracts of Billlups, Prince and Hamilton to use as potential trade chip for Dwight Howard perhaps.  Unfortunately we will never know as the current Detroit Pistons looks like a daycare as the roster currently contains five rookies which includes an extremely raw 19 year old big man named Andre Drummond.  Hopefully, coach Lawrence Frank can remain long enough on the team before Dumars pulls the rug under his feet using him as another scapegoat to cover his incompetence.