Shaq will miss game against Pistons tonight

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by dunkonu

According to espn.com Shaquille O’Neal will miss his 6th straight game tonight. I don’t know if you can call this catching a break, because the Pistons will be in for a tough game with Shaq on the court or with Shaq off the court.

The Cavaliers aren’t playing their best basketball right now, but they are still in the top 3 in the East and with LeBron on your team there hardly ever is something like a bad night. Let’s hope that the Pistons can take care of business at home. This is exactly the opponent you need to beat to prove that you can still cause some trouble in your Conference.

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Detroit: Stuckey or Bynum – who should start?

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by dunkonu

Internet…huh…beautiful thing…everybody can make themselves heard/read – so when somebody writes a certain player is underrated and should start on a certain team it spreads like wildfire. People don’t even check if it’s true. It is way easier to just copy what sounds good and don’t put time into researching the facts.

So, lately everybody and their mommas is trying to tell you that Will Bynum should start over Rodney Stuckey for the Detroit Pistons. Sure, looking at some of the stats it seems to be a neat idea:

  • Bynum’s true shooting percentage is at .588 this season (.132 better than Stuckey who is averaging a career low .456 TS% so far)
  • Bynum’s effective field goal percentage is at .518 (Stuckey is at .391 eFG%)
  • Will’s Player Efficiency Rating is at 20.0 which is pretty awesome (Rodney is at 13.8 – the league average is 15.0 in case you aren’t familiar with this stat)
  • Bynum is scoring more around the rim while Stuckey is taking jumpers on 71% of his attempts – Bynum is scoring a higher % on both by the way

Will Bynum #12

So, Bynum is a more efficent scorer – how about passing?

  • Will ‘The Thrill’ is dishing out the assist on 27.1% of the made shots of his teammates when he is on the floor (Rodney is at 19%)
  • Bynum’s passing rating is at 8.9 while Stuckey is at 6.4

Hmmm…team offense & team defense?

  • Bynum’s offensive rating is at 113 (ORtg = points produced/scored on 100 possessions ) – Stuckey’s is at 97
  • Bynum’s offensive rating is at 108 (ORtg = points produced/scored on 100 possessions ) – Stuckey’s is at 107 – no big difference

Well, those stats suggest that Bynum would help the Pistons win more games than Stuckey. Are there other stats? Of course they are. Let’s see what Rodney has going for himself stats-wise:

  • The Pistons got outscored by 33 points while Bynum was on the floor while only getting outscored by 8 while Stuckey was on the floor (this season so far) – both are usually playing at the end of the game, but you should consider that Rodney is starting the game and playing against tougher competition in the opening quarter than Bynum
  • Bynum is finishing games with a +/- rating at an average of -4.8, Stuckey is averaging a -0.7
  • Only 15% of Bynum’s shots are assisted while Stuckey is getting assisted on 32% of his made field goals – read on if you want to know why this is important
  • Stuckey is the better ballhandler (he has more turnovers and bad passes, but considering the minutes played he is a bit better than Bynum)

Rodney Stuckey #3

Is there something to consider when looking at these stats?

  • Stuckey is playing pretty many minutes out of position. People tend to forget that a lot. Could it be that his stats aren’t as good, because he is spending a good amount of time at shooting guard and/or small forward? Would the numbers be different if Stuckey would play PG all the time instead of switching it up and playing out of position? Without a doubt.

Here are Stuckey’s stats at the different positions:

  • Point Guard: Net Points of the team +16
  • Shooting Guard: Net Points of the team -36
  • Small Forward: Net Points of the team +9

So, if we woant to find out who should start at point guard we should compare the stats they get when they play that position, right? Player 48-Minute Production by Position:

  • eFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage): Bynum .518 – Stuckey .538
  • FTA (Free Throw Attempts): Bynum 7.7 – Stuckey 15.0
  • Assists (don’t forget: by 48 minutes): Bynum 7.0 – Stuckey 10.0
  • Points: Bynum 24.9 – Stuckey 34.9
  • PER*: Bynum 21.8 – Stuckey 42.0

Looks a bit different, right? What about the defense? Opponent Counterpart 48-Minute Production:

  • PER*-“allowed”: Bynum 16.2 – Stuckey 7.6
  • Points-allowed: Bynum 19.0 – Stuckey 13.3

What I’m trying to show you is that stats can be deceiving. Making this choice is not as easy as “who has better stats”, it is more about what kind of team are we trying to be, what are our long-term goals and what way do we play our best? Stuckey is starting at point guard and Bynum is pretty much taking over the point guard position in the 2nd half. Why?

Because Stuckey is pretty good at point guard, but we need him playing some shooting guard and small forward as well right now. Could Bynum guard shooting guards? No way. If they are both hot, can we afford to put Ben Gordon on the bench? No. We try to do what works best and it really doesn’t matter at all who starts the game at point guard, because our most productive line-up (as a team, not for every individual on the court) is this one so far:

Bynum – Gordon – Stuckey – Villanueva – Wallace -> Top Five Men Floor-Units Win% = 77%

Would Stuckey put up better individual numbers if he was playing point guard? Probably, but it wouldn’t be the best for the team. When Prince and Rip are back it will get even more complicated. What if our best line-up is Stuckey – Gordon – Hamilton – Prince – Villanueva? Well, then Bynum will have to sit and watch. What if Bynum is better suited to get the job done with those guys on the floor? Well, Stuckey is going to sit and watch.

The few things you should remember from this post are:

  • Stuckey is playing out of position for long stretches of the game
  • Stats are deceiving and don’t measure everything happening on the floor
  • Bynum is more effective comparing the stats without paying attention to the position played
  • Stuckey is more effective comparing the stats they accumulate while playing point guard
  • We are trying to build a contender here and most of our players are doing whatever helps the team the most – no big egos

To sum it all up: Looking at the position-based stats, Stuckey is a better point guard, but we need him to play out of position for long stretches of most games. His stats change accordingly. Bynum is a great point guard and a very efficient scorer. There is no point in arguing one way or another, because with the return of Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince the whole dynamic of the team will change anyway. In my opinion, Stuckey should keep starting the games, because it is giving the team more options to run the offense and it opens up more options on defense too (Stuckey can guard big guards and some small forwards). Bynum is the perfect energizer of the bench and when both Stuckey and Bynum are on the court, Bynum is usually playing point guard. I wouldn’t change that, but what do I know…

Detroit Pistons Guards

BTW: To look up some of the stats yourself, go to www.basketball-reference.com or www.82games.com – have fun. 🙂 For more opinions on this, go here or here.

Jason Maxiell Top 5 Blocks

Posted in NBA, YouTube with tags , , , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by dunkonu

I think the time is right to share (what we think are) the Top 5 Jason Maxiell Blocks with you after what Jason did to Shannon Brown a few days ago. Was that block ridiculous or what? Ouch…had to hurt. Brown can dunk on pretty much everybody, but Maxiell…what a block…wow…

#5 – Jermaine O’Neal – denied

#4 – Reggie Who?

#3 – Ain’t gonna work, Mr. Garnett, but you keep trying…

We could do a Top 5 of Jason Maxiell blocking Kevin Garnett alone by the way – you don’t believe me? Ask you local YouTube Video Dealer. Go. www.youtube.com – I dare you.

#2 – Meet me at the top, Shannon Brown – you’ll never be the same again

#1 – Jason Maxiell destroys Tyson Chandler’s dignity

Is Jason Maxiell the best “meet-me-at-the-rim” shot blocker playing right now? If you don’t say yes, let me know who you think is better. Wait, I’ll help you with that one: Nobody.

Joe Dumars IS a genius

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , on November 16, 2009 by dunkonu

Okay, maybe this is a bit of an overstatement, but it is pretty close to the truth. Most Detroit fans (including myself) where doubting his moves in the offseason. Signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to big time contracts to build a team around them and Rodney Stuckey? Can we make it work this time around with two shooting guards? Are we going to see a lot of smallball in the 4th quarter again? And so on…

Well, looking at the situation now and a season ago, I have to say that I’m freakin’ happy with the way we play, the way the players behave on and off the court and the way Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva fit into the team. It is a joy to watch.

bgcvgoodtimes

Much better than last season!

Maybe we were a bit too scared to go through the whole Allen Iverson thing again. Thank God that didn’t happen again – last season was really awful. This year everything looks much better and the most surprising thing: We are playing hard and winning games. I never questioned the ‘playing hard’ thing, but the ‘winning games’ part took me by surprise.

Some interesting bullets:

  • Richard Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince missed more than half of our games and we are still 5-5
  • Ben Gordon is our leading scorer and #12 in the league (scoring average 22.4 points/game)
  • We have one of the best defenses in the NBA (points/game and percentage)
  • We have the best scoring backcourts in the league –  it’s not even close
  • We nearly beat the Dallas Mavericks yesterday even tho our topscorer only hit 1 of his 16 shots – if he would have scored on, let’s say, 20-25% of his shots, we would have probably won this game…crazy, right?
  • No matter who we play against, we go hard!

The additions of Gordon and Villanueva were awesome. Combined with Stuckey stepping up his game, the re-emergence of Big Ben Wallace and the surprisingly effective players coming of our bench (special thanks go to Mr. Jerebko!) we are looking really good out there.

bbw

He is back!

No matter if we win or lose, it is always fun to watch the games. Last season even our wins were mostly painful to watch. Now the players are hustling all over the floor, moving the basketball, doing all the little things, going to the rim hard, hitting big three pointers – everything! Basketball at it’s finest. If you don’t watch Detroit Basketball and you get the chance to…do it! Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

Proud to be a Piston

Proud to be a Piston

 Thank you, Detroit!

Stephen Jackson traded to the Bobcats

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2009 by dunkonu

Yeah…I can see this working out…NOT!

I’m really glad for the Warriors that they finally got rid of the distraction this whole thing created. Don’t get me wrong, trading Stephen Jackson and Acie Law for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic is definitely a step in the wrong direction talent-wise for Golden State, but it will improve their team chemistry – not because I think that Bell is the best locker room guy ever – it’s more an addition by subtraction kind of thing.

absjax

I’m glad that Jax hasn’t got traded to a contender, because I don’t like the idea of players demanding and quarreling their way into a better situation. Just doesn’t sound right to me. He has the talent to turn a team around and he was in the perfect situation to prove it – last season he scored 20+, dished out 6+ assists and grabbed a bit more than 5 boards per game. Stephen has all the tools to be a leader and he could have taken the next step by leading the Warriors to a better record.

Anyway, it is what it is. For more information, check out this link (ESPN.com).

Ben Gordon & Charlie Villanueva – Update

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by dunkonu

If you are reading blogs on WordPress and you were looking for something on Ben Gordon and/or Charlie Villanueva, chances are pretty high that you stumbled on this post from July ’09: Ben Gordon & Charlie Villanueva. It is time for an update, I guess.

Charlie Villanueva missed most of the preseason with an injury and still kinda doesn’t look like he knows where he has to be on defense at all times. He missed some rotations in the first games of the season, but it didn’t hurt as that much – especially because this problem will take care of itself by playing together for longer stretches. The situation got worse, because Rip got injured and a little while later Tayshaun also didn’t play because of some back problems. Being new on a squad and than pretty much half of the starting 5 getting injured doesn’t help.

If you would put a gun to my head and ask me if he played up to the expectations we had, the answer would be no. It is way too early to judge someone after only 5 games, but right now he just isn’t getting it done. 11 points and 5.4 boards in 26 minutes per game just ain’t worth the money Detroit spent on him. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, tho, because his shooting percentages are way off his career average. Right now, he is hitting 0,05% less from the field and his free throw percentage fell by 0,1%. This maybe doesn’t sound like much, but it is huge (0,450 FG-% is way better than 0,400 FG-%). By finding the spots on the court he likes and starting to feel more comfortable out there, the percentages will rise and the rest of his game will improve accordingly.

31-7

CV-31 & BG-7

Ben Gordon is pretty much the opposite of everything you read above. Funny thing is, I thought that Charlie Villanueva would be the one that would look more impressive in the beginning, but obviously I was wrong. Ben Gordon looks like he played on this team for years – no transition period whatsoever. To be honest with you, I didn’t respect Ben Gordon so much, because I always thought he was one of those so-called ‘streaky shooters’ and I was afraid that we overpaid him because of the Boston – Chicago series in the last playoffs. I was so wrong. This guy deserves every penny (so far) he got signed for.

  • He never said a word about coming off the bench.
  • He can play with either Stuckey or Bynum on the court.
  • He can create his own shot or kick it out to an open teammate.
  • He can take it to the rim and finish like a bad, bad man.
  • He gives us the scoring we need off the bench or takes over Rip’s spot while he is injured – no problem for BG

This guy is ridiculous. So far, he dropped 25 points per game and dished out 3 assists while also having enough time to grab 3.6 boards per game. Looking at his current stats, he is on a pretty nice way to career highs in points, rebounds, steals and field goal percentage while also having the lowest turnover-rate of his career even tho he has more ballhandling duties than ever before. Is there anything more we can ask for?

So, Ben Gordon is doing his thing better than ever and if Villanueva steps his game up in the next few games, there won’t be a question about if Joe Dumars signed the right guys to complete the Detroit Pistons core.

BTW: Funny stat I stumbled upon: Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva have the same career high in ‘points scored in a single game’. 48 points – plus, both did it in a game against Milwaukee.

How the Pistons are doing so far (2009/11/05)

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by dunkonu

Well, you could say that the Pistons are 2-3 right now and leave it at that, but that would be like saying that the movie “The men who stare at goats” will be awesome…you’d be right, but you kinda wouldn’t help anybody with that. We’ll try to tell you about the things you probably didn’t know…it’s not as easy as 2-3 with the Pistons.

Who did we beat?

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Orlando Magic. How? We beat the Grizzlies by 22 points by holding them to 36% shooting from the field. We got outrebounded pretty bad (yeah, we got a pretty small frontcourt), but we took better care of the ball and our guards were pretty much scoring at will. I was really surprised by Ben Gordon. Everybody knows that he is one of the best shooters out there, but this guy knows how to attack the rim and by the time we got to the Orlando game he also showed an awesome floater that we’ll see pretty often this year, I guess.

bg7

Shooter? Scorer!

I know what you are asking yourself: Yeah, we beat the Grizzlies (which was no gimmie, btw), but Orlando? Orlando? Superman, the artist formerly known as Vinsanity and Co.? They had an off-night and we took advantage of that. I’m not trying to take anything away from the Pistons, it is hard to outplay a good team even on one of their weaker outings, but them shooting 36% from the field and 28% from three? Believe me, you won’t see that again tonight in the 2nd game against Orlando this season.

Who beat us?

The Thunder, the Bucks and the Raptors. Yeah, I know what you are thinking…not exactly the elite teams this year, but we ain’t in the that group ourselves anymore. On one hand it is kinda sad that all of those games were winnable and we lost them, but on the other hand: hey, we could have won!

So, are we lucky to be 2-3?

To be honest, I expected to see worse before the season began and so I’m actually surprised how good our squad looks on the floor. We move the ball, we attack the rim, we play pretty beautiful basketball most of the time and we look like we are able to win every game during some point of it. I didn’t really expect that. I was expecting to see more of a struggle, especially in the beginning…think about it:

  • Two new guys (starting PF and 6th man – actually, starting at SG since Rip got injured a while ago)
  • A coach that fell off the Cavaliers bandwagon, because there simply wasn’t enough space anymore

bandwagon
The Cavaliers Bandwagon
  •  Our starters in the frontcourt during the preseason where Ben Wallace and Kwame Brown…both are great defenders (or at least one is great, the other is decent), but it ain’t exactly Sheed and McDyess on the other end of the court
  • More on Ben Wallace in another post – the guy is playing better than anyone could have thought
  • Same goes for our backcourt – those guys deserve their own post

Well, I expected to win against the Grizzlies and the Bucks and loss to the Raptors and Magic. The game against the Thunder was a toss-up to me. I didn’t know what to think about it, because the squad they build around Kevin Durant is pretty good – they’ll surprise some teams this year. So, being 2-3 is about right even tho we could be better, but getting Rip and Tay back will definitely help.