Your Pregame Moment of Zen
The Piston Outlook
It's been another rough season in Detroit. The Pistons are losers of 11 of their last 13 games, are languishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference (1 game in front of cellar-dwelling Washington), and have the third worst efficiency differential in the conference.
While Rodney Stuckey has taken a significant step forward- creating for his teammates more while keeping up his stellar turnover rates- the rest of the team continues to get older and worse. Tayshaun Prince is posting his lowest Offensive Rating since 2003. Richard Hamilton is posting his lowest Offensive Rating since 2000. And Ben Gordon, who's still only 27, is posting his lowest rate since 2005. Given that those three players each have usage rates above 20% (Rip is at a team high 27%), it's no surprise that Detroit is playing offense well below the league average.*
*Mortifying side note: the Hornets average almost an entire point less per 100 possessions than Detroit. Yep.
Some players have stepped up, however. Ben Wallace has his highest defensive rebound rate in five years. Charlie Villanueva is taking more than 7 threes per 36 minutes, the seventh highest rate in the league (side note: I'll give anyone that guesses the league leader in threes attempted per 36 minutes (without looking it up! honor code!) five bonus points for tonight's jersey contest. Minimum 15 games played. Leave your guesses in the comments.)
- New Orleans native Greg Monroe is having a pretty decent season. His rebound slash line stands at 13/19/16 (remember the 10/20/15 rule?), and if he could just cut down the turnovers a bit, he could be a useful offensive player.
- Detroit has a player I've always wanted New Orleans to acquire- Chris Wilcox. He's 28, has a career 9/20/14 rebound line, and 53% effective field goal percentage. Naturally, he's played 67 minutes this year and gotten into just 8 games. He seems to have moved into a more prominent role recently (40 minutes in the last 3), but I'm not sure if that's a result of a disciplinary move against Jason Maxiell.
- Speaking of Maxiell: he's been awful. 10.3 PER and career low offensive, defensive, and total rebound rates. I tend to believe it's a small sample size thing, but his career has trended downward for three consecutive years depending on which statistical measurements you believe.
- Go Hornets.