I don't know too much about the Pistons aside from the fact that they took Greg Monroe in this year's draft and they have had problems with their coach. So I enlisted the help of the hardworking folks over at www.pistonpowered.com specifically, Patrick Hayes. Here's his take on the Pistons and how they might fair against the Dubs.
What is wrong with the Pistons?
Lots and lots of things. But rather than bore you with all of the dirty details, I'll give a top three.
- Rebounding: The Pistons have only two guys on the roster (Ben Wallace and Greg Monroe) who average more than seven rebounds per-36. They are starting a small forward (Austin Daye) at power forward because the frontcourt is so thin and their backup PF, Charlie Villanueva, is allergic to rebounds.
- Chemistry issues: The brunt of the coverage of this had to do with Rodney Stuckey getting benched for ignoring John Kuester on the court, but stories of coach-player clashes have trickled out the last two seasons under Kuester. Tayshaun Prince and Kuester had a yelling match last season, and Prince had some comments earlier this season suggesting all was not perfect in their relationship. Ben Wallace bristled when he was asked about Kuester's comments about the team needing more leadership. Villanueva and Kuester had a rocky relationship at times last year. And making things worse, the Pistons have most of their high priced and/or big name players spread at two positions. So virtually every game, someone from the Rip Hamilton/Ben Gordon/Prince/Tracy McGrady group gets squeezed out of minutes.
- Injuries: Jonas Jerebko was the Pistons second best player last season, and without his offensive rebounding and hustle in particular, the team has had a hard time finding a similarly energetic replacement. Jerebko was also improving -- he put up monster numbers for the Swedish national team over the summer. Not great competition, I grant you, but he became a more confident offensive player and he's a big part of the team's future. Less notable, Chris Wilcox has yet to play. Wilcox is not very good, but he is 6-10 and strong and could help against some of the bigger front lines that have pushed the Pistons around.
The Warriors will lose if. . . ?
They turn the ball over. The Pistons have had late leads in five of their six games. They didn't play great in all of those games, but at times, they have been a pesky and opportunistic group than can create occasional matchup issues and take advantage of mistakes. Opponents are shooting 48 percent against the Pistons. In the Pistons lone win of the season, Charlotte shot 55 percent against them. Expect the Warriors to shoot well, but if there are turnovers or defensive lapses, the Pistons can steal a game even if they get out-played.
I saw your post about T-Mac continuing to play the point, is that likely vs. the Dubs?
It depends on how fully out of the doghouse Stuckey is and how healthy Will Bynum is. McGrady originally got minutes at the point backing up Stuckey because Bynum missed a few games. Stuckey sat out Friday's game as punishment for his hearing problem, but Bynum returned to the lineup. If Stuckey just moves right back into the starting lineup and Bynum doesn't have a setback, McGrady probably won't see much time at PG. If they want to make Stuckey sweat a little and earn his job back, maybe McGrady will still get a few minutes there.
Thanks again to Patrick for the info (far more than I had bargained for).