(Heeere's HighTops. -- TZ)
Before I get into the scouting report, I’d like to tell you a story. My wife had a cat when we got married, and we decided to add a dog to the household. So we brought back a Doberman puppy. He was a playful thing and bounded around like Ode in the Garfield cartoon. The cat was sitting on the couch and the puppy ran right up to meet him.
The cat, who owned the household, wanted nothing to do with the puppy and proceeded to bombard him with lefts and rights to the puppy’s muzzle, even though the puppy was nearly three times his size. The puppy ran off howling. The puppy stayed away from the cat until he was almost full grown. Then one day the dog went up to the cat, but this time when the lefts and rights failed to phase the dog, the cat slowly backed away.
This is the problem with the Kings. They don’t realize the importance of their size advantage and haven’t matured enough to know how to use it.
As for the Pistons, despite their 3-6 record, they are a good team, which should be evident by their 105-104 loss to Oklahoma City. Detroit did lose their first five games but they are 3-1 in in their last four. They beat the Bobcats, warriors and Clippers, and their lone loss came against Portland. Their other five losses came against Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New Jersey and Oklahoma City.
Offensively, Detroit has the 4th lowest scoring average at 94.9 per game. They have the 5th lowest FG% at 43.6%, and they are one of only three teams that shoot FTs worse than the Kings. But they are the 2nd best three-point shooting team, averaging over 42%.
Defensively, they are the 2nd worst rebounding team, only block on average four shots a game, and are below average in steals as well. But as a veteran team they don’t turn over the ball and don’t foul very often.
As for their starters, Tayshaun Prince is scoring inside 10 feet and almost nowhere else. Ben Wallace isn’t scoring, period. Richard Hamilton hasn’t gotten a glimpse of the paint, but he’s hitting everywhere outside of 10 feet. Austin Daye is their best three-point shooter at 52%, but is pretty abysmal everywhere else. As for Rodney Stuckey, think of a slightly less aggressive Tyreke Evans with an ever-so-slightly better long range jumper.
As for the bench, Charlie Villanueva is horrible inside 10 feet, but if you give him a glance at the rim outside of 15 feet, you’ll regret it. He has a eFG% of 50% on long 2s and 63% from beyond the arc. Ben Gordon is their best overall shooter, with a FG% of 54.7% and a three-point percentage of 42.9%. As for their #1 draft pick, Greg Monroe, well things are progressing, but he’s only averaging 4 ppg and 4.7 rebs in about 17 mpg off the bench.
All and all, Detroit’s total rebound rate is one the worst and even with all the three-point shots their TS% is awful too. But if they get hot from three-point range they could be trouble. Omri Casspi is going to have another tough assignment, only this time it will be to keep Prince from getting to the basket. We won’t have to worry about a wily PG like Steve Nash, although Detroit is big and strong in their backcourt. So, we may be better off starting Tyreke Evans and Francisco Garcia, and let Beno Udrih come off the bench to guard Ben Gordon.
When Charlie V. enters, I think we’d be better off with Carl Landry or Jason Thompson on him because he’s going to spend a lot of time out past the three-point line. I’d rather keep Samuel Dalembert and DeMarcus Cousins in close.
I love Cousins' ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. But he can get too fast and out of control. He can beat his man by using his big body to bang into his defender to create space. It’s time for the Kings to realize that they’re the big dogs, and don’t let their bigs get chased out of the paint.