Put All Your Eggs In the Biyombo Basket

22 Jun

As far as I’m aware, the Detroit Pistons are not one of those franchises that employs a number of stat guys, and have assigned the assistant coaches and even the trainers (God bless them) to keep track of statistics.

If the Pistons were to heed the advice that the numbers provide after 82 games and 3,936 minutes, they’d draft a defensive-minded center at #8 and never look back, only hesitating if PG Kyrie Irving or SF Derrick Williams were still on the board (they won’t be).

  • The Pistons finished as the third worst defensive team in the NBA last year, finishing only above the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors.  That’s right, we barely beat out a squad that starts defensive stalwarts Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani.  The defensive rating is a statistic that estimates the amount of points surrendered per 100 possessions, controlling for pace and including free throws, and the had a DRtg of 111.7.  The season before under Kuester, they were at 111.4.  To add some perspective, the 2004 championship team had a DRtg of 95.4, and the teams that made the Eastern Conference Finals (or more) for the next four seasons averaged 102.85 points surrendered per 100 possessions, according to
  • Detroit can’t excel defensively when there isn’t a defensive anchor or stopper in the entire roster.  In fact, the Pistons scored the fifth-lowest amount of points in the paint and allowed the third highest efficiency rate for opponents in the paint.  They ended the season tied for last place with the Golden State Warriors in the Deff, which is the Efficiency Recap – Opponent’s Efficiency Recap, meaning that overall the Pistons were overmatched in the paint on almost a nightly basis according to  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody, as Charlie Villanueva has turned into almost an exclusive three-point shooter (as Rasheed Wallace did later in his career) who is not adept at man or team defense, Jonas Jerebko was injured for the entire season, we tried to play Austin Daye in the post (bust),  Ben Wallace was held out of many games, Jason Maxiell misses dunks, and Chris Wilcox didn’t get a chance to shine until the season was all but wrapped up.
  • A good way to be out-powered in the paint is by losing the rebounding battle, which the Pistons often did, amassing a league low 38.62 rebounds a game according to, and finishing in the bottom six in rebounding differential (so we can’t really blame it on our having the slowest pace around).  Beyond Greg Monroe, a nightly double-double threat, we didn’t have any rebounders capable of grabbing ten a  game, with Ben Wallace’s 6.5 and Chris Wilcox’s 4.8 not being nearly enough support.
  • When you trot out a lineup of poor rebounders, your only chance of preventing easy buckets is if you can block shots, or at least change shots with the threat of a rejection.  Also according to, the Pistons recorded the fewest blocks in the league last season, with 4 a game and a bottom eight differential, which can be explained away by our perimeter-oriented offense as it is harder to block a jumpshot than a layup.
  • The Pistons graded out as having a bottom seven front-court overall and the third worst relative to their opponents.  As the Pistons already have Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, and some combination of Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye at the PF position, the remedy to our frontcourt ailment must come in the form of a 5-man.
If it’s not clear that the Pistons need a game-changer on the defensive end, specifically in the post, then I don’t know what else I can do for you.  The Pistons have won three championships as a franchise, and there was at least one rebounding specialist and enforcer in the starting lineup for each.   We need to start two true, effective bigs to have a chance at making any noise in this league.  Greg Monroe is big and strong enough to check the larger centers defensively, but he’s going to need some help on the weak-side and some assistance to alleviate some of his pressure to rebound, allowing him to focus more of his energy on becoming our go-to post scorer.  I think I know just the man for the job…
and this is what he’s capable of at only 18 years old and two years after being discovered as a prospect:
He is a specimen defensively and physically, at 6’8″ without shoes and 6’9.5″ in them, which the NBA will likely round up to a solid 6’10”.  His arms are long enough that he could hug you twice, with a 7’6″ wingspan.  There are no figures on his leaping ability or his agility, but his standing reach of 9’3″ should enable him to contest shots in the paint just by standing tall and raising his arms.  At 245 pounds and an amazing 4.3% body fat, he’s built like a Greek God.  and he’s just 18.
People talk about how much of a project he is-which is true-but I’m not concerned about his inability to hit a jumper-we have Villanueva and Jerebko for that- because he would still satisfy our biggest needs even if he doesn’t improve his game in the slightest; he is programmed to grab rebounds and block shots and bail out his teammates.  Studies have been shown that rebounding and shot-blocking are the two most reliable statistics when projecting a potential draftee’s effectiveness at the next level, with R-values of .8927 and 0.9314, respectively, which indicate a very strong correlation thanks to
 He has the potential to be great but will still contribute if he plateaus early, with his upside being close to that of  a Ben Wallace or Dennis Rodman and his downside being Reggie Evans or Amir Johnson.  Joe Dumars needs to throw us a bone after having us suffer through the past three seasons and select the player that will complement the team and grow with the Pistons.  In summary…
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized


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