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Buddahfan

60 Wins This Year?

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Need to win 8 of the remaining 9 games.

We have three games that could be tough

At Philadelphia

Next night at home vs Wiz

Last game of the year at Cleveland

We also play Toronto at home but we should be able to beat them at home.

I think 60 is a long shot, but possible.

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I say no, simply because they have nothing to play for. If they were pushing for home court or a better seed, sure it would be possible. As we get closer to the end, the bench will play more minutes and it wouldn't shock me to see a starter or two come down with "back spasms" or something like that, and sit a game or two.

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Once they officially lock up the 2 seed, there is nothing really to play for unless they want to make sure they have home court for the finals. I predict about 57 wins.

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Early in the season, I said 50-54 wins. It's nice to see they'll probably exceed that, if only by a few games.

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I certainly think the Tigers have a real good shot at 60 wins. I don't think the bullpen will be that bad!

Since its not in color, i'm assuming you misread that and didn't realize it was about the Stones.

The NBA should hand out a trophy for the team with the best season record like the NHL does so that way teams still have something to play til the end instead of just coasting along.

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Since its not in color, i'm assuming you misread that and didn't realize it was about the Stones.

No it was a joke, I don't play the color game.

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I would hope they focus more on setting this team up for the playoffs and getting some people a bit more refreshed for the playoffs other than going for 60 wins.

They also have a ton of games in a short number of days, which will make it tough to do. I think it is 6 games in nine days - something like that.

If they do it, great. But it really matters little.

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I would hope they focus more on setting this team up for the playoffs and getting some people a bit more refreshed for the playoffs other than going for 60 wins.

They also have a ton of games in a short number of days, which will make it tough to do. I think it is 6 games in nine days - something like that.

If they do it, great. But it really matters little.

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Since its not in color, i'm assuming you misread that and didn't realize it was about the Stones.

The NBA should hand out a trophy for the team with the best season record like the NHL does so that way teams still have something to play til the end instead of just coasting along.

Even if the Pistons get to 60 wins, they likely won't have the best record in the league, so a trophy wouldn't help motivate them this year. Besides, I doubt teams play harder to get a regular season trophy. I suspect that if a team plays hard to get the best record, it is to get home court/field/ice advantage and/or favorable seeding.

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I'm not worried about 60 games and I hope the Pistons aren't either.

I would like to see Flip concentrate on figuring something out that he never seems to figure out by the playoffs. Something that most teams have figured out by mid-season at the latest: The rotation.

By now guys should be used to when they're coming off the bench, who they'll be playing with, and how many minutes they'll be getting. They aren't. Even our 6th man, Maxiell, has a ridiculous amount of swing in his minutes. He played less than 5 minutes in a game two weeks ago and played 28 minutes the very next game, then 32 minutes, then all the way back down to 11 minutes. And don't even get me started on Afflalo's minutes. Jarvis' minutes are all over the board as well.

These are the types of things that coaches have figured out by the All-Star break. It allows players to get into a rhythm, they know their role, what's expected of them, what sort of team will play around them, and they can be comfortable and confident. There is none of that with Flip's rotations.

So, that's what I want to see happen in the next 2 weeks. Do I think it will? Based upon history, I seriously doubt it. Flip will run Ratliff for 20 minutes one game, with just 5 minutes for Maxiell, and then reverse that in the very next game just like he did with Webber/Max last year...and I'll be screaming at the TV again...just like last year.

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The rotation isn't going to mean much in the playoffs. Flip doesn't use a rotation, especially in the playoffs. It will be the starters, with short burst of rest provided by Hunter/Ratliff/Hayes probably. Every other players minutes will be based on situations, injuries/fouls.

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The rotation means a lot.

Last year, the Pistons averaged 70 minutes per game off the bench during the playoffs. That's 3+ guys at 20 minutes per game or 4+ guys at 15 minutes. Those are significant minutes and important periods of the game for players to come off of the bench and keep or increase the lead. Flip managed these minutes horribly last year.

All of the talk since the end of last season has been about developing a solid bench both to give our guys rest during the regular season, but also to contribute during the playoffs.

Look at San Antonio, whose bench played over 90 minutes a game in the playoffs last year. Not only that, their benched scored 30 pts/game compared to our 19. That's huge.

Bench play is a key component to any championship run. Of course, what does Flip know about Championships? He'll probably do what he's done all season and give guys choppy minutes, never use a set rotation, and do his best to keep our own players out of sync.

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Since I know the question is coming, this is what I would see as a good playoff rotation:

Guards:

--Billups: 38-40

--Hamilton: 38-40

--Stuckey: 10-12 (mostly backup PG)

--Afflalo: 6-8 (mostly backup SG)

Stuckey has played well backing up Big Shot and he brings an attack-the-basket mentality that we desperately need. Afflalo has done nothing but impress me every time he's hit the court since the begining of the season. I have no clue what Flip has been doing with his minutes all year. He has a great game, then you don't see him for 3 games. In my eyes, he deserves the backup SG minutes. Both of these guys are rookies, so if they're really struggling for a game, then Hunter could be called upon, but that should be the exception rather than the rule.

Small Forward:

--Prince: 38-40

--Jarvis: 8-14

Tay will need a rest here and there. These minutes should give you enough time to find out if Jarvis is hot. His role reminds me a bit of Corliss back in the day. Put him out there, he's going to shoot every time he touches the ball, and in about 4 minutes you'll know whether or not he's "on" that game. If so, give him a couple of extra minutes and maybe some at SG, especially if Afflalo is struggling with rookie-itis that game.

Power Forward:

--Dice: 24

--Max: 24

We are really over-using Dice right now. His minutes are up a ton from last year, and that's probably part of the reason he's slumping right now on offense. His shot looks tired. Max deserves more consistent minutes in the playoffs this year because he brings us something that every Piston said they lacked last year - energy. They both bring an important element to the team, but neither of them are 30 minute a night guys (for opposite reasons) - they should split these minutes.

Center:

--Sheed: 35

--Ratliff: 13

This is about how many minutes Sheed has played in the playoffs for the last few years. Asking more of him wouldn't be smart because he tends to tire. If anything, we might want to lessen it to keep him fresh for the 4th. Ratliff is experienced enough that he can go out there and get boards, bang on defense, blocks some shots, and give Sheed a rest without us losing size on the interior.

That gives you 61-71 minutes, which may not even be enough. Ideally, we would have been running this general rotation for a month or two by now, with guys coming in and out around the same time each game. They'd get used to their role and the lineup around them. In the playoffs, guys could get more time if they were hot, or less time if not, but they'd know their role. They wouldn't worry about not being able to play next game or who's going to be on the wing when they kick it out, or is this going to be the last chance I get to take a shot for three games.

(I think I've hijacked this thread and I didn't intend to. If a mod wants to make this a new thread, feel free and I apologize).

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That looks about right, although I'd rather see Stuckey more in the 12-15 range. Also, with our bigs it's really PF/C and as such I'd like to see them mix in all 5 guys with Sheed getting about 30-33 mins, Max and Dice around 24, and giving the Rattler and Amir the remaining time depending on what's needed(ie energy or solid defense).

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The rotation means something, but for many teams it really changes once you are in the playoffs. I was watching the NBA Finals against San Antonio the other day. I watched games 1 and 3. The rotations for Larry Brown got shorter in both of those games and he wasn't even going to the bench that much during the regular season. And he did the same thing during the first title.

I don't think it's that mandatory that you absolutely need some sort of rotation. I expect we'll see the starters play more and more as the Pistons (hopefully) advance through the playoffs. And I really see nothing wrong with that. The key isn't that the reserves have to play as much as they did during the regular season - the key is they are effective when they get that chance.

Right now the Pistons start putting the bench in with about 2 minutes left in the first quarter. I would expect to see less movement during that first quarter and less of a reserve lineup on the court and more of a mixture - especially as they move on.

Actually Betrayer,

Your post of time is pretty dead on what I'd expect and that would reflect a bit of a change from the regular season.

I'd expect Prince to probably play a little bit more than you suggest here. Probably about 40-42 minutes.

Sheed will play more than that if he doesn't suffer foul troubles.

I think McDyess will maintain his minutes that he played this season - not regress to previous numbers. He'll play 30 minutes a game at least. Maxiel is a high energy guy and I think he's more effective with a bit less minutes than you have posted there.

I think Amir will get opportunities to play as well. He'll probably see action every other day. If he's successful in consecutive showings, he may see more action. If he doesn't he'll see his time lost to Ratliff. As long as the Pistons don't fall flat on their face, he'll get some time.

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I am not concern if they win 60 or not since they are locked into 2nd! my only concern is not playing the bench.. one thing that Pops does in San Antonio is playing everyone, every game.If Flip keeps the starters in 40+ minutes, Joe D will be on him like white on rice..

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The rotation means something, but for many teams it really changes once you are in the playoffs. I was watching the NBA Finals against San Antonio the other day. I watched games 1 and 3. The rotations for Larry Brown got shorter in both of those games and he wasn't even going to the bench that much during the regular season. And he did the same thing during the first title.

I don't think it's that mandatory that you absolutely need some sort of rotation. I expect we'll see the starters play more and more as the Pistons (hopefully) advance through the playoffs. And I really see nothing wrong with that. The key isn't that the reserves have to play as much as they did during the regular season - the key is they are effective when they get that chance.

Right now the Pistons start putting the bench in with about 2 minutes left in the first quarter. I would expect to see less movement during that first quarter and less of a reserve lineup on the court and more of a mixture - especially as they move on.

Actually Betrayer,

Your post of time is pretty dead on what I'd expect and that would reflect a bit of a change from the regular season.

I'd expect Prince to probably play a little bit more than you suggest here. Probably about 40-42 minutes.

Sheed will play more than that if he doesn't suffer foul troubles.

I think McDyess will maintain his minutes that he played this season - not regress to previous numbers. He'll play 30 minutes a game at least. Maxiel is a high energy guy and I think he's more effective with a bit less minutes than you have posted there.

I think Amir will get opportunities to play as well. He'll probably see action every other day. If he's successful in consecutive showings, he may see more action. If he doesn't he'll see his time lost to Ratliff. As long as the Pistons don't fall flat on their face, he'll get some time.

I think that Flip will use the rotation that matches up best against each opponent and depending who is on the court.

For example he has already shown that he wants to play Theo against other big and slow guys like "Z" and prefers to play Amir against quicker and less bulky bigs like Bosh. I think that will continue into the playoffs. I sure hope so because that is the smart thing to do.

The same with the bench guards and small forward. Depending on the matchups will determine which bench guys get the nod.

Our bench is 12 deep when you count Hunter. I think Flipper will use each of the 7 bench guys as the match ups dictate.

Of course that doesn't mean that some guys won't get more minutes like Stuckey, but I don't think it is a given that Flip will use just 8 or 9 guys during the playoffs, not counting any garbage time that may occur.

We shall see.

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Looking at Basketball-reference.com, Flip used the bench a bit more in the playoffs then Brown did.

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I know it's not popular, but I still think this team has been it's own worst enemy for the past 3 years and it has very little to do with the coach. We should have beaten Cleveland with NO COACH on the bench, and to self-destruct, play the blame game and just not play solid fundamental basketball is all on the players. There hasn't been a major cog on the team that doesn't have championship experience, 7 years in the league or more, and doesn't know what they needed to do to win a title. That's probably why I'm a bit less aggressively anti-Flip. As far as I'm concerned, the players are the ones that aren't performing coming playoff time, and the coach is the least of my concerns.

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DaBishop,

I think there's an element of truth in that. I'll say this though. A strong-willed coach would've helped keep that team on-track and focused and helped their chances.

I think there were a few things that came into play last year and equating percentages on this stuff is tough, but these were my factors.

1. Our shift from being a defense-first team to an offense-first squad. Find old threads if you want to know what I mean by this.

2. Lebron being Lebron - but if we didn't have the fundamental shift to the team this may have been less of a factor.

3. The Pistons just not being "motivated" and not taking the Cavs seriously - again it's tough not to be motivated when you do defense first. That requires effort and if you show that effort motivation is generally better. The Pistons looked very much like the Lakers did against the Pistons in the NBA finals. Not willing to put out the effort for a "weaker" foe and an unwillingness to want to do something about it when it was apparent something needed to be done.

4. Our offensive philosphy - just don't work the ball in the post and look for mid- to long-range jumpers. That's easy to defend in the playoffs.

While posting this I guess I got my No. 1 issue - the general shift from a defensive team to an offensive squad.

I thought I saw things this year that attacked some of these issues earlier this season, but they've wavered in recent weeks. The squad was playing better team defense and put more emphasis on its defense earlier this year. But we see points in the paint rising and we see complacency. We saw more post action - at least working the ball in the post before getting our shot more often. We don't see that as much any more either. Actually in recent weeks it seems I see Rip post up more than anyone on the team. I think the younger bench has helped with keeping this team more focused than last year. But I think it's still an issue - particularly in the last 3-4 weeks where we see up and down intensity with every game.

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