What I *AM* Learning 3 Games In (Pistons).

As opposed to Thursday’s What I *THINK* we learned after one Pistons game.

– Those potential spacing issues that evvvvvvvvveryone was concerned about with a front court  jammed with a 6’9″ guy at SF and essentially two seven footers have not been so apparent.

That’s good and bad.

There’s no lane clogging going on because Josh Smith has been all too happy to float out by the 3 point line. That’s good (when they go in) and awfully bad (when they usually don’t). Smith is firing up over 7 three points attempts per game, and shooting just 27% on those shots. It is what it’s going to be, because that’s his career 3 point average. He’s never shot more than 2.6 per game in a season, so it’s coming down from over 7, but it needs to be down, way down, and soon.

On the good side, when Smith has gotten near the lane he’s be a deft passer, usually to Drummond or Monroe who quietly roamed the baseline and into layup position as defenders converged on Smith’s approach to the lane.

– Monroe and Smith have had 28(!) turnovers in 3 games. Unacceptable. Lemme throw Drummond in, and your front court has you at 10 lost possessions per game. The NBA average last was about 14 a game. After the Friday night game in Memphis I longed for the return of Brandon Jennings. He was back for 31 minutes last night. Jennings, never to be confused with Tony Parker or Chris Paul, can at least be a stable offensive engineer when he’s on the court. As opposed to everyone but Drummond attempting to initiate the offense. It was a careless wreck. Through 3 games, only Boston turns it over more than the Pistons’ 20 per game.

– It’s super early, and it doesn’t take much to derail a season – especially with potentially volatile guys like Smith and Jennings – but the Pistons fought IN Memphis on Friday night like I hadn’t seen in a long time. Previous Pistons teams could’ve easily packed it in at different points at the Grizzlies home opener. But for 48 minutes, the Pistons were equal to a top Western Conference team from last year.

– Jennings return last night came at the expense of minutes for KCP. He didn’t play a second. 8 to 10 of the 44 that Bynum and Stuckey played against the Celtics have to go KCP’s way. Especially since he hasn’t embarassed himself too badly in his first two official professional games. Everyone is aware of the Gores playoff edict, but I don’t think it’s impossible to achieve THAT and get the rookie minutes.

– With the Pistons on the verge of blowing another double digit lead, this time late, and losing to the lowly Celtics, I hoped to see Billups out to settle things. Even if it was just for a possession. I know he’s a defensive liability, but isn’t he there to be a coach and calming influence on the court?

– I’m cool with the MOTOR CITY on the Pistons Sunday home jerseys, but the dark blue is pointless.


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