(last night notwithstanding) the Pistons have obviously gone down a toilet of sorts since the trading deadline. While for those of us (me included) who were hoping to make the playoffs this is a bit of a bummer, however the reality is that the team is still in a rebuild regardless. So what can we (and hopefully SVG) learn about the team following this stretch? I'm planning on doing several of these between now and the end of the season.
Drummond and Moose are going to be a tough long term combination: both Moose and Drummond at this point are basically under the "if you can't touch the net from where you are standing, don't shoot" rules. while Drummond is actually getting better at that hook shot, the reality is that having them both is a spacing nightmare. While Drummond is not actually a total zero for spacing when Monroe drives to the hoop, because if you just come off of Drummond totally (even if he does have some space from the hoop) he is very likely to get the offensive rebound. Also is that Moose is a skilled enough passer to hit Drummond for easy dunks if you leave Drummond open. When Kyle Singler was starting at SF he provided enough space to let this tight space work. The threat of a offensive rebounding monster just outside the lane, and a 40%+ shooter from three at SF. And in this case the SG and PG are generally irrelevant because they are not big enough to be a problem for Moose. Those three at the front court made for just enough space for it to work. Once Singler was replaced by Tayshaun (or when Josh Smith was on the team) not only is it a downgrade at shooting, it is a bad shooter at SF. Causing the barely enough space to evaporate. This means that if the Pistons decide to keep Moose, then the team will NEED to have an elite shooter at SF, (and yes, a SF who shoots 40%+ is elite at the position) and the problem with really good shooters is that they often are bad defenders, a flaw of Singler's that was regularly pointed out around here. It is very difficult to find guys who are really good shooters and really good defenders who are big enough to play SF. The big move of the trade deadline was obviously getting Reggie Jackson so SVG could evaluate and see if Reggie will be a long term piece. However it was also likely a test to see if SVG could slot a better defender into the starting lineup, and see if it would work. It obviously has not worked. So it will be somewhat telling this summer, if the Moose free agency is drawn out, if the Pistons draft/sign an elite shooter who plays SF then it is a decent sign that they hope to keep him. If they draft/sign a elite defender who is not a very good shooter, it is a good sign that Moose is going to be on his way out.
As always this is just what I see, feel free to disagree and let me know what you think!