Season Recap/Notes: Anthony Tolliver.

Stanley Johnson's recap in case you missed it, and if you missed any others you can follow on a chain from there.

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Follow along with any stats on basketball reference.Any stats that are not readily available there will be linked to individually or otherwise noted.

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The Good:

He shot 36% from 3. It really is that simple lol. Tolly is a shooter, and not much else. He plays hard enough and is a smart enough player that he is a decent enough defender and rebounder. He certainly doesn't really hurt the team in those areas, but in the end, if he is shooting well he is useful, and if he is not shooting well then he is not very useful. He shot at 36% (exactly the same as last season with the Pistons interestingly enough) from deep which is a perfectly respectable number. He was pretty useful. I think he was a bit hampered this season by how bad the rest of the bench was, since he is a guy who needs other people to create open shots for him, but there were still like 4 or 5 games where his ability to get hot and hit several 3s in a row were a pretty decisive point. His role was bigger before the Tobias trade due to SVG wanting to player Ersan lower minutes, combined with Tolly being a more effective defender than Ersan, and Tolly often did really well when playing with the starters. Even though his role shrank a bit towards the end of the season with Harris being able to play heavier minutes combined with the emergence of Reggie Bullock and SVG's refusal to have a 10 man rotation. But the reality is that Tolly was (just like his time with the Pistons last year) pretty close to the perfect bench guy. On the court he is able to be a spark plug type who plays really hard and can occasionally turn the tide with his shooting, and due to him not needing (or in Tolly's case, not being able) to have the ball in his hands, he can slot in with the starters and be just fine. (Obviously it is not ideal having Tolly as a starter or playing in crunch time, but it is ok in small doses.) And off the court he is generally considered one of the best guys in the NBA, and a hard working professional. He can't do much beyond those things, but that is all he was asked to do, and he did it very well.

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The Bad:

It's hard to really say that this is bad, because once again, it's not like Tolly was expected to do more than he did, but it became painfully obvious that Tolly is not capable of doing anything beyond the "Shoot 3s, play hard" role. I actually feel like he did pump and drive a little bit more than he did last season, but that's to say that he actually did it like a couple of times. But the fact is that the bench was absolutely starved of any sort of offensive creation, to the point that if Tolly had any sort of secret tricks stashed away, like any semblance of a post up game, a real pump and drive game, anything really. It would have been a big help. Once again, this should not come as a surprise, he wasn't supposed to be doing more than shoot 3s. It still would have been nice if he had been able to do a little bit more. Also, even though he plays hard and is occasionally useful on defense, I'm going to throw his defense here because overall I think it is not all that good. Once again, hard to complain because no one was claiming him to be a very good defender, but still. (And to be clear, he isn't a bad defender, just not much good.)

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Biggest Answer?

He is in fact capable of playing a real role on a good NBA team. He has been in consistent rotations a few times before, and in Charlotte (the first of their playoff teams a few years ago with Al Jefferson being their best player) they were not a bad team. But it was still a bit of a question if he could really be a solid contributor over the course of a whole season, and he proved that.

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Biggest Question?

Are the Pistons going to keep him? He is a useful player who I would guess would be welcomed back, but the Pistons might sacrifice him to roster space. Especially if SVG makes good on his goal to add a bigger PF/C type who will take more of the minutes at PF. I don't know for sure what he will make this offseason either, and one worry is that he might be worth a low enough number that contenders might come calling his number. (He and Steph Curry are best buds.)

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The Verdict for this year and beyond?

Real solid year for Tolly, he shot 3s, spaced the floor, and played hard. he did exactly what he was brought in to do. As for the future, I do hope that he remains on the team for a while. Get this, despite having been in the NBA since the 08-09 season, and playing in the NBA every single one of those years, (never had a year out of the league or anything) and yet he has already played more games in a Pistons uniform than any other in his career. He is a good dude and I would love if he could sort of become the Pistons version of Udonis Haslem (would be different for many reasons obvoiusly) and just be the culture guy who is still reliable enough to play at least a bit. To be clear, there are bigger fish to fry for the Pistons. And if Tolliver is a casualty in the team improving then so be it, but I would be really sad to see him go.

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These posts are coming pretty fast don't you think?

Yeah they are. And that isn't going to change. I ventured off into the interior of China for like a week (Xi'an to be exact) and didn't do any posts, and I want to get through the player recaps with enough time to look into the draft. (whether its guys the Pistons might pick or guys they might try and use the pick to trade for) Also, the last few will be easier because there is less to talk about with the guys who have smaller roles. So yeah, they will be coming fast and furious.

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What do you think? What was the best thing you saw from Tolly this season? What about the worst? Let me know! We all get smarter!

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If you want to help support me while in China you can do that over here. It is courtesy of the donations so far that I have been able to churn out so many already, and will continue to do so. So thanks to you people.