Monday, July 28, 2014

Andre Drummond, Team USA and the FIBA World Cup

Over the weekend, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin both withdrew from Team USA mere days before training camp began.  While the rest of this nation's basketball fans likely see this as bad news, Pistons fans should be looking up.  With Love and Griffin out of the running, two roster spots just opened up, and Andre Drummond's chances to make the roster went from "longshot" to borderline "sure thing".  With only DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis in camp as established big men, Drummond is almost certain to get one of the remaining post spots on the roster.  More on what the roster might look like later, but this is one of the more exciting off-season developments the Pistons have had in a while.  The FIBA World Cup is the perfect stage for Andre Drummond to put anybody in the world who doesn't already know on notice that he's one of the best young big men on the planet.  It looks like he'll be getting the chance to do just that.

Click "Read More" for a breakdown on Drummond's chances to make Team USA...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Listen to Your Chart: D.J. Augustin

D.J. Augustin's career hasn't followed the optimal path of a 9th overall pick.  After being selected by Charlotte in the 2008 draft, Augustin has only managed two above average seasons (as measured by PER, an inexact science) in the league, between stints with three different teams.  Following four inconsistent seasons on his rookie contract with Charlotte, Augustin signed a one year deal with the Pacers during the 2012 off-season.  He was handed the keys to the backup PG job with Indiana, appearing in 76 games, but with little success.  Left with few options entering the 2013 off-season, Augustin signed a one-year, $1.27M deal with the Raptors.  He failed to click in Toronto, appearing in 10 games and shooting 29% before he was cut loose in December.  Out of necessity, the Bulls gave Augustin a shot to fill a job in their desolate backcourt.  He wouldn't disappoint, providing Chicago with the kind of play that people expected when he was taken 9th overall in '08.  At age 26, Augustin posted the highest PER of his career (16.8) over the final 61 games of the season.  His stellar play led to a two year, $6M deal with the Pistons this offseason, and will likely man the backup PG spot behind the volatile Brandon Jennings this season.  If Augustin can provide the Pistons with the same dynamic scoring he gave Chicago last year, he could prove to be one of the biggest value signings of the off-season.  Whether or not he can do that will likely depend on if he can replicate his shooting success from last season, which was predicated on success at the rim and from the perimeter.

Click "Read More" for the rest of the shot chart analysis...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Listen to Your Chart: Jodie Meeks

As Stan Van Gundy's first free agent signing, Jodie Meeks represents the changing of the guards in the Pistons front office.  Not just because he was SVG's first free agent addition, but also because his game fits a different mold than what was targeted during Joe Dumars' tenure.  Meeks has a new-age game, with an offensive style that reflects the changes brought on by the advent of shot charts, True Shooting Percentage and basketball analytics.  Last season with the Lakers, Meeks put up a career-high in TS% at 60.1%, thanks to a strong year beyond the arc and in the paint.  Let's take a look at how he did it, and why Jodie Meeks represents a shift in ideology for Pistons basketball, which should bode well for the future.
 
Click "Read More" for THE FUTURE....