Saturday, January 30, 2016

Game Recap #48 - Pistons at Raptors

(25-23) PISTONS 107
(32-15) RAPTORS 111

Box Score


- Improved effort, results to come?  The Pistons were plagued by poor effort on their most recent four game road trip, which saw them lose two winnable games.  While they've lost two straight (to the East's two best teams, no less), I think that the effort has been much improved from where it was about 10 days ago.  So, while the results haven't exactly been encouraging, it would have been unreasonable to expect two wins against Cleveland and Toronto anyways.  The only way there is damage done by these two losses is if the Pistons carry them with them into their game with Brooklyn on Monday.

- Re-establishing the defensive identity. Effort isn't everything on defense though, and the Pistons need to get back to the things that had them among the league's top five or six defensive squads for most of the first half of the season.  Part of the problem of late is an inability to guard without fouling, while the other main issue has been that they're allowing too much dribble penetration.  This team doesn't have enough overall athleticism to rotate successfully and/or switch on a routine basis.  Re-gaining this squad's defensive identity starts on an individual basis.

- No need to panic. While the recent week and a half hasn't exactly gone as planned, the Pistons are still in good shape playoff-wise.  A Pacers win bumped the Pistons down to 8th place in the East, but they sit there 2.5 games up on the Knicks and Hornets.  The Pistons have much better efficiency numbers than both of those teams, have some schedule factors in their favor compared to both, and (in my opinion at least) have a better roster than both teams.  If you're going to worry about missing the playoffs, keep one eye on the Wizards.  Still, I'd say the main focus right now should be on seeding, not about making/missing.

Click "Read More" for tonight's Player Scores...

2016 Mock Draft 1.0

176ersBen SimmonsFFr.LSU6'10240
The obvious pick. There's one guy who looks like he can be a franchise-changing talent in this draft, and it's Simmons.
2NuggetsBrandon IngramFFr.Duke6'9195
The Nuggets have good young players in the frontcourt (Jokic, Nurkic) and the backcourt (Mudiay, Harris), but their SF options are all guys in or nearing their prime. Adding Ingram would change that and add another piece to their core.
3Celtics (via BKN)Dragan BenderPF1997Bosnia7'1215
Boston's got young talent throughout the backcourt, but it's less crowded up front. Bender is probably a bit of a project, but he's got the highest upside with Ingram and Simmons off the board
476ers (via LAL)Kris DunnPGJr.Providence6'4205
The lottery simulation was kind to the Sixers here. With Simmons already in tow, they choose to address their lack of quality and depth at PG. Ish Smith has provided a spark since joining the team last month, but he's not their PG of the future. Kris Dunn can be though.
5SunsJaylen BrownG/FFr.California6'7220
The Suns have a bigger need at PF, but I like Brown ahead of the PF options (Rabb, Ellenson). Plus, Brown would add another high potential talent to a good stable of young wings.
6WolvesIvan RabbPFFr.California6'10220
PF is by far the weakest spot on the Wolves' roster, as KG and Nemanja Bjelica aren't long-term answers. Rabb could be a great complement to Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt.
7PelicansDiamond StoneCFr.Maryland6'10250
New Orleans has to be hoping they get a crack at one of the dynamic wings in this draft (Ingram/Brown), as they could use an upgrade at SF. There isn't a good value SF here though, so they get Anthony Davis a long-term running mate.
8BucksWade BaldwinPGSo.Vanderbilt6'3195
Put simply, MIchael Carter-Williams isn't very good. Baldwin is a boom or bust prospect, but he'd be a good fit with this Bucks team thanks to his shooting.
9KingsBuddy HieldSGSr.Oklahoma6'5215
Furkan Korkmaz or Jamal Murray may be a better long-term play, but the Kings have an impatient front office. Since Hield is more NBA-ready, he's the pick.
10MagicJakob PoeltlCSo.Utah7'0250
The Magic need a rim protector who can spell Nik Vucevic and provide more of a defensive presence. Poeltl has the potential to be just that.
11WizardsHenry EllensonF/CFr.Marquette6'10230
Washington needs more floor spacing and to get younger up front. Ellenson has the skill-set and size to help with both issues.
12JazzJamal MurraySGFr.Kentucky6'5200
Murray is an explosive scorer who can fit alongside whoever's at PG or SF for the Jazz. Depth behind Gobert or another PG could also be sought here.
13HornetsFurkan KorkmazSG1997Turkey6'7195
Korkmaz has the highest upside of the remaining players on the board, and could help Charlotte replace Nic Batum if he leaves in free agency this summer.
14Raptors (via NYK)Domantas SabonisPFSo.Gonzaga6'10240
Luis Scola isn't getting any younger and Patrick Patterson is a role player. The Raptors should be looking to draft a PF, and Sabonis is the best left here.
15Nuggets (via POR)Skal LabissiereCFr.Kentucky7'0225
Labissiere was in the discussion with Simmons before the season. He's been quite underwhelming though, hence the drop. He offers rim protection that Nurkic and Jokic don't.
16Nuggets (via HOU)Dwayne BaconG/FFr.Florida State6'7220
With three potential first round picks, the Nuggets could end up shopping one if they don't want three rookies. If they keep it, adding Bacon would give them another tough wing.
17PacersJonathan JeanneC1997France7'0240
Jeanne fits the Pacers choice to move to a more up-tempo system, as he runs the floor excellently for his size. He and Myles Turner would give Indiana a great shot blocking duo.
18PistonsDemetrius JacksonPGJr.Note Dame6'1195
Spencer Dinwiddie's time with Detroit is running out and the Pistons will likely need to replace Brandon Jennings. Jackson is a good outside shooter and a capable passer, and would make for a great backup to Reggie Jackson.
19Celtics (via DAL)Cheick DialloCFr.Kansas6'9235
Diallo's getting a full dose of the Bill Self freshman treatment, so his minutes have been limited. He may not enter this year; if he does, Boston could use his rim protection.
2076ers (via MIA)Caris LeVertG/FSr.Michigan6'7205
LeVert's got some durability concerns, but when healthy, his well-rounded offensive game and strong outside shooting are a great fit in Philly.
21CelticsTimothe LuwawuSF1995France6'7205
The Celtics have three picks in this scenario, and I would expect them to use on a draft-and-stash guy. Luwawu is the best international propsect on the board here.
22HawksTaurean PrinceSFSr.Baylor6'8220
The Hawks grab a strong outside shooter who can hopefully help bolster the thinnest spot on the roster immediately.
23GrizzliesDamian JonesCJr.Vanderbilt6'10250
The Grizzlies frontcourt is aging faster than any in the league. They've got Marc Gasol locked up on a long-term deal, but they could use some youth behind him.
24BullsDenzel ValentineG/FSr.Michigan State6'6220
The Bulls are pretty well-stocked with young talent throughout the roster, so they grab the best player remaining on the board.
25ClippersTroy WilliamsG/FJr.Indiana6'6195
Williams is an explosive athlete with a lot to offer at both ends of the floor for a Clippers team that needs help on the wings.
26RaptorsVasilis CharalampopoulosSF1997Greece6'8205
The Raptors go the draft-and-stash route.
27Suns (via CLE)Thomas BryantCFr.Indiana6'10245
Bryant's a tough one to get a read on. He could be off the board well before this if he finishes the year strong, or he may wait until next year.
28Sixers (via OKC)Melo TrimbleGSo.Maryland6'2185
As mentioned above, the Sixers need more talent in the backcourt. Trimble fits that billing, and his ability to score suggests he can play off the ball. Could develop into a good sixth man.
29SpursIvica ZubacC1997Bosnia7'0240
Draft-and-stash for the Spurs.
30WarriorsMalik NewmanGFr.MIssissippi St.6'4180
Newman was highly touted coming out of HS. He's had an up-and-down year, but he has the talent to be a successful pro.
31Celtics (via PHI)Alpha KabaF/C1996France6'10225
32LakersGrayson AllenSGSo.Duke6'5205
33NetsIsaiah BriscoeGFr.Kentucky6'3220
34WolvesJustin JacksonSFSo.No. Carolina6'8205
35SunsBrice JohnsonPFSr.No. Carolina6'9225
36Bucks (via NOP)Chinanu OnuakuCSo.Louisville6'10245
37Pelicans (via DEN)DeAndre BembrySFJr.St. Joseph's6'6210
38BucksAleksandar VezenkovF1995Cyprus6'9225
39Pelicans (via SAC)Zhou QiC1996China7'2210
40MagicMonte MorrisPGJr.Iowa State6'3175
41Hawks (via WAS)Petr CorneliePF1995France6'10220
42JazzMarcus LeeF/CJr.Kentucky6'9225
43Magic (via POR/CHI)Nigel HayesPFJr.Wisconsin6'8235
44Thunder (via CHA)George de PaulaPG1996Brazil6'6195
45Rockets (via NYK)Juan HernangomezF1995Spain6'9220
46Wolves (via HOU)Paul ZipserSF1994Germany6'8195
47PacersPascal SiakamPFSo.New Mexico St.6'9230
48PistonsMIchael GbinijeSFSr.Syracuse6'7200
49Celtics (via DAL)Ron BakerSGSr.Wichita St.6'4220
50Celtics (via MIA)AJ HammonsCSr.Purdue7'0270
51Jazz (via BOS)Jarrod UthoffFSr.Iowa6'9210
52HawksMarcus PaigePGSr.No. Carolina6'3180
53Celtics (via MEM)Guerschon YabuselePF1995France6'8240
54BullsGary Payton IIPGSr.Oregon St.6'2190
55ClippersJake LaymanSFSr.Maryland6'9205
56Grizzlies (via TOR)Axel BouteilleG/F1995France6'6195
57Celtics (via CLE)Tyrone WallaceG/FSr.California6'6205
58ThunderDanuel HouseSFSr.Texas A&M6'7205
59Kings (via SAS)Rade ZagoracSF1995Serbia6'8205
60Jazz (via GSW)Georges NiangFSr.Iowa State6'9235