Detroit Pistons’ starting lineup isn’t the problem

Many Pistons fans have begun to question whom John Kuester has started 10 of the last 12 games:

  • PG: Chucky Atkins
  • SG: Rodney Stuckey
  • SF: Jonas Jerebko
  • PF: Jason Maxiell
  • C: Ben Wallace

But the starting lineup isn’t the cause of Detroit’s problems.

First, the Pistons are 5-5 (.500) with those starters. They’re 6-12 (.333), otherwise.

But let’s dig a little deeper. That starting lineup has outscored its opponent by a combined score of 113-106 before Detroit first substituted.

And the lineup has outscored its opponents, 86-83, before the Pistons’ first sub of the second half (in nine games, because a different lineup started the second half against the Bulls on Dec. 2).

And to make sure one or two outliers aren’t tainting those numbers, imagine the game ended once the Pistons made their first substitution of each half. They’d be 4-4-2 in the first half and 4-3-2 in the second.

Also consider starting those five means more talented players will play against other teams’ benches later, and it makes even more sense.

Yesterday, I advocated for changing the starting lineup. But that was more to send a message that what’s happening doesn’t fly. And maybe a small tweak would make the Pistons’ starters even better.

But their current starting lineup works just fine.

  • For a breakdown of this lineup’s half-by-half performance before Detroit’s first substitution in each game, see below the jump.


        First Half   Second Half  
Date   Opponent   Detroit Opponent Detroit Opponent
Nov. 29   Atlanta Hawks W 15 13 10 10
Dec. 2 @ Chicago Bulls L 4 10    
Dec. 4   Milwaukee Bucks W 17 12 8 4
Dec. 6   Washington Wizards W 4 6 2 2
Dec. 9 @ Philadelphia 76ers W 6 6 16 10
Dec. 10   Denver Nuggets W 6 9 15 13
Dec. 16 @ New Orleans Hornets L 18 18 9 14
Dec. 18 @ Oklahoma City Thunder L 22 14 6 8
Dec. 20   Los Angeles Lakers L 9 5 13 12
Dec. 22 @ Charlotte Bobcats L 12 13 7 10
    Total   113 106 86 83