The Pistons are a bad team, but they are worse than they need to be. And it looks like their is finally pressure coming down on the team to do something about it’s starting lineup. It seems like their is almost an unspoken truth regarding the Pistons that because the team would like to move veterans Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton to new teams (the players feel likewise), Detroit will keep them in the starting lineup no matter how many blown defensive assignments, poor shooting nights, dribbling the air out of the basketball, arguments with coaches or ejections. What little trade value there is left must be protected, and we all must just wait for better days.
But those days might be over.
After the Pistons latest shellacking, a 105-84 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, which included surrendering 68 points in the paint and a third-quarter collapse, two Motown trademarks lately, the chorus for changing the lineup grows. A change could come in a few ways. Putting rebounding machine Greg Monroe or most-improved player Charlie Villanueva in the starting lineup for the overmatched Austin Daye/undersized Jason Maxiell is quite popular. But nothing drives Pistons fans crazy more than the fact that a petulant and underperforming Richard Hamilton gets the starting nod over Ben Gordon, who has been shooting lights out the entire season.
From Vincent Goodwill:
Searching for a spark for a team that’s lost four of five after seemingly righting the ship, Kuester could turn to Hamilton’s backup, Ben Gordon, as a starting option.
“It’s a possibility,” Kuester said of a change. “We have to look at that very strongly. I really felt good about how we came into the half.”
That’s not to say that Hamilton is the entire reason for the Pistons’ struggles; far from it. In fact, Kuester, already manning a ship on the brink of mutiny, was emphatic about not singling out anyone for blame. But if we’re to take Kuester at his word in the preseason that roles were going to be earned and not given this year then it is clearly time for Ben Gordon to be the starting shooting guard, and for him to get all the minutes and shots that role entails.
Hamilton has a meager true shooting percentage of just 49.6 percent this season, while Gordon 63.1 percent mark, the highest of his career. And while Gordon needs only 9.7 shots to get his 14.1 points per game, Hamilton needs 11.3 to score 12.7.
As Vince Ellis wrote in a recent piece: “That might not reverse the team’s fortunes, since no one knows the team’s identity. Is it a halfcourt-offense bunch or a group looking to run? But it appears time has run out on the current way of doing things.”