So, Who’s Finishing? Featuring More Questions Than Answers


Alright, here’s what’s been bouncing around in my head lately while waiting for an earth shattering Piston trade to happen (rumor has it I’m pretty gullible).

Pistons have four very capable finishers but only three spots to play them at ( or four-depends if coach wants to be able to rebound) . The only player who is essentially guaranteed crunch time minutes is Ben Gordon, who we all know has solidified himself throughout the years as a lethal finisher. It goes without saying that Gordon is one of the poster boys for heating up in the fourth and winning a ball game, even if throughout the first three quarters he goes one for nine. Sooner or later the traffic light is turning green—it’s just how things work.

Now, let’s assume Stuckey is consistently playing well, staying aggressive, looking for his own shot at the right time, not turning the rock over–all the attributes of a quality point guard. We will then assume Stuckey is the point guard in crunch time.

So that leaves us with prototypical shooting guard Rip and prototypical small forward Prince. Is Rip more likely to see crunch time minutes, or is Tayshaun? Don’t both players deserve to be out there in virtually every crunch time situation? Will Kuester opt to try a faster lineup with Tay at the 4 instead? Is having too many back court options a bad thing?  Can Detroit actually compete down the stretch of games with a frontline of Prince and Villanueva?

It’s hard to imagine the Pistons holding their own on the glass with Charlie as their only big on the court. Unless Kuester elects to sit Stuckey down in favor of a big, I see no resolution to this quandary.

Of course Tayshaun Prince can handle the point guard duties quite well, but really does not provide much of a penetration game. Of course, I say that knowing that with Gordon and Hamilton on the floor penetration is not exactly a premium need.  Give Gordon the ball and watch him go, give Rip some screens to slither around, it’s all good. Yet, as all experienced pro basketball fans realize, too much one-on-one jump shooting action can stagnate the offense. Whether or not Stuckey is actually a competent point guard Detroit can rely on, that’s to be determined–but the penetration he provides is invaluable and can sometimes be the perfect medicine for a largely jump shooting reliant squad.

Speaking of penetration…

The wrinkle in all of this could be Will Bynum. Will he get the crunch time nod if he starts tearing people up? Not saying I’m concerned about that happening, I always welcome the Bynumite going off, but I’m worried this team just has too many offensive minded guards for their own good and how Kuester can keep them all peppy is going to be a wail of a task in my mind.

In reality the Pistons crowded back court situation is not much different than a lot of teams, but this is a young group led by a rookie coach… under Joe Dumars, The Weakest Link lady of the entire NBA.  Good Luck John!

I hope this will end well. Kuester seems like he has a good, intelligent basketball mind.

At least he’s got this going for him: he won’t be given a spoiled egomaniac to babysit just days into his first season as a NBA head coach.

Off to a nice start.