Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, April 7, 2011 - Page 2
Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois answers your questions about the Pistons and NBA. Click here to submit your questions - please include your name, email address and city/state on the form. Return to the Mailbag homepage.
We reserve the right to edit your question for the sake of brevity or clarity.
Richard (Mililani, Hawaii): Do you think we should look for a point guard for our first pick in the draft? Also, do you think the team will get sold next week when the season ends?
Langlois: All depends on where they land in the lottery, Richard. If they get the No. 1 pick, Kyrie Irving – who, according to the latest, will not only enter the draft but hire an agent – could very well be the pick because he seems to be the consensus top player in the draft. But if they get the No. 2 pick and Irving goes first, there’s not another point guard considered in that class. If they land at No. 7 or 8 and Kemba Walker is still on the board, then they will have to decide if they see a point guard or a shooting guard in a point guard’s body when they evaluate Walker. I don’t know that anyone else would push his way into the equation at this point.
Boris (Troy, Mich.): When Rasheed Wallace left Detroit, Joe Dumars stated his desire to have a locker room free of insubordinate players. Rodney Stuckey has been benched for a third time, I believe, this season for refusing to enter a game at Coach Kuester’s direction. Do the Pistons still consider an underachieving Stuckey to be a building block?
Langlois: Joe Dumars has never labeled Stuckey an underachiever, so let’s start with that. I also don’t recall him phrasing it quite as you put it upon Wallace’s departure, though for the sake of argument, I think every GM in the league wants a locker room free of insubordinates, so let’s go with your premise. Dumars isn’t one to put himself in the middle of the coach-player or coach-team dynamic, because to do so sets a dangerous precedent and can serve to cut the coach off at the knees even if the intention is to clear his table of all problems. As recently as February, Joe D pretty convincingly told me he fully intends to bring back Stuckey next season, in the face of his pending restricted free agency. If something has changed, perhaps we’ll get a sign when Dumars talks to the media once the season ends, as he customarily does.
Steve (Clare, Mich.): Help me understand what factors can make a player like Ben Gordon, who was one step away from being an All-Star and the player who could take over games, become a role player again. Is he injured? Has he lost confidence? Does he only function well in a system with a great point guard?
Langlois: I’m trying to find someone who can help me understand Gordon’s plight, Steve. There is no reason to believe he’s injured this season; he clearly was a year ago, spraining his ankle severely in November and eventually requiring surgery to remove bone chips. Has he lost confidence? He says no, but a consistent lack of accustomed success has to play on the mind in some fashion. Does he only function well next to a great point guard? There was nothing in his Chicago history to indicate such. He played next to Kirk Hinrich, a nice player but hardly a classic point guard, let alone a great one, for most of his time in Chicago, but also had success playing next to the underwhelming Chris Duhon. His numbers stayed relatively the same when he played next to Derrick Rose in Rose’s rookie season, when Rose showed flashes but was a long way from the MVP candidate he is today. We’ve documented the lack of success Gordon has had when Rip Hamilton has also been healthy and playing, so it’s fair to at least wonder whether Hamilton’s presence makes Gordon press to some degree.
Ryan (Ypsilanti, Mich.): How do you feel about Eddy Curry?
Langlois: Just as ex-Bulls coach Scott Skiles did – exasperated, mostly, by the distance between Curry’s potential and his production. When Skiles was once asked what Curry, with paltry rebounding numbers, could do to improve as a rebounder, Skiles tersely replied, “Jump.” That about sums it up.
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3