Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - Page 3
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.
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Eric (Livonia, Mich.): I feel it is likely that Monroe, Jerebko and Stuckey will be starting for the Pistons next year. That leaves two question marks. I would start Daye at shooting guard and Villanueva at small forward. Do you see it that way?
Langlois: That’s a call for the coaching staff, Eric, but my guess is most coaches would have trepidation about starting that combination at the wings because of defensive considerations. If Miami is the new gold standard in the East and you’re looking to field a lineup that best matches up with the Heat, would you feel comfortable with Charlie V on LeBron James and Austin Daye on Dwyane Wade to start a game? What about Charlie guarding Paul Pierce and Austin guarding Ray Allen? Charlie would have a tough time guarding a number of starting small forwards. His calling card in the NBA is his versatile scoring ability at power forward. He’s not likely to ever be an All-Defense candidate, but he has a much better shot at holding his own against power forwards than most small forwards. I think Daye can be a solid defender against either position group, but probably best against small forwards – they’re less likely to be running around a series of screens, a la Allen or Hamilton – using his length to his advantage, once he gains both a little more strength and the experience of understanding the games of those he’s asked to guard. He’ll struggle with the best at either spot. Who doesn’t? But I won’t rule out your starting lineup as a possibility for this reason: Jerebko would be equipped to guard most small forwards.
Josh (Pinckney, Mich.): Whatever happened to Mac Koshwal? I thought he had a good shot of making the team. If we don’t re-sign Chris Wilcox, do you see him potentially coming back to play for the Pistons in Summer League again?
Langlois: Koshwal played in Spain last season, Josh. If the Pistons had taken anyone to training camp with them last season other than their drafted players, it would have been Koshwal or Edgar Sosa. He had a very live body at 6-foot-9 and showed promise as a rebounder and defender. But he was very raw and foul prone and he’ll soon be 24. As for Summer League this year, it doesn’t seem very likely it will happen. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Koshwal surface somewhere. He impressed the Pistons with his attitude and work ethic.
Isaac (Flint, Mich.): There has been a lot of speculation about Minnesota trading the No. 2 pick. If the Pistons were to trade a veteran for that pick and draft Derrick Williams, how do you think he’d fit with our team? People say he’s a power forward, but I don’t see it. I see a rich man’s Corliss Williamson, a bruising kind of guy. Putting him at power forward is like putting Al Horford at center – both talented but undersized for those positions.
Langlois: Williams measured at 6-foot-8¾ and 248 pounds with a 7-foot-1½ wing span in Chicago – that’s not undersized in my book to play power forward. Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki cause everyone matchup problems, but they’re the exception. Williams is plenty big enough to guard 95 percent of power forwards who are big-time post scoring threats – if he’s willing to take on the challenge of playing that spot. That’s the biggest issue, in my mind. There is room for debate here – while most NBA scouts who’ve spoken on this issue believe he can be a star at power forward or just another guy at small forward, others see it differently – but the bottom line is how Williams sees himself. If he resists the notion of playing power forward – and that rally means if he’s not enthused about the challenge of defending at that spot every night – then it won’t work. The question of Williams’ fit with the Pistons is fun to imagine, but ultimately moot. I don’t see a logical fit with the Pistons and Minnesota at No. 2 this year. By the way, I’ve heard other scouts compare Williams to Williamson – but that changed over the course of his sophomore season when he also showed shooting range that Williamson never developed.
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