I highly recommend this read if you interested in a different perspective on how we can improve. I took a good amount of time and thought on this topic and really believe it's an important aspect in winning games in the NBA. I numbered the topics I cover below to make it easier to read. Here is the outline of this thread:
1. Beginning statement/Main idea of the article.
2. The top 16 team's stretch big men with quick descriptions on their individual impact.
3. Where the Pistons stand compared to these teams.
4. Advice to Dumars
1. Currently, every top NBA team have a big man who can stretch the floor from at least 10 to 15 ft from the basket. Obviously, these top teams have more than just these players that are key to their success. Although, it's clear that without these players, the teams would clearly be less successful. Let's look at each of the top 16 teams' PF/C in the league to prove my point.
2. • Thunder - Serge Ibaka - Team obviously lead by Durant but Ibaka provides elite defense and a mid range shot that he can consistently make.
• Pacers - David West - Doesn't have to score big numbers thanks to the well built
team, although, his mid range shot adds that extra element that every elite team
• Spurs - Tim Duncan - Best PF to ever play, does it all for his team but his excellent
mid range game solidifies the Spurs near perfect team.
• Heat - Chris Bosh - Skilled offensive player who was important to LeBron winning his first couple of rings due to his versatility and range on his shot.
• Trail Blazers - LaMarcus Aldridge - Key piece to the Blazers success because of his
extremely efficient offensive game. Best 15 ft shooting PF in the game.
• Clippers - Blake Griffin - He's been able to lead his team to W's without CP3 thanks
to his multiple ways to score. Starting to have a consistent shooting touch from mid range. Key to the Clips success.
• Rockets - Terrence Jones - Obviously not the main reason to their success but he
has fit perfect next to Dwight. Jones is able to stay out of the paint on offensive possessions to make space for Dwight and shoot it if needed.
• Suns - Channing Frye/Markieff Morris - Two very good shooters from not only 10-15
but from behind the arc. They add a great dynamic to the guard led team.
• Warriors - David Lee - Smart player when he receives the ball in the 10-15 ft range.
He will drive/post up/shoot it on you.
• Mavericks - Dirk Nowitzki - Another hall of famer at the PF position that we all know.
Key to the Mavs success.
• Grizzlies - Zach Randoph/Marc Gasol - Maybe the perfect combo at PF and C. Both stretch the floor and that's why they have seen the playoffs often.
• Raptors - Patrick Patterson/Jonas Val - JVal has a shot but doesn't use it quite often. Patterson keeps teams honest with his shot ability. Guard powered team.
• Hawks - Paul Millsap/Al Horford - Two very mobile and skill big men that can play offense from anywhere within the arc. Millsap has even added a 3pt shot. Keys to Hawks success.
• Wizards - Nene Hilario - The Wiz are a guard led team but Nene's versatile offense
adds a punch.
• Bulls - Carlos Boozer - Emotional anchor for the Bulls. Keeps his team strong mentally and his 15 ft baseline shot is deadly.
• T'Wolves - Kevin Love - The ultimate stretch PF who can shoot from anywhere on the court. He is the key to their success
3. With the players above in mind, think of the Pistons roster, who actually do have loads of talent. Use the Pistons as an example of why a big man who can stretch it to 10 or 15 ft is so important. They have the versatile Josh Smith but he hasn't been able to hit his shot on an consistent basis this year. Greg Monroe really has no mid range shot at all and neither does Andre. Thus, the paint becomes overly packed when Drummond already resides there with his defender making our offense very predictable.
There isn't quite a player like any of ones I listed above. Greg Monroe is a great center who excels under the basket, though it is problematic because that is exactly where Andre Drummond needs to be. Josh Smith has shown signs of how good he can be when he keeps his offensive game within the 15 ft range but that's extremely hard to maintain when he's required to play SF.
4. My advice to the Joe Dumars is to find that package deal in which Monroe is shipped and you can bring in that player that slides Smith to PF and fills the vacancy at SF. This trade package could be centered around Arron Afflalo, Harrison Barnes, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, or maybe even Danny Granger. Another suggestion is to find a package deal for a PF to play next to Drummond who is a consistent mid or 3 point range shooter. My preferences would be Kevin Love, Nikola Vucevic, Ersan Ilyasova, Spencer Hawes, or Ryan Anderson.
Eventually the "promise, youth, and potential" factor has to be thrown out the window on Greg Monroe and realize, what ya see is what ya get. The pairing of Monroe and Drummond just won't work unless Monroe can space the floor. If we resign Monroe, we could be waiting around a long time for that to happen.
Come on Dumars, why does it require a FAN to realize this? If you want to win without a surefire all star/superstar, though I think Drummond is close, you need to be able to construct a suitable team.