Basketball season is a little over a week away, five nights of basketball will surely keep everybody busy. The Pistons will open their season on the road against the Denver Nuggets Oct.29th.
Pistons forward Greg Monroe will not be available for the team’s first two games because of a DUI conviction last season. After a disappointing 29-53 finish last season, including Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings being new acquisitions, critics are skeptical that the Pistons “Big 3” will work out.
The Big 3 consists of forwards Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, and center Andre Drummond, three highly skilled rebounders at their respective positions. There is however one very big problem when all three are on the floor together, lack of floor spacing.
All three players are not known for the ability to space the floor and create shots for other teammates. While Monroe is a highly skilled power forward, his inability to knock down the open jumper makes him a one-dimensional player. It makes him become predictable when being guarded and it takes away from the flow of the offense. Now, Josh Smith maybe the best all-around player of the three, but he has the flaw of playing outside of his game too often. If he cannot get his way going to the basket, he begins shooting three-pointers where is a career 27 percent from that range.
Lastly there is Andre Drummond, he has the potential to become the best center in the league. He has the athletic ability to crash the boards, run the floor like a guard, and play the passing lane to generate turnovers. The problem with him is his lack of progression in his post-up game and his free-throw shooting. Last season, Drummond shot 44 percent from the free-throw line and that was when teams used the “Hack-a-Drummond” technique to send him to the free-throw line.
That strategy worked as it was difficult to use him in late game situations and forced coaches to sit him, losing their best rebounder. Finally his post-game is very flawed because he does not have one to begin with. He scores most of points off of rebounder and alley-oops, but eventually that strategy is not always the best one during fourth quarter.
Coach Stan Van Gundy has a lot cut out for him because with these three players, yes you’re getting excellent rebounders. The big problem is that all three cannot create enough offense for themselves and all are not great free-throw shooter, Smith shot 54 percent last year. With additions like Jodie Meeks and DJ Augustine to help out with the outside shooting, but will that be enough? Time will before a move has to be made to make the team better and it may have to start with trading away one of the “Big 3”.