Analyzing the 2010-11 Detroit Pistons

I’m slowly slogging through the individual player win/loss calculations for the just completed 2010-11 season.  This year I am breaking down the numbers down a little further so that people can see both the player’s personal Win Score production and the Win Score production of the players that player defended. It has made things a little slower.

Because there are a lot of PistonNation readers, I prioritized the Detroit Piston Win Chart, and I unveil it now (Here is a Step-by-Step explanation of the information contained in each column of the Chart, including information explaining how each column is calculated):

T Prince 6.97 7.89 -0.46 0.424 4.5__6.1 -0.8
G Monroe 14.58 13.54 0.52 0.591 5.4__3.8 0.8
R Stuckey 6.57 7.72 -0.57 0.405 3.6__5.4 -0.9
B Gordon 3.98 5.57 -0.79 0.368 3.2__5.4 -1.1
T McGrady 8.64 6.98 0.83 0.643 4.4__2.5 0.9
C Villanueva 8.73 13.57 -2.42 0.092 0.6__6.3 -2.9
R Hamilton 4.39 6.72 -1.16 0.305 1.9__4.3 -1.2
A Daye 8.03 11.31 -1.64 0.224 1.3__4.7 -1.7
B Wallace 13.95 13.08 0.44 0.577 2.9__2.2 0.4
W Bynum 4.31 7.93 -1.81 0.195 0.9__3.7 -1.4
C Wilcox 13.17 12.28 0.44 0.578 2.4__1.7 0.4
J Maxiell 6.45 14.16 -3.85 -0.151 (-0.6)__4.4 -2.5
D Summers -2.77 13.21 -7.99 -0.853 (-0.7)__1.5 -1.1
  7.4615385 10.304615 -1.42 MWS: 29.8__52.2 -11.1
        PYTH: 32.4__49.6  
        ACTUAL: 30.0__52.0  

Pistons have too many underperformers

At the beginning of the season I predicted the Pistons would win 32.4 games.  By Dean Oliver’s simple Pythagorean, the Pistons should have won 32.2 games.  So I was nearly dead-on with my call. I really missed, however, on two of the Pistons young players. 

Based upon his college resume, I thought Greg Monroe would be awful.  He was actually quite good.  And I thought for sure Austin Daye would have a breakout season.  He did not.  He may be a permanent underperformer.

Which brings me to another topic.  The Pistons roster is littered with underperformers, and features virtually no “above 0.500%” win producers.  The cumulative roster produced only 2.5 wins above 0.500% and (-13.6) wins above 0.500%.  That is a roster you cannot go forward with.  It needs to be completely dismantled. (With the exception of Greg Monroe and Jerebko, who never played this season)

The free agent signings of a couple of seasons ago — Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva — have proven disastrous.  Villanueva is the team’s “Most Harmful Player” with (-2.9) wins above 0.500% and Ben Gordon is not far behind with (-1.1) wins above 0.500%.  How much money did Joe Dumars shell out for those two chumps?  You can find below average players anywhere, and Dumars is paying top dollar to these guys??

Players I Got Right

I estimated win percentage correctly on 46% of the Pistons (if its within 0.100 I call it correct).  I estimated correctly on Prince, Stuckey, McGrady, Hamilton, Wallace, and Bynum.  I’m most proud of the McGrady estimation, because I don’t think many people figured him as an above average win producer, but he was.  I came close to nailing his numbers exactly.

I missed badly on Monroe, as I wrote above, and on Daye.  I also missed badly on Charlie Villanueva.  He normally produces right where I had him estimated, but this season his production declined dramatically.

One final note.  Jason Maxiell is a complete enigma.  He used to be one of those secret win producers, but now he is just awful.  I’m not completely sure why his career took such a trajectory.  Oh, and DaJuan Summers has never provided any evidence that he is an NBA level player.  The Pistons need to get rid of him.


2 Responses to “Analyzing the 2010-11 Detroit Pistons”

  1. brgulker Says:


    I read this via my mobile device the day you posted it but haven’t managed to comment until today.

    Great work! Thanks for taking the time to work through the Pistons’ data set.

    The thing that is most surprising to me here is actually Rodney Stuckey. I work with the traditional Wins Produced numbers, which put Stuckey just slightly below average. What I’ve perceived from watching the games, though, is that he appears to be a very solid defender this year … but your numbers have him being outproduced. I find that surprising.

    And that leads me to a question, which you’ve probably addressed via a post somewhere before: how much of the OppWS do you think should be attributed directly to the individual vs. the team as a whole?

    I ask because WP typically treats defense as a mostly team activity, and subjectively, when I assess the Pistons’ defense this summer, I would say it was a poor team effort. I think I would also add that the perimeter defenders on the Pistons probably look worse via your metric than they are, due to the fact that we had no interior defense (Charlie V played big minutes for us, for crying out loud!).


  2. Gabe Says:

    Thanks for doing this work Ty! I’ll co-sign with Mr. Gulker that it’s always interesting/surprising to see the subtle differences between your numbers and Berri’s traditional WP.

    Sadly these numbers match my subjective eye-ball analysis almost exactly.

    Definitely a good call on McGrady. I had never watched him too closely in the past, but I was really surprised at his extremely high bball IQ. It’s a shame he couldn’t have been traded to a contending team at the deadline.

    I think Daye has really gotten screwed by the Pistons glut of mediocre guards. IMO Daye’s proper position might be as a way oversized SG. His length helps him compensate for not being as quick as typical SG’s, and with his lack of bulk playing on the perimeter actually allows him to make more of an impact on the glass and blocking shots. Daye’s rebounding has actually tracked upward when he’s played at SF rather than PF, I think it might track even slightly higher if he was played extensively at SG.

    As for Stuckey… us Pistons fans have debated him for years at this point. Personally, I can’t help but kinda wish he’d just flamed out. Having Stuckey develop into an almost exactly average player has left basically nobody satisfied.

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