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I figure Casey is still waiting for guys like Duren and Bagley and Burks to return so he can evaluate before making major rotation changes, especially in the starting line-up. I would guess around the 20-25 game mark, any changes to the starting line-up or decisions like permanently benching Hayes won't happen until then.

 

But I also started this thread to address the Stewart/Bagley conversation I was having with betrayer instead of constantly bumping the Bucks game thread.

I wanted to focus on Isaiah Stewart as a three point shooter and how it impacts the offense. One argument is that his shooting threes helps create spacing and balances the offense. I argue it does neither. Stewart shooting occasional threes actually does very little for the offense whether he makes them or not. Casey and the coaching staff are encouraging him to shoot them when he's open but he's still only attempting a couple a game. Maybe once in a great while he'll attempt 5-6. He's still not going to make more than 1-2 threes a game on most nights. And defenses will continue to be content with him making 1-2 threes and then playing off to help guard his teammates.

Towards the end of last season, Stewart went three for three from three point range in a game. Any good shooter, any legitimate shooter makes his first three attempts from distance, they're not ending the game three for three. They're taking at least another three even if they miss them all. They're more likely to go three for six, three for eight than go three for three and then stop shooting. That's why him shooting doesn't do anything for the offense. Defenses will not defend him honestly unless he's a true scoring threat. Cade gets hot, Saddiq gets hot, they're liable to drop 30-35 points. Stewart gets hot from three, he's liable to make three three pointers and drop 13 points. That doesn't scare opposing teams.

Stewart's offense is not good enough for opposing teams to guard him. They'll let him shoot open jumpers. And because he's small and doesn't jump at an elite level, he doesn't finish at the rim at a high percentage and they block him at the rim a lot. For his career, Stewart shoots 61.2% at the rim. Not terrible. But big men finishers often shoot 70% plus at the rim. Case in point, Bagley for his career shoots 72.4% at the rim. Legitimate scoring threat at the rim.

When Stewart becomes closer to a idk 38-40% three point shooter and consistently takes 7-8 three attempts a game forcing defenses to respect it, then him shooting threes will impact how the offense will create spacing and balance. Until that happens, the impact of him shooting threes on the offense is insignificant.

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If the criteria for spacing the court was 38-40% on 7 attempts per game, no teams would have spacing because there are only so many Klay Thompson's in the league. Defenses still have to respect players with a far lower percentage (for example, Saddiq Bey) and far less attempts (for example, Corey Joseph) - and if they don't respect them, then those guys are getting wide open shots which is also good outcome for that possession.

Remember, the point of spacing isn't necessarily to create space in the lane, the point is to find an open look for one of your players because they're too spread apart for the defense to recover and contest after it gets shifted. That open shot could be from the lane, but it could also be from three which is also an acceptable (and sometimes better) result.

The Pistons have a problem with rebounding and interior defense. They're 5th worse in defensive rebounding. They're 5th worst in opponents second chance points. They're 3rd worst in points allowed in the paint. They're 5th worst in blocks. Conversely, their offensive rating is actually a little better than last year. My proposal was to try Stew+Duren in the starting lineup to mitigate some of the paint issues. You've proposed starting Bagley+Duren, to which I responded that it would result in both worse offense and worse defense than the Stew+Duren combo. I've yet to hear anything to convince me that Bagley at the 4 is a better idea on either end of the court next to another non-shooting big.

But, as I said in the other thread, we're just rearranging deck chairs on the titanic here.

 

Edited by Betrayer
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