Explaining numerically the decline of the Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons traded Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess to the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson. Since then they have gone from a championship contender to a mediocre team. Indeed, they just lost to the woeful New York Knickerbockers.
I crunched the numbers to discover how much of the decline can be attributed specifically to that trade, and it appears as though it can be almost entirely attributed to the trade.
Click Here to see a Total Win Contribution comparison between this season's Pistons and last season's Pistons
1. If you add up the difference in TWC made by the three principals in the trade, it totals -0.773. The overall decline of the Pistons this season totals -0.887. So the trade explains most of the decline. And if you add in the additional playing time afforded to PG/SG Rodney Stuckey and the consequent increase in his negative TWC (which amounts to about -0.077) as well as the point guard minutes given to Will Bynum (-0.012)... well there it is -- just about -- in a nutshell.
2. EDITED OUT
3. With all that said, there are good things to point at for Pistons fans. Aaron Afflalo, for one, seems like a comer. And Jason Maxiell is improving season by season. To maximize Maxiell's potential, however, I would suggest playing him more at the center position. At center, his MWS/48 is +3.0. At power forward, the position he plays about 62% of the time, his MWS/48 is a bit below average at -0.8. Of course, Rasheed Wallace also performs better at the center position, so that provides a lineup dilemma.
4. As a further indictment of the generalmanagership of Joe Dumars, I don't think it was wise for him to tie up money in Richard Hamilton, as he recently did. For one thing, Hamilton's minutes take minutes away from the more productive and younger Afflalo. For another thing, Hamilton's production has, historically, been about average, and when you consider his main positions are the two positions with the lowest replacement costs in basketball, his relative value to the Pistons declines even further. As the Bucks have found out with Michael Redd, you don't really want to tie alot of money down at the SG/SF position unless the fellow signs the contract "Kobe Bean Bryant".