NBA Roundtable

Rip Hamilton Praises Kuester

In General NBA on December 15, 2009 at 11:12 am

Detroit Free Press reports

Rip Hamilton is a proud guy, nowadays.

He sees how this young group of Pistons didn’t give in to despair when veterans like Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon missed substantial time because of injuries.

Hamilton sees the team’s 11-12 record and five-game winning streak as evidence that first-year coach John Kuester is the right man for the job.

“He really showed he can coach with the guys out on the floor,” Hamilton said Monday at the Pistons’ practice facility. “That says a whole lot, and you give a whole lot of credit to Q. Seeing the guys he had out there, they still played hard and got some wins.”

Hamilton has a point. Kuester has pushed the right buttons recently — moving Charlie Villanueva to the bench and starting Jason Maxiell and Chucky Atkins.

But most important, he has created an atmosphere in which the team is confident it can win any game no matter the opponent.

Excellent start to the season from the Pistons considering their injury problems. Coach Kuester is the main reason why. Early candidate for Coach of the Year.

  • Playing Ben Wallace 30 minutes a game after he was brought in to round out a big man rotation with the idea of him being a bit part player in the squad. Big Ben has been the Pistons’ identity. He has been their defensive anchor, the top rebounder, a force in the middle, unselfish, gritty, hard working. His effort + mentality has been contagious.
  • Choosing to play only one defensively deficient big man in his rotation — Charlie Villanueva — while sitting Chris Wilcox over on the bench. A four man big man rotation of Big Ben, Maxiell, Villanueva and Kwame is far more effective (allows Detroit to compete on the interior, not get over-run).
  • Continued efforts to keep Charlie Villanueva on the bench and in a 7th man role where he is most effective
  • Starting Jonas Jerebko … no flash to his game whatsoever. Fairly limited offensively, at least when he’s playing small forward. Just solid defense, solid rebounding. Glue player.
  • Has kept the squad’s confidence level high despite losing Rip Hamilton + Tayshaun Prince. Two main cogs to the team, arguably the expected two best players on the team heading into the season.
  • The Chucky Atkins decision
  • Rodney Stuckey’s continued development as an all-round player and leader.
  • Chiefly, due to Kuester’s lineup + rotation decisions, the Pistons rank second in the league in rebounding differential (percentage wise) and have only been out-rebounded six times on the season. The Ben Wallace decision, the big man rotation, Jerebko, Stuckey’s improvement on the glass. The mentality he’s filled the squad with to be aggressive night in night out. To get after things.

As discussed earlier in the season, the Pistons and Kuester, can improve again if they withdraw Will Bynum from the rotation in favour of a three man backcourt of Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon. Then have a Tayshaun Prince + Jonas Jerebko/Austin Daye SF rotation. And continue their big man rotation.

The Pistons are close to being a lock for the playoffs as is but that move would solidify the situation.

Coach Kuester

John Kuester has been fantastic.Very happy to see him succeed.

He was one of those coaching prospects that you come across just have a very good feeling about. He reminded me of Rick Carlisle.

  • An established + excellent assistant coach who was well-rounded in his background (different jobs, defensive ideals/philosophies, part of winning teams) plus gifted in areas (both offense).
  • Clearly, proven, or at least as much as possible as an assistant coach, on the technical side of coaching.
  • Someone who was well respected throughout the locker room and the ear of his players.

An opportunity that was a long time coming for such a talented assistant coach.

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  1. Dave,

    Not sure when exactly you completed your blog entry for today … but, FYI:

    3-guard rotation does the trick for Stuckey and the Pistons

    it seems as though, we be thinking along similar lines, once again. 🙂

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