First things first. Going back to the summer, my choice for the Pistons point guard role, Jeff Teague, isn't playing much better this year than Brandon Jennings.
Teague has been a slightly better and wiser shooter, but it's strange how similiar the '13-'14 stats are of both players.
*Not that the Hawks are going anywhere in the East, but yes they kept Teague, and also received this compliment from SI.com's midseason NBA grades: The “Millsap over Smith” decision looked intelligent at the time and it looks genius now. Ferry got the better scorer, the better rebounder, the better shooter, the better three-point shooter, the smarter shot-taker and the more efficient overall player — and he paid 70 percent of the annual price and 35 percent of the total price to get it done. He ditched a player with historically awful shot selection for a strong All-Star candidate.*
That's enough of me admitting that my judgment was not the best either. Even if their lineup was Teague, KCP, Iguodala, Monroe, Drummond, I'm not quite sure how that team scores over 90 regularly. They'd have three plus defenders in KCP, Iguodala and Drummond (athletically though, not IQ, which isn't there yet) but it's hard to imagine that group cracking a hundred.
Let's move on to something that I know little about. Politics.
We won't actually discuss politics. I just want to use them as an analogy.
While I'm not active politically, I'm VERY liberal. However, that's how we seem to define ourselves down the aisle. In reality I subscribe to my own form of pragmatism. Forgive me for a single sentence of political thought, but it's startling to me that the foundation that in how we govern ourselves, is based on a two centuries old backdrop of needs and rights. The King of England will NOT try to re-colonize the States, I assure you. You will NOT be tarred and feathered.
Sorry, a second sentence of personal political opinion; Many people seem to gloss over, or don't even know, the first thirteen words of the second amendment. Go ahead, stock yourself to fight an armageddon. A keystroke is how the battle will likely be won, and not by your doing.
Now that you believe my citizenship should be revoked, we can move on.
You don't understand me, and that's fine. As I mentioned, I don't know why some think the way it was done two hundred years ago, is the way govern today. Trust me, the Founding Fathers had no idea about the Internet, or 75% of everything else you utilize in your daily life.
People seem to view the Josh Smith addition to the Pistons in a very simple and linear way. Smith will be more effective when he's finally able to play as the athletic, lengthy four as he's done most of his career. Though he'll still have his shortcomings.
I bregrudgingly accepted the Smith move (recall it happened before the Jennings deal) because the Pistons had finally acquired a player who could effectively score in a variety of ways.
Brandon Jennings seems to be another story. If his name is brought up, I feel like it morphs into a seething political discussion. Hold up Bro, I didn't even say ANYTHING about guns! I may have said he's a gunner, but nothing about real guns.
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Brandon Jennings #7 of the Detroit Pistons shoots against Andrea Bargnani #77 of the New York Knicks during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 7, 2014 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Many marvel at Jennings' games of 26, 28 and 30! Ooooooh, aaaaahh.
I see Jennings' bagel against the Clippers. He's also had games this month of 4, 5 and 8. Sure, in two of those games he rang up 29 total assists, but aren't those dimes offset by 6 of 28 (21%) shooting?
With some admittedly shoddy empiricism I'd like to claim that Jennings uses a higher level of difficulty on his shots more than almost anyone in the League. Some of those high-arching, unnecessary fade aways, and those needless pull-up transition 3s go in, and you see a special player. Ultimately though, those fundamentally screwy shots lead to a pathetic shooting percentage of 38.
Jennings eFG% is .437 per Basketball Reference.
This parameter adjusts for the fact that 3-point field goals are worth 50 percent more than 2-point field goals.
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 x 3PTM)) / FGA.
Jennings' true shooting percentage is .488 per ESPN's Hollinger statistics.
TS%: True Shooting Percentage - what a player's shooting percentage would be if we accounted for free throws and 3-pointers. True Shooting Percentage = Total points / [(FGA + (0.44 x FTA)]
49% sounds pretty darn good, until you see that that ranks Jennings 53rd(!) among any NBA player who can proclaim to play some point.
Smith and Jennings are what they are. High volume, mistake prone players, neither of whom make their teammates much better. The Pistons, by adding TWO inefficient players, essentially committed subtraction by addition. The math doesn't quite equal out, since Detroit is on pace for a 3 win increase from last year's 29 win season, but the point is evident.
This isn't Russell Westbrook, who is viably a top ten NBA player. He sure does make some ill-timed decisions and recklessly flies through the lane, but it may have been Steve Kerr who made the point that for every two maniacally out of control plays Westbrook is guilty of, there's 5 spectacular plays that only he's capable of. I think that's accurate.
Swap the 2 and the 5 and you might describe Jennings.
I'm not trying to convince you that Jennings shouldn't be a Piston, he shouldn't. I'd just like you to listen across the aisle and see what I see.