Detroit Pistons : Why They Will Miss SG Ben Gordon More Than They Realize
Don’t be surprised, however, if the Pistons find it tougher to fill Gordon’s shoes than they realize.
During his three seasons with the team, Gordon showed flashes of domination with his outside shooting. The problem is that head coach Lawrence Frank, and John Kuester before him, couldn’t figure out where Gordon would fit in with the other shooters, mainly Rodney Stuckey and, last season, Brandon Knight.
There were times last season when Frank credited Gordon with saving his team’s skin with clutch outside shooting. Gordon, when he was hot, was the best shooter the Pistons had.
It’s not that the deal which brought Corey Maggette from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Gordon was a questionable one. That first-round pick that Detroit also gets could prove to be extremely valuable.
Gordon, 29, averaged 12.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 26.9 minutes in 52 games last season (21 starts). He wasn’t always healthy but he still scored a season-high 45 points to tie his own NBA record with nine consecutive three-point field goals made.
“I was getting to my spots, getting my one-and-ones, getting to the line a little bit, so it was a little bit of everything. I just tried to make the right plays and score the ball when I had the chance to,” Gordon said.
He also swished in a franchise-record seven 3-pointers in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers and tied the franchise record for three-pointers in a half with seven.
He was an NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award winner when he played for the Chicago Bulls. But the Pistons have enough so-called “sixth men.” They needed reliable explosive starters and Gordon didn’t seem to fit the bill.
“Moral victories are great, but they don’t put a W in the win column. It’s disappointing, but I’m happy with the way we competed,” Gordon said in one of his final days with the Pistons.
But Gordon’s best year with Detroit came during the 2009-10 campaign when he averaged 13.8 points and 2.7 assists in 62 games.
Still, who will be that reliable three-pointer shooter the Pistons badly need? Gordon wasn’t a great fit, but at times, he was the best the team had.
It’s a question Frank needs to answer very soon.