Season Review: Anthony Tolliver Suffers Streaky Season

Anthony Tolliver had a great half of a season for Detroit in the 2014-2015 season, but in his first full season as a Piston, the Tolliver Effect was minimal.

Tolliver was traded to Detroit in the 2014-2015 season from the Phoenix Suns for Tony Mitchell Jr. He averaged 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 22 minutes per game in 52 games last season. In the 2015-2016 season those numbers dipped. His scoring fell to 5.3 points and rebounds to 3.2 per game. He shot 36% from three in each season.

Tolliver’s main value came from his ability to play defense. An all hustle type player, Tolliver was able to stick in Stan Van Gundy’s rotation despite his streaky shooting, because he was a such a good defender off the bench. He took a team high 13 charges on the season. Ersan Ilyasova who was traded by the Pistons at the trade deadline finished with 35.

Can Antony Tolliver still be a rotation player for the Pistons next season? Image: USA Today Sports

Can Antony Tolliver still be a rotation player for the Pistons next season? Image: USA Today Sports

Tolliver made many of the plays that do not show up in the box score. He made the extra pass on offense. On defense he was always crashing the glass and making sure he had boxed out his man. He was the first player back on defense as well. Tolliver is all hustle, but his hustle only got him so far in the season.

He is an unrestricted free agent come the offseason. Detroit has two picks in the NBA Draft, 18 and 49, and will be looking closely at not only a backup point guard, but a bigman that can shoot and play defense alongside Andre Drummond.

The Pistons would be more than happy to bring Tolliver back, if they strike out on a big name in the NBA Draft or Free Agency. Stan Van Gundy stated at the end of the season that there were priorities ahead of bringing back Tolliver and point-guard Steve Blake.

Tolliver is a player that Van Gundy should bring back, even if it is in a much smaller role compared to last season. A shooter, although streaky, and hustling defender, Tolliver can still contribute to a NBA team. He would be a great mentor to maintain on a young Pistons team.

Featured image via: Associated Press