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Tag:Chauncey Billups
Posted on: October 29, 2009 9:47 am
Edited on: October 29, 2009 9:49 am
 

My Thoughts on the Pistons Opener

For the most part, I loved what I seen in this game. Love seeing Big Ben Wallace back on the Pistons , and I love his defense even more! He had Zach Randolph frustrated all night long and had him shut down. I think I only seen Randolph score once or twice on Big Ben, with the rest of his points coming on FTs or on Kwame Brown /Charlie V. At 35 he can still play very good defense and rebound well; his hops aren't what they once were but he's no chump. He's still the best defensive prescence they have in the paint and is the best they've had in there since he left before. This is one of the better games on defense I've seen this Pistons play in a long time (maybe all the way back to when he left before), and it's no coincidence that they do it with him back. Anyone that has ever doubted or hated Big Ben just was shown what he's still capable of even though he's no where near his prime. For a long time now haters have said it was Big Ben who was made by the Pistons, but I think all us Pistons fans know and anyone that watches him play knows it's the other way around. He might be having them hold teams up 90 ppg all year long like in his prime days, but he can make sure they are still a formidable defense. He with Kwame Brown and Jason Maxiell can lock down the paint on defense. Now of course we need to see them against a real threat down low first before this is proven, but I think we'll get to see what they're really made of against the Magic on the 3rd (next Tuesday).

I've been a Ben Gordon hater and have been upset with how Richard Hamilton has turned out since Chauncey Billups left, but for the most part I was impressed with how they played last night. Rip still had still isn't playing like he should be (still trying to dribble too much instead of just getting open for a shot and knocking them down), but he was good for the most part. I was very impressed with Gordon right off the bat with Gordon (that 4 point play was amazing) and he really looks like he could fit in nicely. He didn't ball hog like I expected him too, and if he continues to fit in and play team ball like he did last night, I'm glad we got him and will admit I was wrong for hating on him this off season.

Rodney Stuckey had some flashes of the great play we know he is capable of, but not enough of them to prove to me that he's going to "come out of his shell" already and be more aggressive. Bynum looked very good still (other than trying to shoot jumpers when he should be driving) and if Stuckey don't step it up this season I wouldn't be against starting Bynum. Prince was looking good on offense, but I want him to get back to playing lock down perimeter defense too; there is no way a guy like Rudy Gay should get that much made shots on him. Charlie V was really the only Piston who I was disappointed with (although he did start playing well toward the end), and I expected more from him. Like Logic said, we need more scoring from the front court and he's a guy I expected to step up and do that. However this game he didn't do that, but luckily it was only the Grizzlies and not an actual tough team we were playing. I guess you can chalk it up to him being a little banged up still and not getting much time in the preseason, so maybe once he plays a few games he'll start getting more into the offense and scoring more. I hope so because we do need his scroring; Rip and Gordon can't score all our points.


Overall, the team did well and looks like they could improve quite a bit after the disappointed last year. I still need to see more and against better teams before I say they will be a competitive playoff team, but right now they're off to a good start. There was a lot of doubt from the general public, Pistons fans themselves, and even myself. However, a lot of those doubts and pessimistic thoughts are gone for me (with some still remaining to be seen). I know this is just the Memphis "my college team is better than I am" Grizzlies, but it's still a positive sign to see the defense holding a team under 80 points and Rip and Gordon playing well together. We'll see soon enough if they can have success against a good team when they play the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, November 3rd! I'm ready to see some more...........

DEEETTRROOOOOOOIIITTT BAAAAAAAASSSKKEETTBBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! Laughing


Posted on: September 22, 2009 7:18 pm
 

The Mavericks: Old Stars bring new success?

What do Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, and Dirk Nowitzki all have in common? Other than being teammates on the Dallas Mavericks of course Tongue out

They are all over 30 years old (Nowitzki & Marion are 31 and Kidd is 36), all have had great careers and are seen as one of the top players at their position in their best days, and (most importantly) none of them have a championship ring. I bring this up of course because they are now going to be all teammates with the Mavs in the upcoming 09-10 NBA season. We all remember the Kidd/Devin Harris trade between the Mavs and Nets a couple years back, and now this summer Marion was involved in a 4 way trade between the Mavs, Raptors, Magic, and Grizzlies  that sent Marion to Dallas. Kidd and Marion spent two years together with the Suns (99/00 - 00/01), but that was Marion's first two years in the league and when Kidd was in the prime of his career. Both are now "over the hill" (with Kidd WAY over the hill) and are not quite the players they were once. Kidd is still one of the best defensive PGs and a good passer, but he is much slower, can't jump to get tons of rebounds like he use to, and doesn't look as sharp on his passes or drives as he use to. Marion is still a good defender (not great anymore) and rebounder, but he hasn't been able to his scoring (shooting percentages) have went down and his athleticism isn't as "freakish" as it use to be.

Now neither one is a bad player at all, and both can still contribute a lot to a team. Kidd is still one of the best floor generals and leaders at the point, and Marion is still the "Matrix" who can defend anyone from the 1 to the 4 (even some 5's). They just are not at the top of their game anymore. This is more true for Kidd than Marion who may just have been missing an offense that allowed him to contribute a lot of offense. When he had Kidd in his prime, Kidd would set him up with lots of alley oop chances, and when he left the Suns 3 years (in which he still put up really good numbers) until they started the "D'Antoni Run n Gun" with the Anti-Christ. The all offense no defense style provided some very entertaining seasons and boosted Marion's stats. But once he left the Suns in 07 for the Heat, he didn't have an offense or a PG who could set him up and give him the scoring chances. He showed some flashes of returning to his glory days with the Raptors, but it was short lived.

However, this team isn't just about Kidd and Marion, but there is still a player I've yet to talk about who is the best of all of them: Dirk Nowitzki. Even though he is 31 years old, he is still playing as well as he ever has. He averaged 25.9 ppg last  year (3rd highest of his career, 4th in the league) and got the Mavs to another 50 win season. His rebounds have went down, but that is not because he is declining but due to the fact he doesn't need to rebound as much with the improved rebounding of the team (Kidd adding some to that). Dirk is a former MVP that is one of the most difficult players to guard in the league because of his size and ability to shoot the long ball. His biggest weakness, and the reason he hasn't been able to win a title yet (losing to the Miami Heat in 06 season NBA Finals), is his defense. But with Marion being able to cover 3's and 4's, that may not be as big of a problem as it once was.

All 3 of these players have had plenty of recognition and success for their individual success (Kidd making 9 All Star teams, 6 All NBA teams, 9 All NBA Defensive teams, being regarded as one of the best PGs ever, and having 2 NBA Finals appearances; Marion has made 4 All Star teams and was regarded as one of best defenders in his day; Nowitzki has made 9 All Star teams, 8 All NBA teams, made an NBA Finals appearance, and won an MVP), but they have yet to win NBA's greatest achievement: the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy. Their time is running out on a chance to win one (especially Kidd), and I'm sure they are hoping this is the year they can do it. They have other good teammates in Josh Howard, Jason Terry, and Drew Gooden.

The West is tough, but there are only 9 teams that have a shot at the playoffs (Lakers, Spurs, Nuggets, Mavs, Hornets, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Rockets, and maybe the Suns but really probably just the other 8). There are a lot of the games top PGs on these teams (Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, and Andre Miller) so it's a good thing the Mavs have Kidd. However, the teams that look to be favored (Lakers, Spurs) and the some of the other top teams (Hornets, Jazz) have a big post prescense. Will Marion being able to help mask Dirk's bad defense? Is Erik Dampier just a waste of space that can't rebound and defend well enough anymore? Can Drew Gooden be the new defensive presence for the Mavs down low? Can this team of old stars band together and pull out a surprising title run? These are some important questions when judging the Mavs and they should be one of the interesting teams to watch this year.

Posted on: May 31, 2009 9:54 pm
 

Will history continue to repeat itself?

History tends to repeat itself a lot; not only in sports but in all of life. However, here we're only interested in the sports history. One such thing that has been consistent in NBA history is defense winning championships. Almost every time, one of the best defensive teams will win the championship. Now of course there are a few exceptions here and there, but you have to look at the overall picture. This, however, is not about defense in NBA history, but instead great big men winning championships. The majority of NBA championships have been won by teams who are lead by a great big man (almost always one who has very good defense, if not great defense). You can go all the way back to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to see that great big men have always been able to win championships with their great post play on both offense and defense (mainly defense though).

I only bring this up of course because of this year's NBA Finals matchup: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic . Now Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are both very good big men, but neither one could come close to being consider one of the best big men in the game (on both ends of the court). Of course I am talking about Dwight Howard , who most would agree is the best big man in the NBA right now. Howard has proved very worthy of that title thus far leading his Magic to the 3rd seed in the East, being a Top 5 defense in the NBA, winning the DPOY (well deserved), and getting his team past the favorites, the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James . Without a shadow of a doubt he has been the main reason for what has got the Magic into this year's NBA Finals. Of course there are always very important role players for every great team, so Rashard Lewis , Hedo Turkoglu , Rafer Alston , Courtney Lee , Mickael Pietrus , etc. have all contributed to the team's success as well.

The last 10 years in the NBA has been dominated by big men - as far as championships go. Shaquille O'Neal has four NBA titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006), Tim Duncan has four titles (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007), Ben Wallace has a championship ((2004), and Kevin Garnett has a championships (2008). You can argue the Pistons were led by Chauncey Billups (but he couldn't get them one after Big Ben left) and Paul Pierce led the Celtics (although he couldn't get the Celtics one without KG), but regardless the last ten years of NBA champions have been dominated by big men (Shaq & Duncan combine for 8). Will Dwight Howard be next on the list of great big men to lead his team to a championship? Or will Kobe Bryant and the Lakers break the cycle?

There are some things to point toward a break in the dominance of big men. Howard is still very young and has never been in a situation like this before. Can he step up and rise above the pressure to prove he has what it takes at this young age to win his team a title? Kobe Bryant has contributed to three championships himself (although Shaq was with him too), and is the best player in the game. He has always been a great closer and clutch player that has gotten his teams deep into the playoffs almost every year. Phil Jackson is one of the all-time great coaches who knows them game just as good as anyone. Also, even when Shaq was young and first with the Magic, he led them to the only other Finals appearance for the Magic. He was swept 4-0 by the Rockets . However, they also had one of the best big men in the game with Hakeem Olajuwon (so Hakeem was just a better big man at that point in their careers).

There have been two all-time great players who have risen above dominate big men and led their team to championships: Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Yes, both did have very good defensive big men who contributed to their teams' success, but it goes without saying that MJ and Bird were the ones who led the teams to the championships. Now Kobe has been an all time great player, but he is not in the class yet of MJ and Bird. However, if he can led his team this year and win a championships without any dominate big man (like Shaq), then I believe he could be entered into that group of the NBA's greatest wingmen (although it doesn't mean he is just as good or better). He might need to win another one to really solidify that, but I would be satisfied with just this year (but that's just me).

So this is definitely something to think about when watching this year's NBA Finals. Will we see history repeat itself again? Or will we see one of those exceptions when a great player rises above it? Will Dwight Howard be able to handle the pressure and be good enough to lead his team to the championship, or is he still too young and not enough developed offensive game? Can Kobe finally win a championship without Shaq and thus solidify his name on the list of the NBA's greatest wingmen? For me, I've always been a fan of defense and will always root for defense to come out on top. I'm a big Howard fan, but I also remain in a pact between Pistons and Lakers so I cannot officially root against the Lakers. I will be happy with who ever wins the championship this year to be honest, so I will just sit back and enjoy the NBA Finals while the rest of you argue over who is better and who will win. I just figured I'd give you all something more to add to your discussions.


Posted on: April 2, 2009 9:59 am
 

I'll admit it: I was wrong

I hate to say, but I was wrong. I thought the Allen Iverson expirement would work out much better than it has, but it hasn't. I thought he would be able to sacrifice his scoring to become a better team player for the Pistons. I thought he would be fine if they wanted him coming off the bench, but he's not. I was one of the biggest supporters of him joining the team and being able to lead the Pistons to a championship, but I was wrong. I still don't regret the trade because we will still be able to use the cap space and regardless of how great Chauncey Billups is, we still wouldn't get past the ECFs with him. We may be worse off without Chauncey, but we wouldn't be able to win a championship with him so that trade was a necessary move.

The last couple games have really gotten me depressed when watching Allen Iverson coming off the Pistons bench. He can play very well in the role when he wants to, but he is more concerned with starting and getting huge minutes. AI is one of the greatest scorers in history, no one can argue that (he's tied with George Gervin at 4 scoring titles which is 3rd behind MJ and Wilt), but he's not in his 20s anymore and he is not in his prime anymore. It took awhile, but his age is finally catching up with him. He can't be nearly as effective as he was was. Let's face the fact, he can try to play good defense all he wants but his height and size will always work against him. The Pistons have been having one of their worst defensvie seasons in a long time, and we need all the defense we can get.

We don't need AI to play 35-40 minutes a game like he did for the 76ers and Nuggets. We have two young point guards who can be great for us. We all Rodney Stuckey is the next leader at the point for the Pistons. He needs to work on some things still (mainly being more aggressive and stop letting Rip control the offense), but he is still young. Will Bynum is my favorite Pistons player because of how aggressive he plays. He's about the same size as AI, but puts in triple the effort. He can get into the lane at will being able to get to the lane, dish the ball out, or stop and hit the mid-range jumper. Not only is he effective on offense, but he is a very pesky defender as well. He reminds me of a young Lindsey Hunter on D, always hounding the ball handler and looking to get a few steals. I love seeing him come off the bench and being a spark for that 2nd unit, and right now I'd rather see more of him than AI.

AI is not the Pistons main problem; they don't have a post threat, Curry is almost as bad as Flip, Stuckey and Prince are not aggressive enough, and their defense is horrible compared to the usual great Pistons defense that has been with them for decades. But he is not working out like I expected him to; he is not working into the team aspect of the Pistons. He has had to have the offense revolve around him in order for his previous teams to have success, but he can't make the transtition to a team that doesn't need him in that role. Call it set in his ways or old and stubborn, but we can't have that type of player or attitude on the Pistons. I've stuck by AI this whole time because I really believed it could work and he is one my most favorite players of all time, but I was wrong. I'm not ashamed to say I'm wrong because I was, and now AI needs to go. I'm sure Joe D was only doing the deal for the cap space in the end, but we can't have AI making the sort of comments he has been and having that bad mood in the lockeroom rub off on other players.

AI can just sit on the bench and not play any minutes if he doesn't like his new bench role. We can give Will Bynum his minutes; I'm sure he will give everything he has in however many minutes he gets. I've been a huge AI fan all my life, but I've always been a Pistons fan and they always come first.

 

 

Posted on: February 3, 2009 7:39 am
Edited on: February 3, 2009 7:42 am
 

Don't Stop Believing..............

..................... in the Pistons (Pistons fans). This is mainly addressed to Pistons fans because in all honestly, I could careless what the rest of the league thinks. In fact, the Pistons have shown in the past they do better when they are the underdog and don't have a lot of people supporting them. So I doubt I will change any minds of other fans that have completely given up on the Pistons (and I don't intend to), but I just want to make sure my fellow Detroit fans keep the faith and don't lose hope.

The first thing to remember is we haven't even made it to the All Star break yet. The Pistons always play better in the 2nd half of the year, and in their most successful seasons (i.e. the 2004 championship season) they catch fire shortly after the All Star break and carry that into the playoffs. The Pistons can still get things together and star clicking after they have time to figure things out during the break. It's not like the Pistons are a below .500 team struggling for a playoff spot. They will make the playoffs, but the only thing that is questionable is what seed they will get. It doesn't matter if the Cavaliers do win the division because back 2004, the Pacers finished ahead of the Pistons to win the division, yet Detroit still went on to win the championship.

The next thing to consider is look closely and compare this year to the 2004 championship season. They go out and make a trade for a superstar player, they start out slow and everyone doubts them (and continues to do so all the way until they win the championship), a little while after the All Star break they catch fire and finish the season strong, and they carry their success all the way through the playoffs and win the championship against a team no one thought could be beat. Ever since then things have changed; everyone started supporting the Pistons and putting them amongst the contenders every year. The only problem was they couldn't seem to get past the ECFs (other than the following year in 2005). This was because they had gotten overconfident and didn't have that same "hunger" factor as they did in 2004.

This year, they made the trade for Allen Iverson , and while they might be doing better right now with Chauncey Billups , they would still fall short with him again in the playoffs. Billups is still one of the best PGs in the game (IMO 2nd behind Chris Paul ) and he contributed just as much (or more) as everyone else to our success and in helping us win the championship (he deserved that Finals MVP). But he, along with the rest of the team, and had gotten arrogant, cocky, and overly confident and felt that they had enough talent and skill that they could take games off and relax and only play when they needed to. He had lost his hunger to win another championship, and that in turn rubbed off on the entire team. I'm not saying it was his fault entirely, because Rasheed Wallace and the rest of the team had a lot to do with as well (also losing Larry Brown didn't help any either).

AI is one of the league's oldest veterans and an all time great player. His years are numbered now and he doesn't have much time left. He has had so much individual success and accomplishments throughout his career, but has yet to win the ultimate prize: a title. You can say he isn't a team player and is a cancer, but he wants to win just as bad as anyone. He hasn't been on any great teams (Carmelo Anthony is not a complimenting player for him) and every team he has joined has gotten better with him. He wants to win a championship, and has that "hunger" factor in him. He has shown that he is willing to sacrifice his high stats in order for the team to play better. I'm sure if Curry had the guts to bench him and make him their 6th man (but still get big minutes like the Spurs would do with Manu Ginobili ) he would have accepted his role if it would help the team have more success. He is still one of the league's best scorers, he can pass very well, and has been making an effort on defense (though his size will always work against him).

Curry is only in his first year as head coach (not just with the Pistons, but first head coach job in his career; he's a rookie), and he still has lots to learn. However, I can tell just by listening to his comments and post game reports that he is trying his best to make the team have more success. Now we can't expect him to be the next Red Auerbach in his first year of head coaching, so it's not like he's going to make all the right moves right off the bat. I have faith that during the break, he'll be able to sit back and evaluate things and make better decisions on what to do. He will realize that he needs to get the team to focus more on defense and playing the whole through. He needs to find the right rotation that works, and use it for the rest of the season. He needs to start running more plays for Stuckey and let him get to the hoop like we know he can do so well. He even needs to consider benching AI instead of Richard Hamilton (because Rip works better with the starters and AI would be huge off the bench).

The one thing that needs to be done, that I'm not so sure is possible, is to get Rasheed to stop jacking up so many 3 point shots. No Pistons coach has been able to do this since Larry Brown, and it has been a major problem for Detroit. He is a great post player, and without him the Pistons don't have any inside presence on offense. Sure AI, Stuckey, and Prince can get to the rim but they don't have any post player who can score inside without Sheed. That's why teams can just sit back and pack the paint preventing the drives and turning us into a jump shooting team (which we are not). When he's hot he's unstoppable, but when he's cold he's terrible. Curry needs to man up and realize he runs this team, and not the players. He needs to stand up to Sheed and tell him to get back down in the paint where he belongs. I have no problem with him shooting about 5 shots per game from outside (maybe a little more if he's shooting well that game) because it helps stretch the defense, but shooting 10+ and leading the league in 3pt attempts is not something we want from Sheed. I don't know if Curry will have the courage to step up to him and do this, but this is the ONLY thing that I'm not confident Curry will be able to do after the All Star break.

We also can't forget that even if we don't win it all this year we have an even better future ahead of us. Rodney Stuckey is only in his 2nd year and is already starting to become a very good point guard capable of running the point for us. He is only going to get better, and the best is yet to come from him. He has shown a lot of improvement on defense this year (a concern last year), and now I'm completely sold on him being our next floor general who can lead us to a championship. Jason Maxiell , Arron Afflalo , Amir Johnson , and Tayshaun Prince all have lots of years left in them and will become keys to our success. Also, if Sheed retires and/or leaves the Pistons at the end of this year, and  AI is not able to get us a championship and decides to either call it quits or go to a new in 2010, we will have tons of money to use in that star studded FA class in the summer of 2010.

So don't lose hope Pistons fans because there is light at the end of this dark tunnel we are in right now. It may be hard to see right now, but keep the faith. Don't worry about what all the haters say, because we don't need the support of the rest of the league. All that matters is what we know about our team, and that we keep our faith in them. We still have a shot at the championship this year (whether anyone realizes it or not), and we definitely have a very good future ahead of us with Stuckey and the 2010 FA class. Remember the 2004 championship season. So say it with me my Pistons brothers:

DEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTRROOOOOOOOOOIITT BAAAAAAAAAASSSSKKEEETTBAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: January 1, 2009 10:44 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2009 10:55 pm
 

New Years Resolutions: Detroit Pistons Edition

Now that it's officially 2009, it's time for some resolutions. I've came up with some New Year's Resolutions for the Detroit Pistons. Just five things they need to focus on to have more success and get back atop the Central division.

1. Bring Allen Iverson or Richard Hamilton off the bench


They can't have both those scorers on the court for very long. AI and Rip's game is scoring and having two guys who do essentially the same thing (besides AI handling the ball more) it hurts the overall team flow and effectiveness. By having one of the bench and Stuckey in the starting lineup, it puts a better distributor in the starting lineup and a great scorer off the bench to come in and produce. The Pistons have always had a strong bench and used it to their advantage, why not make it even stronger by putting AI or Rip to come off the bench? They have tried this already and the results were awesome (see game vs. Nets).

2. Make Rasheed Wallace stay in the post on offense more often (stop shooting so many 3's!)


I love Rasheed and he's the most exciting (and frustrating) player for me to watch. When he gets the stroke going from the outside he's unstoppable and can hit the 3-ball as good as anyone. The problem is, he can only do this when he gets hot and he's not a consistently great 3-point shooting big man like a Dirk Nowitzki. When he tries to hit the outside shot and is cold, he needs to stay down in the post for awhile. They don't have much of a post threat on offense besides him when the starters are in. They need him down there to have that post presence because he has some very good post moves and can score well in the paint. If he's hot let him shoot, but if he's not hitting any outside shots make him stay in the paint and work the low post game he has.

3. Continue to make Rodney Stuckey a starter and give him the big minutes


Whenever Stuckey starts and/or gets big minutes, he produces very well and shows that he deserves to be the starting point guard full time. Everyone knows he has tons of talent and a very bright future; it's a huge part of why Joe D was so willing to trade Chauncey Billups. Stuckey is not a great PG yet, but he has to get experience and tons of playing time to be able to get to that high level we all know he can get to. He can run this team at the point and be very effective for us. He may be young, but he can still contribute a lot for us in the starting lineup. Curry needs to make sure he keeps Stuckey as the starter (putting Rip or AI to the bench) and continue to give him his big minutes so he can gain the experience he needs to become a better player.

4. Get Tayshaun Prince back to being more involved in the offense


Early in the year Tay was involved a lot more in the offense than he ever was before. He was looked to as one of their primary weapons and options on offense. He was doing very well, scoring over 20 ppg a game. Now that AI has been here, with him, Rip, Stuckey, and Sheed, Prince has been not been involved nearly as much with all these other scorers. Now there is no question he can't get as much touches as he was in the beginning of the year, but he still should be getting a lot more than he has been. He is a very good overall player on offense, and isn't just a great defender. He can drive to the lane and use his long arms to get over the defenders and get the ball in the hoop. He can the outside shot, and his mid range shot looks a lot better this year than it ever has. He is also a very good ball handler and passer for his size. He needs to get more involved in the offense and can even run point forward when Stuckey is out and AI or Rip comes in off the bench.

5. Beat Boston!!!!


We have two more games against the Celtics this season (Friday, January 30th at the Palace and Sunday, March 1st at the Garden). They have already beaten us twice so far this season have all the bragging rights right now. We need to win at least one of them (both of them would be our ultimate goal though). We all know how cocky those Boston fans are, and it's crazy in the trash talks before the games. Getting a win or two over them will be huge for our team, and give us fans some more reasons to talk trash and brag about our team.






We need to accomplish all of our resolutions so the Pistons can work there way to another championship. But don't be worried if you don't see all of these accomplished (who always does every New Years resolution they set out to anyways?) because even though the road to the championship might be rough and shaking, it's still possible to get there. It wasn't easy for the Pistons in 2004 so it may be a good sign that things are tough this season as well.
Posted on: December 1, 2008 2:09 pm
 

A Familiar Feeling

For some reason this season feels very familiar to this Pistons fan; it's almost like deja vu. It's kind of like the Pistons traded for aging superstar early in the season before. It feels so familiar like the Pistons struggled at first before and then caught fire around the all star break. Wait, now I remember, that was back in 2004 when the Pistons traded for Rasheed Wallace. Didn't the Pistons win the title that year too? Wasn't that the last time when no one (outside of Detroit) believed in the Pistons and gave them no chance against the Lakers? Yes, now it all seems so clear to me.

Please everyone, don't start having faith in the Pistons. It's that type of thinking that has kept them out of the NBA Finals since 2005 against the Spurs. They are a blue collar team that strives off of the hate from everyone else. They can't perform well when everyone believes in the Pistons. They need everyone to doubt them and hate on them so the they can prove everyone wrong. The Pistons know they can win it all, but when they hear everyone else saying and believe in them, they get cocky and overconfident. They no longer have anything prove and work for because they are already seen as great.

The Pistons have been stuck in the ECFs for the last few years because they become too cocky, arrogant, and overconfident (most of which started with Chauncey Billups; not a shot at him but it's the truth). Since the Pistons won the title back in 2004 and went back into the NBA Finals in 2005 everyone believed in the Pistons and expected them to be one of the front runners for the title every year. However, they continued to disappoint us by losing in the Eastern Conference Finals year after year.

Up until now, the Pistons were seen as one of best teams in the East (Top 2) and one of the league (Top 5), but after the Allen Iverson trade people have lost their faith in the Pistons. After the Pistons haven't had too much success since and the Nuggets have with Billups, people are doubting the trade. After both beatings by the Celtics, people no longer believe the Pistons will be able to beat them in the playoffs if they were too meet. Most people will even say the Cavaliers are a better team (despite the Pistons beating them this year), and you might hear a few crazies saying the Magic are better too.

Now I for one love this. Don't get me wrong, I don't like it that the Pistons are losing, but I do enjoy everyone doubting them and not seeing them as such a great team anymore. This is the exact type of things the Pistons need to win the title this year. They need the media and the fans (not Pistons fans, but other NBA fans) to doubt them. That will give them something to work for, something to try to prove. That's the type of team the Pistons are; if they're not hungry enough for a title they won't win it, but if they are then watch out. Allen Iverson really helps with that too. He is an all time great player who is running out of time in his career. He has yet to win a ring, and is really hungry for one. It's just like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen last year with the Celtics. Both are HoF players who wanted to win a ring before their career is over. It will be the same thing AI this year because he wants to add a championship ring to his list of great accomplishments over his career.

Mark my words: Around the all star break (February) the Pistons will start to click. AI will be fully worked into their offense and things will start to run smoothly. Their defense will be great (as usual) and they will continue to play their great style of teamwork. They will get hot all the way through the end of the season and go into the playoffs ready. They will take care of their first two opponents (in the first two rounds), and go into the ECFs. They will most likely face the Celtics who will give them a run for their money. But in the end, the Pistons will be hungry for another title and defeat the Celtics going on to the NBA Finals. And if they make the NBA Finals, I guarantee they win it all and bring a 4th title to Motown!

Now I'm not gonna lie, the money situation helps too. Even if the Pistons some how don't win the title, they will still have lots of option in 2010. Once AI's contract runs out, that leaves them tons of money to sign one (or two) of the numerous superstars who will be free agents in the summer of 2010. They also still have Rodney Stuckey, and anyone who has watched him play knows this guy is a future star. The Pistons will be able to start him within the next few years.

So in summary, haters can continue to hate because it can only be good for the Pistons. They will get things together and once again bring a title to Detroit. I can see the parade already.
Posted on: November 8, 2008 4:53 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2008 8:45 am
 

Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics Preview

Round 1: Boston Celtics (5-1) at Detroit Pistons (4-1)


It's time for the first battle of the year between these two teams. Last year's Eastern Conference Finals teams and still the best two teams in the East. Anyone that watched these games last year knows how exciting and heated they were. Richard Hamilton and Ray Allen were always at each other’s throats, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett battling in the post, Paul Pierce and Tayshaun Prince playing out on the perimeter, and Chauncey Billups and Rajon Rondo battling at the point. Not to mention watching bench players like Jason Maxiell and Glen "Big Baby" Davis coming in and making an impact. All the games were decided in the final minutes, and stay intense all throughout the entire game. These were some of best games out of all the games in the last NBA season. The rivalry from the 80s between Bird with the Celtics and Isaiah and the Bad Boys with the Pistons seems to be back in full force now.

This game has added a new and interesting element now. Newly acquired Allen Iverson (traded from Denver Nuggets for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb) will be playing his second game for the Pistons. He looks to be the guy who can get the Pistons back to the Finals, and the Celtics will be the team standing in their way. AI played very well in his first game. He scored 24 points on 50% field goal shooting and 11 for 13 at the free throw line. He also added in 6 assists and 1 steal to complete is first game in Detroit. Despite his play, the Pistons weren't able to defeat the Nets and suffered their first loss of the season. He has shown that he is willing to adapt to the Pistons style. He only shot the ball 12 times, and was passing the ball a lot in trying to be more of a distributor. He also was playing defense. Now, Devin Harris did go score a lot, but he was scoring on everyone, not just AI.

The Pistons are 4-1 at the top of the Central Division so far. Their only loss came to the Nets where Devin Harris exploded for 38 points. They have got off to a good start this year. All their players are continuing to play very good, but a few players have stepped so far this year. Tayshaun Prince has been the best player for the Pistons so far. He has 16.4 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, 1.2 blocks per game, 46.6% field goal percentage, and 58.3% 3-point percentage. He has continued to play very well on the defensive end, and is rebounding very well so far. He also is looking more consistent on the offensive end, being able to get to basket or hit the outside shot. Amir Johnson is the Pistons' starting center this year, and he has played very well so far. He has been contributing some on offense, but has mainly been a factor on defense. He has been able to use his athleticism to get rebounds and forcing turnovers. He won't be lighting up the stat sheet, but he will contribute a lot to this team.

The Celtics are leading the Atlantic Division at 5-1.Their only loss has come to the Pacers where they just seemed to an off game. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett continue to lead Boston with their great play. Pierce has 17.8 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game, and 4.3 assists per game. KG has 15.7 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 1.3 steals per game. Ray Allen has also chipped in 14.7 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. Rajon Rondo, Leon Powe, and Kendrick Perkins have all been contributed very well to Boston as well.

Key Matchups of the game:

Leon Powe vs. Jason Maxiell

These two guys might not play head to head very much, but it will important to see which guy will come off the bench and contribute most to their team. Maxiell will be needed to provide tons of energy, rebounding, and defense. He needs to get a few highlight blocks and dunks to get his team pumped up. Powe will need to rebound and provide low post scoring. These will be the two key players coming off the bench for this game.

Allen Iverson vs. Rajon Rondo

Both have lots of speed and athleticism, and both will be at the point for their teams. It will be interesting to see if Rondo can keep AI from having a great game today. Even more interesting will be if AI can keep Rondo from scoring a lot as well.

Paul Pierce vs. Tayhaun Prince

The two wingmen will be battling all night long. Both will be their team's best perimeter defender, and it will be important to see who can slow down the other more. It will be fun to watch these guys battle outside and battle for rebounds. Very key matchup here.

Ray Allen vs. Richard Hamilton

This is probably the most fun matchup to watch. Former UConn guards will be in a tough battle with each all night. Every time these two play, they’re in each other's faces and fighting for position all throughout the game. There will be fouls called, and there will be 3-point shots made. It will be important to see which guy can impact their team the most.

Kevin Garnett vs. Rasheed Wallace

Battle of the big men. Sheed vs. KG is the most important matchup of the game. These two big men anchor their team in the post on offense and defense. They will fight for boards, they will battle for points, and they will see who can score the most points outside the paint.

 

It's going to be a great game to watch, so I suggest you drop change any plans you already have so you can watch this game. It's on at 6:00 pm ET Sunday, November 9th. Get ready for an Eastern Conference showdown at the Palace tomorrow night. And if everything goes right, my Pistons will win!

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com