Tag:Magic
Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:55 pm
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Bismack Biyombo has arrived

Before the season started I was very high on Bismack Biyombo. I'm sure there was plenty of people who thought I was even too high on him and had some kind of crazy man love. I said he was one of the Top 3 best players from the draft and predicted him to be a Rookie of the Year candidate at the beginning of the year. I predicted a 8 ppg 10 rpg and 2.5 bpg from him for his rookie season. Well needless to say, earlier on in the season my predictions looked way off base. Bismack was getting 4-10 minutes a game and just doing very little statistically. It could have been influenced by him joining the team late as he had to get his contract overseas bought out, but the Bobcats were content with B.J. Mullens getting all the minutes at the time. 

However, as the Bobcats continued to lose and be one of the worst teams this year, they finally decided to start giving Bismack more minutes as they had nothing else to lose. He steadily has gained momentum and more minutes and starting in February he started to 30+ minutes a few times and even began to start a few games. He's shown why I was so high on him early in the season and the potential for great things in the future. Every game he's had over 30 minutes, he's gotten 10+ rebounds; in 5 games he's gotten more than 30 minutes he's averaged 32.4 minutes per game and 12 rebounds in those games

Now, it was just his rebounding that he was known for or why I was high on him; the biggest thing was his shot blocking. Despite playing very litting minutes he's kept his blocks per game average around 1.5 the entire year. It's been in his recent increase in minutes that he's really exploded with his blocking. He has had 4 games this year where he has had 5 or more blocks: 5 blocks against the Pistons back in January, 7 blocks against the Raptors and 6 blocks against the Pacers in February, and 7 blocks tonight against Dwight Howard and the Magic (only with 10 points and 15 boards as well as a Bobcats win). After tonight he will be averaging 1.85 blocks per game on the year while only averaging about 17 minutes per game.

Biyombo is not likely to achieve those lofting numbers I predicted at the beginning of the season (although he might come close the blocks prediction if he keeps it up), but since finally getting a bigger role and more minutes he has shown the talent and bright future that he has ahead of him as he is still just a rookie. He may never be amoung the best overall big men in the game, but he could very easily develop into the one of the best defensive big men in the game.
Posted on: October 31, 2009 9:10 am
 

Ben Wallace - Still a Top Post Defender

Yes, you heard me right and now that he's back with the Pistons he's proving it. He wasn't be used correctly on the Bulls and Cavaliers who tried too much to play him out of position (PF) and never let him roam like he could. He's old now, so I won't argue he's better than Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett but he's still in that upper group of post defenders. He can still go one-on-one with any post player and slow them/shut them down. He can still get up (though not as well as he use to) and block shots or get rebounds. He is also still quick enough and has quick enough hands and feet to press players after the throw in and still can step out on players and get some steals. If you need any proof, go watch the last two games for the Pistons and you will see plenty of proof.

He's not just putting up individual stats or slowing down just one player, but he's effecting the entire defense again and getting back to being that anchor on defense. The first game against the Grizzlies, the Pistons held them to 74 points on 36.1% FG shooting and Big Ben had 9 rebounds and a block. The game last night against the Thunder, the Pistons held them to 91 points on 43.4% FG shooting and Big Ben had 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 3 steals. Yes, they did lose last night but there was no more that Big Ben could have done to help them win (they only played him 30 min. for one, and even though they played good defense it was their offense that couldn't get it done).

I know you still have a bad taste in your mouth from what he looked like on the Cavs and Bulls, but you can't expect a player like Ben to be able to play out of position and not in his own style. The excuse sure works for Steve Nash and a few other players, so why does it get ignored for Big Ben? And for anyone who has tried to say it was the Pistons defense that made Big Ben, please explain how their defense is making him look good now? Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villaneuva, and Richard Hamilton are making him look good on defense? Please, Tayshaun Prince is the only other one who can play great defense on the team right now.

I know you will say "it's only the Grizzlies and Thunder," even though I heard a lot of people talking about the Thunder being a "surprise team" this year and their offense is really good but their defense is the weak part. However, Tuesday, November 3rd 2009 (mark it down) the Pistons will get to play Dwight Howard and the Magic. Once you see Big Ben take on Howard and still play great, I'll be waiting to hear what excuses you can come up with then.

Ben Wallace is still one of the best post defenders in the league.


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: 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 12, 2009 10:18 pm
 

Big B's Top 5 DPOY Candidates

Here are my Top 5 Defensive Player of the Year candidates. I don't really think anyone else could be in consideration for the award other than these five guys, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Dwight Howard : 13.9 rpg (1st) 2.9 bpg (1st) Team Defense: 2nd

Howard has been a complete monster on defense this year for the Magic . He has owned the paint on defense and made it very difficult for any team to score there. He has made this team rise to the top of the NBA defensive rankings currently sitting at 2nd in total defense for the year. Considering they don't have much other good defense and Van Gundy isn't some defensive genius strategizer like Popovich, you know Howard has really been a huge impact on their defense. Anytime you have a big man that can own the paint and make the other team shoot jumpers, you have yourself a great defensive player. Howard is leading the league in rebounds with 13.9 rpg and also leading the league in blocks with 2.9 bpg. Hard to argue with his stats or the way he impacts his team; can't find any weakness to his case as the 2008-2009 DPOY.

2. Dwyane Wade : 2.2 spg (2nd)  1.35 bpg (1st for all guards) 5.0 rpg (8th amoung guards) Team Defense: 13th

Dwyane Wade has been unbelievably great this year on defense and it shouldn't go unnoticed. He has not only been effect on guarding ball handlers, but has also contributed in shot blocking and rebouding. Considering the Heat don't have any dominating big men defenders in the paint, Wade knew he had to step for this Heat on defense this year. However, no one would have expect him to be this great on defense. He knows how to stay in front his man and keep his hands up making the ball handling have a difficult time getting a shot off or passing it away. However the key for Wade's defense has been his help defense and his timing abilities. He has great awareness and is always watching the ball like a hawk ready to swoop down on it's prey. He read's the passes and can pick off the passes getting plenty of steals. He also has shown the ablility to get a good timing on when opponents will put up the shot being able to time his jump and block the ball. There's no question he has stepped up big time for the Heat on defense, but the problem is that hasn't made them a dominating defense or even one of the Top 10 defense. Wade is 2nd in the league steals with 2.2 spg, he is 1st amound all guards in blocked shots with 1.35 bpg, and is 8th amoung all guards in rebounds per game with 5.0 rpg. The Heat can't rely on Wade to anchor the defense like a big men could (like Howard) because a guard can only do so much for your defense.

3. LeBron James : 1.71 spg (7th) Team Defense: 3rd

LeBron doens't have a lot of impressive defensive statistics other than his team's overall defense. The Cavaliers have been one of the best defenses in the NBA, and it's no doubt LeBron is a big part of that. However, like Wade, he can't do it alone and can't be the anchor do a defense because he is a wingman. The only difference between Wade and LeBron is that LeBron's teammates and system make their overall team defense better. You switch Wade and LeBron and I don't the Cavaliers get worse or the Heat get better. But the biggest thing I've noticed about LeBron's defense this year is his man defense on the perimeter. He has done a very good job of staying in front of his man and keeping them out of the paint, but even if they do get in the paint the Cavs have good post defenders who make it very hard to score. LeBron has stepped up his D and done a good job on defending some of the league's best wingmen scorers (Carmelo Anthony , Paul Pierce , etc.). LeBron is one of the best defenders this year and has really stepped up, but like Wade, he isn't an anchor for his defense so you can't really make an argument for him being #1.

4. Tim Duncan : 10.5 rpg (4th) 1.71 bpg (13th) Team Defense: 4th

Timmy is still one of the best defenders in the game, and that is without question. However, his age is working against him and he is no longer the domianting post defender he once was. He is still great, but not great enough to make the Spurs defense at the top of the league anymore. But he is still anchoring his defense which is still one of the best in league, which still makes the Spurs one of the best teams in the league. He doesn't have the huge numbers of Howard, but has respectable numbers as well as making his defense and all the players on defense around him great. He is 4th in the league in rebounds with 10.5 and 13th in the league on blocked shots with 1.7 bpg. No doubt Timmy is still one of the best (one of the all time great defenders), but I don't think even he has outmatched Howard this year.

5. Chris Paul : 2.83 spg (1st)  5.5 rpg (4th amoung all guards) Team Defense: 11th

Paul, like Howard and Duncan, is the Hornets anchor on defense. The only difference is, it's much more difficult for a PG to do it than a big man. You'd have to be one of the best PG defenders in history to anchor your defense enough to make them one of the best (Gary Payton, Walt Frazier). Paul is great, and the best PG defender in the league, but he isn't at the level where he can make his defense one of the best. He still needs guys like Tyson Chandler in the paint and James Posey on the perimeter. Paul is 1st in the league in steals with 2.83 spg, and 4th amoung all guards in rebounds with 5.5 rpg. He has been great, no doubt, but you can't really argue him at #1 or even in the Top 3 for that matter.

 

Well there you guys have it. That's how I see this year's best defenders of the year. I believe Howard should get this award easily because he has had a combination of the best numbers and easily the most impact on his team's overall defense. Wade and LeBron are interchangeable at runner-up, and Timmy and Paul arenot just not quite good enough be this year's winner. Feel free to comment, critize, or make your own judgments if you wish.

 

Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
 

Allen Iverson Haters: Pay closer attention

Now this isn't just directed at Allen Iverson haters, but anyone that makes the assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI. You only hear people saying that because they either: a) have always hated him since his days on the 76ers and Nuggets, or b) don't pay close enough attention to the Pistons, or c) strong haters of the AI for Chauncey Billups trade, or d) all of the above. Everyone wants to keep saying "I told ya so" about the trade for AI, and the Pistons recent winning streak without him is their latest so called proof of this. Now I'm here to show you all that this is not only completely absurd, but complete ignorance to the fact that the Pistons went on a strong winning streak early in the season without another one of their important players. But how could that be? The media never told us about this?

Earlier in the season, not too long after Christmas Day, Richard Hamilton went down with an injury. The Pistons had to play an 8 game stretch without him, but to many people's surprise, they went 6-2 during those games. Now where does that look familiar? Why that's the exact same record the Pistons have right now without AI in this current 8 game stretch since he went down with his injury. Now I dare you to make the argument that the Pistons played tougher competition this time and played easier teams when Rip was out. Go ahead, you'll just make yourself look foolish. In fact, it's almost the exact same in each of the stretches. The Pistons have beat both the Magic and the Nuggets in both the stretch without Rip and the recent one without AI. Now you might say, "But they beat the Celtics this time!" Let me remind you they don't have their most important player and their cornerstone on defense in Kevin Garnett. If the Pistons played the Celtics when Rip was out, and KG was out then too, then the Pistons would have beat them then. Also, let's look at who the losses were against each time. Without Rip, the Pistons lost to the Trail Blazers and the Jazz (at Utah). Now those two teams are doing pretty well for themselves if I remember correctly. Now without AI, there two losses are from the Hawks and the Knicks. The Knicks are no where near the Blazers or Jazz, and the Hawks were on their bad streak when they beat the Pistons.

So continue to make the foolish assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI, but you're only saying that because you already have that instilled in your mind because of your hate/bias for Allen Iverson, or because the media has been feeding you this garbage and you can't think for yourself. The fact is, the Pistons are a team that knows how to play with great teammwork and defense, and they know how to continue to play at that high level and get wins even without some of their key players. So whether be AI, Rip, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Rodney Stuckey, or any other Pistons player, the Pistons can easily go on a good winning streak with any of them being injured. The Pistons have been very streaky this year, and that is not something you can blame on AI alone.

Morale of the story is: Things are not always as they appear.

Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
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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.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com