Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Stuckey Trade Haunch

Dan Feldman of PistonPowered, my favorite Piston blogger as you may have noticed due to the countless times I'm quoting him, has a haunch. He thinks Rodney Stuckey is going to be traded from the Pistons. He has good reasoning and great insight on Joe Dumars' treatment of other rookies in the past and Joe's assessment of Stuckey's situation with the team.

The top signal is Joe Dumars’ decision not to extend Stuckey. Dumars had never denied an extension to a player on a rookie contract. When Dumars knew he didn’t want to make the necessary investment for a young player, he cut his losses. He still has a couple months to do that with Stuckey.

Making it work shouldn’t be a problem. If Rodney White and Mateen Cleaves had value when Dumars traded them, so does Stuckey.


And

Here’s what Dumars told Pistons.com’s Keith Langlois this summer:

KL: Do you see this as something of a crossroads year for Rodney Stuckey?

JD: I wouldn’t use the word crossroads, but I will say this. He and I, we’ve had some conversations about expanding his role on this team, about assuming more responsibility, more leadership, for the success of us going forward. I think it’s important for him. We’ve had a couple of those conversations, so he understands exactly, going into year four. I think he’s been good, but good is not always good enough. He’s been good, but sometimes you have to be more than good and that’s what we’re looking for from him.


As Feldman explains, Stuckey has been improving for all of his campaigns. He is still getting better, but does Joe Dumars think he has the potential to be an All-Star point guard or shooting guard. If you look throughout the league there is not one contender with a great player at either one of these positions or they have a point forward like the Heat. Stuckey is a scoring point guard and a player like that runs a fine line between scoring and harming the team, just ask the Stephon Marbury's and Steve Francis' of this world.

To make thinks easier, Dan gave a few trade options to think about.


- Stuckey to the Cavaliers for Anthony Parker and a first-round pick
- Stuckey and Jason Maxiell to the Lakers for Lamar Odom
- Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Greg Monroe and Tracy McGrady to the Heat for Chris Bosh, Dexter Pittman and Mario Chalmers
- Stuckey and Chris Wilcox to the Thunder for James Harden and Byron Mullens
- Stuckey and Chris Wilcox to the Thunder for James Harden and Cole Aldrich
- Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox to the Trail Blazers for Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum and Joel Przybilla
- Stuckey and Greg Monroe to the Kings for DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson
- Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and DaJuan Summers to the Jazz for Mehmet Okur
- Stuckey, Richard Hamilton and DaJuan Summers to the Wizards for Kirk Hinrich, Kevin Seraphin and Josh Howard


I do not want to go into all of these scenarios since I want to give you my own. I do not think Miami would part with Bosh until next year the way things have been going. If he performs subpar in the playoffs, well, Riles will figure something out. Odom won't leave LA.
I like the idea of the Kings trade, because of Cousins. If Cousins keeps acting up Sacramento might settle for a lesser ball player, but a certainly more reliable one. I just do not see the motivation for the Kings to acquire Stuckey when they already have Tyreke Evans, they are basically the same player, big and strong combo-guards without a jumper and a good knack for dring the ball to the hole.
The two trades I would consider most likely are with the Kings and the Blazers, I would not do both of them though. It would be a good proposal, I do not see them upgrading the roster. I would love Andre Miller on our team, I'm a fan of Nick Batum and Joel Pryzbilla is a very capable and underrated big man in this league. The Blazers might exchange STuckey for Miller since he is a younger player and can drive the basketball. The Blazers need a playmaker though, especially since Brandon Roy is having knee problems. I do not see Portland parting with Batum and I think that is the deal breaker actually!

So, after all my smart-assing, here are my ideas with a little bit of reasoning:

- Stuckey, Maxiell and Daye for Atlanta's Josh Smith (acquiring a talented big man and a great athlete)
- Stuckey and Maxiell for Charlotte's Nazr Mohammed (we need big men and it is an expiring contract)
-

Monday, December 27, 2010

McGrady with yet another vintage performance

Ok, I could title a post like this pretty much every week right now. Let me finally say it, so I won't have to write it again:

Tracy McGrady is officially back. By officially I mean, I said so!

Not only does he have one of the most awesome profile pictures on NBA.com I've ever seen, he is also productive!

Let me remind me, this is the player who used to be on par with Kobe Bryant. He is a two-time scoring champion and quite possibly the greatest player ever to never win a playoff series. He was the player who scored 13 points in 35 seconds to beat the best defensive team of the decade, the San Antonio Spurs (sorry Boston)! This is the guy who once averaged 32.1 ppg, 6.5rpg and 5.5apg. If he can regain 80 per cent of that productivity, the Pistons would have one hell of a player. Even at 50 per cent he would be a starter for this team!

When Joe Dumars signed him many wondered (including myself), why he would sign a player for a position which the Pistons are stacked with. In retrospect it was low-risk, high-reward gamble. There are several players with an extensive injury history who have become more reliable the older they became. Somehow all of these players are or have been playing for the Suns at one point or the other (read: Steve Nash, Shaquille O'Neal, Grant Hill, etc.). I think it is a lot about the right habits, great training staff and a fountain of youth near-by.

I think McGrady should be rewarded. Dan Feldman at PistonsPowered has already mentioned he would like McGrady as a starter, I will jump on that bandwagon. He's such a versatile player that you can actually put people around him. There would not be the issue of two players with the same style of play (Gordon and Rip) and how to make them fit. Mc Grady can morph into passer, scorer and playmaker whenever he wants. As I explained in my last post, he rarely forces the action and he can drain midrange jumpers off the dribble all day.

It would still be better to give Rip away for the team's balances sake, but I think it could work anyway. McGrady has the potential to help Detroit make a push for the playoffs and at the very least he could make them enjoyable to watch again. I must admit, last night's game against the Bulls was the best Piston effort I have seen for quite a while. They actually defended well and the offense looked fluent in the second half due to McGrady's increased roll on the offensive end of the floor.

We currently are sorely lacking a player with one-on-one go-to moves. The players capable of doing so are Ben Gordon, McGrady and Rodney Stuckey to a certain degree. John Kuester has already tried giving Stuckey control of the offense. While he is showing the skill set to do so, his decision making is often very bad. He is pushing the ball too often and settling for the midrange jumper which he cannot knock down on a consistent basis. I would like to have him as the sixth man, but not as a our primary or even secondary option on offense.

Maybe the Pistons need to change their way of thinking and stop playing with a traditional point guard and start the five players that are most comfortable playing with each other. The line-up might look awkward (Starting Five: McGrady, Gordon, Tay, Monroe(Maxiell) and Ben), but since we do not have a starting point guard on our roster and McGrady being the best potential starting point guard on the team, it might be worth a shot.

We are still within the playoff picture. Let's draw an eighth seed!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

McGrady with vintage performance

Let me start with a poem:

"'Twas only a few years ago
A soldier named Tracy
Put up a nightly show
Laying the ball up
Throwing it down
Left the crowd in awe
Breathlessly saying 'Wow'

Then came years of agony and pain
Young Tracy
Had lost his game
Surgeries and rehab and unkindly fans
He left the Rocket and hoped for better times
In Piston land

At first there were skeptics
Questioning his shape
Then they said his former form
Could not be regained
But on a cold night just before Christmas
He finally fulfilled all of our wishes"

Okay, this was just for fun, but let's hope we'll remember this game as the turning point for not only McGrady but for the entire season. Tracy exploded for 17 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds and one insult to Chris Bosh in just 24 minutes of playing time. NICE!!!

While most people know he is a great scorer his most underrated skill has always been his passing and all-around game. Somehow he was reduced by the media as a poor version of Kobe Bryant, most people don't realize in which way consecutive injuries affect you. Do you think if Kobe had the injury report McGrady has he would be a practice monster. You ought to learn to rest and recover and you can't go all out every game. Kobe is playing through injuries and I really respect playing with broken fingers. Screwed up knees and a bad shoulder is something you cannot play through though ...

And that is why McGrady's performance was so heart-warming last night. He is showing flashes of his old self, last night he did not show flashes, he put together a complete performance and made the Pistons look like a contender. Will he be able to do it every night? Probably not ... Let's be honest, Calderon, Barbosa and DeRozan are not what one would call a lockdown backcourt. Will he be able to perform in a similar way regularly? I would think so.

Patience

I picked one moment which is, in my opinion, typical of how McGrady helps our offense. In this case he is stuck in the high post, doubled near the freethrow line after a Monroe screen. Monroe goes out to the three point line to open things up.



I especially like the spacing. Tay and Will are in the corner or at least near the corner and Rip is at the wing. McGrady is being pressured by Ed Davis and his own defender, but McGrady stays calm. A rookie or a smaller player or a player with less skills what either throw the ball away or pass it back to Monroe and just wasted half of the shot clock probably causing a bad look.

McGrady, smart player he is, waits for the Toronto defense to rotate. Kleiza has to watch out for the three second violation and he also wants to catch a possible pass to Prince in the corner. He leaves the middle and thereby creates the huge hole in the next picture.



Rip recognizes this, cuts right to the basket and receives the ball from McGrady for an easy jumper.



T-Mac held the ball under pressure for three or four seconds! He then used his length to find the open cutter who then got a rather easy look for the bucket. Gotta love the patience!

It's Rip City

Gotta give love to Rip for backing up my last post with this performance! 35 points off the bench. You could say either he is making the case for starting or he is making the case for coming off the bench. I would take the latter. As long as he performs like this, we'll be good.

Then again, it's the Raptors. They could make a team look good who's fastest stars are a turtle and a snail. It's a win and I'll take it. Maybe we can get some momentum going, maybe John Kuester is finally figuring out his rotation (it's just been a year or so). Or, quite possibly, the next game will be horrible to watch. You never know with this team. For a decade we knew they were going to win and play well or play badly and still be better than the other team. Now they gotta bring their A-game every night!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rip Hamilton's quit on the Pistons??? Come on now!

I just got done reading this great piece by Dan Feldman of Piston Powered about Rip Hamilton having quit on the team and the history of him with the Pistons.

Alright, I think now it's really getting unfair to him. Dan Feldman is not wrong with his presumption that Hamilton should get his act together and just go out there and play and that Rip has taken on too much of Ben and Rasheed's way of treating coaches and referees.

But look: He's a very accomplished player. He's been with our organization for 9 years and has done nothing but giving his all for us. How many games have I watched enjoying his endless curling, cutting and jumping, all the while wonderin if he could have become a world class marathon runner ... He and Chauncey were the guys one could count on night in and night out without having to worry about their offense. Rasheed was a nightly spectacle between "Oh my! I feel like shooting 15 threes tonight" and "Maybe I should only take left handed jumpers!" and "Tonight I'm gonna completely shut down the best Center in the league!" Sheed was my favorite player on the team, I also happen to have a Rip Jersey in my closet!

All I'm saying is. I don't think Rip has quit on this team. He's a great competitor after all. All of his career he's been committed to winning. Are people really blaming him for being frustrated. The ejections were bad, but at least he shows he cares. He's frustrated and at the back end of his career, I don't think he will get used to losing now. He never was as big a star as Iverson, he doesn't have the "leverage" of a former MVP. He's given the Pistons all he's had, let's appreciate it!

PistonPowered:
Hamilton accomplished a lot in Detroit, and nothing will ever take that from him. But history isn’t objective. How Hamilton handles this situation will play a huge part in his legacy – whether he’s remembered as the Pistons’ all-time leading playoff scorer or that malcontent who drained three years and $37.5 million from the organization.


Telling like it is! Everybody has his ups and downs though, especially in a losing situation. Remember when Kobe had quit on the Lakers and on Andrew Bynum?

Either give him some time or trade him. I don't believe in him quitting on the organization for one second. I believe he cares too much, that's all!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pistons blow huge lead (Big Ben hit a 3)

My teachers taught me to always start with a positive. So let's start with a few positives:

- Big Ben Wallace sort of had a career night (23pts, 14 reb, 5 steals, 4 ass PLUS a three-pointer at the end)
- The Pistons had a great first half, dropping 72 points to take a 19 point lead
- we had a rather good first half of the third quarter as well extending the lead to 25

Well, after that it all broke apart. In the fourth we got outscored by 20, 23 respectively if Ben hadn't hit his three.

I made three Screenshot breakdowns. Two about the incredibly bad defense and one about a very nice play when I thought the Pistons had pulled it together.

Please start executing!!!!

This play reminded me of the Pistons of the past. Stuckey had the roll of Chauncey, there was a lot of off-ball movement with the ball barely moving at all. It's a perfect example of sharp execution and how it would enable an average team to play above average. Sorry for the quality of this sequence, my internet slowed down considerably, don't know why!

Stuckey passes the ball to Ben Wallace at the three point line (where he was especially efficient last night).



As soon as Rodney passed the ball he cuts towards the basket and curls around a Tayshaun Prince screen in order to get the ball back from Wallace.



Ben and Tay then set a double-screen on the weakside. Rip acts as if he was cutting baseline, fools his defender and uses the screens to get himself open for his trademark midrange jumper.





It looks like an old play, because it was so incredibly fluent. The players have been playing together for a lot of years and just reminded me of old times so I thought I'd include this one.

HORRIBLE PICK AND ROLL DEFENSE!!!


What especially annoys me and has been annoying me for quite some time now is the horrible pick and roll defense. It's almost an insult to the word horrible. I'd think even Shaq could potentially improve the pick and roll defense. Want proof? Look no further!

Charlie Villanueva does his best Nowitzki impersonation in this one!! I'm sorry, I love Dirk, he's German like me and he has the sweetest jumper in the league, but he used to blow so many defensive assignments that it was funny. Nothing's funny about this one though.
Leandro Barbosa gets the ball on the left wing and is guarded by Will Bynum. Amir Johnson is running over to set a baseline screen.



Smart fella that CV31 is he knows he has to show on the screen to stop Barbosa from penetrating, Leandro's bread and butter. For a reason that is beyond me, CV31 decides to show on the WRONG SIDE of the screen.



Barbosa uses the screen and converts the easy two. Admittedly it was a well designed play. Monroe has to stay with Bargnani on the perimeter since he is a real threat out there. Daye could've taken one more step towards the basket so he would've been in better help position. It doesn't excuse Charlie V for this disastrous decision though.



Want another example just how bad the Pistons defend the P&R? I got one more! Detroit gives up a lot of threes in decisive moment. Remember the games against the Knicks or Orlando where the opponents seemingly got open looks at will and burnt the Pistons badly.

Coach Kuester is a defensive minded coach, that's why he got the job in the first place. He's been coaching this team for well over a year now and I just cannot understand why the team is still incapable of defending one of the easier offensive schemes. The Pistons aren't playing against Stockton and Malone, not even Deron Williams or Al Jefferson. They were playing Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless...

So let's see how easy it is to get an open three pointer in crunch time.

The Raptors single out Bargnani for an iso-play against Ben Wallace, not a big mismatch there because Bargnani isn't known for his strong post moves and Ben Wallace has made a Hall of Fame career out of defending the post. I probably would've content happy with a one-on-one situation in this instance. Rip Hamilton thinks otherwise and decides to double-team leaving his man wide open. I don't know if Kuester told his team to do so, then he's at fault. If Hamilton decided this on his own, well, then it's on Rip!



So we have an unnecessary double-team. If the team had been informed I would've believed the team had rotated: Stuckey to Bayless and Prince to Barbosa. You always want to make the opposing team make the toughest pass, not the easiest. Usually the double-team should've come from Stuckey or (and this is a sneaky one) from Prince from the baseline. as I mentioned before, I wouldn't have doubled at all.
What's incredible though is that when Bargnani passes the ball to the hot-shooting Jerryd Bayless, Rip looks completely puzzled (illustrated by the question marks) and first tries to run to the left wing not realizing that his man never moved at all. Bayless gets a wide open look hence three points for the Raptors.



Detroit never recovered from this shot!

I liked the lob play Kuester drew up. As Kelser said, it was just a little too far away from the basket for Stuckey to convert. We ran a similar play in high school called "O", never worked for us either... But it could've worked!

What's to learn? The Pistons cannot hold a 25 point 3rd quarter lead to get a desperately needed win at home. The defense gets worse and worse and I don't know why Kuester cannot fix it. It's not entirely his fault. Dumars gets a defensive oriented coach and signs Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, both not known for defense. We'll have to see how it plays out, I'd take a good defensive squad with bad offense over a good offensive team with bad defense any day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pistons get stomped by Hornets

A really, really, REALLY bad 93-74 loss to the Hornets. As Dan Feldman from Piston Powered puts it:

No Piston had a positive plus-minus at halftime – and the Hornets were only up 10. It was incredible how every Piston did his small part to help the team fall behind.

More amazing: they did it again in the second half. All the Pistons who played in the first also posted negative plus-minuses in the second half.


Talking about a team effort, right? Gotta keep a sense of humor here ... This loss was truly annoying. I only got to watch the second half, but boy was that horrible. Ben Gordon was the only player playing well, showing what he's best at, shooting, shooting and more shooting. It was bad enough to hear the New Orleans announcers make fun of the roster (they really got a kick out of the number of guards. Quote when Bynum entered the game: "Oh, a substitution, look, another guard [laughter]".

We have so many guards and neither one of them gets a rhythm. The announcers talked about Bellinelli and how much confidence he has now because he is not afraid anymore to get pulled out after a missed jumper ... Well, how are you not afraid if you are a declining Rip Hamilton when Ben Gordon and T-Mac are sitting on the bench waiting to gobble up your playing time? Same issue for the other too!
I'm still wondering why we got McGrady if we are not going to use him a lot more. I'm starting to beg to make a trade so we don't have this jam at guard. Shooting is 50% about confidence and 50% about practice and talent. None of the players are truly confident. We have two potential game changers sitting on the bench most of the time (Gordon and T-Mac).

Another question: Why did we get Gordon if he's obviously not allowed to take jumpers? What made him great for the Bulls was that he was the leader of the second unit and got the green light. He could any shot anytime he wanted. He had 20+ quarters for Jesus Shuttlesworth's sake. You can't bring in players and take away their biggest strengths, they've been developing them for a mighty long time. Gordon won't be anything else BUT a jumpshooter. If you aren't going to use him you might as well sit him.

You can make the case Kuester is trying to develop the young talent. While Monroe is getting a lot more burn he's still not playing enough minutes. He's lacking confidence in a major way. He's trying to adjust but let's face it, it is not as easy for a big man, because they don't handle the ball as much.

What really annoyed me last night though, was passing up good looks for bad looks. I don't know how many times I saw a player catching the ball with a wide open look, faking, taking one dribble INSIDE the three-point line and fading away for the jumper. That's a streetball move, but you aren't going to win games with that. The Hornets didn't respect the jumper so they didn't leave their feet since they learnt rather quickly Detroit was going to take a bad shot anyway.

Detroit needs to change something! Coach, players ... I don't know, but this roster isn't built to compete. The Hornets are a bad opponent for the Pistons. They match up very well. They have a big man with a great touch (David West), a guard who's strong and fast enough to keep Stuckey from driving at will (Chris Paul) and quick and athletic wing defenders to close out on the jumpshooters (Trevor Ariza). But that's just not good enough of an excuse ...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tayshaun at the Four

The Pistons started Tayshaun Prince at the four last game against Cleveland! I've been waiting for this move for quite a while. In my opinion, Kuester just doesn't have that much of a choice, but playing Tay at the four a lot more than Prince might like to.

There are way too many advantages for this roster than not exploiting Prince's versatility. I didn't get to watch or tape the game against Cleveland, so I can't give any strong evidence, but Prince has been a successful pro in this league for quite a while. He's a tremendous competitor and despite his lacking weight he gets quite a few rebounds. He can take the ball outside and either shoot or drive or he can go into the post and hit his babyhook. He's pretty much unguardable for a lot of Power Forward's in this league!

It is intriguing for this team to play small ball. We aren't going to win a lot of championships soon. Heck, we won't make the Playoffs this year, possibly next season too (if next season isn't a complete lockout anyway)!! The team is for sale and Joe Dumars pretty much can't do anything about it, he can't make major moves and we'll have to live with the logjam we have at the guard position.
Moving Tay out of the three and into the four makes room for Ben Gordon and Rip Hamilton to play more minutes. Well, I actually want to see Tracy McGrady get more burn at the position. Everytime he enters the game, Detroit plays more fluently. He gets the ball into the right spots and hits the right players. He's so incredibly intelligent that he doesn't need big plays to contribute, he can do a lot of small things and be very effective at that!

We desperately need a trade, there's just nothing out there. Dumars can't make a major decision without the future owner's approval. And given that pretty much all the players on the roster have equal value, any trade would be considered a major move. I'm not saying Austin Daye equals Rip Hamilton, but Hamilton earns so much more that a team would probably rather have Daye than Rip right now. We don't have a clear-cut leader of this team so either one of them is substitutable, as harsh as it might sound.

So our hands are tied and we need to make the best out of this situation and pull closer together!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Use Greg Monroe in the High Post!

Hey folks,

the people of Piston Powered have made a great case of using Rodney Stuckey in the post against weaker PGs, which is pretty much any PG whose name is not Tyreke Evans ... Last night he had some beautiful passes that led to three pointers, because the Orlando's defense had to respect the mismatch he had against Chris Duhon.

That's not what I want to talk about though. As I watched the game I realized what John Kuester should do within the next couple of months is put Greg Monroe in as a starter. Greg Monroe is getting better and better and his learning curve has been truly impressive. Although his stats of 6 points on 3 of 6 shooting, 2 rebounds and 4 assists don't look that impressive, he had a real nice game once again. The two rebounds don't take into account how many balls he tipped to teammates and his overall hustle was a nice display of his attempt to try really hard which is nice to watch during this season.

In the second quarter the Pistons had two consecutive possessions where they scored out of a half-court set-up getting clean looks, once Tracy McGrady at the basket and Ben Gordon for the jumper. So let me show those two plays to you NBA Playbook style!!!

The Pistons start the play out with Ben Gordon on top and with Monroe in the high post. Monroe will set the screen and immediately cut into the lane.



Since the defense has to respect Gordon's shot both defenders go out to contest the jumper and Gordon can get a pass into the lane where Monroe's waiting with his soft hands.



McGrady sees this and cuts to the basket. Monroe is a pass first Big Man (boy that's a rarity) and instead of shooting the 4-footer over a smaller but (still) more athletic Carter he drops it off to McGrady for the easy deuce.



Right on the next possession, McGrady passes the ball to Charlie V on the right wing and runs to the weakside. Simulataneously Monroe sets a soft Pick for Gordon on the weakside and then shows up at the high post position to receive the ball.



Gordon, meanwhile, has arrived on the strong block gets a weak pick from Villanueva but still manages to get enough room to receive the hand-off by Monroe and score an easy midrange jumper, Gordon's bread'n'butter!







As you can see, the Pistons played to their players strengths and got off clean looks. I think we could really create an offense around that player. He could be like Chris Webber in Adelmann's system with the Kings in the early 2000's.

Unfortunately, we didn't get the win last night, but I see how this team could work together. The roster needs some tweaks, but overall I see a few bright spots! The reason I want Monroe to get as much playing time as possible, is simply that he'll be a corner stone for years to come hopefully. I like his attitude and his hustle! We're not going to make the Playoffs anyway and if we should happen to make them, we aren't going to go past the first round ... So why not develop Monroe? What's at stake????

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flagrant Fouls

What's up with these flagrant fouls???





Alright, look! I know basketball is a competetive sport, these fouls though... The defenders are just out of position and push their opponents when they've just left the floor for a dunk, which is pretty much the most dangerous moment to push anyone. I don't know when that bacame common but I've never seen anyone do it before this season. I also remember Terrence Williams fouling James pretty hard, but then again, Terrence Williams is kind of a nutscase.

I like that Hilton Armstrong immediately tried to apologize and hadn't Juwan Howard pushed him he would've gotten to do just that. When he saw him falling down that hard he realized he just a classic "brainfart" and I think he's learned from that moment.

Howard needed to stand up for his teammate and it was a natural reaction to this kind of thing. I don't think neither Brand nor Armstrong wanted to hurt anyone, they just didn't want to give up an easy basket. When you are out of position by THAT MUCH, you've screwed up before and you want to compensate and both are classic examples of over-compensation.

I just think it's bad players try to cover up their mistakes by fouling so hard. Just let them dunk it and it's all good or try to block it and get dunked on ....

Miami and Detroit much alike

Alright, today I will mainly talk about team building, which is a pretty hard thing to do and will explain the problems Detroit and Miami are currently having. Obviously, I'm a Pistons fan and I take the losing pretty hard since I only started following them in the 2004 season and have stuck with that team ever since because I loved the unselfishness and I want to get back to that. On the other hand we have the Miami Heat with a spoiled superstar and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who seem to have found their liking to the sense of self-entitlement and poor work ethic the self-acclaimed King is putting every day.

Building a contender is not an easy thing to do. A casual observer would think one only needs to put together great talent and you automatically have a competitor. See, you can get a competitor that way, but not a championship caliber team. A competitor can get into the Playoffs and as far as the Finals on basically one players' amazing skill set (e.g. Cavs in '07 and Lakers '06).

Championships are won with a complete team that has fitting pieces throughout the roster. Duh, some people might say now. I've stumbled over a great metaphor a couple of days ago and it goes like this. Building a championship team is like building a house. You need bricks, you need steel, you need windows and you need the isolation, the energy cable, etc..

The Pistons are currently made up of bricks and windows and energy cables. We have no steel whatsoever. Stuckey and T-Mac have the potential to be steel, but I doubt Stuck will be the Man on the team and I don't think T-Mac will ever be it again. We need this building block (no pun intended). We have way too many bricks and windows and what have you. We don't have that frame though that makes our house withstand the storm that is coming.

To stay in this metaphor, the Heat currently have three frames for a championship house, but they don't have an energy cable or bricks. While all the three players have the skill set to morph into a brick or whatever is needed to win, they are struggling because they are not used to this roll, nor will they be any time soon. All three of them are used to being the frame and not the brick (except for LeBrick James, sorry for that joke).

So, you see, although the teams have very different expectations, Detroit and Miami are pretty similar when you've come to think about what they are missing. Actually, they are similar, because they are the complete opposite of one another. Detroit has way too many roll players, while Miami has three Superstars but no skilled roll players.

I don't want any of the three in Detroit, especially not James. I make no secret out of me hating him and everything he stands for. He takes his blessings for granted and for a, well, a blessing. He calls himself The Chosen One and he actually doesn't seem to feel chosen, he plays like it's a burden.

Detroit needs a star, either develop a star or trade for one. Joe D is having a rough patch. He's trading away players that excell in other places and takes on bad players that played well in other places. I really don't know why that is, I'd assume it is coaching to some degree, I wouldn't call Flip Saunders a bad coach though and John Kuester is doing a lot of things right and I really like how he's handled the tough situations thus far this season. He's gotten Stuckey and Tay back on board and my heart was filled with Christmassy love when Tayshaun had that great game against the Knicks. It felt like we had a good team again. Unfortunately, we always tend to lose close games against the Knicks.

That's it for now! Take care!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Heat talking trades already??

Ok,

I know it's early in the season, the Heat are 6-4 (6-0 against bad teams, 0-4 against good teams) so naturally, people will be looking for the weakest link, which, at this point iiiiiis Chris Bosh!

I've never been a fan of Chris Bosh, I don't look at him as a Top 10 player in this league. Why? Well, he doesn't play defense, at all ... Look at Rondo's dunk I've honestly never seen an elite player looking at someone while standing like a statue. He was in no position to defend Rondo even if he was 3'11". You gotta be better than that CB!!!

So, to give this guy some pressure so he'll level Rajon to the floor during the playoffs (just kidding, I love Rondo,don't want him to get hurt). I'm crying out for trades usually because I love trades. The excitement to see new players work together and how they fit together, you know, it just amazes me.

So, when I was looking for trade scenarios I was looking at what the Heat need and what they could do. Obviously CB can't be traded now, so it's all hypothetical. I never saw Bosh as a fit anyway, Wade and James were Jordan and Pippen (I figured it would chance every other game) but who would Bosh be?? Rodman? Yeah, right! I'd like the Heat to get two guys in return, maybe one energy Big Man and one true PG, that's what you can get for Bosh!

1. Bosh for Josh Smith and a PG
Ok, the Hawks have been doing ok. After a 6-0 start they've lost three in a row. Trade rumors have surrounded Smith pretty much all year. He would be the perfect fit, HE IS A RODMAN!! He's a great one on one defender, great shot blocker, a hard worker, if I just look how he developed from a nutscase to coveted player. He would get a lot of open looks and has proven he can knock down open jumpers, he's being criticized for those pull-ups and contested jumpers he's shooting way too often. This is the last year on his contract and the Hawks would probably pull the trigger if they got offered Chris Bosh because of his offensive potential. If Riles can get a PG out of the deal as well, it'd be perfect.

2. Bosh for Tyrus Thomas and 2 Boris Diaws
Again, that's an energy guy who doesn't need a lot of shots. He can knock down OPEN jumpers and has the athletic ability to change games. Throw in Diaw's expiring contract and even though he's way too heavy, he is an intelligent player who can make things happen by hitting cutters and slashers out of the high post. What are the biggest strengths of Wade and James? That's right, cutting and slashing!It's easy to score that way than off the dribble. Bosh might learn how to defend under Larry Brown. We've seen with guys like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen that when players are put in the right system they show potential in areas you'd never thought they'd be good in.

3. Bosh for Gilbert Arenas and McGee
Energetic big man and an All-Star caliber Point Guard when healthy. Honestly, I wouldn't know how to stop the team if they made the trade happen. The Wiz would probably be hard-pressed to give up one of the rising Big Men in the league but they would get one of the most accomplished PF in the game. The Wizards haven't played defense ever since I can remember so why should their front office start caring now?

So, that's it for now! You see, I see the Heat with an energetic young PF and a better PG! Defense is an effort stat and CB is not putting in the effort. We'll see what happens in the upcoming weeks, but Chris, you gotta realize that, as long as you are the weakest link, people are starting to talk about trading you!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trading for Melo

The rumor has been swimming around (nice metaphor to start this off) that the Denver Nuggets might be inclined to trade their star, Carmelo Anthony. I know this is probably post number 500 what trade Joey D should make in which he would acquire a player he passed on on in order to draft Darko Milicic, but I'll just tell you why it makes sense for both teams, to do this trade, even IF Melo should sign with the Knicks next summer or won't extend his contract beyond the season.

Let's start with the actual trade. The Pistons give up Tay and Rip while the Pistons get JR Smith and Melo. This would the Pistons in contention in the Eastern Conference. The Nuggets want to trade both players and they both have expiring contracts, worth approximately $24 Mio. The Pistons would get two players that can score in bunches, which would probably help one of the worst offenses in the league, plus they get a great sixth man and both are capable of playing defense, although they don't always show that.
The Nuggets get two players of the Detroit championship year, so they wouldn't have to wonder at all if those guys will play together well. Honestly, which other scenario could practically guarantee that? CB and Rip once formed what can be called the best backcourt of the past decade. And Prince wasn't bad with them either. All of them would be thrilled to play together again and Rip and Tay would enjoy a bounce back season, if they stay healthy.

So, Tay's contract is running out too, the Nuggets could save his salary next season during a lockout if they choose to or re-sign him to a reasonable price. Detroit could take a shot at Melo, if they enjoy a great one-season run, maybe Melo doesn't think of Detroit as the worst fit, you know. If Greg Monroe develops into a reliable NBA center, Melo could think twice about leaving the D for the NYC spotlight. But even if he leaves, and Detroit doesn't sign either new addition next off season, it would clear $24 Mio of the books, giving Joe D another shot at re-modelling the roster.

Also, the last ten trades of the Pistons happened with the Nuggets, it feels like, so what the hell, go for it Joe! Although it would hurt to see both of them leave. I'd probably start liking Denver a lot more!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pistons Trade Dreams: Chris Paul

So, Chris Paul unofficially demands a trade out of New Orleans (source Yahoo!Sports)! Well, let's dream!
The Hornets ownership will not get bac equal value, there's just no way that is going to work for them, but I will propose something that will give them back good value and at the same time two expiring contracts.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=2fnmhw3

As you can see, the Pistons would offer two expiring contracts in Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey. It would open up the 1-guard for Darren Collison and enable Stuckey to play the 2-guard. Tayshaun is such a versatile player that he'll fit with any team he plays for. If you want you can talk about draft picks too, but not necessarily. Although I'd hate to see Prince go, if you can work a trade for Chris Paul, you can't pass it up! Even Joey D, who is so fond of Stuck, would pull the trigger!

Chris Paul would be a great PG and franchise player complementing the skills of the other players as a distributor and facilitator enabling Ben Gordon and Charlie V to get open looks from the perimeter. Paul's also a terrific defender and has great leadership, he would easily carry the Pistons back into the playoffs all by himself, but as the roster is currently constructed, the Pistons might even make the second round.

So let's keep on dreaming!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pistons Trading for *gulp* Eddy Curry???

Ok, I just found this quote from the Yahoo! Sports' Suicide Lines from a Marc Berman quote of the New York Post:

"According to a person familiar with the Knicks' thinking, the club will explore trading Wilson Chandler, possibly packaging him with the expiring contract of Eddy Curry. The Knicks would love to trade for a premier outside-shooting big man."

My question is, should the Pistons do this? I mean, call me crazy! Call me stupid! But should we do this? Wilson Chandler is actually a likeable guy with horrible shot selection. He is also rather athletic, but doesn't really know how to use it. Then, well, Eddy Curry, he's Eddy Curry ... talented but overweight all the same. He could've been a special and dominant Center, but chose to have his meals at McDonald's instead of hiring a dietician for the $10 Mio dollars he got for playing all of 56 minutes last year (@ Knicks president: If you pay a guy that much, at least make him work for it somehow, make him wash clothes or stupid stuff like that).
Then again, Eddy Curry is an expiring contract.

So why should Joey D consider it? Well, here are five reasons, enjoy!

1) It's an expiring contract worth about $11 Mio and next years free agent market is not completely unattractive (Melo anyone?). Also, you can use the contract in another trade if you'd like to, if another team should be wanting to ditch some salary and get rid of a good player, who are we to deny them???

2) They want a sweet shooting big who doesn't play defense and fits Mike D'Antoni??? Ladies and Gentlemen, you have found yourself a Charlie Villanueva! I like the guy, I believe he will be better this year than last year, he will never (EVER) be a tough player, and we need tougher players. He is a finesse Forward! He would flourish in D'Antoni's system while the Knicks could go with Amaré, C-Nuv and Danilo which would make an offensively explosive trio.

3) Moving C-Nuv would open up playing time for Jonas Jerebko, Jason Maxiell and Greg Monroe. I'm not sold on the idea that Monroe will be a Center in this league and I would like to see him get some minutes at the four. We always do have Chris Wilcox, so the Pistons are stacked at the 4 as it is, we have skilled players for this position I don't see us needing Villanueva.

4) I actually hate to bring this point up, but Eddy Curry still is a Center with huge potential and great moves offensively. If Coach Q could somehow get him to shed some weight and be a player again, he could really help this squad. He used to be a 20 points, 10 rebounds guy, if we could make him a 10 and 7 guy with occasional defense, he would be a nice upgrade.

5) Curry is in a contract year, so he might be extra-motivated to prove he can still be a good Center in this league.

I see this as a low risk, high reward trade. If it doesn't work out, we'll have cap space, if it works out and Curry actually realizes his potential, we'll have a good Center. That's why I think Joey D should take a closer look at this scenario!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Steph Curry humiliates The Birdman

Man, this play is just as good as the most thunderous throwdown by Lebron or Dwight!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pistons finally coming into their own

The Pistons are finally playing with some kind of consistency. We've waited for this since the 5-4 start to the season that had us hoping for a playoff run against one of the elite teams in the East and maybe surprising one or two teams, meanwhile having terrific contracts as potenital trade bait if the right offer was made to Joe Dumars. Well, mainly injuries prevented the plan from happening and after the good start, Detroit decided to drop 21 out of their next 28 games, sporting a 13-game losing streak and generally losing to teams that were very very beatable losing to the Raptors twice for instance.

A losing streak like that usually takes a toll on the players especially when the veterans wo have been leading this team for several years are out and injured and a new hierarchy has to develop. Rodney Stuckey isn't capable of leading this team yet (or ever) and the new additions Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva have been struggling with injuries of their own. A lot of people aren't satisfied what those two have shown but what a lot of people also don't understand is that supposedly minor aches can have a big impact on what you are capable of doing. Sprained ankles don't seem to be bad for a pure shooter like Gordon, but you lose lift and agility, that way you don't get the seperation from your defender, your drive isn't as big a weapon and when you shoot the jumper you don't get up as high. Kobe never seemed to have problems shooting because his finger was hurt, he started struggling with the ankle and groin injuries. Players usually play through sprained wrists pretty easily, but everything that aches in your lower back or downwards has a huge impact on your performance. That's why it has been bad for the Pistons, since most of their injuries were lower body injuries that effect the players in so many different ways, and what's worse, next morning when you get up out of bed, you feel every single move from the night before.

But there has been a change in dynamics ever since Tay and Rip returned from their injuries and their play has picked up. Tay looks like the Prince of the Palace again and Rip has been dead-on the past three games, even though he almost cost us that Spurs game but whatever dude.If you look at the last 20 games they have won 10 of those 20. I don't know if you realized that, I sure didn't. I'm so accustomed to this team winning around .700 of their games that being mediocre still seems, well, really bad. The overall record also doesn't help to see small improvements.They have against the teams they are supposed to lose to, but all in all they have been hovering around .500 and you can see from their win against the Spurs, this team has the talent to compete. Ok, San Antonio is not the team of '05 or '07, but they are still a playoff contender in the Western Conference so we'll take that win. The Schedule will become a little bit rougher playing Denver, Boston and Cleveland in the next two weeks, but if we get out of this playing at .500 still, I will be pretty proud of this team.

We have a lot of good pieces, we need some more additions but summing it up. I like this team, it's got character. Don't get down on Joe Dumars, he's the best GM there is for this franchise. I'm not saying the FA signings this summer were horrible, I think both C-Nuv and BG will be valuable assets for the years to come. Instead of focusing on trading Rip or BG I think we should explore trades for Stuckey. This team needs a true PG and a true C, that's all there is to it. We won't be a title contender with those two positions filled out, but the balance will be much better.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Letter to Lebron

Hey Lebron,

I heard your Cavs are trying to acquire Stoudemire, or Tory Murphy as a plan B.

If I were you, Lebron, I'd like the development. If this proves one thing to you it's that your GM Danny Ferry is doing everything he can to create a championship team. So, I'm thinking, Lebron, keep the pressure on. If you do decide to re-sign with Cleveland sign a two-year deal. They are not going to say "No! We've got a better alternative than you." If you want to gamble higher Mr. James, ask for a 4-year contract with a yearly opt-out clause, this way you could leave Cleveland after each season if you think they are not doing well enough. I know it's about loyalty, but one-year contracts are not that rare in a world outside of basketball and I want you to understand, you are in a position of power. They are going to give you anything you ask for if you just sign a contract for next season.
You don't cheat on them and you are actually loyal. It's their turn, they have to keep you happy, you say your priority is winning championships and if Danny doesn't give you the pieces then leave. Go play with your buddy Dwyane or some other cats. Go see the spotlight in New York, play for your man Jay-Z, go to LA and play for Phil. You got endless possibilities man, use them!!! I'm not your agent, but that's what you should do.

Sincerely yours,

Jakob Eich

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Close look at Magic-Celtics

Second Halftime Magic-Celtics

Okay, I missed the first half of the game because I was travelling but I wanna try covering the second half. I caught the last 2 minutes and I can say Rajon Rondo continues to impress me a lot and with Chris Paul being injured right now, I feel comfortable calling him the best pure young Point Guard of the NBA. Even though I’m focused on the Pistons I am curious seeing those two teams and therefore decided to take a closer look at this game! It’s also at a convenient time for me, since its only 10pm! So the second half starts in a few minutes I’ll get right to it!

3rd Quarter:
Howard needs to stay out of foul trouble and the Magic need to take care of the ball then they should be fine to win this thing and turn it around.
This is a very winnable game for the Magic. They are still within reach although Howard has only played 7 minutes in the first half. It looked like Stan van Gundy told his team to go into Howard early and he delivered connecting on a righty-hook, a 15-foot jumper off-glass and several free throws he got because Kendrick Perkins decided to respect his new-found jumper.
Rajon Rondo had a nice assist for an alley-oop and a rare three-pointer, but Vince Carter answered right back with a three of his own when KG got lost defending a pick-and-roll play guarding Rashard Lewis. Howard just committed his 4th foul and I really think he should’ve let Rondo go and get the lay-in. What good does it do to have him sit on the bench in foul trouble. He has to learn to control his defense and just foul when it’s appropriate. He has the quickness but really needs to work on his decision-making. Stan van Gundy decides to still play him, deciding to get him a rhythm. Let’s see if it pays off.
Howard just blocked a dunk attempt by Kendrick Perkins, I’m sure SVGs hard just stopped looking at that, but it was a clean one and Rashard ties the game at 60 causing Doc Rivers to take a time-out. So the Magic barely needed a few minutes to erase a 10-point deficit. Nice work!

Ok, I wrote down the last 4 minutes and most of the possession and jotted them down after Rasheed Wallace entered the game because I had heard he makes the C’s worse defensively and since I’ve only known him as good defender from Pistons times I was curious. Here is what happened when he entered the game.

Open 3-pointer made, open 3-pointer made, wide open lay-up due to slow help by Sheed, 2 FTM by Lewis fouled by Sheed, Lewis misses wide-open 12-foot jump shot and Sheed misses a three badly on the other side, another wide open lay-up this time by Jason Williams and to close it a stupid foul by Eddie House with time winding down … So 60-60 turns into 76-62.

So the announcers said that the Cs starters were the reason for the deficit. Well, the starters surrendered the lead but when Wallace entered the game so he could provide a spark offensively and defensively, nothing really happened. He missed rotations and rotated slow in most of the other cases. I can’t help but to think that he’s not the player he used to be and that the effort he gave Detroit might not have been because he wasn’t motivated, he’s just not that good anymore and relying too much on long jumpers and three pointers.

4th Quarter:
So the Magic started the fourth period just like the had played in the third. They knocked down two threes continuing to push the lead. Rivers kept his starters out for an extended time, I think about until there were five minutes to go and the defense improved for Boston, but to be frank, it couldn’t get a lot worse. Pierce, KG and Rondo re-entered the game when the score was 89-76, and they almost crawled their way back into this one, only trailing by 5 at one point.

Howard picked up his 5th foul on a bonehead foul. It was a clear path for KG on a fast break and instead of letting him dunk it and just move on he decided to foul him and give him the bucket. If he fouls he can’t let him score, if he fouls him that hard, he’ll get a flagrant so not fouling would look like the best choice also because the Magic need him on the floor and he would’ve had one more foul to give before fouling out and that late in the game an extra foul is a very valuable asset, right?

Matt Barnes gave the perfect example for a good foul. With about 40 seconds to play, Garnett had a wide open dunk but Barnes recovered and fouled him hard sending him to the line. KG knocked down both but it could’ve been a game-changing play. If KG slams it home the crowd gets into it and the Magic didn’t want that happening. Also the Magic had time to calm down. Garnett knocked down both and Orlando could bring the ball up very slowly and take a last second shot which Lewis knocked down in the face of the D. I’m sure SVG didn’t design the play as it was executed but JJ Redick did a hell of a job passing the ball out of the double team and Orlando in general did a good job running the shot clock down. That play was the absolute dagger and the Magic went on to win it 96-89.

So, the watching both teams a little more up-close gave me a few hints. I focused on the Magic a little more but I can see were both teams will struggle and won’t struggle. The announce said they think in a seven-game series the Celtics will win over the Magic easily, I strongly disagree. The Celtics have an aging cast and, KG might come back to his old self but the Cs offense depends on Rondo running the show and Pierce chipping in at the end of games. Their bench is not as strong as one would’ve tought before the season and the wear and tear is only going to increase during the rest of the season and the playoffs and the Magic have a deeper and younger roster.

As for Orlando. I think they are the team to beat! Period. You can talk about Cleveland and Lebron all you want, but if Dwight Howard keeps on getting at hitting those 15-footers off-glass √° la Tim Duncan, there’s no way in hell Shaq or Big Z will be able to stop him down low. Lebron was bothered by Howard’s size down low during last years playoffs and although his jumper is really going right now, he won’t be knocking down those 40-foot three-pointers in the playoffs, I just don’t see it. The Cavs were really good around this time last year too and during the first round of the playoffs, they are going to have to prove themselves against a team like the Magic or the Hawks in a seven-game series. I’m sorry Cleveland, but I just don’t see it.

Alright, that’s it for me, thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gilbert Arenas Suspension

So the NBA officially announced the punishment for the Washington Wizards players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for the gun incident that shook the world in the middle of December and stole all of our Christmas spirit and wishful thinking that NBA don’t have guns. Both players will be suspended for the remainder of the season, while Arenas has to sit out for 50 games and Crittenton only misses 38. For both players this appears career threatening.

What’s bothering me about Crittenton’s punishment is he’s only charged with a misdemeanor, so he has not done anything essentially wrong. He won a card game and Arenas owed him $25,000 or something around that number. There was a heated exchange, and apparently, he feared for his life so he brought the gun into the locker room. I’m not a fan of guns for protection and anything other than killing animals for the purpose of eating them and to survive. I do not think they serve any good and should be locked aways afely and away from kids and certainly do not have any business in an NBA locker room.

But I’m of the opinion that Javaris Crittenton didn’t know any better just like a lot of NBA players, including Arenas, he grew up in a world where he was the king for so long and never had to see any restriction. I endorse a punishment, but 38 games? That’s far too much for a player like him and I would have welcomed a lesser punishment.

As for Gilbert Arenas. The level of the stupidity he’s shown throughout the process is astounding. Bringing four guns, although unloaded, to the locker room, showing them off, and threatening a team mate … A ten-year-old should know better than that. I could go and ask my ten-year-old cousin if he thought this wasa good decision to do that and I’d bet my money on him he’d say “No, Jake, it’s not!”. 50 games are a lot of games and a lot of money, in this case I’d say it’s the right penalty in my opinion. I just don’t like the proportion. Arenas was the iniatiator, he brought four guns into the locker room, he lost a bet, he provoked Crittenton, mocked the matter, and just accomplished to finally shut his mouth when NBA Commissioner David Stern had to suspend him indefinitely. Is what Crittenton did really four fifths as bad as what Arenas behavior has proven to be. It’s way too much for Crittenton, Fifteen to twenty games should be enough, and that’s it, I think Stern should look at Crittenton’s penalty again.

As for the Wizards likely upcoming attempt to void the contract. Don’t let them get out of the contract. Various experts warned them for various reasons about a max contract when they handed it out. Hell, Arenas thought the contract wasn’t right and left a few bucks (namely $15 Million) on the table, which was a popular gesture back then. He just came off knee surgery and a kind of surgery that usually limits the players production for a while. So there was a strong possibilty he would never return to form. So when he finally had an entire summer to recover and just produced like an above average guard who had to get accustomed to a new role in a new system with a new coach, a lot of people already regretted the decision about signing him to that contract. Don’t let the Wizards get out of this one unless Arenas prefers to get a fresh-start somewhere else. I strongly believe there is a market for him elsewhere, not for $20 million per season, but seven to eight should be a good deal still. He wouldn’t have to act as a superstar and maybe could play the two-guard towards the end of his career. A strong locker room could certainly make him fit in and he is way too gifted to be on the shelf for a long time. He might not be your 30ppg guy he used o be, but he can still score 15 points and dish out 10 assists efficiently and on a regular basis.

The Wizards signed him to the contract and he pretty much is what a lot of people expected, not the same. I would prefer for Gil to go somewhere else and find his old happiness and swagger. He now has time to rest his knees and sit out until next October. He can re-evaluate his life and decisions we will see what kind of player comes back.

It’s not been that long ago that everybody was in love with Agent Zero, ironically he’s now being penalized for having weapons in the locker. A sincere Good Luck to you Gil!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pistons lose to Blazers

Man that was a tough loss last night. I don't think you get as many chances to tie the game with a three in the last 30 seconds or so as we did last night. Rip, Stuck and Charlie V all missed good looks, Stuckey's attempt was by far the closest while Rip was off by a far bit. Now we just have to get over this loss and start winning again. At least we were in the game right to the end and fought back after being down.
We've had a few comebacks this year, as Dan Feldman said it, but can't seem to win those comebacks which makes the comebacks burn down to wasted energy that we might need in other games or we could rest the injured players. This is where a go-to scorer like Gordon might help, a superstar doesn't hurt either of course, but I don't see one coming since we haven't had one (I'm not counting Iverson for obvious reasons) since Dumars took over as the GM and had a say in whether he wants one or if he doesn't. Maybe Stuckey will become one, to be honest though, he's at an age where he pretty much is what he is. He won't develop a whole anymore. He's a really good player and scoring point guard, if he doesn't learn how to shoot the three with consistency we won't be able to rely on him down the stretch on a daily basis. He will be able to close out some games and in others he will fail because when he can't get into the lane his abilities are off set by his short comings.

The fight wasn't a good thing, not entirely bad though. It shows that this team is still alive and wants to win and fight back whenever they can. It surprised me that it was Villanueva of all players since he always appears mild-mannered to me. Still I wonder if there's something wrong that aggrevates the players. Tay went off on John Kuester and I still haven't really figured out why. Tay is a quiet leader, I like that he's taking on the leadership role and that he doesn't take the losing, barking at the coach usually doesn't help all too much in my opinion. The Pistons teams off recent years have had trouble respecting coaches and I hope this isn't a start of something bad because Kuester has been doing a nice job thus far and I'd like to see what he can do with a healthy and improved roster.

When I said the Pistons were most likely to trade Rip I don't think that anymore. He's far too valuable to the team right now. He's the only guy who can facilitate the offense and get some assists for his teammates. So either we find a guy similar to Rips abilities, which would be bogus because why trade a player who's been within the organization for so long for a guy with the same abilities, or Tay is the odd man out. Tay is a great guy, but to be honest, he hasn't played great for several seasons. He's been bad in the postseason especially and his defense isn't what it used to be. I don't know what it is, but I'm afraid he'd be his old self for another, defense minded team like the Spurs, where he has big man who's protecting the rim. Nothing against Ben, he's just not a guy like Duncan or Shaq who protect the paint by their sheer size.

That should be it for today, have a nice Sunday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Utah beats Cleveland at the Buzzer

Man this Sundiata Gaines is a feel-good story. A call-up and then he gets to attempt a game-winning shot and makes it. That's one helluvaguy! Postgame interview right here:



The Jazz belong right in the group of teams the Lakers don't want to face during the postseason. It's stunning, but LA has looked rather bad against other contenders. I'm not talking about Dallas btw. They've lost to a lot of good teams this year it seems. Last year they mainly lost against mediocre or bad teams because they weren't hustling. This year they've lost to Cleveland in LA, to San Antonio, to Houston and so forth.

But this Gaines guy. I like him. He's got confidence and I'll keep looking for him on the rosters. He seems to be a genuine guy who's travelled a lot to get to the NBA, playing for Idaho and in Italy so he deserves it. Great job by Brewer, I think it was him, passing the ball.

Money question: If you were a proven NBA player and you're down two with the game clock winding down, would you pass it to the guy on a 10-game-contract? Kobe could name two players he would possibly pass it to, but a D-League player? So nice job Ronnie!!!

So long!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winning again

What's up Guys!

I know I haven't kept up with my posting, but I had a lot of stuff to do, I still followed the Pistons but didn't make time for it so here we go.

We ended our 13-game losing streak. But guys, this is not over, we'll probably have a few more losing streaks to endure until we are competetive again. I don't see this team going anywhere right now, we'd a playoff contender if everybody was healthy, bumming around .500. Due to the injuries, we are nowhere close to that mark. Even if we were .500 or slightly above even, just getting into the playoffs is not what this organization is about. We want a championship and Joey D is building a contender. What is bothering me is that he doesn't know how he will do it so to me that's not the best of outlooks for the future. Maybe something will just pop up. Maybe we'll run into another Chauncey Billups, maybe Michael Jordan decides to trade Stackhouse for Hamilton again. On the other side, back then we at least had a guy like Stackhouse. Dumars will have to pull off a great move. I don't see Charlie Villanueva working in a defensive system. He's not going to be taught by Larry Brown.
You can say what you want, but Carlisle's and Brown's coaching of defense made the Pistons what they've been for the past years. Carlisle even taught Dirk Nowitzki a little bit of defense and that's gotta account for something right.
So either Dumars goes for natural defenders OR tries to get a coach who's really good at teaching defense. I realize that our biggest problem is scoring, and we have a bunch of great scorers supposively. Villanueva goes off at time just burrying three after three after three. And then he takes games off and is pretty much a no show. He's not that young anymore, he's not a player you can build a contender around. Ben Gordon would be a capable defender, but he's a little short for his position so he has problems at times.

I guess I'll just have to get used to the new team. First we have to get healthy and then the stock of the team and players is going to rise and everything will work itself out. I'm not crying for a trade, don't get me wrong, but we are a few moves (not that many) away from where we want to be. If we reach the lottery and get a decent pick (range 3-10) maybe Joe D can work his magic. Maybe there's a guy like Tyreke Evans, like Brandon Jennings, that'd be enough, then you can develop something. A lot of great players weren't drafted that high (I'm not saying Gilbert Arenas anymore) but Dirk Nowitzki was drafted 9th and Kobe 12th. Just being in the lottery is a great chance, we got Stuckey rather late, right? So there we have our window. We can draft, except for Milicic, Dumars has done a terrific job seeing talent and drafting it. Jonas Jerebko is the latest example.

So I put my trust in you Joe!!! And I'll just keep rooting for whatever team we currently have. And even if it gets worse, we will never be as bad as the Nets!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Doing Some Thinking

Today, I'm not gonna get into a lot of the game. It's beginning to become frustrating. When you have a double-digit lead on the road against the second best team in the West ... Just DON'T BLOW IT! I know they are trying but you just can't do it, know the losing streak is in double-digits and none of us wanted that to happen. Charlie V was hot but couldn't stop the longest losing streak in 15 years of Detroit Basketball. Last season looked bad, and this season ... well, it's not as big a mess teamwise, but we are losing even more so ... Maybe we can get something going sooner rather than later, otherwise we have to hope the lottery balls fall in our favor.
None of our starters played badly statwise, maybe Jerebko, although he was the only starter with a +3 for the game, the rest of the team (except for Gordon) had numbers below zero.

Some other thoughts on the league:

Kobe has a crazy left hand. Takes so much work ethic to shoot like that with the left hand.

Remember when Roy Hibbert was a sure shot Top 3-pick after his sophomore year at Georgetown, stayed two more years and dropped. You think he's gonna be a good center. He lit up Dwight Howard last night, more than that, frustrated him. How man 7'2" centers do you know who can hit the outside shot? I'm just saying he could be a nice pick up for a contender, like, say the Mavericks or Houston.

Jason Kidd's bounce pass was off the chain. How can you play that pass without looking passed Tayshaun's arms. Tay didn't even see the possibility of that pass until it was too late.

Never seen a better jump shot of a 7-footer than Nowitzki's. I'm German and I've seen him play a lot, but it's just so pure.

Next game up against the Spurs. Don't know how we'll handle Duncan, Big Ben couldn't really stop him or contain him in his prime, how is it gonna look this time around ...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Kobe's Clutch Performances

I know there's an ongoing debate whether you'd take Kobe over Lebron or Lebron over Kobe on your last possession. The debate has cooled off ever since Kobe won the championship and hit 3 gamewinners in 28 days (by the way two more than Mr. Iverson hit his entire career, go figure). But last night you see Lebron having a chance and he doesn't only miss the shot, he takes a bad shot.
It doesn't have to be Lebron's fault, but you know what's funny and what, to me, makes the difference? Lebron can take a bad shot at the end, Kobe can't ... Kobe has hit so many clutch shots, fadeaways, lefty three pointers, off one leg in Wade's face, a fade away in Yao's face, fadeaways from 35 feet out and so on. Just get him the ball with three seconds left and he'll get off a GOOD SHOT. No matter where he's at ...

Maybe Lebron has better stats, or even some other guys that you at least have to consider, and I'm not saying that every shot Kobe takes goes in. And it's a different question whether you'd take Lebron or Kobe to build a championship team (I'm still not sure, I'd go with Dwight Howard I guess) but last minute, tight game, I'd want to want Kobe on my team. No other player and no doubt! If you need further proof, check out the video below!