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Breaking Pistons news and analysis of developments within the team and around the NBA.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Larry Hughes will probably miss Game 4 with a foot
injury. This means more playing time for Daniel
Gibson, Eric Snow and/or Damon Jones. Considering how
poorly Hughes has played against the Pistons since
joining the Cavs, this might actually work against
them. Gibson is a good spot-up shooter and pushes the
pace better than Hughes, though you would have to
think the Pistons guards could rattle him over an
extended period. Snow can be ignored at the offensive
end but he's always played strong defense against Billups.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


The easiest thing to predict about a Game 3 when one
team is up 2-0 is how the game will be officiated.
Was anyone the least bit surprised that Tim Duncan
picked up three fouls in the first half at Utah
Saturday night? The league doesn't want sweeps because
that means less suspense, smaller revenues and a
longer gap in-between series.
The Pistons know they're going to get more than their
share of calls against them, given the situation and
what happened between Rip and LeBron in the closing
seconds of Game 2. It's almost a given that Rasheed
will pick up 2 quick fouls and continue to battle foul
trouble all night.

Friday, May 25, 2007


How about this?
Turns out that LeBron elbowed Chris Webber in the head
while making a bank shot in Game 1. He was given a
Flagrant Foul 2 after the fact but not suspended. Why
not? Kobe Bryant got suspended twice during the
regular season for similar infractions.
More interesting is how hush-hush the league kept this
info. They normally announce these Flagrant Foul
penalties. There was no official release about it.
Hmmm - is there a double standard here? You bet.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Obviously, the LeBron-Tayshaun matchup will be the one
most watched in this series but the guards and the
sixth men will be just as important.
For some reason, Chauncey Billups has shot a low
percentage against the Cavs in the last two seasons. I
see that changing in this series and the Pistons have
to love the Rip Hamilton-Sasha Pavlovic matchup.
Pavlovic will hit a few perimeter shots but Hamilton
should be dynamic offensively, especially if Chris
Webber gets the ball more often. Hamilton plays off of
Webber better than anyone else on the team.
I also have to believe Antonio McDyess will get it
together offensively in this series. He shot very well
against the Cavs in the regular season.
Anderson Varejao is a pivotal player for Cleveland.
When he's a big factor, the whole team picks up its
That said, does anyone actually see the Cavs winning
this series? Personnel-wise, they're just not ready to
beat the Pistons.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


The Pistons looked relaxed and confident as they filed
in for the morning shootaround. They'll make a number
of adjustments tonight, something that Chauncey
Billups has said they failed to do the past two games.
Expect Tayshaun Prince to handle the ball more. Look
for the ball to go through the post, more, too. Chris
Webber has only six assists this series - that's got
to change.
The best difference, though, will be defensively. The
Pistons will trap and play much more aggressively,
rather than sitting back passively and allowing Kirk
Hinrich to pick them apart. Know this - Chicago won't
come close to shooting 67 percent for the first 3
quarters, as it did in Game 5.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Robert Horry deserves to be suspended not only one
game for his forearm shiver to Steve Nash Monday night
but the rest of the Suns-Spurs series. There's no need
for that kind of nonsense.
In case you missed it, the Spurs were down 3 in the
late going and needed to foul to stop the clock.
Rather than simply grabbing or bumping Nash, Horry
sent the Suns point guard sprawling.
It would be a joke if Amare Stoudemire or Boris Diaw
were suspended for leaving the bench. First of all,
the play occured right near the Suns bench. It's not
as if they wandered across the court to join in the
scrum. And the Suns coaches held them back from
getting involved.
Do you think Rasheed and Dice would have stood up with
their hands folded on the bench if Ty Thomas had done
the same to Chauncey? You've got to give the guys some
leeway in the "no leaving the bench" for a natural
reaction to seeing a teammate, especially a team
leader, get floored by a dirty play.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Interesting how the Chicago press has spun this
Beforehand, most of them predicted the Bulls would win
the series. Now, they're saying 'Nice season. Let's
get it over with as soon as possible.' If the Pistons
were down 3-0, Fllp Saunders and Rasheed Wallace would
be getting roasted over the coals by the Detroit
The only legit excuse the Bulls have is that Andres
Nocioni hasn't been himself. He's not close to 100
percent - Scott Skiles should bench him and give
energizer bunny Tyrus Thomas more minutes.
Whether the Pistons win this in 4 or 5, they're going
to have an extended break. The earliest the conference
finals could start is Monday, May 21. If the Cavs and
Nets got 7, the Pistons would be off until Wednesday,
May 23.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Just got back from the Bulls' practice Friday
Maybe they can't figure out the Pistons' defense but
they sure know how to duck and run. The only Bulls
player who didn't shun the media was Ben Wallace and
Ben spewed a few cliches and short answers, then
walked away.
Scott Skiles spoke at length and seemed rather calm,
though stubborn might be the more approprate term. He
continues to say no drastic changes are necessary and
shrugs off the effects of Detroit's zone. if you're on
the Chicago side, this is no time to stay the course.
Doesn't matter. The only mystery is whether the
Pistons will sweep or whether the Bulls will win Game
4 before inevitably fading away upon returning to the
On the Pistons' side, one thing has been made
perfectly clear: Rasheed Wallace was holding back most
of the season. Remember when he called the regular
season boring?
It was put up or shut up time when the playoff bell
rang and Rasheed has responded with one ferocious
performance after another.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Bulls coach Scott Skiles says he doesn't plan on any
lineup changes but I wouldn't be surprised if Andres
Nocioni or Tyrus Thomas gets the start at power
forward in Game 3.
P.J. Brown had one strong game against the Pistons at
The Palace during the regular season but generally,
he's a poor matchup against Rasheed Wallace. Wallace
has forced Brown out to the perimeter to guard him,
which has made Brown a non-factor defensively and
around the boards. Do you realize Brown hasn't made a
single defensive rebound in this series?
Thomas' big fourth-quarter performance in Game 2 is
something the Pistons should be concerned about.
Thomas, a rookie, hadn't done a thing in the
postseason until then but he''s long and explosive
around the basket. That boost of confidence Thomas got
out of Game 2 makes their job around the interior much
more difficult.
The Pistons only practice about 45 minutes Wednesday;
they're already razor-sharp and Flip Saunders just
wants to keep their legs fresh for Thursday night.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


There's an underlying cause to Antonio McDyess' offensive problems during the playoffs. He's been dealing with a family issue.
He has a sick grandmother that he visited last week in-between games. Dice is an ultra sensitive player to begin with and that certainly had to weigh heavily on his mind. Plus, he's very superstitious and regimented in his preparation - anything that would throw that off would likely affect him in games. He's still playing very well defensive and crashing the boards.
The good news is his grandmother is apparently feeling better.
n The Pistons practiced Tuesday and there was nothing eventful about it, accept that they looked a little more serious than usual. They obviously see the possibility of closing out Chicago, or at least winning one of the next two games there, to take control of the series.
More to come tomorrow.


Monday, May 7, 2007


Random observations heading in the Pistons-Bulls game Monday night:
1. Ben Gordon had a big series against the Heat because he didn't have to work as hard on defense as he will this series. Chauncey Billups ate up Gordon in Game 1; he can't check Richard Hamilton, either. I expect the Bulls to run a lot more traps and play more zone in order to protect their defensive liabilities.
2. It didn't matter, but Chris Webber had a quiet Game 1. I've got to believe Billups will try to get the ball to Webber early to get his center going.
3. When the individual matchups were drawn up, some of the Chicago writers gave their bench the edge over the Pistons' reserves. Huh? There were real questions about Detroit's depth last year. This year, the bench has at times outplayed the starters. Delfino-McDyess-Maxiell-Murray-Hunter are a handful for a lot of teams' starting fives and the opening-night starter at center (Mohammed) is the 12th man.
4. TV's infatuation with LeBron is sickening. Did you notice that if the Pistons' series goes the limit, there will be 3 days off between Games 6 and 7, with Game 7 being played on a Monday night? Meanwhile, the Cavs would play a potential Game 7 vs. New Jersey on Sunday afternoon, even though that series started later.
Why? The networks would rather show LeBron on the Sunday stage, instead of a Game 7 between two traditional rivals. Or maybe they were just doing me a favor so I wouldn't miss my softball game on Sunday the 20th.