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

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Just finished my power rankings and one thing strikes
me - it's amazing how many mediocre and just plain bad
teams there are, even in a league where the lottery
and free agency is supposed to promote parity.
After two months of the season, most teams in MLB and
the NFL still have something to play for. What do the
fans in Philly, New York, Milwaukee, Chicago,
Washington, Charlotte, Miami, LA (Clippers),
Sacramento, Minnesota, Seattle, Memphis and Houston
have to look forward to the next four months?
What's really telling is how the strong teams are just
blowing away the competition. Boston and the Pistons
have been winning in romps virtually every game;
Phoenix, San Antonio and the Lakers have also won at
least 11 games by double digits.
Bottom line as always: Good management, more than
anything, leads to winning. The execs running the show
in most NBA cities don't really have a vision; they
try to patch holes every year and don't have the
ability to uncover diamonds in the rough, as Joe
Dumars did while building his team.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Why are so many people obsessed with the possibility
of bringing back Chris Webber?
There was a good reason why the Pistons didn't re-sign
Webber this summer: They don't want, or need, him.
One of his people floated a rumor to ESPN Thursday
that Webber would be back in a few weeks but that's
baloney. Joe Dumars has no intention of changing his
roster with things humming along at the moment. As
I've said many times, the only way Webber returns is
if McDyess, Sheed or Maxiell suffer a major injury.
Do these people who keep saying Webber's coming back
remember what happened in the playoffs last season?
Chauncey was caught in between running the offense
himself and running it through Webber. Richard
Hamilton got fewer shots and Tayshaun Prince totally
Then Webber did the same. He had two non-scoring
games, which is a major problem when you're a poor
defender. And as the playoffs wore on, Flip benched
Webber in the fourth because he needed his best
defensive unit on the floor.
Really, how would Webber fit in? The frontcourt
rotation of McDyess, Wallace and Maxiell has been
super - they're 18-7, right? They're second in the
league in defense behind the Celtics, who haven't had
a tough road trip all year.
Webber doesn't want to be a 5-10 minute situational
player and his skills won't fit with an increasingly
younger, high-energy bench. When Stuckey (who comes
back soon) runs the point on the second unit with
Afflalo, Hayes and Maxy, you don't drop a 37-year old
center in the middle of that group.
Plus, the Pistons want to see if Primoz Brezec can
take the minutes that Mohammed was playing and then
there's Amir Johnson. So many people want to see him
play more - he wouldn't play at all if Webber comes

Friday, December 14, 2007


Antonio McDyess participated in the morning
shootaround Friday and is listed as probable for
tonight's game against Atlanta.
McDyess looked like he suffered a much more serious
injury when he landed Rasheed Wallace's foot during
the fourth quarter in Houston Wednesday. But the left
ankle sprain turned out to be minor.
The Hawks, in case you missed it, will be down a
starter. Their first lottery pick, big man Al Horford,
is serving a one-game league suspension for his
flagrant foul against Toronto's T.J. Ford earlier this
This is the third time the Pistons will play Atlanta
in the first 25 games, which is absurd. The season
series with four other conference teams has yet to
begin. One positive in this case: the young Hawks will
probably get better as the season goes along, so might
as well catch them before they develop some cohesion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Just when you thought all was well with Rasheed
Wallace, he misses the bus to the team's shootaround
in Memphis this morning. Supposedly, Wallace is
feeling ill and stayed in his hotel room.
Coach Flip Saunders says he'll start Jason Maxiell in
place of Wallace. The Grizzlies have two 7-footers
starting - Pau Gasol and ex-Piston Darko Milicic - so
Wallace's absence from the lineup could lead to a slow
Can't complain about the weather down here. While
Michigan is enduring an ice storm, it's unseasonable
warm in downtown Memphis. Temps will be in the 70s
today and could reach record highs for this date.
Anyone notice how well Antonio McDyess has fit into
the starting lineup? A notoriously slow starter,
McDyess is shooting 57 percent and tied for the team's
rebounding lead. Even he's surprised how well he has
made the transition. More on this in Wednesday's
editions of The Oakland Press.

Monday, December 3, 2007


When Rodney Stuckey finally gets his rookie season
started, Flip Saunders will have a pleasant dilemma
regarding his backcourt rotation.
Arron Afflalo has been solid defensively while not
trying to do too much offensively. Flip Murray, when
he hasn't tried to fatten his stats during garbage
time of his contract year, has done a pretty solid job
running the point. Lindsey Hunter has been a major
defensive factor in the first half of recent games.
So where does Stuckey fit in? Let's put it this way -
those other guys are going to be scrounging for
minutes very soon. The Pistons' staff and brass loves
Stuckey and believes he was the top point guard in the
draft. Once he gets settled in, he'll be playing no
less than 15 minutes and perhaps as much 25. That
doesn't leave much for everybody else on the bench.
Other quick observations:
1. My, my, how the mighty Heat have fallen. Miami just
kept waiting for Dwyane Wade to come back and pull
them out of their misery but even Wade can't wipe away
all of their blemishes. I'm just waiting for Pat Riley
to announce he's sick or needs another operation, so
he can go into hiding while Ron Rothstein does all the
grunt work.
2. Why do people keep saying the Suns are offering
Marion and Barbosa for Bryant? I don't see how that
works for the Suns. Who's going to do all the dirty
work that Marion does if they trade him?
3. The Cavs are doing a great job building LeBron
James' campaign as league MVP by playing putridly
without him.