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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


If you didn't see my midseason report (plus grades),
they're in Wednesday's editions of The Oakland Press.
One of the things I didn't have space to address was
the Pistons' main weaknesses. From my perspective,
here they are:
1. Overreliance on jump shooting. This has been a
problem for years, including the championship season
of 2004.
They need good ball movement and motion to create
opportunities because they have to work for a
so-called good look. It would be nice to have a Tim
Duncan or Dwight Howard to dump the ball into but even
when Sheed posts up, he's not automatic there. The
best way for the Pistons to get late-game points is
for Chauncey to drive and get fouled.
2. High pick-and-roll. If teams have a wing player
that can penetrate, they give the Pistons fits running
this play. LeBron had his huge game in the playoffs
running this play. D-Wade did it in the past.
Orlando's Turkoglu gouged them that way the other day.
Either Tay has to do a better job of keeping the
ballhandler in front of him or the Pistons have to
zone more in the late going.
3. Bench. Potentially, they're better. But the keys
are Hayes and Stuckey. Hayes is way too streaky for a
guy who supposed strength is perimeter shooting. And
Stuckey has to find a comfort zone. Right now, he's
costing them games because he's so tentative.
4. Frontcourt. It would be really nice to have a Dale
Davis/Elden Campbell clone to call on when
McDyess/Sheed get into foul trouble and they need a
big bruiser. Chris Webber, by the way, doesn't fit the
5. Pressure on Flip. He knows the ride is probably
over if they don't get to the Finals this year. Will
he push all the right buttons and make the adjustments
necessary during the toughest times?
Addendum: Everybody, including the Celtics and Spurs,
have their share of holes. The Pistons can win it all
with what they have if they play up to their ability
in the playoffs, something they haven't done the past
two years.


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