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

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Allen Iverson answered his critics on the court, then took them to task off of it.
For a month, he bubbled with frustration as his image of being the toughest little man in the NBA eroded. He missed 16 games with soreness in his back, a vague prognosis that fueled suspicion he was just upset about being benched.
There was rampant speculation that Iverson wouldn’t play again this season but he appeared in his new role Sunday night against, fittingly, the team he carried for so many years. Iverson had eight points in 21 minutes in the Pistons’ 101-97 victory over Philadelphia - their first home Sunday win in nine attempts this season.
He made his biggest point during the postgame press conference against critics who thought he wasn’t really injured.
“You have no idea how frustrated I got,” said Iverson, who had not played since Feb. 25. “You get all the praise in the world for being a warrior. ‘Allen Iverson played through this injury and that injury. The doctors said four- to six-weeks and you come back in a week. He’s tough as nails.’
“Then, when I get an injury I never had before, an injury that bothered me the way it did, people started to question me. That was the toughest thing. I had this warrior image my whole career and then I get an injury where I can’t go, it’s more or less people just can’t believe it.”
Iverson kept a very low profile, not granting interviews or sitting on the bench, during his idle period. That added to speculation he had quit on the team, which won its second straight game in as many nights after losing six of seven.
“No matter how many positive things I do in the community or positive things I do for other people, (with) writers and commentators - positive is not going to sell when it comes to Allen Iverson,” he said. “The negative is going to sell. If you can come up with a negative story about Allen Iverson, then everybody wants to listen. They don’t want to hear nothing positive about me, so that’s what everybody ran with. ... I kind of understood where it was coming from, it’s just a sad thing.”
Read more in Monday's edition of The Oakland Press.


Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace will be in uniform tonight when the Pistons play the 76ers. However, it's uncertain whether they play.
"I'm only going to ask them at the end of warmups if they can go?" Michael Curry said.
Iverson has not played all month because of a sore back. Rasheed has missed 10 straight with a left calf strain.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Help is on the way. At last.
Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson missed the game Thursday night with injuries but they are all close to returning.
Each worked out under the watchful eye of Pistons strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander Thursday afternoon and showed progress. Head coach Michael Curry says Hamilton, out the last six games with a left groin strain, should return for the road game Saturday against Washington.
Rasheed Wallace, who has missed nine consecutive games with a left calf strain, might also be back this weekend against either the Wizards or the home game against Philadelphia Sunday night.
Even Allen Iverson - he of the mysterious back injury - is poised to answer the skeptics who believe he’ll sit out the rest of the season, rather than coming off the bench. Curry is hopeful Iverson will be back “by the beginning of next week.”


Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson are still out tonight, when the Pistons play the Lakers. We'll find out more soon from Michael Curry on their status for the road game at Washington Saturday night and Philadelphia at The Palace Sunday.
Did you know the Pistons have beaten the Lakers nine straight times at The Palace? That includes Games 3-5 in the 2004 Finals.
The Lakers need just four more wins to reach the 60 mark with 12 games remaining. Safe bet they'll get there.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


If the Pistons played in the Western Conference, as the Red Wings do, they'd already be planning for a lottery selection.
Being a game under .500 in the NBA's Eastern Conference, where the Pistons are at heading into Tuesday's TNT game against Chicago, is more than good enough for a playoff berth. Only a complete collapse will prevent them from getting in.
Chicago is the current eighth seed at 33-38. The team with the next-best record is Charlotte at 31-39. The Pistons are 3 1/2 games ahead of the Bobcats with 13 games left. I figure if the Pistons win six more times, they're safe. They still have a good chance of catching Philadelphia at No. 6 if they can go 8-5. They have two more games left with the Sixers, including Sunday night.
Cleveland has a stranglehold on the top conference seed, with Boston and Orlando battling for the No. 2 spot. Obviously, the Pistons would prefer to draw the Magic, a team they have defeated three times this year and beaten in the playoffs the last two seasons.
Beyond the Lakers with the top seed, the West remains wide open. The other division races are extremely close, with three teams within 1 1/2 games of each other in the Southwest and Northwest divisions. A team can go from the No. 2 seed to the No. 7 spot with just a couple of losses and vice versa.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Rodney Stuckey will play today against Miami after missing the last game with the flu.
The injury news is improving - finally. Allen Iverson's back tests have all come back "fairly good," according to head coach Michael Curry. He's going to start doing some therapy and rehab work with strength coach Arnie Kander. Still, no target date for his return.
Rasheed Wallace had some tests done on his calf strain Saturday and they were also positive. He could return to action as early as Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Richard Hamilton is feeling better after his nagging groin injury flared up last weekend. He could be back as early as Tuesday against Chicago.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Rodney Stuckey is suffering from flu-like symptoms. He's not starting but might play. Lots of ball-handling duties for Will Bynum and Tay Prince, even if Stuckey gets off the bench.


Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton are both out for tonight's game against the Clippers. It will be Wallace's sixth consecutive absence with a left calf strain. Rip is still nursing a sore groin. It's very likely they'll both sit out Sunday afternoon against Miami, as well. Good luck guarding Dwyane Wade, Arron Afflalo.
Allen Iverson is having more tests on his back from doctors recommended by the Pistons' staff. As I speculated earlier this week, I think we already may have seen the last of Iverson in a Pistons uniform.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Has Allen Iverson played his last game in a Pistons uniform?
Iverson remains out indefinitely with a mysterious back injury. He has missed 11 consecutive games, coinciding with head coach Michael Curry’s decision to make him a bench player.
Iverson met with doctors at Georgetown University Wednesday and will undergo a more extensive examination the next two days.
Even if he’s cleared to practice after the tests, Iverson would need at least a week to get back in condition to play. If Iverson is not cleared to practice soon, the Pistons might reach the point - perhaps at the end of the month - where they’d shut down Iverson for the rest of the season.
You have to wonder how seriously Iverson is hurt. Despite several tests, the only thing we've heard is the vague prognosis of a sore back.
When Iverson returns from D.C., it would behoove him to meet with the media and assure everyone he hasn't quit on the team and the season.
In any case, Iverson will not return next season. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, and the Pistons will use the salary-cap space created by his expiring contract to upgrade the roster with younger players.


Arron Afflalo was not in the rotation last week. Now, he's the main shooting guard.
Richard Hamilton's nagging groin injury has flared up again. He missed the game against Dallas Tuesday and is doubtful to play tonight in Houston. He joins Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace on the sidelines. Afflalo scored 16 points against the Mavs, including four 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough.
The Pistons have been remarkably healthy over the past decade, so their luck was due to run out. Better that it happens in this wayward season.
By the way, Iverson is supposed to get his sore back checked today at Georgetown University.
Right now, the Pistons are sitting in the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference. If they remain there, they'll either play Orlando or Boston in the first round. They have 16 games left and probably need to win about half of them to hang onto the No. 7 position. With their injury situation, that's going to be a challenge.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Rasheed Wallace's left calf strain is still a major issue. He'll miss Sunday's game against Memphis and will likely sit out the team's two-game Texas road trip against Dallas and Houston.
Allen Iverson's back will be reevaluated this week, probably Wednesday in Washington, D.C. There's no timetable on his return.
Iverson has been virtually invisible since he began sitting out. He hasn't been on the bench during games but head coach Michael Curry says Iverson is keeping a low profile for a good reason.
"He doesn't want his injury or his coming off the bench to be a distraction to the team," Curry said.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Antonio McDyess continues to be the team's most consistent player. If everyone played like him this season, the Pistons would be challenging Cleveland for the division title. McDyess was at it again Wednesday with Rasheed Wallace injured, grabbing every rebound in sight, setting screens, defending the post and hitting mid-range shots. He recorded the Pistons' first 20-20 game in more than 11 years. And they still lost.
For all the talk of which free agents the Pistons might bring in this summer, the biggest signing could be to retain Dice. They signed him to a one-year, veteran's minimum contract after he took a buyout with Denver, leaving $9 million on the table. He'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer and all the same contenders who wanted him in November will at least dangle their mid-level exception to him. He'd be a great fit in San Antonio, Cleveland or Dallas.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Jason Maxiell will start for the first time this season in place of the injured Rasheed Wallace. Michael Curry says that Maxiell's improved defense against 3-point shooting power forwards convinced him to start Maxiell ahead of Amir Johnson or Kwame Brown.


Rasheed Wallace will miss Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks and Friday's road game against Toronto with a left calf strain. He suffered the injury during the first quarter against Orlando Monday night.
Without him, either Kwame Brown or Amir Johnson will get the start. Brown played 26 solid minutes against the Magic but is most effectively against bigger centers. The Knicks and Raptors have smaller, more athletic frontcourts, which better suit Johnson's style of play.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The price of season tickets for the Pistons is going down.
The Pistons announced Tuesday that the club will lower all season ticket prices for the 2009-10 NBA season. Season ticket holders who renew season tickets and pay in full by May 1 will save at least 10% from last season. 
Additional ways to save include taking part in a newly-developed 10-payment plan or by taking advantage of a free upgrade option on seats.
The Pistons' sellout streak ended last month. They're still drawing sizable crowds for special games like Chauncey Billups' return last week and weekend games. But there were plenty of empty seats Monday when they played Southeast Division leader Orlando. The Pistons have been discounting single tickets in the upper levels all season to fill the building and know that season ticket sales will fall dramatically next season unless they take some steps to entice buyers.
For information on purchasing season tickets or renewals, contact the Pistons ticket sales and services department at 248-377-0100 or log on to

Monday, March 9, 2009


Lots of people around the state could use some help.
The Pistons and The Palace organization are doing all they can to aid the neediest residents this week.
The Pistons are holding their annual telethon for the Feed The Children relief organization on Wednesday.
All proceeds will support families in critical need of food and basic necessities throughout the state in areas that have been hit hardest, beginning with metro Detroit. The event will begin early in the morning with radio and television broadcasts taking place at The Palace and continue throughout the day. Fans attending the Pistons game against the New York Knicks Wednesday night can donate at the arena.
Donations can be made through their web site, Fans can text DEP to 90999 to donate as well, with a minimum $5 donation.


With Richard Hamilton and Antonio McDyess back in the starting lineup, and Allen Iverson resting his aching back, the Pistons do not have a true scorer off the bench.
The bench delivered in a road victory against Boston nine days ago, scoring 30 points, and also racked up 48 against depleted Golden State in a blowout last Friday. But in the other three games since Hamilton replaced Iverson in the lineup, the reserves scored a combined 31 points.
That would seem to be the Pistons’ biggest issue until Iverson recovers and becomes a bench player for first time in his career. But head coach Michael Curry doesn’t share that notion.
“How many times are there five guys off the bench at the same time?” he said. “It’s doesn’t happen too often in this league. Most of the time, we always have two starters in the game.”
When those starters are playing with the reserves, the offense revolves around them.
“We just try to run some of the same stuff and try to feature different guys at different times,” Curry said. “Once Allen is back, he’ll just be one of the guys we try to feature as well.”
Jason Maxiell is the reserve corps’ top scorer for the time being, and he’s averaging just 5.6 points. None of the remaining reserves average more than 4.3 points.

Friday, March 6, 2009


The club has not released any information about how advanced Chuck Daly's cancer is but the raw statistics on pancreatic cancer are grim.  The disease is considered largely incurable and usually, inoperable. The survival rate for all patients with that form of cancer for one year is 20 percent; The five-year survival rate is 4 percent. Factor in Daly's age, and the odds get even longer.
"I wish him the best," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "That's a tough cancer to get."
But his friends don't care about those numbers.
"If there's one guy who can battle this whole thing," longtime Pistons trainer Mike Abdenour said, "it's Chuck Daly. he has always been a fighter."


Legendary Pistons coach Chuck Daly has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The news was revealed through a Pistons spokesman.
Daly, 78, won two championships with the Pistons and is the runaway leader in franchise victories with 467.
"Chuck is being treated for the cancer and the family is requesting privacy," said Matt Dobek, who heads The Palace's public relations department. "When he was coaching, Chuck was always known as the Prince of Pessimism, right now Chuck Daly is the King of Optimism."
Daly served as head coach of the Dream Team, the 1992 Gold-Medal winning USA Basketball Olympic Team, which has been acknowledged by many as the greatest basketball team ever assembled. Daly was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. The number 2 (for those 2 NBA Championships) was retired in his honor by the Detroit Pistons in 1997.
"He used to always say the best thing I have going for me as a coach is my ability to go deaf," Palace president Tom Wilson said. "People would come off the floor complaining about being taken out, swearing at him, he’d just ignore it and move on. His sense of perspective was always amazing and his ability to talk to you like you were the only person in the room. And that’s what he did with players. He could have a conversation with you and you were confident he’d never had that conversation with anybody else, ever, and never would again. And then he’d move to the next guy and have the same one."

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Allen Iverson and his chemistry-busting style are on the shelf for at least two weeks. So, AI avoids having to come off the bench for the first time in his career until later this month.
The way the Pistons are playing, it seems they're better off without him. But now they have to wonder who's going to produce off the bench.
Not too long ago, they had Richard Hamilton and Antonio McDyess as their sixth and seventh men. Now, Jason Maxiell is back in the role he had last year as sixth man and the seventh man is, who, Will Bynum?
That's the dilemma for Michael Curry until and if AI returns. He's got a bunch of role players but no go-to scorers to carry the second unit. Walter Herrmann is probably the offensive skilled but he's just too inconstent. He had 11 points against Boston, none against Denver. That's typical of guy who relies so much on 3-point shooting.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Allen Iverson will be out at least two weeks after getting his achy back examined at Georgetown University Wednesday morning. Iverson will be reevaluated after the two weeks are up.
Obviously, the Pistons aren't in any rush to get him back, even if they have no scorers off the bench right now. They've won three straight without AI, all against division winners, while shooting 48 percent from the field.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Chauncey Billups spoke to the media Monday afternoon, following Denver's practice at Oakland University. Here's a few snippets about his return to The Palace Tuesday night:
(on playing at The Palace for the first time since the trade) "I'm really not that emotional of a person but this city means a lot to me, the fans mean a lot to me. This will always be my home away from home. I miss our fans here, I miss all of that, I really do, so I'm looking forward to that."
(on how much it would mean to be greeted warmly) "It would mean a lot because all the fans know I gave everything that I had, every ounce that I always had to the city and the team and the organization. I think people appreciate that and I certainly appreciate the fans and how they treated me. They made me a star. When I came here, not a lot of people knew what I could do and who I could be and they helped me in that process."
(on Rip Hamilton coming off the bench and then returning to the starting lineup) "Rip, he's one of those guys that built the team. We built around him, we played around him. I'm just going to say I would never think he would be somebody that would come off the bench."