Posted on: May 22, 2011 1:46 am
Well I was hoping to see the Pistons get lucky and move up in the draft from their originally slotted 7th spot, but instead it was the Cavaliers that got the lucky draw and the Pistons went the opposite direction and moved down one spot. With this draft lacking alot of potential huge stars, it's likely the Pistons won't be getting any player that is going to be able to be a future leading star for them. So the most important thing will be to draft a guy that not only has talent, but also can impact their team and be a great role player right off the bat. There are a few options, but I think it clearly comes down to two guys: Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo.
When Chauncey Billups was at the PG helm for the Pistons leading their offense, they were contending for the East title each year and always at least in the ECFs. The won a title and went to back to back Finals appearances in the Billups era, but since trading him to the Nuggets they have dropped off significantly and that's really an understatement. Allen Iverson was one of my favorite players of all time, but that experiment failed miserably. They had picked Rodney Stuckey in the 2007 draft and had hoped he was going to be able to step up and be Billups understudy and eventually take the starting job once Billups got too old and had to step down. He showed flashes of amazing talent and ability to get to the lane and create offense; even in the 2008 NBA playoffs where he was penetrating the Celtics defense very well at time (and I remind you this was the #1 defense at the time that went on to win the title).
This is what gave Dumars the thought that he could trade Billups now, get Iverson and use his expiring contract to free up cap space in the 2010 super FA market to get players to go along with Stuckey and the other younger Pistons players to start the transition from the older 2004 championship players to a new Pistons team. Well as we have seen since, Stuckey hasn't stepped up and Joe D decided to use his extra money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, which has also proven to be disappointing. Stuckey has still shown those flashes, but has to be consistent enough to be that PG they need to lead the offense. Now he has shown horrible attitude problems and refuses to play for the team at the end of the year because of arguments with the coach. Well I say good riddance to him as he has obviously failed to live up to expectations and is now being a whiney baby that has no business being our point guard.
So now the question will be who will fill that spot? I love Will Bynum as he is a tenacious defender with quickness and lots of athletic ability (dude can throw down for a little guy), and I like how unselfish he is on offense always looking to pass first and creating open players by being able to penetrate the lane well. But I know he is never a guy that is going to be able to lead their team, so they will need to get someone he can. A guy that could do that is Kemba Walker. He has proven to be a strong leader and able to take a team on his shoulders and win them games. He has amazing scoring ability as well as some good passing skills (didn't use it a whole lot in college but he does have it when I watched him play games at UConn). He has the ability to get into the lane, stop-n-pop for jumpers, and get them big shots. Sound familiar? The next Mr. Big Shot maybe? Of course if they do this they need to try and trade Stuckey, and he still has talent and with some teams needing PGs I'm sure someone would bite. They would have a good two-man, inside-outside tandem with Kemba and Greg Monroe that could be the future of the new Pistons squad and possible start turning things around back to at least making the playoffs.
The other option is to look down low, which is most likely the bigger concern at the time. They got Greg Monroe last year and I really liked what I seen from him. He should be the main big for the Pistons for years to come. He's got size, good rebounding, good passing, and a developing offensive game that will get better each year. He can anchor them in the post on offense for sure, but while he's a solid post defender he's not the best help defender and is not great and helping on driving players. Ben Wallace was the doing this for the Pistons in his prime years (being the best defensive player in the league) and is doing it now at the twilight stage of his career. But he's not the young athlete he once was and is close to hanging it up and focusing on becoming a defense attorney upon his retirement (fitting isn't it?), and the question is now who is going to do that? The Pistons have turn things around on defense because that had been their identity for years and always what was the backbone of their success. A guy that could fill that role is Bismack Biyombo.
The young (or old depending whether you think he's 18 or 30) kid from Congo is not someone that was a big time draft prospect all year. He hasn't been playing in any big time college basketball, and has only recently been playing big time professional Euro basketball for Spain. However, what he lacks in experience at high levels, he makes up for freakish talent and athleticism. He can jump out of the jump, has energy galore, and a monstrous 7 foot 7 inch wing span. When I looked at his size, 6'9" 240 lbs, I thought to myself: "That looks familiar; I think that was Big Ben's size." Then I watched tape on him and I got a chill up my spine as Big Ben flashbacks went through my mind.
He is a very strong defender, with strong rebounding, great leaping ability, a long wing span, and lots of energy and hustle that just makes him a carbon copy of a young Ben Wallace in terms of physical attributes and abilities. I even watched a few highlights where he was playing up and pressing the ball handler after the ball was in-bounded, and the only other big man I ever seen do that was Big Ben. I'd love to put Bismack alongside Monroe and give them an excellent post duo for their future. Monroe can lead them on offense while focusing on man defense and Biyombo can do the dirty work, clean up the boards, swat shots left and right, and just straight out hustle. While I'm tired of watching the Pistons drafting European players and them failing to pan out (Darko ruined Euro players for me to be honest), the potential ability Bismack has to be the next "Big B" just has me hoping they get him at the 8th spot.
Either way it's time to end the transition phase and move onto to the new generation of players. Tayshaun Prince's contract is up and while I wish they would have been smart enough to get something out of him (someone would have wanted an expiring contract), it's time to cut ties with him and move on. Richard Hamilton will always be remembered and loved for what he did with the Pistons and is probably their best pure shooter in history and I think one of the best shooters running off screens of all time, his time has passed as well and they need to trade him along with Stuckey. Guys like Monroe, Bynum, Jonas Jerebko, Gordon, and Austin Daye are their future now and they can add another young gun to that group in a couple months with their 8th overall pick. Whether they choose to get a guy that can lead their offense in Kemba or a guy that can impact and improve immensely their post defense in Bismack, it's time to get the new era of Pistons basketball started. We finally have a new owner, Flint's own Tom Gores, and we can finally move past this phase of unbearable to watch basketball.
I want to be proud again to say............
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:50 pm
After watching all these go on over the last couple days before the deadline today, I can't believe not one deal was done by the Pistons. What was Joe Dumars doing, just sitting back and twiddling his thumbs? Was he expecting someone to come drop some great deal in his lap? It's very frustrating as a fan to watch all this activity go on and the Pistons just to sit back and do nothing when it's obvious they need to do some work to this team if they expect it to start improving and getting back to contending in the playoffs again. Why is Richard Hamilton just going to sit there and rot on the bench? Why is Tayshaun Prince's expiring contract to being used to entice some team into a deal? Why are they just going to sit back and hope it all magically works out and the team just transforms back to the 2000s Pistons?
I can't say I'm completely shocked to see they didn't do any deals as Joe D has really be slacking the last couple years. It's so obvious this team is just sitting in limbo and has no organization, no identity, no leadership, and no idea what the hell they are doing right now. They couldn't honestly think Ben Gordon and Charlie Villaneuva were the answer. Those guys are excellent role players but come on, neither one is a guy I'm counting on to lead this team. They can't keep waiting around expecting Rodney Stuckey to suddenly transform into Chauncey Billups; sorry that's not happening any time soon and likely never. Rip and Prince are both guys that have been lost without Billups, as has the whole team, and neither can step up and lead this team. They've tried and failed miserably (making themselves worse in the process; Rip can't be a Kobe/Wade type of SG and Prince is no LeBron James but guys try to put themselves in those roles and can't get it done).
This team has very good young role players in Gordon, Charlie V, Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, Will Bynum, Chris Wilcox, and Jason Maxiell that can all contribute to a good team but none are guys you can count on to lead your team and/or run/be the center of your offense. Tracy McGrady has been doing his best to try and be some sort of a leader for this team, and he's actually help keep them at least competitive in some games, but he's not that kind of guy anymore. He's still a very good player, but he's not the answer. He could have been used as well as trade value.
They can't expect a rookie in Greg Monroe and an gray haired Ben Wallace to do it all in the post. Jason Maxiell and Chris Wilcox have shown some solid play in bursts but have overall not been doing much for the Pistons in the paint. Big Ben can't play much more than 20-25 minutes in a game anymore. He gives everything he has for those 20-25 min. and has still been able to rack up 8-10 boards in those short amount of times (as well as playing smart defense drawing lots of offensive fouls) but what happens for the other 23-28 minutes of the game? Greg Monroe has steadily been improving and been strong on the boards, solid on defense, very good at handling the rock and playing transition, but his scoring is not enough yet to anchor them in the post. He's showing flashes of what he could do (with a 27 point game the other night) but he is not a guy that can give them a respectable option to go to in the post. And when Big Ben, Wilcox, and Maxiell are nothing more than garbage guys on offense, that makes it even worse.
Rodney Stuckey can't lead a team, and it's frustrating and hard to say that after all the high hopes we've had for him. He's shown flashes of being amazing but he has yet to show consistently he's willing to play the role of facilitator as well scorer. He's also yet to show he can knock down jumpers on consistent basis. He can drive to the rim like a Derrick Rose when he wants, but he because he has no jumper to respect and because he isn't willing to feed his teammates enough, that diminishes his scoring and his overall value at times. He was unfairly expected to be the next Chauncey Billups for the Pistons right away as a rookie, but he could at least try to be a PG at times. Will Bynum has actually shown he's willing to be a facilitator and find his teammates, and also has a strong ability to get the rim. He also knows that his ability to get to the rim can be used to find his teammates (by drawing the defense to himself). He's also shown he's an intense, fiesty defender that really likes to put pressure on the ball handler for the opponent. He plays Lindsey Hunter like defense and uses his speed and quick hands to disrupt the opposing PG. But like Stuckey, he lacks a consistent jumper and he does at times fall in love with jumpers, even when he's not knocking them down and has gone cold.
I just can't believe Dumars did NOTHING before the trade deadline and Rip will continue to just sit on the bench pouting and not being used at all, and the Pistons will continue to be stuck between old and new in this transition phase that is just utterly disgusting to watch after we Pistons fans had watched them be contenders in the East for so long. I can understand all good things have to come to an end sometimes, but when your GM isn't in any hurry to try and fix and improve the team it's just frustrating as a fan especially when you watch all these teams be so active during these last couple of days. It's even worse when you've got a guy like Rip, who know is still a good player but just doesn't fit in with the team anymore, just sit there and waste away on the bench; and when you watch a guy like Rodney Stuckey, who you've been waiting to just turn into your team's star for awhile now, continue to lack the ability to step up and not improve on his game like you've been expecting.
I've been very patient with Joe D as he was one of the best players we've ever seen for this franchise and won us two titles and Finals MVP as a player, and then went on to orchestrate and manage a team that won another title in 2004 and contended in the East for most of the last decade. However, after breaking my heart and not resigning Big Ben, trading Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, using cap space to sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villaneuva, and now standing pat during a very active trading deadline and letting Rip rot on the bench, I'm starting to lose my patience with him. I'm tired of watching the Pistons lose games when I can see if this team had any direction whatsoever they could be at respectable and in the playoffs. If Joe D doesn't make any moves this off season that can give this team more structure, an identity, and organization for their future then I'm sorry to say it but I think it's time for Joe D to go.
Posted on: May 19, 2010 11:19 am
Edited on: May 19, 2010 11:25 am
The Pistons didn't get any luck like the 76ers and Wizards to move up in the draft and are stuck at their 7th overall spot for the 2010 NBA Draft. Things would have been much easier if they could have moved into the Top 5 and had a chance at DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors, but considering how the Pistons season went this year, I guess it was foolish to expect any kind of luck for the MoTown boys this year. If only they could have actually lost more games instead of deciding to win 4 of their last 6 games to move them out of the bottom five and get stuck with this damn 7th overall pick!
So the consensus is to grab a big man, and even though they won't likely have a shot at Cousins or Favors, they are predicted by most analysts to go after Cole Aldrich or maybe Greg Monroe (if Aldrich is gone). This seems all fine and dandy on paper and makes perfect sense considering the biggest weakness of the Pistons is their lack of post scoring or overall post depth. However, when you look at their draft history with big men, it makes me a little afraid to take a big man with this pick. Here is the Pistons 1st round draft picks for the last decade:
2009 - Austin Daye (15th)
2008 - D.J. White (29th)
2007 - Rodney Stuckey (15th) Arron Afflalo (27th)
2006 - None
2005 - Jason Maxiell (26th overall)
2004 - None
2003 - Darko Milicic (2nd overall)
2002 - Tayshaun Prince (23th overall)
2001 - Rodney White (9th overall)
2000 - Mateen Cleaves (14th overall)
Now lets look over the big men the Pistons have taken with 1st round picks. Back in 01 they took Rodney White with the 9th overall pick. I don't think that worked out to well considering he was traded very soon to the Nuggets, who then shipped him to the Warriors, and now he's playing overseas. I will not go into detail of the Darko pick without having a mental breakdown and turning into a serial killer. Maxiell looked very good early on his career, and maybe the Pistons bad luck with big men was about to be broken. He played with a lot of energy and heart and was seen as maybe the next Ben Wallace for the Pistons. However, when they tried using him in big minute situations (instead of the bench/energy role he had been filling) he completely regressed and was not the savior. For some odd reason, they now have tried to make him a jump shooter and that is only making him worse. Another one bites the dust I guess. Then in 08, they took D.J. White, but we really can't count that since they didn't hold onto him long and traded him before the draft was even over. He hasn't panned out very well so far for the Thunder either I'm guessing though.
Now look at the perimeter players they've taken in their history. It's not a lot better, but there have been some gems in there. Tayshaun Prince in 02 proved to be a great selection as he helped them get a championship in 04 and helped take them to 7 straight ECFs. Rodney Stuckey, while not turning into Chauncey Billups as soon as everyone expected (due to the Allen Iverson trade bringing overwhelming and unrealistic expectations to Stuckey) has been showing great strides improvements and could be a very good starting PG for them going forward into the future.
Let's even look back deeper into the Pistons draft history. The best big man they ever drafted was Theo Ratliff in 1995 18th overall. While he didn't stay with them long, he turned into a very good defensive center; no superstar but still very good nonetheless. But their draft history with perimeter players is not even comparable. In 1994 they took Grant Hill with the 3rd overall pick. For the first 7 years of his career with the Pistons he accumulated more total points, rebounds, and assists than any other player in history besides Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson; good company huh? Then the year before that (1993) they took Allan Houston with the 11th overall pick. Houston, while only staying with the Pistons for a few seasons, went on to be a great shooter for the Knicks. Then, if we kick it old school, the Pistons took Joe Dumars in the 1985 draft at 18th overall. I think we all know how he went on to become one of the best Pistons ever.
Now the point I'm trying to make (if you haven't figured it out already) is that the Pistons don't have the best luck when drafting big men in the first round. While Aldrich and Monroe look good on paper, make sense for the Pistons to target, and if everything turned out perfectly, would be great picks for them. However, excuse me if I'm a little nervous about any big man the Pistons take; especially tall, slow, white guys like Aldrich (DARKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ). Now if they took a perimeter player, it wouldn't make much sense (especially considering they took Austin Daye, Durrell Summers, and Jonas Jerebko last year, signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva last year, and have enough perimeter players) but I'd be a lot less worried we'd turn out with a bust in this year's draft.
Now if the Pistons are unable to ship out Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton (to create some cap room), then I wouldn't suggest drafting a perimeter player because we'd have an overload. However, maybe they could try trading down in the draft to take a lower projected big man like Patrick Patterson or Daniel Orton (or maybe still get lucky and have Greg Monroe still there). I know Joe D has been having trouble dumping off Prince and Rip's contracts, but maybe adding in their 7th overall pick to move down in the draft would help provide incentive for a team to take on the contracts of Prince and Rip. This would then provide a much bigger advantage for the Pistons than anything in the draft could as they would have room to sign a big name player in this star studded off-season.
All I know as this draft and off-season is huge for Joe D and the Pistons. If they are unable to make the right moves, we could be in trouble for a few more seasons (and after watching the Pistons be so successful for most of the last decade, it's going to hard to swallow more seasons like the last two). However, if they are able to dump off Prince and Rip's contracts, they will create room for a big name to join the Pistons for the 2010-2011 season and bring them back into contender mode.
As long as the Pistons don't draft another slow, foreign, big man (DARKO!!!!!!! ) I guess I can't complain.
Posted on: October 31, 2009 9:10 am
Yes, you heard me right and now that he's back with the Pistons he's proving it. He wasn't be used correctly on the Bulls and Cavaliers who tried too much to play him out of position (PF) and never let him roam like he could. He's old now, so I won't argue he's better than Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett but he's still in that upper group of post defenders. He can still go one-on-one with any post player and slow them/shut them down. He can still get up (though not as well as he use to) and block shots or get rebounds. He is also still quick enough and has quick enough hands and feet to press players after the throw in and still can step out on players and get some steals. If you need any proof, go watch the last two games for the Pistons and you will see plenty of proof.
He's not just putting up individual stats or slowing down just one player, but he's effecting the entire defense again and getting back to being that anchor on defense. The first game against the Grizzlies, the Pistons held them to 74 points on 36.1% FG shooting and Big Ben had 9 rebounds and a block. The game last night against the Thunder, the Pistons held them to 91 points on 43.4% FG shooting and Big Ben had 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 3 steals. Yes, they did lose last night but there was no more that Big Ben could have done to help them win (they only played him 30 min. for one, and even though they played good defense it was their offense that couldn't get it done).
I know you still have a bad taste in your mouth from what he looked like on the Cavs and Bulls, but you can't expect a player like Ben to be able to play out of position and not in his own style. The excuse sure works for Steve Nash and a few other players, so why does it get ignored for Big Ben? And for anyone who has tried to say it was the Pistons defense that made Big Ben, please explain how their defense is making him look good now? Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villaneuva, and Richard Hamilton are making him look good on defense? Please, Tayshaun Prince is the only other one who can play great defense on the team right now.
I know you will say "it's only the Grizzlies and Thunder," even though I heard a lot of people talking about the Thunder being a "surprise team" this year and their offense is really good but their defense is the weak part. However, Tuesday, November 3rd 2009 (mark it down) the Pistons will get to play Dwight Howard and the Magic. Once you see Big Ben take on Howard and still play great, I'll be waiting to hear what excuses you can come up with then.
Ben Wallace is still one of the best post defenders in the league.
Posted on: October 29, 2009 9:47 am
Edited on: October 29, 2009 9:49 am
For the most part, I loved what I seen in this game. Love seeing Big Ben Wallace back on the Pistons , and I love his defense even more! He had Zach Randolph frustrated all night long and had him shut down. I think I only seen Randolph score once or twice on Big Ben, with the rest of his points coming on FTs or on Kwame Brown /Charlie V. At 35 he can still play very good defense and rebound well; his hops aren't what they once were but he's no chump. He's still the best defensive prescence they have in the paint and is the best they've had in there since he left before. This is one of the better games on defense I've seen this Pistons play in a long time (maybe all the way back to when he left before), and it's no coincidence that they do it with him back. Anyone that has ever doubted or hated Big Ben just was shown what he's still capable of even though he's no where near his prime. For a long time now haters have said it was Big Ben who was made by the Pistons, but I think all us Pistons fans know and anyone that watches him play knows it's the other way around. He might be having them hold teams up 90 ppg all year long like in his prime days, but he can make sure they are still a formidable defense. He with Kwame Brown and Jason Maxiell can lock down the paint on defense. Now of course we need to see them against a real threat down low first before this is proven, but I think we'll get to see what they're really made of against the Magic on the 3rd (next Tuesday).
I've been a Ben Gordon hater and have been upset with how Richard Hamilton has turned out since Chauncey Billups left, but for the most part I was impressed with how they played last night. Rip still had still isn't playing like he should be (still trying to dribble too much instead of just getting open for a shot and knocking them down), but he was good for the most part. I was very impressed with Gordon right off the bat with Gordon (that 4 point play was amazing) and he really looks like he could fit in nicely. He didn't ball hog like I expected him too, and if he continues to fit in and play team ball like he did last night, I'm glad we got him and will admit I was wrong for hating on him this off season.
Rodney Stuckey had some flashes of the great play we know he is capable of, but not enough of them to prove to me that he's going to "come out of his shell" already and be more aggressive. Bynum looked very good still (other than trying to shoot jumpers when he should be driving) and if Stuckey don't step it up this season I wouldn't be against starting Bynum. Prince was looking good on offense, but I want him to get back to playing lock down perimeter defense too; there is no way a guy like Rudy Gay should get that much made shots on him. Charlie V was really the only Piston who I was disappointed with (although he did start playing well toward the end), and I expected more from him. Like Logic said, we need more scoring from the front court and he's a guy I expected to step up and do that. However this game he didn't do that, but luckily it was only the Grizzlies and not an actual tough team we were playing. I guess you can chalk it up to him being a little banged up still and not getting much time in the preseason, so maybe once he plays a few games he'll start getting more into the offense and scoring more. I hope so because we do need his scroring; Rip and Gordon can't score all our points.
Overall, the team did well and looks like they could improve quite a bit after the disappointed last year. I still need to see more and against better teams before I say they will be a competitive playoff team, but right now they're off to a good start. There was a lot of doubt from the general public, Pistons fans themselves, and even myself. However, a lot of those doubts and pessimistic thoughts are gone for me (with some still remaining to be seen). I know this is just the Memphis "my college team is better than I am" Grizzlies, but it's still a positive sign to see the defense holding a team under 80 points and Rip and Gordon playing well together. We'll see soon enough if they can have success against a good team when they play the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, November 3rd! I'm ready to see some more...........
Posted on: April 2, 2009 9:59 am
I hate to say, but I was wrong. I thought the Allen Iverson expirement would work out much better than it has, but it hasn't. I thought he would be able to sacrifice his scoring to become a better team player for the Pistons. I thought he would be fine if they wanted him coming off the bench, but he's not. I was one of the biggest supporters of him joining the team and being able to lead the Pistons to a championship, but I was wrong. I still don't regret the trade because we will still be able to use the cap space and regardless of how great Chauncey Billups is, we still wouldn't get past the ECFs with him. We may be worse off without Chauncey, but we wouldn't be able to win a championship with him so that trade was a necessary move.
Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
Now this isn't just directed at Allen Iverson haters, but anyone that makes the assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI. You only hear people saying that because they either: a) have always hated him since his days on the 76ers and Nuggets, or b) don't pay close enough attention to the Pistons, or c) strong haters of the AI for Chauncey Billups trade, or d) all of the above. Everyone wants to keep saying "I told ya so" about the trade for AI, and the Pistons recent winning streak without him is their latest so called proof of this. Now I'm here to show you all that this is not only completely absurd, but complete ignorance to the fact that the Pistons went on a strong winning streak early in the season without another one of their important players. But how could that be? The media never told us about this?
Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
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