Category:General
Posted on: May 31, 2009 9:54 pm
 

Will history continue to repeat itself?

History tends to repeat itself a lot; not only in sports but in all of life. However, here we're only interested in the sports history. One such thing that has been consistent in NBA history is defense winning championships. Almost every time, one of the best defensive teams will win the championship. Now of course there are a few exceptions here and there, but you have to look at the overall picture. This, however, is not about defense in NBA history, but instead great big men winning championships. The majority of NBA championships have been won by teams who are lead by a great big man (almost always one who has very good defense, if not great defense). You can go all the way back to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to see that great big men have always been able to win championships with their great post play on both offense and defense (mainly defense though).

I only bring this up of course because of this year's NBA Finals matchup: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic . Now Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are both very good big men, but neither one could come close to being consider one of the best big men in the game (on both ends of the court). Of course I am talking about Dwight Howard , who most would agree is the best big man in the NBA right now. Howard has proved very worthy of that title thus far leading his Magic to the 3rd seed in the East, being a Top 5 defense in the NBA, winning the DPOY (well deserved), and getting his team past the favorites, the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James . Without a shadow of a doubt he has been the main reason for what has got the Magic into this year's NBA Finals. Of course there are always very important role players for every great team, so Rashard Lewis , Hedo Turkoglu , Rafer Alston , Courtney Lee , Mickael Pietrus , etc. have all contributed to the team's success as well.

The last 10 years in the NBA has been dominated by big men - as far as championships go. Shaquille O'Neal has four NBA titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006), Tim Duncan has four titles (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007), Ben Wallace has a championship ((2004), and Kevin Garnett has a championships (2008). You can argue the Pistons were led by Chauncey Billups (but he couldn't get them one after Big Ben left) and Paul Pierce led the Celtics (although he couldn't get the Celtics one without KG), but regardless the last ten years of NBA champions have been dominated by big men (Shaq & Duncan combine for 8). Will Dwight Howard be next on the list of great big men to lead his team to a championship? Or will Kobe Bryant and the Lakers break the cycle?

There are some things to point toward a break in the dominance of big men. Howard is still very young and has never been in a situation like this before. Can he step up and rise above the pressure to prove he has what it takes at this young age to win his team a title? Kobe Bryant has contributed to three championships himself (although Shaq was with him too), and is the best player in the game. He has always been a great closer and clutch player that has gotten his teams deep into the playoffs almost every year. Phil Jackson is one of the all-time great coaches who knows them game just as good as anyone. Also, even when Shaq was young and first with the Magic, he led them to the only other Finals appearance for the Magic. He was swept 4-0 by the Rockets . However, they also had one of the best big men in the game with Hakeem Olajuwon (so Hakeem was just a better big man at that point in their careers).

There have been two all-time great players who have risen above dominate big men and led their team to championships: Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Yes, both did have very good defensive big men who contributed to their teams' success, but it goes without saying that MJ and Bird were the ones who led the teams to the championships. Now Kobe has been an all time great player, but he is not in the class yet of MJ and Bird. However, if he can led his team this year and win a championships without any dominate big man (like Shaq), then I believe he could be entered into that group of the NBA's greatest wingmen (although it doesn't mean he is just as good or better). He might need to win another one to really solidify that, but I would be satisfied with just this year (but that's just me).

So this is definitely something to think about when watching this year's NBA Finals. Will we see history repeat itself again? Or will we see one of those exceptions when a great player rises above it? Will Dwight Howard be able to handle the pressure and be good enough to lead his team to the championship, or is he still too young and not enough developed offensive game? Can Kobe finally win a championship without Shaq and thus solidify his name on the list of the NBA's greatest wingmen? For me, I've always been a fan of defense and will always root for defense to come out on top. I'm a big Howard fan, but I also remain in a pact between Pistons and Lakers so I cannot officially root against the Lakers. I will be happy with who ever wins the championship this year to be honest, so I will just sit back and enjoy the NBA Finals while the rest of you argue over who is better and who will win. I just figured I'd give you all something more to add to your discussions.


Posted on: May 5, 2009 11:35 am
Edited on: August 26, 2009 10:17 pm
 

3rd Annual All Time Mock Draft: Official Rosters

#1 The Legends (Nuggets_SOS)

G- Jason Kidd
G- Paul Pierce
F- Elgin Baylor
F- Kevin Garnett
C- Hakeem Olajuwon

BE- Tim Hardaway
BE- David Thompson
BE- Cedric Maxell
BE- Chris Webber
BE- Vlade Divac

vs.

#16 George Mason 2009 (mcgradykid134)

G- Lenny Wilkens
G- Pete Maravich
F- Bruce Bowen
F- Dominique Wilkens
C- Artis Gilmore

BE- Earl Monroe
BE- Shane Battier
BE- Shawn Kemp
Be- Kurt Rambis
BE- George McGinnis


#8 Revenge of the Smith (The Big/Michigan Sports)

G- Dennis Johnson
G- Sidney Moncrief
F- Mark Aguirre
F- Tim Duncan
C- Bill Russell

BE- Calvin Murphy
BE- Reggie Miller
BE- Robert Horry
BE- Spencer Haywood
BE- Bob Lanier

vs.

#9 Florkansas Gatorbacks (BucFan40)

G- Kevin Johnson
G- Alex English
F- Julius Erving
F- George Mikan
C- Dwight Howard

BE- Tony Parker
BE- Manu Ginobili
BE- Richard Hamilton
BE- Vince Carter
BE- Wes Unseld




#5 You Still Really Don't Want it With Us (wildcatsfan1)

G- Chauncey Billups
G- Ray Allen
F- Bobby Jones
F- Kevin McHale
C- Shaquille O'Neal

BE- Byron Scott
BE- Larry Johnson
BE- Kevin Durant
BE- Bernard King
BE- Tom Chambers

vs.

#12 Death by Dunk (lakers2408/nate75)

G- Fat Lever
G- Adrian Dantley
F- Charles Barkley
F- Dave DeBusschere
C- Robert Parish

BE- Steve Nash
BE- Eddie Jones
BE- Ron Artest
BE- Clifford Robinson
BE- Rasheed Wallace


#4 The Ten Acid Deez (axesstar)

G- Gary Payton
G- Allen Iverson
F- Rick Barry
F- Ben Wallace
C- Patrick Ewing

BE- Danny Ainge
BE- Fred Brown
BE- Detlef Schrempf
BE- Dan Issell
BE- Mark Eaton

vs.

#13 Fighting Patriots (Harst)


G- John Havlicek
G- Clyde Drexler
F- Scottie Pippen
F- Dave Cowens
C- Willis Reed

BE- Norm Van Lier
BE- Dan Majerle
BE- Paul Silas
BE- Bill Laimbeer
BE- Amar'e Stoudemire

 

 

#6 Dishing and Swishing (kmvenne)

G- Michael Jordan
G- Dwyane Wade
F- LeBron James
F- Dirk Nowitzki
C- Dikembe Mutombo

BE- Mark Price
BE- Michael Cooper
BE- Billy Cunningham
BE- Rudy Tomjanovich
BE- Arvydas Sabonis  

vs.

#11 Ripnu Ginobilitons (BMu_1963)

G- Bob Cousy
G- Sam Jones
F- Larry Bird
F- Bob McAdoo
C- David Robinson

BE- Reggie Theus
BE- Tracy McGrady
BE- Connie Hawkins
BE- Buck Williams
BE- Brad Daugherty

 

#3 Bad News Joe (windy city joe/BNW2)

G- Walt Frazier
G- George Gervin
F- Jamaal Wilkes
F- Jerry Lucas
C- Wilt Chamberlain

BE- Mookie Blaylock
BE- Alvin Robertson
BE- Stacey Augmon
BE- Dan Roundfield
BE- Charles Oakley

vs.

#14 The Bus Drivers (TheSkins8)

G- Magic Johnson
G- Jerry West
F- James Worthy
F- Dennis Rodman
C- Nate Thurmond

BE- Deron Williams
BE- Mitch Richmond
BE- Shawn Marion
BE- Dolph Schayes
BE- Jack Sikma




#7 Sulphurous Nonentities (b100d_baller)

G- Oscar Robertson
G- Chris Mullin
F- Marques Johnson
F- Elvin Hayes
C- Walt Bellamy

BE- Nate Archibald
BE- Dale Ellis
BE- Chet Walker
BE- Kiki Vandeweghe
BE- Tree Rollins

vs.

#10 Championship Crew(GoCavs33)

G- Isiah Thomas
G- Joe Dumars
F- Paul Arizin
F- Bob Pettit
C- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

BE- Mo Cheeks
BE- Bill Sharman
BE- Walter Davis
BE- Pau Gasol
BE- Ralph Sampson


#2 Chrisper & Friends (ChrisperJ10)

G- Penny Hardaway
G- Kobe Bryant
F- Grant Hill
F- Alonzo Mourning
C- Moses Malone

BE- Jerry Sloan
BE- Dave Bing
BE- Drazen Petrovic
BE- Larry Nance
BE- Yao Ming

vs.

#15 Smoking and Stroking (threegamer13)

G- John Stockton
G- Hal Greer
F- Carmelo Anthony
F- Karl Malone
C- Bill Walton

BE- Don Buse
BE- Joe Johnson
BE- Gus Johnson
BE- Elton Brand
BE- Tom Heinsohn








Category: General
Posted on: April 12, 2009 10:18 pm
 

Big B's Top 5 DPOY Candidates

Here are my Top 5 Defensive Player of the Year candidates. I don't really think anyone else could be in consideration for the award other than these five guys, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Dwight Howard : 13.9 rpg (1st) 2.9 bpg (1st) Team Defense: 2nd

Howard has been a complete monster on defense this year for the Magic . He has owned the paint on defense and made it very difficult for any team to score there. He has made this team rise to the top of the NBA defensive rankings currently sitting at 2nd in total defense for the year. Considering they don't have much other good defense and Van Gundy isn't some defensive genius strategizer like Popovich, you know Howard has really been a huge impact on their defense. Anytime you have a big man that can own the paint and make the other team shoot jumpers, you have yourself a great defensive player. Howard is leading the league in rebounds with 13.9 rpg and also leading the league in blocks with 2.9 bpg. Hard to argue with his stats or the way he impacts his team; can't find any weakness to his case as the 2008-2009 DPOY.

2. Dwyane Wade : 2.2 spg (2nd)  1.35 bpg (1st for all guards) 5.0 rpg (8th amoung guards) Team Defense: 13th

Dwyane Wade has been unbelievably great this year on defense and it shouldn't go unnoticed. He has not only been effect on guarding ball handlers, but has also contributed in shot blocking and rebouding. Considering the Heat don't have any dominating big men defenders in the paint, Wade knew he had to step for this Heat on defense this year. However, no one would have expect him to be this great on defense. He knows how to stay in front his man and keep his hands up making the ball handling have a difficult time getting a shot off or passing it away. However the key for Wade's defense has been his help defense and his timing abilities. He has great awareness and is always watching the ball like a hawk ready to swoop down on it's prey. He read's the passes and can pick off the passes getting plenty of steals. He also has shown the ablility to get a good timing on when opponents will put up the shot being able to time his jump and block the ball. There's no question he has stepped up big time for the Heat on defense, but the problem is that hasn't made them a dominating defense or even one of the Top 10 defense. Wade is 2nd in the league steals with 2.2 spg, he is 1st amound all guards in blocked shots with 1.35 bpg, and is 8th amoung all guards in rebounds per game with 5.0 rpg. The Heat can't rely on Wade to anchor the defense like a big men could (like Howard) because a guard can only do so much for your defense.

3. LeBron James : 1.71 spg (7th) Team Defense: 3rd

LeBron doens't have a lot of impressive defensive statistics other than his team's overall defense. The Cavaliers have been one of the best defenses in the NBA, and it's no doubt LeBron is a big part of that. However, like Wade, he can't do it alone and can't be the anchor do a defense because he is a wingman. The only difference between Wade and LeBron is that LeBron's teammates and system make their overall team defense better. You switch Wade and LeBron and I don't the Cavaliers get worse or the Heat get better. But the biggest thing I've noticed about LeBron's defense this year is his man defense on the perimeter. He has done a very good job of staying in front of his man and keeping them out of the paint, but even if they do get in the paint the Cavs have good post defenders who make it very hard to score. LeBron has stepped up his D and done a good job on defending some of the league's best wingmen scorers (Carmelo Anthony , Paul Pierce , etc.). LeBron is one of the best defenders this year and has really stepped up, but like Wade, he isn't an anchor for his defense so you can't really make an argument for him being #1.

4. Tim Duncan : 10.5 rpg (4th) 1.71 bpg (13th) Team Defense: 4th

Timmy is still one of the best defenders in the game, and that is without question. However, his age is working against him and he is no longer the domianting post defender he once was. He is still great, but not great enough to make the Spurs defense at the top of the league anymore. But he is still anchoring his defense which is still one of the best in league, which still makes the Spurs one of the best teams in the league. He doesn't have the huge numbers of Howard, but has respectable numbers as well as making his defense and all the players on defense around him great. He is 4th in the league in rebounds with 10.5 and 13th in the league on blocked shots with 1.7 bpg. No doubt Timmy is still one of the best (one of the all time great defenders), but I don't think even he has outmatched Howard this year.

5. Chris Paul : 2.83 spg (1st)  5.5 rpg (4th amoung all guards) Team Defense: 11th

Paul, like Howard and Duncan, is the Hornets anchor on defense. The only difference is, it's much more difficult for a PG to do it than a big man. You'd have to be one of the best PG defenders in history to anchor your defense enough to make them one of the best (Gary Payton, Walt Frazier). Paul is great, and the best PG defender in the league, but he isn't at the level where he can make his defense one of the best. He still needs guys like Tyson Chandler in the paint and James Posey on the perimeter. Paul is 1st in the league in steals with 2.83 spg, and 4th amoung all guards in rebounds with 5.5 rpg. He has been great, no doubt, but you can't really argue him at #1 or even in the Top 3 for that matter.

 

Well there you guys have it. That's how I see this year's best defenders of the year. I believe Howard should get this award easily because he has had a combination of the best numbers and easily the most impact on his team's overall defense. Wade and LeBron are interchangeable at runner-up, and Timmy and Paul arenot just not quite good enough be this year's winner. Feel free to comment, critize, or make your own judgments if you wish.

 

Posted on: April 2, 2009 9:59 am
 

I'll admit it: I was wrong

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.

The last couple games have really gotten me depressed when watching Allen Iverson coming off the Pistons bench. He can play very well in the role when he wants to, but he is more concerned with starting and getting huge minutes. AI is one of the greatest scorers in history, no one can argue that (he's tied with George Gervin at 4 scoring titles which is 3rd behind MJ and Wilt), but he's not in his 20s anymore and he is not in his prime anymore. It took awhile, but his age is finally catching up with him. He can't be nearly as effective as he was was. Let's face the fact, he can try to play good defense all he wants but his height and size will always work against him. The Pistons have been having one of their worst defensvie seasons in a long time, and we need all the defense we can get.

We don't need AI to play 35-40 minutes a game like he did for the 76ers and Nuggets. We have two young point guards who can be great for us. We all Rodney Stuckey is the next leader at the point for the Pistons. He needs to work on some things still (mainly being more aggressive and stop letting Rip control the offense), but he is still young. Will Bynum is my favorite Pistons player because of how aggressive he plays. He's about the same size as AI, but puts in triple the effort. He can get into the lane at will being able to get to the lane, dish the ball out, or stop and hit the mid-range jumper. Not only is he effective on offense, but he is a very pesky defender as well. He reminds me of a young Lindsey Hunter on D, always hounding the ball handler and looking to get a few steals. I love seeing him come off the bench and being a spark for that 2nd unit, and right now I'd rather see more of him than AI.

AI is not the Pistons main problem; they don't have a post threat, Curry is almost as bad as Flip, Stuckey and Prince are not aggressive enough, and their defense is horrible compared to the usual great Pistons defense that has been with them for decades. But he is not working out like I expected him to; he is not working into the team aspect of the Pistons. He has had to have the offense revolve around him in order for his previous teams to have success, but he can't make the transtition to a team that doesn't need him in that role. Call it set in his ways or old and stubborn, but we can't have that type of player or attitude on the Pistons. I've stuck by AI this whole time because I really believed it could work and he is one my most favorite players of all time, but I was wrong. I'm not ashamed to say I'm wrong because I was, and now AI needs to go. I'm sure Joe D was only doing the deal for the cap space in the end, but we can't have AI making the sort of comments he has been and having that bad mood in the lockeroom rub off on other players.

AI can just sit on the bench and not play any minutes if he doesn't like his new bench role. We can give Will Bynum his minutes; I'm sure he will give everything he has in however many minutes he gets. I've been a huge AI fan all my life, but I've always been a Pistons fan and they always come first.

 

 

Posted on: March 18, 2009 11:48 pm
 

NBA's Greatest Defenders in History

Here is my list of the Top 10 Greatest Defenders in NBA History:

 1) Bill Russell - This only needs one explanation: 11 championship rings. It was his defense that anchored every last one of those 11 titles he won with the Boston Celtics. They didn't keep track of blocks, steals, or even All NBA Defensive teams in his days, until the end of his career where he was on the very first NBA All Defensive First Team in history. He is the proof that defense is what wins championships, and he will always be remembered for that. He will go down as the greatest defender in history.

2) Hakeem Olajuwon
- "The Dream" was so good on offense that it made you forget how great his defense was. He was such a good offensive player that people tend to forget the best part of his game was his defense. He was the most athletic center in NBA history and used this too his advantage; most notably being one of only 4 players to record a quadruple-double. He is the 7th all time leader in steals, the highest of any center in history. His defense contributed to two titles for the Rockets. He won the DPOY twice, made 5 NBA All Defensive First teams, and is the only player in history to make the Top 10 in blocks, steals, rebounds, and scoring.

3) Ben Wallace - There has never been a better reason to "Fear the Fro" when Big B was anchoring the great Pistons defense. He made everyone fear coming into the lane and trying to score. He was small in height (6'7"-6'9" not counting the fro), but made up for it with his athleticism and leaping ability. He is probably the 2nd most athletic center in history behind the Dream. He made it to 6 All-NBA Defensive Teams, and won 4 DPOYs (should have been 5, he was robbed by Ron Artest), tied for the most in NBA history. His great defense allowed the Pistons to make 5 straight ECFs, 2 straight NBA Finals, and winning the NBA title in 2004. His defense presence made the Pistons D the best in the league (one of the best all time defense). He is the only player in NBA history to record 1,000 rebounds, 100 blocks, and 100 steals in 4 consecutive seasons. He is also the only player to be able to slow down the great Shaquille O'Neal on a regular basis. If you need proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWo-VA1mf6Y

4) Michael Jordan - MJ was not just one of the great scorers of all time; his defense is what made him into the greatest player of all time. We all see the highlights on ESPN of his great dunks, his flashy layups, his great jump shooting, etc., but what you never see is his great defense. For awhile, his haters tried to say he was only a scorer and not a good defender. What does his Airness do in response? Goes and wins the 1988 DPOY that's what. He has made 9 NBA All-Defensive Teams over his career. If you know you're history, the Bulls great defense was their main contribution to their 6 titles and you know MJ was their leader on D as well as on offense.

5) Tim Duncan - Timmy D is truly one of the best post players we've ever seen. His inside presence in the post is not only seen on offense, but on defense as well. He has anchored 4 championship teams now with the Spurs and his post defense is every much a part of it as anything. He doesn't have to put up the flashy defensive stats that many other good defenders do, but if you ever have seen the great defense the Spurs play you will see that it all comes down to Timmy's D. Without him down low, their defense wouldn't be special at all. He has made 11 All-Defensive Teams. The Big Fundamental is a perfect nickname for him because he is better at the fundamentals of basketball than anyone.

6) Dennis Rodman - The dude may have been crazy, possibly even needing to be institutionalized, off the court, but on the court he was one of the greatest defenders this league has ever seen. He started out on the great defensive Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys." He won both is DPOYs with them and helped them achieve two NBA titles with his great defense. He also won 3 titles with Chicago Bulls (along side MJ) playing a huge part in their strong defense. He became known over the entire league as a great defense player, and some even said he "could shut down any opposing player, from point guard to center." He wasn't very tall, but made up for that with athleticism, strength, and leaping ability. For his size, he is one of the best rebounders in history. He was able to average over 18 rpg in back to back season (91-92 to 92-93) as well as averaging over 17 rpg the following year. He finished with 13.1 rpg over his entire career which puts him in the Top 10 all time rebounders per average. He may have been a psycho, but he was a great NBA defensive psycho.

7) Kevin Garnett - KG is the perfect player you'd want to anchor your defense. This wasn't as evident when he was on the Timberwolves (although he was great with them as well), but became even more noticeable when he joined the Boston Celtics last year. Their defense went from an average (middle of the league) defense to the NBA's best defense in 2007-2008. He is such an athletic player that he can be everywhere in the paint playing help defense as well as stopping the toughest post threat for his opponents. His leadership is the key to his game because he is able to motivate and lead his teammates to play much better defense than they would without him. He has so much passion and love for this game, and uses that to motivate himself and his team on defense (as well as offense). He has made 5 All-NBA-Defensive Teams as well as winning his first and only DPOY last season.

8) Kareem Abul-Jabbar - Like Jordan, he is known for being one of the greatest scorers in history, but also like Mike his defense was just as important in helping his team succeed. His made his presence felt in the post on defense making it very hard for teams to get points at the rim. He knew how to use his size to his advantage by using his height and long arms to keep a hand in players’ faces and swat their shot if they dared going up against him. His defense was more noticeable when he was younger (with the Milwaukee Bucks), but he still maintained his great D for his entire career helping to be the anchor of 6 NBA titles. He made 11 NBA All-Defensive First Teams over his career.

9) David Robinson - The Admiral was truly a force to be reckoned with on defense. He was a dominating presence in the post making it very difficult for opposing teams to scoring in the paint. He was great at all aspects of defense: rebounding, blocking, stealing, post defense, etc. You name it, Robinson could do it all. His great defensive efforts won him 8 All-NBA-Defensive Teams, a DPOY, and 2 NBA championships. He wasn't flashy or super athletic, but he commanded respect in the post, and lead his team on defense.

10) Nate Thurmond - The famous "Wilt Stopper" was known throughout history as a great defender. Anyone that could stop the dominating force known as Wilt Chamberlain had to be great. He was tall and used his height advantage over many smaller players to become a great rebounder and defender. Again, most of his career he played in the times before blocks and steals so who knows how many of those he had, but later in his career they counted the stats and he averaged 2.1 bpg in his final 6 seasons. He never won championships or tons of awards (always being left as the odd guy out behind Russell and Wilt), but he was still a great defender that was able to do toe-to-toe with two of the greatest big men the NBA has ever seen.

Honorable Mention: Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, and Sidney Moncreif

Feel free to comment and even make your own list if you wish.

 

Posted on: March 13, 2009 11:33 pm
 

Allen Iverson Haters: Pay closer attention

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?

Earlier in the season, not too long after Christmas Day, Richard Hamilton went down with an injury. The Pistons had to play an 8 game stretch without him, but to many people's surprise, they went 6-2 during those games. Now where does that look familiar? Why that's the exact same record the Pistons have right now without AI in this current 8 game stretch since he went down with his injury. Now I dare you to make the argument that the Pistons played tougher competition this time and played easier teams when Rip was out. Go ahead, you'll just make yourself look foolish. In fact, it's almost the exact same in each of the stretches. The Pistons have beat both the Magic and the Nuggets in both the stretch without Rip and the recent one without AI. Now you might say, "But they beat the Celtics this time!" Let me remind you they don't have their most important player and their cornerstone on defense in Kevin Garnett. If the Pistons played the Celtics when Rip was out, and KG was out then too, then the Pistons would have beat them then. Also, let's look at who the losses were against each time. Without Rip, the Pistons lost to the Trail Blazers and the Jazz (at Utah). Now those two teams are doing pretty well for themselves if I remember correctly. Now without AI, there two losses are from the Hawks and the Knicks. The Knicks are no where near the Blazers or Jazz, and the Hawks were on their bad streak when they beat the Pistons.

So continue to make the foolish assumption that the Pistons are better off without AI, but you're only saying that because you already have that instilled in your mind because of your hate/bias for Allen Iverson, or because the media has been feeding you this garbage and you can't think for yourself. The fact is, the Pistons are a team that knows how to play with great teammwork and defense, and they know how to continue to play at that high level and get wins even without some of their key players. So whether be AI, Rip, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Rodney Stuckey, or any other Pistons player, the Pistons can easily go on a good winning streak with any of them being injured. The Pistons have been very streaky this year, and that is not something you can blame on AI alone.

Morale of the story is: Things are not always as they appear.

Posted on: February 11, 2009 12:34 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2009 8:09 pm
 

2009 NBA Mock Draft Official Rosters

Timber Wolves - Bad News Wolves

PG- Jose Calderon
SG- Carmelo Anthony
SF- Gerald Wallace
PF- Carlos Boozer
C- Emeka Okafor

BE- Raymond Felton
BE- O.J. Mayo
BE- Ryan Gomes
BE- Anderson Varejao
BE- Spencer Hawes

Go 2 Work - MrRedSox Baller

PG- Devin Harris
SG- Michael Redd
SF- LeBron James
PF- Antawn Jamison
C- Andrew Bogut

BE- Jordan Farmar
BE- Jamal Crawford
BE- Ronnie Brewer
BE- Travis Outlaw
BE- Brendan Haywood


Big B's Bad Boys - The Big B

PG- Chris Paul
SG- Kevin Martin
SF- Shawn Marion
PF- David West
C-  Yao Ming

BE- T.J. Ford
BE- John Salmons
BE- Matt Barnes
BE- Al Harrington
BE- Nene


Joe Knows Basketball - windy city joe


PG- Monta Ellis
SG- Rudy Gay
SF- Grant Hill
PF- Amar'e Stoudemire
C-  Chris Kaman

BE- Randy Foye
BE- Roger Mason
BE- James Posey
BE- Marvin Williams
BE- Troy Murphy



Zagfan's Highlight Reels - gonzagafan62

PG- D.J. Augustine
SG- Tracy McGrady
SF- Peja Stojakovic
PF- Dirk Nowitzki
C- Chris Wilcox


BE- Beno Udrih
BE- Mickael Pietrus
BE- Hedo Turkoglu
BE- Amir Johnson
BE- Antonio McDyess


Lesser Crew - Harst

PG- Baron Davis
SG- Andre Iguodala
SF- Danny Granger
PF- Lamar Odom
C- Dwight Howard

BE- Derek Fisher
BE- J.R. Smith
BE- Al Thornton
BE - Udonis Haslem
BE- Marc Gasol


San Diego Squarepants - submision

PG- Jason Kidd
SG- Joe Johnson
SF- Stephen Jackson
PF- Kevin Garnett
C- Tyson Chandler

BE- Steve Blake
BE- Jason Terry
BE- Francisco Garcia
BE- Ben Wallace
BE- Brad Miller


The Gamebreakers - Michigan Sports

PG- Chauncey Billups
SG- Richard Hamilton
SF- Paul Pierce
PF- Tim Duncan
C- Rasheed Wallace

BE- Rodney Stuckey
BE- Manu Ginobili
BE- Shane Battier
BE- Jason Maxiell
BE- Luis Scola

Anti-Christ's Planet Orange Redemption - BMu1963

PG- Steve Nash
SG- Allen Iverson
SF- Vince Carter
PF- Paul Millsap
C- Zach Randolph

BE- Jameer Nelson
BE- Bruce Bowen
BE- Boris Diaw
BE- Joel Pryzbilla
BE- Erick Dampier


Team 1 Large Hawaiian Thanks - North Harbour

PG- Tony Parker
SG- Ray Allen
SF- Caron Butler
PF- LaMarcus Aldridge
C- Samuel Dalembert

BE- Rajon Rondo
BE- Raja Bell
BE- Eric Gordon
BE- Al Horford
BE- Mehmet Okur


The King Pins - GoCavs33


PG- Gilbert Arenas
SG- Larry Hughes
SF- Andrei Kirilenko
PF- David Lee
C- Greg Oden

BE- Derrick Rose
BE- Russell Westbrook
BE- Richard Jefferson
BE- Jamario Moon
BE- Kenyon Martin


Super-nuga-listic-expi-ali-docious - Nuggets_SOS

PG- Stephon Marbury
SG- Dwyane Wade
SF- Kobe Bryant
PF- Al Jefferson
C-  Zydrunas Ilgauskas

BE- Aaron Brooks
BE- Kelenna Azubuike
BE- Thaddeus Young
BE- Leon Powe
BE- Rasho Nesterovic

Austin/Phoenix Thundering Bevo - ChrisperJ10

PG- Andre Miller
SG- Jason Richardson
SF- Ron Artest
PF- Jermaine O'Neal
C- Andris Biedrins

BE- Kirk Hinrich
BE- Delonte West
BE- Luol Deng
BE- Wilson Chandler
BE- Marcus Camby


Smooth Criminals - dcb12233

PG- Mo Williams
SG- Corey Maggette
SF- Josh Howard
PF- Elton Brand
C- Shaquille O'Neal

BE- Chris Duhon
BE- Rafer Alston
BE- Nate Robinson
BE- Ben Gordon
BE- Jeff Green



The Elites - axesstarr

PG- Mike Bibby
SG- Kevin Durant
SF- Tayshaun Prince
PF- Josh Smith
C- Pau Gasol

BE- Mario Chalmers
BE- Rudy Fernandez
BE- Michael Beasley
BE- Chris Andersen
BE- Kendrick Perkins


The Drunken Monkeys - TheSkins8

PG- Deron Williams
SG- Brandon Roy
SF- Rashard Lewis
PF- Chris Bosh
C- Andrew Bynum

BE- Ramon Sessions
BE- Mike Dunleavy
BE- Trevor Ariza
BE- Drew Gooden
BE- Brook Lopez

Category: General
Posted on: February 3, 2009 7:39 am
Edited on: February 3, 2009 7:42 am
 

Don't Stop Believing..............

..................... in the Pistons (Pistons fans). This is mainly addressed to Pistons fans because in all honestly, I could careless what the rest of the league thinks. In fact, the Pistons have shown in the past they do better when they are the underdog and don't have a lot of people supporting them. So I doubt I will change any minds of other fans that have completely given up on the Pistons (and I don't intend to), but I just want to make sure my fellow Detroit fans keep the faith and don't lose hope.

The first thing to remember is we haven't even made it to the All Star break yet. The Pistons always play better in the 2nd half of the year, and in their most successful seasons (i.e. the 2004 championship season) they catch fire shortly after the All Star break and carry that into the playoffs. The Pistons can still get things together and star clicking after they have time to figure things out during the break. It's not like the Pistons are a below .500 team struggling for a playoff spot. They will make the playoffs, but the only thing that is questionable is what seed they will get. It doesn't matter if the Cavaliers do win the division because back 2004, the Pacers finished ahead of the Pistons to win the division, yet Detroit still went on to win the championship.

The next thing to consider is look closely and compare this year to the 2004 championship season. They go out and make a trade for a superstar player, they start out slow and everyone doubts them (and continues to do so all the way until they win the championship), a little while after the All Star break they catch fire and finish the season strong, and they carry their success all the way through the playoffs and win the championship against a team no one thought could be beat. Ever since then things have changed; everyone started supporting the Pistons and putting them amongst the contenders every year. The only problem was they couldn't seem to get past the ECFs (other than the following year in 2005). This was because they had gotten overconfident and didn't have that same "hunger" factor as they did in 2004.

This year, they made the trade for Allen Iverson , and while they might be doing better right now with Chauncey Billups , they would still fall short with him again in the playoffs. Billups is still one of the best PGs in the game (IMO 2nd behind Chris Paul ) and he contributed just as much (or more) as everyone else to our success and in helping us win the championship (he deserved that Finals MVP). But he, along with the rest of the team, and had gotten arrogant, cocky, and overly confident and felt that they had enough talent and skill that they could take games off and relax and only play when they needed to. He had lost his hunger to win another championship, and that in turn rubbed off on the entire team. I'm not saying it was his fault entirely, because Rasheed Wallace and the rest of the team had a lot to do with as well (also losing Larry Brown didn't help any either).

AI is one of the league's oldest veterans and an all time great player. His years are numbered now and he doesn't have much time left. He has had so much individual success and accomplishments throughout his career, but has yet to win the ultimate prize: a title. You can say he isn't a team player and is a cancer, but he wants to win just as bad as anyone. He hasn't been on any great teams (Carmelo Anthony is not a complimenting player for him) and every team he has joined has gotten better with him. He wants to win a championship, and has that "hunger" factor in him. He has shown that he is willing to sacrifice his high stats in order for the team to play better. I'm sure if Curry had the guts to bench him and make him their 6th man (but still get big minutes like the Spurs would do with Manu Ginobili ) he would have accepted his role if it would help the team have more success. He is still one of the league's best scorers, he can pass very well, and has been making an effort on defense (though his size will always work against him).

Curry is only in his first year as head coach (not just with the Pistons, but first head coach job in his career; he's a rookie), and he still has lots to learn. However, I can tell just by listening to his comments and post game reports that he is trying his best to make the team have more success. Now we can't expect him to be the next Red Auerbach in his first year of head coaching, so it's not like he's going to make all the right moves right off the bat. I have faith that during the break, he'll be able to sit back and evaluate things and make better decisions on what to do. He will realize that he needs to get the team to focus more on defense and playing the whole through. He needs to find the right rotation that works, and use it for the rest of the season. He needs to start running more plays for Stuckey and let him get to the hoop like we know he can do so well. He even needs to consider benching AI instead of Richard Hamilton (because Rip works better with the starters and AI would be huge off the bench).

The one thing that needs to be done, that I'm not so sure is possible, is to get Rasheed to stop jacking up so many 3 point shots. No Pistons coach has been able to do this since Larry Brown, and it has been a major problem for Detroit. He is a great post player, and without him the Pistons don't have any inside presence on offense. Sure AI, Stuckey, and Prince can get to the rim but they don't have any post player who can score inside without Sheed. That's why teams can just sit back and pack the paint preventing the drives and turning us into a jump shooting team (which we are not). When he's hot he's unstoppable, but when he's cold he's terrible. Curry needs to man up and realize he runs this team, and not the players. He needs to stand up to Sheed and tell him to get back down in the paint where he belongs. I have no problem with him shooting about 5 shots per game from outside (maybe a little more if he's shooting well that game) because it helps stretch the defense, but shooting 10+ and leading the league in 3pt attempts is not something we want from Sheed. I don't know if Curry will have the courage to step up to him and do this, but this is the ONLY thing that I'm not confident Curry will be able to do after the All Star break.

We also can't forget that even if we don't win it all this year we have an even better future ahead of us. Rodney Stuckey is only in his 2nd year and is already starting to become a very good point guard capable of running the point for us. He is only going to get better, and the best is yet to come from him. He has shown a lot of improvement on defense this year (a concern last year), and now I'm completely sold on him being our next floor general who can lead us to a championship. Jason Maxiell , Arron Afflalo , Amir Johnson , and Tayshaun Prince all have lots of years left in them and will become keys to our success. Also, if Sheed retires and/or leaves the Pistons at the end of this year, and  AI is not able to get us a championship and decides to either call it quits or go to a new in 2010, we will have tons of money to use in that star studded FA class in the summer of 2010.

So don't lose hope Pistons fans because there is light at the end of this dark tunnel we are in right now. It may be hard to see right now, but keep the faith. Don't worry about what all the haters say, because we don't need the support of the rest of the league. All that matters is what we know about our team, and that we keep our faith in them. We still have a shot at the championship this year (whether anyone realizes it or not), and we definitely have a very good future ahead of us with Stuckey and the 2010 FA class. Remember the 2004 championship season. So say it with me my Pistons brothers:

DEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTRROOOOOOOOOOIITT BAAAAAAAAAASSSSKKEEETTBAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com