Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons season preview

Projected starting line-up
G Chauncey Billups
G Richard Hamilton
F Tayshaun Prince
F Antonio McDyess
C Rasheed Wallace

Rodney Stuckey
Jarvis Hayes
Amir Johnson
Jason Maxiell

Last year
For most teams, just making it into the Conference finals is a major accomplishment. But for Detroit, it's another day at the office. In fact, anything short of the finals is seen as a major disappointment. The most dominant team in the Eastern Conference for the past 5 or 6 years, Detroit continued it's success in 06-07. Although the hole that Ben Wallace left in the middle became just a little larger this past season. Detroit struggled out of the gates via the lose of the big man in the middle combined with bored attitude for the first few months. In fact, it was not until the signing of Chris Webber that this Detroit team actually resembled the team that went to the finals in back to back seasons. The key word here is resembled, because this team was not that same team. While Webber brings the offense, he does not come close to the defensive anchor that Wallace brought during the glory years. And with Rasheed having one of those years attitude wise, where he felt it was the right way to go by ignoring play calls from his coach, the trouble spots had become more apparent then ever. This was a team that had success in 06-07, not so much anymore from effort, but experience. The lack of effort proved deadly as they allowed Lebron James to go crazy in game 5 of the conference finals, as well as allow the Cavs to come back from a 2-0 deficit. Remember that this was a team that proved that a collective unit can overcome a superstar driven squad (the Shaq/Kobe Lakers) yet this year they could not overcome a team with depth issues and only one superstar. They could intimidate from past experience, but when push came to shove, in 06-07 the Detroit Pistons, for the first time in a long time, started to look average.

Drafted Rodney Stuckey
Drafted Arron Affialo
Lost Chris Webber to free agency
Resigned Chauncey Billups
Signed Cheick Samb
Traded Carlos Delfino to the Raps for 2 second round draft picks
Signed Jarvis Hayes
Lost Dale Davis to free agency

The key to the offseason was resigning Billups which the team did. They also had to get rid of Delfino for nothing to keep the cap space free for Billups. They are high on rookie Rodney Stuckey, and while Stuckey will get minutes, he won't be put into many pressure situations in his first year. Obviously Detroit saw the same thing that Philly saw and that's Webber can still bring the offense, but his defensive liabilities are just too much.

Two things that are noticed right away with this upcoming season for Detroit are that they are focused and they plan on giving some of the youth on the team a chance this season. For the past few years now, Detroit has been accused of treating the regular season as a nuisance instead of preparation for the playoffs. Well Cleveland seems to have awaken these guys and given them the motivation to reclaim their crown as the top team in the East, even if it means giving some more effort during the regular season or getting along with the Coach (I am looking at you Rasheed). But the question has become, do they even still have the talent to be the top team in the East even with the effort? McDyess has had a solid career, but still a large step down from the hole still felt by the absence of Wallace. Nazr Mohammed was a waste of a signing last season as he does not fit Flip Saunders style of play. Rasheed and Billups are not over the hill, but they are not spring chickens ether. Add in the fact that every other team has seen the cracks in the armour last season and that intimidation factor that had worked well for Detroit is starting to disappear. It's a good news/bad news situation, they are truly motivated now due to the poor showing last season, but also lost the intimidation due to that poor showing.

What to watch for
1) Staying with the elite - Is this the beginning of the end for this team or are they still the team to beat?
2) Rasheed and Flip - Can these two work together?
3) Bench - Will this season see Detroit's depth get a solid shot at some minutes?

I see this as the beginning of the end. Joe Dumars heard the calls for a major shakeup, but he decided to stick with the guys that have been the top Eastern team in the past 5 or 6 years. I understand the decision he made, but I feel he is going to hear those same calls next year as Boston/Toronto/Chicago and Cleveland might be at the point of passing this team in 07-08.

Between 52 and 56 wins this season with a 3rd place finish in the East.

1 comment:

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Detroit Pistons drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Detroit good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Pistons team down.

I which I could see some Pistons games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Detroit Pistons. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Pistons Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Pistons Go!!!