Posts by: "Danny Bohnlein"

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Lawrence Frank will receive a formal offer to become the Detroit Pistons next Head Coach within the next 24-36 hours.

Go look at the tweet here

Better yet, just stay here and do reading at the tweet:

No Laimbeer, No 2004 LB connection in Mike Woodson, No 1st year coach, and more interestingly No Joe Dumars companion. Frank is from outside of the organization, and will likely fill his coaching staff with others who are from outside of the organization and who have had little to no affiliation with the Pistons and/or Joe Dumars.

Interesting. I’ve been on Team Frank all along so…. I’ll take it.

Your thoughts? as always, more on this as it develops.

MORE (5:25pm) : Ok so here’s a link to Wojnarowski’s article.

Here’s an excerpt:

Frank, an assistant with the Boston Celtics, separated his candidacy in his first meetings with management and ownership, distancing himself from contenders Mike Woodson and Kelvin Sampson, sources said.

The Pistons organization has been deliberate in the process, talking to several candidates. But barring unforeseen snags in contract talks, Frank figures to replace John Kuester, who was fired as coach on June 5.

MORE thoughts on this (6:00pm):
Terry Foster from 97.1 “The Ticket” claims to have spoken to a player who has said he’s “not impressed by Lawrence Frank” and that he’ll “have to win them over”. Go read it for yourself here at his Twitter

N4S favorite Matt Dery, who is also from 97.1 “The Ticket” and is the host of the Pistons Postgame show says “I was a Sampson fan from the start of the #Pistons search, but I like L Frank he’s a dynamic guy and fun to talk to” – go read this tweet here

I hope Gores finds out which Piston player said he’s not impressed by Frank and makes an example out of him. Frank doesn’t have to “win” any of the players over, in fact, it should be the players who have to win Frank and Gores over with their play otherwise they’re done in the Pistons red blue and white.

Vernon Macklin – Power Forward/Center from the University of Florida Gators.

Going with the same theme of the Singler post – my 2 word descriptor for Macklin is “hard worker”.  If I had to describe his style of play I’d say he’s a “bigger Jason Maxiell, without the shot blocking”.  His body reminds me of former Minnesota Timberwolf and Chicago Bulls PF/C, also from Florida, Chris Richard.

Macklin, is a 24 year old 5th year Senior from UF.  He had a hard time finding playing time with the Georgetown Hoyas behind Roy Hibbert and then with top big man prospect (and current Piston forward) Greg Monroe signing with the Hoyas, Macklin transferred to Florida and had to sit out a year as part of the rules about transferring in the NCAA.

Macklin is 6’9 245 pounds.  He’s very solid, he has a 7’3 wingspan, and a 9’1 standing reach.  For a player of his size, he has struggled on the defensive glass.  His go to move in the post is a righty (or lefty) jump hook, and really that’s about it for him on the offensive end.

Much like Singler, Macklin is a “lunch pail” guy.  I remember watching Macklin play at Georgetown with Hibbert and current Piston DaJuan Summers.  I can’t see him sticking with the team out of training camp, but he’s definitely a candidate for the D League and I think he could almost find instant success there.  He’s older than any other drafted rookie because he had sit out a year because he transferred.  He’s definitely rated as one of the more mature guys in the draft who will give Charlie Villanueva and Greg Monroe a big body to match up against in training camp, should he make it that far.

Macklin has the raw tools to improve, it’s just that his ceiling might already be reached.  If he can come in and make an impact, I can see him being another steal at #52 in the draft.  Do I expect it?  No.

Kyle Singler, forward from the Duke Blue Devils.

If I had to pick a word to describe Singler, it’d be “winner”.  If I could go a step further to describe Singler’s playing style, I’d say he plays like a “Coach’s son”.

Singler tries to do all of the things that you want your superstar player to do.  He dives on the floor for loose balls, he doesn’t back down from competition, he sticks his nose in where it doesn’t always belong, and he takes charges.  He’s your typical Duke Blue Devil.  He’s been taught proper fundamentals by Coach K, and he knows how to play as part of a team.

For a team that is now preaching to get back to its roots, picking Singler is a solid start.  Singler will not do anything that blows you away, his athleticism will limit his overall effectiveness.  He was drafted solely on the fact that he is a winner, and he is a “glue guy”.  Singler will have to “go to work” night in and night out, or he’ll be out of the league.  He is not able to just get by on talent and he definitely won’t skip a shootaround or participate in buffoonery.

Some measurables:

6’8.5 in shoes, 6’10 wingspan, 30″ vertical, 10 percent body fat, 10 reps (at 185, same amount as Knight), and 3.25 second 3/4 court run.

His best statistical year was his freshman year, and each year after that his numbers got worse before improving slightly last year.  Singler was a part of the 2010 NCAA Final Four Championship team.

Again, Singler doesn’t do much of anything particularly well.  That’s not a knock against him.  The stat heads are obviously freaking out about this pick, because Singler does not offer much upside in comparison to the other players that are remaining on the board.  Singler is the type of player that helps the players around him by simply doing what he does best, hustling and playing smart basketball.

Brandon Knight, point guard from the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

With Bismack Biyombo, Jonas Valanciunas and Tristan Thompson off the board (only Biyombo and Thompson were slated to go to #8), Detroit was left with making a stunningly obvious pick of Brandon Knight, the talented first year point guard from the University of Kentucky.  Here are some of the measurables, on Knight (from the combine):

6’3 (in shoes), 177 pounds.  6’6.75″ wingspan, 8’2.5″ standing reach, 4.2 percent body fat, 37.5″ vertical, 10 reps on the bench (not bad for how small he is), 3.07 3/4 court sprint.

These measurables don’t usually translate too much on the court except for vertical and strength.  There are some other things that stand out about this kid that show he is just the type of player that the Pistons need following a year of on (and off) the court embarrassment.  Knight maintained a 4.0 GPA at Kentucky, and helped lead the Kentucky Wildcats to the 2011 Final Four where they lost to Kemba Walker and the UConn Huskies by 1 point.

He shot a pretty consistent 46% from 2 and 37% from 3.  As is the case with a lot of college players, Knight fell in love with the 3 point shot with upward of 6 3 attempts per game.  Knight needs to be better from the free throw line (79%) and he’ll need to work on his AST/Turn ratio (1.33).

I am satisfied with the pick, but only because I was resigned to the fact that Utah was going to pick him at #3.  Utah, who recently traded their franchise point guard, desperately needed a point guard prospect and now will look to fill that hole in free agency or via trade and the commonly discussed name is always Al Jefferson or as a sign and trade for a guy like Kirilenko which is unlikely.

Do I think Detroit’s #1 need is another guard?  No, but they do need a point guard and I believe they got the best point guard in the draft.  He’s remained healthy, he lead the Wildcats to the Final Four a year after just about their entire active roster left for the NBA Draft, and he brings size to the point guard position for Detroit.  I prefer Knight over any of the big men that were selected from #7 or later.  I think he falls in line with the “Best player available” line of thinking, and at the draft party Team President Joe Dumars said how surprised they were that Knight fell to them at #8 and it’s clear that our new superstar owner, Tom Gores, is “impressed with how Joe and his team handled the process”.

I give the pick a B+.  I’m satisfied with the selection if Detroit is stuck with Knight.  I think he can step in, in year 2 and make an impact.  Knight is the youngest players in the NBA Draft, and I think as his 1st season goes on he is the type of intelligent basketball player who could take what he’s learned off the court and apply it to his trade on the court.  Draft Express has Knight ranked as the #6 prospect in the top 100 and has his “best case” as “Chauncey Billups in his prime” and “worst case” as “Louis Williams”.  I don’t want the comment section to fill up with Billups comparison, but I did want to throw that out there for all the Billups’ lovers. Knight almost single handedly beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in this past year’s NCAA Tournament as well… so for all you Wolverines out there, there’s that.

Now all the team needs is a Head Coach.  I’m on Team Frank, as if you didn’t know already.

John Kuester is officially out as Head Coach of the Detroit Pistons.  Kuester’s final record totals as Coach of the Pistons is 57 wins to go with 107 losses.
You're Fired Kuester

I’ve already said a lot about the man in this post right here, so go and do reading at that after reading this.

So let the speculation begin as to who the next Pistons coach will be.  I’ll give a sneak preview of the 2nd half of the Wieme/Sitto/Bohnlein podcast, I said former Kuester assistant Brian Hill deserves a shot.  Hill, who has coached at both the highs and lows of the NBA, first as coach of the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies, and then as coach of the Orlando Magic during the height of Shaq and Penny which included a NBA Finals run.

Hill is more qualified than any current coach that is rumored to either be interested in coaching the Pistons, or who is rumored to be a front runner for the job.

I’ll never understand the fascination with wanting to bring Bill Laimbeer in or with Mike Woodson.  Laimbeer has 0 head coaching experience in the league (we just got done with similar) and Woodson is a Larry Brown disciple (we just got done with similar).  It’s my opinion that this team needs to get away from the past, and move forward in a new direction.  I know I may be in the minority, but with as unsettled as the roster is and with the uncertain future of the front office staff (mainly Dumars), I think the team would be better off with someone who has been in the role of “teacher” before like Hill rather than putting a band aid on a gunshot wound with either Laimbeer or Woodson.

Now, Hill is 65 years old and does not have that many years left in the league.  Heck, he may be tired of the run around of the NBA after the drama from last season and he may have no interest in coming back.

This doesn’t mean I don’t necessarily think Laimbeer or Woodson would be good coaches at some point.  If the team was pushing playoff contention at this moment, I’d want Woodson to be hired.  If the team were up and coming, I’d say give Laimbeer a shot, he could inject some fire into a team.  With the current roster, the new ownership group – I’d say if you’re going to give Dumars 1-2 years to re-build, you push for a guy like Hill who will give you 1-2 years and re-evaluate and see who is available at that point in time.

Tom Gores toonAs reported on ESPN earlier, and also here by the dreamy Justin Rogers of MLive, the Pistons and Head Coach John Kuester will be going their separate ways after 2 long seasons with Kuester at the helm.

Kuester was 55 – 107 57 – 107 as coach of the Detroit Pistons.  This was the first NBA head coaching gig for the 56 year old Kuester, who was formerly an assistant coach under Coach Mike Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers, after being a coach for the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics.  Prior to his time in the NBA he was the head coach for the George Washington Colonials and Boston University Bears and as an assistant coach for the University of Richmond Spiders.

Coach Kuester was known for being an offensive mastermind after his time in Cleveland with LeBron James, but more importantly for the Pistons organization, he had served on former Piston coach Larry Brown’s staff in 2003-2004.

Kuester, a former University of North Carolina player, will likely be heading to the Los Angeles Lakers to be an assistant coach under new coach Mike Brown.  Brown, who was hired as LA Lakers head coach less than a week ago, had already expressed an interest in bringing Kuester over with him on his staff.

Kuester was never really accepted by the Pistons fans because his name either wasn’t Bill Laimbeer or he wasn’t Avery Johnson, etc.  Coach Kuester was put into a bad spot by the organization with a roster in transition, that was bound to decline after the success of the early 2000s.  Kuester was given Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva as free agents in his first season as coach, but the Pistons couldn’t find a home for eventual malcontent Richard Hamilton which left the team extraordinarily deep at the shooting guard position.

During his time with the Pistons, Kuester clashed with Rodney Stuckey and Richard Hamilton and often dealt with problems through the media rather than being straight forward with his players.  While no one should argue Kuester mismanaged the available talent, it should be noted that he never did establish a set rotation of players.  The Pistons roster is in flux after years of consistency, which is President Joe Dumars’ primary responsibility.

Moving forward, the Pistons have a steady core of young players with Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko.  Rodney Stuckey is coming off of another year of ups and downs and is a restricted free agent.  Ben Gordon and Charlie V are now going into their 3rd year of 5 year contracts (with player options for 6th years) as well.  Tayshaun Prince is an unrestricted free agent, and Richard Hamilton has 1 more fully guaranteed season left on his contract.

The next Pistons coach will be inheriting virtually the same roster as Kuester, minus Chris Wilcox and likely Tayshaun Prince.  There could be a chance that Prince is signed and traded, and while I had once thought he would be a good fit in LA with the Lakers, now that Coach Kuester is heading there as an assistant, it’s an unlikely destination.

What are your thoughts about Coach Kuester being out as the coach?  Is it a good move for the Pistons?  What do you think should be the next move?

So… Natalie and I have taken quite a bit of time off from posting.  I don’t know why I’ve slowed down posting, but I know Natalie has been crazy busy with stuff so… you can always reach out to her on twitter if you miss her at Need4Sheed_com and I am back on twitter after a short hiatus at Bohnlein.

So I mean.. even when they’re not playing the Pistons get disrespected right?  Pistons super rookie, Greg Monroe, was not only snubbed in the 2011 Rookie of the Year voting (6th, really?), but he was also snubbed today in the voting for the 2011 All Rookie Teams.  He was voted, by the coaches, to be on the All Rookie 2nd team.

Not bad, for a guy an MLive “writer” compared to Rodney White on draft night last year when Cole Aldrich was passed over with the Pistons pick., right?  Wrong.

Greg Monroe was by far one of the most consistent 2010 draft class rookies in the league this past season.  As I previously said in one of our podcasts, at one point in the season Monroe’s key statistics improved each and every month of the season.  He finished the season averaging 9.4 points and 7.5 rebounds a night.  What endeared him most to Pistons fans had to be his hustle on the offensive glass, as almost half of his rebounds came from the offensive end.

In a season of extremely low expectations, aside from my playoff shtick in the podcasts, Monroe’s snub for the All Rookie Team and the outright disrespect in the Rookie of the Year voting is unacceptable.  What hurts the most is, it seems like for the rookies, people voted more for rookies on winning teams.  Spurs G/F Gary Neal and Knicks G/F Landry Fields both were ahead of Monroe in the ROY balloting and for the All Rookie Teams.

So what has everyone been up to?  Are you enjoying the playoffs?  If you’re wondering, I’m pulling for the Bulls this postseason because I’ve always been a fan of Tom Thibodeau.  I wanted Thibs to become the Pistons coach over Kuester but, sometimes you don’t get what you want.  It’s also funny to read all the negative blog posts about Derrick Rose and how he won the MVP award.  As you can see, Natalie and I tend to not be too overly negative about things like most other blogs you see out there.  The outright hate coming from the majority of the NBA blogs out there for Rose’s MVP award is disgusting.  Spout statistics all you want but at the end of the day, he was clearly the best player on the best team in the league and he was deserving of the votes he received.  Is he better than Chris Paul or Deron Williams?  Probably not but, he’s improving.  So.. off my soapbox…

Who are you pulling for in the playoffs?  After tonight, the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat have reached the Conference Finals… Memphis is looking pretty strong against Oklahoma City too.  The next big thing to come up for the Pistons is going to be the draft lottery which Greg Monroe will be the Pistons representative.  Aside from the obvious Derrick Williams or Kyrie Irving, what rookie do you think would look good in a Pistons uni next year?

You can take it for what it’s worth but… As reported by Detroit Free Press writer, Drew Sharp, new Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores has said Joe Dumars is not going anywhere for “as long as he desires”.  And here’s the quote:

“More good news: Joe Dumars isn’t going anywhere.  It’s believed Gores has told him that he can remain president for as long as he desires.”

Now brings the question from the fans – “Does Joe deserve to stay?”.  To me, the answer is yes.  Joe has made mistakes, he dumped the franchise player for cap space which was used on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.  He drafted Darko Milicic #2 in a draft that featured 60% of the Miami Heat starting lineup.  He also turned over the reigns to the team to Rodney Stuckey, but he did it in the middle of 3 coaches in 3 years.  All of the coaches, he hired.  All of the turmoil in the media with regard to the players not getting along with coaches, and vice versa, his doing.

I’ve seen all sides of the argument.  I’ve read 20,000 word blog posts where the writer completely shreds Dumars apart, I’ve also read posts where the writer absolutely falls all over himself praising Dumars.  I say, Dumars has done more harm to the team than good BUT, I think he’ll get a second wind now that there’s stability in the front office.  Sure, hiring and firing coaches will not be the best way to continue Dumars’ career in the Pistons front office but, I think Dumars deserves to have one more shot at it.

During last night’s game, while I was thinking of how to write this post, I watched 2 teams put together by the front office who put together the 2004 NBA Finals Championship team.  As we all know, John Hammond is the General Manager of the Milwaukee Bucks, and he was Joe’s assistant before leaving a few years ago.  The Bucks, a perennial NBA Eastern Conference Central Division bottom feeder, have been completely re-tooled from top to bottom since Hammond has taken over, except for Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut.

The Bucks were a surprise team in last year’s regular season, which lead a lot of people to list the Bucks as a sleeper in this year’s Eastern Conference.  Hammond has constructed this Bucks team in a similar fashion that the 2004 Pistons were constructed, a team that is the sum of its parts and not based around how a superstar performs.  The team has a defensive minded coach, just like the Pistons had Larry Brown.  This past offseason, Hammond had his offseason of spending just like Dumars had the previous offseason and look what he brought in:

  • Traded for Corey Maggette with his 3 years and $30 million left on his deal – he plays 21 minutes a night, off the bench.
  • Signed Drew Gooden to a 5 year $32 million contract
  • Signed John Salmons to a 5 year $39 million contract

We criticize Joe D for not trading Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox because of their expiring contracts, yet Hammond had an even more valuable expiring contract ($18.3m) in Michael Redd and he’s still on the team.  Redd, a career Milwaukee Buck, likely would’ve accepted a trade to another team if it meant improving the Bucks this season.

Both Dumars and Hammond have made mistakes, but how come Pistons fans still argue that Hammond is a better GM than Dumars?  Detroit and Milwaukee’s cap situation are similar (Detroit is $1m-$2m higher cap the next 2 seasons), but Detroit has some assets to deal whereas Milwaukee is paying more mediocre players more.  There are only a handful of NBA GMs that make the right moves year in and year out.  San Antonio and Oklahoma City are 2 teams that have an excellent track record of solid draft picks (although as I mentioned in the podcast, Cole Aldrich is a bit of a bust right now), while all other teams hit or miss though most miss more than Dumars does.  Dumars’ misses are magnified by the fact this team has had the recent success it has, in my opinion.

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

So… it looks like Dumars will be back, at least for 1 more coaching search.  A new coach, new owner and new president would be a lot for the team to go through next season, so I applaud Gores decision to keep Dumars.

I didn’t even know Michael Redd was still alive.  Wow.  Let me be a little selfish here, tell me what kind of a night you think I’m having:

  1. Gores buys Pistons
  2. Pistons win 110 – 100 over Bucks
  3. JoannePistonFan got her Jonas Jerebko jersey from Jonas himself
  4. No Government shutdown (I work for government)

If you said “great”, “fantastic”, “happy”, etc – I circle all of the above.  Should I play the lottery?  Anywho…

Chris Wilcox, have a game why don’t ya?  27 points and 13 boards in only 24 minutes!  Wilcox flashed reminders to us tonight of why he was a lottery pick coming out Maryland a few years ago. If you were to tell me it was Chris that was going to single handily handle the point spread in this one I would have bet against it.  He’s an athletic big, it’s just a shame that he is so inconsistent.  Rodney Stuckey followed up his big game against the Nets with another big game tonight.

Chris Wilcox

Photo/Getty Images editing Need4Sheed.com

  • One of my favoritest non-Pistons player ever, Michael Redd, played in his 7th straight game back from multiple catastrophic knee injuries that have basically reduced him to role player status, if he’s worthy of any status at all.
  • You can tell the Bucks are coached by Scott Skiles.  Look at the names on the bench that would/could be starting on most teams in the league: Maggette (5 minutes), Drew Gooden (29 minutes), Ilyasova, and former VCU Ram great, Larry Sanders.  I believe Skiles may have coached his way out of Milwaukee this season and the problem with that is, this team was built to his specification.
  • Charlie V hit a few nice shots tonight in his limited time on the floor.  Looks like he didn’t lose his rhythm in the time he missed with a back
  • One of my other favorite players, Earl Boykins, is reduced to single digit minutes for the Bucks – 4 points in 9 minutes
  • Greg Monroe with another solid night: 11 points, 8 boards and solid defense
  • Carlos Defino had a bad night – 0 for everything from the field and 0 points
  • What a match up of young guards – Brandon Jennings got whatever he wanted from the field (13-21 shooting) and Rodney Stuckey got just about everything he wanted as well, only off the bench
  • Detroit dominated the glass: 49 rebounds to 32 for Milwaukee
  • Only downside to tonight’s win: 14 turnovers
  • No conspiracy here:  Pistons benefit from 23 fouls called against Bucks
  • No Ben Wallace – this, friends, is the beginning of the end.  We’ll be hanging his jersey in the rafters one day just like Rodman
  • Don’t look now but, the Pistons are 2 games above .500 at home and will finish the year with a winning home record

Up next for the Detroit Gores Tom Pistons Pistons, they travel to Charlotte to take on former Duke Blue Devil Gerald Henderson and the Charlotte Bobcats.

If you have twitter you should follow JoannePistonFan (link) and congratulate her on winning the Jonas jersey from Jonas himself.  Otherwise, have a good weekend and we’ll see you on Sunday for the Bobcats preview.

 

(Sort of) Breaking News!

From wxyz.com:

According to a press release by public relations firm Marx Layne, the agreement calls for (Tom) Gores to buy the team and the rest of the holdings of Palace Sports and Entertainment. No details on price have been released. The deal is expected to close June 30.

Tom Gores and Karen Davidson have come to an agreement which will allow Gores to become owner of the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise and Palace Sports and Entertainment which includes properties like The Palace of Auburn Hills The DTE Music Ampitheater (Pine Knob).

If you don’t know who Tom Gores is by now, you can view his accomplishments here (linkedin profile).

This is a big deal for the Pistons, and the entire Piston fanbase because now the organization may start to settle down a bit and move forward from the last 2 years of ugly basketball and even uglier public relations between the organization and the fans.

So – I put it back to you, Pistons fans.  Are you happy with this deal?  It’s not going to be 100% until June 30th, it looks like.  Do you think the team is better off with Gores?  What do you think the first move will be? – Fire Joe Dumars or John Kuester, trade players, etc?

Let us know in the comments – and then go listen to the podcast Natalie and I did last night!