Posts by: "edt"

It’s time to take a look at all the new players on this Pistons roster. I’ll tell you one thing it’s going to be incredibly exciting, but also worrying. Detroit has a heck of a lot of talent, new hope but one thing keeps haunting me and that is…Josh Smith is not that good. I’ll get to that, but first let me run down the excitement with what seems will be our starting lineup in no particular order:

Greg-Monroe-Pistons-vs-Magic

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Greg Monroe – Clearly Moose is our best player right now. He can operate out of the post he has interior passing, he can play the pick and roll, he can play inside out, he has an incredible basketball IQ, his only drawback is below average foot speed. Moose is going to be better this year than last year, and is already a leader of this team. I sometimes hear about people who want to trade Moose and I just don’t get it.

Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons

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Andre Drummond – Comparisons for his ceiling are now, Shaq, Howard, Robinson. He’s an incredible athlete. There are no more concerns about his motor, his attitude, his game. All the reasons he dropped down to us in the draft are nothing now. Other teams have only regrets that they passed on the most exciting young center in the NBA. His game is not polished, and it will take years of work for him to get where he needs to go. But he can already do what he needs to do for us, finish at the rim, defend, and block. If you want to find a single word that describes the difference between perhaps the biggest bust in NBA history . . . Darko over Bosh, Melo and Wade and this amazing pick of Dre falling to us, that difference is soft hands. Darko was never going to make it in the NBA. It’s not his fault; he just does not have the hands for it. Dre on the other hand, is a freak of nature, great strength, agility and hands that the never drop the rock. There was a mistake that Dumars made selecting Darko and that was insufficient scouting. Ever since then, Dumars has been on top of his game, sure he has made some mistakes, like Brandon Knight or Daye, but they were never again a bad pick like Darko merely because he didn’t know the player. Dumars knew more than I think anyone else what Dre’s potential is when he picked him.

Chauncey Billups Detroit Pistons 2013

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Chauncey Billups – Nothing pleases me more than to see Billups suit up again in the red white & blue. He will be forced into a position he is not very pleased with, a shooting guard. He would rather, I think come off the bench and lead the second unit as the point guard. We’ll see as the season goes where he ends up.  Mo Cheeks wants to reward vets by starting them, and making rooks earn their position.

Brandon Jennings Detroit Pistons

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Brandon Jennings – the other Brandon. This is a point guard with only one decent arm, the left, but he is able to take care of the rock, work the pick and roll, and be a more complete player than Brandon Knight could be with both hands. I have come around to Jennings’ game, he is just the kind of player that we need to fit in along with our towers. One thing that will be there, with Jennings at the helm that might not be immediately obvious is that we will be able to take care of the rock. For the past few years, we have been a turnover prone team, but now with Jennings as our point guard, we will find it easier to score, easier to defend, and not be constantly chasing the other team in transition. Turnovers makes everything about basketball difficult, and with our new Brandon, it will all get a lot easier. No matter how many times I watched that commercial with Brandon Knight dribbling it didn’t make his handle any better.

Jennings has a decent handle.

Josh Smith Detroit Pistons 2013

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Josh Smith – I look at Smith and I am forced to remember what Joe has done with other free agent signings. Allen Iverson (yeah not a real free agent but I’m including it anyway) Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and now Josh Smith. Each time it’s the same problem. These are not bad players, the problem is that Dumars gets a bit of money in his pocket, it burns a hole in it and he has to spend it all. Ben Gordon would have been a great shooting guard off the bench at $6 million a year. Instead his salary was $12 million. Charlie V is a decent stretch 4 who can shoot the 3 with a very quick release, not as accurate as a shooting guard, but able to stretch the defense, and has a drawback of no defense. He would have been a great pick up at $4 million a year, instead we have him at $8 million. Allen Iverson, well I think everyone in Detroit can agree he’s poison. If you are from Philly you can argue how he’s one of the greatest of all time, but if you are from Michigan, well, he was horrible here.

And now Josh Smith $14 million for four years.

He’s a good player, but why does Joe have to overpay like this? Josh Smith does not fit well as a small forward in our team. This is the position where he has had the least success in his career, shooting ill-advised jumpers and what is more, with Moose and Dre on the floor, we will want him to shoot the three to stretch the defense, a shot that he falls in love with too easily. Yes he is a great defender, he gives us an answer to Melo or LeBron, but he creates problems for us on offense. Moose will be forced to shoot that jumper that he hasn’t been able to make last year, while Smith at small forward will want to use the mismatch to post up, but how can you post up with the paint clogged? You look at our pre-season games you see a lot of problems scoring, Josh is just not a good enough player to justify his salary, and Mo is pretty much forced to start him. Everything about the Josh Smith acquisition makes me worry. Spacing problems, poor shot selection, and our highest paid player playing out of position. If only we had him with less money, then we could bring him off the bench play him at a more natural power forward but you can’t do that when you pay so much.

Detroit Pistons 2013

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Tony Mitchell is going to be good later, but for now he’s not NBA ready. Peyton Siva will be ready sometime later this year, but you can see he is just not used to the NBA athletes yet. Josh “Jorts” Harrellson was a cheap great pickup by Joe, though he hasn’t played enough minutes for us in pre-season what I have seen looks good. Gigi Datome, please heal up they will need your 3 point shooting. Datome was a great acquisition by Dumars. Singler, and Jerebko are going to thrive under Mo Cheeks you can tell he likes players who play hard on both the offense and defense and is willing to let them shoot themselves out of any slumps. KCP another great pick by Joe Dumars. I was a homer for Trey Burke for the longest time, but the more I see of KCP the more I like him, he can shoot, defend, has good size, and will be forced to earn his way into the starting lineup. Bynum, we are going to need him as a spare point guard, even though it seems like we have a lot of point guards after last year (when it seemed like we had none). Even in the preseason Bynum has played a lot of minutes because of injuries. Oh and Charlie Villanueva, I think he will be warming the bench a lot. Something about not playing any defense has rubbed our new coach the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong I like Charlie V, but he can’t just play one side of the floor. Stuckey I have always liked his game, but he is not a good fit because he can’t shoot jump shots. I hope he finds a good team somewhere else to play for, and put his “Hey” to good use.

Mo Cheeks Peyton Sive Kentavious Caldwell Pope

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This team should make the playoffs based on the talent of two of our bigs Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond and the fact that they have a giant talent upgrade through the entire lineup. Did I forget to mention the fact the they have Rasheed Wallace as player development coach on the bench to help them?

Pre-Game Coach Sheed

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Joe Dumars has created an exciting team, full of new players, talent, athleticism, high basketball IQ, and veteran leadership. There is just one piece that worries me, how is Josh Smith going to fit in.

edt here. Detroit wins by (looks at score) 117 Detroit, 99 Cleveland.

Nat is taking a vacation.  Sitting on the beach.  Sipping Mai-Tai’s watching the sunset.  Cell phone turned off.  A big floppy hat — you get so pale in Detroit in the winter, need to protect the complexion.  She picked a good time.  Right now the airplane disaster which has been the Detroit Pistons for the past four years is in a holding pattern, as we wait for a new captain to get helicoptered on board.  Jose Calderon promises to be the first point guard we have had since Billups.  But apparently USA is worried this Canadian is here to steal our jobs so we have to wait for his work visa.  By the time it arrives Nat will be back, tanned and refreshed and ready to give us her take on the new look Pistons.

  • But for tonight we played the Cavs.  Starting lineup we had Stuck in for Prince, moved Singler over to the SF and for the first quarter we ran and ran.  We ran like we have never been able to run with Prince on the team, who no matter how good he is, Prince is an I’m sorry an extra-large serving of molasses.  Efficient molasses but still.   Watching an uptempo game like this is fun.  Of course this lineup is normally bad for Stuckey he doesn’t have the ball in his hands, reduces his effectiveness but the good thing is his efficiency seems to be a better with this setup, 14 points in greater than 50% shooting.  Or it could be the Cavs are awful.
  • There was certainly a battle, man to man, Kyrie against Knight, both going straight to the rim against each other. The difference is this Cav’s team is terrible.  So Irving got no help.  And this pistons team is gearing up for that 8th playoff slot.  There is just no way the Cavs could win this game with attitudes like that.  And Brandon took him to the cleaners too.  Brandon had 20 points Irving a mere 14.  Knight had 10 assists TWICE as many as Irving. Really outplayed him tonight.

Brandon Knight-Pistons-vs-Cavaliers

  • Recently the big penguin Andre Drummond is hearing comparisons about his game and the greatest center of our generation, Shaq.   Love to see how humble he still is.  Everyone loves the big penguin.  Bynum and Drummond are awesome together, they trust each other.  And the usual assortment of Bynum Drummond dunks.  However, Drummond with reduced minutes here, but I’m happy with this decision by Frank, because Drummond is our Death Star, we didn’t need to play him huge minutes tonight.  I think if the Cavs had challenged us we would have played him more than 18 minutes.  The Big Penguin had 4-4 shooting with a mere 5 rebounds.
  • With less Prince, we got to see a bit of Jerebko and some more of English.  English is really just not ready for the NBA, needs more D-league, more summer league, 15 minutes for English.  Jerebko needs his shot to go in, simple as that, until it does, or until he stops doing to Frank (come on Jerebko quit eating Frank’s donuts) it looks like he will be limited from here on out.  6 minutes for Jerebko.
  • I do have to be honest I didn’t keep track of this cavs team other than to watch Kyrie because without “Sideshow Bob” Verajao this team has Kyrie and . . . are looking at a #1 draft pick that’s about it.
  • It was kind of nice watching the cavs with this 2013 Piston’s team.  Not much to worry about, we are just too much better right now.  Relaxing even.  Certainly if you felt thirsty no need to wait for a time out.
  • Charlie is a funny guy he’s great at the three-point but 30 something percent at the free throw line.  Forget hack a penguin, hack Charlie V,  it’s way better.
  • There was a Middleton and Kravtsov sighting in garbage time.
  • Singler had an absolutely terrific game.  His shot went in and because it went in he just kept shooting all night, 9 for 17, that’s Prince efficiency.

Kyle-Singler-Pistons-vs-Portland

  • Bynum was super efficient tonight.  Bynum tends to play “hero ball” when we are behind (one thing I hate about his game) but when we are ahead Bynum is happy to create and only take good shots, 4-5 shooting, and 8 assists in only 15 minutes of play.
  • Did you see the BYNUMITE February Schedule Wallpaper?
  • Check out the highlights over a NBA.com
  • It’s nice to be on vacation.  But even nicer to be able to relax when you watch the Piston’s cruise to victory against the worst team in the NBA.

Pistons 78 – Grizzlies 90

Nat asked me to fill in because she couldn’t watch the game live.  I told her sure no problem.  But I told her if we lose, it will be short. I told her that’s it for me.  There are no more moral victories for me, I’m not gonna cheer a loss ever again.  I’m not gonna say “But Drummond played great.”  We know Drummond is great.  We all want Drummond to play more minutes.  Well, everyone except for Frank who is still rationing him.  We know this is a team that can compete.  So that’s it for taking little positives out of a loss.  No more.  It’s winning time or nothing from now on.  I won’t be satisfied with less.

I’m not going to the stats to explain this game.  If you just look at the stat sheet Brandon Knight was worse than awful.  So many turnovers in the first half alone, shooting awful, not making assists.  This poor play is more about Grizzlies defensive aggression than Brandon getting schooled.  Brandon is a lot better player this year, there’s no doubt of it now.  I think what is really different about Brandon Knight this year from last year is that he had a boy’s body.  He’s grown into his frame, and this year he’s making some grown up moves. Of course, Knight’s improved play this year is also why Stuckey had to go to the bench.  With Knight playing better it means Stuckey has the ball in his hands less.  Stuck just needs the ball in his hands.  He’s no Rip Hamilton cutting getting open and draining deuces.  Stuck needs to mow down the other team like a halfback.  Or at least that’s the theory.

A good thing about being some guy writing this game summary instead of a famous blogger is that it’s not a big deal for me to change my mind.  Jereb-Who?  Don’t miss him.  Did I used to cheer for his effort and amazing hustle?  He’s just not that good this year.  This year I find I like Charlie.  Did I ever say that Charlie V belonged in a clown car?  I don’t remember saying that.  Charlie can stretch the floor.  Charlie was able to knock it down from the three this game.  And he has even been playing defense a little bit this year. And about Stuckey.  Did I ever say I liked Stuckey or that he was a cheap man’s Wade?  I think what I meant is that he’s a decent energy guy off the bench.  But he has no vision can’t see where to pass, especially against this Grizzlies team who collapse on you with great help defense.

Charlie Villanueva Pistons-vs-GrizzlesPhoto Getty Images/Editing Need4Sheed.com

One thing about away games.  I love just listening to them.  Unlike the echo-ing tomb called the Palace, in other arenas, you hear the audience clapping, low applause for a good move, sometimes they cheer loud and yell for a dunk, and sometimes it’s a big “Boooo” as they protest a call.  Detroit needs that crowd to come back.  And we have to win to do it.  There’s no other way to bring back the crowd.  You and me and the rest of the need4sheed-ers, we are die hard fans.  The casual fans aren’t coming on the bandwagon until they see a bunch of W’s.

You know according to Hollinger, before this game, the Grizzlies were ranked the best team in the NBA.  And the Pistons  number 19.  We have to be one of the best 5-12 teams out there.  But like I said.  No more moral victories.

I could say more nice things like Charlie is finally defending and how after years he is finally earning some of his ridiculous paycheck, or how excellent Drummond is, getting better every game.   Or I can look at what beat us.  Mike Conley is a real point guard, he’s where Knight is going to be in just another month.  Or that Moose just couldn’t handle Marc Gasol on the defense or the offense because there is nobody in the NBA playing better than Marc right now.  Marc just went with the Hi-Lo and if the Pistons fronted, a quick pass meant an easy bucket.  Gasol also backed Moose all the way under the bucket in the first half for one shot with no help at all.  Just pushed him around.  Or that the Grizzlies as a team played constant aggressive defense.  I think Frank must have drooled to see how this Grizzlies team played.  He was thinking “I want some of that.”  I suppose you can point at the turnovers for how this game played out, but that doesn’t really tell the story because this Grizzlies team forces those turnovers.

No more moral victories.  As Moose would say “Get in there!”  I’m not looking back at this game.  I suppose I could say it was close the whole way with the Pistons less than 10 points away with 7 or so minutes to go, still down by less than 10 points with about 2 minutes to go, I mean sure it was close, or I could say that we “competed” whatever that means.  But, I’m looking forward.  All I want are W’s.  I know I said if we lost I would just type one or  two sentences, but I can’t help myself, I love this year’s team.  After so much gloom, we can see the light.  And now I won’t be happy after the game with anything but a W no matter who we are playing.  Watch out Dallas.

Highlights via NBA.com

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Pistons snap their 3 game losing streak with a 109-94 victory over the Bobcats led by Rodney Stuckey’s game high 20 points and Greg Monroe’s career high 20 boards and 19 points.

1st quarter

  • Stuckey drives like he always does. Then he seems like he remembers something the coach told him . . . something. . . was it pass the ball? Yes, that’s it, pass the ball. He turns around passes it right at Moose. The balls lands in Mooses’s midsection and he could not be surprised than if he had given birth to a baby boy on court. Purely from reflex, Moose jams it. Stuckey is not going to try this “assist” thing again, if he can help it, because it startles the rest of the team too much.
  • Ben Gordon gets the ball. I can tell what he is thinking. “please don’t pass to me, please don’t pass to me, oh no I’m open,” the ball gets to him, he fires and it goes up, “not going in, not going in, not going in” it clanks off. “Oh F my life.” Ben Gordon needs courage more than the cowardly lion did in the Wizard of Oz.
  • Biyombo is beastly, blocking all kinds of shots. He’s looking a lot better than previous reports had indicated. But maybe that’s just the “Piston’s Effect.” Doesn’t seem to have any offense though.
  • Between Stuckey and the Moose we hold a small lead.

2nd quarter

  • Kemba comes off the bench in the 2nd, not sure why they don’t start him, he’s better than DJ Augustin. Maybe they are punishing him like how the lazy parent punishes the child before he does anything, “Go get the switch,” “Buuuut Dad, I ain’t done nothing,” “Go get it, I know you’re gonna act up later.”
  • I know Knight can score, but what I like to watch when he is one on one on these other young guards is whether or not he can move his feet fast enough to stay in front of them. Generally speaking, this whole season has been a failure defensively for Knight. Put it this way, if he can defend elite point guards, then it doesn’t matter if he looks like an autistic bunny rabbit when he shoots . . . I mean, it doesn’t matter if he shoots like Shawn “The Matrix” Marion, he’ll have a future in the league. But if he can’t learn to defend, he must be outstanding in all other aspects of his game.
  • I have noticed that officials are “letting them play” more this year than last year. This is not normally good for the Pistons because aside from Stuckey we are not that athletic, so it’s hard for out guys to play through contact. Though “letting them play” does help Jerebko a bit because Jerebko always wants to rip the other guy in half.
  • Knight has so much confidence, he dribbles back a fast break and shoots a three all calm, like he’s having English tea. Boom. Wish Knight could give an i.v. confidence transfusion, give some of that ego to Ben Gordon. I know it’s popular to complain about ego like it’s bad. Ego when you’re out at the club and stomping on everyone is bad. But ego on the basketball court when you are stomping on everyone is good. I think that’s why I seem to like Knight so much despite his terrible PER stats.

  • Coach only played Jerebko 5 minutes, but still JJ racked up 2 fouls. At this rate, if Jerebko played a full 48 minutes he would rack up 10 personal fouls a game. You got to ration your Jerebko.
  • We go into the half with a comfortable lead of 15 points. I think we got the Indian Sign on the ‘cats. Or if you prefer, we have good matchups. Scoring at will, baby.

3rd Quarter

  • Biyombo doesn’t start. And the ‘cats can’t stop the Moose. Actually the ‘cats can’t stop anything we do. I think there’s a chance we can take away their will to live here. Heck, I have some sympathy for the ‘cats, I understand they are trying hard, just like us, they are a rebuilding team. But if you got a chance to step on their neck, and get to garbage time early, oh that would be a wonderful thing.
  • Apparently Biyombo hit the showers early, because Maxiell ate his baby. Would have liked to see more of him, maybe next time.
  • Stuckey is like a locomotive running downhill, the ‘cats got out of his way for a fast break. Like they are afraid. Hell yeah. His next possession is ridiculous, Stuckey shot and missed, blew everyone out of the way, grabbed a rebound shot missed, grabbed it again, shot and the Moose finished it. That’s confidence.
Rodney Stuckey with 36

Photo/AP editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Prince makes a difficult turn around isolation fade away and I still hate his game even when he makes the shot.
  • Charlie V and Austin Daye are shown chatting together. They’ve had a long time to develop a friendship. On the bench. I have a feeling they are going to have plenty of time to become even closer friends.
  • 14 point lead to end the 3rd. Still a comfortable lead but not the foot on the throat we could have.

4th Quarter

  • Corey Maggette is the ‘cats leading scorer so far with 15 points, while our trio of scorers is Knight, Stuckey and Moose. Kemba comes in. The matchup that was advertised has not been there, Walker has about 7 minutes to begin the 4th quarter.
  • JJ gets a wonderful jam on a fast break. Assist from Stuckey. That made me smile. A nice reward to JJ for his defensive effort.
  • Damien Wilkins really is terrible. Prince comes back early to finish the last 7 minutes of the game. At 5 minutes left we are up by 17 points and we still haven’t put this team away yet. We let them hang around.
  • 3 minutes left and we made it. Garbage time, starters are still in, Jerebko fouls out with 20 minutes playing time, but we have the game in hand, so it’s all good.
  • I’m thinking DJ White sure does have a nice beard. Is that kind of beard in fashion now? I think I want to grow one like that.
  • This is the best part of the game

Greg Monroe with a career high 20 rebounds

Final thoughts

20 rebounds for the moose. We really are lucky to have Frank. Imagine if we had the ‘cats coach, Paul Silas. I liked this game by the Pistons. Good job. A great job would have been stomping on them and make them wish they were dead in the 3rd quarter. But still, a darn good job.