Posts by: "Rashid Umar"

Need4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar

Okay Pistons fans, I know it was tough to watch. I was there watching from the opening tip hoping for a more aggressive and passionate effort too. “There’s no way they will not bring it tonight” I thought. It’s the playoffs right?

Well again the game started off with more disjointed play and lack of passion. Rodney Stuckey seemingly was the only player interested in driving to the basket as everyone else settled for jumpers. The defense did nothing but allow Lebron to pad his stats for his MVP campaign.

With the Cavs now leading 2-0, what can we take from the current circumstance? I’d say that we should expect an entertaining game 3 as the series shifts to the “D” on Friday night.

Photo/Getty Images

Here’s what I think: as you all saw, the Cavs lead early in the fourth quarter 79-50 as they began resting their starters. The Pistons went with their bench players and suddenly like lightening the young and scrappy unit climbed back into contention cutting the once robust lead to seven, once the starters were reinstated the Cavs regained control.

So with the revelation that the starters, for whatever reason, can’t seem to compete for long stretches with these guys perhaps the second unit can provide the hustle and intensity needed to stay with this team?

It’s a bit obvious that the Cavs kinda put it on cruise in the fourth and I wonder if that is something that can be exploited.

Photo/Getty Images

Remember the 2006 series? Detroit was the league leading number one seed against the underdog Cavs. The Pistons won game one rather handily but, in game two Detroit lead by as much as 20 in the second half and the Cavs made a game of it. The Piston would hang on but the Cleveland team gained confidence and later went on to win the next three games before losing in seven.

It’s the playoffs and anything can happen. I’m just saying.

Need4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar

As the 2009 playoffs get underway, it seems as if no one is giving the Pistons any chance of competing with the mighty (at least record wise) Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether the series plays out to be as predicted, or if the boys from the “D” pull off the monumental upset, we need to show passionate support.

The one thing that I’ve enjoyed as a sports fan is proudly proclaiming that I am Pistons Fan. No matter how great the team has performed or how terrible, being a Pistons fan has been a joy and privilege for the last 25 years and counting.

It’s more than just being a fan of the team, for me it’s being a fan of the HOME team. Growing up in the inner city of Detroit, a place that has never had a great reputation for as long as I was there, team championships helped put us on the map. When the Pistons made their first finals appearance in 1988, the city felt electric. I neglect to mention, that years earlier that the Tigers won the ’84 World Series, but this was different—at least for me. The summer of ’88 felt like uncharted waters, with a team that had never been to the mountaintop. Seeing CBS Sports trucks and nationwide coverage in our city was exciting. Winning the title in 1989 and again in 1990 made me feel proud to not just be a fan of the red, white, and blue; but also a proud Detroiter. I also learned that sports could unite a community a lot better than tragedy.

Even through the lean years, the erosion of the post- bad boy era, the dreaded Sean Elliot 62-loss season, and the mediocre “horse-head teal” days, I held my head up high despite what seemed like everyone else jumped ship to root for the Bulls (I’m still bitter about that) I was proud to have MY team.

My point is that although the team posted its worse season in eight years, I’m not jumping ship. Even if the series goes as predicted, I’ll still be here with my Pistons jersey rooting for the good guys. I’ll still be hardcore with mine because that’s what we do!

I’ve read message boards sites (and I hate reading message boards) of opposing fans that are extremely joyful about this Pistons season, even some of our so-called fans who’d rather complain than rally. I know it’s not what we’re used to but come on gang!

It’s the playoffs! Let’s get behind these guys for support! If not to beat Cleveland, than to celebrate eight straight playoff appearances or that they are one of only two teams in American professional sports to win at least one title in each of the last three decades — bet you didn’t realize that huh? Well that’s why I’m here.

Let’s go Pistons Nation! I implore you join me in showing the world we can be the best fans under any circumstance!

I know you’re frustrated.  I know your expectations were higher.  I know you can’t take the losing. Despite the disappointment that has become the 2008-09 season; I think we as Pistons fans should be more proud and thankful.

We should be thankful to have had the joys of watching a team make a run of six straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, which included 2 Finals appearances and one NBA Championship.  We should also be proud to have witnessed our team succeed with “unselfish” players, who worked well off of and with one another and did it with a true tough-minded defensive identity.

But with the ravishes of time come change and one that is first met with resistance, so much so that fans and media people alike have not been thrilled about this season.

Aiding in this disappointment was the trade of the popular Chauncey Billups, the unenviable task of trying to integrate the talents of Allen Iverson, the hiring a rookie head coach in Michael Curry, seemingly uninspired play, and now a rash of injuries a month before the season concludes.

I’d like to think we as committed residence of PistonNation are smart enough to recognize that the team we had come to love and identify with had seen its best days. With three straight years of losing in the conference finals, other contenders starting to pass by like the new sports car fresh off the assembly line and players getting old, one would think that change had to happen. Moreover, if the team was kept together and went on to lose in the 2nd round or conference finals again then everyone would be screaming for something new any so what’s the difference?

I also believe we should be thankful to have a team president in Joe Dumars, who has the presence of mind to see decline and recognize a need for such change.  Besides, who’s better at determining such thing than a former player who has experienced the highs of winning in the NBA and the lows of the lottery?

In case you didn’t know (or forgot), Dumars played on a championship team where during his hall-of-fame career, he was not only an integral part, by winning a Finals MVP, he also was lauded for his cerebral sense and for being a multi-dimensional talent.  Unfortunately, he was also apart of a franchise that had fallen on hard times after the glory days, only to try to spray over the stink of mediocrity with bad personnel decisions and the dreaded horses head teal uniforms.

My point is that, all great teams have a point where they are off for at least a season but, stability and sound decision-making (which the Pistons have) will be the determining factor to how long the frustration will last.

None of us can predict the future but, I’m confident that we won’t see too many more seasons like this because, of the track record.  Think of this as the 2001 season reincarnated (one that included: Mateen Cleaves, Joe Smith, and John Wallace) which was a season of salary cap clearing and developing youth.  Just that team didn’t make the playoffs.  Also the team was loaded with cap space, a new coach, and a budding star on the rise…. Sound familiar?

So let’s be appreciative of what we’ve enjoyed and also take our lumps from all the other so-called fans of the “popular” teams. It will make it that much sweater when we’re right back on top…. Right?