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The 2-4 Pistons are in Golden State for the second game of their four game West Cost trip, to play the 4-3 Golden State Warriors. The Pistons are looking to break a 3 game losing streak, and more importantly, looking to get their first road win of the season. Golden State is in the midst of a short losing streak of their own, having lost their last 2 games.

  • The good:  The Pistons are averaging a league high 52 points per game in the paint. They will need to exploit this advantage against the Warriors big men pairings of David Lee, and Andrew Bogut.
  • The bad: The Pistons have lost 13 of their last 16 road games. The old adage is: protect your home court and go .500 on the road, and you’ll be alright. The Warriors present an obvious matchup dilemma for the Pistons as well – Klay Thompson, Andre Iguoudala, and Stephen Curry love playing an up and down brand of basketball and are all “long”. Long rebounds could be an issue.
  • The unknown: When will Detroit get back to playing defense? The front line has held its own, but the perimeter D has sorely been lacking this season and last night was no exception. 11 3 point field goals by the Trail Blazers. If the perimeter defense sags too far away from Curry, Thompson, Iguoudala, Barnes, Douglas, etc, it will be a long night.

Tip off is at 10:30 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit. If you’re an out of towner like I am, the game will be broadcast nationally on NBATV. If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 the Ticket.

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.

Forget the fact that the battered and bruised Pistons really did need to get back on track, Friday nights’ game 96-105 win against the Bucks was just plain fun to watch.

Key Points:

  • Charlie Villanueva took the court, mask and all, but still looked a uncomfortable on the court.  CV31 finished with 9 points a steal and 2 boards.
  • Great defensive effort for the Pistons all night long.  Ben Wallace and Jason Maxiell really allowing Andrew Bogut to do nothing was great.  The guards holding Brandon Jennings in check, priceless.
  • Sloppy finish to the game is something you don’t like to see.  The Pistons let the Bucks get a little too close in the closing minutes.
  • The Pistons are lucky to have won this game, when you turn the ball over 20 times it usually spells disaster.
  • I’m going to have to make a Need4Swede highlight reel.  Jonas Jerebko has been unreal since he’s been inserted in the starting lineup.  He will do just about anything that he can on court for his team, including a pretty sweet behind the back pass to Ben Wallace for the jam.  JJ finished with 16 points, 7 boards, 3 assists and a blocked shot in 27 minutes on the floor.
Photo/Getty Images
  • Did I mention he’s got his very own rabid fans too? He is also getting quite a hefty round of applause in the intro’s before the game.
  • Jason Maxiell a surprising 5 turnovers, but his defensive play almost made up for them.  He scored 6, with four boards and really did a number on Bogut who didn’t score till after the half.
  • Six Pistons in double figures.
  • Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting with 9 assists, 6 boards and 4 turnovers.  Do you realize that since he’s moved to the two position he’s had a total of 21 assists and he’s looked more comfortable on court.  He’s still running the show at times, but he’s getting better looks now.
  • Kwame Brown doing some things I never thought he could.  Kwame with 4 points on 2-for-3 shooting, with 4 boards and 2 assists in 14 minutes.  Compliments aside, the two free throws he shot (and missed) had to be the ugliest I have seen in a while.
  • 46 boards to 30 for the Bucks.
  • Great way to end the half.  via NBA.com
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  • You may not have caught the little drama unless you were at the game, but when Rodney Stuckey got his tech in the fourth quarter it looked like things were going to get out of hand.  Rodney tried to take the ball away from Jennings after the ball was dead, and they went at it a bit.  Then coach Kue and Rodney had a few choice words to each other.  I wasn’t that close so I couldn’t hear, but I did see the look on Kuester’s face and he wasn’t happy with Rodney.  They spoke, and Rodney finished the game out.
  • Ben Gordon still looks a bit off, but he did look good Friday night with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting in just 22 minutes off the bench.
  • I now have a firm belief that in Mr. Wallaces’ case it’s not about the Benjamins baby…Ben Wallace Highlights
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Photo/Getty Images
  • When Ben started dunking up a storm in the fourth, the Palace felt like 2004.  Another double-double for Ben Wallace with 11 points, 10 boards and 3 blocked shots….my word it’s just amazing.
  • A telling stat, 46 points in the paint for Detroit.
  • Rookie sensation Brandon Jennings was limited to 15 points, eight in the fourth on 6-for-20 shooting.
  • Chucky Atkins moves the ball so well when he’s out there.  He may not fill up the score sheet, but he gets the ball where it needs to be.   Atkins finished with 10 points and an assists.
  • Game Recap via NBA.com
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  • I’m wondering if Will Bynum is still hurting, Will hasn’t looked himself for the last few games.   He finished with 12 points on 2-for-8 shooting with 4 turnovers.
  • The Pistons biggest lead was 17.
  • Other than the last couple minutes of this game…the Pistons looked right on track.
  • Sunday against the Wizards at home should be interesting.  Hoping they can make it two in a row.
  • Do you want Pistons tickets or what?

Detroit hosts John Hammond’s Milwaukee Bucks tonight at The Palace. Milwaukee is coming into Detroit on a two game losing streak, and has lost five of its last seven games. Nothing (for this team right now) is a sure thing but the fact that the The Bucks will most likely be without Andrew Bogut (knee) and their All-Star Michael Redd (ankle) gives the Pistons a better edge.

I for one will be happy not to see Mr. Bogut, he just rubs me the wrong way.

As you already know, Rodney Stuckey will be starting in place of Allen Iverson.

Tip is at 8:00 PM on FSN with the pre-game festivities starting at 7. If you can’t watch the television broadcast, tune into 1130 AM The Fan where you can catch our friend Matt Dery with the pre-game starting at 7:00. Can’t do either, follow the game on NBA.com.

Leave them in the comments and enjoy the chat.

Pistons take on the Bucks again, this time in Milwaukee but this one isn’t televised. After last nights Piston win against The Wizards in which Sheed led all scores with 12 on the way to a 73-62 win. Since we can’t watch it I am anticipating a little something like this might take place.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkhWeEGyIdI

For some reason Bogut and Sheed always seem to get at it during their matchups. Tip off is 8:30 pm EST with a live audio stream on NBA.com and on 1130 AM WDFN The Fan.