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A lot of moves have happened recently in the NBA, so let’s catch up on where our favorite former Pistons have landed:

  • Chauncey Billups was waived via the amnesty clause from the New York Knicks, and was claimed by the LA Clippers
  • Chris Wilcox signed a contract with the Boston Celtics
  • Richard Hamilton was waived via contract buyout from the Detroit Pistons, and was signed to a free agent deal by the Chicago Bulls
  • DaJuan Summers signed a contract with the New Orleans Hornets
  • Tracy McGrady has signed with the Atlanta Hawks
  • John Kuester was hired by the LA Lakers to be an Assistant Coach to Head Coach Mike Brown

A lot of you didn’t like what I had to say about Richard Hamilton’s time in Detroit, as a member of the Pistons.  Allow me to clarify:

  • I don’t blame Hamilton for the Pistons problems.
  • I don’t think Hamilton was the ring leader of last year’s buffoonery, but he was a willing participant.
  • Hamilton is one of the greatest Pistons in the history of the franchise.
  • Aside from Chauncey Billups, there is not a guy on the team I would trust more with a game winning shot than Hamilton.
  • It is not Hamilton’s problem he signed a virtually untradeable contract, he was offered the contract.
  • You can’t blame Hamilton for thinking he can still play at a high level, he was only 32 last year and is in great shape.

I believe Rip has the chance to be the “Rasheed Wallace” type of acquisition for last season’s #1 seed Chicago Bulls.  He will bring a veteran presence who has been through the wars, and could be a calming influence on Derrick Rose which will only make him better.  So many times last year, Rose was forced into being the go-to guy on a team with questionable backcourt support.  Kyle Korver and Keith Bogans are not as good as Rip Hamilton, who I think will give the team 25-30 quality minutes and is someone who should step right in and claim a starting spot based on ability alone.

The terms of the deal Rip signed with Chicago are 3 years 15 million (2 years fully guaranteed, 3rd year partially guaranteed).

I believe this deal puts Chicago over the top, and in direct competition with the Miami Heat for this season’s championship.  Even though I can’t go back and re-record the podcast from a couple of weeks ago where I proclaimed the Lakers to be the next champions, I will say that I believe the Bulls will be this year’s NBA champion now that some of the pieces have fallen (Chris Paul to Clippers, Dwight Howard staying in Orlando for now).

It’s clear by the comments on my previous Richard Hamilton post that the good lot of you will miss Rip even though the last few years have been underwhelming.  I wouldn’t be against seeing the Bulls or Clippers do well this season with the additions of Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups collectively.

In Chauncey Billups the LA Clippers acquired a guy who would’ve started and served as a mentor for Eric Bledsoe had they not been able to acquire Chris Paul.  Now Billups can start at shooting guard and backup Paul at the point until the offseason when the Clippers are able to acquire a pure shooting guard.

Chris Wilcox isn’t really guaranteed a spot in the rotation for the Boston Celtics, honestly he seems a little out of place on that team.  With the Celtics aging, and if Wilcox makes the team, he should play most of his minutes on the 3rd game of the back to back to backs and in the 2nd game of back to backs to keep KG fresh.  With Jeff Green missing the season with a heart aneurysm, Wilcox could step in with 15-20 minutes a night possibly at the backup PF and C positions depending on how Jermaine O’Neal holds up.

DaJuan Summers was never really given a shot with the Pistons, either by his overall lack of talent or with the coaches that were trying to keep their jobs by not giving him or Austin Daye playing time.  It’s hard to say that Summers wasn’t given a chance, because Jonas Jerebko stepped up and played important minutes as a rookie and would’ve played more minutes last year had he remained healthy.  Summers, known for his NBA-ready physique, has shown flashes in garbage time with the Pistons.  If he makes the New Orleans Hornets, he will be fighting for playing time with Quincy Pondexter and Al Farouq-Aminu behind returning starter Trevor Ariza.  Considering both Pondexter and Aminu are former 1st round picks, the Hornets would likely opt to keep their potential around than Summers, who couldn’t see playing time in a season where the main backup to the SF position on the Pistons was out for the season last year.

Tracy McGrady has signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks, where he will serve as Joe Johnson’s primary backup with the departure of Jamal Crawford.  McGrady, who made the most of his time with the Pistons (while also being labeled a team cancer by Mr. Wieme), will be able to show the league that he is healthy and still can play important minutes in the league  on the playoff contending Hawks team.

McGrady spent time on the Pistons last season as the starting point guard, and first guard off the bench for the Pistons.  It was his first successful season since knee injuries began to de-rail his career with the Houston Rockets, and in his short stint with the New York Knicks where his expiring contract helped the Knicks line themselves up for the “Summer of 2010″ Free Agent class.

And John Kuester… LOL who cares?

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?

(sorry for the bad shtick headline, I couldn’t resist)

Will Bynum, who was recently benched in favor of Tracy McGrady, got a chance to remind us of why Joe Dumars viewed him as a key re-signing this past offseason. Bynum, who was able to see significant minutes in this game due to Richard Hamilton (upset stomach) and Rodney Stuckey (toe) both missing the game, scored 21 points off the bench on 8-10 shooting to go along with 9 assists.

With Stuckey and Hamilton on the bench, we got a chance to see Ben Gordon and Tracy McGrady in the starting lineup and in the revolving door that is the Pistons’ starting Power Forward position, we got to see Charlie Villanueva start as well. It was a nice sight to see after 27 games of inconsistent play by the starters. Let’s look at some of the highlights, shall we:

  • Tayshaun Prince with an impressive stat line on the night (28 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists) – but even more impressive was his weak side block on a Chris Paul shot to help send the game to overtime.
  • How awesome was Jason Maxiell’s play to close out the game in overtime?  Sure, he could’ve dribbled out the clock but… to play devil’s advocate here, Maxiell works so hard to get this loose ball he deserves to flush the ball with authority like he did.

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Video Courtesy of NBA and The Detroit Pistons

  • Tracy McGrady left the game early with a sore groin – yeah, he’s healthy.
  • DaJuan Summers played 9 minutes and was 3-4 from the field (including 2-2 from 3) for 8 points.
  • I’d like to thank New Orleans’ coach Monty Williams for playing Marco Belinelli over dynamic 2nd year guard Marcus Thornton.  Thornton, to me, would’ve been a perfect candidate for the “Player no one has ever heard of that the Pistons make look like an All-Star”.
  • David West scored 32 points and had 9 rebounds – he usually plays the Pistons tough.
  • Chris Paul knows how to make the most out of playing with the least, doesn’t he?  He scored 23 to go along with 10 assists.
  • Natalie wanted to receive “Chicago Bulls Ben Gordon” for christmas, and she got him tonight.  25 points and 7 rebounds with back to back 3s at the beginning of the 3rd quarter to help cut into a 10 point lead.
  • Ben Gordon is Back

    Photo/Getty Images editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Detroit outrebounded 37-27, but they made the extra pass tonight by getting 26 assists compared to the Hornets 18.
  • Ben Wallace only played 19 minutes tonight.  Is it time to give Big Ben a rest?
  • Jason Maxiell didn’t do much to fill up the stat sheet, but in 21 minutes he ended up with a +7 +/-, good for highest among all bench players.
  • Fantastic Highlights of the game Via The NBA and The Detroit Pistons
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    Video Courtesy of NBA and The Detroit Pistons

Up next, the Pistons travel to Toronto to face the Raptors in a rematch of what has been one of the most embarrassing losses in team history.  Are the Pistons going to be able to string back to back wins together, or are we looking at another embarrassing loss on the horizon?  They get a couple of days off between now and then, so hopefully the ailments that kept Stuckey and Hamilton out are healed up, so we can see how Kuester deals with them both after Bynum and Gordon’s good game tonight.

As always you can follow Natalie and I on twitter, if you’d like.

The 7-15 Pistons are on a second game of a back to back in New Orleans to face the 13-7 Hornets.

The Pistons aren’t the only ones with issues, the league announced Monday it was purchasing the team from owner George Shinn. After another potential deal fell through, the NBA is hoping get them stable financially and attract a local buyer who will keep the team in New Orleans.

David West, the Hornets’ leading scorer, who’s averaging 18.5 points per game, called the situation a “mess.”

Chris Paul is averaging 14.4 points over the last nine games after getting 17.5 during the previous 11. Despite his drop in scoring, he’s among the league leaders in assists with 10.4 per game.

On the Pistons side of the ball, it’s a homecoming for rookie Greg Monroe.

The Scouting Report via Pistons.com

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Tip off is at 8:00 pm and will be broadcast on FS Detroit . If you can’t catch the game on TV, follow it live over at NBA.com or on the radio over at WWJ 950 AM.

Leave your thoughts in the comments or Chat Live with your fellow Pistons fans during the game.

It seems a little over the top to be celebrating a two game winning streak, but after last night’s 104-110 OT victory over the Hornets  that is exactly what I’m doing.

Stucktacular

Key Points:

  • Still not Will Bynum, Tayshaun Prince or Ben Gordon.  Gordon sat dressed in his uniform on the bench, but did not enter the game.
  • The Pistons started like gangbusters, outscoring the Hornets 31 to 16 in the first quarter, but Chris Paul started heating up and with him his team.
  • Team work was evident, Detroit finished with 27 assists on the night.
  • 42 minutes from Jonas Jerebko who seems to have a clone on the court when he’s out there. Jonas is  everywhere all the time.  J.J. finished with 13 points, 8 boards a blocked shot with 2 assists.  I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that when he’s in the starting lineup good things happen.
  • Though Chris Wilcox played just 12 minutes, scoring 3 points, it was this assist to Ben Wallace for the reverse jam that was really impressive.

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Video Courtesy of The NBA and The Detroit Pistons
  • Oh my goodness,  Ben Wallace with 21 boards on the night, surpassing his season high while adding 13 points.  Another double-double for Ben, who’s constant control of the glass and the defensive end helped the Pistons control the game.   At this point in the season, it’s hard not to put Ben at the top of the list for team MVP.
  • Charlie Villanueva with 13 points, 7 boards and 2 steals.  I know he’s been hot and cold all season long, but I’m hoping the Pistons current play will help him out of whatever funk he was in.
  • Austin Day was great in his 14 minutes on the court.  Daye finished with 12 points and assist and a rebound.  He’s not afraid to take the big shot, and it always seems like he’s hitting them.  Is he our new 3 point go to guy?  Day was 2-for-2 from downtown.
  • Rip Hamilton led all scorers with 32 points, 10 assists, 3 steals and 3 boards. If Detroit ever needed a double-double from Rip it was last night. Rip, stepped up and helped control the flow of the game with Rodney feeling far from 100%.

Rip Hamilton

Photo/Getty Images
  • It may have been upsetting to watch Detroit let their lead slip away in the fourth, but this time they didn’t fold when their back where against the wall.  Had they not have broken their losing streak before this game, their spirit may not have willed them to fight for this one.
  • Detroit had the ball for the last shot in regulation, but couldn’t convert on a Rip Hamilton jumper. Nothing to knock Rip’s fantastic night, but he took the ball up for the last shot and fell short. That’s where we miss Chauncey most of all. I wanted the ball in Rip’s hand, but not that way. Coming off a screen and getting the ball for the last shot is where Rip is money.
  • With Rodney not feeling well and not having a great game, it was most likely that we would have seen more of Chucky Atkins down the stretch, but Atkins fouled out and back came a hurt and very tired looking Rodney Stuckey. I don’t know what got into Stuck, but he put his team on his back in OT converting two three point plays, helping Detroit secure the win. Check out Rodney’s fire.

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Video Courtesy of The NBA and The Detroit Pistons
  • Six Pistons in double figures.
  • 30 points in the paint.
  • Board war won 46-34.
  • The Pistons biggest lead was 18 points at one time.
  • Check out the Highlights via NBA.com with the ridiculous Charlie Villanueva slam.

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  • Another night, another game. Tonight against the Knicks.

The Pistons vs. The Bulls

The 12-24 Pistons are hosting the 20-17 New Orleans Hornets Friday night at the Palace.  Detroit will try to get back on track after getting their first win in 14 games Tuesday night against the Wizards.  A win tonight will make it two in a row, which never sounded like much before, but after the 13 game skid it sounds just fabulous.

With Detroit’s less than stellar play on the road it’s great that they will play eight of this month’s remaining nine games at the Palace, including a season-high six-game homestand to finish January.

Injury Report:

  • No Will Bynum.
  • Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince are both game time decisions.

The Scouting Report via Pistons.com
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Tip is at 8:00 pm EST and will be televised on Fox Sports Detroit. For the radio broadcast tune in to 97.1 The Ticket or follow the action over at NBA.com.

NEED4SHEED GAME CHAT

The Pistons took every advantage of  the Hornets play in the first half, leading by as much as 16 points and 10 going in to the half.  But New Orleans tightened up their play and  slowly put Detroit away.  It may have looked like it was going to go down to the wire, but the Hornets took control in the closing minutes of the fourth giving Detroit no chance to make up ground in the  87-95 loss.

Key Points:

  • Rip Hamilton, bothered by his hamstring dressed, but sat out this one.
  • No Ben Gordon, or Tayshaun, but Will Bynum came back to contribute.
  • Detroit took advantage of the Hornets sloppy play in the first half by converting on 14 New Orleans turnover for 24 points.
  • It was the third quarter of doom for Detroit who saw their lead dissaper to just three points at the close of the third.
  • David West may be the best NBA player that goes unnoticed by fans. He could not be stopped and lead all scorers with 32 points.
  • Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 26 points on 11-for-26 shooting, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Rodney Stuckey

Photo/Getty Images
  • Jonas Jerebko is everywhere all the time and his hustle is being rewarded with easy buckets and dunks.  Jonas had 6 points, 2 assists and 3 boards in 27 minutes.
  • Austin Daye made some big buckets in the first half, knocking down consecutive three pointers like it was nothing.  Most impressive near half court make in the closing seconds of the third quarter went in but was just a millisecond too late.  Austin finished with 9 points, 3 boards and a steal in 25 minutes.
  • Chris Wilcox sighting, 11 minutes with 3 boards and 2 points.
  • Hard loss to take when you are up by 16 at one point and Chris Paul has just 2 points at the half.
  • Board war lost, 41 to 35.
  • Charlie Villanueva has been playing lights out, I’m pretty sure he likes the mask more than he will admit.  Our sixth man scored 18 points with 8 boards, 2 assists and a steal.

Charlie Villanueva

Photo/Getty Images
  • Have you noticed that we get some quality ally-oops almost regularly now?
  • A DNP for Kwame Brown, and DaJuan Summers.
  • Jason Maxiell with just 15 minutes, 3 points and 4 boards.  I’m still quite baffled with the step back he’s taken this season.
  • Tough loss and a hard back-to-back, but the Pistons only have one day to bounce back with a game in OKC on Friday.
  • Do you realize that Ben Wallace is right back up there as one of the league leading rebounders averaging 10 per game.  Ben scored 6 with 3 steals, and 7 boards in 36 minutes in the loss.
  • Despite his ankle still bothering him, Will Bynum got back on court for Detroit and started dishing the ball immediately.  He was part of the surge in the first half that put the Pistons ahead.  Will finished with 9 assists, 4 points, 2 steals and 4 turns in 23 minutes.  Good to have him back.

Will Bynum

Photo/Getty Images
  • Notice Will’s shoe and ankle in the picture?  That doesnt’ look like that suppors a sore ankle.
  • Chucky Atkins started the Pistons off when they couldn’t hit a shot.  Atkins finished with 13 points, 2 assists and 2 boards in 28 mintues.  On a side note, the tattoo on Chucky’s right bicep looks a lot like Vern Troyer…what’s up with that?
  • There were 8 lead changes and 9 ties in this one.
  • The points in the paint stat is still impressive, 44 for Detroit.
  • Highlights of the Game via NBA.com
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  • The Pistons hope to bounce back with a needed road win in Oklahoma City on Friday.