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For the first time since the 2000-2001 season, the Detroit Pistons will head into their season under new leadership as President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars has stepped down after another disappointing season for the Pistons.

The Hall of Famer Dumars helped assemble the ever popular “Going to Work” Pistons team that made it to the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals for six (6) straight seasons from 2003 – 2008.  Lauded for his ability to put together a ‘team’ that could play well enough together that they could overcome any odds against them in the form of single or double superstar teams, Dumars’ tenure has come to a crashing end from a beginning that lead him to winning the 2002 – 2003 Executive of the Year.  Years of “staying the course” on the championship Pistons teams caused the team to gradually age itself out of competitiveness and it’s mettle being tested after the departure of Ben Wallace to the Chicago Bulls, the disastrous trade of Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets for fading star Allen Iverson, the signings of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince’s contract extensions, trade of Ben Gordon for a protected #1 pick and then use of Gordon/Hamilton and Prince cap space to sign PF Josh Smith and sign and trade for Brandon Jennings.

Dumars’ failing can easily be identified in player scouting (years of late 1st round picks that fell flat), and his poor use of cap space in an era when so many teams were dumping quality players in order to acquire/sign stars like LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony in a league that has slowly changed itself into a star driven league, moreso than a team oriented league.

Dumars will be best remembered for his drafting of Darko Milicic over future All Stars Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony after winning the right to pick #2 in the 2003 NBA Draft after acquiring the pick by trading Otis Thorpe to the Grizzlies for the First Round pick that by the time the 2003 Draft came around was only protected against being #1 overall.  Most NBA fanboys will fill up a comments section of any blog post about Joe Dumars with throwaway comments about how ‘Darko sucks!!11′ or ‘Doomers is the worst’, often forgetting that Milicic was part of the future after Ben Wallace or Rasheed were to re-sign and be too expensive to keep the championship team together.

In recent years Dumars and the front office has improved in the scouting of younger players as they’ve succeeded in drafting 2 quality frontcourt players in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.  Even though both players came highly rated out of High School and College, the naysayers still hammered Dumars for not taking guys who were more statistically inclined to make the transition from preps to pros.

Over time, the league has seemed to pass Dumars and most GMs by.  With the inclusion of statistical analysis along with game tape and other old school ways to gain on opinion on talent, Dumars fought it by saying ‘talent wins out’.  With new owner Tom Gores preaching “playoffs or bust” coming into the season, anything less than a strong showing in a weak Eastern Conference would spell doom for Dumars, and today the gauntlet has been laid down.

Dumars will remain with the team as an advisor, and Assistant General Manager George David and Director of Basketball Operations Ken Catanella step in to lead the Front Office through the NBA Draft and free agency period.  Exciting times are ahead for the Pistons, for sure.

The 25-44 #Pistons are Utah to finish up their West road trip against the 23-47 Jazz Monday night. Detroit would love to pull out a win to break a streak they don’t want to be on. This Pistons team is on a 13 game road losing streak, their longest since the 1980-81 season.

The good: This team may just keep their lottery pick in the upcoming draft, but knowing the Pistons luck they won’t. It was nice to see Jerebko come up strong with a season high 22 points in the Pistons loss against the Clippers.
The bad:If the Pistons lose to the Jazz they will have match their worst losing streak of the season at six.
The unknown: The unknown tonight isn’t about the game in general it’s about Pistons fans. How do you actually feel about this season, are you actually rooting for them to lose because you want them to save their pick?

Injuries
Pistons: Chauncey Billups, Josh Harrellson are out.
Jazz:: Alec Burks and Andris Biedrins are out.

Fact:The Pistons rank first in the NBA in points in the paint per game with 52.6.

Tip off is at 9:00 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit . If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 The Ticket.

The 25-43 #Pistons are in Los Angeles to take on the 48-21 Clippers Sunday night at the Staples Center. If Detroit keeps playing like they have been, their chances of sneaking into the playoffs seems more likely. The Clipper look to make it six in a row against the Pistons as when they take the court against them on their home court.

The good: This team may just keep their lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
The bad: Detroit doesn’t do well against the Clippers, who have taken seven of eight from the Pistons, including five straight by an average of 15.6 points.
The unknown: Will Josh Smith ever make a free throw again? Smith became the third player in the last 10 seasons to miss all eight of his free throws in Friday night’s loss to the Suns.

Injuries
Pistons: Chauncey Billups, Josh Harrellson are out.
Clippers:: J.J. Reddick is out. Jamal Crawford is a game-time decision and Darren Collison is probabe.

Fact: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Pistons center Andre Drummond are in the top two in rebounds per game and field goal percentage for the2013-14 season.

Tip off is at 10:30 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit . If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 The Ticket.

The 24-39 #Pistons will host the 22-41 Sacramento Kings Tuesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons have a chance to get back into the win column against one of the worst NBA teams on the road.

The good: Detroit has won three consecutive games at home against the Kings.
The bad: If you’re one of the let’s tank the rest of the season to get the pick, sadly the Pistons are playing bad enough to keep their pick without tanking.
The unknown: Who’s going to come out on top of the Andre Drummond vs. DeMarcus Cousins battle?

Pistons: Chauncey Billups (left knee surgery) is out. Peyton Siva is day-to-day.
Kings:Carl Landry , Jason Terry, are out.

Tip off is at 7:30 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit . If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 The Ticket.

The #Pistons gave their fans something to cheer about Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. What started off as another one of those games for Detroit turned into a comeback to remember. Down 11 at the half the Pistons mounted a second half surge of hustle and heart that gave Detroit ignited the team and the Palace to take down the Hawks in a thriller 115-107.

Key Points:

  • The Pistons team that came out in the second half of the game an surged to erase a 13 point Hawks lead by grabbing loose balls, making the steal ans hustling for the open jam is the kind of team that every fan want to root for.
  • Give it up to Brandon Jennings who seems to know just how to ignite this team. Though his first half of basketball was less than adequate he turned the corner after the break. Jennings scored just 12, but dished out 14 assists in 29 minutes for Detroit.
  • I haven’t seen Sheed that exited in years! Neither has Drummond who said he looked like Sheed of ’04 (in the clip below) when celebrating Andre’s steal and the slam.
  • Pistons.com Video Recap

  • Andre was brilliant! He scored 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting with three steals a blocked shot and 11 boards. He added another to his Eastern Conference leading double-double total to 40 on the season.

bynum“That’s what has been missing for the season, just that passion and energy — guys being positive on the court, chest-bumping, having fun. That’s basketball, that’s what it’s about. We should have one agenda and that’s winning. When you don’t have one agenda, it’s hard to play and it kind of trickles down throughout the whole team. Hopefully, tonight is a stepping stone for us to do good things.” Via NBA.com

  • Singler with the hot hand scored 20 points, but it was his two three-pointers with minutes left on the clock that sealed the deal for Detroit.
  • Josh Smith couldn’t muster a point the last time he played his former team.  This time around he scored 17 with 10 boards, four assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
  • Greg Monroe looked angry! He led the Pistons with 22 points, 15 boards, two blocked shots  and a steal in 39:34 on the floor.  Maybe the trade deadline passing helped put him at ease to do nothing more than play basketball for right now.
  • Stuckey another good performance off the bench with 12.
  • Caldwell-Pope three minutes and zero points.
  • Detroit a ridiculous 66 points in the paint.
  • Friday night Fun at the Palace of Auburn Hills should never be taken for granted.

The 22-32 #Pistons will host the 25-28 Atlanta Hawks at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Hawks are in danger of losing their fifth straight road loss if they fall to Detroit, while the Pistons are in the ninth spot in the East and 3 1/2 games behind the Hawks.

The good: Brandon Jennings continues to play well and is averaging 23 points in the Pistons last 13 games. Despite playing he seems as frustrated with losing as the fans are. It was extremely evident during their blowout loss to the Bobcats Wednesday night when he was ejected late in the game.
The bad: The Pistons have lost three in a row to Atlanta and 15 of their last 20. Add on the fact that they have lost their last three and did nothing at the trade deadline, makes this Pistons fan very unhappy.
The unknown: Will Detroit show some kind of life at all in the next 28 games?
Injuries: Pistons: None
Hawks:

  • Pero Antic – is out
  • Gustavo Ayon – is out
  • DeMarre Carroll is a game time decision
  • Al Horford – is out
  • John Jenkins – is out
  • Jeff Teague is a game time decision

 

Stat: Detroit is 0-2 against the Atlanta Hawks this season.
Stat: Andre Drummond is averaging 12.5 points and 14.0 rebounds against the Hawks this season.

Tip off is at 7:30 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit . If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 The Ticket.

The 19-27 #Pistons are in Miami to take on the 33-13 Heat Monday night. Detroit, who won the last time these two teams met in Miami, would like to add another win to their streak but it will take everything they have to take down the defending champions.

The good: In the grand scheme of things with the record the Pistons have, going into this game on a two game winning streak will help. Another confidence booster is the fact that this team beat the Heat the last time they visited. It also doesn’t hurt that Andre is playing possessed and he is averaging 14.5 points and 16.0 rebounds against the Heat this season.

Is Andre speaking to Josh Smith?

Andre DrummondAndre Drummond: “This is the game we like to play, not take as many jump shots and pound the ball inside,” Via NBA.com

The bad: The Heat had their way with Detroit the last time they played each other in Detroit, beating them up pretty easily in a game what wasn’t close as the 110-95 score would lead you to believe. The Pistons will have to get complete games from all their starters and Rodney Stuckey, who played just six minutes against the 76ers leaving the game complaining of dizziness.
The unknown: Can Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe keep up the pace they did against the 76ers?  Will Brandon Jennings assists start growing, or will we just have to deal with him being a shoot first point guard? Can Detroit even compete against the Heat after their poor play the last two months?
Injuries:
Pistons: None
Heat: None

Stat: Andre Drummond recorded his first career 20-point, 20-rebound game with 21 points and a career-high 20 rebound vs.New Orleans (1/24). Drummond became the first piston with a 20-20 game since Antonio McDyess vs. New York (3/11/09).
Stat: Detroit has lost seven of the last nine games in Miami, but is only one of four teams to beat the HEAT at home this season.
Stat: LeBron James is averaging 23.5 points against the Pistons this season.

Tip off is at 7:30 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit . If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 The Ticket.

The Detroit #Pistons and Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena has been postponed due to severe weather conditions in the Atlanta area. The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

So it looks like the next action the Pistons are going to see is on Saturday against the Sixers at The Palace of Auburn Hills

Turrible… It’s hard to not just mail it in on game re-caps after the Pistons mailed it in last night against the Mavericks, in Dallas.   The good news is that they came out of the halftime break showing some fight, with a 35 point outburst.  The bad news though, and this won’t be reported as a “4th quarter collapse” since they were losing heading into the 4th quarter, but the Mavs proved to be too much for the Pistons in the 4th quarter as they pulled away with a 32 point quarter behind the leadership of Dirk Nowitzki and former Piston Jose Calderon.

The good:

  • Greg Monroe scored 20 and fell short of a double-double by 1 rebound.  Dirk is a tough matchup for most, and you could tell when Monroe matched up with him that he was out of his comfort zone.

The bad:

  • 116 points on 74 field goal attempts by the Mavs.  58% from the field and 23-28 from the line mean that they were aggressive and assertive on offense all night.
  • 28 points in 3 of 4 quarters, and 32 in the 4th quarter for the Mavs.  No one took leadership on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Brandon Jennings had a good night on offense, but had half of the team’s turnovers with 6.
  • Jose Calderon took advantage of the Pistons poor perimeter defense to the tune of 17 points on 7-8 shooting
  • Devin Harris and the shell of Vince Carter’s former self were a +12 off the bench for the Mavs
  • Andre Drummond was in a tough spot all night, but at times it was so bad that he was pulled for Josh Harrellson because of blown assignments and poor matchups.

The ugly:

  • Usually I hate to keep beating a dead horse but… Josh Smith is a chucker.  25 points on 24 shots is awful.  At least he only had 2 3 point attempts.
  • Rodney Stuckey and Kyle Singler were awful off the bench.

The Pistons have now lost 4 straight, and it’s hard to see an end to this streak in sight.  On one night, they look like world beaters when they hand the Indiana Pacers their only home loss of the season and beat down the Miami Heat… but then on the next night they “done get blowed out” by teams like the Charlotte Bobcats, Utah Jazz, and other bottom feeders.

As a fan, you try to see the good that the team has.  Right now we know we have 2 cornerstone type players in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.  We have an unknown quantity in Caldwell-Pope, and there is some upside in the future with Tony Mitchell.  That’s it, folks.  We knew who Brandon Jennings was before he came to this team, and he hasn’t changed (no matter how many ‘Bad Boys’ t-shirts he wore as a kid).  We all let out a collective sigh when Josh Smith was signed because he has shown that he can’t (won’t?) adapt his game to a system.  I was a Trey Burke fan at the draft, but I’ll give Kentavious Caldwell-Pope my support because he has shown some flashes.  As Natalie said here, the sun’s not even shining on this dog’s a** nowadays.

The 17-24 #Pistons are in Milwaukee to take on the 7-33 Bucks Wednesday night. Detroit will try to make it four in a row on the road with a win against the league’s worst team.

The good: Detroit has won three consecutive games against the Bucks , who are currently sitting in the cellar. It’s a great time for the Pistons to get a dominating victory to try to turn this thing around for the second half of the season.
Rodney Stuckey looks completely healed from his shoulder surgery and making himself a very coveted player this trade season. Stuckey scored a season-high 29 points off the bench in the Pistons loss to the Clippers Monday afternoon.
The bad: Detroit always seems to know how to lose the games they should win.
I’m sure that the Wizards aren’t the only team that would like to have Greg Monroe.
The unknown: Who’s going win the war of the reversed Brandon’s?  Who has more to prove, Jennings or Knight?
Injuries: Pistons: None
Bucks: Carlos Delfino – Out
Zaza Pachulia – Out

Stat: Andre Drummond is averaging 18.0 points and 13.5 rebounds against the Bucks this season.
Stat: The Bucks swatted a season-high 13 shots during the 12/4 game in Milwaukee, six by Ekpe Udoh alone.
Fact: Three former Pistons play for the Bucks. Carlos Delfino, Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton
Stat: Brandon Jennings tied franchise records previously held by Isiah Thomas for most assists in a quarter (11) and most assists in a half (16) vs. Phoenix (1/11)

Tip off is at 8:00 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit . If you can’t catch the game on TV, catch it on the radio over at 97.1 The Ticket.