Currently viewing the tag: "Guest Writer"

By Rashid S. Umar

Transition in sports can be tough.  After years of being amongst the elite, old age and a stale mix of players can lead to a mediocre product, which is later dismantled in an attempt to rebuild.  This is something that Detroit Pistons’ fans have seen before.

At the end of the famed “Bad Boys” era, the Pistons found themselves looking up at the rest of the Eastern Conference falling to the depths of the 60-loss club in 1994.

Detroit Bad Boys

Before that season, management had decided to trade a disgruntled Dennis Rodman to San Antonio for fan favorite Sean Elliot.  The move was looked at as a positive one considering that Elliot was young and athletic.  However, with an aging Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer – both would make that season their last – rookies Lindsay Hunter and Allan Houston, mainstay Joe Dumars and Terry Mills, and others, the team would finish 20-62.  It is still the franchise’s second worst record ever – the worst was 16-66 in 1980 — and fortunately, no team has challenged it since…possibly until 2012.

This year’s edition of the “Motown Sound” offers a collection of young talent, mixed matched players, a new coaching staff, and a new owner.  The only issue is – other than the 4-14 start after being beaten like a drum in OKC – is the fact that the roster is comprised with guys who not only lack offensive ability, but also a lack of defensive and rebounding awareness… among other things.

After finally finding a new owner, firing a overmatch and under qualified coach after two awful seasons, and buying out a team legend who’d become more of whiner than a winner; the team has for lack of a better phrase regressed… more.

The team currently is 30th in the league in scoring at 84.9 a game, only Detroit Pistons the Teal Yearsthree more than the all-time low of 81.9 by the 1999 Chicago Bulls.  They are 27th in the league in point differential at -10 a game and are second to last in opponent’s field goal percentage at .477.

The ’94 team was second to last in scoring, and point differential.

The team’s lone bright spots are their cornerstones of the future in Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight.  As for the others, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon remain enigmas, Charlie V. hasn’t contributed much due to injuries, Tayshaun Prince’s resigning remains a mystery, Ben Wallace is too old to bring it every night, and Austin Daye seems lost.  The others… well… Jason Maxiell and Jonas Jerebko are bigs who struggle to make an impact, and Will Bynum shoots too much.

Add the fact that coach Lawrence Frank is trying to implement a new system that requires effort and accountability on both ends of the court – something that was lost during the John Kuester era – and you have a roster that is easily exploitable.

Not to be lost here is the fact that the lockout had only hindered the opportunity for teams like Detroit to work through some of its perceived issues.  Teams like the Heat, Bulls, and Thunder have a more stable setting with players who have played together and rely on defense and rebounding to win games.

Now I must admit that as a diehard fan, I can’t turn away.  In addition to the ’94 Pistons’ season, I have the 2009 Detroit Lions season (0-16) and 2003 Detroit Tigers (43-119) to claim as a product of my emotional investment.

As a longtime Pistons’ fan – and I’ve been one since 1984 – I have had some great times and some not-so great times rooting for this team.  I must admit that I didn’t think we would ever be subjected to another year like ’94.   However, every team at some point – even the Lakers: 1994 and 2005 – and it’s just our turn.   But, who expected it to be this bad?

There is however hope.

After another trip to the lottery this summer, the Pistons should be able to grab an impact player in a draft that is being billed as the best since 2003, when the likes of: Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Chris Bosh – all are currently on the same team interestingly enough – and… Darko…

But still, did we think it would be this bad?

Rashid Umar is a guest writer for Need4Sheed.com.  He can be contacted via Facebook email at inquires@rashidumar.com, or visit his website at http://www.rashidumar.com.

LeftosaNeed4Sheed Guest Writer – Lefteris Aslanoglou – Pistons fan from Greece following his team and getting very little sleep watching games in the middle of the night: @Leftosa

This lockout has given us a season that’s going to be different. 66 games until April means that the schedule is quite crowded, and each team has 2 or 3 back-to-back-to-back’s. That’s 3 games in 3 nights, and that’s something that GMs can’t take lightly into account. Bench depth is going to be really important, as well as keeping your players healthy. Some veterans may have the experience in training to know how to keep their body sharp. Grant Hill, a Phoenix Suns great, is 39 years old and getting his career to a close sooner or later, but has managed to play over 80 games a season for the past 3 years. However, wear and tear comes with age, and a season like this requires fresh legs, durable players. The younger players will have a lot of playing time, and a lot to prove.

As the off-season is everything but over, teams must make sure their roster has the proper depth for a season like this, and that they can manage to put together a starting 5 with a good bench even on the third night of consecutive games. So how do the Pistons compare on this front?

The official Pistons roster currently has 14 players; that includes Kyle Singler who won’t be joining the Pistons until the next season, since he decided to stay in Spain. So, will 13 players cut it? The answer is, it depends on the players. Pistons have gotten some great picks the past few years, and are heading towards a younger, rebuilding direction. Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, are some of the young players that are the most promising, with the first two having played a good year each.

Let’s look at each position individually, starting from Center.

Greg Monroe played 80 games last year, averaging 28 minutes per game, and is sure to be staying on court for a few more this season. He’s one of the lone bright spots of the Pistons last year, bringing the team from the bottom of the pack as far as rebounding goes to the middle of it after the all-star break. Don’t let his minutes fool you, Last year’s Pistons coach, John Kuester, didn’t give Monroe many minutes until December, when he made his break-out with his first career start, recording 8 points, 15 rebounds and a block in 35 minutes. He’s a guy that can withstand both the amount of games as well as minutes, and perform great at the same time.

Greg Monroe 12 points and 12 boards

Photo/Getty Images Editing Need4Sheed.com

Problem is, the Pistons don’t have any durable backup on Center. Ben Wallace has reached the late part of his career, and was widely believed to be retiring, but decided to stay with the team for another year. He played 54 games last season, averaging 23 minutes and providing the Pistons with good defense, but he’s shown signs (his stat-line deteriorated in every single stat) that the team can’t depend on him.

So the Pistons will need to bring a forward that can play Center to rotate along with Greg and Ben at Center, but do the Pistons really have a player like that? Let’s look at the forwards, shall we?

Read More →

Need4Sheed Guest Writer: JOE D

This was a great game for Toronto fans who were hoping to see their team fight their way into the eighth spot in the Eastern conference playoffs. For Pistons fans, it was a feeling all the same, just another reminder of what kind of season it has been in Detroit. Yet another game for the Pistons to fight for the first quarter but cant hold it together for the full 48 minutes.

Final Score

Key Points 111-97

  • No Bosh, Dorsey or Wright for Toronto.
  • Pistons without Rip and Chris Wilcox.
  • Toronto came out firing, hoping to keep their season alive. And everyone on that bench made their presence felt.
  • It was close for the first quarter, until the Raptors outscored Detroit by 14 in the second.
  • Every time The Pistons made a run Toronto made the right plays to push the lead even further.
  • My man Amir Johnson stuck it to his former team tonight, scoring a career-high 26 points adding two rebounds and a blocked shot.

Amir JohnsonPhoto/Getty Images

  • Is it just me, or do the refs favor everyone except The Pistons?
  • The Raptors shot a scorching 61% from the floor, and 64% from behind the long line.
  • Board War tied 34-34
  • Ben Gordon lead the Pistons again with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Nice ruby red slippers by the way Ben.

Ben GordonPhoto/Getty Images

  • The Raptors had 34 assists, and a career high 12 from Jarret Jack.
  • Great block by Will Bynum in the first quarter. This one brought the house down, dare I say Bymumite!

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Video Courtesy of The NBA and The Detroit Pistons

  • Season sweep for Toronto against the Pistons this year.
  • First time Detroit hasn’t won 30 games since the 1994-’95 season.
  • Largest lead by Toronto was 22 points. 4 for the Pistons.
  • Detroit had 11 offensive rebounds to Toronto’s 4.
  • Toronto ended a four game losing streak.
  • Andrea Bargnani went off tonight scoring 33 points going 5 for 6 from behind the arc. The man barley touched the rim all night.
  • The Pistons shot a dismal 29% from behind the arc, there’s definitely no way to win doing that.
  • Charlie V scored 16 off the bench tonight, nice night tonight out of Charlie we’re starting to see some consistency out of him and Benny G.
  • 37 assists for Toronto tonight, they played some great basketball with their backs against the wall.
  • The Pistons are slashing prices for next seasons tickets, up to 10-50% off all seats!
  • I guess Charlie V couldn’t come through on his guarantee. That’s why there are no guarantees…only Guaransheeds.

Rashid S. UmarNeed4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar
After getting off to a great start early for the second straight night on the West Coast Trip, The Pistons eventually stumble and fall to the Clippers in LA 97-91, halting Detroit’s modest two-game winning streak.  Tayshaun Prince followed Tuesday night’s great performance with another gem of 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists.  Rip Hamilton led the team with 21 points on 8-21 shooting.

Detroit led by as many as 12 in the first half and eight at the break.  The second half saw Clipper-newcomer Drew Gooden and Chris Kaman continue to exploit the Pistons’ lack of size upfront as they combined for 41 points and 28 rebounds.  Los Angeles got a huge performance down the stretch from Rasual Butler, who nailed a couple of 3s off of good ball movement (or bad defensive rotation).  He also had a huge block on Rodney Stuckey late in the game.

Key points of the night:

  • Being that I live in LA, I decided to take this one in.  You’d be surprised at how many die-hard Clipper fans are here in “Lakerland”.
  • For the second straight game, Detroit was outscored by at least double digits in the fourth quarter.
  • Rip Hamilton missed six free throws (including 3 straight with seconds to go that would have brought the team within a point) snapping his streak of 51 consecutive makes. Although he nearly completed a four point opportunity on a silly foul again Eric Gordon.
Richard HamiltonPhoto/Getty Images
  • Clippers win the season series for the first time since 2000 and only the third time in over 20 years.
  • In 26 minutes, Ben Wallace didn’t score but had 10 rebounds.
  • Did Ben Gordon suit up tonight?  I’m just saying.
  • There were a lot of Detroit fans in the house but, that’s not unusual against the Clippers.
  • Another DNP-CD for Kwame Brown, this even during a game where the rebound war was lost 56-44.
  • Drew Gooden has put up All-Star numbers against the Pistons this season especially in rebounds.
  • If the Pistons had a legitimate low-post threat they’d be a playoff team.
  • Before Rasual Butler’s late go-ahead three-pointer, the loudest cheers of the night were for a Michael Jackson look-alike in the crowd.
  • Charlie Villaneuva might as well be wearing roller skates on defense. I’m sure no one would notice.
  • Highlights of the Game Via NBA.com

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

  • If it wasn’t for the logo on the court, you wouldn’t realize you were at a Clippers game at Staple Center.  There is nothing but Lakers championship banner and L.A. Kings retired jerseys in the rafters.  Even the WNBA team has something up.
  • Kid Rock in the house.
  • The road trip continues in Denver on Friday night against former Pistons Chauncey Billups and Aaron Affalo.
  • I got a text from my Friend in LA who was also at the game that read “The are chanting Stukey’s – Suckey.” For real LA, that’s as original as you can get? (Natalie)

Please Donate to help feed the Hungry

Rashid S. UmarNeed4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar

The Pistons began the four-game road trip Tuesday with a 101-89 win over the Kings in Sacramento. Rip Hamilton led the team with 30 points and Tayshaun Prince filled the statline with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block. The young Kings were led by future Rookie-of-the-year Tyreke Evans with 28 and 13 assists. Detroit jumped out to a 14 point lead in the first quarter before the Kings came back and closed it to three at quarters end. After relinquishing the lead early in the second, the Pistons stormed back to take back control and never trailed again. The team will head here to Los Angeles to face the Clippers Wednesday night. I may be there…

Key points of the night:

  • Thoughts and prayers go out to coach John Kuester following the death of his father over the weekend.
  • Detroit led by as many as 30 before the Kings rallied to within a dozen.
  • Rodney Stuckey tallied 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists – despite of 4 turnovers.
  • Looks like Tayshaun and Rip are healthy enough to have a meaningful impact for the stretch run.

Tayshaun Prince

  • Pistons shot a sizzling 58.4% for the game.
  • This is the Pistons’ first back-to-back wins since earlier this month versus the Nets and Bucks.
  • This is also the first time the team has scored 100 points or more in back-to-back games since mid-December versus Denver and Golden State, both wins
  • Jason Maxiell and Ben Wallace played limited minutes due to foul trouble, while Chris Wilcox saw action… although he couldn’t hit a free throw to save his life.
  • Rebound war tied at 34.
  • The Swede is a tough kid for real.
  • Highlights of the Game via NBA.com

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

  • Another DNP-CD for Kwame Brown.
  • Tyreke Evans is going to be a great player in this league.
  • Did anyone know that Larry Hughes plays for the Kings?
  • For so reason, this is only Detroit’s 3rd win in the last 13 games in Sacramento.

Please Donate to help feed the Hungry