Currently viewing the tag: "Maurice Cheeks"

Greg Monroe and Andre DrummondFor the last six years, this phrase has defined the Pistons. Every year, fans hope things will turn around. Every year, things end about as badly as they possibly could. Just enough wins to remain out of prime draft position; just enough losses to leave everyone with the empty feeling of a completely wasted season. They luck into two top five talents in Monroe and Drummond, who slid almost miraculously in semi-consecutive drafts, but Monroe wasn’t even the best player available (Paul George went three spots later), and the questions about how the two fit together have so far been answered with a deafening silence. Coaches have been reluctant to play them very much together, and the two have demonstrated precious little compatibility in that time.

Despite moderate upsets against the Nets and Nuggets (which weren’t enough to save Maurice Cheeks’ job) and interim coach John Loyer’s first win against a depleted Spurs team that, frankly, didn’t need or want the win very much (their only able-bodied stars, Duncan and Parker, played about 20 minutes apiece), this team has proven much more in the season’s first 51 games than they possibly could in the final 31. Given owner Tom Gores’ comments that he believes the team is much better than their record (the mantra of every bad team ever), it stands to reason that the firing of head coach Maurice Cheeks might be the team’s lone trade deadline move.

The Pistons have achieved a similar level of futility in seasons’ past with far lower expectations and far more flexibility to look forward to, and they still stubbornly pursued doomed runs at hopeless playoff berths. So it stands to reason that this season will be no different. They simply don’t have the assets to be buyers at the deadline (expiring contracts just aren’t the commodities they used to be), and Joe Dumars might not even be trusted to make any personnel moves before his contract is allowed to quietly expire. That means the most likely outcome at the trade deadline is that they stand pat and hope for the best. Whether or not they succeed in their misguided attempt at a shallow playoff appearance, this outcome would fall under “the worst.”

At this point, the best case scenario for the Pistons this season is a close approximation of the 2008-2009 season where they won 39 games and were swept out of the playoffs in humiliating fashion. (If you remember, back when this fan base had standards, this season was considered a complete disaster.) It’s unrealistic to expect them to achieve their goal of threatening to win a series, or even being a dangerous playoff team. For that, they would need to secure at least a 6th seed, which looks quite unrealistic at this point. By any standard set at the start of the season, this campaign is already a failure. There simply isn’t very much to gain by staying the course.

Brandon Jennings Pistons vs. Magic 12-27-2013

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

By bringing in Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith last summer, they certainly upgraded the talent base, but assembling a basketball team isn’t like talent soup, where the more pure talent you add the better off you are. As the Pistons have proven in both their best and worst times, chemistry is the most important ingredient. Basketball, more than any other major sport, favors the ability to field the best player and the best five man unit. This is why you can surround LeBron James with a D-League supporting cast and have a real shot at making the Finals. And why last year’s Portland Trailblazers, who had a strong starting lineup but no bench whatsoever, were significantly better than last year’s Pistons, whose second unit was almost in-arguably better than its starting lineup.

Building up the talent base was necessary, but just as necessary is that they make adjustments so that the pieces fit. Clearly the trio of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond is not working. Staggering their minutes so that only two of them are on the floor at a time is probably the best way to maximize their effectiveness, but that won’t maximize the team’s resources. And for a middle market team that has struggled as mightily as Detroit has over the past half decade, maximizing resources is absolutely essential. Debate all you want about whether or not a team can win without a superstar, but no team ever achieved any level of success in this league whose best three players couldn’t play together.

Andre Drummond NBA Detroit Pistons WallpaperGiven that Drummond is the unquestioned franchise player and Josh Smith is probably here to stay (after all, we were the high bidders for him and his value has been going nowhere but down) it just doesn’t make sense to make a long-term commitment to Greg Monroe, who hasn’t adapted well (or at all, really) to the power forward spot, a position he’s known was his future since the team drafted Drummond nearly two years ago. Any long-term commitment to Monroe at this time, even in the event that Josh Smith was somehow traded, would necessarily be based on the baseless hope that both he will suddenly, out of nowhere, with no real incentive (read: money) to do so, adapt his game to a position that obviously doesn’t suit him.

If the Pistons stand pat at the deadline, before the team can take any steps forward in July, it will first take two huge steps backwards: Greg Monroe will get a colossal pay raise, and Stuckey will be renounced– lost for nothing– in order to free up as much cap space as possible (roughly $10 million in this case). And then the only real avenue they have to fix the worst perimeter in the league will be that scant $10 million in cap space. Just for starters, this team needs a legitimate shooting guard and small forward– preferably ones who play on both ends of the court– and it’s hard to imagine $10 million luring even one starting caliber wing to Detroit. And somehow this represents this summer’s best case scenario.

If another team (say, the Washington Wizards, who have already expressed interest) extends Monroe a max offer sheet, the Pistons have three days to match it. So if that happens on the first day of free agency (and it’s likely they would want an answer sooner rather than later, so they can use that money to pursue other targets) the Pistons only have three days to convince free agents to take their $10 million before it shrivels up to a number much closer to $6 million. Perhaps there will be a new General Manager in town, and with him at least the hope of a cultural shift away from the dysfunction that has marked the last half decade, but it’s hard to imagine quality free agents jumping at the chance to sign right away with the team that’s done nothing but kill the careers of coaches and players alike over the last six years.

Rodney-Stuckey-Pistons-vs-Bulls

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

Nobody can be sure what will happen or what the environment will be like, but is that a chance worth taking? If the team ends up being forced to match an offer sheet for Monroe before it can bring in any free agents, in terms of maximizing their buying power, it would make more sense to re-sign Rodney Stuckey (instead of renouncing him and losing him for nothing) and just add perimeter help via the mid-level exception. With the mid-level exception being just over $5 million, and our projected cap space after matching a max offer sheet for Monroe (and renouncing Stuckey) being just over $6 million, we would effectively be bringing Stuckey back for just a $1 million cap hit. In terms of putting a basketball team together, no matter how you value Stuckey, I don’t think you could argue that bringing him back isn’t worth sacrificing $1 million in buying power.

This isn’t to say that Stuckey would necessarily re-sign with the Pistons, and as an unrestricted free agent he has the power to sign wherever he wants. This just illustrates the position the team could very well find itself in under very realistic– perhaps even probable– circumstances. One where bringing everyone back (well, almost everyone; sorry, Charlie) and improving only via the mid-level exception (the bare minimum tool any team over the cap has at its disposal) could actually be the best achievable outcome. This possibility should scare anyone, because it means very little is likely to change. There is simply too much outside of the organization’s control to assume that they’ll be able to bring back Monroe for anything less than a max level contract, or that they’ll even have as much as $10 million to spend on perimeter help before matching his offer sheet.

It’s also unlikely to expect that the Pistons will have sign-and-trade options with either player. If Monroe signs an offer sheet with a team that’s under the cap, they will have no obligation or incentive to send assets back, and given Stuckey’s consistent inconsistency in play and health, it’s unlikely to expect the team that takes a flyer on him to send anything of value our way.

If the off-season plays out predictably, the next order of business would be trying to shop Smith, but he still won’t be in a position to succeed. Remember when we tried getting Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon to coexist? Those contracts were pretty atrocious on their own, but having them together on the same roster made it impossible to showcase either one of them to establish any value. The end result was buying Rip’s contract out and, worse yet, mortgaging a first round pick to get rid of Gordon. That isn’t to say the situation will be quite as bad with Monroe and Smith, but you’d think this team would have learned its lesson about attaching incompatible players to rich, long-term overlapping contracts. The likelihood is just too great that the team languishes in mediocrity for the first two or three years of Monroe’s four-year extension while trying to get rid of Smith, all the while dealing with the unenviable balancing act of keeping Monroe happy while showcasing Smith.The likelihood is just too great that the team will continue to flounder, Monroe will get increasingly disgruntled, the first half of his contract will be entirely wasted, and he’ll never stick around for another extension. It’s difficult to see the upside of this plan when Monroe and Drummond have done nothing to demonstrate that the Pistons can build around them at all, let alone build a contender.

If the organization had half as much patience as they ask of their fans, they would be very active at the trade deadline. True, they don’t have the assets to be buyers, but they have a wealth of assets to be sellers. Let’s be honest: If the Pistons weren’t already attached to Greg Monroe, and he was an unrestricted free agent, they would be the last team lining up to give him a max contract. They simply don’t have the luxury of tying up all their money in incompatible post players. Being the absolute worst team in the league at scoring outside the paint, they should be much more concerned with bolstering their perimeter to balance the roster and create space for the post players they’ve already committed to.

Greg Monroe Pistons vs. Sixers

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

By trading Monroe before the deadline, the team offers its trade partner a serious boost with a minimal cap hit, since Monroe is still on his rookie contract. His Bird rights also come with him, so they would have the right to match any offer sheet another team might offer him (and chances are they’ll be a team in need of post help, so he wouldn’t be just a rental anyways). And the Pistons have plenty of contracts to mix-and-match and get the best possible return; if they wait until he’s signed an extension, they’ll have to take back a lot of money. Furthermore, any team that gives up serious assets for Monroe would be making a much stronger statement in terms of their commitment to him than his current team simply holding onto him. This could go a long way towards discouraging other teams from extending him an offer sheet. Holding onto him just isn’t as strong of an endorsement, and it only makes sense that someone will put the Pistons to the test. At worst, their money is tied up for three days; at best, they’ve forced an opponent to pay top dollar for their own free agent.

Perhaps equally important, in its own way, would be cashing in on Stuckey’s contract year and shipping him to a playoff team for future assets. It would be a shame to have waited so long for him to develop (and sacrificing so much in a failed attempt to build around him) only to lose him in free agency seven wasted years later, with nothing to show for our troubles. And for what? A desperate attempt at a hollow playoff berth that’s only even within reach because the East is unbelievably bad. “Making the playoffs” can’t possibly feel like an accomplishment when you’re nowhere near .500 and make the cut purely by default. And with so little room to grow, having no first round pick, no movable assets, and just a sliver of cap space. Regardless of what General Manager inherits this team, he (or she?) will have precious little flexibility to improve things. And if you’ve been following the Pistons this season, you know that is a very bad thing.

Standing pat at the trade deadline is welcoming disaster. It virtually guarantees that the team we’ve seen on the court so far is pretty much what we’ll be looking at for the next several years. In a best case scenario, Monroe and Smith suddenly blossom into completely different players out of nowhere and for no reason. In a worst case scenario, we miss the playoffs, lose our first round pick to Charlotte, and come back to do this all over again next year. And the year after that. And the year after that.

The only way a team stays as bad as the Pistons are for as long as they’ve been is their stubborn insistence on winning as many games as humanly possible in the here and now, regardless of how low their ceiling was. And it looks like this year is shaping up to be no different. But if they have the vision (and patience) to make a few calculated subtractions in an already fruitless season, they could enter the summer with a bounty of picks and prospects (their return for Monroe and Stuckey), possibly including their own first round pick, and as much as $20 million in cap space (since they won’t have to worry about setting aside money for their own free agents). This translates to a tremendous amount of flexibility and, for the first time in a long time, hope.

The 21-29 #Pistons will host the 37-14 San Antonio Spurs Monday night at the Palace of Aubrun Hills. Detroit will look for their third consecutive win and their first under interim Head Coach John Loyer. Detroit will have just one day to recover from the firing of Head Coach Maurice Cheeks when they take on a Spurs team that they have taken six of the last ten from.

The good: Detroit has been playing like they’ve been on a mission in their last two win.
The bad: Is it bad thing that Cheeks was fired? The Pistons have had 9 coaches in the last 14 years. It looks like the Pistons are going to wait until the end of the season to hire Cheeks’ replacement.
The unknown: Can the Pistons put aside all the hoopla of Cheeks firing and get right to businesses? Will Brandon Jennings keep playing like a man on a mission? Will they get their first win under Loyer against a very good Spurs team?

Injuries:
Pistons: Josh Harrellson (knee) out.
Spurs: Kwahi Leonard, Manu Ginobili – Out
Marco Melinelli, Tiago Splitter – doubtful

Stat: Andre Drummond has an Eastern Conference leading 37 double-doubles.

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.

cheeksThe #Pistons have fired Maurice Cheeks.

“Owner Tom Gores had become increasingly impatient with Cheeks, and sources with knowledge of his plans say that he had been pushing for a change in the coaching staff.” via Yahoo

Apparently no one told the players because they found out on twitter!

Looks like Rasheed Wallace could be the interim coach, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Listen to Coach Sheed

Looks like we’ll have to wait for Sheed as Coach

The #Pistons treated their fans to a game they wished they would see more often, especially at The Palace of Auburn Hills.  Detroit dismantled the Brooklyn Nets in a game that at one point led by as much as 29.  Brandon Jennings and Andre Drummond put up special numbers in the Pistons 111-95 win Friday night.

Key Points:

  • The Pistons clearly dominated the first half, but let the Nets get close late in the game. Brooklyn got the lead down to just nine with a little more than a minute to play.
  • Six Pistons in double figures.
  • The Pistons had a whopping 52 points in the paint, while dominating the boards 57-40.
  • Chauncey Billups, who hadn’t played since January 10th played nine minutes, scoring two points and two assist. Billups knee injury has been sidelined him, but the fact that he returned the game after Cheeks and Bynum had their argument during the Magic game doesn’t seem like much of a coincidence. Bynum was a DNP.
  • Brandon Jennings let the Pistons with 26 points, 10 boards and nine assists  missing a triple-double by just one assist.  Jennings had a chance for that last assist in the final seconds of the game, but instead drained a three-pointer to end the game.
Brandon Jennings misses a triple double

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Andre Drummond with another double-double and another career high. Andre grabbed 22 rebounds, the most since McDyess did it in 2009 for Detroit. Drummond added 16 points, a steal and a blocked shot in 39:51 on the floor. It’s such a travesty that Drummond won’t represent this team in the All-Star game.
  • Monore with 12 points and 7 assists.
  • Looks like we won’t see much of Josh Harrellson anytime soon, an MRI showed a meniscus tear in his knee. There is no timetable on his return.
  • Detroit still needs to cleanup their turnovers. The Pistons with 22 on the night, 8 of them coming from Jennings.
  • Highlights via NBA.com


  • Fun to watch for Pistons fans.
  • Rodney Stuckey with 14 points in 28 minutes.
  • A 20-5 run in the first quarter set the tone for this win.
  • Kyle Singler, who started for KCP dropped 16 on 6-of-13 shooting. Singler, who’s in there for the offense gave Detroit a considerable boost, especially when they were making their early run.
  • Josh Smith had some highlights in the win. Smith put up 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting in 35 minutes on the floor. He added seven assists, eight boards and a whopping 4 blocked shots.
  • Pistons fans hope Saturday night’s game against Denver at The Palace is as enjoyable to watch as this one was.

The 19-29 #Pistons will host the 22-25 Brooklyn Nets Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons have won both games against the Nets this season, but since then Brooklyn’s “issues” have settled down, they are an entirely different team. The Nets will try to make it three in a row, while Detroit would like to do whatever they can to play better on their home court.

The good: The last time the Pistons played the Net they scored a season high 38 points in the second quarter. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe continue to play well despite the Pistons’ record.
The bad: The Pistons played awful in their loss to the lottery bound Magic Wednesday night. At one point they looked like they had thrown in the towel.
Joe Johnson scored 34 in the first meeting and is averaging 23.0 points against the Pistons this season.
The unknown: Will Kyle Singler get the starting nod again? Did the Bynum – Cheeks argument get cleared up yet? Will and Cheeks got into a huge argument in the second quarter of the Pistons loss to the Magic and was benched for the rest of the game. Can Brandon Jennings bounce back shooting 5-of-23 on the night in Orlando? Can the Pistons start defending their home court even though they are having trouble defending.

Injuries:
Pistons: Josh Harrellson (knee) is questionable.
Nets: Brooke Lopez – Out.

Pistons-Nets-Stats

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: The Pistons are first in the NBA for most offensive rebounds per game, averaging 14.6 per game.

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 did their best to keep up with the reigning Champions Monday night in Miami, but too many turnovers doomed Detroit and the Heat snapped the Pistons two game losing streak. Detroit kept it close, capturing the lead once and even overcoming a 15 point deficit at one point,  but Miami was just too much for them in the  102-96 loss.

Key Points:

  • I know we may be hard on Josh Smith at times but missing 15 of his 16 shots from outside of three feet doesn’t help his case. Smith was 5-for-20 on the night for 12 points, so explain to me why Cheeks gave him the last three-pointer to try to get Detroit within 3? He also was responsible for six of Detroit’s 21 freaking turnovers.  Not Josh’s best game.
  • And while we are talking about Cheeks, why did he let the Heat burn off 20 seconds of clock at the end of the game?
  • Andre Drummond got two fouls within the first two minutes and another right when he went back in the game in the second quarter. Despite the limited minutes he still put up 12 and 12 with two block shots.  He was putting the heat on the Heat late in the game trying to do his best to give Detroit a chance.  No play more evident than the big man stealing the ball and taking it coast to coast for the jam with just 38 seconds left on the game clock.
  • Brandon Jennings led the Pistons with 26 points on 15 shots, adding seven assists.  Jennings, who’s been playing great lately, has posted a career streak of 20 point plus games.
Brandon Jennings Pistons vs Heat 26 Points

Photo Getty Images – Editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Rodney Stuckey added 20 points with seven boards in 36 minutes. The Pistons needed Stuckey and Jennings to play well to give the Pistons a chance against the Heat and they did. Stuckey is also adding trade value to himself as well as some contract money in his pocket from any team willing to pay him next season. He also doesn’t believe the Pistons are on the same page or have been for quite some time.
  • Jonas Jerebko saw time on the floor for Detroit and looked lost at times.  It’s probably because he hasn’t had a chance in the rotation in three seasons. Jonas scored two points and added four boards in 10 minutes.
  • Blaha mentioned on the broadcast that Jonas was getting time because Josh Harrellson wasn’t available, but I didn’t catch the reason why.  Does anyone know?
  • MVP Miguel Cabrera was in the house for the Pistons vs. Heat in Miami.
 Miguel Cabrera Pistons vs Heat.

Photo Getty Images

  • Credit Greg Monroe for keeping Detroit in the game. With Andre out Greg to the load on himself. Greg finished with 17 points, 11 boards, two blocked shots in 24 minutes.
  • Sometimes Kyle Singler looks brilliant, but some times he looks totally out of his element.
  • Limited minutes for Caldwell-Pope.
  • 21 turnovers for Detroit turned into 28 points for the Heat.
  • The refs were questionable in this one.
  • 51-44 board war won.
  • Despite losing this game it was fun to watch. I felt they always had a chance to win. These are the games that give Pistons fans hope.
  • Highlights via NBA.com


  • I said this last night while tweeting during the game and it’s legitimately how I feel.

Sometime it’s feels awesome to be a Pistons fan and sometimes it feels like your mother dropped you off at school in her curlers and robe.

  • They should win in Orlando on Wednesday night.

The 17-26 #Pistons are in Dallas Sunday night to take on the 25-20 Mavericks. The slumping Pistons are on a downhill spiral, but hope to get something going against a Dallas team that has won eight of the last nine matchups and a five straight home against the Detroit.

The good: Andre Drummond is doing things right. Drummond scored 20 points and a career high 20 rebound in the Pistons loss to New Orleans on Friday night. He also make no excuses when it comes to they way this team is playing of late.

Andre DrummondAndre Drummond “We just make poor decisions down the stretch of the game sometimes and we have to get better at it,” said Andre Drummond, who had 21 points and a career-high 20 rebounds Friday. “Nip that in the bud and try to finish games up.” Via NBA.com

The bad: Detroit added another to the loss column when they blew a 10-point lead in the final five minutes of the game against the Pelicans. Many are pointing to the last shot  Brandon Jennings heaved beyond half court with the Pistons down two points and still had a timeout with. You could clearly see that Cheeks was calling for a timeout and he’s taking full responsibility for the “mishap.”

cheeksMaurice Cheeks “I tried to call a timeout, that timeout is on me.”

The unknown: Will this team turn the corner against a Dallas team that has won three straight and 10 of the last 12 meetings against them? Will Joe Dumars regret not doing whatever it took to resign the now Maverick Jose Calderon instead of bringing Jennings in to lead this team. Will it be a Happy Monday for the Pistons?
Injuries: Pistons: None
Mavericks: Gal Mekel – Out

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 hasn’t won a regular-season series against Dallas since 1997-98.

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.

After each game this Pistons fan would to tell herself, “it’s ok things will get better.” And after each game of telling myself that, I looked into the mirror and realized how unrealistic and idiotic I was being.

I no longer utter those words to myself. Why? Because this team is a train wreck.Fennis Dembo

I’ve watched them through the teal years. I’ve watched the selection of Mateen Cleaves, Rodney White and Darko. I watched Fennis Dembo and William Bedford ride the bench, and even cheered for Pepe Sanchez when he got garbage minutes. And for some reason I have a maroon Stacey Augmon Pistons jersey.

So why after being so positive though all of my years as a fan has it come to this?

Andre Drummond NBA Detroit Pistons WallpaperBecause this year was supposed to be different. This was the year they were supposed to turned the corner after being in limbo for more years than I care to remember.  They have a superstar in Andre Drummond, but the pieces around him don’t fit the puzzle. This team is broken and I blame the one person I always gave a pass to.

In Joe Dumars I don’t trust…anymore.

In Joe Dumars I don't Trust

How do I loathe thee…let me count the ways.

  • Allen Iverson
  • Michael Curry
  • John Kuester
  • Keeping the Championship team together too long
  • Ben Gordon
  • Charlie Villanueva
  • Austin Daye
  • Rip Hamilton’s extended stay
  • A player mutiny
  • Jason Maxiell’s extended stay with a healthy payday

I can go on and on, but I won’t. It’s been said enough times by most of you. So now what?

Bless Joe D, he’ll still always be one of my favorite players of all time, and I thank him for the many years of happiness on court and off with the Pistons.


He brought us championships as a player and a GM,  but he also had many gifts fall in his lap like Greg Monroe, Andre Drummand and even Ben Wallace. They need a fresh start.

Tom Gores at The Palace

Photo Getty Images

I’m also not putting all the blame on Dumars, he had issues when he couldn’t do much during the sale of the team.  And I’ve seen enough of Tom Gores to know that he could care less about this basketball team.

You can spend hours of time and possibly your sanity on the trade machine, but things like that just never seem to work out.  Pistons fans are in a tough spot. You wish for a trade that may help this team in the future, but you’re afraid of the outcome of the trade.  It’s also terrible to think that this team miss out on anything before the deadline.

And do you trust that freed up cap space can be used wisely?

Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon

Photo Getty Images

I also can understand many of you who at this point would rather see this team tank for a pick then have them slide into the playoffs in the awful Eastern Conference only to get dismantled in the first round.

I don’t know why, but at times I feel the need to apologize myself for this mess to someone who cared more than all of us put together. Sorry Bill.

Bill Davidson

Photo Getty Images

So now we just sit back and watch this team that isn’t gelling get hammered by teams at the bottom of the barrel. But guess what…this team is the bottom of the barrel.

They need help, or a miracle.

The 14-22 #Pistons are in Philadelphia to take on the 12-23 Sixers Friday night. The Pistons need to stop the bleeding when they take the court against the Sixers having lost six in a row and eight of their last nine games, and they have a good chance of doing so against a Sixers team that has the worst defense in the league.

The good: Detroit is 1-0 against the Sixers this season. The fact the Sixers are in “tank” mode and they give up a 111.1 points per game. The last time these two teams played Andre Drummond did this:

Andre Drummond Career Highs

Photo Getty Images

The bad: All that is Detroit basketball right now from free throw shooting, shot selection, the rotation and selfishness. Detroit has got to figure something out before their slide puts them out of contention in the beyond lowly Eastern Conference.
The unknown: Can Maurice Cheeks work some kind of magic and get the Pistons back on track in the Philadelphia, the place where it all happened for him? Will he actually make the changes he’s pondering?

“He finally relented when asked if he would consider lineup changes if this slide continues.

cheeks“Yeah, uh-huh. It only makes sense, you can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results,” Cheeks said. “At some point, yeah. I’m close.”

So, he has time to tinker, whether it’s moving Rodney Stuckey to the starting lineup or Kyle Singler or even moving one of his three big men to the second unit.

He wouldn’t hedge on one move or another but he admits the current way of doing things hasn’t been working.

The Pistons are the worst-shooting team in the league.

They’re a league-worst 30th in three-point shooting and from the free-throw line.

“But it’s still just a thought. It’s not right there,” Cheeks said. “With Stuckey back, so that helps to get back to where we were, coming off the bench and getting some production.” Via The Detroit News

Injuries: None
Sixers (if you know any of them besides Noel): Lavoy Allen – is questionable.
Arnett Moultrie and Nerlens Noel – are out.

Fact: Detroit has won nine of the last 15 games against the 76ers.
Stat: Andre Drummond ranks first in the NBA in offensive rebounding with 5.3 and tied for third in double-doubles with 25.

Tip off is at 7:00 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 14-19 #Pistons are back from a long holiday break to take on the 14-18 Memphis Grizzles Sunday afternoon at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Detroit, who have had limited success on their home court (6-11), will have their work cut our for them against a Memphis team they haven’t beaten since 2009.

The good: Despite the issues Detroit has has with the Grizzles in the past they are also struggling this season. They are without center Marc Gasol, who’s out with a MCL sprain.
The bad: Detroit has struggled all season closing out games late in the fourth quarter. Detroit has let their lead slip in the fourth quarter three out of their last four games.
The unknown: Will the Pistons benefit from their long layoff? Will you see a different Detroit team on the floor? Has Maurice Cheeks dealt with whatever it truly is that’s going on with his team?
Injuries: Rodney Stuckey is listed as day-to-day with his shoulder injury.

Fact: Josh Smith and Rodney Stuckey each scored 19 points to lead the Pistons the last time they played the Grizzlies.
Fact: Detroit has lost seven in a row and five straight at home against Memphis.
Stat: Andre Drummond now ranks second in the NBA in field goal percentage with 61.3%.

You can still get great tickets to the game, blizzard or not. Tickets as low as $12 with no ticket fees! Offer code: gopistons

Tip off is at 1:00 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.