Currently viewing the tag: "MoTown"

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.


The 31-29 Pistons look to make it five straight wins tonight on a second game of a back to back against the 34-28 Atlanta Hawks on the road. Not only could a win extend the Pistons streak, it will also help them in the playoff race. Atlanta (4) has dropped six of eight and are coming off a 98-91 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday and with Detroit (6) just two games back of the Hawks, this could help them inch closer for a higher seed come playoff time.

Things are looking up in Motown

“It’s a good time for us to make a run now,” Hamilton said. “We pretty much know we can’t get the one, two or three seed, we’re so far behind. But we can definitely shoot for the fourth.” Via NBA.com

Not so much in Hotlanta.

“Guys aren’t serious about what’s at hand,” said coach Mike Woodson, who saw his team’s lead over fifth-place Miami shrink to a half-game. “And what’s at hand is us winning this fourth spot and holding it down. So we’ve got to go home now and see what we’re made of.” Via NBA.com

We may not even see Josh Smith tonight after he had a heated incident with his coach on court.

Josh Smith didn’t play in the second half Friday after he got into a heated exchange with Woodson at halftime that could be heard in the hallway outside the locker room. Smith, who had 13 points in the first two quarters, spent the second half sitting in the middle of the bench with a towel draped over his back.

“I don’t want to talk about that right now,” Smith said when asked about the benching.

Woodson wouldn’t say whether the team’s third-leading scorer would play Saturday.

“We’ll determine that tomorrow,” he said. Via NBA.com

Sad really, as good as Smith is, I think his immaturity has plagued him his entire (though short) career.

Tip off is at 7:00 PM and will be locally broadcast on FSN PLUS. If you can’t catch the broadcast you can tune into 1130 AM WDFN. If you can’t do either, follow the game live or listen to the stream over at NBA.com.

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And remember Daddy Rich in your thoughts and prayers.