Currently viewing the tag: "NBA Playoffs"

Rodney Stuckey was benched in today’s game against the Boston Celtics for refusing to re-enter the game Friday night against the Chicago Bulls.  What else does Stuckey have to do to lose the respect of Pistons fans?  Here he is, in his 4th year in the NBA and still acting like an immature young player in a season where leadership and respect is there for the taking.

I just hope the Pistons can get something for him this offseason when he leaves.  I apologize in advance for not shedding the same virtual tears when Rodney leaves as I did when Chauncey and Stuckey’s draft mate Arron Afflalo left the team. Now Kuester doen’t get a pass either, each one of us has a better chance at winning a million dollars playing blackjack online than John Kuester has of returning to Detroit next season.  Now on to the rest of the team, who are now playing out the string and earning time for next season:

  • The Pistons won the 1st and 4th quarters – but they lost the game in the 3rd by giving up 33 points to the (currently) 2nd seeded Boston Celtics
  • Shaquille O’Neal may have to hang it up this season after limping off badly in today’s game after only 5 minutes on the floor
  • Charlie Villanueva’s numbers are deceiving – sure he had a solid offensive game, but his points were canceled out as he scored 15 and was a team worst -15 on the night
  • Need4Sheed favorite Will Bynum started in place of Tracy McGrady, and ended up with 20 points and only 1 assist.

Photo Getty Images editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Detroit got “Rondo’d” – Rajon Rondo finished with 14 assists and 5 turnovers.
  • I hate to admit it – Boston is pretty deep.  I know it’s hoping a lot that Jermaine O’Neal or Shaquille O’Neal stay healthy enough to give minutes but Baby Davis gives Boston a solid 6th man off the bench.  Delonte West is a solid guard off the bench.  This team can guard just about everyone on the perimeter, except maybe LeBron James – but we’ll see what Pierce and Jeff Green can do this postseason
  • Austin Daye must be in the dog house somewhat – either that, or he’s not worth giving much time on the floor at this point.  There’s really no excuse for him to play only 15 minutes when Prince and Rip play 30+
  • Super rookie Rodney White Greg Monroe had a down night – 11 points and 5 rebounds to go with a tough matchup all night – KG and Baby Davis
  • Hell, with all the turmoil going on on the Pistons sideline even Jason Maxiell saw some decent run in today’s game.  My how far this team has fallen in his time on the roster.
  • Pistons coach JKIAFI John Kuester referred to Stuckey’s benching as a “setback” in his “growth process” – aka “Stuckey is still immature, even in his 4th year in the league.  On a team dying for a leader to step up.”

Stuckey: “Mentally, mentally, I’m mentally drained. Hopefully I can get through these six games and we’ll see what happens next year.”  Via The Detroit News

Up next on “As The World Turns” the Pistons schedule are the young and peppy Wizards lead by newcomers Jordan Crawford and John Wall.  Detroit will have their hands full if Ben Wallace does not play again because of the size the Wizards have on their front line with Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.

I usually attend the Wizards game when the Pistons are town but this year, I’m going to save my money and watch it on TV.  Stay tuned this week as rumor has it Natalie and I are going to pump out another podcast – I will be there ready to apologize to you all for saying the Pistons would go 9-3 to close out the season and they would make the playoffs.  I’m sure we’ll also continue to talk about Rodney Stuckey, Coach Kuester, how Natalie’s dog saved her life, and more!

Need4Sheed Guest Writer:
Rashid S. Umar

As the 2009 playoffs get underway, it seems as if no one is giving the Pistons any chance of competing with the mighty (at least record wise) Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether the series plays out to be as predicted, or if the boys from the “D” pull off the monumental upset, we need to show passionate support.

The one thing that I’ve enjoyed as a sports fan is proudly proclaiming that I am Pistons Fan. No matter how great the team has performed or how terrible, being a Pistons fan has been a joy and privilege for the last 25 years and counting.

It’s more than just being a fan of the team, for me it’s being a fan of the HOME team. Growing up in the inner city of Detroit, a place that has never had a great reputation for as long as I was there, team championships helped put us on the map. When the Pistons made their first finals appearance in 1988, the city felt electric. I neglect to mention, that years earlier that the Tigers won the ’84 World Series, but this was different—at least for me. The summer of ’88 felt like uncharted waters, with a team that had never been to the mountaintop. Seeing CBS Sports trucks and nationwide coverage in our city was exciting. Winning the title in 1989 and again in 1990 made me feel proud to not just be a fan of the red, white, and blue; but also a proud Detroiter. I also learned that sports could unite a community a lot better than tragedy.

Even through the lean years, the erosion of the post- bad boy era, the dreaded Sean Elliot 62-loss season, and the mediocre “horse-head teal” days, I held my head up high despite what seemed like everyone else jumped ship to root for the Bulls (I’m still bitter about that) I was proud to have MY team.

My point is that although the team posted its worse season in eight years, I’m not jumping ship. Even if the series goes as predicted, I’ll still be here with my Pistons jersey rooting for the good guys. I’ll still be hardcore with mine because that’s what we do!

I’ve read message boards sites (and I hate reading message boards) of opposing fans that are extremely joyful about this Pistons season, even some of our so-called fans who’d rather complain than rally. I know it’s not what we’re used to but come on gang!

It’s the playoffs! Let’s get behind these guys for support! If not to beat Cleveland, than to celebrate eight straight playoff appearances or that they are one of only two teams in American professional sports to win at least one title in each of the last three decades — bet you didn’t realize that huh? Well that’s why I’m here.

Let’s go Pistons Nation! I implore you join me in showing the world we can be the best fans under any circumstance!

The Detroit Pistons
Last Years Record: 59-23
Key Losses: Jarvis Hayes (Free Agent – Nets), Juan Dixon (Free Agent – Wizards), Theo Ratliff (Free Agent – 76ers), Lindsey Hunter (Free Agent – Unsigned)
Key Additions: Rookie Head Coach Michael Curry, Kwame Brown, Walter Sharpe, Will Bynum, and Alex Acker

1. What significant moves were made during the offseason?

Can you say Kwame Brown, yes Kwame Brown, not PJ Brown, or Shannon Brown. Forget Devin Brown or Larry Brown for that matter, the Detroit Pistons signed former number one draft pick Kwame Brown.

Forget Kwame’s past,  Detroit isn’t looking for him to be the go to guy. If Brown can give the Pistons what they need when he’s called upon off the bench his (minimal) salary will be well worth it. No one is expecting this to be Kwames’ breakthrough, if he can grab a few boards and block a shot or two he’s done his job.

The other big move The Pistons made in the offseason was firing Flip Saunders and bringing in Michael Curry as head coach. Will this team buy into Curry’s system? And can he lead this mix of veterans and youth back to the Finals?

2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?

Detroit brings back a core that is arguably one of the best starting five in the league. Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace have been there before and know how to get things done. With the addition of Amir Johnson to the starting lineup they now add youth and athleticism to mix with the veteran core. And let’s not forget Antonio McDyess who will reprise his sixth man role and then there is terror that is Jason Maxiell. Even with all that we still haven’t mentioned the one player to keep your eye on…Rodney Stuckey, who is looking to call even more attention to himself than he did during Detroit’s playoff run last season.

Courtesy of The Detroit Pistons, The NBA and FSN Detroit

Detroit knows how to play defense and Curry has made it clear that The Pistons will be going to the way back machine looking to reprise the “Bad Boys” style of lock down D. With Amir and Rasheed playing together with Tayshaun on the on floor the starting five will certainly cause some damage on the defensive end. And no I didn’t forget to mention the what Jason Maxiell brings to the table off the bench.

The Big Denial

Courtesy of The Detroit Pistons, The NBA and ESPN

3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?

Will Michael Curry be able to get this team over the hump? Larry Brown was the last coach in Detroit to get this group to the Finals and asking a Rookie Head Coach to take them there when established Flip Saunders could not is a tall order. Detroit is bringing back their All Star talent and Curry has to infuse the youth with this core to make them an even bigger threat.

4. What are the goals for this team?

An NBA Championship, nothing else will do.

With Detroit a perennial fixture in the Eastern Conference Finals and just one NBA title to show for it, the goal for this season is the Larry O’Brien or bust. And I literally mean bust, this is likely the last time Chauncey, Rip, Sheed, Tayshaun, and Antonio McDyess will have their chance to pull it off together . All or nothing, and this team has had their share of nothing.

5. Will this team look the same come playoff time?

If Joe Dumars doesn’t  like the way things are going early in the season you can bet that he will move  whoever he can to take this team to the Finals again. Rasheed’s contract (just about 14 million) comes off the books at the end of the year, which makes him an attractive trading piece. And let’s not forget his game. Bundling him up with another major player on the team could give Dumars just what he was looking for when he vowed to do whatever it took to get the right deal done this summer.

Come trade deadline, you could see a drastically different Pistons team take the floor, but that all depends on what they do coming out of the gate.

Predicted Record: 53-29