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Tom Gores toonAs reported on ESPN earlier, and also here by the dreamy Justin Rogers of MLive, the Pistons and Head Coach John Kuester will be going their separate ways after 2 long seasons with Kuester at the helm.

Kuester was 55 – 107 57 – 107 as coach of the Detroit Pistons.  This was the first NBA head coaching gig for the 56 year old Kuester, who was formerly an assistant coach under Coach Mike Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers, after being a coach for the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics.  Prior to his time in the NBA he was the head coach for the George Washington Colonials and Boston University Bears and as an assistant coach for the University of Richmond Spiders.

Coach Kuester was known for being an offensive mastermind after his time in Cleveland with LeBron James, but more importantly for the Pistons organization, he had served on former Piston coach Larry Brown’s staff in 2003-2004.

Kuester, a former University of North Carolina player, will likely be heading to the Los Angeles Lakers to be an assistant coach under new coach Mike Brown.  Brown, who was hired as LA Lakers head coach less than a week ago, had already expressed an interest in bringing Kuester over with him on his staff.

Kuester was never really accepted by the Pistons fans because his name either wasn’t Bill Laimbeer or he wasn’t Avery Johnson, etc.  Coach Kuester was put into a bad spot by the organization with a roster in transition, that was bound to decline after the success of the early 2000s.  Kuester was given Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva as free agents in his first season as coach, but the Pistons couldn’t find a home for eventual malcontent Richard Hamilton which left the team extraordinarily deep at the shooting guard position.

During his time with the Pistons, Kuester clashed with Rodney Stuckey and Richard Hamilton and often dealt with problems through the media rather than being straight forward with his players.  While no one should argue Kuester mismanaged the available talent, it should be noted that he never did establish a set rotation of players.  The Pistons roster is in flux after years of consistency, which is President Joe Dumars’ primary responsibility.

Moving forward, the Pistons have a steady core of young players with Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko.  Rodney Stuckey is coming off of another year of ups and downs and is a restricted free agent.  Ben Gordon and Charlie V are now going into their 3rd year of 5 year contracts (with player options for 6th years) as well.  Tayshaun Prince is an unrestricted free agent, and Richard Hamilton has 1 more fully guaranteed season left on his contract.

The next Pistons coach will be inheriting virtually the same roster as Kuester, minus Chris Wilcox and likely Tayshaun Prince.  There could be a chance that Prince is signed and traded, and while I had once thought he would be a good fit in LA with the Lakers, now that Coach Kuester is heading there as an assistant, it’s an unlikely destination.

What are your thoughts about Coach Kuester being out as the coach?  Is it a good move for the Pistons?  What do you think should be the next move?

Again – Rodney Stuckey did not play. He was the only player dressed who did not play. LOL

John Wall got his fair share of superstar calls as well, as evidenced by his 14 made free throws compared to the Pistons 14 made as a team. Wall blew by his defender time after time and saw clean looks at the rim all night.

Player of the Night goes to Darko Milicic Mateen Cleaves Rodney White Pistons’ Super Rookie Greg Monroe finished the night with a team high 22 points and 14 rebounds (9 offensive) to go with 4 assists and 4 steals. Monroe, who spent 2 years as Center of the Georgetown Hoyas, missed 2 key free throws with less than 30 seconds left in the game that would’ve tied it up. He had previously been 8 for 8 from the line. Thanks to Wizards announcers Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier for jinxing him by mentioning it multiple times, and then laughing about it.

  • The game was played at the Wizards’ pace all night, which plays right into their hands.  They’re not a great shooting team, if they are forced into a halfcourt set each possession, Blatche and McGee are black holes in the post that never pass.
  • Hey JaVale, no need to salute after a dunk
  • John Wall played 46 minutes and scored 26 points to go with 12 assists.  The kid is fast, and showed plenty of signs of why he was considered to be the best player in the draft this past offseason
  • Kuester opted for small ball more often than not last night – there were several times when Monroe was on the floor with Bynum, Hamilton, McGrady and Tay or Austin Daye.  This makes sense because they were playing up and down all night, to the Wizards’ strength
  • Monroe played 43 minutes – because Charlie Villanueva was out with a bad back and Ben Wallace was just not effective in his 8 minutes
  • Former Piston great Richard Hamilton scored 2 points in 20 minutes on the floor, on 1-11 shooting against his former team and former coach, Flip Saunders
  • Does Flip Saunders miss the Pistons? lol
  • I think Detroit could’ve dominated the paint in this one had they fed the ball to Wilcox (lol) and Monroe more.  Watching it, I often saw JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche playing out of position on the defensive end
  • If you can tell me who Mustafa Shakur, Othyus Jeffers and Kevin (Keveen) Seraphin are, you’re a better man/woman than I
  • Since Villanueva was out with a back, Jason Maxiell saw some time on the floor
  • Former Georgetown Hoyas great, DaJuan Summers saw a couple of minutes of action and committed an awful foul on a fast break in his 2 minutes on the floor
  • Austin Daye missed a corner 3 at the end of regulation that would’ve won the game for the Pistons.  Instead, we’re talking about how he played well off the bench in 25 minutes of action, finishing the game with 14 points on 6-10 shooting to go with 6 rebounds
  • Former Pistons great Maurice Evans scored an efficient 20 points for the Wizards.  Evans, who was acquired in the deadline day deal with the Hawks along with Jordan Crawford and a #1 pick, has been a steady option on both ends of the floor for the rebuilding Wizards
  • The game was close throughout the 2nd half after the Pistons and Wizards exchanged 30+ point 1st and 2nd quarters
  • The Pistons had won 8 out of their last 9 games against the Wizards before last night
  • I’m glad I didn’t go to the game, it was honestly a real snoozer just having to watch it on TV
  • There was an odd moment early on in the game when Tracy McGrady approached the free throw line after being hit on the arm.  He tossed the ball back to the ref and said “hold on” as he grimaced in pain as the Pistons called a timeout.  Coming out of the timeout, McGrady was able to shoot the free throw, but he shot it left handed and missed

The Pistons have now lost 32 games on the road, which is 1 more than they lost on the road all of last year.

Oh and hey, Rodney Stuckey didn’t play so… I hope he’s learning his lesson!

Up next for the Mighty Pistons are the New Jersey Nets, at the Palace tonight.  It should be a good game for both teams who are playing out the string, and jockeying for ping pong balls.  By all accounts, the Nets have a “superstar” whereas the Pistons don’t have one so… that makes the Nets the favorite, right?  If you’re a gambling man, Vegas has the Pistons winning by 6.

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!

The 25-46 Pistons are in Cleveland to take on the 13-57 Cavs Friday night. The Pistons are looking to snap a seven game road losing streak with a win against the Cavs. Cleveland on the other hand is just looking to win.

  • The good: They are playing the CAVS
  • The bad: Detroit hasn’t won a road game since before the All Star break.
  • The unknown: What will Friday bring as far as the Pistons starting lineup goes?

The Scouting Report via Pistons.com

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

The 24-44 Pistons are home to face an old friend and help raise money Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.  Detroit faces Chauncy Billups and the 35-32 Knicks while hosting their annual Pistons Care Telethon to raise money for The Boys and Girls Club of Michigan.

The Knicks have won four in a row against Detroit, including both meetings this season.

The Pistons have dropped 12 of 17 since last winning consecutive games on Feb. 4 and 5

  • The good: Detroit is coming off a win.
  • The bad: Chauncey loves the Palace
  • The unknown: Will the lineup change work again? Or will be seeing another variation?

The Scouting Report via Pistons.com

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Go see Chauncey for as low as $5 dollars and Donate to the Pistons Care Telethon if you can!

PISTON CARE TELETHON – DONATE

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

Leave your thoughts in the comments or Chat Live with your fellow Pistons fans during the game.

The season of strange starting lineups continued tonight, as the Raptors traveled to Detroit to face off against the Pistons who were in the middle of a 3 game losing streak.  The Pistons 4 oldest players started (with Monroe), and used a 38 point 1st quarter to jump out to a huge lead to overtake the reeling Raptors ballclub.

3 players for the Pistons carried the scoring load – Hamilton with 24, Prince with 22 and Greg Monroe with 21 to go along with 10 rebounds.  It was clear the Pistons were going to pull this one out from the jump, their cuts were sharp, and their jumpshots were falling.

Rodney Stuckey came off the bench and had 14 assists to go along with 3 points (all from the free throw line) and Ben Gordon scored 6 points in 13 minutes.

  • These St. Patrick’s Day uniforms have got to go – the Raptors uniforms are hideous
  • Former Piston great Amir Johnson missed the game with an ankle :(
  • The Raptors do have a pretty impressive group of youngsters who have been playing well of late – Andrea Bargnani, the most recognizable name from the bunch lead the Raps in scoring with 20 points
  • Ed Davis, who a lot of Pistons expert writers were saying the Pistons would draft in this past year’s draft, was outmatched by Greg Monroe in the paint and on the boards
  • 2 DNPs tonight for Detroit – Will Bynum and Jason Maxiell
  • Richard Hamilton with a Pistons team high +15 on the night
  • Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva played 13 minutes each – lowest minute total of all players
  • The “Brazilian Blur” Leandro Barbosa filled up the cup for 18 points in 26 minutes off the bench for the Raptors
  • 15,166 reportedly in attendance – the arena looked emptier than that
  • Toronto was able to narrow the lead to 6 – and Detroit lead by as many as 20
  • Rodney Stuckey had a career low in shot attempts tonight with 1 to go along with 14 assists.  This honestly looked to me like one of those Kobe Bryant games where he tries to prove he’s not a ballhog and can be a distributor the team needs
  • Hamilton, who averages 17.6 points a night against the Raptors, scored 24 points
  • Recap via Pistons.com

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The good thing about this win: the Pistons won.  The bad thing, if there is a bad thing about winning: they’re now 6 games up on the Raptors in the Eastern Conference and they’re lined up with 6th-7th pick slot in the lottery.

Up next for the Pistons, Landry Fields brings his pals Jared Jeffries and Ronny Turiaf to the Palace on Friday when the Knicks go up against the Pistons.  Pistons fan favorite Chauncey Billups will make his first appearance in a Knicks uniform on the Palace floor, so that should be exciting.  Since Billups will be back in Detroit Friday, I’m sure we’ll be able to continue discussing what things would be like if we hadn’t have traded Billups 2 years ago, so there’s that…

If you’re looking for some interesting reading between now and then, check out the riveting discussion going on at Piston Powered with several of your favorite Pistons writers – N4S favorite Dave Hogg, N4S creator Natalie Sitto, DetroitBadBoys Brian Packey and Kevin Sawyer, MLive’s Justin Rogers, PP writers Dan Feldman and Patrick Hayes, and 2 guys who don’t believe other sports exist during the NBA season, then you need to make your way over there.  Today they discussed whether or not Rodney Stuckey should be re-signed and in previous days they discussed Joe Dumars’ future and whether or not the team was on a treadmill of mediocrity.

In a game that featured little defense – the Pistons were able to use a hot shooting 1st quarter to propel them to victory over the Washington Wizards at The Palace, 113-102.  7 Pistons players scored in double digits as the Pistons lead for the entire game.  While it was a fun game to watch for the high scoring, it’s definitely not the kind of basketball the old school Piston fans are used to seeing (or enjoying).

Super-rookie John Wall scored 24 points (including 12-13 from the free throw line) to go along with 7 assists and 5 rebounds (with 4 turnovers).  Slam dunk contest finalist JaVale McGee finished with 12 points and 2 rebounds, after scoring 20 points and having 16 rebounds in the last matchup in November.

Let’s look at the highlights, shall we?:

Tayshaun Prince

Photo/Allen Einstein/Getty Images editing Need4Sheed.com

  • Austin Daye, described by many as the player with the best jumpshot in last year’s NBA Draft, scored an efficient 12 points in 18 minutes off the bench to go along with 5 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.  Daye has really shown signs of improvement as the season has worn on, and it’ll nice to see what he can contribute as a starter, next season.
  • Need4Sheed fan favorite, Rodney Stuckey, had a near triple double and a +22 +/- for the Pistons.  Stuckey finished with 19 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds.  In the words of Junior – “take that, Boney”
  • Wow – Detroit won rebounding matchup 45-29.  To be honest, if I’m a Wizard fan that total disgusts me.  The Wizards have 2 guys in the starting lineup who had a height advantage over the entire Pistons roster.  The Wizards are a young team that need to prove they’re ready for the big time.
  • LOL @ Nick Young’s hair
  • I don’t know about you but, Trevor Booker reminds me of a young Jason Maxiell.  Booker is a feisty post player, in his 1st year from Clemson.
  • Pistons super rookie Greg Monroe contributed with 12 points and 7 rebounds in 21 minutes.
  • Player of the night: Tayshaun Prince with 20 points on 10-19 shooting and the biggest poster of the year.
  • Tayshaun Prince DUNK and HL’s

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Video courtesy of the NBA and the Detroit Pistons

  • Richard Hamilton received the largest ovation on the evening when he checked in late in the 1st quarter

Need4Sheed’s thoughts and prayers go out to former Pistons coach Flip Saunders and his family on the loss of Saunders’ mother.  We may talk bad about Saunders occasionally, but he is a good man and helped this team win many games.  Saunders was not with the team tonight – he was in Cleveland with his family.

The Pistons now must pack their bags and head out for a 3 game road trip to face off against the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets.  It’s not going to be an easy trip, but the Pistons got off on the right start with a win tonight.

The 22-41 Pistons come are back from their three day break to try to regroup for a Sunday evening game at the Palace against the 16-45 Wizards.

Charlie V on the remaining games: “Are we going to have a terrible season or are we all going to come together and make a push? The guys decided we’re going to make a push,”

We’re holding you to that Charlie.

  • The good: The Pistons have won six consecutive home matchups with the Wizards, who are an NBA worst 1-28 on the road.
  • The bad: The Pistons are 5 1/2 games behind eighth-place Indiana in the Eastern Conference.
  • The unknown: Who’s going to play and for how long.

Young Austin Daye is coming off a career high game. If you though he looked young on court for Detroit, look at this interview I dug up on YouTube.

Get Pistons tickets for as low as $4 to see the Pistons play John Wall and the Wizards.

Tip off is at 6:00 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit. If you can’t catch the game on TV, follow it live over at NBA.com or on the radio over at 97.1 The Ticket.

Leave your thoughts in the comments or Chat Live with your fellow Pistons fans during the game.

The 24-40 Pistons along with RIP Hamilton are back home for their second game of a back to back against the 14-47 Timberwolves. Minnesota has lost eight of nine games, and Detroit has their own drama to deal with as you know.

  • The good: Happy Birthday Jonas Jerebko
  • The bad: Kevin Love and his 47 game streak double-double madness.
  • The unknown: The lineup and rotation

The Scouting Report via Pistons.com

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Get Pistons to see Kevin Love not get a 30 and 20 for as low as $3 dollars and tell Bill Laimbeer you miss him while your there.

Tip off is at 7:30 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit. If you can’t catch the game on TV, follow it live over at NBA.com or on the radio over at WWJ AM 950.

Leave your thoughts in the comments or Chat Live with your fellow Pistons fans during the game.

It wasn’t pretty all the time.  It took a hot shooting 1st half and high scoring 4th quarter, too.  At the end of the night, all that matters is the Detroit Pistons beat the Utah Jazz 120-116, in front of 18,000 home fans.

A night after the team experienced a “protest”, and after an afternoon where a lot of the rumors of a protest were squashed by the local media and reports of a Team President Joe Dumars statement before the game, it was hard to tell how this team would respond.  You never know how players will respond, and while the individual players’ shortcomings were clearly evident (Monroe still needs to work on post D, CV needs to play defense period, Stuckey needs to work on mid-range game, etc), the team fought through and came out with a victory against the new look Utah Jazz.

Detroit took advantage of a Jazz team that was without All Star Point Guard Deron Williams and Hall of Fame Head Coach Jerry Sloan.  Detroit suited up 9 players for last night’s game, as compared to Friday’s game they suited up only 6.

  • The Pistons still need help in the post on defense – Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap combined for 43 points and 20 rebounds.
  • Andrei Kirilenko, and his awful hairstyle, had a big game for the Jazz with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists
  • Utah shot 59.5% from the field – Detroit shot an even 50%
  • Super rookie Greg Monroe – 12 points and 16 rebounds
  • Austin Daye had a great 4th quarter and helped seal the victory with 4 three pointers on 5 attempts
  • Rodney Stuckey finished with a team high 28 points and 8 assists BUT was a team worst -13 +/-
  • Piston killer Devin Harris finished with 17 and 12 assists
  • Will Bynum was the sparkplug off the bench with 11 points and 8 assists in 23 minutes

Yesterday’s game was a solid victory and the post game quotes said more about Friday’s #RoundballRevolution than we heard after the Philadelphia game:

Austin Daye

“I have no problems with Coach — he plays me a lot,” Daye said. “I should have been on time, and I got punished. It was embarrassing for me to do that. There’s no excuse for a second-year player to miss a bus because of a miscommunication. I don’t hold any grudge for sitting out last night. I apologized to Coach and told him it was the right decision.”

John Kuester

“There was cohesiveness that we haven’t had,” he said. “There was energy that we haven’t had on a consistent basis. I tip my hat off to these guys.”

Last night’s Detroit win was the first win without Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton or Ben Wallace in the lineup since 2002.  It’s time for this team to move on, and close out this season with a little momentum going toward the offseason and next season.