Plenty has been said lately about this team’s heart. The last few games against Boston, the debacle in Utah and their latest effortless game against the Sixers doesn’t help their cause either. It’s not hard to come to the realization that the team is taking the regular season lightly…..again. Playing it cool and skating through the season in hopes to “turn it up” come playoff time and get the job done.
Didn’t the Pistons play that card last season? Didn’t it fail miserably? Haven’t they learned their lesson? Don’t they have something to prove? Do they actually think all they have to do is get past Boston? Do they even want it? Do they?
As fans, do we have the right to bitch and moan about a team that has the second best record in the league? A team filled with All Stars? A team that lives in the post season? Do we?
It’s troubling as fans to watch a team that we know can dominate take things so lightly. Perfect example…the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.
I won’t call players or coaches out, but there needs to be some urgency. They need to play with heart, they need the fire back.
Someone needs to step up and light a fire under this team, and maybe Sheed is the one that can do it. Just because he takes more three’s than we like, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want it. In fact he seems to be the only one out there playing with passion and a purpose. (Antonio McDyess is a given)
The purpose of all of this is a Championship right? This is the last chance for this current team to get it too. I’m not saying Sheed is the new Tony Robbins, but I have a feeling if he talks, they will listen. Let him lead, because no one else seems to be getting the job done.
If he told me what to do, like he did to his teammates Wednesday night, I would listen. Wouldn’t you?
nat, i couldn’t agree with you more…the 3pts attempt of sheed is only one of the many problems, plus that can be solved easily. but seriously, who wouldn’t wanna listen to sheed? if there’s anybody who wouldn’t im sure they’ll end up listening or else they’ll be on sheed’s case until the season ends. i think sheed needs to take it to another level of leadership but my only concern is that somebody might throw something back at him about his 3pts issue…..”why should i listen to you, when you should be focusing on resolving ur 3pts attemp issue vs. posting up more” but i almost doubt that somebody will say that to him.
the problem with listening to sheed is that what do you do when he starts trying to mutiny against the coach?
remember in those ecf’s when sheed decided that he and Webber could get it done so they started recruiting other teammates to start ignoring the coach and do what he wants?
sheed is a great player and has a lot of passion, but his passion doesn’t always help the team win. there is a reason he’s not a captain.
i think its time joe d has some talk with everyone again. strongly recommended before the reg. season ends.
Kyle, I didn’t realize Sheed caused some sort of mutiny in the Playoffs last season, in fact I don’t even remember Webber being that much of a presence. Agreed Sheed is volatile but my God Chauncey, Rip and certainly not Tayshaun are doing what it takes to lead this team.
He’s a nut but a passionate one who wants nothing more than a championship.
Hell Dyess could do a better job, he wants it most of all.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) Greek Philosopher
I couldn’t agree more with Natalie. It is comments I have made in this forum occasionally over the past several years in the Flip Saunders era. For some reason the team thinks it can “flip a switch” in the playoffs and perform at an excellent level. How well as that worked the past two years? With the talent and personnel on this team, I know we have gotten to the ECF, but honestly, more should have been accomplished. Can’t help but think if Larry Brown had stayed, there would be at least another championship banner hanging.
Like I tell my students, talent only takes you so far. It is the desire, passion and yes, repeated effort that breeds good habits. So when the time comes to “flip that switch,” you have already ingrained in yourself good results. Can this team do it? Yes. Will they do it, that is the question? [And yes, in the big scope of things, we are a successful team–but talent wasted to achieve less than what one is capable of accomplishing is what, I think, is frustrating all of us Pistons fans. Knowing sports, a group of players like this only come along rarely. We need to do it now!]
unless the Celtics win it this year, the champion will be a team that has won less games than we have. obviously they were good enough to win them (eventual champs and all), but they didn’t. so were they practicing excellence less often than we were?
dyess would be a good choice for a leader because he wants it badly, but he’s also not playing that great and doesn’t have much clout.
i still think it’s a dangerous thing to have your most mentally ane emotionally unstable player as the leader of your team. it sounds like a great idea now, but when he starts getting techs in the playoffs (again) and refuses to join the huddle (again), you’ll be changing your tune.
blaine, you’re right, webber wasn’t a factor because he wasn’t playing well. sheed however was convinced that they could beat the cavs going big. he stopped attending huddles, openly defied the coach and encouraged others to do it too. that’s not good leadership.
I totally see your point Kyle but I’m out of ideas, because if they keep playing with this attitude it’s not going to end good.
You also have to feel a little better about his Tech situation this year.
“Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”. Question is do we have the heart like the 1995 Rockets did? We need a coach that can inspire the players. Look what Pat Riley did for Miami. Seems like our core player are satisfied with just one championship. I say we let the rest of the game slide and let our team seed lower. Heck we don’t need home court advantage right? We can beat anyone at their own house. Let’s get seeded lower and see if that’ll inspire them. This way we’ll be underdog throughout the playoff series just like the 1995 rockets. We’ll get lots of smack from those espn journalist. In order to meet Celtics at the ECF, let’s get seeded 6th just like the rockets in 95.
If we move down to the sixthnCleveland would move to the third and we’ll be facing them in the first round. I say we take our revenge early in the first round. Win it and get inspired to kick Orlando’s butt next and then a final showdown with Boston at the ECF.
I think it’s a great idea. Don’t you?
i think its a sucky idea.
if the standings can stay as they are now the top four will be boston, detroit, orlando, cleveland. Assuming they all beat out who they go against in the first round, that will leave boston vs cleveland and detroit vs orlando in the semis. Detroit can beat orlando and that will leave boston and cleveland to duke it out.
i do feel better about his tech situation this year, but i can’t convince myself that it’s going to mean anything come playoff time. i’ve tried too many times to believe in sheed just to watch him lose it when it mattered most.
i’m afraid i still point my finger at flip. he’s right, the starters had no fire against the 76’ers at the beginning, but replacing sheed with theo is NOT going to increase the fire. and it DID NOT. the players that will force the starters to play with fire are the same ones that will be riding the bench to dnp-cd’s in the post-season.
flip knows offensive x’s and o’s, but imo knows nothing about personalities and chemistry. welcome to the rotation theo, juan and lindsey. goodbye championship.
Don’t know Kyle rather or not that was a reference to the Aristotle quote, but excellence in this sense is not measured by the highest number of wins but by preparing yourself to perform at an excellent level when the time comes. San Antonio is a good example last year. They didn’t have the best record or even second best–but when the playoff came, they were prepared to play at an excellent level because they prepared themselves to do so. If the Pistons had won last night the way they played, it would have registered a win, but it would have been a sloppy win, and yes, a lucky win. So wins and loses don’t directly relate to excellence. Yes, there is a parallel, but championships are rarely won by the team with the most wins during the regular season (Dallas and Phoenix had the most wins last year; the year before which Miami won, Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas, and Phoenix had better records; the year before that which San Antonio won, Phoenix had a better record; and the year we won, Indiana, Minnesota (under Flip), San Antonio, the Lakers, and Sacramento had better records). And by the way, the way things are looking in the West, and the tough schedule we have coming up, there is a good chance several teams from the West will have better records than us come playoff time.
My point in seeding lower is to get this team inspired to play harder. in 2003-04 when we won the ship. We were seeded 3rd. Yes we had an easy first round against milwaukee, but we had to get past NJ (east champ the year before). Once we won that series the team got confidence and beat out Indiana (1st seed) and Lakers.
If we leave it the way it is now. We’d beat Philly then meet with Orlando which is probably easy because we’ve owned them since we came back from a 3-1 against mcgrady. Then we’ll meet boston. Going through philly and orlando won’t increase our confidence. In fact, if Boston had to go through Cleveland to get to the ECF. They’d gain a lot of confidence and i’m sure they’ll be more pumped up to play us than we are. And as you know, that’s how we beat the lakers in 04.
Our team is built to face an uphill battle. I don’t think having easy opponents at the first 2 rounds would help us. That’s why i think we need to seed lower.
You have inspired me, thank you for your eloquent words.
Henry I understand what you want to accomplish, but honestly that’s like playing Russian roulette with this team and I don’t think I like the idea. But you, like me just want to see something change and most of the time ideas don’t hurt.
i think its funny you put that video on here… when i was watching the game i heard him say quit turning the fuckin ball over! cracked me up… juan dixon played like crap at the end of that game… what was he even trying to do on that play… detroit takes care of the ball and certainly doesn’t commit 15 turn overs.. we need to get back to playing detroit basketball… and whoever is talking about losing games to get better seeds is and idiot
I MEAN I DISAGREE, AS FANS THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO IS SIT BACK AND WATCH, IF THEY LOOSE THEY LOOSE.CANT NONE OF US GO OUT THERE AND DO THEIR JOB, SO IF THEY LOOSE THEN THE OTHER TEAM JUST WANTED IT MORE.I GET TIRED OF THESE SO CALLED PISTON FANS, THAT CALL THEMSELVES PISTONS FANS, JUST BECAUSE THE TEAM IS WINNING.JUST ENJOY IT,COULD YOU IMAGINE HOW A MILWAKKE FAN FEELS, OR A CLIPPER FAN FEELS, THEY WOULD GIVE N E THING TO HAVE WHAT WE HAVE IN OUR TOWN.COME ON WE ARE A CITY OF CHAMPIONS,WINGS PISTONS,TIGERS,THE SHOCK..AND THAT OTHER FOOTBALL TEAM.IF YOU ASK ME SOME OF THESE FANS SOUND LIKE OF BUNCH OF SPOILED BRATS READY TO JUMP OF THE BANDWAGON IF THINGS GO SOUTH .
I gotta agree with the last anonymous, however I still think Natalie’s blog post has merit because the Pistons players *do* read this blog, and if harsh criticism lights a fire under their asses to play better, then it’s a good thing for pistons players and pistons fans alike.
i still don’t see your point. you’re saying that last year the spurs showed excellence in every game, despite losing a bunch, and that prepared them for their championship?
i don’t think they showed more accumulative excellence than we did, they just have a coach that makes ours look like a a middle school coach.
when the other team is doubling your pg and throwing off your offensive rhythm your regular season excellence isn’t going to propel you to a win. a coach who makes adjustments does. flip doesn’t make adjustments, and coincidentally we do worse in the playoffs ever year he’s here.
all last year we were accused of waiting to “flip the switch” and when the playoffs came we started with the best first round we ever had.
lastly, the fact that the spurs lost a bunch and still won a championship suggests to me that maybe, just maybe, they took some games more seriously than others. i think i’ve even heard rumblings while watching spurs games that they’ve been criticized for this “complacent” attitude towards the regular season.
and, imo, the fact that we lost to the cavs proves my point. they only had one or two players who have ever even come close to the word excellence, but they knew that if you pressure chauncey, we fail. they oustmarted us. i don’t think pushing yourself to beat the bobcats in the regular season would have excellenced us into knowing how to beat the trap in the playoffs. we didn’t lose because of some vague lack of effort or excellence, we got beat by a team that outsmarted us. they knew exactly what to do to beat us.
I can understand why people get upset when the Pistons don’t play to the level they’re capable of. But you gotta think that all they look for every year is the playoffs. And when you have a team as good as Detroit, we/they know that they will make it to the playoffs every year. So the regular season can get boring to them, and that’s understandable. But the fans are the ones that help pay for these huge salaries. And if we’re the ones that pay these guys we should expect them to earn their money. I don’t think that playing your hardest every game is too much to ask when you’re getting paid millions of dollars to do so. I guess after a while some of them figure that win or lose, they are getting paid the same.
The thing that bothers me the most is that they tell us, the fans that support them, that they’re going to bring the ship home, then fizzle out to a team we should beat because they can’t play hard for 48 minutes every other night. I mean, these guys have a dream job. To quote adam sandler, I bet if these guys ran into the younger versions of themselves they kick their ass and put bubble yum in the hair for even thinking about not playing as hard as they can every chance they get to step out on a NBA court.
If we got no fire, we got no championship! There’s no way to argue that. We can (and do) have all the talent in the world and still lose because the other team wants it more and plays harder. You can see it in Boston every time they win a game and pop a jersey. Every team wants to win but I can see clearly that Boston has WAY more desire than the Pistons do this season. Every game is important to them even though they know they are going to the playoffs. They could put up a half-assed effort the rest of the season because they are already locked in, but does anyone think that is going to happen in Boston? No, it isn’t. They seem to treat every game they play as if it’s game 7 of the finals. They celebrate their wins like they are about to be handed the trophy — that’s a little annoying, but at least they are showing passion for what they are doing. I believe that if the Pistons don’t find some of that passion they are doomed to the same fate as they were the past 2 -3 seasons… no championship… maybe even no finals. It’s really not acceptable with the talent that is on this team.
I understand that these guys can get bored with the regular season — who doesn’t get bored with their job from time to time? It IS their job though… they have been blessed with talent and are lucky enough to be able to play the game of basketball FOR A LIVING! They get paid (a lot) to do what they do. They need to respect that and realize that they need to give 110% effort every game. People who attend the games and buy the jerseys to support their team deserve to see that effort every game… not just when they feel like playing. I hate the Celtics, I hate Lebron, and all the others who think they are God’s gift to the game, but damn it at least they get pumped up and act like they WANT to win. I don’t see that here all the time. Sometimes I see it, but I sure don’t see it as much as I should see it and that is frustrating. The starters need to play their asses off every minute they are on the floor — build up a big lead every game like I know they can and let the bench maintain it so they can still get their rest. It can be done. They need to treat every game as a dress rehearsal for the finals starting 3 weeks ago!!
FIRE UP PISTONS!!! GET IT DONE!!
lets give our guys a chance for the remaining of the 20+ something game. lets see what happen with these 2 games, tonight and on sunday. given the fact that this is the time to get locked in for the playoffs, we SHOULDN’T see any meltdowns. we SHOULD see a team playing with a sense of urgency whether they’re playing a .500pct below or above, doesn’t matter who. by the way NAT, do you have access to their locker room? and whoever said pistons players read this blog, do they really?
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
I do not want this to turn into a discussion with Kyle, so this will be my last post on this subject of excellence. The complete quote by Aristotle is above. I think his point is obvious, but . . . he is saying you achieve excellence by training properly to obtain excellence. And it is through this training, you get into the proper habits that take over in times of pressure or crisis to do the correct things necessary. “We are what we repeatedly do.” My point is it has nothing to do with wins or losses or even playing against individual superstars. The Pistons at times have, by their own admission, taken quarters, plays, even games lightly. When they get behind they don’t run their normal set plays but start going one-on-one. We are not a one-on-one team. We won in 2004 as a team, not a bunch of individual stars.
I don’t know with 100% accuracy whether this is true, but my general point was San Antonio during their season–or any championship team–whether they won a game or lost a game, prepared hard for those games and played hard during those games. They did not expect to “flip a switch” at some point and automatically be better. They got better during the season by properly preparing each game. By each player learning what they were capable of doing during a game and more importantly during the 4th quarter and crunch time of a game. This became a habit that when needed during the playoffs took over because they knew they could do it because they had done it. [Now whether or not this holds true in San Antonio’s case, I do not know because I do not follow San Antonio, but I hope you would agree in principle with the above statements.]
I understand your point with the coach, and I do think a stronger presence there would help, but these are also professional players. By this time, they should know what to do and when to do it. As much as I would like to put most of this on the coach, I think each player ought to reflect on their responsibility. Natalie’s point was well-taken about Sheed. How this team desperately needs someone to say “it isn’t going to automatically happen just because we want it to happen.” Someone, that if it isn’t Flip saying it for them to believe it, then maybe they will listen to Sheed.
When you say “when the other team is doubling your pg and throwing off your offensive rhythm your regular season excellence isn’t going to propel you to a win. a coach who makes adjustments does,” I think is to my point. If the Pistons prepare during the regular season for exactly that scenario, then come playoffs they know what to do and when to do it. It should come as no surprise to them and their “habits” that they developed during the regular season kick in. What habits are we developing now? I’d say they are bad habits—the one-on-one play, depending upon too many 3 point shots, not moving the ball, lack of defensive effort.
I’ve gone on too long. I teach music and philosophy. Throughout the years, I have seen many more instrumentalist gain success who were less talented but really practiced and prepared for success, than those musicians who were way more talented but thought their talent alone would bring them success. Excellence is not defined by being better than someone else, excellence in this Aristotle sense is defined by being the best you can be.
Michael Jordan wasn’t great because he had enormous talent and could just throw up a shot and expect it to go in, he was great because of hours and hours of proper preparation put him in the position that he knew he would make the shot. It was a habit.
i think excellence is something you can easily retro-actively attribute to someone who already won. until i some sort of metric that assures me that they treated every game like a playoff game, i’m not buying it. i don’t think their talent level/actual record bears that out.
nobody all last season or this season has attacked chauncey with a trap of that intensity. nor will they, because *ding* they don’t want to give us the chance to get used to it. that’s what good coaches do, they look ahead.
um ok. if anyone here thinks that this team doesn’t have heart, then you’re terribly naiive. if we lose games, it’s because we came up short on the court. period.
stop making excuses. do you see how fired up chauncey gets everytime a zoo crew member makes a play?
stop. making. excuses. we’ll do as well as we’re capable of in the playoffs this year.
^^ Amir… Johnson? Well if it is you Amir, I hope you’re right. I really have more faith in the bench, and the young guys to play to the best of their abilities every time they’re in the game. It’s that “We’ve been there before” attitude that us fans are worried about. I’ve heard Pistons players say that more than anything. And just because they’ve been their before is no guarantee they’ll ever make it back. Our window is closing rapidly, and unless they do something soon, we may go back to the days of teal jerseys.
I understand how you might feel and understand all of your points but cmon.
2nd best record in the league.
They are not gonna play well every night. And no matter what we may think, they can’t win ’em all.
Utah gives them match-up problems.
So does Chicago. The 76ers are on the rise, so don’t completely count that loss as the Pistons being sluggish.
They have lost like 5 out of 22, and each of those 5 you have complained about SOMETHING, as if the team should be broken up or disciplined everytime.
It’s just a game. It’s not always the Pistons time to win the championship. In due time Nat, in due time.
So everyone is now experts in the group dynamics of other people’s personal affairs? Sounds like a lame-duck discussion for the worldwide sports leader ESPN. Let the people involved solve the alledged problem. Im pretty sure 99.9% of you wouldn’t like if an outsider told you how to handle your problems at hand.
I love the Pistons and I’m a loyal fan to the whole city of Detroit(sports…not Kwame), but I am just being as objective as possible
Man, this shortsighted column is the reason I will never read this Mickey Mouse blog ever again.
I wanted to think a woman could run a sports blog; that is obviously not the case.