When a Win makes it worse

by | Apr 15, 2010 | 64 comments

The Pistons did an awesome job coming back from behind and beating the Minnesota Timberwolves last night in their last game of season. The Pistons were trailing the Wolves by 16 in the third quarter, but thanks go out to Charlie Villanueva, who scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to secure the 103-98 victory.

Had the Pistons lost, they would would have either tied for the 5th worst record with the Wizards or finished in a three way tie for the 4th worst record with the Wizards and Warriors depending on the outcome of their game.

Forget that…the Pistons are now tied with the Sixers for the 6th worst record in the league. Our lottery Balls dwindled with a win (or two). Detroit now has about a 5% of the number one pick.

That still doesn’t mean the Pistons won’t get a high pick, they still have chances.  Look at the Bulls, they surprisingly got the first pick with a 1.7% chance.

I’m not screaming for the top pick, but up to a 5 would be nice.


  1. Sleepy Crayfish

    It’s a testament to just how awful Minnesota is that we beat them last night. No Rip, BG or Stuckey and we still won. Nevertheless, if we get anything less than the fifth pick because of this I’m going to be very upset. It’s fine to be competitive and play hard and all that, but to win at this point does absolutely nothing for you. In fact, it actually hurts you.

  2. Drew

    So much negativity over a win.

    Think if you were the current players. Most of these guys will all be together next year. Wouldn’t losing to Minnesota leave a bad taste in your mouth for the whole off-season? It would have been a three-game losing streak finishing the season. Instead, the team finished 4-2 in the last six games and has a little confidence going into the off-season. The young guys didn’t give up and came back from down 16 points when they could have just cashed it all in.

    Since most of these guys will still be on the roster next season (like it or not), it didn’t hurt to finish the season strongly and with a little bit of confidence and camaraderie going into what will hopefully be a more prosperous season next year.

  3. Jesse

    If you’re a player you want a stud teammate to go to war with next year. Do you honestly think come August the players will feel better because they ended the season by beating a Minnesota team that zero to play for? What should leave a bad taste in their mouth is the pathetic performance they put on all year. Any win that came after the all-star break worked towards the detriment of this team. Period.

  4. edt

    both sides tried to lose that game. Dont blame the pistons. The wolves were just so awful it became and impossible game to throw.

  5. The Fluidics

    ^The fact that Valenti thinks we should have tanked makes me think winning was a better idea even more.

  6. Jesse

    It doesn’t matter who said the actual words, the content is what is important; all the Pistons had to do last night to help themselves was nothing, and they failed. I don’t really care whether or not you like local sports radio or not, but when Valenti and Foster have talked Pistons this year (which was not often), they ended up being right about 90% of the time… a great deal of fans are just now catching up with the reality of the situation.

  7. edt

    just look on the bright side. Everyone is gonna be able to head out to the lake early this year. No playoff games to watch! Relax pop open a cool one, go jump on your boat. It’s not like anyone likes baseball, so enjoy the spring and summer. I suppose you can watch some hockey but I refuse to watch hockey in the summertime.

    It’s beautiful out there today and time to start enjoying the weather.

  8. junior

    i think the win was a good thing. i dont care about the draft we get what we get. i care about our players giving it there all no matter what the circumstances are. if the pistons of the last 3 yrs (excluding last year) would have played like that night in and night out we would have more then 1 championship banner from the last 7 yrs hanging up in the rafters. more like 3 to 4. so if by winning these games at the end of the year when everyone says we should tank gives our returning players the confidence, comaraderie, or even some charisma to go out next year and give it there all no matter what the circumstance, then so be it. i am glad that the players had enough pride to not mail it in and to try to compete even when in the face of adversity. i thank them as a true fan, a fan that never wants to see his team lose or give up no matter what. and so should all of you. so if there is any players that do read the comments on here. this is to you. thank you for all the effort you gave this year and not quiting, you were a true proffessional and no record good or bad ccan take that away from you. with that said. HIT IT HARD IN THE OFFSEASON. and thank you players, and thank you natalie for the great site. GO PISTONS

  9. adam b

    haha, yeah BOO baseball! I still watch the NBA playoffs though.

  10. The Fluidics

    The “play to lose” people must not pay for tickets or go to games, cuz it pissses me off when I go and they lose, and can’t imagine being pumped for the team to lose. It’s still a draft lottery, and you aren’t guaranteed first pick no matter how many games you lose.

  11. KleenGee

    Sorry folks, I’m not for tanking. Losing on purpose to take advantage of the lottery system is kinda like someone collecting unemployment while working under the table. The Pistons are as good as their record. Let the balls fall where they may.

    I bet it will be an exciting offseason. We’ll see what happens with the balls and the trades. I think it’s too late, but I hope Stuckey gives Big Ben back #3.

  12. junior

    yea its too late the only way stuck gives up the 3 is when ben retires and it is in the rafters

  13. James (Australia)

    Quite frankly it is not worth losing a game to increase your odds by 1 per cent. The lottery is a LOTTERY, you can finish 10th worst and pick in the top 3 you can finish 3rd worst and pick 6th. Just look at our odds of getting the number one pick – 5.3% – that means there is a 94.7% chance that we will miss, had we finished with the fifth worst we would have had a 6.6% chance, but that still means a chance of 93.4% of missing!

    I was told yesterday that I am a poor fan if I cheer my team on to win because I am being shortsighted. But there are NO guarantees from the draft (2003 anyone?). I do think the Piston players will look back at the way they finished this season and say, “Hey, we can be much better next year.” Also, think about it, if we had gone on a 16 game losing streak to finish and landed John Wall for example, is he really going to be full of enthusiasm when he sees the way this team finished?

    I think getting guys like BG, CV31, Daye, Summers, etc. playing well now, can only be good for next season, it may be even worth more than a top pick.

    Finally, I’m not entirely sure if you all know exactly how the lottery works, but the Pistons CANNOT get pick 4 or 5, so saying we want a top 5 pick is irrelevant we either get a top 3 pick or we pick 6-9.

  14. Lori

    Tanking is disgusting. Obviously, the people who think tanking is an option have never competed at anything. Not only is there self respect on the line for the team, but there’s also the fact that they are paid through the nose to go out there and try, no matter what.
    This is a lottery, folks! Even the worst team in the league might not get top pick and so what if they do? As I’ve said before, Darko was ranked second. Just because a player is rated high in the draft doesn’t necessarily translate into a fabulous NBA career.
    Losing on purpose goes against everything that a competitor aims for. And, to paraphrase, losing doesn’t build character, it just plain old sucks.

  15. James (Australia)

    Excellent posting, Lori.

  16. KG

    Not to mention tanking makes the team look shady when it comes to signing free agents..
    I mean what player wants to come to a team that looses on purpose..
    Good for the guys to go out on a high note I hope we keep both ben and will
    And I’m glad to see Kue coming

  17. Drew

    Yes, they want to play with a stud player next year, but I want the continuing players to at least like playing with and not despise each other. These last few wins helped. Plus, I don’t really care if we tank just to get a hothead like DeMarcus Cousins (whom I’m not sold on). John Wall? That’s a different story.

    As we got to see, some talent is there. Gordon and Villa both played well at the season’s beginning and end–not in the middle. If they both can find their place on this team and be more consistent and healthy, then we’ll be in business.

  18. Drew

    I guess the only sports I’ll have to watch for a while will be the NBA playoffs. I hope Chauncey and Afflalo go far for the Nuggets. I guess I’ll also keep an eye on the Suns–since I am from Arizona. Otherwise, I now have time to get to more important things, like job applications.

  19. terry

    All in all I can’t blame the pistons for going down this last week swinging. I just hope they take that attitude to the off season training. This is going to be an interesting summer for the organization.

  20. Alex Harrison

    “You’d be hard pressed to find a freshman who has dominated his opponents from a statistical standpoint the way DeMarcus Cousins has for Kentucky so far this season.

    #1 in PER (actually ranking #1 in the last 8 years in that category), Points per-40 minutes pace adjusted, rebounds per-40p, field goals made and second in free throw attempts, Cousins has answered his many critics by going out and producing in unbelievable fashion. ”

    We need to land Cousins…

  21. trav

    Darko looked good, maybe he’ll be back as a piston one day…when laimbeer is the head coach.

  22. edt

    with that last win we pretty much guaranteed no cousins. strange how the draft works.

    anyone can get 1st, 2nd or 3rd pick if you arent in the playoffs.

    #1, wall, #2 evan turner #3 derrick favors

    Then #4 goes to anyone in the top 4 that doesnt have a pick, #5 goes to anyone in the top 5 that doesnt have a pick yet, etc.

    So Pistons cant get pick #4 Wesley johnson (small forward we dont want him anyway) or #5 cousins. This leaves us with #6 pick Greg Monroe.

    If we get pick #1 or #2, we are getting wall or turner.

    There only way we get cousins is if we get ball #3 and pick demarcus cousins over derrick favors.

    I’ll be happy with greg monroe btw. He’s solid. It would have been nicers to get cousins, but oh well. July is a long way off.

  23. chris

    natalie, can we officially start the movement to switch the url to need4sweed?

  24. KleenGee

    Edt: very clear breakdown.

    Do you know if Monroe is definitely going into the NBA. He’s got good hands and his unselfishness fits in with Detroit philosophies.

    but……….there’s always that 6% chance at a top pick. Does anyone think that Dumars would trade the number 1 pick? (since Wall is playing the same position as the rest of the 13 on the roster).

  25. trav

    well yeah, trade pick if you can get a proven young big (allstar), in package with rip. Unless its in the top 3 or 4…but all depends.


    hey EDT, everyone likes baseball. GO TIGERS! ( well, yanks too cause they have granderson ( a.k.a my fave player))

  27. junior

    i think we should go after ed davis from unc hes a good big man would have had a break out season if not for a broken wrist. i think hes off the raDAR FOR THAT REASON, WE NEED TO GET A SOLID BIG (sorry about caps) not a maybe like cousins. i would rather have favors monroe or davis. GO PISTONS

  28. junior

    i dont think ANYONE likes baseball. its the most boring sport. i would rather watch golf, and thats horrible. playoffs then football should be starting. GO LIONS GO PISTONS TIGERS? who cares.

  29. Diogenes

    We want Darko! We want Darko!

    Lesson learned – drafting kids out of high school pays off at times way down the road. It’s not impossible that Darko and Amir both become very solid big men in this league. We paid for the training – others are reaping the rewards. I hope Joe D is a quick study, a good student and is still learning. If we draft that kid from Lithuania he better be prepared to give it a good five to seven years to bare fruit.

  30. Drew

    It’s not that baseball’s boring, it’s that you don’t have to be too athletically gifted to play baseball–except for a pitcher maybe, which isn’t usually that great to watch. I’d rather watch soccer at this point. NBA needs to be way ahead of the MLB, but it’s not for some reason.

  31. edt

    baseball is like shooting pool. there is no doubt that there is a ton of talent to hit the ball, you need thousands of hours of practice and years before you can hit the ball.

    but not much happens. some guy throws a ball. another guy swings. It’s just not very exciting.

    the fact is baseball is the sport of our grandparents back when the pace of life was a lot slower. basketball is the sport of our generation.

    soccer is supposed to be the sport that the rest of the world likes, but I think basketball is gaining on soccer. And of course there is football, that’s a great spectator sport. It’s the sport that is the most like war, where a team can have the best players and lose to a superior general.

    there is only one thing I dont really like about basketball, and those are the fouls at the end of a game. They really need to fix it, improve the flow of the game, so it doesn’t always end up with someone getting hacked and the players walking up and down the floor. You can change it so that anytime you get fouled the team has the option of taking it out instead of shooting free throws. this sort of fix will have to be tried in college first to see if it works and then in the pros if the audience likes it.

  32. Amer ican Prince

    usually top picks are there cause they are scorers. and scorers dont do well in the d with the team game

  33. James (Australia)

    Bad luck continues – Philadelphia won the tiebreaker so the Pistons will pick 1-3 or 7-10 and number 36 in the second round.

  34. Drew

    I think basketball is gaining on soccer too, with all the professional leagues popping up in seemingly every country, but it’s got a long way to go. It feels like basketball–maybe just the NBA–was bigger in the 90s, thanks to Jordan, Barkley, etc. I want it to be the world’s most-followed sport, but it’s got a lot of ground to make up.

    I think baseball is comparable to golf: if one can stand watching lots of golf on TV, he/she should be fine with the pace of baseball too.

  35. #1 pistons fan

    baseball tiger are good
    nba…..draft pick 1-3
    lions…also draft pick matters

  36. Amer ican Prince

    i hope basketball doesnt keep growing honestly. if it does a lot of the overseas great players wont have to come here and ill miss out on seeing them

  37. blam

    lol american prince thats pretty selfish

  38. pistons 4 life

    Mike Valenti is an idiot. You play to win every game. It’s classless to loose games on purpose to improve your draft pick. Here’s some names for you Mike, and everyone else bitching about “OUR” team not tanking:
    Amare Stoudemire-9th pick
    Tracy McGrady-9th pick
    Dirk Nowitzki-9th pick
    Caron Butler-10th pick
    Andrew Bynum-10th pick
    Paul Pierce-10th pick

    And oh yeah:
    Kobe fricking Bryant-13th pick

    Now can we please stop all the complaining and just hope that Joe D. uses the pick well. I’d be more worried about that than what pick we end up with.

  39. steve

    pistons 4 life.. get off joe ds jock

  40. edt

    1996 had steve nash, allen iverson, ray allen, stephon marbury, dampier, kobe, jermaine o’neal, zydrunas illgauskas (20th), derek fisher (24th), chucky atkins (undrafted), Ben Wallace (undrafted). 1996 was an incredible year.

    2010 looks to be about 6 players deep. Everyone knew 1996 was gonna be a nuts year, just like everyone knew 2003 would be nuts.

    1996 was the best draft class of all time. A 13th pick from 1996 is like a top 6 pick from 2010.

    I think i might have missed a few from 1996, stojakavoic, abdur rhaim, antoine walker, who else?

  41. Chad

    agreed, i’d rather watch antique roadshow than baseball. but i think soccer is outpacing basketball in terms of the rate in which its gaining popularity.

  42. the D

    Thanks for your opinion edt. There are sleepers in every class though, so to say this draft only goes 6 deep is silly. We don’t know yet.

  43. Chad

    kinda funny.. look at the draft order in 94

    1 Milwaukee Glenn Robinson F Purdue
    2 Dallas Jason Kidd G California
    3 Detroit Grant Hill F Duke
    4 Minnesota Donyell Marshall F Connecticut
    5 Washington Juwan Howard F Michigan
    6 Philadelphia Sharone Wright C Clemson
    7 L.A. Clippers Lamond Murray F California

  44. Chad

    + sacramento @ #8

  45. steve

    mike valenti is the only reason i listen to sports radio because he doesnt lather in detroit butter like you all.. your team sucks and will never have a superstar.. u all sucks i laugh when they lose just because i know it ruins all your days.

  46. Jesse

    Why are people arguing against having a higher draft pick? How does that even begin to make sense? The best prospects are taken at the top of the draft, nobody will ever convince me that it doesn’t matter whether you get the first pick or the tenth; I think people are just rationalizing.

    In this years all-star game, 16 of the 28 players selected were top 5 picks. 6 more were drafted in the 6-10 range, and the last 6 were taken later in the first round.
    In the 2009 game, 14 of the 26 were top 5 picks. In 2008, 15 of the 26. In 2007, 14 of the 29…. The point is that more than half of the elite players in the league are drafted in those five spots….. And since 1980, The Pistons have had 3 top 5 picks: Darko, Hill and Isiah.

    Just to really drive the point home, since the lottery started every team that has made it to the finals had at least one top 5 pick on their roster. It might even go back further than that, but I don’t feel like doing the research.

  47. junior

    y is that funny?

  48. junior

    hey jesse not EVERY team had a top 5 pick that went to the finals are you forgetting . . . . . the 04-05 pistons? hello? thats our team and there was NOT a top 5 pick on that team. maybe u should have done the research, lol

  49. pistons 4 life

    Steve, what does my comment have to do with Joe D’s jock. If anything I was insulting him because his draft history is honesty pretty bad. All I’m saying is that you can still get pretty good players with where they’re most likely going to be picking from.

  50. edt

    ‘sheed 1st round 4th pick by washington bullets, antonio mcdyess though he didnt win a ring, was largely responsible for our playoff success after 05, 2nd pick round 1, darko milicic #2 lol, but if you are being a stats guy junior, sorry but you have to count darko.

    If you look at the past success of players, most of them live up to their potential, the reason that players dont is almost always due to injuries, just look at grant hill or antonio mcdyess who both blew their legs out and had to adapt their style of play to be a success.

    Then there is the darko or kwame. These are players with tons of potential but zero effort. That is a lot less common reason for a player to be picked high and not success.

    There will always be a Ben Wallace in the NBA draft that gets picked last but later people find out he’s awesome.

    What generally does not happen though is that a player be picked top 5 and is a bust. That is really rare. Almost always a top 5 pick turns out to be a top 5 player, unless he gets hurt.

    The reason that darko is such a horrible awful disaster is because it is so incredibly rare. If NBA GM’s were constantly picking losers in the top 5 picks, then the darko mistake would not be a big deal. But it is a big deal. The worst pick of all time! Which sort of proves the point. If you get a top 5 player you are getting quality.

    Later picks can have quality. like Jonas Jerebko who looks to be an all star, or Ben Wallace who has performed at an incredible level for the pistons (even if he did little for cleveland and chicago).

    There’s no question getting a higher pick is better. And we had some top 5 picks on our piston team over the last decade.

    But it’s also true that there has been no team that has succeeded in winning a championship with less “star power” however you want to define it. No Kobe, no Michael Jordan, no Kobe, no Kevin Garnett. In retrospect though, maybe Billups should have been called our superstar. Because of the way that billups plays, so understated, he’s never gotten enough respect, that is not until he went to denver.

  51. Jesse

    In addition to Sheed, Dice and Darko, Chauncey was also the #3 pick.

  52. Lori

    How come we have to put up with steve? Does every site need a resident troll or something? He doesn’t seem to do anything but spew hate. Can he go bye-bye?

  53. James (Australia)

    LOL, junior, need to be careful when you start sprouting off stuff like that. Make sure you know your facts.

    Edt, I have always wondered about that. People harp on about the Pistons being a team that had no superstar, but won a championship, Ben Wallace won FOUR defensive player of the year awards, Billups is constantly being talked about in MVP lists. Prince made a quite a few all- defensive teams, and Hamilton is one of the best scorers in the NBA. We may not have had a 30 point scorer, or a 20 and 10 guy, but there was no doubt we had the best starting five in the NBA.

    I would LOVE to get a top 3 pick, but if we don’t we still can get a quality player.

  54. Jesse

    Actually I was wrong though, Jazz didn’t have a top 5 pick in 97 or 98, and the Trail Blazers didn’t have one in 90 or 92. Its still an overwhelming majority though.

  55. junior

    i was saying a pick that we drafted, and no i dont count darko only for the fact that he didnt contribute ANYTHING to the team the whole time he was here. but ya ur right i read ur comment wrong you meant where any player was drafted not the respected team they started with. my bad.

  56. junior

    with the 7th pick in the 2010 nba draft the detroit pistons select

    ED DAVIS from the university of north carolina.

    solid pick, he has my vote

  57. junior

    so who do the lions pick 2nd? im going with suh seems very solid.

  58. Tycoon

    Lets hope for the best on the draft.
    Btw, Nat, our last game vs Wolves was a W not an L. Standing is correct though =)


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