State of the team address: The quarter year edition

by | Dec 9, 2010 | 17 comments

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Site Manager Natalie, N4S Commenters, Friends of N4S, and fellow Pistons Nation followers:

Our Mission Statement declares that from time to time, the content providers of this site shall give to Pistons Nation, information about the state of our basketball team.  For 4 seasons, our content providers have fulfilled this duty.  They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility.  And they have done so in the midst of turmoil and depression; at moments of great concern and great struggle.

It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that the team’s progress was inevitable.  That the Pistons were always destined to be among the best NBA franchises in the league.  But when the Pistons dealt away Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, 50 win seasons were very much in doubt.  When the free agency period crashed with the signings of $11 million and $7 million dollar per year bench warmers, the future was anything but certain.  These are times that are testing the strength of our fandom, and the strength of Pistons Nation.  And despite all of our disagreements and opinions; our harsh words and our fears; we must fight through the negativity and push through knowing that better days are ahead.

Over the summer, I took this position during an offseason that saw the Pistons win 27 games the previous season, a salary cap situation that included what are assumed to be untradeable contracts, a roster that has 4 small forwards and no post scoring big men, and a team that is up for sale.  Experts from across the NBA blogosphere warned that if Joe Dumars did not wise up, this team would be headed towards a new “Teal era”.  5 months later my friends, we are on our way to another disappointing season.

The devastation of questionable moves remains.  They are an eyesore to a fanbase that has seen this team have success in the early part of this decade, and to the nerds who bury their noses in stat books and “per 36” stat projections for players who play 15 minutes a night.  This team is no better than is was at the end of last season, except for the health of the individuals on the roster.  Add to this the fact that the team still remains up for sale, and while rumors still fly about whether Mike Illitch will become owner or not, the team is stuck in neutral without an identity while we draw ever closer to the February trading deadline.

This unsettled ownership situation has also compounded the burden of improving the roster through trades and player acquisition.  Without an owner in place, front office executives are afraid to make moves, to take on salary that could potentially put them in a bad situation once new ownership takes over.

I know about the anxieties that are out there, right now.  They are not new to 75% of the NBA team fanbases, but they are very new for us.  These struggles are the reason I offered to help contribute to this site.  These struggles are what I’ve witnessed during the years of the “Teal era”.  I read about them now on opposing team’s blogs and game threads, the fans of opposing teams who troll our Pistons’ sites now, even though they couldn’t beat the Pistons during their great run from 2001-2008, now brag and boast because they beat the Detroit Pistons.  The toughest to read are those written by people who I have called out previously for “bad shtick”, because now their voices are louder than ever.

We face big and difficult challenges.  This is our rock bottom, folks.  At the quarter mark of the season we are on pace for roughly 27-28 wins if the team keeps pace.  The team has shown flashes of brilliance sometimes, and they’ve shown absolutely no effort other times.  I still believe.  Change can happen.

I believe that with the right changes, this team can turn it around and become a playoff team next year (if not sooner).  The team has the pieces in place, with players like Ben Gordon, Austin Daye, Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey, etc who can shoulder the burden of carrying this team into the next generation.  The team is built on the strength of the unit as a whole, not as individuals.

It is time for this team to stop playing as individuals, and to come together as one.  Moves need to be made but more importantly, the team needs to be sold so the front office is stabilized.  We need to be patient, as a fanbase.  Improvements will happen.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts on how the season is going.  The team has been a disappointment so far but, anyone who expected them to win 15 of their first 20 games and is now criticizing them for not accomplishing it, is likely more of a problem than the team.  The team is behind pace for my 30+ win prediction, but they are who I thought they were.  The roster is unbalanced, the coaching staff seems to be missing the point of having young players on the team during a rebuilding period, and the front office can’t make any moves.

The state of the team is: not good, with a few players performing above expectations while most are performing below.  The team may or may not need a new coach.  Until the talent improves, there is no way in telling what Coach Kuester can actually do to help this team succeed.

In closing, I want to preach patience.  Sure, things could be better but they could definitely be worse.  I appreciate how civil everyone has been in the game threads, game recaps, and during the live chats.  These are trying times for us, as Pistons fans.  We will once again rise up, and fire up that bandwagon again (for all the ass cats).  I promise you.

Just a reminder: If you have an account on twitter, you can follow my nonsense here and you can follow Natalie’s “PG” rated ranting here


  1. Natalie Sitto

    A glimmer of hope and something for Pistons fans to look forward to.

    “It is time for this team to stop playing as individuals, and to come together as one. Moves need to be made but more importantly, the team needs to be sold so the front office is stabilized. We need to be patient, as a fanbase. Improvements will happen.”

    Sometimes we may get caught up into what’s going on right now and not thinking towards the future, but you truly made us think.Thanks Danny!

  2. Lucas

    Great post! This team has the core in the youth to be a threat in the future, yet we just need to move those lagging core pieces who are of no help anymore.

  3. Friggins

    For those who are disappointed to learn this team will in fact have a rough season, welcome to rebuilding. That being said, this team is in much better position to rebuild than the Teal era. We’ve got a lot of young talent on rookie contracts in Daye, Stuckey, Jerebko, Monroe. We’ve also got 3 picks next year in our 1st rounder (projected lottery), our 2nd rounder, and TORs 2nd rounder (basically a 1st rounder). We’ve got expiring contracts in Tay and Wilcox. And yes, we have some disappointing contracts in Hamilton and Maxiel. Sure, you can make the case that Gordon and Villanueva are disappointing contracts but you can also make the case that they’re in their prime and may still prove some worth.

    I’d rather rebuild around all of the aforementined than
    Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins
    Kevin Love and 16 Point Guards
    John Wall and Gilbert Arenas
    Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani
    Meniscus-less Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and no cap space

    We gonna be aight. The only thing gettin me down is the pending sale of the franchise.

  4. rai_from_the_philippines

    “This is our rock bottom, folks” – and there’s nowhere else to go but up. Hopefully, the rebuilding does not take too long. GO P!!!

  5. Steve Jobs

    I would like to think positive, but then I realize what is going on. We have a terrible team and with this roster its quite possible that we won’t be good again for years to come. It’s possible that within the next ten years we never return to the NBA elite. If making the playoffs this year or in a few years is good enough for you well then fine, but it’s not for me. This team is one of the worst teams in basketball to watch; not entertaining at all. It seems like all they do is stand around and wait for one person to do something. The sooner this team gets blown up, the sooner we make the playoffs. As of right now we have nothing to look forward to besides another middle lottery pick. DO Something Joe or you will lose fans.

  6. Freezola75

    Aww man what a great read! I have the patience and will support the DETROIT PISTONS until the Baltimore Bullets return to home (which will never happen so..) I’ve always had my eye on the bad boys of the midwest and when I moved here about 9 years ago, it was no other team I loved more than these shit talkin, face punchin, zeek dancin’, Detroit Rock City attitude having , defense having, rebound grabbin’, leaving all opposing teams with ONLY 70 points or less night type of doodes that I would root for… When ya’ll down and almost out, WE will be here (EVEN WHEN IT’S TOO PAINFUL TOO WATCH), I WILL BE HERE! GO PISTONS!!

  7. Hagop

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with going through a rebuilding period, I’ve been through it myself. Two years ago, I joined a church team with a bunch of youngsters. For back to back seasons, we were knocked out early from playoff hope; however, this season we’re already at the top of the league with a 5-0 record. The only thing we had was patients. Sure, sometimes I wanted to bash my coaches over the head with the white board, maybe sometimes I wanted to give my teammates an earful, but I didn’t. I stayed patient, and it paid off. My point to fans is that there’s nothing wrong with going through a rebuilding process. You can’t expect a team to go 50+ wins forever. Things like this are going to happen and things are going to change. It’s a cycle, and that’s the way things work. Things will get better sooner or later, and Pistons will return back to the top. I guarantee it. Go Pistons!!!

  8. Benix86

    Dan thank you for making my day better with that picture of sheed its been tough but need4sheed is always there.

  9. Keith (Australia)

    Agree with a lot of what has been written.
    Will continue to support the team no matter what and i am looking forward to the eventual turn around that will come.
    The young talent is here all it really needs is some leadership.

    As Batman has taught us.
    Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again.

    The true fans will continue to support you Pistons.

  10. N1ck

    Feelin’ such warmth round’ my heart readin’ these posts…
    True fans. I only wish there was more of us in the Palace…
    Go Pistons!

  11. MobTown

    Let’s be realistic about the team we will field next year:

    PG’s – Stuckey? Bynum and White
    SG’s – Hamilton, Gordon
    SF’s – Daye, Jerebko, Summers
    PF’s – Monroe, Villanueva
    C’s- Wallace, Maxiell

    If we re-sign Stuckey, Jerebko, Summers, and the three rooks, that’s going to be close to all of the money that will be allowed under the CBA.

    IMO, Dumars is going to take a long hard look at his Stuckey investment. He hinged his career on the move to usher Billups out and have Stuckey start learning the leading role and become the head of the new class of Pistons.

    Going forward on this year:
    – Look for Monroe to start breaking out at the end of the season when he gets comfortable with defensive schemes, the pace of the game, etc.

    – Look for Daye to get more play either because Prince is traded or because Kuester finally gives up on Prince. I think Daye felt kind of slighted by the acquisition of McGrady this year, and that’s why he and Q have mixed it up.

    – Stuckey should start coming on after the All-Star break, I think there will be a better picture of where the team is heading after the pending sale and the trade deadline.

    On a sidenote:
    Look at the season that Darko is putting together, and remember to punch the next person that states that he was the biggest bust ever and Dumars is overrated. As they lay bleeding on the ground, tell them, “You are overrated!”

    We’ve got great youth, we just need to play them! ¡via los ‘Stons!

  12. Joe

    I remember making fun of the Hawks a few years ago, when they passed on Chris Paul in favor of Marvin Williams, and proceeded to build a team consisting of small forwards and nothing else. It’s not so funny when it happens to us. Sigh.

  13. Joe

    “I’d rather rebuild around all of the aforementined than
    Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins
    Kevin Love and 16 Point Guards
    John Wall and Gilbert Arenas
    Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani
    Meniscus-less Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and no cap space”

    Let’s see… the Kings are basically in the same boat as us. Their success will depend on Cousins and his ability to mature and be a winner. Also, Tyreke needs to get healthy… but they have some decent pieces to build around.

    Minnesota is pretty bad, I agree. But they have Love, Darko, Wes Johnson, Beasley, Flynn, etc. They are at least as good as us.

    The Wizards are in a much better position than us, with Wall, Blatche, McGee. Everyone else is expendable, but those 3 make a good core to build around. You can plug in virtually any 2-guard into that lineup and they will immediately benefit from playing alongside John Wall. I would switch rosters with the Wizards in a second.

    The Raptors… they are terrible.

    The Blazers are a great team and they play with heart and toughness, unlike many of our players. Even with all the injuries, they go out and compete every night – just look at how tough they played the Celtics. They are also well-coached, so they get maximum production out of all their role players, whether you are talking about Batum or Matthews. It is just plain ignorant to criticize that team.

  14. vic

    Any nation, as well as any team; rises and falls based on its leadership. And leadership must rise from every level.
    At this point in Pistons nation, the leader with the most capability to influence change is the Coach. Greg Monroe has been raising his intensity level, his rebounding, his scoring, and his passing. Coach can insert him into the starting lineup. He is not too short and not too skinny to be a capable defender against other starting power forwards. Also, his high and low post offensive capabilities and ability to pass will help the stagnant iso-based offense of the 1st unit… that so often shuts down in the 3rd quarter due to lack of passing and lack of an offensive flow that comes from having a post option.
    Coach has already improved the 2nd unit with the insertion of the TMac, a talented creator and distributor. Its time for him to put Monroe as the starting power forward. Or else we will keep losing games, fans, and hope.

  15. Dave

    I agree with Danny, as unpopular and painful as it may be, we’re not going to get instant gratification here. But I’m keeping the faith!

  16. daddy

    what is the worst part is we are one of the worst teams in the nba. I know we werent winning many games but in the same boat as the clippers and the nets it pitiful. i will root for my team anyday but seriously never thought id see the day where we dont compete. i really do wish we hired avery, hell ill talk don nelson right now.

  17. edt

    yeah if we had avery johnson we’d be just like the awesome nets are right now . . . last in the eastern conference, instead of next to last.

    you just can’t polish a turd

    everyone who thinks Q is the problem has not taken a good hard look at this team. we are made entirely of mediocre small foward/shooting guards. No coach in the world can change that

    Look at that Nets team. They are gonna win 25 or so games this year. 27 or 28 games next year. 30 or 32 games the year after that, which is Avery’s last year on his contract and probably when he moves to a championship team or goes back to his day job. The nets are terrible, and going to be terrible for a few more years.

    Unless you think Avery Johnson is taking the Nets all the way baby.


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