Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking Ahead

So after digesting last nights loss let's take a look ahead to tomorrows game against the Celtics.  First off, I think this will be a hard game for the Pistons to win because Boston, even though they're getting older, is still a great team.  (It pains me to pay them that kind of a compliment by the way)  In a lot of ways they remind of the last few years the Pistons had "the core" together before Wallace x 2 walked and Billups was traded.  But there a few things going for the Pistons going into this one.

Boston is a much older team and will probably have a harder time playing a fast paced game if the Pistons can keep the tempo up.  On the flip side of that, if they can't defend Boston's half court offense they're chances of getting out on the fast break will be limited.  So they NEED  to be better defensively which will hopefully feed a faster paced game which will suit them better since they're a much younger team.

The Celtics not having Paul Pierce, if he's still injured, will help the Pistons out a lot.  He seems to always kill the Pistons, and really any other team they play, with those step back mid range jumpers.  I can't stand the guy personally, but he is a good player.  And for any team to be missing one of their best players always helps the opposing team.

Over all they could walk away with a win considering the Celtics are 0 and 3 and don't seem to be clicking on all cylinders.  But they Pistons are going to have to play very well and not make a lot of mistakes to pull it off. 

The thing I most look forward to is the continuous improvement of Brandon Knight.  He played lights out last night and as I've said before, he seems like he's already been in the NBA for 1 or 2 years already.   If he continues to play the way he has I don't know how Lawrence Frank can't insert him into the starting line up.  Personally I'd like to see him and Greg Monroe develop a little inside outside game and get some chemistry together.  But over all I'm just impressed with how he can drive, draw the defense in, and then kick out to open shooters.  If there's something that the Pistons have a lot of it's people who can knock down open shots.  So to have someone like Brandon is a good thing.  They just have to start knocking down more shots.....and play much better defense.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring the Pistons their first win!!  Go Pistons!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pistons Vs. Cavs

Wow, that's all I have to say.  Hopefully they just need to play together for a while and get used to the "system" of Lawrence Frank.  But from the first two games the Pistons aren't looking real good.  I still don't understand what kind of offense they're running.  I thought they would be be a lot more aggressive and work it inside, but they still seem to be just taking a lot of bad shots....contested shots.  How can you let a team get so many offensive rebounds?  Come on guys, box out!  I don't know how many times I saw like 3 Pistons get out rebounded by 1 Cav.  Hopefully they'll pull it together here after a few games, but when you lose to a team like Cleveland by almost 20 points that's pretty bad.

The one bright spot would definitely be Brandon Knight.  I really like his game.  Again, he commits some stupid fouls, but hopefully he'll learn to minimize those.  He has great range on his shot.  I had no idea he was such a good 3 point shooter.  And on top of that he's about the only guy on the whole team who can penetrate with any success and actually finish at the rim or dish out.  (Stuckey's been trying that for years with no success) I have no idea why he's not starting at point guard and they're starting Rodney instead.  I thought the jury was out now that Stuckey isn't a point guard?  Why are they still trying to play him there.

The biggest problem I see with the Pistons is their lack of size.  I think that's why they're getting out rebounded so bad.  Dumars talks all the time about adding another big, "I'd like to add another big", well then DO IT.  You're the GM.  Make it happen.  You can't tell me that with all they players out there you can't find one decent front court player to put beside Greg Monroe.  The guy has signed/drafted more shooting guards and small forwards than anyone would know what to do with.

So I think I'll back off my prediction that they might actually make the playoffs.  If they don't make some improvements in the next 3 to 5 games I don't know that there's much hope for them this year.  Maybe they will be a lottery team again like a lot of people are predicting.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Here We Go!

Well, it's finally here.  The start of the 2011-2012 NBA season.  Personally I didn't think that we would be watching any basketball this season but lucky for us the billionaires and millionaires decided to stop fighting and play some basketball. (Note the sarcasm) I think this season has the potential to be quite unpredictable when it comes to what teams will be good or bad.  And I think the Pistons have a chance to be a pretty solid team this year.  The last few years have been brutal there's no doubt about that.  Really it all started with the Billups trade and it's been downhill from there.  And then with the team being for sale FOR EVER Joe D. apparently wasn't allowed to do....well anything.  But with a new sheriff in town (Tom Gores) it seems like things are already getting back on track.  I know it's hard to judge anything after a few days worth of training camp and a two game preseason, but from what I saw in those two games I like where this team is headed and here's a few reasons why.

Rip is finally gone!  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the guy, but his time should have been over as a Detroit Piston about two years ago.  His game did not fit with what they were trying to do and he clashed with a few too many people which caused angst in the locker room.  Plus with him having moved on, it's one less shooting guard to spread the minutes around to.  I wish Rip all the best and I hope he does great things in Chicago.  And having just watched highlights of the Bulls last preseason game on all I have to say is...WOW.  I think he'll fit right in there.  Yep, I'll predict it right now, you heard it here.  The Bulls will make the Finals this year!

We finally have a head coach who can actually coach an NBA team!  Michael Curry was a joke and Kuester wasn't that much better.  Lawrence Frank will be a good coach for this team.  They're young and they're teachable and I think he'll do a good job getting the headed in the right direction.  From what I saw in the first two preseason games it looks like they'll be playing a somewhat faster offense at times and they look to be much better defensively as well.  And it also looks like there will be an emphasis on penetration by guards which will result in a lot of kick backs for  open jump shots and a lot more getting to the free throw line.  I can't tell you how many times in the last couple years I watched these games and just sat there shaking my head wondering why they just settled for jump shot after jump shot after jump shot.

New ownership!!  Never underestimate how important having a good owner is.  Tom Gores seems like he means business which will be great for Joe Dumars.  I have to admit I've been very frustrated with that guy the last few years, but lets all give him another season or two under new ownership before we ask for his head.  So far everything he's done since the season officially started I haven't disagreed with, except maybe a little bit for the Tay resigning.  But it's not like they over payed him or anything.

And last but not least.....Brandon Knight!!!!  I wasn't crazy about the pick the night of the draft.  I wanted them to pick Kemba Walker.  And although that wouldn't have been a bad pick either, I like what I see in Brandon Knight.  He's quick, he has great shooting range, he can dish out assists, he can penetrate almost at will, and he seems to play good defense.  I watched him in the two preseason games and he honestly looks like he's been playing in the NBA for a few years already.  Minus the stupid ticky tack fouls he commits sometimes.  But he'll learn to avoid those.  He's definitely an upgrade at the point guard position and I think all he's going to do is get better.  And more important than any of these things, he's humble. 

So all in all I'm looking forward to this season and I can't wait to start watching these games as they get better and better.  I think they have a good chance at making the playoffs this season and I think we can all agree that that would be good enough for most of us considering what we've been through the last few seasons.

Until next time...go Pistons!!