Detroit Pistons - A blueprint for success

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by MotownPride, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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    The Joe Dumars blueprint for creating a championship franchise is pretty extraordinary. I wonder just how much of this was calculated and how much of this was luck. Regardless, the results have been amazing.

    When you think about when Joe Dumars inherited the Detroit Pistons he was staring at a franchise that had loss its fan support, championship swagger and could not land an upper tier free agent to save its life. Grant Hill was leaving the franchise. We couldn't even get homegrown players like Jalen Rose or Chris Webber to give us a look. Most GMs would consider this an unwinnable situation. But fortunately for Detroit, we don't have just any GM...with have Joey D!

    So what did Joey D. do?
    • slashed ticket prices to be the cheapest in the league
    • brought back traditional late 80's championship Detroit Pistons uniforms
    • brought players to the team with short term contracts that fit the bill of journeyman or underachiever that had something to prove
    • instilled a philosophy of only bringing in high "character" guys
    • invested a large deal of resources to scouting "European" (International) talent as free agent/draft prospects
    • got bigger! added more PFs and Cs to the roster
    • brought in a great X's and O's coach Rick Carlisle that had something to prove as well
    Result:
    • Two 50 Win seasons
    • Reinspired fan base that buys into the Pistons blue collar philosophy
    • Coach of the Year, Six Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year
    • Emerging young talent
    • Playoff Experience
    • Developed a defensive identity
    • Evolving to a clutch team ~ Spotless record in overtime games
    • Discipline and a winning attitude (Thank you Rick Carlisle)
    Dayummmmmmmm!!!!!

    To most GMs this would be considered a success in itself, but not our famous #4! Joe Dumars is in it to win championships. Early criticism of the Pistons said that we could not win without a superstar player...and our collection of players (Chauncey, Rip, Prince, Wallace and Robinson/Campbell/Okur/Williamson) simply was not the answer. Critics questioned Carlisle ability to make adjustments in the playoffs. So what was Joey D's response?
    • Hired a Hall of Fame coach
    • Got Even Bigger! Stacked up with quality PFs and Cs
    • Drafted Darko with the #2 overall pick of the draft
    • Aquired by trade and resigned Rasheed Wallace without the overhead of losing one of its core players
    • Actively attacked free agency to bring in complimentary players (Hunter, James, McDyess, etc..)
    • Incrementally raised ticket prices
    Results:
    • Two NBA Finals appearances
    • Responsible for the biggest upset in NBA Finals History
    • NBA Championship
    • Defensive Team Records (most games holding an opponent to under 70 points, etc...)
    • Three all defensive team players in Billups, Prince and Wallace
    • Rated top franchise in all of sports
    • Evolution of starting five into all-star candidates
    • On the list of one of the most desireable teams for free agents
    • Strict attention to details. (Thank you Coach Brown)
    So with one championship already on the books, what does Joey D plan to do from here? Win more championships of course. Dumars knows that this is the only way these Pistons will truely be noted in history as being special. With the loss of Coach Brown and the non-existence of a productive bench our visionary had a new list of issues to deal with. Dumars had to establish/secure a strategy for insuring that his team evolves into a dynasty while laying the groundwork for future contention so as not to ever be in the position we were in during the mid to late 90's. So he got busy:
    • Hired an offensive minded coach, Flip Saunders, with the hope of elevating our offensive production while maintaining our defensive prowess
    • Continued to invest in our young talent (Arroyo, Delfino, Darko) and evolve them into a strong bench/future of franchise
    • Continued to bring in complimentary talent through free agency (Evans, Davis)
    • Continued to secure the Pistons core to long term deals without crippling the franchise financially
    • Completely dropped all references to the old Pistons Horse logo and Teal with the exception of Hooper. (Thank the LORD!)
    Will these latest changes lead to another championship and many more to come? I wouldn't bet against Joe.

    Joe Dumars, NBA Finals MVP. Someone forgot to tell him it was only supposed to be for one season. :)
  2. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    Nice job Motown...
    Oh yeah there was definitely some luck involved...
    Tried to get G. Hill to stay
    Tried to get Tim Thomas to sign a big long term contract.
    One of his most underrated moves was bringing Uncle Cliffy here in exchange for garbage.. this brought a veteran stabilizing influence to the team... league respectability eventually led to other FA signings

    The man's got guts... the Stackhouse deal and the Carlisle firing showed that he's willing to go against public sentiment and make the real tough moves instead of falling victim to the losers loyalty game.
    IMO the Tayshaun draft made up for Cleaves and Rodney White (since we got value in trades)

    Even Ben isn't beyond Joe's keen scrutiny for talent.

    Now if Darko turns into a dominant big man... Joe should make the HOF on GM decisions alone.
  3. Winless Wonders

    Winless Wonders Starter Forum Donor

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    I think Joe had a great plan. I don't think the luck part played a role into much later in the process. When the team lost Grant Hill combed the Magic's roster for players that he could work with. Big Ben and Chucky were two players he felt he could build with. Ben brought the defensive presence that reminded Joe of the Bad Boy era.

    As for the luck part I think luck factored more in the RIP and Sheed moves. RIP was a decent player but by no means was he as explosive as Stackhouse at the time. The move was definately a gamble but looking at Stackhouse with his knee problems starting to mount and his hot head temper along with the price tag to resign him it was a risk he was willing to take. Getting Sheed was also a stroke of luck. No one new that Sheed was that good of a defensive player with him playing out west. Sheed was brought in to bring a low post presence and give the team a attitude that was missing. Sheed's rep was feared by many of us. Sheed proved that you can always believe what you hear you have to see it for yourself.

    I think the bottom line what makes Joe a great GM is that he has for the most part stayed with the plan. He gets guy's who may not be the most talented but guy's who are hard workers and are determined to make themself better players. He brings in guy's who fit the chemistry of the team. I will always take heart over talent any day and that is what Joe D does.

    Now only if the Lions realized this!!!:doh:
  4. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Great post Motown! An excellent read.
  5. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

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    Thanks Motown, Merc, Winless!!

    Three great posts all in a row. The plan is working and it seems to me has us positioned to be competitive for years to come.

    I wonder how much of the plan Joe shared with Bill D., at its inception. Seems like Bill is also pretty perceptive if he was in on it from the beginning. Otherwise, I wonder if he just told Joe, do what you think is best in the long run.

    It will be very interesting to see how long this sets up the Pistons to run with the big dogs.
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Nice post Mo.

    I think JD was lucky early, and that luck created momentum for the franchise. Joe has made some excellent moves, and in retrospect showed a lot of moxie taking Darko with the #2 knowing it would take time for him to develop, rather than trading down for quantity over quality.
  7. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

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    you realize though somewhere down the road joe will have to give up on this core 5 because of age, it won't be very soon but it's going to come and it will suck.
  8. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Joe D

    Some of Joe D's best moves were the removal of people. He unloaded a couple of huge contracts for worthless players (Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught) very early in his tenure. How he got any team to go along with those deals still amazes me.
  9. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    Jud Buechler

    Joe honored a promise made by previous administration to sign Buechler...Joe ain't no Carlos Boozer, he is a man that honors committments. The cool thing about this deal though is that Buechler ended up getting traded with John Wallace for Cliff Robinson....one of the best deals Joe has ever pulled off.

    Jon Barry for Cleaves and a pick wasn't a bad move either.

    Good post MotownPride.
  10. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    Great post Motown!!!!!!!!!!!

    Luck played a part, but it was mostly Joe's vision that built this team.
  11. KP

    KP First Round Draft Pick

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  12. Warthog

    Warthog Bench Warmer

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    uhh that's what he said KP lol, read again! :)
  13. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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    Thanks fellas. Like most of the people in this forum, I can't get enough of the Pistons. I take great pride in discussing the ends and outs of the greatest franchise in sports with my people. :)
  14. TWOTIMESRALPHI

    TWOTIMESRALPHI Team Captain 3x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Joe D. really tried to get Tim Thomas for a long contract? And wanted to lock up Grant Hill???
  15. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    "Luck is the residue of preparation," Branch Rickey once said, which is to say that there wasn't that much luck involved.

    What Joe really did was take a few very simple, common-sense beliefs and stick to them even when they bucked the prevailing wisdom. Here are a few I've always liked.

    * While other teams cleared cap space to chase superstar free agents, Joe used his cap space in trades so that he could swap an average player for a better-than-average player with a bigger salary.

    * This same tactic meant the Pistons could afford enough talent for two strong lineups, which meant in the early years that our bench actually had the job of winning games. If our starters could keep it close (and here Rick Carlisle's slowdown tempo was perfect), our second unit would blow away opposing benches that could only afford one or two decent reserves after all the max contracts were handed out.

    * Defense, rebounding, toughness ... well, we know what Joe likes. No secrets there. So why didn't more teams figure out that those qualities were not only rare, but cheap to stock? Search me. Maybe they were too busy reading all those ESPN and Sports Illustrated articles about what a great job Michael Jordan was doing, while quiet ol' Joe just plugged away.

    * Very important, and a lesson the Lions and Tigers have ignored over the years, is Joe's understanding that a Detroit team must commit itself to reflecting the roots of its fan base. This is not only a good marketing insight, but a realistic assessment of Detroit's limited attractiveness to potential free agents. And it's also an on-the-field philosophy that gives structure and coherence to every decision.

    For example, Tom Wilson tried to sell a slicker Pistons team, and fans really didn't warm to it. The Lions? They've wasted two decades on fancy run & shoot/West Coast offense stuff without realizing that the team's glory days started with bone-crunching defense. And the Tigers have tried to fool fans with a few flashy free agent moves that only revealed just how limited their vision was. But Joe knew the kind of guys he wouldn't have to beg to come to Detroit. And once they came, the fans embraced them as their own.

    It all fits together, which is what we call integrity. And what Joe Dumars brought to the Pistons.

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