Some free-floating thinking on my part…yea, I know it shows; but this is my internal dialogue. No reason to panic, but some clear pathways are opening up. Still a play off team, but I expected too much from Sheed. The front court is solid, if not, at times, spectacular (Rip/CB). Tay is what you get: 15 pts, good defense and no court presence. Naz should give you a double every night and that is what is being asked from him. Sheed and Dyess (in the first game) gave you 52 minutes and 2 points: big problem area, because they are not go-to guys and not pressure oriented. For the coaches, this is a psychological nightmare as they look down the bench. Team height is big, but slow afoot and getting slower. This means the quick pace policy instigated by Stern will change penetration levels to favor those team who react quickly. Deliberate offensive/defensive styles will have problems and you can expect high turnovers rates. Mobility (from big and small) and reactive rhythm from offense to defense will favor those teams that have, or are developing, this strategy. I believe that Pistons have the coaching talent to make this happen, and make no mistake about it, all teams will go through these transition phases. The bench is above average and it is to JD’s credit that cap limits make his shrewd judge of talent the best in the league. This is not lost on the majority of GM’s and one of the main reasons you have contract extensions emphasizing any form resembling stability and paying excessive market prices for mediocre talent to get there. Youth is not encourage to submit their immigration papers from the draft colleges and no help will come from the current activism of CBI agreements…hence, so much youth moonlighting between teams. One through five have always been the magic numbers for lucky ones and those teams who screw this up pay down the line…thanks Tony. Where are we at? I still think we are playoff bound, although there is huge parity around-the-bend. Detroit still has it culture of toughness and is a class organization. JD is going to have to pull-the-trigger before the training deadline and I don’t envy his position…still, he is one of the best around at this. My suggestion (being always outside looking in): go across the street, knock on Kevin and Carl Poston’s door (Elite Athletic Association) and say lets make a deal for Rashard Lewis. He is as good as gone from the Sonics. This young man (27) is in his prime, 6-10 (PF), 230 lbs., averages 20 pts, 80% from the line, and is your go-to type of guy. Get him now. Only one huge problem: Davidson will have to reconstruct his hard ideological approach toward the collusive winks the owners have about the luxury tax (which Isiah daily mocks). If the Pistons do the quick slide (and it can happen fairly quickly), then we must ultimately lay it on his door step.