January 2005 Pistons articles

Discussion in 'Pistons Archive' started by Zoso, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 27th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Billups possesses the five tools for success
    Point guard runs Pistons' offense with efficiency, like having a 'quarterback on the floor'.
    By Chris McCosky

    Let's, just once, not talk about the play of Chauncey Billups as it relates to a possible All-Star spot or Most Valuable Player award candidacy.

    Let's not compare and contrast him to other great point guards in the NBA.

    Let's just set it out and admire it for what it is -- mature, efficient, brilliant and winning point-guard play.

    Boston acquires 3 from Minnesota
    Celtics get Szczerbiak, Olowokandi and Jones; Timberwolves land Blount, Banks, Davis.
    Detroit News wire services

    The Boston Celtics acquired Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi from the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night in a multiplayer deal that sent Ricky Davis and three other players to Minnesota.

    Davis, Mark Blount, Marcus Banks, Justin Reed and two conditional second-round draft picks are going to the Timberwolves. The Celtics also get Dwayne Jones and a future first-round pick, Celtics representative Jeff Twiss said.

    Bottom of the second: Around the sports world
    Chucky Atkins will be back in the house tonight, playing for his fourth team since being traded by Detroit in 2004.

    "It'll be good to see Chucky, just as long as he doesn't come in and do what he did last time," Ben Wallace said.

    Atkins' last visit to The Palace was Nov. 25. He scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. Washington won in double overtime.
    He was released by the Wizards and signed with the Grizzlies this week.
    By Chris McCosky

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Old friend Atkins back at Palace
    By Krista Lathem

    The Pistons will greet a familiar friend tonight, one they hope doesn't act in a familiar way.

    Former Pistons point guard Chucky Atkins, with his fourth team since Detroit traded him in 2004, is the newest member of the Memphis Grizzlies, who play the NBA-leading Pistons (35-5) at the Palace tonight.

    Atkins arrived in Memphis this week to fill the void left by the injured Damon Stoudamire. Unhappy with his role in Washington, the Wizards agreed to waive Atkins last week, and after he realized he had little chance to land with the team that has his heart -- Detroit -- he signed with Memphis.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Pistons remain greedy for wins
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The Detroit Pistons reach the halfway point of the regular season tonight, with the goals being no different than they were when training camp began in October.

    "We're trying to be greedy, trying to win every game that we can," said Pistons forward Antonio McDyess.

    They've come pretty close to doing that, winning 35 of their first 40 games.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    At halfway mark, Pistons rate almost all A's
    By Dana Gauruder

    Chauncey Billups saw it coming.

    Not the 35-5 record. That wasn't on the agenda.

    What Billups envisioned was two worlds colliding, forming a utopian society. After absorbing all of Larry Brown's lessons about patience, unselfishness and defense, the Pistons were ready for a coach who would allow their individual talents to flourish. Flip Saunders would broaden their horizons and bring a rainbow of colors to their vanilla offense.

    Now they live in perfect harmony, just how Billups pictured it.


  2. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ~ Detroit News ~

    Pistons 95, Grizzlies 89
    Billups pushes Pistons to victory No. 36
    Mr. Big Shot scores 34 in team's 10th straight win.
    By Dana Wakiji

    They don't call him Mr. Big Shot for nothing.

    With his team trailing by three points with just over three minutes to play, Chauncey Billups scored 10 straight points on four free throws and two three-pointers, willing the Pistons to a 95-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Friday at The Palace.

    Billups had 16 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter of the Pistons' season-best 10th straight win.

    "It doesn't amaze me," said Tayshaun Prince, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. "It doesn't amaze anybody on our team because we know what he's capable of doing."

    Pistons: Notebook
    Wallace reconsidering vacation plans
    Rasheed could get All-Star start with injury to Pacers' O'Neal.
    By Dana Wakiji

    Rasheed Wallace's plans for fun in the sun might have to be put on hold.

    The Indiana Pacers announced that forward Jermaine O'Neal, Wallace's former teammate in Portland, will miss eight weeks because of a groin tear, meaning O'Neal won't be able to make the All-Star Game in Houston February 19.

    "It's always been a big thing for fans to vote as far as who they want," said Pistons coach Flip Saunders, who will coach the Eastern Conference team. "Right now, Rasheed was at 600,000 or whatever it was and he's third on the list. I would think that it would be a pretty good reason for him to be the next guy. Not only just because of his votes, but how he's played. Right now he's been the best power forward in the East, how he's played through the first 40 games. You look at what our record is and how he's played. I guess you'd have to give me a reason why he shouldn't be."

    With new coach and style, the Pistons are tough to beat
    By Larry Lage A/P

    The Detroit Pistons are off to one of the best starts in NBA history because a championship-caliber team has found a way to improve.

    New coach Flip Saunders has managed to help the 2004 champions, who fell just short of repeating last year, become more explosive on offense while maintaining their stifling defense.

    "He has brought a new brand of basketball here," Detroit point guard Chauncey Billups said. "We're not boring to watch anymore."

    Artest: 'I've learned from my mistakes'
    By Jimmy Golen A/P

    Ron Artest wants people to remember some of the good things he did in Indiana, too.

    The former Pacers troublemaker started for Sacramento against the Boston Celtics on Friday night, two days after he was traded to the Kings for Peja Stojakovic. Artest scored seven of the Kings' first 15
    points and finished with 15, but Boston won 84-74.

    "I'm going to play hard. That's all I can do," he said before the game.

    "Things that were distractions to my team in the past -- I've learned from my mistakes, and I look forward to those things not happening."

    Stojakovic says he's healthy, ready to help Pacers
    By Cliff Brunt A/P

    Peja Stojakovic believes the Sacramento Kings traded him to a playoff contender when they sent him to the Indiana Pacers for Ron Artest.

    "When I heard it was the Pacers, I was really happy," he said. "It's a great organization, the team is great. I hope I can fit into the system pretty fast."

    Stojakovic arrived in Indianapolis on Friday and sat out the Pacers' game against Cleveland. The Pacers decided he won't play until Tuesday's game at Washington. His first home game will be Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Bibby the last of the division-champion Kings left
    By Brian Mahoney

    Mike Bibby doesn't have anywhere left to go in the Sacramento locker room when he wants to talk about the good ol' days.

    When the Kings sent Peja Stojakovic to Indiana in the deal for Ron Artest, it left Bibby as the only remaining player from the teams that won consecutive Pacific Division titles and nearly reached the 2002 NBA Finals.

    The core of the team that won an NBA-high 61 games that season gradually was broken up in recent years. Vlade Divac left after the 2003-04 season. Doug Christie was traded away last January, and Chris Webber was sent to Philadelphia a little more than a month later.

    Andersen dismissed from league for violating drug policy
    By Brian Mahoney A/P

    New Orleans Hornets forward Chris Andersen was dismissed and disqualified from the NBA on Friday for violating the league's drug policy.

    Andersen must wait two years before he can apply for reinstatement, the league said.

    According to the league's collective bargaining agreement, a player can only be disqualified for a fourth positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, or a first positive test for "drugs of abuse."

    The drugs on that list are amphetamine and its analogs, which include methamphetamine; cocaine; LSD; opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine; and PCP.

    Andersen has not previously tested positive for steroids.


    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Streakers
    Pistons (36-5) win 10 straight from Billups' surge
    By Krista Latham

    Few teams can survive poor shooting, foul trouble and a higher than normal turnover count and still be in position to win in the final minutes.

    But these Pistons aren't like most teams. They don't just get into position -- they win.

    And Chauncey Billups is not like most point guards. He doesn't just find the big shots -- he hits them.

    Billups broke open a close game with a personal 10-0 run in the final three minutes Friday night. He hit four free throws and two three-pointers that gave the Pistons an 88-81 lead with 1:27 left.

    Add a timely Ben Wallace block and Rasheed Wallace's tight defense on Pau Gasol, and it's another Pistons win, 95-89, over the Memphis Grizzlies at the Palace.

    Rasheed not relishing All-Star trip
    By Krista Latham

    What sounds like a better use of vacation time?

    Sitting on a sandy Florida beach under a sky full of rays, sipping a beverage topped with a little umbrella while surrounded by loved ones?

    Or working an extra shift -- albeit a glamorous one you earned by proving yourself one of the best?

    That might be the dilemma running through Pistons power forward Rasheed Wallace's brain after hearing that Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal will be out eight weeks.

    The injury takes O'Neal out of consideration for the All-Star Game, and as the No. 2 vote-getter among forwards in the East, he likely would have been a starter.

    ~Memphis Commercial Appeal ~

    Guts, but no glory
    By Ronald Tillery

    It is safe to say that the Grizzlies have seen enough of Chauncey Billups for one season.

    The Detroit Pistons' guard and early league MVP candidate floored the Griz again -- this time, tossing in 10 straight points over a 97-second span late in the fourth quarter.

    Billups' heroics extinguished a fiery effort by the Grizzlies, who led by a point with 2:27 left, but experienced a string of offensive misfortunes before losing, 95-89, Friday night in The Palace of Auburn Hills.

    Perhaps it was fitting that boxing great Thomas 'Hitman' Hearns was in the house. The Grizzlies and Pistons did nothing but exchange powerful blows. But for as long as the Griz stood toe-to-toe with the NBA's best team, they never could knock out the Pistons.

    Battier comes full circle
    Grizzlies practice at forward's high school
    By Ronald Tillery

    The Grizzlies wanted to make their morning practice lighthearted and fun so the team used a gym at a local high school.

    For swingman Shane Battier, that time spent at Country Day High School -- his alma mater -- was special.

    "It was fun to go back and show those guys where it all began for me," a beaming Battier said, referring to his teammates. "I remember it like yesterday: We had to wear a coat and tie to school. I had my tie and dress shirt on, shooting jump hooks in the dark about an hour before school. The head master used to get mad at me because I'd come to class sweaty."

    The Grizzlies' spirited workout happened amid the decor of Battier's Mr. Basketball and all-state banners, plus three state championship banners hanging on the walls.

    ~ Rocky Mountain News ~

    Tomasson: Old Bulls warily eyeing Pistons
    It's much too early this season for members of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls to think about chilling the bubbly.

    You know the annual drill with players from the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. After each NFL team with a prolonged unbeaten streak to start a season loses a game, the champagne cork is popped.

    Former Dolphins got a bit antsy when the Indianapolis Colts went to 13-0 before losing last month. And so, soon, might those from the Bulls of 10 years ago.

    That team went 72-10, the best record in NBA history. But the Detroit Pistons are 35-5 and just about on Chicago's record pace.

    "I was talking to Jud Buechler," Steve Kerr said of a recent conversation with his San Diego neighbor and former teammate on the 1995-96 Bulls. "He said, 'Steve, I'm getting nervous."

    ~The Oakland Press ~

    Pistons get past stingy Grizzlies
    By Dana Gauruder

    Sometimes, the burst can come before halftime, like the night they scored 41 in the second quarter against Atlanta. Other times, it arrives just after the break, like the 33-13 third quarter against Minnesota on Tuesday. Once in awhile, it happens in the waning minutes of a close game, as it did Friday night.

    Throughout the Pistons' 10-game winning streak, and in virtually every game this season, they overwhelm the opponent with a flurry of quick baskets and suffocating stops. An explosion of Chauncey Billups points and defensive plays by Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace stopped the hardworking Memphis Grizzlies dead in their tracks during the last four minutes Friday.

    Billups scored 10 points during a 12-2 run late in the fourth quarter of a 95-89 win at The Palace.

    Sheed might be fill-in All-Star starter
    By Dana Gauruder

    The Pistons might have an All-Star starter after all - if he's selected and wants to go. Jermaine O'Neal, second among the Eastern Conference forwards in the All-Star balloting, will miss the game with a groin injury.

    That opens a spot that coach Flip Saunders believes should go to Rasheed Wallace.

    Rasheed got the third most votes at the position in the most recent returns announced by the league, behind LeBron James and O'Neal. Saunders also believes Rasheed should take O'Neal's place in the projected starting lineup on merit.

    Pistons must learn from the Colts
    By Keith Langlois

    At the halfway point of the NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts stood 8-0. They had just crushed New England on the road, flicking the biggest monkey off their back as if it were a sand fly.

    They ripped through their next five games, and all the while, the NFL hummed with debate: Should the Colts broaden their goals and shoot for the perfect season or keep focused on winning the Super Bowl with the intensity of a laser? We raise this as today's topic because, of course, the Pittsburgh Steelers are instead booked for Detroit as the AFC representative Fooled ya. No, that's not why we brought up the Colts' plight. We bring up the Colts because after the Pistons closed the first half of their NBA season with Friday's win over Memphis to stand at 36-5, they remain firmly on track to become the second 70-game winner in league history.

    Which begs the question: Should the Pistons broaden their goals and shoot for a 70-win season or keep focused on winning the NBA title with the intensity of a laser?
  3. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ~ Detroit News ~


    Many thought there would be a huge drop off without coach Brown, but Saunders has thrived.
    By Chris McCosky

    You don't want to be arrogant or smug, but just three months ago, most national pundits were picking the Pistons to finish second in their division and fourth in the conference.

    Without Larry Brown's micro-managing, some believed the Pistons would lose their edge. Chauncey Billups would become a ball hog. Rasheed Wallace would become an unmanageable distraction. Ben Wallace would become old. With the offensive-minded Flip Saunders at the helm, the Pistons would somehow lose their defensive identity.

    Well, how do you like them now?

    The Pistons stand 36-5 today at the midpoint of the season, one of the seven best 41-game starts in NBA history. Only three teams have earned better midseason records.

    Defensive scheme changes for Kobe
    Pistons are going to try to keep Lakers All-Star from having another big-point game tonight.
    By Chris McCosky

    Here's how the Pistons approach things defensively: It doesn't matter how many points one individual player scores against them, as long as they make the crucial stops down the stretch and they hold the team to 90 or fewer points.

    Thus, they have endured a 43-point performance by Tracy McGrady, 41 points from Michael Redd, 37-pointers from Chris Bosh and Zach Randolph and 36 by Elton Brand and come out on the winning end.

    Tonight could be a little different. The idea of one player going off against your defense gets a little more attention when that one player is Kobe Bryant, the league's leading scorer.


    ~Booth Newspapers ~


    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Minotaur was half-man, half-bull. Pegasus was a winged horse, and Cyclops was a one-eyed Titan who forged lightning bolts for Zeus.

    You can add "Kobe-stopper" to the list of mythical beings.

    In the real world, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is as close to an unstoppable scoring force as there is in the NBA.

    The defensively-challenged Toronto Raptors found that out last week when Bryant torched them for 81 points, the second-highest single-game point total in NBA history.


    ~ LA Times ~


    By Mike Bresnahan

    The Lakers headed out of Los Angeles — almost all of them, anyway — and landed Saturday in Detroit, where they begin their longest trip of the season tonight against the Pistons.

    Guard Smush Parker missed the team charter for undisclosed reasons — he was expected to join the team later Saturday — but forward Lamar Odom was on time the morning after arriving late for Friday's game against Golden State.

    The Lakers, meanwhile, will play seven games in 11 days, a compact task that starts with the Pistons, who keep rolling along, winning 10 consecutive games to improve to 36-5 and giving chase to the record-setting Chicago Bull team that went 72-10 in 1996.

    The Lakers have lost seven of their last eight to the Pistons, including Detroit's five-game victory in the 2004 Finals. The Pistons won handily last season, 103-81 and 111-90, and have not lost to the Lakers in Detroit since January 2002.


    ~ The Shreveport Times ~


    By Larry Wade

    It's that time of year again. At the NBA's midway point, it's time to recognize outstanding first-half performances. And these players and coaches have truly been outstanding. The winners are"»

    Most Valuable Player: Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons guard.

    Runner-up: Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns guard

    No player does as much with as little recognition. Billups averages mores assists than Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson. He's shooting better from 3-point range than Steve Nash. And his team is on pace to win 70 games.
    Billups isn't flashy or controversial. He just gets the job done. He won't be voted in as an All-Star starter, but he's likely to make the team as a reserve. If so, it would be the nine-year veteran's first All-Star appearance.


    ~ Covers.com ~


    By Brian Covert

    Rodney Dangerfield joked about it, Aretha Franklin sang about it and on Sunday night Kobe Bryant will be playing for it.

    We’re talking respect and it’s something the sportsbooks aren`t giving Bryant as he and the Los Angeles Lakers prepare to take on the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills today.

    “I`m sending out the Pistons at –8 ½ points with a 194 ½-point total,” says oddsmaker Keith Glantz. “Kobe`s big games are really no big deal unless he consistently, over a period of time, retains that scoring capability.”

    It’s wrong to say the books are giving him no respect; after all, the Pistons were 12 ½ point faves on a 185-point total when they met the Kobe-less Lakers at the Palace last season. But shouldn’t a man who is averaging 45.5 points in the past 11 games, including an unreal 81 points just one week ago, be worth more than four points on a spread and 9 ½ points on a total?

    Detroit encores can be brutal
    By Tom Stryker

    Since the start of the 2003-04 season, Detroit has been one of the best NBA teams in the league. My database shows the Pistons a remarkable 173-79 SU and 136-111-5 against the spread (55.0%) over the past three years.

    There are plenty of situations within that record that provide even more profit. Keep an eye out when Detroit comes in off a straight up win as an underdog or a favorite of 9 1/2 or less. Amazingly, the Pistons have posted a mind-boggling 69-40-3 ATS record for 63.3 percent in that set.

    Those are some incredible numbers and Detroit has certainly hurt the books over the past few years. However, another unique situation has developed over that same time frame that can lead to even more profitable investments. Take a look.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Kobe Bryant brings his show to palace tonight
    By Bill Roose

    Which Kobe Bryant will show up at The Palace tonight? Will it be the Kobe who garnered national headlines with his mind-boggling 81-point performance last Sunday? Or the Kobe who entered the fourth quarter with a minuscule five points in the Lakers' overtime win Friday? Either way, The Palace will be rockin' when the league's leading scorer squares off against the league's hottest team in a nationally televised game.

    These are the real All-Star rosters
    By Dana Gauruder

    Take those ballots and shove 'em off to Sacramento along with Ron Artest's baggage. Tell the coaches to keep their judgments on the reserves to themselves. Give David Stern a pass on picking injury replacements.

    Here is what the All-Star rosters should look like. The 85,000 boneheads who chose Michael Olowokandi as the Western Conference's starting center should pay particular notice:

    Teamwork trumps selfishness every time
    By Pat Caputo

    Kobe Bryant is a selfish basketball player. He should golf or play tennis or swim or run track. Bicycle racing might not be too bad for him. That's because Kobe plays basketball as if he wants to be on a mountainside alone wearing the yellow jersey of the Lakers.

    I'm not sure what is more remarkable - the 81 points he scored against the Toronto Raptors last week, or the gall he had to actually throw up 46 shots in a game.
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~~Hoopsworld~~

    Top MVP Candidates To Do Battle in Detroit
    By Peter Rumm, MD

    Sunday night should be one of the most regular season’s most interesting games as two thirds of the currently “A List” MVP* candidates go at it head to head.

    Let’s review these MVP contestants for Sunday night’s Pistons and Lakers match-up in more detail.
  5. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~ Foxsports.com ~

    Not even Kobe can overcome Detroit's team 'D'
    By Charley Rosen

    Let's dig deeper and investigate what Detroit did, and tried to do, to prevent Kobe from igniting another massive point-explosion: On Sunday, Kobe played 42 minutes, had 39 points on 12-of-28 field goal shooting (12-of-14 in free throws, 3-of-11 from 3-point range), three rebounds and one assist.
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~~Detroit News~~


    Kobe can't match Pistons
    Bryant scores 39 but Detroit has five players reach double figures in 11th consecutive victory.
    by Chris McCosky

    AUBURN HILLS -- Don't call it a rivalry.

    "Rivalry?" asked the Lakers' Kobe Bryant. "If we want to get this back to the old days of Pistons-Lakers, we have some catching up to do."

    The Pistons, with their comfortable 102-93 victory Sunday, have won four straight regular-season games over the Lakers, seven straight dating to the 2004 NBA Finals.

    "There's no rivalry here," Rasheed Wallace said. "We just play."


    Bryant brings his traveling scoring show to The Palace
    by Rob Parker

    AUBURN HILLS -- Kobe Bryant was at it again Sunday night.

    He was shooting -- a lot. He was scoring -- a lot. And yes, he was wowing the crowd at The Palace.

    Bryant, still the talk of the NBA after scoring 81 points against the Toronto Raptors last week, has officially become a sideshow.


    Parker prospers in L.A.
    Ex-Pistons guard was late arriving to Detroit, but has perfect timing in landing with Lakers.
    by Chris McCosky

    AUBURN HILLS -- The Lakers seven-game trip did not get off to a great start for former Pistons guard Smush Parker.

    Parker missed the Lakers' charter plane bound for Detroit on Saturday morning. He had to take a commercial flight, and sit in a coach seat at his own expense, later that day.

    "It's fine," said Parker, who overslept. "All systems are go. I am starting, there's no problem."


    ~~Detroit Free Press~~


    DETROIT 102, L.A. LAKERS 93: Containment policy

    Pistons' team effort exceeds Bryant's 39
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    The Pistons don't mind letting an opponent -- an individual opponent, that is -- score big.

    So when Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored 39 on Sunday at the Palace, the Pistons could live with it.

    And while the Lakers turned a 22-point blowout into a close game down the stretch, the Pistons held on for a 102-93 victory.


    PISTONS CORNER: Zen Master's wisdom for winning 70
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    Lakers coach Phil Jackson thought it would be a few decades before any team came close to nearing the 70-win mark that his Chicago Bulls team eclipsed in the 1995-96 season.

    But at 37-5, the Pistons are on pace to tie that Bulls record-setting mark at 72-10. And Jackson said he thinks the Pistons can do it -- with one condition.

    "If they don't have any injuries," he said, "I don't see why they can't. They're playing with a nice rhythm. The guys are young enough and healthy enough. But a couple of injuries changes that really quickly."


    ~~Booth Newspapers~~



    Prince's second-half defense on Kobe aids Pistons win
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- Two years ago, Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince proved he was a top-notch defender on the largest stage of them all, the NBA Finals, against one of the league's best scorers, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

    While Sunday's game against the Lakers didn't have nearly as much riding on it, Prince again harassed Bryant into having a less-than-stellar performance in the second half, one of the keys in the Pistons'102-93 win against the Lakers.


    INSIDE THE PISTONS
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    A look at the Pistons heading into this week


    ~~The Oakland Press~~





    Jackson says Pistons can make a run at 70 wins
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Phil Jackson believes the Pistons can make a serious run at the Chicago Bulls' single season record for wins.

    Jackson coached the 1995-96 Bulls, who won 72 regularseason games before claiming their fourth championship during the Michael Jordan era. He sees a lot of similarities between the clubs because of their defensive mentality, though he feels the Bulls had more ballhandlers and bigger guards.


    Pistons win 11th in a row
    Detroit has little trouble with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - The smell of success isn't always sweet, even when the Pistons take some of the bloom off the league's most prolific scorer. When the Pistons retreated to their locker room after their latest victory, a 102-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, they were greeted by the stench of a sewage backup in the bathroom area.

    While they had to turn up their noses a little bit, there was nothing odoriferous about their performance. They won their season-high 11th straight, leading by as much as 22 in the second half despite an off night for Chauncey Billups.


    ~~Los Angeles Daily News~~


    Lakers' equation doesn't add up
    Bryant's solo effort is no match for Pistons' team effort in defeat
    by Ross Siler

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - A fan in a Chauncey Billups jersey brought a sign Sunday night to the Palace of Auburn Hills reading, "81 is no match for 1 + 3 + 22 + 32 + 36," the numbers worn by the Detroit Pistons' starting five.

    The math worked out and so did the final score, as the Pistons rolled to a 102-93 victory over the Lakers, with Kobe Bryant having to play every minute of the first half and Lamar Odom lost in an eight-turnover game.

    Bryant led all scorers with 39 points on 12-of-28 shooting, while Odom now has totaled 15 turnovers the past two games. As Lakers coach Phil Jackson said afterward, "Some of our players didn't look ready to play tonight."


    Lakers notes: Odom's game in a funk
    by Ross Siler

    DETROIT - Even though he straggled in only 45 minutes before tipoff, Lakers forward Lamar Odom at least could say he made it to Staples Center for Friday night's game against the Golden State Warriors.

    The same could not be said for guard Smush Parker when it came to the Lakers' flight Saturday morning. Parker missed the team charter and had to pay his for his own seat on a commercial flight to Detroit later in the day.

    It was far from the ideal beginning to the Lakers' seven-game road trip, especially for Parker. After scoring 17 points Friday, Parker said he was looking forward to today's game against the Detroit Pistons, the team that released him last January.



    More news to come throughout the day!

    Be sure to check out our new Article Section, with two pieces by members of this board!!!
  7. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Keith Langlois piece from The Oakland Press.

    Saunders' guys looking awfully good
    By Keith Langlois

    The Pistons have become the "Cats" of the NBA. Everybody knows how it ends, but the crowds keep scalpers in business anyway. You might know the destination, but you never know the route.

    One of Sunday's amusing sideshows involved appearances by Wayne Fontes, who got cheered, and Lloyd Carr, who got booed. Think about that for a minute. No wonder this town's football psyche is so horribly scarred.

    As for the game - another jump ball, another win. Kobe Bryant scored 39, but there was always the feel that even if he scored 81 again, the Pistons weren't losing this one.
  8. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~~The Orange County Register~~

    Lakers experience third-quarter fizzle
    With Lamar Odom committing a season-high eight turnovers, the Lakers fell apart in the third quarter and lost to the league-leading Detroit Pistons in Phil Jackson's first game against them since the 2004 NBA Finals
    By KEVIN DING

    AUBURN HILLS, MICH. – In what everyone expected to be Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson's last game together in 2004, all hope crashed under the Detroit Pistons' third-quarter avalanche that took their lead over the Lakers from nine points to 23.


    Bryant, Jackson make Palace return
    By KEVIN DING

    DETROIT – Lost in the afterglow of Kobe Bryant's 81-point game was that he came off the court and threw his arms around Lakers coach Phil Jackson, an interaction that many would have deemed inconceivable not that long ago.

    Asked about that moment, Bryant said: "When I try to play the game, I try to please him. If he's happy with my performance, it makes me happy, because I learned the game from him."

    Jackson jokingly said of the embrace: "I don't like to get sweaty."

    ~~L.A. Times~~

    Auburn Chills for Lakers
    Their annual visit to the Palace, site of their 2004 Finals meltdown, goes badly as usual, ending in their sixth straight loss to the Pistons, 102-93.
    by Mike Bresnahan

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Phil Jackson remembers well the last time he was here.

    Clandestine bathroom meetings with the core of the Laker mini-dynasty deep inside a grayish arena. Kids screaming outside the windows of the team hotel in the wee hours of the morning. Meeting with the media for what could have been the last time, four of his kids standing next to him.

    And above all, a drubbing at the hands of the Detroit Pistons.


    Struggling Odom Gets Tough Love
    by Mike Bresnahan

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Lamar Odom, facilitator, has suddenly become Lamar Odom, fumbler, as his turnovers have almost topped his scoring in recent games.

    A key to the offense practically since Coach Phil Jackson returned last June, Odom collected eight turnovers Sunday against Detroit after totaling seven Friday against Golden State. He scored only nine points in each of those games.

    Jackson, true to his Zen self, will let Odom figure out Odom.


    For a Price, Rodman Put on a Jolly Good Show
    by Larry Stewart

    Not much has been heard from Dennis Rodman lately, at least in this country. But he apparently can still draw a crowd in England. Rodman, after appearing on a reality television show in that country, played in a basketball game there Saturday.

    Rodman reportedly was paid $44,000 to play for the Brighton Bears of the British Basketball League. He scored four points and had seven rebounds in the Bears' 91-88 victory over the Guildford Heat. The game drew a capacity crowd of 1,500 fans — and, according to the Associated Press, 60 journalists.
  9. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Just for laughs ... how one of the better blogs projected the 2005-2006 season. This dolt put Detroit fourth in the Central, probably because his beloved Knicks had just "stolen" Larry Brown.

    ~ Courtsidetimes.net ~​

    CTN 2006 Predictions
    Detroit is the NBA’s version of Jenga, remove one piece and the whole thing will come tumbling down.
  10. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 31st -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    U.S. wants Billups
    Pistons point guard will be invited to play in World Championships and the 2008 Olympics.
    By Chris McCosky

    It appears, barring any unforeseen snag, Chauncey Billups will have a spot on the U.S. men's basketball team -- if he wants one.

    "We want him to play," said Jerry Colangelo, who is in charge of assembling the team that will play in the World Championships this summer, potentially another qualifying tournament in the summer of 2007 and in the Olympics in 2008.

    Colangelo said he planned to speak to Billups today. The only concern is a possible conflict this summer. Billups' wife, Piper, is expecting to deliver their third child in July or August.

    Pistons Rap
    SNEAK PEEK
    As the Pistons cruise toward playoffs, other title contenders abound
    By Joanne C. Gerstner

    Hard to believe, but the NBA season has reached the halfway point.
    Which means there are less than three months before the real drama -- the playoffs -- begins.

    The Pistons still are the class of the league, 37-5 and very much on their way to securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. But they're showing no signs of growing comfortable during the season's second half.

    Despite their torrid pace, "It won't be fun or breathtaking until the end of the season," Rasheed Wallace said.

    It's easy to get a little myopic about Dee-troit basket-ball, but yes, the rest of the NBA also is starting to think about the playoffs.

    Burning questions
    Hammond won't head to raptors
    By Chris McCosky

    Q. Now that Toronto has fired general manager Rob Babcock, do you think it will make another pitch for John Hammond, vice president of basketball for the Pistons?

    A. The Raptors might pitch, but Hammond isn't going to catch. The Raptors were interested in Hammond before they hired Babcock, or at least pretended to be. They told him he was a leading candidate, then interviewed a series of candidates with far fewer credentials than Hammond.It was an insulting thing to do to a guy who had helped build the 2004 Pistons championship team.

    What's in the air in Utah?
    Players cite over inflation of basketballs for poor shooting
    By Chris McCosky

    As a rule, we don't much go for conspiracy theories in this space. We just try to compile facts and see if we can reach a conclusion.

    Fact: The Pistons have always had problems shooting in Utah. They shot 38 percent there earlier this season and have shot under 40 percent dating to 1989. Their record in Utah since then is a not-so-sterling 2-14.

    Fact: Many other teams are similarly affected at the Delta Center. The Nets recently shot in the mid-30s and missed 19 of 21 three-pointers.
    Afterward, Nets reserve and former Jazz forward Scott Padgett shed some light on perhaps why teams shoot poorly there.

    "They over inflate the balls," he told the Newark Star-Ledger. "They have an offense geared toward the layup, so they want your jumpers bouncing out.

    Bottom of the second: Around the sports world

    Rip's one up on Kobe and wants more
    Kobe Bryant was asked after losing to the Pistons on Sunday if it felt like he was back at high school with he and Hamilton going at each other.

    "Nah, because when we were back in high school, I always won," he said.

    Bryant's Lower Merion (Pa.) teams did often beat Hamilton's Coatesville teams. But Hamilton has gotten the better of it the last seven meetings, including three in the NBA Finals in 2004.

    "Yeah, the great thing is, he's on the losing end now," Hamilton said.

    "When I was in college, he told me, 'You've got a college championship, but I got an NBA championship.' When we beat them (in 2004) I told him, 'Now I am up on you.'

    "And, after (Sunday), I am still up."
    By Chris McCosky


    NBA: Roundup
    Atkins upstages Yao
    Rockets get their center back, but the Grizzlies new starter steals the show in 86-77 victory.
    Detroit News wire services

    The return of Yao Ming wasn't enough to revive the struggling Rockets.
    Chucky Atkins scored 19 points in his first start for the Grizzlies, who defeated Houston, 86-77, on Monday night in Yao's first game in more than a month.

    It was only the 15th time this season Yao and leading-scorer Tracy McGrady played together. But the rare pairing wasn't enough for the Rockets to maintain an early burst.

    They let the deficit slip to double-digits in the second half, leading to their third straight loss.

    Alley oop ... to Palace CEO/president Tom Wilson

    Joanne C. Gerstner's Top 5: By the playbook

    Slam Dunks

    Looking Ahead

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Saunders likes team's flexibility
    By Krista Latham

    "What I've learned is I have the ability to do a lot of things," Saunders said. "When you have guys who have the abilities that our team has, as a coach you can become more flexible, and when you're more flexible you become less predictable. The less predictable you are, the tougher it is to play against you."

    That flexibility has shown this season. The Pistons have won close games and blowouts. They've won with defense and with offense. They've won after long periods of time off and in back-to-backs. On the road and at home, with point guard Chauncey Billups scoring 37 or scoring two, and with outside scoring and with post dominance.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    McDyess giving Pistons big lift off bench
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The play of reserve Antonio McDyess has been a major factor in the Detroit Pistons' spectacular start this season.

    The Pistons have won 37 of 42 games, and appear poised to return to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season.

    While his statistics aren't nearly as gaudy as some of the NBA's other top reserves, McDyess certainly warrants consideration for the league's Sixth Man of the Year award.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Rip thrilled with Saunders' offensive scheme
    By Dana Gauruder

    Flip Saunders' motion attack has made Hamilton even tougher to guard.

    Hamilton is averaging career highs in points (21.6) and shooting percentage (50.6).

    "It's a great offense, it's a fun offense," said Hamilton, who wore a suit during the postgame interview session after the Pistons' 102-93 win over the Lakers on Sunday. "It's not just you having fun. Everybody's always in the game. It's not like you call a play for Rip and everybody sits around and watches."

    ~ New York Daily News ~

    Nets look for break against Pistons
    By Julian Garcia

    The Nets lost four straight games on their recent West Coast trip. But at least they are coming home. Right?

    In fact, the Nets might actually want to turn around and head out again when they see who is waiting for them at the Meadowlands - the beasts of the East.

    The Nets begin another grueling stretch tonight when they play host to the Pistons, a team that has lost just one more game all season - five - than the Nets lost on their trip. Tomorrow night they play the Cavaliers in Cleveland before returning home to play the Heat on Saturday.

    ~ New York Times ~

    When Pistons knock, home is no refuge for the Nets
    By John Eligon

    As Vince Carter put it, the Nets cannot redo their just-completed Western Conference trip, which they finished 0-4.

    So the best way to get the bitter taste out of their mouths, it would seem, would be to start a streak in the other direction.

    "It doesn't matter if it's the best team or the worst team," Carter said after practice Monday. "For us, we just want to get back out there and just get ourselves back on track."

    Carter may not be picky, but he and the Nets will get the best team — the Detroit Pistons — on Tuesday night at Continental Arena, where the Nets have won eight straight games.

    The Pistons are the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions, have the best record in the N.B.A. (37-5) and are on an 11-game winning streak.

    ~ The Journal News ~

    Nets facing tall order against Pistons
    By Bob Considine

    The plaudits for the Detroit Pistons were easy to offer.

    "Impressive," Vince Carter said. "With a perfect game, you have a chance."

    "Outstanding," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "If you're not impressed by them, you're a tough guy to be with."

    Words of praise for the Nets?

    Not as easy to come by at the moment.

    And the stark contrast between the Eastern Conference leaders and their understudies might be shown in a brighter light tonight at Continental Airlines Arena. The Pistons are 37-5 and harbor legitimate thoughts of a 70-win season. The Nets return home after an 0-4 road trip trying to rediscover their defensive intensity.

    ~ The Trenton Times ~

    Pistons firing on all cylinders
    By Jon Marks

    When much of the free world convenes in Detroit for Super Bowl XL, they'll find an area reeling economically from the latest round of auto-maker layoffs. In other words, the complete opposite to what's transpiring 40 miles out of town, where the Detroit Pistons - using that name rather than their actual home of Auburn Hills, Mich. - are smoothly purring along like something straight off an assembly line.

    Switching Larry Brown for Flip Saunders in the driver's seat hardly has caused this machine to sputter. Instead, the Pistons seem to be operating at peak efficiency, entering the week at 37-5, putting them on pace with the 1996 Bulls, who went 72-10.

    This week local fans get a chance to see for themselves a team that's making a mockery of the Eastern Conference standings - currently 11 1/2 games ahead of second-place Miami.

    ~ Orange County Register ~

    Think Pistons as title choice
    By Kevin Ding

    Watching the Detroit Pistons is like watching baseball.

    If you take it for granted, if you don't watch at least a little closely to savor the strategic nuances, it can get pretty boring.

    If you put some of your mind to it, though Hmm, pretty nice.

    We're not talking about deep thoughts here - just getting past the fact that no Pistons are glamorous enough that they will be voted All-Star Game starters or that their one compelling personality (Coach Larry Brown) walked out on them for the bright lights and big city.

    Can we just think about this much? At a time when the NBA is so much about "No one is giving me my minutes" or "No one is giving me my shots" or "No one is giving me my love," the Pistons just go get victories instead of waiting for time or help or gifts.

    ~ USA Today ~

    Scorer's Table: Pistons not eyeing Bulls' 72-win record
    By David DuPree

    The Detroit Pistons are chasing the NBA's all-time record for wins in a single season almost as much as they are chasing the NBA championship.

    After 42 games, they are on course to tie the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls record of 72 wins.

    The Bulls were 39-3 going into the 43rd game while the Pistons are 37-5 going into their 43rd game tonight at New Jersey. The Bulls had a winning percentage of .878 for the season, while the Pistons have a winning percentage of .881.

    ~ SI.com ~

    Welcome to the machine
    Pistons make Eastern race a one-team affair
    By Kelly Dwyer

    With Cleveland in the midst of a five-game winning streak, Peja Stojakovic in Indiana, and Riles in charge down in Miami, I'm barely ready to cede the Eastern Conference over to Detroit. ...

    Now that I've thought about it a bit, I'm totally ready to cede the Eastern Conference over to Detroit.
    Champs

    At this point, you're not going to get anywhere trying to describe Detroit's place among the all-time greats. It's a disservice to the team, the greats and basic cable TV in general. The team is so disturbingly efficient, reminding us so little of the flashier champs from years past (even last year's sometimes-snoozing Spurs), that you're better off using some hackneyed comparison to Henry Ford's unceasing assembly line.
    Working in time with men and machinery churning, Detroit has hit its target at a success rate of 88.1 percent. That's, uh, a 37-5 record.​

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