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PF Piston Pieces 8/22/09

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by G-man, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. G-man

    G-man Starter

    Aug 15, 2005
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    g & g gas station
    Can you measure up with Bill Laimbeer?

    "Former Pistons center and Shock coach Bill Laimbeer is expected to attend the Protégé Basketball Block Party today in the parking lot of a Detroit Kmart, 19990 Telegraph Road. The block party, which runs 1-7 p.m., features an 18-wheel, 53-foot show truck that transforms into a 4,500-square-foot basketball playground. Laimbeer is expected to be there 5-6 p.m."

    Amir Johnson ready to run with Raptors
    Doug Smith - THeStar.com

    "The first trade may have shocked him, the second he kind of saw coming and as Amir Johnson arrives at his third NBA home inside of the last two months, he's smart enough to know one thing: he'll rent in Toronto rather than buy.

    After all, who could blame the 6-foot-11 forward-centre, obtained by the Raptors this week in a four-player transaction with the Milwaukee Bucks, for worrying about his long-term employment opportunities?

    Johnson ended the season with the Detroit Pistons and, because he was seen as a building block for whatever restructuring was going on, he felt at least a bit comfortable.

    But the Pistons, rebuilding much of their team, let Rasheed Wallace walk and dealt Johnson to Milwaukee in a salary dump so they could bring in free agents Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon.

    Johnson lasted less than eight weeks with the Bucks and figured his time there was at an end when they got free agent Hakim Warrick.
    "In the back of my mind, I knew anything could happen when they got another (player) at my position," Johnson said on a conference call yesterday.

    Enter the Raptors, who needed frontcourt depth behind Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic and Reggie Evans and someone to battle Patrick O'Bryant for whatever minutes remain.

    GM Bryan Colangelo turned one asset not interested in the role the Raptors had for him (Carlos Delfino) and a point guard destined for spot duty at best (Roko Ukic) into Johnson and guard Sonny Weems.
    "I heard they (the Raptors) are looking to get up and down the floor a little bit more," said Johnson.

    Johnson's job in Toronto is really undefined more than a month before training camp even opens. He's quick, rather than bulky, has played both forward and centre in his four years in Detroit and, at age 22, he's far from a finished product. Just as importantly, his contract expires next summer and his presence continues to give Colangelo some financial flexibility next summer."

    TheStar.com | NBA | Amir Johnson ready to run with Raptors

    NBA Summer Transactions Part 2
    WVBR Sports Blog

    "Now for the Detroit Pistons. NBA fans may recall that they made six consecutive Eastern Conference finals, which was so impressive that management decided last summer that the team needed a complete roster overhaul. They put this off until the middle of the season when they traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson. This turned the Denver Nuggets into a successful, conference championship reaching team while accomplishing their goal of not making the Eastern Conference finals (they lost to the Cavs in the first round). Instead of making fun of them for the rest of this blog post, I'm going to focus on their positives. They acquired Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon, both of which are young enough stars to help the Pistons in the long term. They also reacquired former defensive player of the year Ben Wallace, a key player from their 2004 NBA title. The Pistons also held onto Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey, a talented trio who managed to keep the team afloat despite having to play alongside Allen Iverson.

    Final prognosis for the Detroit Pistons: expect them to move up in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket; cracking the top three won't happen, but four through six are real possibilities. They shouldn't be any worse than sixth or seventh."

    Sports Blog - WVBR.COM - Live & Local

    Iverson Won't Step Back
    Tommy Beer - Hoopsworld

    "Let's flash back to the first few weeks of the 2008-2009 season.

    The Pistons and Nuggets were in similar positions when Iverson and Chauncey Billups were traded for each other in early November, 2008. Both teams were playoff contenders, but not considered elite championship challengers. But, following the trade, their respective seasons went in vastly different directions. Under Billups' stewardship, the Nuggets finished the regular season with a 54-28 record, which earned then the second overall seed in the Western Conference playoffs. And then Denver advanced all the way to the WCF, before bowing out the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. It was the first time the Nuggets had made it out of the first round since 1994. Billups, who was credited with bringing stability and leadership to his new organization, was hailed in many circles as a deserving MVP candidate.

    Out in Detroit, things played out in a dramatically different fashion. GM Joe Dumars, feeling his team had gone as far as they could together, made the trade primarily to move Billups' contract off the books and clear out cap space for the summer of 2009 free agency period. Thus, new head coach Michael Curry had his hands full, attempting to find enough minutes for Iverson, Rip Hamilton, and Rodney Stuckey. Curry decided he would prefer to utilize Iverson in the role of sixth man, and use his explosive scoring off the bench. But Iverson resisted. Ruckus ensued.

    After just his third game as a non-starter, Iverson let it be known he would not accept his new role. He threatened to retire from the game he loved before allowing himself to be relegated to reserve status.

    These quotes from Iverson reverberated throughout the League (tip of the hat to SportingNews.com):
    "You think I will try to do it all over again? No way. I wouldn't do that to myself or the team that I am playing for. I don't think I can give everything I have to give in that situation… I take my hat off to guys who come off the bench and get it done the way they do. It's just tough for me."
    "I will retire before I do this again. I will leave the game before I do this. Because I can't be effective like I know I can playing this way. It's just something I've not ever been able or had to do. I want to be out there on the basketball court, but if (retiring) is something that I have to do, then so be it."
    The tension between Iverson and the Detroit coaching staff intensified. The team sagged under the weight of the animosity and struggled to play winning basketball. Eventually, Dumars and company asked Iverson to go home and stay away from the team. Iverson obliged. The Pistons, sans Iverson, failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. Michael Curry was fired in late June. The official reason for the early end to Iverson's season was a "bad back." The unofficial reason was A.I.'s inability to accept a lesser role and him quitting on his team.

    And that is why Allen Iverson, one of the greatest scorers we have ever seen, is still without a team. Yes, surely some GM's are rightfully concerned that at 34 years of age, Iverson has lost some heat off his fastball, and that there isn't all that much tread left on his tires. But the main reason is the way Iverson handled himself in the Motor City. Those final few months were a terrible blemish on an otherwise exemplary resume. Is it possible the pride and stubbornness that allowed a Lilliputian to excel in a world dominated by giants, are the same character traits that have left him jobless and Tweeting for a second chance from someone, anyone?"


    Finding substance in the "Flip Saunders and Company Positive Thinking Media Campaign" Mike Prada BulletsForever.com

    "Yesterday's "young vs. old" quote is just the latest example of what I'm now dubbing the "Flip Saunders and Company Positive Thinking Media Campaign" (copyright 2009). It's almost uncanny the degree to which Flip and company are telling us what we want to hear.
    • Flip is saying he's challenging Gilbert Arenas to be a lockdown defender, a better leader and an extension of Flip on the court
    • Flip is saying he wants an eight-man rotation like most playoff teams, but also says (and has convinced others) he believes this team has more depth than any he's on, meaning he won't hesitate to use more players
    • Flip and company are actually working with the young players on specific skills and hyping up their confidence
    • Flip is saying Gilbert Arenas is looking as good as new
    • Flip is talking about having no duplicate players on his roster
    • Flip is saying the team will emphasize defense, but he's also saying that better offense and better floor balance will improve the defense
    • Flip is charting a database of plays that he'll use for his analysis
    • Flip says 60 percent of his playbook is dedicated to defense
    But as good as Flip Saunders may be, he's clearly not perfect. Timberwolves and Pistons bloggers have brought up several of Flip's weaknesses when he was coaching their teams, such as his misuse of Ben Wallace, his inability to craft an offense that shot enough free throws, his laid-back persona and his handling of the Pistons' personalities. Beyond that, there's also concerns such as his historically short bench es(save for 07/08), a year after which he was fired), his actual ability to coach defense among teams without historically great individual defenders, his huge playbook and his patience with young players. These concerns have varying degrees of truth, but they all existed in his previous stops."

    Finding substance in the "Flip Saunders and Company Positive Thinking Media%Campaign" - Bullets Forever

    10 Greatest NBA Champions: #4 - 1989 Detroit Pistons
    Allen Moll Hoop Doctors

    With this season’s NBA Finals behind us, I decided to take a look back and rank the greatest NBA Championship teams in the modern era(post 1980). This will be a ten part series with a new entry each week. Which teams had the most dominating seasons and playoff runs in the last 30 years? How would they stack up against each other? Which teams had the most Hall of Fame players or coaches?

    The rankings were limited to two teams per franchise in the top ten. Let the debate begin. #4 - 1989 Detroit Pistons

    10 Greatest NBA Champions: #4 - 1989 Detroit Pistons | The Hoop Doctors

    Ten Greatest NBA Champions: #10 - 2004 Detroit Pistons

    The rankings were limited to two teams per franchise in the top ten. Let the debate begin. #10 - 2004 Detroit Pistons

    10 Greatest NBA Champions: #10 - 2004 Detroit Pistons | The Hoop Doctors

    Forgotten Pistons (IV) Cedric The Entertainer)
    Toasterhands - LifeOnDumars

    Forgotten Pistons (IV) Cedric The Entertainer | Life On Dumars | A Detroit Pistons Blog

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