Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Piston Effect

Has anyone ever really notcied that every team that the Pistons have beaten in the palyoffs, the next year or right after, that team proceeds to collapes and implode? Let's look at my theory (I'm going back awhile here):

2001-2002 season playoffs: Detroit wins 3-2 against Toronto. Yes this was the Pistons very first palyoff run that started the team that you see here now at 35-5. With a lineup of Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins, Jerry Stackhouse, Michael Curry and Cliff Robinson. The first year of the Carlisle era. Now as for Toronto, look how they have declined ever since that defeat. Havn't made the playoffs since then. Now let's keep going.

2002-2003 playoffs: The second year of a building process from the mind of Joe D. In the first round, Detroit was down 3-1 to Orlando. Pistons fans were frustrated. But somehow, they turned it around and won 3 straight. Now let's look at the Orlando team after that. Didn't make the playoffs the year after, and havn't since then. As for the second round, they beat Philly 4-2, but this is maybe the one exception seeing as Philly has continually made the palyoffs after that, and they seem to be a favorite opponent for the Pistons in the early rounds of the playoffs. Will we see them again this year?

2003-2004 playoffs...the championship year: Okay, the Pistons beat Milwaukee in the first round and they have been struggling for awhile although being in the weak eastern conference is helping them this year. Now let's look at New Jersey. They lose Kenyon Martin and Kittles after they are beaten and although the trade was made for VC last year, they did not make the playoffs, and once again the weak eastern conference is helping them this year as well. Next we look at the Pacers. What can you say? It seems that the Pistons can be to blame for every thing that has gone wrong since they beat them in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then of course the brawl and they made the playoffs last year but they get beat by who again? Yes that's right, the Pistons. And this year, they're in danger of not making the playoffs seeing as JO is out 8 weeks with a groin injury. Now of course we look at the Lakers. After the so called 5 game sweep of the Lakers, Shaq is traded, and the whole team is dismantled. They proceed to miss the playoffs the next year.

2004-2005 playoffs: Going for a repeat, the Pistons beat Philly again, and Indy again, but proceed to face the Heat who everyone picked to either win the whole thing or come out of the east. The Pistons win in seven games and now the Heat are not bad but their whole team is nowhere near what is was last year. Injuries have plagued them this year and they are 11 games behind the Pistons.

So you get my drift here? Every team that the Pistons have beaten in the playoff since the 01-02 playoffs, have never been the same since. Like I said, I call it the Piston Factor. Here's hoping the Pistons beat the Spurs in the finals because if the factor is correct, the Spurs will never be the same team again. Just a theory right?

A great game

What a game last night. Of course I can't watch the games so I was folowing it on ESPN.com. First of all, the game shouldn't have come to that. The Pistons were in control in the last few mintutes, but Michael Redd went off. That is something we're gonna have to stop. In the last few games not including the blowout at Minnesota, the Pistons have let Tmac and Redd go off for 40+. What's gonna happen when Kobe comes in to town? But in a way, isn't this how the Pistons play? Their philosophy usually entales keeping everyone in check and keep the "superstar" on the team somewhat in check but everyone knows that the superstars are going to get theirs ala Shaq and Kobe with the Lakers a couple of years ago. It usually works although it is very annoying for Pistons fans to see one guy continuously go off the whole game. But hey, we one the game and nobody else on the Bucks scored more than 15 so I guess you can say it does work. So 35-5 and five is where the Pistons sit. Right up there with the Tigers from '84. They are all the talk in Detroit from what I hear and the results from an ESPN.com poll shows that the majority of the country thinks the Pistons are the best team in the NBA. But I still think everybody needs to hold the 70 win talk until March.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tonight: @ Minnesota

Well tonight, Flip Saunders returns to face the very same organization that fired him over a year ago. I guess that's the media sideline for the actual game tonight. Read what the Detroit News has to say about Flip's return.

As for the game. Minnesota is stuggling right now at 19-19. They were in the playoff picture for awhile but they are now 1 spot out. All year there have been Kevin Garnett trade rumors. Some rumors even said KG was coming to Detroit but I doubt any of those are true. Besides, Detroit is on a roll right now and I can't see Joe D. making any MAJOR changes to the roster. The Pistons come in winning seven straight. Depending on how Detroit plays, we could see another episode of the Madison Square Garden massacre.

In other NBA news, Chucky Atkins has signed with Memphis. It should be a good fit for him since he was seeking more playing time. There were rumors of him coming back to the D, but he wouldn't have gottent he playing time he wanted. There are also already three point guards here so he really couldn't fit anywhere. Good luck to him. I think Memphis will be just a little bit better since they are playing well as of late.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Not enough rocket fuel

Finally a close game for the Pistons, but they held off the Rockets late to win their seventh straight game. As I said in the previous entry, with McGrady being back, this could be a tough game for the Pistons. TMac came through with 43 points and almost single handedly won the game for the Rockets. Clearly with Rip missing the free throws late, I thought I would see some heroics from McGrady but luckily for Pistons fans, we didn't. So the train continues to roll as they get set for their next game against Minnesota. I'm out.

Today: vs. Rockets

Well coming off two blowout losses their last two games on the road, the Pistons come back home to play the still struggling Rockets. The Pistons should be WELL rested. They blew out the Knicks and Hawks on abck to backs and they got two days rest so I expect a good effort from them tonight. They just continue to roll and Flip Saunders has already locked up the Eastern Conference coach for the all star game. On the other side you have the Rockets who have been a disappointment this year. I saw many people picking them as the team to try and challenge San Antonio in the west but injuries have hurt them tremendously (Yao and Tmac). Tracy McGrady did return however and won their last game for them in OT so any game will be tough with Tmac in the game. Back later with thoughts on the game. Game starts at six. And if you want any Pistons tickets, you're probably outta luck until April. The sell out streak continues.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

An ugly scene at Madison Square Garden

What an ugly scene at the Garden tonight. Apparently an NBA basketball game was scheduled to be played at 8, but only one team showed up. What a performance by the Pistons. I mean what more can you say that hasn't been said already? Everybody knows how good this team is and I find myself constantly saying the same things in my posts about this team. Everything has been said. They're balanced. Plain and simple. You don't know who is going to score next. I saw Rasheed knocking down three's and shooting turnaround jumpers. Then the next thing I know, Prince slides down the baseline for a dunk in Curry's face. Then Hmailton comes and slashes through the lane. I mean this has got to be a nightmare for any team. I've never seen such balance in my life. Then you have the Knicks. They started the new year 6-0 but have since fallen and they are falling fast. But as bad as their record is, they are only 4 1/2 games out of a playoff spot! That's how bad the Atlantic is. But I would've expected a better effort from the Knicks or maybe they did put forth an effort but the Pistons just exercised their will on them. Where there's a will there's a way I guess.

The unsung hero

I want to give some credit to the most underrated piece of this Pistons team. He doesn't play and no he is not part of the coaching staff. Today, I wan to give some credit to Arnie Kander, the Pistons strength and conditioning coach. When you look at the Pistons from when they first made the playoffs since the Bad Boy era in the 01-02 year up until now, the Pistons have had no real major injuries to their players. Of course they've had injuries but none like C.Webb that changed his career forever. No injuries like the one that's keeping Amare on the sidelines this year. Our players always seem to be healthy, especially when playoff time rolls around. You could make a case for the plantar fasciitis that Rasheed Wallace had or the sprained ankle that Billups suffered the year the Pistons got swept by the Nets but no serious injuries to keep one or more players sidelined for a major part of the season. Kander is one of the best in the biz and it shows. He keeps the players in top condition and while it may not eliminate the risk of injury, his training certainly reduces it greatly. Now if somebody gets injured tonight, don't blame it on me :).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Reunion Pt. 2


The Pistons will play their next game in New York and face Larry Brown for the second time this season. Of course they had to put it on national tv which is great for me because nationally telivised games are the only games I actually get to see. Otherwise I follow the games on NBA.com or wdfn.com when it's working. But I don't think anything special is to be made of the second meeting between the two teams although the media will try to as usual. Should be a good game although Marbury is out.

(photo by sportsnetwork.com)

JUST SAW THIS ON ESPN:

Well another player into the stands tonight. Nothing compared to the brawl but in the Chicago New York game, Antonio Davis apparently saw his wife and kids being threatened and went into the stands to confront the fan. No altercation occurred but Davis and his wife were escorted out of the arena. As for the game, it was a great one with Ben Gordon hitting the game winning shot in OT.

And another one...

Tonight's game was an expected win. Were the Pistons expected to beat the Hawks that badly? You could say so. But I am happy because they went in there and they took care of business. Now last year, they mightve lost focus in a game like this either by letting the Hawks back into the game or by simply not coming out strong from the start, but clearly this team is focused right now. It's just so good to see them playing like this. I can only hiope it keeps up. The GREAT thing about this game is that the starters are well rested and the bench got some good time. Carlos Defino put in some very good minutes and he seems to be improving every game. Like I've said before, by playoff time, the bench should be where they need to be in order to fully increase our already great chacne at winning a title. Maurice Evans also put in some good work tonight and even Milicic scored himself a bucket. So great win to keep the train rollin and now it's off to New York for a second reunion with LB.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Today: vs. Celtics

The Pistons play an MLK matinee game today as it seems they have been for awhile now. They host the Celtics, and as I said in a previous post, I expect this to be a tough game for the Pistons. The Celtics always play them tough and as Ben Wallace stated in the Detroit News, they are a scrappy team. Saunders further said that their record is deceiving and it is. With a good run, they could still make the playoffs in that weak Atlantic division although the Nets are playing well, at least they were during their 10 game winning streak. But I predict a hard fought win for the men in red, white, and blue as they are at home. I'll be back after the game with thoughts. Game starts at 3:30.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

They keep rollin'

Good win for the Pistons. Since I am not able to view the games on tv, I have to settle for following them on NBA.com. Apparently from reading a lot of Pistons forums, Ben was hurt for a minute but it didn't look like anything too serious. But like I said in the earlier post, the bench is coming around. Maurice Evans came up big with 18 pts and McDyess came up big as well. Milicic got some playing time, but I see he didn't do too much. They held the Bobcats right around their average for opposition points. Now for the next game, we play those pesky Celtics. For some reason they always give us good games.

Defense still present with Pistons

All the skeptics who thought that the Pistons defense would suffer with the new revamped offense can sit down. The complete opposite has been true. While scoring more, their stifling defense is still present, especially when it comes down to crunch time in games. Although they may not be first or second in points allowed, they are still only allowing 90.8 points per game while still averaging nearly 99 points per game. Now they could rank in the top two in points allowed but please consider the fact that with the new offense the Pistons are running, the opposition is going to get more positions than last year. Many people fail to realize that. So combined with a good offense, the defense shows no signs of slowing down, and it is clearly a recipe for success as they have shown this whole season.

Tonight: Charlotte


Well first off, let me say sorry for my long layoff. I have had multiple things to do dealing with school and whatnot. But I'm back and since I've left, the Pistons have continued their winning ways. As of tonight, they stand at 28-5 after another blowout win against the Spurs. That was a great win and a great game played by the Pistons. One thing that I will say is that the bench is SLOWLY coming along but surely. I don't think it's as bad is many Piston fans make it out to be. I think by playoff time, the bench will be ready especially with Hunter coming back. Arroyo is doing his part although he was a bit of a hothead a couple of games ago, and McDyess is playing well. Also with all this time that has passed, we still have yet to see considerable playing time from Milicic. We'll see if that changes but right now, it doesn't.

photo courtesy of theallineed.com

Tonight, the Pistons head to Charlotte to play what seems like an easy game on paper, but you know how the NBA schedule can get. Some nights things just happen. So I'm expecting the Pistons to win tonight, and if they lose I will be disappointed. Read the full preview here at NBA.com