One man's honest opinion about sports in the Motor City, and beyond.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bout Time

Well, the Detroit Pistons we all new and loved during the last 5 years decided to show up yesterday. Chauncey and Rip were a lot more efficient on the offensive end (1.29 points per shot between them), and Rasheed Wallace told Uncle Cliff he couldn't hang out. Also, Flip decided to put a little faith in his bench, and it paid off... I would have wrote that Flip should play Delfino, but I honestly thought there was no way in hell Delfino was going to see any PT for the next 2 years. Delfino was very effective against Miami in one game during the regular season (I believe the last regular season game against Miami). I still think Delfino's defensive skills fly under the radar. He has quick feet and a good mental awareness of what is going on. He puts himself in good positions, even when the man he is guarding is not involved in the play. I would like to see him get a few more minutes, and a little freedom on offense. He may be able to find a rhythm, and put up a few points.

Most importantly, the Pistons played their game, and that is why they won. That crap at the end of the game shouldn't worry anyone. I know it was not what you want, but I wouldn't put too much thought into it.

Note: Ben Wallace played Shaq great yesterday. People always say that you could call an offensive foul on Shaq every time he makes a move with the ball. Which is true, but a lot of times, you could call a defensive foul as well. Most people guard Shaq (and Ben does it at times as well) by pushing him with all their force, trying to keep him from getting to the basket. When Big Ben "chests up" on him they call the offensive foul (at least they did a few times yesterday)... The only problem with that is you have to take about 15 shots to the chest and face that would kill the average man. But, Ben is Ben, and well... I'm pretty sure he could take a kick to the chest by a Kentucky Derby winning stallion, and not get knocked down...

Final Comment: I read a quote by Rip to the effect of how the Pistons need to go to Miami and take one... Well, I would like them to go in with the mentality that they are going to take both games, and well, pretty much wrap up the series. Not to say they would just because of that mentality, but I would still like them keep game 2's intensity through the rest of this series.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Random Thoughting

First, whoever wins the Eastern Conference will win the NBA Championship. I watched most of the Suns/Mavs game yesterday (I fell asleep before the end), and although it was a very fun and exciting game to watch, neither of those teams will be winning a championship this year. Both teams better hope the Pistons come through to the finals, because they most suredly will not have a chance against Miami. Miami is way way way to big and tough for the Suns especially, but the Mavs as well.

Second, Chauncey Billups is still more deserving of the MVP than Steve Nash. Although, he had better start playing like it. He has made several comments indicating he believes he should have been MVP this year... Well, Chauncey, I agree... The only problem is, I can't prove it, unless you start playing like it. Jason Williams and Gary Payton??? What the hell???... First of all, I'm not sure Jason Williams could cover me... and Gary Payton is older than the crust between Shaq's toes. Now step up already... Come out, score 24 on 15 shots... 11 assists... 4 boards... and keep doing that for the rest of the series... Because that is what an MVP does.

Rasheed... PLEASE... for the love of god... stop hanging out with Uncle Cliff between games. We need you to be there (mentally) every game. You don't have to score 20 points every night, but grab some boards, hussle, and play some D... We fans in Detroit provided you an amazing opportunity... To be loved. You completely turned your reputation around here, and you owe us... Come to play. And Flip, if he doesn't... keep him out of the game... It is just way too late in the season to take games off. Now, I don't believe his ankle is that big of a factor. He has had good games since the sprain. If it is the ankle then give more time to Dice and Dale Davis. Joe Dumars picked them up for a reason, and if Sheed is so hobbled by the ankle that he is ineffective, than they NEED to play. With Shaq and Zo playing well, we can't afford to have Sheed not playing close to 100%...

Also, I would like to see Davis and Ben Wallace play together at least for a few minutes. Put Ben on Antoine Walker, and Davis on Zo or Shaq. That way Ben can stay out on Walker, eliminating his outside shot (and I don't think Walker can or desires to drive on Ben), and keep Davis' big body on Shaq. Also, Dale Davis can put Wade on his ass on one of his drives. Put a little fear in him. Make him think about being knocked down when he drives.

Where is Tony Delk?????? Don't tell me that Delk didn't have an impact when he joined the team. The addition to Delk, in my mind, really solidified the bench. You had Hunter and Delk... and now no Delk. Why? I really don't understand this. I know Hunter plays good defense, but if he shoots 1 for 7, then his defensive effort really doesn't matter. Because offensively he becomes a liability. This is not to say Hunter's defensive efforts are not necessary. They are. But, if the offense is not clicking, we need a spark. Which I thought Delk provided quite well in the regular season.

Final Note: With all that said, if Chuancey and Rip just start playing like they did through the regular season, we should be alright. They need to be more effective on the offensive end. During the regular season they combined to average 1.34 points per shot. If they had hit that mark in game 1, they would have had nearly 14 more points between them. They claim to be the best backcourt in the league... Well, right now, they aren't playing like it.

Looking for some Ink???

Ok, singing Hasslelehoffer at the free throw line was bad... But this? This is just sad. Dirk Nowitski is sporting fresh ink these days, and it couldn't be any more pathetic... Ok, alright, Dirk really doesn't have this tatoo, but it would be hilarious. For more "that would be funny" tatoos, click on the link below.

"Going under the needle" By Kurt Snibbe (

Monday, May 22, 2006

The kid is good.

After watching Lebron James over the course of the Piston/Cavs series it become very evident that James is something special. He really is THAT good. Here is yet another reason to add in favor of "Bron" being destined as the next "Insert a host of names here"...

After watching the Pistons swarm Lebron with all types of defensive looks; one must remember that some of it would not have been possible just a short while ago. Very recently did the rules change in favor of allowing zone defenses. Which is what the Pistons were doing (in a sense) when they were guarding Lebron most effectively.

One strategy in particular that seemed to work well, was having someone (who was not guarding James) to float about halfway between James and the hoop. This allowed the defender to be right in his face in order not to allow easy jumpers, while also forcing James to recognize that if he got past one defender, there was another waiting.

Without zone defense the Pistons could not have played Lebron quite in that way. Making Lebron's job even harder. Making his accomplishments even greater. That kid is something else... and only going to get better every year... for probably at least the next 8 years. Just wait until he is hitting his 3s at 40 percent... Not to mention when he becomes a regular memeber of the NBA's top defensive team (and yes he will).

Too bad that eventually Lebron will really be giving the Pistons a run for their money... In which case I will have to despise him even more than Jordan.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Just one more reason...

Well, I'm sure everyone would agree we didn't need another reason, but we have one anyway...

So without further ado...

Reason 234: Why Germans should not be allowed in the NBA.
According to an article on, Dirk "I wish this didn't slip out of my mouth" Nowitski, hums while at the free throw line. Why is that so bad? He is humming David Hasselhoff... No, seriously, he does... I'm not making this up, and I'm pretty sure neither is ESPN... He said it, and will never be able to take it back...

David Friggin Hasselhoff... Dirk, what in the hell have you been smoking????? Find the article HERE.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Harrington, OUT...

Well, for those of you who haven't already read Mitch Albom's most recent 2 columns, you should really take a look. They are pretty in depth interviews with the Motor City's ex scape-goat, Joey Harrington. I've looked through them, and am not quite sure what my take on the whole subject is, but I will be posting that soon... In the meantime, check out the interviews.
(Photo by KIRTHMON F. DOZIER/Detroit Free Press)

Part 1 click HERE.

Part 2 click HERE.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Off the Bench

The Cavs would be a better team if they traded their roster, for the Piston's bench. Honestly. I really believe that is true. Imagine LeBron James, Tony Delk, Carlos Delfino, Antonio McDyess, and Dale Davis as a starting lineup.

Here we have a look at what the current Cav roster looks like, and how it would look with the Piston bench. Without a doubt, the Pistons bench would make that team a lot better.

The biggest improvement comes with McDyess. On the Pistons his role is 6th man, but he is better than everyone on the Cavs besides LeBron James. Please no Larry Hughes argument, because he is not anywhere near as valuable as Dice. Ilgauskas either... That man is one of the most overrated players in the game right now. He is way too slow, and a horrible compliment to James - which is very key when discussing all of this. Putting James on the floor will create a lot of easy baskets for Dice. When James drives, defenders will have to stay honest with Dice (about 9 feet from the hoop, 3 feet from the baseline) or he hits that shot 15 times and puts up 30.

Yesterday's blowout revealed the Cav's complete lack of defense. Which would dramatically improve with the new lineup. Hughes and Snow are considered good defenders, but Delk and Delfino are no liabilities. In fact, I believe, Delfino plays pretty good D. He moves his feet well. So the backcourt D, in my opinion, will remain the same (at worst). The frontcourt defense on the other hand would improve by about a million percent. Okay, maybe not quite that much... But with Dice, Davis, and Lebron together - nobody scores inside on them. Maybe Shaq circa 1999, but other than that teams would have a hard time posting any of those guys up. Off the top of my head, besides Wallace Inc., I can't think of another frontcourt pair that would be considerably better than Dice/Davis... They are both big, play good defense, and can rebound. Teams would end up shooting a lot of jump shots, and if they weren't making them... Dice, Davis, or James will surely be grabbing the board.

When that ball ends up in either Davis or Dice's hands you had better be prepared to run. Because Delk and Delfino running alongside James with a full head of steam will create a lot of problems for teams. James, who is being hailed as maybe the quickest end to end player in the game right now, basically needs to be double teamed on a fast break. Also, Delk and Delfino need to be guarded honestly. Both are capable of hitting open jump shots and finishing at the basket on a break.

Now, as I showed, the Cavs defense would improve quite a bit with the new roster. Mostly because of the front court changes, but that change alone would be a huge improvement. With that said, maybe the biggest improvement would come on the offensive end. LeBron aside, Dice is the best scorer in the group (by far). So right there we have a big improvement for the Cavs. Like I mentioned above, I believe Dice will be a great compliment to James. Also, if James draws double teams and misses shots, you had better pray that someone is blocking Dice and Davis out... Because if they aren't, the offensive rebound goes to one of those guys. (I've seen signs from Delfino showing he's not too bad on the offensive glass either.)

The backcourt offensive improvement, by putting Delk and Delfino with James, is huge. Delk nor Delfino are true point guards, but with James you don't need or want one. First of all, James at 9 feet (or however tall he is), is an amazing point guard. The comparisons to Magic are real. He has unbelievable court awareness. So you don't really want a true pointguard. But what you do want, is two guys who can knock down open shots, and drive to the basket if needed. Also guys who are capable of handling the ball and passing. Which is exactly what Delk and Delfino offer. Delk, offensively, is far far superior to Snow. The upgrade there is obvious. The two spot may be a wash. People will argue that Hughes is better than Delfino, but I'm not sure I buy that. I really like the skill package Delfino brings with him. Offensively he does a lot. With a starting role I believe he would find a rhythm, and as the 3rd/4th option, he would be able to take good shots all the time, and make quite a few of them.

Having Dice and James will create tons and tons of easy shots for Delfino and Delk, and I believe both are totally capable of knocking them down. Putting Dice, Delk, and Delfino on the court with James will create a situation where opponents will have to guard him honestly. Double teaming will not work. Those guys will be able to spread out on the court, and someone will be open. Not to mention Davis will finish near the net. Which, he will have no reason to roam too far from.

After really looking at all of this I am starting to think that this team would possibly be #2 in the East, and top 5 in the league. This is assuming Dice/Davis could stay healthy, and average close to or above 30 minutes a game. The situation would be a perfect fit for Delfino in my opinion. Also, James would never have to worry about playing a bad offensive game (which already happens infrequently). When James is off Dice, Delk, or Delfino would be able to carry the load long enough for James to find his shot. You would have the best offensive player in the league (sorry Kobe), and three guys capable of going for 25 on any night...

Rebounding: This team would instantly become a top rebounding team in the league. In James, Dice, and Davis are three men capable of averaging 10 boards a night. Delfino is a smart and athletic rebounder as well.

Final Note: Mad mad mad mad props to Joe Dumars. To put the best starting 5 in basketball together, and to have that much talent coming off the bench, is just an amazing feat. I think there are a lot of teams around the league that would take those 4 guys teamed with their current best player.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

E Nuff is E Nuff is E Nuff

Enough already. The Pistons will not lose a series due to lack of defensive effort. My honest opinion is that the Pistons will not lose a series period, but that is not my point. Throughout the entire season I had to listen to people whine about the Piston's defensive effort, and how they were falling in love with their offense... blah blah blah blah blah... Shut up. Don't want to hear it... anyone who thinks that is wrong.

First, why don't we take a look at who the best and worst defensive teams of the regular season were. I will use opponent's points per game (OPP) to determine this. Over 82 games, there is no better gauge for defense then how many points you were giving up every night...

As you can see, the Pistons, gave up the 3rd fewest points per game out of all 30 teams. Which is obviously a sign that they were not focused on defense, right? I mean... 3rd?(laughter) God, what an absolutely horrible defensive team... just pathetic.

All year long people seemed to be surprised by how good an offensive team the Pistons had become. I do not understand why. If you just glance at the roster their offensive talent will jump off the page at you. Chauncey, Rip, Teyshaun, Sheed, Dice... Five guys who are all extremely talented offensive players. Besides Dice (because he comes off the bench)... anyone of those guys, if willing, could have been turned into a "26 a night" guy... All you would have to do is make them take enough shots. The brilliance of the Piston offense is their balance. You never know who is going to plunge the dagger. Not to mention, they now have Tony Delk coming off the bench... He once scored 53 points in a game (not as a Piston)... And that is their 6th scoring option. The Pistons are, and have been, a great offensive team. Now, they are just utilizing it. Also, their offense never spins out of control, which is largely due to General Billups.

The key to everything is still having the ability to play great defense when they need to (and yes, they do know when they need to). Take a look at the Pistons regular season numbers against teams experts would include in the league's elite 5. As you can see, when needed, the Pistons are more than capable of playing extremely tough defense. Phoenix put up points, but so did the Pistons, and they won both games. Dallas blew them out in that first game, but I really believe that was a freak occasion. In the next game I think you see a score more indicative of how that series could go. The Pistons held them to 90 points. They beat Miami 3 of 4, and held them to an average under 90 (which is phenomenal). San Antonio played great defense against the Pistons... But, the Pistons played even better, and won both games. San Antonio averaged a meager 69 points against the Pistons this year. Just ridiculous.

Now, I know this Buck series has raised questions... but it shouldn't. Here is a look at all the playoff teams and where they stand in OPP.

The Pistons are 6th. Dallas, is the only team above them who could possibly pose any threat. The Pistons did not play spectacular defense against the Bucks... But what would have been the point. They knew the Bucks weren't going to stop them. They are too balanced. They have too much offensive fire power. So they won by scoring. Will they need to win a series with defense? Most likely. Should we be worried that they won't be able to "flip the switch"? Not me. They have been surprising people with that ability for too long. That "switch" is part of their arsenal... Seemingly they would rather beat you with their offense... But if they can't... They WILL beat you with their defense. Nuff Said.

Note: While the Pistons are "only" 6th in playoff defense... They are tied for 1st in offense.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Justice Served... To the wrong person.

Yesterday, the final punishment for the “Palace Brawl” was dealt. According to the Detroit News, John Green was sentenced to 30 days of work release, AA meetings, anger management classes, and 24 months of probation. What was his role in the ordeal? He threw the cup. Oddly, however, that was not the crime he was convicted for… He was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery for punching Ron-Ron…

Honestly, this is ludicrous. I am not going to excuse Mr. Green's role in all of this. Yet, there is nothing that would make me believe justice, in any form, has been served.

I know it has been about a year and a half, but I feel it necessary to remind everyone of what Ron Artest did that night. HE RAN INTO THE CROWD AND PUNCHED A COMPLETE AND UTTERLY INNOCENT HUMAN BEING IN THE FACE!!! Did he receive any jail time? Of course not.

This makes me sick…. Absolutely sick. According to the article, Green was the only person who received jail time for their part in the brawl. How is that possible? What kind of legal precedent does this set?

According to The New York Times, "Green was the only person to take his case to trial. Green said he had hit Artest to defend himself and fellow fans. (AP)"

You could say that Green could have avoided all of this, by not taking it to trial... Which is probably true. But that doesn't make this right... I really believe Green's explanation of hitting Artest. Sure, he did quasi-start it by throwing the cup. But, it is a sporting event, and things like that happen ALL THE TIME. Usually the player shrugs it off, and the fan is escorted out of the stadium. The difference for this incident is Artest is a maniac. If you were sitting next to the person he attacked, and you weren't frozen by fear (which I'm pretty sure I would have been), you would have punched him too. Artest is crazy, and unusually large and strong for a human being (as most pro athletes are)... He needed to be restrained... and needed to go to jail. Instead, Green, will go for 30 days... His crime? Throwing a cup at a professional athlete during a sporting event... Which is obviously a much worse action than punching a random person in the face. Obviously.

Final Note: Artest was hit by a cup of water and jumped up and attacked an innocent person. He received no jail time. Someone who attempted to restrain Artest (by punching him) is going to serve 30 days. That is not right. The worst punishment handed out should have been to Artest… Without a doubt.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Evans grabs 2 Kamans...

Here we have maybe the most effective rebounding technique ever to hit the hard court. Yes, "The Lobster" made its debut just a few days ago. So let's take a closer look.

As you can see, like all rebounding techniques, positioning is key. You must be behind your opponent. The elbow is bent at nearly a 90 degree angle. Next, all four fingers must be extended and touching, except the thumb which remains on its own(similar to a lobster claw). You can see that Reggie Evans has his man (Chris Kaman) right where he wants him. Kaman's legs are separated enough to allow Evans to go in for the kill.

To the right you can see the execution of "The Lobster". It is very important that the reach be performed quickly and out of eyesight of any referees. With positioning in place, and the Refs unable to see... Evans goes for the kill. With one swift move his hand is quickly around his opponent's "Kamans". A quick, and most likely painfull tug (for the recipient), ensues. This distracts the opponent and allows Evans a better chance at grabbing the rebound.


  • Shown below, Evans was shoved to the ground as a result of implementing "The Lobster".
  • Also, he was fined $10,000 (A non-factor for amateurs).
  • Performing this move results in touching another man's testicles-100% of the time.
  • After you have performed "The Lobster" many people will begin to question just what team you are really batting for.

If you would like to see this move performed in its entirety go here.