Monday, December 29, 2008

No Such Thing as Magic

The Pistons have won their fourth winning streak and also made an ending to Magic's seventh winning streak coming into the Palace tonigh. Howard was held to one point the entire first half but scored 13 points in the 3rd quarter.
  • Pietrus dunk was awesome....except the price he paid for was a wrist injury. Looks worst than it is
  • 5 Pistons in double fig
  • First I was surprise that Kwame didn't play, but then I realize how Maxiell held his ground against Howard during last years' playoff
  • Stuckey once again led the team...this time with team high of 19 points. More importanly, the balance offensive attack.
  • Howard 18 points and 18 rebounds....Pretty typical, pretty impressive
  • Rip sat down to give another game rest his groin injury from the last two games
  • Wallace continue to drain 3s

Completing a 4th winning streak is an evident of a huge progress, at least for the Pistons considering that they are in summer camp mode ever since A.I. came along. Curry had to alter the starting line up, where the last time he did was injecting Stuckey in the starting line up. The Pistons did become a better team with him, not because of Stuckey being in the starting line up but because of running the point, and being the facilitator. This gives A.I. and the rest of the team operate and look for their spots in a better way.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Look Around The League

  • A heart broken lost in Phoenix against their nemesis, the Spurs
  • Is it me or ABC just made the Celtics/Lakers game a big deal, its over kill
  • What can I say, the Lakers stopped the Celtics' 20th winning streak...We're never gonna hear the end of it......Unless I remind them their first lost this season....Sweet!
  • 40 points for Stuckey against the Bulls......What I like about him is his consistency ever since getting into the starting line up.
  • Another rumor thrown involving Pistons, acquiring Boozer from Jazz.......Not in a million years, as far as this season is concern.
  • Pistons will be hosting the Oklahoma Thunder tonight at 8PM eastern time. Lets see how Stuckey runs the team against Kevin Durant's team, both of which their second year as an NBA player.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Run With the Stuck(ey)

Although A.I. broke 28 points against a win over the Wizards, Stuckey took 18 points on his own and led the team to a victory with a commanding 11 assists. The Pistons combined with 21 assists, a big evidence of ball movements that led them to win this one.
  • Stuckey was just amazing. The assists and points he contributes to the team is secondary, being a facilitator on the offense, especially between Rip and A.I. is beyond expectation.

  • The ball movement was amazing especially towards the end of the 4th quarter when Pistons were just ahead below double digit.
  • The behind the pass from A.I. to Dyess.......CRAZY!
  • McDyess was alive and kicking. It didn't look like he had a month off not considering the mental process transitioning. He almost broke his usual double-double 10 points, 9 rebounds. By the way...did I mentioned 3 swats
  • The defense was as good as the offense. I didn't see any miss coverage in the second half and the help defense was always there. Similar to the offense, everyone was actively moving without the ball and did extra passing which led to high percentage shots.
  • A.I. was all night disrupting Wizards' defense
  • Curry couldn't be a little more relief after seeing Stuckey help him solve some of the riddles between A.I. and Rip's co-existence in the scoring machine world.
  • Prince chipped in 14 points while Rip had 12 points but had to shoot 13 shots
  • Wallace another Tech
  • A.I.'s limping just means 28points

The Pistons did not redo their mistakes from the last time they played the Wizards. Although they were a little slow in the first few minutes of the second half, they basically turned the corner and passed the Wizards. The ball movement was great while everyone were moving/running without the ball, and the defense was pretty alive. Lets see if they could have a back-to-back game with consistent defensive intensity when the Utah Jazz visits this Friday.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Losing Streak Ends

The Pistons ended their 3 losing streak after disposing the Indiana Pacers, one of the most efficient offensive team this season. Although the game was not a must win, there was a sense of urgency that you can sense from the Pistons and my hunch is not just to end the losing streak but to create an atmosphere of "we could play better than we played the last three games" attitude. The best way to prove that is to get a win. Final score 114-110.
  • Pistons' dynamic guard trio combined for 66 points and 25 assists
  • Dyess was on fire with 14 points with a field goal of 7 for 12
  • Season high for Stuckey, 21 points along with 8 dimes. He only missed 1 shot out of 8. Did I mention 4 for 5 behind the arc
  • The game was not decided until the last minute
  • It's a relief and a refreshing feeling to get out of the losing streak
  • Evidently, defense was the key to winning this game, not the Pistons offense. They made stops at the end to seal the deal
  • Rip led the team with 28 points
  • A.I. with a double-double, 17 points and 12 assist. Many of the dimes went on a pick-and-roll with Dyess, a sign of good chemistry and knowing to pick the right spot
  • Wallace may not have scored throughout the game, but he did when it mattered. Seven points on the last six minutes of the game
  • Bynum chipped in 10 points
  • Stuckey was running/calling the plays......So far, this experiment of inserting him in the starting line up is working well. This gives a big pressure off of A.I. and Rip and to just stay as natural scorers

This game was starting to look similar to the previous games that after getting a reasonable lead to put the game away, the Pistons started to fall. The only difference tonight is the defensive stops that led to high percentage shots. Lets hope that they'll take this momentum in less than 24 hour as another back-to-back game this season against a team who's committed to defense, Larry Brown and the Bobcats with new addition Raja Bell and Boris Diaw.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Pistons Chill

As the snow continues to fall and the temperature continue to drop, believe it or not, the Pistons aren't sinking along with the weather. The mesh and the development of the new line up is yet to come....the best is yet to come. With that in mind, road blocks and tons of trials are inevitable as the winter blows.

Dyess' Roll

The Pistons could've not started the holidays any better than getting McDyess back. If you think either Wallace, Hamilton, Prince or Iverson is the heart and soul of the Pistons, think again. McDyess intentionally rejected couple millions of dollars just to be back in Detroit along with his old teamates. Remember last year playoffs after breaking his nose? After, being left in Detroit for that injury but rejoining his team on the road to play the game....Remember speaking out for the first time in locker room, when everybody froze just to listen what he has to say...Remember the 21 points and 11+ rebounds during the ECF? I don't think Dyess could sail the ship on his own, but knowing the guy would play his heart out on the floor could be contagious and that's what the Pistons may be lacking.

Defense Isn't the Problem...Consistent Defense Is

Accepting the loss to Philly and Washington may not be hard, but swallowing it could be disgusting. After building a good amount of lead and controlling most of the first 3 quarters and then losing makes me want to jump in a below zero river so maybe then I could forget those lead that went to waste. Michael Curry said it, once the Pistons are starting to be out of synch in the offensive end, their defense is sinking as well. Their composure is simply giving up and their mental toughness becomes stale.....obviously, physical toughness would be nothing without mental. Pistons has so many offensive weapon that sometimes their forgetting how to play the other end of the game. The defense on this two previous games were fading away as the game started to unravel.

Iverson Into the Mix Update

The bottom line is, IT'S STILL IN PROGRESS. From the way I see it, he could carry the Pistons if he chooses too, and he's proven that on some of the games he played. The question is if he could carry his team mates along with him that will result to getting to the Promise Land in June. This is why the question who got the best of the Iverson/Billups trade won't be answered until summer.

Curry Still In Command

More importantly, Joe Dumars has confident in his team that time come playoffs, the Pistons would be a better team and they will be very very unpredictable on their offense. A series of jump shooters along with multiple slasher. Dumars and Curry both have high respect to each other and their minds are almost identical when it comes to perceiving the red, blue and white boys. They're like Professor X and Cyclops. Curry's moves are pretty much supported by Dumars just like Curry's support on Dumars on the Iverson/Billups trade. A prime example of Curry's move is injecting Stuckey into the starting line-up. Something that's expected to happen but Joe gave it a thumbs up any way. I'm still in the Curry's bandwagon considering it's his first year as a head coach with a lot of things to juggle in his team, they still find a way to compete and win against the top contenders team.

As the rocky mountains begin to turn into crystal ice, the Pistons are obviously still in tuning up. We'll have a better idea how they are as a team when the ice starts to melt when the winter folds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Roll with the Dyess

It's official! McDyess has signed a contract of 1.9 million biannual exception. While there were other lucrative offers from other teams such as Boston, San Antonio and Cleveland's 5.6 million mid level exception, it didn't matter to McDyess. You can't explain it any better that this guy is playing with his heart and soul for the ring....not for the money.

According to Michael Curry, McDyess will make his first appearance as early as today against the Washington Wizards.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Look Around the League

So many things, so little time. This is one of the most exciting weekend I've ever had that I actually didn't have time to catch up with this.
  • In Los Angeles, the spotlight is on Manny Pacquiao after beating Dela Hoya in a very unexpected ending. Who knew Dela Hoya would raise the white flag.....a sign of accepting defeat or maybe for the sake of avoiding getting someone seriously hurt.
  • The Pistons loss to Sixers on Friday after controlling almost the entire game except the last 3-5minutes of the game. They continued that streak today after the game against the Knicks. Like I said, I have to remind myself that the Pistons are in summer training camp, winning and losing any game would just serve as part of the training camp, but it will not serve as how the Pistons "DID" this season.
  • Hang in there coz Dyess is almost home. As early as tomorrow could be the time McDyess will be getting back to his old missed locker.
  • The A.I. and Billups trade may be judged based on the number of wins since the trade....but the conclusion is still blurry. Believe it or not, ESPN is actually opening their mind about that and not just looking at the stat.
  • Whatever people think about the A.I. and Billups trade, no one can deny the fact that the more meaningful games (the playoffs) aren't played yet, so hold your horses on who won this trade
  • Who would've thought that PacMan would make Dela Hoya look pathetic. Don't forget that Pacquiao is actually 3 division lower than Dela Hoya.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pistons Dominated the Spurs

Despite of the situation the Pistons are in including being in a summer camp mode since A.I. they still manage to win and compete to one of the premier title contender in the league, San Antonio Spurs. Final score is 89-77.

SIGNATURE WIN – The Pistons have had some brow-furrowing losses since adding Allen Iverson, but they’ve also had three signature wins in that relatively short time. The third came Tuesday night when they went into San Antonio – back to full health with the recent returns of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – and overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to win 89-77.
Together with their November wins over the Lakers on the road and Cleveland at The Palace, the Pistons can point to those games as strong evidence that when the pieces come together they still belong in any discussion of NBA title contenders.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich seemed convinced, at least in a roundabout way, sounding much like Michael Curry did after Boston bullied the Pistons two weeks ago.
“The most disturbing thing is that we were very soft,” Popovich said. “I think Detroit intimidated us. I think they ran us all over the court with their aggressiveness and physicality. It was really sad to watch in that respect. I thought we totally folded to their aggressive play.”
That aggression was embodied best, perhaps, by Rasheed Wallace. Wallace scored six straight points after San Antonio had taken the night’s only double-digits lead at 60-50 in the third quarter, then hit three huge triples in the fourth quarter when the Pistons outscored the Spurs 28-14. His 3-pointer with just over eight minutes left on a nice setup from Allen Iverson gave the Pistons the lead for good.
“Sheed was playing well throughout,” Curry said. “Some calls went against us in that stretch when it was 50 to 60 and we got so involved with the officiating we weren’t getting calls from the bench what we were supposed to do. We took three quick shots. We just said, ‘Everybody stay calm and work the game. If we move the ball side to side, we can get good shots and if we lock in to what we’re doing defensively and all five guys rebound, we know we’ll have a chance.’ ”
“We know they’re a good ballclub,” said Wallace, who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. “We had to match their energy. They had it in the first half. We just had to come out and do it in the second.”
Kwame Brown matched up with Duncan for most of the first and third quarters, but it was left to Wallace to guard him for most of the fourth. He held Duncan to one point.
Iverson had 19 points, six assists and four steals and Rip Hamilton scored 16 to give him 9,023 as a Piston and tie him for eighth on the franchise’s scoring list with John Long. Tayshaun Prince, after playing a season-low 22 minutes on Sunday, played 41 and contributed 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
The teams swapped 12-0 runs in the second quarter, the Pistons going from seven down to five ahead and the Spurs from six down to six up. The Pistons’ run began when Duncan went to the bench, but it also was sparked by Rodney Stuckey leading an undersized group that defended well and produced transition opportunities. Stuckey finished with 10 points and seven assists in 31 minutes.

Knowing you cannot get away from making tiny mistakes from Poppavich and the Spurs, the Pistons were on their guard and got the job done. This should be a good momentum going into at least two days of practice and heading into a game against Philly.