Friday, March 27, 2009

Help Is On Its Way

For the past few weeks, the Pistons is no different than the Sesnon Fire that occured last year here in Socal.

The group of fire fighter = The shorthanded Pistons
The Mayor/Gov = Joe Dumars/Michael Curry
DC-10 jet fire fighter = Rip, AI and Wallace
Wind = The lingering injuries between Rip, AI and Wallace

Well, its a similar situations. The shorthanded Pistons could only do so much to ease the fire. Dumars and Curry cannot do or demand to put out the fire since the lingering injuries is like a wind that gust throughout the fire that prevents Rip, AI and Wallace to completely put out the fire.
Today, that wind has left and the jet fighters are about to take off. Finally, a breathing moment.

AUBURN HILLS -- For the first time in at least a couple of weeks, Arnie Kander is seeing real progress with his three wounded warriors, to the point where two of them might be ready to play by Saturday.
Kander, the Pistons physical therapist, has been running a sort of boot camp for Allen Iverson (back), Rasheed Wallace (calf) and Richard Hamilton (groin) the past couple of days and he came away very encouraged from the session Thursday morning.
"They all ran and they all looked good," Kander said. "There was real progress today and I am hoping that Rip and Rasheed can be back by the weekend."
Coach Michael Curry said the same thing.
"I expect Rip back on Saturday (in Washington) and 'Sheed maybe Saturday," he said.
"And we hope we can get Allen back at the beginning of next week."
Coach Michael Curry said the same thing.
Wallace missed his ninth game Thursday and Hamilton his sixth.
Iverson, who missed his 15th, isn't as close to returning, though Kander said he had one of his best days Thursday.
"He really shot the ball well," Kander said. "He was hitting 90 percent of his shots in the drills we were running.
"He looks good. I don't know if he will play Saturday, but maybe he will be ready when we get back (Sunday)."
The Pistons are 2-7 since Wallace joined Iverson on the injured list.
They are 1-6 with all three players out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Darkest Hour

When the Pistons has fallen to their eight consecutive loss a few weeks ago, the news around the Pistons land was "its over". That changed in matter of less than 48 hours after beating the NBA champion Celtics, sweeping the Magic in the regular season and winning a game against their former floor general Chauncey BIllups' Nuggets. Yesterday, things has started to slip again after losing two consecutive game against a non-playoff contender, the Knicks and the Grizzlies. However, the two losing streak were all fair-considered that it wouldn't take away their hopes, their confidence and their determination that as the Pistons' "It's time to work" attitude will once again prevail, not until they found out what's bothering their leading scorer and leading in assist has been enduring. Rip has been lingering his groin injury which explains why his shooting slump began to be a concern for the past two games. This was reported right before the game against the Dallas on the road. After dropping on the seventh playoff spot every game is critical that this has to be the darkest hour the Pistons have encountred this season with Rip, Wallace and A.I. out of the line up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Finding the Identity

The Pistons are currently caught in a double intensity spike. They are short two of their key players, Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson. At the same time, they are in the midst of finding their identify completely, a person that's been awaken from a coma and starting to remember what's his/her capable of. They have won six of their last eight games, including a win over Boston and a couple of games against Orlando, who they may be facing in the first round playoffs. However, the other benefit of the past several wins are the revival of the Pistons cast, including the bench players and most notably Antonio McDyess and Richard Hamilton.
Got Rip?
Eversince Rip returned to the starting line up, their last eight games created a different outlook on the scoreboard, or rather, their opponents' averaging less than 95 points per game (94.5). Defensive effort is clearly there and just like what I've been rallying all season, that Rip may not be a hall of famer (yet), but he has a definite advantage over AI in the defensive end. At the same time you can't count him out on scoring because the old Rip that's been seen for the last six season in Detroit once again lead the team, not only in scoring but in assist. When Rip gets into a constant running mode, the opposing team has few options, either avoid the screener (the Power Forward or Center) which is practically impossible especially on the speed that Rip's generates. Another option would be to allow the screener's (whoever's guarding Wallace, Dyess, Max or Kwame) guard to switch and guard Rip. Consequently this will free up Pistons' frontcourt, which in Pistons case, Dyess would love to take that mid range shot and Sheed beyond the arc. Before you knew it, the opponents' defense has been scrambled. Rip may not be able to create his own shot off the dribble like Lebron or Kobe, but he can disrupt the teeth of the opponents defense. This is where Rip's assist stat came from.
Rolling the Dyess
While Rip is too busy on constant motion Dyess is too busy putting up some boards number, not to mention hustling on lose balls. "In my mind, if the ball comes off the boards, I'm going to get it. No matter who it is, I'm going to get the rebound." Having a mind set like that before entering a game is something, but its another thing applying it throughout the whole game. The man is on a mission, playing the game with his heart and his blood and sweat written all over the court just trying to keep the ball alive. And when he's not grabbing rebounds? He's shooting a high percentage mid range shot.

Bench In the Making
Walter Hermann is the first notable bench player that created some threat to the opposing team. With his ability to shoot above the arc and create his own shot below or close to the rim, gave Michael Curry the idea that he should be in the line up rotation. When Curry mention that he fits perfectly with Prince, that pretty much gave away that he'll be in the rotation. Another notable bench player is Will Bynum. His fearless attacking his opponent and taking it to the rim is something that Curry has been drumming, "attack and get to foul line". The norms but are now beginning to show some "zoo crew" life are Max, Kwame and Afflalo. With Amir trying to find his feet back on the gas pedal and everybody else on the bench, a hall of famer is soon to comeback. Chauncey Billups may have named the Zoo Crew, but in most games they played he really never led them. Maybe a guy who loves to push the tempo, loves to attack and able to create his own may just be what the young legs Zoo Crew needs.