Monday, January 21, 2008

Was Pistons' Slump Just Reality?

It’s difficult to discern, in the landscape that is the NBA, whether what the Pistons are going through is inevitable or a trend.
Is it just a long season bound to hit a dead span? Or is it a red flag?
The NBA regular season is such a grind that it may be an unreasonable expectation for teams to remain "up" for that long of a schedule, especially when they realize the games that really count - the ones during the playoffs - don’t begin for a few more months.
The Pistons aren’t like most teams. They understand they are going to be in the playoffs. It’s just a matter the degree of homecourt advantage they are able to get.
There’s also the theory that losing an edge right now isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It allows a team to build to a proper crescendo during the playoffs.
We saw a couple years ago what happened when the Pistons played it all-out, all season at a breakneck pace. They had too little remaining in the tank for the playoffs.
I understand all of the above, and acknowledge it might very well be true. But when the Pistons get drilled by mediocre, struggling, dysfunctional teams such as the Knicks and the Bulls, sorry, but I still can’t help but find it disconcerting.

Random Thoughts

- I know, I know, Michigan’s football future would be a lot brighter with him than without him. From what I can tell, he is a great player. But sorry. Couldn’t help it. I still found the attention paid to Terrelle Pryor’s official visit to Michigan this past weekend to be ridiculous. The Michigan Mafia is falling all over themselves on this one. That part I find kind of humorous. What if the kids says, "No." Or if he decides to attend Ohio State? Will they have to shutdown the school? Will Ann Arbor cease to exist? You’d think so.

- Daniel Cleary just might be the most underrated player on the Red Wings. He is not only scrappy, but has a pretty good scoring touch - and he can skate.

- Wonder how the Patriots and Giants reached the Super Bowl with just one offensive coordinator, not a passing game guru and a running game expect, you know, like the Lions’ next season. Just keeps getting more absurd in Allen Park, doesn’t it?


Blogger Fred Brill said...

It seems that with the Pistons, they need to be "in the mood" to play. And when that starting five are all in the mood together, inspired if you will, nobody can touch them.

But should the best team in the NBA need to be inspired? I guess so.

It really seems as simple as that.

Michigan and Pryor is the most recent example of what's wrong with the NCAA concept - both football and basketball - taking a freshman kid and putting pro-level pressure on them. It's not right.

I felt bad for Farve yesterday. Crappy way to end a season. Or a career. He can't hang up the cleats on that throw. Can he?

1:14 PM 
Blogger Dakota Mark said...

Hey Pat,

I am not too concerned with the Pistons slump because they are sticking with their rookie rotation no matter what, it seems. Other years , with the bench slumping, the coach would just leave the starters out longer. The rooks (bench) need to work their way out of this....and this is the best time to do this. I am glad that Dumars and Saunders are sticking to their rookie rotation. This will prove a very valuable lessons learned come playoff time.

And I not saying the current slump is all on the rooks, but they are definitely not providing the spark they normally have been. The spark that would help the vets get through their slump. Although, one of the non-rooks on the bench - Jarvis Hayes, needs to step it up. He is the Vet on that squad. Otherwise, I say give Walter Hermann a chance. He has a much better inside presence, and is a better athlete. His defense is not too shabby either..aka...his defense against Dallas' Dirk Nevinski.

I also disagree with taking Afflalo out of the rotation...he has been very affective, especially defensively. A new, younger version of Lindsey Hunter. This move needs to be re-evaluated.


1:23 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book,

Maybe the 'Stons were having too much fun in the big cities to TCB on the court. But seriously, even though their playoff position as the number two seed in the East is pretty much determined, they should not be giving away games to the non-contenders. I am aware that the Knicks game was the fourth in five nights. Still that game was over at halftime and that shouldn't happen. I would be surprised if Joe D. doesn't make a significant trade before the deadline. Any hot stove suggestions?

All the fawning over Terrelle Pryor makes it easy to understand why many athletes think they are above the rules. Not saying that the young man doesn't deserve special attention, but often the case is that they begin to think that they will always get special treatment, no matter the situation. If the name Michael Vick comes to your tongue tip, well, he is only the latest example in the news.

Maybe Cleary has a stuffed armadillo named Zeus. Two goals against the Canucks' Luango.

Cleary is a nice reclamation project that seems to have become a versatile and integral part of the Wings Cup campaign. From what I've read about him, he was a high draft pick who was fawned over in his native Newfoundland province and in Junior hockey. My understanding is he took things for granted that he'd be in the NHL. Things didn't work out for him due to a lack of effort. Then a couple of life changes caused him to put forth the effort. Great story.

5:14 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I think that's a good way to put it. When they are motivated, it's not a problem. But sometimes the Pistons act like they can turn a switch on and off - and that's dangerous business. I agree about Pryor. Too much pressure too soon. Favre has already said he is coming back.

8:24 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

dakota mark,
Hayes has been disappointing lately. Seems like he just throws up shots. He has regressed. I like Afflalo, too. He is aggressive defensively and I like the way he attacks the basket.

8:26 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
Cleary was a big-time prospect. Got nearly Crosby-like notice at 14, but faded as a junior. Still, the 13th overall pick in the draft. Skill is starting to show. The Pryor situation is ridiculous. College sports at its best because he is so talented, but also at its worst because of the fawning over the kid.

8:29 AM 
Anonymous jimbo said...

It's the lack of a bench that's going to kill this team once again. Yes, when inspired their the best, the problem is the years have taken a toll on this team and Flip's tendency of overplaying them will hurt them when it really does count.
Saying your developing the bench by sticking a one or two for 3 minutes will not cut it in the long run. During the winning streak when the bench was known as the zoo crew with dependable minutes they produced, then Flip regressed back to his old ways of wearing out the starters all in the name of winning 60.

4:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I still think their bench will be better and they just need to fight through it to let their young players grow.

10:27 PM 

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