Monday, December 01, 2008

Iverson Deal Starting To Unravel

It wasn’t too long ago that the Pistons beat the Lakers on the road and all seemed perfect in regard to the Allen Iverson trade.
Just a few weeks later, the deal is unraveling on the Pistons. Iverson missed practice Thanksgiving morning. Given his sound byte, "Practice," is one of the most infamous in sports history, it was a horrible development for the Pistons. Iverson was contrite about it, but it didn’t matter. The damage was done.
As importantly, the Pistons are struggling to adapt their game to Iverson. They are 6-6 since the trade. They didn’t play well at all in a home loss Sunday to Portland. It was nearly as bad as the blowout loss to Minnesota the Sunday before.
Iverson played 32 minutes vs. Portland, but complained about his lack of playing time. It’s not that he is a bad passer. He does a good job of penetrating the lane and kicking the ball out to shooters spotting up. It’s his necessity of having the ball all the time that is a concern.
Iverson is not a point guard. Yet, he demands the ball as much or more than a point guard. The Pistons don’t have a point guard - and therein lies a problem offensively.
That’s before you get to the Pistons’ issues defensively. They don’t guard nearly as well as in the past. When the Pistons bog down on the offensive end of the court, they don’t play the stellar defense they used to in order to carry them through. Defense isn’t Iverson’s strength. Do the Pistons adapt their game to Iverson? Or does Iverson adapt his game to the Pistons? Seems like that’s the issue Piston coach Michael Curry is going to have to sort out. So far, they’re trying to reach a middle ground and nobody to adapting to anyone.
The result: .500 basketball and a future that isn’t exactly looking bright.

Random Thoughts

- Despite his giveaways during the playoffs and his matador defense at the blue line, such as Saturday night in Boston, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock places a lot of faith in Andreas Lilja. Not sure how long that will last with all the depth the Red Wings have at the blue line. Also, Ty Conklin and Chris Osgood need to be sharper in goal.

- There seems to be growing sentiment for the Tigers to play Carlos Guillen at shortstop, at least part-time, next season. In retrospect, was he really that bad there? He made too many errors, that’s for sure. But he had a lot better range - especially to his glove side - than Edgar Renteria displayed. Wonder if he could stay healthy playing short, though. And who would play left field.

8 Comments:

Blogger Larry said...

I went to the Pistons game, sunday, and there was a stark difference between the first and second unit. The malaise among the starters was baffling. ( I also have noticed that the Curry-as-god talk has been missing in their post-game quotes). Of course, the team is not going to be a legitimate challenger without strong play from most of those starters, but the loss against Portland is also on the coaches for going back to the vets at the end of the game. I wonder if its not time to transition some of the kids into major roles. The only time the "sell out" crowd was into the game at all was when Stuckey, et. al were on the court.

9:54 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Good day book hope u had a wonderful Turkey Day. You know not sure if u saw the back of ESPN the magazine. Where it had a picture of the wishbone formation utilizing a bunch of turkeys wearing lion helmets and jerseys. Then you had the CBS guys at half time wearing bags over there heads. Your friend Evil Drew wrote a 4 step approach on how the lions can be fixed. I actaully liked it. But it is the lions we are talking about. We will be having this same conversation next year.

Watching the Pistons though. First I am wondering if the hiring of Micheal Curry is a year to soon. What I mean by that is just experience. Yes I know he was a player, but he was also only an assistant for one year. I am just wondering if he is over whelmed? Time will tell. At the same time it is obvious that this squad was built around a team. Where as the majority of A.I's teams were built around him. I think getting McDyess back will help, but if you notice the on again off again so called switch of Rasheed,Hamilton and Prince have to be concerning. When this team comes out of the gate and plays with a high energy like against LA and Clev. they are as good as anybody. But when they play like they have been they look as bad as the OKC Thunder. I am wondering if Joe Dumars now that he has sceen Amir may be looking to make another deal before the deadline or just ride the storm.

Hey book any word on the Tigers? I really hope we can get Joe Biemel, but the talks at SS worry me. I think the short term conversations are not upgrades compared to what they already got with a Santiago.

11:21 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

I agree with Guillen playing the infield preferly at 3B until the Tigers fall out of contention. Tigers have way too many outfielders and DHs and not enough catchers that are MLB ready. Inge should go back to catching until the Tigers fall out of contention or until a trade is made. Tigers should run the risk and offer Renteria arbitration unless it is not a political thing to do. The Tigers strength now is through the draft and they should try to increase the number of draft picks. There is always a chance he might refuse and if he doesn't, there is interest in Renteria you could trade him. He is also insurance policy just in case the Tigers do not find a ss. Tigers should have the longest grass in MLB because Tigers are built with power not speed. They should cater their ballpark to their players.

12:19 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry,
It was interesting how Michael Curry talked about his starters after the game, putting it on them. I know chemistry is a trite cliche, but the chemistry is clearly missing between Iverson and his starters. Stuckey playing better lately is encouraging.
Caputo

7:28 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
I've seen Biemel pitch a lot. Always seems like he comes into the game in the 7th inning. Watch a lot of late Dodger games because I like hearing Vin Scully on the dish. He's OK in the NL. Wonder how he'd do in the AL. Curry has been put in a difficult position. His first season started and he had to change course right away. Doesn't seem like Iverson isn't doing him any favors.
Caputo

7:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
You and I are on the same page when it comes to Inge. But the Tigers honestly feel they need to tighten up defensively and will help them more at third.
Caputo

7:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pat its sunday after a loss to the knicks it almost seek=ms the the players are giving only half an effort I dont know if its a chauncey hangover or if iverson will ever mesh well. what do nyou think about packaging iverson or rip with amir johnson for a big man so stuckey and bynum can develop and we would have a little team unity

9:17 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
They haven't meshed at all. It does seem like they miss Chauncey and haven't adjusted to Iverson.
Caputo

3:40 AM 

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