Detroit Pistons unlikely to break playoff drought

pistons cheerleaders

The Sports Bank will be counting down to the opening tip of the 2012-13 NBA season with team by team previews starting with the worst and working our way to the title contenders.  There is no lockout this time around so let’s get going.

The Detroit Pistons are still suffering from some recent poor financial decisions made by general manager Joe Dumars that has held back the franchise (i.e. the Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva off-season along with the fact that Richard Hamilton still accounts for $5.5 million of their cap this year.)  Like the past three seasons, Detroit figures to fall short of the playoff picture.

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Detroit Pistons in a bit of a holding pattern this off-season

greg monroe pistons

The one time Eastern Conference power Detroit Pistons missed out on the post-season for a third straight season.  Coincidentally enough, that streak started when general manager Joe Dumars wasted his abundant cap space by overpaying Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to long-term deals.  The franchise is still in recovery mode from those signings and doesn’t figure to make any major moves this off-season.

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Detroit Pistons Need Off-Season Therapy

Like we are currently seeing in the NFL, the 2011 NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank continues to break down all thirty NBA teams to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.

As if their record was not awful enough, the Detroit Pistons 2010-2011 season was filled with more drama than a Real World episode.  Led by Richard Hamilton, several players  staged a walkout on first year head coach John Kuester.  Now, the Joe Dumars and the Pistons enter a critical off-season without a whole lot of cap flexibility.

By: David Kay

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Detroit Pistons Fall to #8 in NBA Draft Lottery

rip hamilton tayshaun prince

The Detroit Pistons will have the eighth pick in the 2011 NBA draft, as their luck in the lottery faltered, costing them one spot from their projected seventh spot.

The team entered with a 15.3 percent chance of netting a top-three pick, including a 4.3 percent chance of taking the top spot. They had a 59 percent of staying at #7– the slot they held last year that resulted in drafting forward Greg Monroe, their player representative at this year’s lottery –but were pushed down a spot when Cleveland vaulted to number one.

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NBA Trade Machine Challenge: Blow Up Pistons’ Roster

rip hamilton tayshaun prince

The Sports Guy refers to himself as the Picasso of ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.  Well if he is Picasso then The Sports Bank’s Peter Christian and David Kay are the da Vinci and van Gogh of the trade machine (though neither would cut their own ear off while working on a trade… or at least I don’t think.)

In this new feature, Peter and David will play the role of NBA general manager since they are likely more intelligent than half of the GM’s out there.  One will propose a challenge to the other to make a trade happen with certain requirements and the other will accept the mission like he were Tom Cruise and explain why all parties involved would pull the trigger on the deal.
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Detroit Pistons’ Draft Emphasized Character over Talent

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By H. Jose Bosch

Every time a professional draft comes up, my least favorite word thrown around is “character.”

Many coaches and GMs love to wax poetic about the character of potential picks.

Guess what: you’re building a professional sports team, not the St. Gloira Men’s Chorus.

That’s not to say character is completely bogus. The Pistons are exhibit A in how low a team can fall when character falls by the wayside (*cough*Allen Iverson*cough*). But for every A.I., T.O. and Chad Ocho Cinco, guys who let their lack of character sink a franchise, there are plenty of athletes who can contribute to a winning team and still be a jerk.

I say this because Detroit’s first-round pick, Gonzaga forward Austin Daye, was picked “not only for what he could do on the court, but also for what he won’t do away from the court. He won’t show up late on game days or late to the airport for flights. He won’t show up authority if he disagrees with a coaching decision.”

That’s great. And if he ends up being an NBA burnout I’m sure he’ll wear a large smile when he asks, “Would you like fries with that?”

Hey, I’m not dumb. This draft was weak and the Pistons were picking at No. 15. The chances of getting an NBA-ready talent, with minimal flaws, at that position is as good as me dunking over Shaq. But if Detroit is already in a spot where the fist pick is basically a flier, why not try and address the two biggest needs–point guard and center—rather than worry about a player’s partying habits?

Daye is a taller, skinner and younger version of Tayshaun Prince. That would be fine and dandy if A.) Prince was nearing the end of his career and on the verge of retirement or B.) He was no longer on the team. Neither is the case meaning Detroit now has a weaker version of Prince to back him up this season. Not that exciting.rasheed-wallace

I’m a risk taker myself, especially when I’m not actually in charge of a sports franchise and millions of its dollars. If I had a choice, I would’ve picked a point guard since that seemed to be the deepest end of the shallow talent pool and, in my opinion, the jury is still out on Rodney Stuckey’s ability to be a true point. Jrue Holiday (UCLA), Ty Lawson (North Carolina) and Jeff Teague (Wake Forest) were all on the board when Detroit’s name came up. To my knowledge none of them really have character issues. But instead we go for a player a girl can bring home to mom.

That’s not to say the Daye pick is a terrible one. Depth in the frontcourt doesn’t hurt. It just felt like what he could be off the court mattered more than what he can contribute on the court. That’s not winning basketball unless titles are doled out based on the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

But I take solace in the fact that the Pistons can’t build a contender through the draft. What makes or breaks this offseason will be the free agent period.

The Pistons could sign Carlos Boozer or trade for Chris Bosh. Hedo Turkoglu will be out there and there’s even Mike Bibby now that the Hawks signed Jamal Crawford and drafted Jeff Teague.

So maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh on the character guy. When Prince was drafted he didn’t really raise any eyebrows and he turned out to be a major factor in the Pistons’ recent success. And Dumars needs to help Michael Curry re-establish control in the locker room with guys that will actually listen.

This draft should probably be nothing more than a shoulder shrug for the fans. We’ll have to wait till July 8 and see before we decide if we should lose it. Until then, there are more important things to talk about today.

I heard some singer passed away yesterday.

mj