This is technically a blog about Michigan and Detroit sports. As such, I have made a (sorta) binding agreement to provide you, the reader, with my observations, thoughts and occasional analysis on the teams that comprise this landscape. That said, I have not been living up to my promise to you; I’ve left someone out in the cold.
(No, not the Tigers. I am getting ready to get cranked up on them next week.)
I’m talking about the Detroit Pistons.
Honestly, I haven’t been able to get excited about this team. I don’t know why, but it just hasn’t happened. But, under the terms of my “contract”, I owe you a post on this team. So here goes.
I find them to be a boring squad, lacking the unity that seemed to exist when they were winning games and going to Eastern Conference finals. Apparently, I’m not alone:
(From Bob Biscigliano, of Detroit4Lyfe fame)
The passion that may have existed before no longer shows in the Pistons. They are boring, lethargic, and boring. When Iverson came into town, the Pistons stopped winning.
I think I have watched about three quarters of Pistons basketball this year. It was all I needed to realize that this team is awkward. It’s sort of like that moment in Gone In 60 Seconds when all of the old car thieves meet the new kids, and are arguing about who-can-do-what and why they should be included in the plan. (FTR, Walter Hermann is totally the guy that sucks at everything but can “order a mean pizza.” I’m not really sure what he does.)
Statistically, the Pistons are boring. Offensively, they are in the bottom half in pretty much every meaningful category. Defensively? The same.
Alot of people want to blame rookie coach Michael Curry. Fair enough. He has pretty much the same talent that his predecessors had (if not better), and the Pistons have floundered around the bottom half of the East for most of the season. But it goes deeper. Nobody likes to hear this, but it’s about time Joe Dumars was held accountable too. Yes, he has drafted some pretty good talent (i.e. Rodney Stuckey). And yes, he has tried to shake up the makeup of this team by dumping Chauncey Billups and bringing in Allen Iverson. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out Iverson is not the answer, in either the short or long term.
Deeeetroit Basketball currently exists in a state of transition and it is not easy to watch. Curry and Dumars want to give the young guys a chance to learn and grow, which is the right thing to do. But when you have a nucleus of “champions” still hanging around, they won’t willingly hand over the keys to the Jeep. And a superstar like Iverson wants his minutes, no matter how many times he tells us he is “OK” coming off the bench.
In the end, we’ve all seen how this movie ends. The Pistons will probably get bounced in the first round of the playoffs and ESPN can ramp up the hype machine for the Cavs-Celtics Eastern Conference Final that they desire so much. But hopefully Dumars will be cranking up the cap-clearing machine by dumping ‘Sheed and AI at that point too. Yes, we will have to suffer through another lackluster season next year. But in 2010: Oh boy. The young kids will have another season of experience under their belts and Detroit can hopefully bag a sweet free agent or two. Then the fun can really begin.
Can I have my money now?