Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stick a fork in the Pistons

First off, before I say anything else about the ECF, let me credit he Celtics for beating the Pistons 4 games to 2. They played well in crunch time, and deserved to win. They're a damn good team. With that out of the way...

I know you should never blog mad. You tend to say extreme things, have emotional knee-jerk reactions. But the Pistons, as usual, have pissed me the fuck off. Another season of promise ending in the east finals.

With this Pistons team, I never know from night to night which team will show up. Will be the night they decide to flip the switch? Will they show up in the 3rd quarter? The 4th? At all?

To be honest, the Detroit Pistons are a tiring team to root for. I'm tired of their hubris. The taking games off. The false bravado. The tough talk, but NEVER backing it up. (Think about it, the only season they backed up the talk was the title season) If I never hear "If it ain't rough, it ain't right" again, it'll still be too God damn soon.

The Pistons as we've known them? They're done as title contender. Blow the core up. At the very least, Joe Dumars cannot come back in '08-'09 with this same roster. Something needs to change. Right now, they are the Atlanta Braves of the NBA. And that's NOT a compliment.

For all of the talk of their being a team that claims they've "been there before," and "play best with their backs against the wall," they disappeared quicker than WMD's did in Iraq in the 4th quarter of game 6. After the Pistons took a 70-60 lead, a the Celtics outscored the Pistons 29-11. That's clutch play? That's being at your best when everything is against you?

Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton were the only two of the core who truly showed up. Period. It says VOLUMES your best players were also your most banged up. The backcourt was gutty as Hell, considering their injuries. Unfortunately, the front line was nowhere to be found.

Why did the Pistons lose? Rasheed Wallace had more fouls than points. 4 points in the biggest game of the season? When the team needed you to come up big? Wallace couldn't have come up any smaller, 2-12 says it all. Tayshaun Prince was 0 for the 1st half, 3-10 overall and committed a game changing turnover late in the 4th. Overall, Prince had an awful series, and Wallace's biggest impact was in pissing off the refs. Most of the blame should fall on them.

Antonio McDyess was...Well, he was just sort of there. 3 shots? 6 points? It's as if he used up every drop he had in his monster game 4, and had nothing left to give. The young players were OK. Jason Maxiell brought a spark, and Rodney Stuckey looked good at times, and other times played like the rookie he is. But this wasn't their game to win. It was the core's and they came up woefully short.

As for Flip Saunders? I'm not sure what to make of his status. If the Pistons feel the need to bring this same core team back, I don't know how Flip can return as well. My best guess? Saunders is toast.

Though I will say this in Flip's defense. The Pistons core group are coach killers.

The core didn't get along with Rick Carlyle. Larry Brown had the personality to handle them, but never unpacked his suitcases. Saunders doesn't get any respect from the core. That's 3 different coaching styles, 3 short timers, 3 years max (Assuming Flip gets the ziggy).

Who on earth is capable of coaching this group? The more important question is, who would WANT to?

I know I said this back in the Philly series, but it's even more true tonight. I hate rooting for the Pistons. They are a team that frustrates me to the point of distraction. That pisses me off to no end. Who have an personality that exudes a combination of unearned entitlement and undeserved cockiness. Not exactly a likable combination...

The Pistons are what they are. What they aren't, is good enough.


  1. I hear you Al. Too many antics. Too much crying from Wallace. Frankly I'd rather watch a group of fun-to-watch guys lose in the opening round than see this group of hard-to-watch guys go to the ECF every year.

    A blowup is fine by me.

  2. It's time for Mr. Laimbeer

  3. This team is infinitely more pleasurable to follow than the Lions, so lets not jump off the ledge.

    Yeah, this team was frustrating to watch and root for, but in a league that celebrates superstars, what they accomplished was amazing. As one of the writers point out, sometime like 8 of the last 9 titles were one by teams that had a HOF big man. This year, the title will be won by the team with greatest player on earth. So tell me, do you really think that its reasonable to EXPECT a championship every year? We were contenders to the trophy not pretenders, and anyone who thinks otherwise is grade A moron.

    I think that we are hypocritical regarding the Pistons. On the one hand, we hate it when they fail to recognize that they are only good when they play as a team, but yet we assume they have the superstar talent to win it all every year. Their style of ball is mentally more tiring to play than superstar ball, and they didnt have the talent to have a margin of error. No shame in that.

    I am so sick and tired of hearing our complaints that the pistons didnt want it, or they didnt care. Gimmie a break, what weak arguments. You think the team is partying today because they lost? You think that they are happy with this? Yeah, giving up a 29-10, or whatever the hell it was, run in the 4th sucks, but maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Celtics had something to do with it. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the pistons dug in deep and did what they could, but either their bodies werent willing or the ball bounced away or who the heck knows. Just dont tell me that they didnt want it because that is just stupid.

    The only loss that killed me as pistons fan was the loss to the Cavs last year. We lose to the Heat, but they were the eventual title holders, so no shame in that. And the Celtic loss this year, come on, is anyone surprised? We all KNEW that it was going to be a hard fought series, we all KNEW that the Pistons were the underdogs, even with the Celtics lackluster performance before the series.

    I for one, will take a 59 win team lose in the ECF over rooting for a team like the Mavs who are now perennial 1st round losers, or even a team like the Celtics, who were so bad for so long and only became relevant when KG was gift wrapped for them.

    As for next year, yeah its time to move on. But saying that its time to "blow it up" is far different than saying that this team did not do anything worthy of praise over the past few years.

    It was pleasure watching the pistons backcourt play so well this year, to see Sheed play with emotion and fire down low and to see Maxy and Stuckey blossom in the ECF.

    I cant wait for next year to start and anyone who complains deserves to be fans of the pathetic Lions.

    I hope the Lakers kill the Cs

  4. Red Wings still playing. :)

    They don't feel entitled.

    I'm not a basketball person myself, but I'm sorry they were so disappointing this season. I know fans had high hopes for them.

  5. I didn't think it was entitlement that killed them Friday night, it was a better team. The Celtics played inspired D in the 4th and we had nothing left.

    That said, it's time to blow things up. See what Sheed and Billups can bring in the trade market and rebuild around Rip, Prince, Stuckey, Maxiell and Amir Johnson. And yes, Flip is done. I wouldn't mind seeing Larry Brown come back. Just don't hire Avery Johnson.