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The Big Question: Detroit Pistons

With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pistons, we wanted our Pistons preview series to capture that. So for each Piston, Patrick Hayes and I will identify and explain what we each see as the biggest question surrounding him entering the season.

DF: Can they find the right rotation before it’s too late?

I firmly believe the Pistons have a playoff team on their roster. The trick will be finding it.

On a team so deep, there are a lot of possibilities for playing time. Many of those combinations will result in a bad team. But I think there’s a quality rotation to be found.

If the Pistons can find it, that would solve a world of problems.

Players would be in the best position to succeed, and their trade values would be maximized. Plus, there would be a clear indicator the players not in the rotation (unless youth is the only reason) don’t fit with the team.

The team would also win, which is the end goal, right?

PH: Can they connect with a spurned fan base?

Pistons fans have grown accustomed to a “brand” of basketball. You play hard, you assert your will on the other team through toughness and you make up for talent deficiencies by out-working your opponent. It was the trademark of the Laimbeer/Thomas/Dumars/Rodman/Mahorn/Salley teams of the late 1980s, and it was a trademark of the beloved Wallace/Wallace/Hamilton/Prince/Billups crew in the 2000s.

The Pistons have a roster of guys who are currently viewed as overpaid, underachieving, finesse players or some combination of the three. I’m not saying all of those characterizations are fair, but unless the Pistons come out of the gate with consistent effort and passion, fans are going to ignore this team.

The Pistons are skilled and could be fun to watch, regardless of how many games they win. But last season, the team had no spirit and often no effort, and that has resulted in a very ornery fan base that is skeptical heading into the season.


  • Oct 27, 201012:02 pm
    by detroitpcb


    tHE Pistons simply cannot leave the responsibility for defensive rebounding and interior defense on the shoulders of Ben Wallace. And if they do monitor his minutes as announced and only play him 25 minutes a game, they have no chance for the playoffs with the roster as currently constituted. They have to get Ben some help or we are going to see a repeat of last year when opposing players routinely went to the basket unmolested.

    they will be exiting. they will have some hot shooting games. It looks like they are learning how to move and share the basketball on offense. But the defense and rebounding is going to be terrible – especially when the second unit comes in. I mean: CV, Monroe, Ben Gordon, Will, & whomever. Thay are not going to defend anybody.

  • Oct 27, 20105:23 pm
    by Laser


    feldman: you’re dreaming, and the answer is no. as has been the case for the past two seasons solid, expect a constant “tinkering.”
    this team has just big ben and max on the interior. two very limited, undersized centers. not a shred of interior toughness whatsoever around them. even if they split the minutes at center so we always have one bruiser on the inside, there’s still a rag doll at the other power position. and you just won’t be able to keep all the perimeter guys happy with the limited number of minutes and shots to go around. we were a poor rebounding, small, bad defensive team last season. this go-round, we’ve lost jerebko and kwame brown and added a wafer-thin SG/SF and a soft rookie. do you think this bodes well for improvement in those categories?
    hayes: at least you don’t have feldman’s stance. i think this one’s up in the air. maybe they’ll be “scrappy” like they were at the VERY end of last season. you remember that, the time when they had loads of fight in them and won a bunch of games when we desperately needed to collect losses. but that was pretty much a will bynum team; stuckey had been shut down by that point. i think bynum could lead a “scrappy” underdog team to some wins. stuckey, on the other hand, isn’t a leader. he’s not inspiring, and all he does is talk and penetrate without dishing. i mean, i like most of the players individually, and maybe they’ll suddenly get tired of being an embarrassment and play their hearts out.
    but as long as rip hamilton and rodney stuckey are considered “leaders” of this team, i don’t see it. rip has a chip on his shoulder, but he’s not a leader and should not be viewed as one. we all know stuckey’s no leader. i like tayshaun as a stabilizing force, but he’s not really a leader. the team is chock-full of problems stemming from a refusal/inability to put players in a position to succeed.
    if bynum was running the offense and big ben was anchoring the defense, stuckey was the “spark off the bench” sixth man entering games in attack mode, charlie v was forced into a starting role and the responsibility that entails, daye was a backup 3/4 who only played the 4 in deliberate situations based on matchups… at least they could be fun to watch. but taking a mismatched, unbalanced team and structuring your lineups to maximize the imbalance is not going to inspire confidence in anyone.

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