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Loss to Hawks tonight might mean Pistons are on a pre-Isiah redux

Essentials

Date: Nov. 3, 2010

Time: 7 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 0-4

Hawks: 4-0

Probable starters

Detroit:

Hawks:

  • Mike Bibby
  • Joe Johnson
  • Marvin Williams
  • Josh Smith
  • Al Horford

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Detroit +10.5

Over/under: 195.5

Score: Hawks win, 102.5-93

Three things to watch

1. The Pistons might sink to pre-Isiah depths.

The Pistons’ 0-4 start is their worst since 1999, but an 0-5 start would be the worst since 1980. The good news that year was Detroit’s 21-61 record earned them the No. 2 pick and Isiah Thomas.

Another loss as ugly as last night’s might signal the Pistons are in line for another great pick, and that would be a nice silver ling. But that won’t make the remaining 77 games very much fun.

2. Josh Smith’s excellence.

It would be a miracle if the Pistons trade for Josh Smith. After Al Horford signed a five-year, $60 million extension Monday, many speculated the Pistons could make a run at Smith. But it just doesn’t make any sense.

The Hawks aren’t over the luxury tax this year. All their starters are locked up for next year, and they still won’t be over the luxury tax. An aging Mike Bibby will be the only starter not signed the following year, and the Hawks still won’t be over the luxury tax.

Smith is the Hawks’ best player – there’s a reason the TrueHoop Network nearly voted him to its All-NBA second team – and they have no financial reason reason to dump him.

You don’t hold onto a Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams or even an Al Horford at the expense of Josh Smith. He’s too good. Watch tonight, and you’ll see.

The Pistons’ sale will also hang up a trade for Smith, who has a large trade kicker. But from Detroit’s perspective, that should be the only slowdown. I hope Vince Ellis is wrong when he writes:

When the sale becomes official, the Pistons would seriously consider a Hamilton-for-Smith swap as it appears Hamilton needs a change of scenery.

But the Pistons likely wouldn’t part with Prince for Smith. They like Smith better as a player, but Prince’s expiring deal is like gold.

I’d be livid if the Pistons turned down Prince for Smith, let alone Hamilton for Smith. Fortunately for my mental health, I don’t think either offer will come up.

3. Rodney Stuckey is positioned for a bounce-back game.

Rodney Stuckey had his first poor game of the season last night, but to be fair, many players have poor games when Rajon Rondo guards them. Facing Mike Bibby will be a much easier challenge.

If Stuckey wants to prove he’s turning the corner, he has to shake off bad games and take advantage of suspect defenders.

Pregame reading

7 Comments

  • Nov 3, 20109:34 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    entertaining game. it would help if the Pistons got back in transition but i guess when Tay & T-Mac are handling point guard duties people are not sure of their rotations. i like what i am seeing from Greg Monroe – other than his attempts to finish around the basket. But he is a good rebounder and is going to be a fine player as he gets stronger and learns the league.

    and i know we cannot put Ben Wallace in the game at the end because of the hack-a-ben but how can you justify having CV in the game? He cannot guard anybody down low. He should be an offense/defense substitution because you want him in for his three point shooting but you will never win a close game if the other team goes to the man he is guarding in the paint. and don’t tell me about the good game he had or the one block or the one rebound in traffic. He absolutely stinks on the defensive end.

    T-Mac had his best game so far although he made a couple bad decisions down the stretch. i would really like to see them run an offense instead of iso at the end of games but i don’t think Q has one.

    Trade Rip or Tay for Josh Smith. 

  • Nov 3, 201010:40 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:
    Josh Smith for Rip or Tay will never, ever happen. Josh Smith is not coming to save this team.

  • Nov 3, 201010:52 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Alright I’ve had it. The evidence against Kuester is piling too high. I’m not saying this team is actually any good, but I’ve witnessed 5 consecutive games of coaching decisions that make me scratch my head. Tonight was the icing on the cake. What was up with that 4th quarter lineup? Stuckey doesn’t want to get off the bench so you put Summers in? Summers?! I’d be more upset if the lineup that was in there didn’t hold their own, until it mattered that is. Once crunch time hit the Hawks executed, went 8-11, got layups, dunks, and whatever they wanted completely closing that game out. Get over the hack-a-ben stuff. Put him in the game!
     
    Monroe. Moose man is looking good. I’m about to take back everything I said. He’s hustled and played without hesitation the last two games. I don’t know if it was Kuester’s tough love (ugh) or he just wasn’t ready at first, but he’s looking the part. His size is suddenly more noticeable to me. He looked quite a bit bigger than Horford. He’s snagging rebounds outside of his zone and handling the ball well. I can live with the struggles on offense right now if he keeps providing the energy. I’d like to see him get in the game with Wallace at some point. If both of those guys are in there the front court might be a tad bit formidable.
     
    CV and Daye are so bad at PF. I don’t know what to do about this position. I’d like to see Monroe get some minutes there. One thing is for sure something has to be done at that position if they have any hope of winning games.
     
    Well, the next game is THE GAME. If they can’t get a win against Charlotte things look bleak. GS is much improved, but there is hope Curry is still out or limping. They have to get a win before they go on this West coast trip. Kuester’s job depends on it.

  • Nov 4, 20108:07 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    @patrick

    not my rumor. i saw it on hoophype. if Atlanta is really putting him on the market the Pistons need to grab him. Tay & Summers for Smith?

  • Nov 4, 20109:57 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:

    I know there are rumors he’s available. I know the Pistons would be interested. I also know that, unless they are willing to part with Monroe or Daye in a package with Prince, they are not going to get him. He’s signed to a reasonable (by NBA standards) contract and he’s one of the best forwards in the league, particularly defensively. Teams will be lined up to try and get him if ATL is really shopping him.

  • Nov 4, 201010:33 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    would not give up Daye or Monroe along with Prince. If Atlanta was really interested in Rip and his contract along with a young guy i would have to give it consideration

    and while CV is playing so well on the only end he plays, can we move him?

  • Nov 4, 201012:50 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Atlanta is not going to be interested in anyone’s contract if they are dealing Smith. The only reason they’d be doing it is because they have so many longterm deals now with Johnson, Williams, Horford, Bibby and Smith. They’ve never drawn well attendance-wise and they probably can’t afford all five of those guys. If they trade Smith or anyone, it will be for an expiring deal and a cheap young player. Prince and Monroe or Prince and Daye would both be worth dealing for Smith. He’s young and he’s really, really good.

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