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Spurs at Pistons: Contrast in franchises

Essentials

  • Teams: San Antonio Spurs (37-14) at Detroit Pistons (21-29)
  • Date: February 10, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons are heading in vastly different directions this season, and one could say this was to be expected. Both respective franchises have operated in contrasting ways over the last few years, and well, only one team has benefitted from it all: the Spurs.

Gregg Popovich has been the head coach of San Antonio since the 1996-97 season, whereas the Pistons will unveil their 11th coach in the same timeframe tonight. What’s more, the Spurs defeated the Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals and have kept the same core of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

San Antonio opted to keep their aging roster and simply tweak around it to ensure they remained competitive. Since meeting Detroit in the finals, Duncan and Co. have captured another title, lost in the title round and been to two conference finals.

On the flip side, Detroit was bounced from three consecutive conference finals and then blew up the roster. They managed a postseason berth in 2008-09 thanks to Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, but LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers swept them out of the first round.

The Pistons have not been back to the postseason since. Detroit was supposed to bounce back in 2013-14 with its new and improved roster featuring the newly acquired Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, but things have not gone exactly as planned.

The Pistons are one game out of the eighth spot, but they hardly look like a team with an opportunity to win a playoff game or even provide any type of competition in the postseason should they make it.

San Antonio on the other hand has been a model of consistency since these teams met in the finals, and figure to continue being the envy of almost every other franchise for another year or two.

Consider this little nugget: The Spurs practically have as many road wins (19) as the Pistons’ total amount of victories (21) this year. The Pistons franchise is heading on a different path…again.

They fired Maurice Cheeks, and now must wait to see what the results will be with another headman steering the ship. Fair or not, it would appear as though Detroit is simply hitting the reset button, and that the same decisions will get made over and over again by the front office.

Interestingly enough, San Antonio evolved in concert with the league’s changes while Detroit did… we are not quite sure. In a nutshell, those are your two basketball clubs that will face off tonight.

Read about the Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell.

51 Comments

  • Feb 10, 20147:31 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    people don’t talk about it much, but the real turning point was when the team let ben walk away without matching chicago’s offer.  of course, that was probably set into motion when joe hired offensive-minded flip saunders and ben definitely did not agree with the team’s direction.  and flip never seemed to appreciate ben’s worth to the team either.
    but after ben left, the team was really a shell of what it had been and it was only a matter of time before  things fell apart. 
    and, yes, in contrast, san antonio kept its main guys and tweaked the roster to maximize their skills.  it is almost impossible to believe that at one point, san antonio and detroit were looked at as the league’s premier franchises, models for others to emulate.
    yep, almost impossible to believe that knowledgable people talked about the two teams in that way.

    • Feb 10, 20148:00 pm
      by Lorenzo

      Reply

      No point in rehashing ‘ancient’ history but the Bulls regretted giving Ben that ridiculous contract almost from the get go. It was a desperate move (they were badly in need of a ‘big man’) and a definite miss-step. Can’t blame Dumars for not matching that offer. Giving Nazi 25 mill over 5 years on the other hand….*shudder.*

      • Feb 10, 20148:43 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        everyone – chicago, detroit and ben – forgot what a unique fit he was in detroit.  in the system he’d been in under carlisle and brown, ben was a great player.  in chicago, which wanted him to play a different way, he was a horrible fit.  from the conflict he had with coach about his headband – it was never a good fit.  his first year with the bulls, however, the bulls became the top defensive team in the league.
        but the champion pistons were always a team first, a collection of talent that was always greater than than individual players would normally indicate.
        joe forgot that.  ben forgot that.  chicago forgot that, until it was too late.  
        and after ben left, joe made a series of moves trying to replace ben, even playing mcdyess out of his preferred role, and nothing ever replaced ben.  as i said, that was the beginning of the end, though not very many people recognize it.
        what it also indicated was that joe dumars had an exaggerated sense of his own worth, believing that he could just pull guys out of a hat and replace a once in a lifetime defensive player.  obviously, he was wrong, but his arrogance in the matter was indicative of problems to come.
        just for the record, joe was willing to give ben 3 years, but balked at a 4th year.  in retrospect, it was a dumb move on his part, as ben surely had 3 more good years left in him, and a large expiring contract -if ben had been reduced to that – would have had immense value on its own.  
        dumb move by dumars to just let ben walk, and the beginning of the end.
         

        • Feb 10, 20149:10 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          I totally agree with you Frankie

        • Feb 10, 20149:15 pm
          by Lorenzo

          Reply

          Yeah sorry but have to disagree with that. I understand Ben was once in a lifetime defensive talent…and you don’t replace that…point blank (though Dice wasn’t a poor fall back). But regardless I don’t care how other teams decided to use him, Ben was on the wrong side of the hill as far as his career arc went, that contract that he got was dumb. That squad was going to be burdened with 5 large contracts…for a team that has traditionally wanted to avoid the luxury tax at all costs it was a reasonable move. Don’t doubt that this was a cross roads moment for the franchise, and Joe has made some dumb moves over the years, can’t say that was one of them.

          • Feb 10, 201411:44 pm
            by frankie d

            @lorenzo
            who was ben traded for in the last year of his contract?  shaquille o’neal, that is who.
            the fact that ben was the centerpiece of a trade for that player proves exactly what i stated.  giving him that last year on his contract – which had been the deal breaker for dumars – could have been managed and should not have been the issue that drove ben away.  
            that large, expiring contract had immense value.  that much cannot be argued.  it is a matter of history.  it happened.   end of story.
            dumars was dumb to not recognize that fact.  he should have paid ben what the market commanded, took his chances, and ultimately, he could have done exactly what cleveland did:trade him for valuable assets, if they did not feel comfortable paying him that salary that last year.

    • Feb 10, 201411:26 pm
      by jeff m

      Reply

      Joe had a philosophy that worked, but had no idea how to keep the right players to fill the vacancies of the great players that left, then for some reason totally change the game towards offense, which made no sense at all, when usually great defensive teams have a better shot at winning In todays sports.

  • Feb 10, 20147:52 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Already running more playings…just saw to wheel plays

  • Feb 10, 20147:54 pm
    by Lorenzo

    Reply

    Have to say I have been impressed with the pace of the game. Good to see that Loyer is getting them to push the ball up court.

  • Feb 10, 20148:02 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Nor gonna bask Greg…but that dude just beat him down the floor easy

  • Feb 10, 20148:04 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Not gonna bash Greg but that dude Ayer beat him up the floor twice and it was easy

  • Feb 10, 20148:05 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    Im interested to see the rotations.  Nothing too different so far.  Will we see Bynum, Billups, Jerebko, Datome?????

  • Feb 10, 20148:13 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Dre…u should have dunked that

  • Feb 10, 20148:27 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    I’ve liked the rotations so far.  KCP is playing well.   Jerebko has been bad though.

    • Feb 10, 20149:16 pm
      by Lorenzo

      Reply

      yeah….Jonas looked terrible. Don’t think he has any confidence at the moment.

  • Feb 10, 20148:30 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    So this what coaching looks like? I don’t even think Loyer had sat down once

    • Feb 10, 20148:33 pm
      by Jopl

      Reply

      Wait, your not supposed to sit with the fans with your arms crossed not calling plays or doing anything?

  • Feb 10, 20148:40 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    ^ Cheeks always looked high….whether we win with Loyer or not…I love his energy now can he do that for 30 more games? 

  • Feb 10, 20148:43 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Did you see Loyer encouraging KCP to keep shooting? Get after his team to chase them off the 3 point line? Him telling them to run? I think he even screamed at belinii when he was in the corner open for that three

  • Feb 10, 20148:55 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Wow! When Greg plays like this and the pistons play this way …I dont wanna trade anyone 

  • Feb 10, 20148:58 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Good coaches take time out with 19pt leads…especially when you know you team has a history of losing big leads

  • Feb 10, 20148:59 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    They look more organized than I have seen this season. 

  • Feb 10, 20149:05 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Jennings is playing GREAT basketball! And we are getting the swag

  • Feb 10, 20149:13 pm
    by Mrdumas

    Reply

    I wish I can watch the game but from the look of the score new coach seems good ..I likey

  • Feb 10, 20149:14 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Not sure if any of you guys have seen this but it interesting non the less. The source is a bit iffy but I thought id post anyway. According to this it looks like we’ll be matching ANY offers fpr moose.
     
    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24438838/report-pistons-will-match-a-max-offer-sheet-for-greg-monroe

  • Feb 10, 20149:46 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    About the only complaint I have is Drummond should have played more minutes.  He needs 30+ minutes regardless.   Probably less Jerebko.  Interestingly we didnt see any more of the Monroe & Drummond pairing…

    • Feb 10, 201410:30 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      To the coaches credit he put Dre back in late in the 4th in which he had two valuable put backs which gave us some breathing room.

  • Feb 10, 20149:51 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    That’s how coaching wins ball games. Well done, Detroit!

  • Feb 10, 20149:52 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

     
    I agree..butI thought he was protecting Drummond from Pop doing the fouling away from the ball thing and Pop is known for doing that…
    If you remember Chris Joseph ran up and fouled Jennings pushing them over the limit

  • Feb 10, 20149:53 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Game really wasn’t that close

  • Feb 10, 20149:57 pm
    by Mrdumas

    Reply

    Playoffs??

  • Feb 10, 20149:59 pm
    by acr

    Reply

    Nice win, but the 4th qtr.  didn’t really look too different than all year.  Plus Spurs playing without a few key players.  At at any rate, I’ll admit that I was overly optimistic and wrong about Cheeks- hopefully we get something positive out of the rest of the year at least.

  • Feb 10, 201410:04 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Spurs always play that way….they have played with all bench players and competed with the Heat….
    Only thing I didn’t like in the fourth was will bynum not moving the ball..and that 4th qrt line up stopped moving

  • Feb 10, 201410:14 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    I loved the game but Drummond sat out too much! Hopefully this doesn’t continue!

  • Feb 10, 201410:23 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    I think Loyer did it to protect Drummond from the hacking

  • Feb 10, 201410:27 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    I think they jipped Drummond out of one rebound in the 4th…

  • Feb 10, 201410:28 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Earlier I said if we win 5 out of the next 7 games we be right back in it….

  • Feb 10, 201410:29 pm
    by Windy

    Reply

    Dre with foul trouble so maybe the reason they held him back, plus he seemed to have rolled his ankle on a guys foot, kinda came up slow so maybe just didn’t want to keep him out there too much…regardless nice win for the team…this break will really help Loyer…pop the Cavs before all-star weekend 

  • Feb 10, 201410:31 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Singler was 3-11…but it didn’t seem like he was missing…perception 

  • Feb 10, 201410:32 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Now we have to get this win against the cavs

  • Feb 10, 201410:37 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Hmmm, everyone was looking for that sure-fire assistant coach to become the next Tom Thibs like Chicago, maybe we have him? Sounds good from the comments I’m reading.

  • Feb 10, 201410:38 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    So this is what real coaching is like?  It’s early, and so what they have injuries, the Spurs come to play most of the time.  We may all have different approaches on how to improve things and we are just fans(short for fanatic) but our eyes were not deceiving us when it came to what was going on(or not going on) on the floor.  I hope Loyles though he is interim will give the players some leadership and exert some discipline. When Bynum isn’t playing hero ball he is effective because he is thinking not reacting.  Keeping 2/3 bigs on the floor is part of the recipe for winning. 
    Lets see how it plays out. 

  • Feb 10, 201410:38 pm
    by pablum

    Reply

    Notes on a rare game because of coach bloodshed:
    (1) We actually saw a NBA coach tonight coach good NBA team against Greg Popovich and whup him. That’s something.
    (2) 3rd quarer: Drummond Hulk-Smashes ball off backboard to Stuckey to Jennings for a just sick slinky kiss off high off the board, and one, and get jiggy wit’ it until the bench, everyone in jiggy awe ’round our bad ass leader. Wake up. Jennings is unto himself now.
    (3) Just STFU about Moose. Her ye, here, ye, we are surely in awe of the prodigy Drummond, who will eventually be the unquestioned King of our team, but Moose is our only legit big who can man-up with other bigs and get his shot. We can’t give that up or we’re going nowhere.
    (4) Terry Foster declared today in the news that Joe was hiding. Yes she did? (was that a typo?), uh, he did. Bah, I say. Bah to the great death (Stephen Crane). All you muthafuckin Joe D. haters better wake up as our great and lordly warrior, as he is known throughout Piston lore, built this here muthafuckin team that Tom Gores just took over and fired its muthafuckin coach and now the muthafauckin skies the limit and Joe D did this. So what the muthafuck you got to say when we make some real muthafuckin noise in the playoffs ’cause I’ve seen enough now to know that’s going to muthafuckin happen.
    (5) So what the fuck you got to say about Joe D. when that happens? I’ll wait for your answer…(as I puffy…)

  • Feb 10, 201410:41 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    Cavs up next?  They have bigger problems then we do. The clock is ticking on Mike Brown. I think to keep Irving Brown will be sacrificed. He has been brutal the second time around. 

  • Feb 10, 201410:45 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    Hey Pablum. Really? Back away slowly from the Red Bull.

    • Feb 10, 201411:33 pm
      by pablum

      Reply

      Bah, our warriors just delivered the victory of the year, my fellow Piston compatriot! No chemical enhancement is needed with the Red Bull to apprehend this (though I’ve got nothing against chemicals as long as they’re organic.)

      • Feb 11, 20145:08 pm
        by JYD for Life

        Reply

        Right on, Pablum! 
         
        Also – just wanted to ask everyone why they’re so “high” on Masai Ujiri?  I get that he’s solid (and fleeced the Knicks for Carmelo, but still traded a superstar – it doesn’t take a genius to orchestrate that trade – same with Rudy Gay this year…The Kings were buying.  He didn’t get much in return for Gay, but got rid of him and it proved to be good for the team.  Bargnani to the Knicks for cap relief?  It’s easy to trade a guy for nothing (second round picks and a bag of skittles)…especially to the Knicks.  
        But really take a closer look.  How about in August of 2012 – Trading Afflalo and a 1st round pick in “THE GREATEST DRAFT EVER IN THE HISTORY OF DRAFTS” for one year of Andre Iguodala.  My point is that it’s not easy to build a contender.  People make mistakes…even wonder boys.  He traded NeNe for McGee and then proceeded to overpay our fellow Michigander.  It could be argued that NeNe was better and still is better than McGee (although both have been oft-injured).  
         
        At the moment, I’m down on Joe because of the coaching carousel and a few questionable moves, and that’s a logical perspective.  As a fan, I’m rooting for him…and do hope that Cheeks was not his guy and Gores wakes up and steps away from meddling with BBall Ops. 
         
        For the Masai lovers:

        SEASON 2012-13

        November 28 2012Named Pete D’Alessandro vice president of basketball operations and Mike Bratz to director of player personnel.
        October 25 2012Waived guards Anthony Carter and Ben Uzoh.
        October 22 2012Exercised the contract option on guard Jordan Hamilton and forward Kenneth Faried through 2013-14.
        October 1 2012Signed guards Anthony Carter and Ben Uzoh.
        September 6 2012Signed forward Quincy Miller.
        August 10 2012
        Traded guard Arron Afflalo, forward Al Harrington and the lower of its 2014 first-round picks to the Orlando Magic for Andre Iguodala from the Philadelphia 76ers.
        July 20 2012
        Signed forward Anthony Randolph.
        July 18 2012
        Re-signed center JaVale McGee.
        July 17 2012
        Waived forward Chris Andersen.
        July 11 2012
        Signed guard Evan Fournier and re-signed guard Andre Miller.
        Draft 2012
        Selected guard Evan Fournier (20th overalll pick), forward Quincy Miller (38th overall pick) and center Izzet Turkyilmaz (50th overall pick).

        SEASON 2011-12

        March 18 2012
        Waived forward Ronny Turiaf and signed guard Wilson Chandler.
        March 15 2012
          Traded center Nenê to the Washington Wizards for forward Ronny Turiaf and center JaVale McGee.
        February 4 2012
        Waived forward DeMarre Carroll.
        January 25 2012
         Signed forward Danilo Gallinari and center Kosta Koufos to contract extensions.
        December 23 2011
        Waived forward Michael Ruffin.
        December 20 2011
        Re-signed guard Arron Afflalo.
        December 15 2011
        Signed forward Michael Ruffin.
        December 13 2011
         Re-signed center Nenê, signed forward DeMarre Carroll and traded a 2016 second-round pick to the Dallas Mavericks for guard Rudy Fernandez and forward Corey Brewer.
        December 10 2011
        Signed forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to an offer sheet.
        December 9 2011
        Signed guard Julyan Stone and forwards Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton.
        Draft 2011
         Selected forward Kenneth Faried (22nd overall pick).
         Traded guard Raymond Felton to the Portland Trail Blazers for guard Andre Miller and a future second-round pick and the draft rights to forward Jordan Hamilton from the Dallas Mavericks; traded a future second-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for the draft rights to forward Chukwudiebere Maduabum.
        June 20 2011
         Exercised the contract option on guard Ty Lawson through 2012-13 and tendered qualifying offers to guard Arron Afflalo and forwards Gary Forbes and Wilson Chandler.

        SEASON 2010-11

        March 8 2011 
         Signed head coach George Karl to a contract extension.
        February 22 2011
         Signed forward Carmelo Anthony to a contract extension and traded him along with guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter, forward Renaldo Balkman and center Shelden Williams to the New York Knicks for guard Raymond Felton, forwards Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, center Timofey Mozgov, a future first-round pick, two future second-round picks, the right to exchange 2016 first-round picks and cash and center Kosta Koufos and a second-round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves, who traded forward Corey Brewer to the New York Knicks for forward Anthony Randolph, center Eddy Curry and cash.
        October 21 2010
        Exercised the contract option on guard Ty Lawson through 2011-12.
        October 20 2010
        Waived center Eric Boateng.
        October 14 2010
        Named Pete D’Alessandro advisor to the executive vice president of basketball operations.
        October 11 2010
        Waived forwards Shane Edwards and Courtney Sims.
        September 27 2010
        Signed forwards Shane Edwards and Courtney Sims.
        September 25 2010
        Signed center Melvin Ely.
        September 22 2010
        Signed center Eric Boateng.
        August 27 2010
        Named executive vice president of basketball operations.

         

  • Feb 10, 201410:57 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    I really want this next win against the cavs..

  • Feb 10, 201411:12 pm
    by jg22

    Reply

    John Loyer was freaking great tonight!
     
    Best coaching performance I’ve seen here in years

  • Feb 10, 201411:50 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Props to John Loyer! He looked like Tom Thibodeau out there

  • Feb 11, 201412:57 am
    by Smitty

    Reply

    Loyer seems to be a good choice. Team is playing great ball. Dbb has a great write up on him.

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