Do the Detroit Pistons hold each other accountable?
“No,” Brandon Jennings said directly.
Pistons ride big games from big three (Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond) to tanking victory (actual loss)
|Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 39 MIN | 8-15 FG | 6-7 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +3
Monroe’s offensive energy level was extremely high, and he did everything you’d want from an interior scorer. He frequently put himself in good position before receiving an entry pass. When he caught the ball further out, he worked his way inside with little wasted movement. He hit the glass hard, generating scoring looks that way, too. Add a few nice passes, and this was a really strong offensive game for Monroe. But also kept taking himself out of position defensively, losing track of where the action was headed. At least he defended well on the ball.
|Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 39 MIN | 12-24 FG | 1-5 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 28 PTS | -2
Smith overcame his shot selection for efficient scoring output. Defensively, he repeatedly erased the Celtics’ at the rim, showing real skills as a backline defender.
|Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 38 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -2
Singler was mostly quiet, but the defensive issues with him playing shooting guard remain.
|Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 38 MIN | 8-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 22 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | -9
Forget versatility. The ability to grab a high percentage of available offensive rebounds and then convert those into points is an important and underrated skill, and Drummond might rank as the NBA’s best at it. As long as he can do that, he’ll remain near star quality overeall. If the rest of his game comes together, watch out.
|Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 5-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -3
Jennings isn’t as good as Rondo, and it’s unfair to ask him to be. But watching Rondo (18 assists, 0 turnovers to the Pistons’ 17 assists, 16 turnovers) turn this lemony Boston roster into lemonade, even if the juice is only mediocre, just magnifies the disparity between Jennings and the NBA’s high-end point guards. Also, Jennings must do a better job getting back on defense.
|Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -8
Jerebko’s defense makes me sad. It’s not just that he’s too tentative, which he is. But after seeing him play without abandon earlier in his career, I just long for that fearless Jerebko.
|Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 22 MIN | 4-9 FG | 10-12 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | 0
Bynum scored 15 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. For the season, Bynum has scored an incredible 47 percent of his points in the fourth quarter. That period is just, um, a quarter of the game, man.
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -7
|Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -7
Stuckey really squandered a chance to pad his scoring average against the Celtics’ replacement-level guards.
The Celtics broke the game open when Jeff Green shot 3s over the Pistons’ zone. Loyer gets points for creativity. More points for losing and improving Detroit’s lottery odds. But Loyer watching a seemingly prepared team go through the motions doesn’t exactly instill confidence in anybody.
- Teams: Detroit Pistons (24-38) at Boston Celtics (21-41)
- Date: March 9, 2014
- Time: 6:00 p.m.
- Television: FSD, NBA TV
What to look for
The Detroit Pistons will be on the road this evening for a matchup of subpar teams. The Boston Celtics, much like the Pistons, have a bad record and lack talent for the most part.
When looking at the last 10-game stretches for both franchises, it’s not pretty. Collectively, they have won five of their past 20 contests. This means they have a total of 15 losses during the same time span, but then again, things could be worse.
The Philadelphia 76ers have lost 16 straight games and could potentially lose every remaining game on their calendar this season. It’s a little things that count in life.
Philly is perfecting tanking, Boston is doing its best to look competent (and competitive) while losing games, while Detroit is doing…something.
The Celtics and Pistons are only separated by three games in the victory column, but both units had opposite goals at the start of the season. An argument could be made that Detroit is in the process of recalibrating objectives for the sake of borrowing Philadelphia and Boston’s path.
By accumulating losses, these teams give themselves a chance at acquiring perhaps a top-five pick in the NBA draft. The fascinating thing about the Pistons is that we cannot unequivocally state they are in sabotage mode.
If they were, they likely would have kept the coaching staff intact and come up with a few bogus injuries to their starters for the sake of ensuring they were not too good. But that’s not what’s happening.
The Pistons are giving it their all, and well, it’s leading them in the same direction as the Celtics. Which team has more of an incentive to win tonight’s contest?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Read about the Celtics
|Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 8-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 15 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | -8Monroe was the only guy keeping the Pistons in the game early. Sorry, I retract that. The Pistons weren’t in the game early. But Monroe may have been the only reason they weren’t down 40.
He was also a part of one of the stranger sequences I’ve seen recently in which a Minnesota turnover led to an easy dunk for Greg… which he proceeded to clang hard off iron. That put the ball far behind the Pistons who’d led the break (Monroe, Drummond, and Smith???). So that gave Pekovic on easy dunk on the other end… which he clanged hard off iron. The Pistons actually managed to convert the ensuing fast break.
|Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 29 MIN | 4-14 FG | 5-8 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | -32Smith shot poorly (Smithly?) and his defense wasn’t exactly impressive. He did have a nice fast break block to clean up his own mistake, though.|
|Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -33Singler, as has been discovered long ago, is not a highly capable defender at SG. Hence some assertions that the Pistons look like they’re tanking. But Singler didn’t do much with his 30 minutes.|
|Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -9Drummond fouled out in 21 minutes and didn’t have too much of an impact in those minutes. For those hoping for a Pistons victory, that’s unacceptable.|
|Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 31 MIN | 6-13 FG | 4-8 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | -23I was conflicted on Jennings as he never looked like he was playing well, so I intended to give him a poor grade. But then I looked at his box score and it was excellent, apart from the fact that he was part of the lineup that let the Wolves put this game out of reach.
Good game anyway, Brandon. Why couldn’t you do this more when a successful season was still a possibility?
|Jonas Jerebko, PF Shot Chart 18 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +4Jerebko did all we could reasonably expect of him and more.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF Shot Chart 8 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +8Villanueva played? Are we sure the Pistons aren’t tanking? Anyway, his production was about what it should be for 8 minutes.|
|Luigi Datome, SF 14 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +18Datome couldn’t hit a shot (his only reason for being one the team), but somehow, his defense was a part of the Pistons storming back. Not that they ever put the game in doubt, but at least they made the final score respectable.|
|Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 21 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +12Bynum was awesome. And he was really fun to watch. And that wasn’t diminished by any concern by the possibility that he may cost the Pistons a loss thanks to the early performance by the starters.
Somehow, Detroit’s PGs (in 53 minutes, so there were 5 minutes of SG there) combined in this game for 34, 8, and 8 with 2 steals to 3 turnovers and rock solid shooting.
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +13KCP had his first good game in a while. Nothing especially noteworthy, though.|
|Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -15Stuckey really helped Detroit lose this one.|
Some would give him credit for the Pistons’ comeback. I do too, but I also give him credit for the early going that made that ultimately futile.
The Pistons lost by a reasonable margin to a better team. The rotations and plays looked decent, but not exactly brilliant.
Loyer coached a mediocre game.
Two Things We Saw
- Man, that was fast. For the first while, I had to check my browser settings because it looked like the video feed may have been playing at a slightly increased rate. But no, the Pistons and Wolves were just running hard on every early possession. That style of play favors the Wolves.
- Minnesota rapidly jumped out to a huge lead early, taking a 20 point edge in the first quarter. That’s really hard to do. They continued to dominate for most of the game, getting a 31 point lead just before the end of the third.The fourth quarter was all Pistons as the Detroit bench hammered the Wolves’ reserves. If I believed in the sports version of “momentum”, I would have thought the Pistons had a legitimate shot when Bynum brought them within 11 with 2:44 remaining.
But in spite of the domination required to close the gap that much, overcoming a double-digit deficit in under 3 minutes is awfully implausible.
- Teams: Detroit Pistons (24-37) at Minnesota Timberwolves (30-30)
- Date: March 7, 2014
- Time: 8:00 p.m.
- Television: FS Detroit Plus
What to look for
Expectations are a funny thing in pro sports. When a fan base simply wishes for its team to be competent, and this materializes itself, satisfaction ensues even if the overall record is mediocre.
On the flip side, when great things are expected, and failure is produced, well that tends to suck.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are somewhere in between both scenarios. This was the year the Wolves were supposed to make the playoffs. Over the course of the summer, a panel (as a matter of full disclosure, I was part of it) of ESPN analysts were surveyed, which resulted in the ESPN Summer Forecast.
The general consensus had Minnesota claiming the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings, good enough for the final playoff spot. The Wolves are still alive for this scenario, but the teams in the West are simply too good.
Thus, Minny is projected to miss the postseason despite the fact they will win around 43 games according to Hollinger’s Playoff Odds. Because many believe the season will play itself out as such, there have been rumblings that Kevin Love is overrated.
This is not necessarily a new conversation, but rather one that been gaining steam. A little over a year ago, Ball Don’t Lie’s Eric Freeman offered this point:
While he puts up obscene numbers and deserves his spots on All-Star and All-NBA teams, there’s some question as to whether or not he can be the clear-cut first option on a championship contender. For all his abilities, Love doesn’t always seem like the kind of player who can create good shots by himself.
This observation came on the heels of Derrick Favors stating Love was “just like any other stretch 4 in the league.”
Love is a talented player, and he is good enough for Minnesota to be in the playoff discussion, but perhaps not talented enough himself to elevate them without the aid of another star. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but one can only wonder if Wolves fans view it as such.
Detroit Pistons fans would probably kill for a player like Love regardless of Tyson Chandler’s assertions on his defense. Love is producing 26.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game on 46.1 percent shooting from the floor this season.
That kind of production is what makes him a big name with respect to the 2015 free-agent class. The enigma of Love will be on full display tonight when Minnesota hosts Detroit.
The Pistons will have to deal with him on the boards, on the block, in the high post and in the pick-and-pop where he is quite lethal. It’s an odd thing: I would definitely want Love on my team, it just depends what team that is.
Read about the Timberwolves
As with any Q and A Zach Lowe does, you should go read his entire chat with Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley on Grantland. But if you’re looking for a cool Pistons-related piece, Lowe was talking with Conley about big men who are great at defending pick and rolls, and Andre Drummond’s name came up:
Flip it the other way. When you’re running a pick-and-roll on offense, which defender concerns you more: the point guard covering you, or the big man covering the screener and helping on you?
The bigger concern is the big guy, and then the help-side defense. That’s what I’m reading most of the time. I trust my big guy to get me open with the pick, so I’m more worried about their man and the guys coming to the weak side — so that I know who I might be able to hit with a pass, or if I might have the opportunity to score myself.
Which big man has given you the most trouble in your career?
I always thought Kevin Garnett was the best. He probably still is. Andre Drummond is pretty good at it.
That’s a surprising name to hear.
Oh, he’s long, and he’s so quick with his hands. He’s really agile.
He does get a lot of steals.
Yep. You have to watch for that every time you come off of pick-and-rolls.
Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.
1. It seems like the general consensus is that the Pistons ultimate goal this season should now be keeping their draft pick and not making the playoffs. Correct move?
Dan Feldman: Yes. The Pistons shouldn’t have an opportunity to pick this high in the draft anytime soon, and they’d be wise not to squander it now. In five years, they could be trying to re-sign Andre Drummond, wondering why they never could surround him with enough talent. That’s when concerns me — not the tail end of an already-lost 2013-14 season.
Brady Fredericksen: Heck yes. Once the Bobcats punked the Pistons on back-to-back nights, it was essentially the nail in the coffin. If you’re that far behind the No. 8 (!!) team in the East, you need to re-evaluate everything. If you’re into watching the world burn and all that, Tankathon is a great website to monitor the league’s who-can-out-suck-the-other race over the final few months. I just want to float out there that, while this idea of tanking may be a general consensus today, wouldn’t it be so Pistons’ luck for Atlanta to fall out of the playoffs and the Pistons to back in by default?
Patrick Hayes: There’s value in young players getting into the playoffs, even if they get trounced. I don’t discount that — it would be good for Drummond, Greg Monroe, Brandon Jennings, etc., to play prominent rolls in a playoff series even if the result was a spectacular beating by Miami or Indiana. But the stakes for doing that are high. The Pistons have serious talent deficiencies on the perimeter, this draft is loaded with potential impact players on the wing and missing out on the opportunity to get one of those players would be a major setback for the franchise. I’d much rather see the Pistons add another young player to the promising Drummond-Monroe duo, then get that first taste of the playoffs next season.
2. Fans sometimes make tanking out to be something really simple and easy to accomplish, when in reality, it’s not. What’s the Pistons best strategy to tank?
Dan Feldman: The front office directing John Loyer to develop the team’s younger players while sticking with the same starting lineup. More Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Peyton Siva and Tony Mitchell off the bench should help. Also, any injured players should get plenty of time to come back.
Brady Fredericksen: Is there really a strategy? I saw the Philadelphia 76ers in person this past weekend — that’s a team trying to suck. To be as bad as they are, they’ve dismantled their team so much that outside of Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young, they’re playing guys whose only chance to make it on any other NBA team is on 10-day contracts. As for the Pistons, who have a heckuva lot more talent, the easiest route would be experimentation with their end-of-bench players. Give Luigi Datome some run — Say he’s good? Cool. Say he’s still bad? Also, cool. — and give Mitchell some of those Jonas Jerebko minutes while finding some time for Siva here and there. See what those guys can do while dealing with the (likely) consequences.
Patrick Hayes: I believe there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what tanking actually means, as evidenced by some of the the insane comments in recent days from readers who are beyond insulted at the notion that teams would ever consider doing it. The misunderstanding is that people assume when you saying ‘tanking,’ you mean that players should stop trying. That’s completely false. I think there are instances — organizational frustrations, brutal schedule, contract concerns, etc. — where players don’t necessarily play hard, but for the most part, guys in the NBA are professionals who give their best effort. Put simply, players don’t tank, and no one should ever want them to do anything but play with maximum effort. Organizations tank by deciding what’s best for the future of the franchise, independent of the players. They take the decision out of the players and coaches hands by limiting the options on the roster. Realistically, it’s already too late for the Pistons to tank. If you look at what the several obviously tanking teams around the league do each year, much of that work is set in motion in the offseason — they trade veterans for picks either in the offseason or at the deadline, they audition D-League guys, they play rookies and young players in prominent roles, ready or not and they don’t bench those players for making mistakes, they let them play through them. The Pistons haven’t really done any of that, so I don’t think the Pistons are tanking. Loyer is clearly playing the players in his rotation who play the toughest (though his options are clearly limited some nights), he has no problem benching young players (especially Caldwell-Pope) for mistakes and limited but tough veterans like Will Bynum figure prominently into his rotation. The only thing they could really do — and should do, simply to find out what they have in these two players — is find consistent minutes for Siva and Mitchell. At worst, they prove (like most second round picks) that they aren’t rotation caliber players on good teams. At best, they show some promise and perhaps get a jumpstart on earning roles next season.
3.Hypothetically, say the Pistons find a way to tumble down the standings and land a top-five pick, what prospect do you like most for them right now?
Dan Feldman: If the Pistons are picking near the top of the draft, I love Andrew Wiggins as a fit and like him as a prospect. He could definitely become the high-scoring wing with capable-enough defense the Pistons need. A little lower, Gary Harris and Tyler Ennis would be intriguing.
Brady Fredericksen: Any of the perimeter players. Obviously a player like Andrew Wiggins is exactly what a team like this needs, but that, of course, would require some uncharacteristic luck in the draft lottery. Realistically, any of the perimeter players projected to go in the top 10 would be significant, cheap additions to the Pistons. Even further down the lottery line, local college guys like Gary Harris or Nik Stauskas would automatically step onto the floor as the best shooters — pretty much any of these prospects are going to help tremendously in some way.
Patrick Hayes: My favorite guy in the draft is Jabari Parker. People have soured on him a bit, and my theory is just that he’s been on the radar as a top high school prospect for so long, that it has given people time to nitpick his flaws. He’s insanely productive, plays so fluidly and intelligently, rebounds and I love the way Coach K uses him at Duke. It’s really depressing to admit considering my longstanding Duke hatred, but they’ve been one of my favorite college teams to watch this season. As we all know, the Pistons could use an infusion of not only talent, but guys who play intelligently, and Parker fits that bill for me, even if he’s no longer considered the draft’s top prospect.
|Greg Monroe, PF Shot Chart 44 MIN | 12-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | -5
He seemed spooked by Joakim Noah early, but Monroe got really involved – and successful – offensively soon enough. He even made 3-of-6 shots outside the paint. This was not his strongest game defensively.
|Josh Smith, SF Shot Chart 41 MIN | 6-21 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 6 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -1
The Bulls did an excellent job keep Josh Smith from getting inside, holding him to just four shots in the restricted area. But rather than deferring to his teammates on a night he was contained, Smith got his shots elsewhere. He shot 5-for-17 outside the restricted area. On the bright side, Smith defended well and successfully passed ahead after getting stops. He also got frustrated and picked up a technical .
|Kyle Singler, SF Shot Chart 36 MIN | 5-11 FG | 6-7 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | 0
Singler scored the Pistons’ first eight points, but he faded into the background after that. He shot 0-for-5 on 3-pointers, and it remains an open question just how good a shooter he really is.
|Andre Drummond, C Shot Chart 38 MIN | 7-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | -16
Drummond padded his scoring stats once the Bulls went up 15 late in the fourth quarter. Prior, the Bulls attacked him, and his defense was not sharp.
|Brandon Jennings, PG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +8
Jennings looked for his teammates before looking for his own shots, and it worked for him. He has the skills to become a solid true point guard, but not the mindset (at least beyond tonight). He also got a technical for arguing a foul.
|Will Bynum, PG Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -19
Avert your eyes.
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG Shot Chart 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -9
Committed a foul to avoid the trillion.
|Rodney Stuckey, SG Shot Chart 29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -13
Stuckey is a mediocre to slightly above average scorer focused almost solely on scoring. In 2014, I’m not sure that will get him the big contract this offseason he’s surely seeking.
Loyer joined Smith and Jennings in getting technical fouls. Hey, that’s not a bad way to tank. 1. It shows your players you care, and they can feed off your passion. 2. It gives the opponent easy points.
- Teams: Chicago Bulls (33-27) at Detroit Pistons (24-36)
- Date: March 5, 2014
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Television: FSD
What to look for
When the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons tip off tonight, it will be a clear battle of future versus present.
The Bulls are exactly where the Pistons hoped they would be despite the prolonged absence of Derrick Rose. There are two reasons why Chicago continues to overachieve despite losing their best player in consecutive seasons: defense and big men.
Since Tom Thibodeau became the Bulls’ head coach in 2010, the team has finished with a top-five defense in every campaign. Chicago is a physical team that challenges shooters, ball-handlers and interior players on each and every possession.
The Bulls grind out games and consistently remain within striking distance, thus affording them opportunities to win games late.
The second facet that makes Chicago so impressive is their combination of interior players, and the Pistons should most definitely pay attention.
The Bulls have a trio of big men that all complement each other in various ways that most teams in the league could only hope. On paper, the top-flight teams in the NBA have excellent interior players, but an argument could be made that with the exception of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, none of them have the synergy that occurs on a nightly basis in Chicago on both ends.
Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson consistently function (obviously, only two of them share the court together at a given time) as a solid tandem on both ends of the court at all times.
Boozer provides scoring punch via post-ups and jump shooting, but he is not a great defensive player. He lacks foot speed and can occasionally rotate late. Noah helps facilitate the offense with his passing and high-basketball IQ.
What’s more, Noah is a good deterrent at the rim and also a strong rebounder. He can switch in the pick-and-roll and defend perimeter players, a clear indication that he can blow up isolations and the screen-and-roll action of opponents.
In many ways, Noah protects Boozer defensively.
Gibson is a good finisher around the hoop and also a decent midrange shooter. On defense, he has the toughness and versatility to guard interior and perimeter players. Very rarely is he ever pushed around.
Put all three on the same team, and Thibodeau gets to pick and choose who starts and finishes games. Noah and Gibson are terrific at protecting the paint, while Boozer’s scoring and offensive might be needed if is struck in an offensive rut.
On the flip side, Detroit has three solid interior players in Greg Monroe, Josh Smith and Andre Drummond. They have not yet found the right formula with respect to playing well together, but the answer could be in Chicago.
Instead of playing all three guys together, the Pistons might be better served by only using two of them at a time and then tweak things from there. The Pistons have the potential to be a scary defensive unit by virtue of their frontcourt, but that potential is still locked away somewhere.
Detroit will not morph into a defensive juggernaut overnight, but it’s worth observing if the changes progressively occur this season going into the next one. The frontcourts tonight should make for an entertaining battle that will decide the contest.
Read about the Bulls
sources do not expect Dumars to stay in the position much longer—either he’ll step down or owner Tom Gores will go in a new direction. Dumars, one source said, is weary of the criticism he has received in trying to rebuild the Pistons after constructing a franchise that went to the Eastern Conference Finals six years in a row (2003-2008). The criticism, the source said, fails to account for a dismal Detroit economy and restraints placed on Dumars while the franchise was up for sale and ultimately changed ownership hands.