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Why The Pistons Suck

They make themselves easy to guard. The Pistons offense right now bears no resemblance to their offense from 2004 or 2005. It’s a fairly typical NBA offense. In the past, the Pistons had been the best in the league at getting into their sets, executing them to perfection, and somewhere along the way, ending up with a great look. Now, it’s a lot of individual play. That’s not the same as saying it’s selfish… it’s just pretty standard NBA fare. It seems like they’ll decide, “Okay, we’ll have Chauncey go to the basket,” or “We’ll feed Rasheed in the post,” and we’ll just let guys create off of that.

The end result is that they take a lot of shots that Larry Brown would’ve never tolerated. Just once in Game Five did they run a set where they moved the ball, made the extra pass, and got themselves a wide open dunk. In 2004 and 2005, it happened regularly. It was a more disciplined, efficient team then. Now, they settle for a lot of contested looks. You can get away with that in the regular season, because their talent dictates that they can, and in the regular season, no one’s really trying that hard. When the intensity’s turned up, though, things are different. And the effect of all of this is that unless they’re hitting shots from the outside, they’re a very average offensive team.

2) They’re not getting easy baskets. I can’t remember one fast break lay-up that the Pistons got… it may have happened, but if it did, it was a rare occasion. They’re not creating turnovers, blocking shots, and creating run-outs. And credit Cleveland for this, too… they’re taking good care of the ball. Eric Snow’s an underrated player, and they rarely make any risky passes. If they turn the ball over, it’s usually because LeBron hit someone with a pass who wasn’t ready for it.

And Kenny Smith made this point last night… the effort isn’t the same on defense as it used to be, because the Pistons think their path to victory is now through offense. Defense isn’t the same calling card it used to be. No one took a shot in the paint against the Pistons in the last couple of years without a swarm of arms in their face… and it seems pretty commonplace for the Cavs to just non-chalantly hit a little put-back shot here and there. That never used to happen.

So, to sum up… they’re not as good offensively as they once were (though they think they are), nor are they as good defensively. That’s usually not a good route to take… most of the time when an NBA GM calls me up and asks for advice and says, “Hey, should we get worse on both offense and defense,” I usually say no. Flip Saunders and I have a philosophical disagreement on that one.

The Pistons are not playing like the disciplined, defensive, intelligent group that earned them the reputation they’ve enjoyed up until now. But now, they’re playing like any old NBA team that’s coached by an average, run-of-the-mill head coach. Things run a lot smoother and easier with Flip. Sometimes, this is what smoother and easier gets you. Let’s call New York, offer to pay half of the $40 million, buy Larry Brown out, and pretend like the whole thing never happened.

And before wrapping up this post, let me apologize to Cavs fans for not crediting your team. I don’t intend to slight anyone, it’s just not how I watch Detroit games. I’m a Pistons fan, I watch them… no slight intended to the Cavs, they’re just not the subject of this post… this frustrated and emotional post. I’m going to go kick a dog.

Matthew J. Darnell

14 Comments

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I’m a Pistons fan and very frustrated. They’ve gone from a special team to a team that overrates itself, plays like any other mediocre team, and is playing off a reputation it no longer lives up to. Sad, but Flip has turned them into the T-Wolves: out by the second round.

  2. The sad reality is that individually, none of the starting 5 can take over a game on the offensive end. Billups is streaky and has Snow on him, Rip needs sets run for him to get perimeter looks, Tayshaun only goes left, Sheed failed as the go-to guy in Portland and Ben just gets fouled.

    If Detroit loses, I wonder if Ben comes back…

  3. Thanks for the incredibly instant game recap. I totally agree with you on the less emphasis on defense. Whereas before the Wallaces and Tayshaun would throw up 80 feet of arms, it’s really just Ben-jammin who contests every shot.

  4. You want to kick a dog..a female dog? Go kick Rasheed “front runner thug diva” Wallace.

  5. Thank you for saying all the things I have been thinking for a while now. I couldn’t have said it better myself, I swear to you if Larry was the coach that bull*&%@ would have never happend.

    I don’t like their show choices and I haven’t for a while. They went the whole year settling for outside jumpers.
    Their Defense is nowhere near what it was in 2004-2005.

    I swear I don’t even think Flip called a set play on their last possesion. If he did it sucked!

  6. I was hoping that you would include something along the lines of what you wrote in the last paragraph. While Detroit is not playing their best basketball, some of their players sure did look frustrated tonight. Whether it be from a lack of execution on their part, or bad coaching on Flip’s part, I don’t care. All that matters to me is Cleveland take this thing Friday night in Cleveland. Or in game 7. I won’t be too greedy.

  7. You’re so right need4sheed:Dare I say that the Pistons defense looked like the SacKings defense complacency of old?!!!!!

    WTF???!!!

    & the kNICKS BUYOUT could be Sactown’s gain….if it means Larry on the Sactown train.

    (What the hell…he wouldn’t need the Pepto he needed to get thru those knickerbocker soap operas with Starbury!)

    Not tolerable…

    (back to the Pistons) at all.

    But at the same time; the playas have to deliver.

    ‘Sheed is hurt, & Chauncey & Rip need to step up offensivly.

    Especially Chauncey since I said he deserved MVP.

    ( C’mon Chauncey, back me up here, no friggin’ way this talented team can go out like this!)!

    Deny LeBron his throne. Too damn early. Where’s the humility for him?!

    & how ’bout ‘D’ troit pride?!

    Isn’t a good team worth more than a flashy playa?!

    (otherwise, we might as well said mamba deserved the MVP…..

    despite his ra-proch-ment with Chuck tonight on TNT).

  8. “Deny LeBron his throne. Too damn early. Where’s the humility for him?!”

    Lebron has been more humble in victory than the Pistons have been in defeat. Complacency is killing the Pistons.

  9. Uhmmm….O.K….whatever.

    I’ll agree; there’s been complacency with the Pistons & they need to knock that off or they’re done.

    But even if LeBron has been “humble”; it ain’t over till it’s over.

    My Pistons know what they have to do.Go Pistons!!

  10. I’ll sum this up for you all in the following ways… Watch game 1 & 2 and see how Detroit played, they don’t suck nor have they lost any composure… If you know about Rick and Rasheed, both twisted their ankles yet they recovered pretty quick… You guys dont see the difference in rasheed from 2005 playoffs and this series? He would normally block shots and attack players easy, but he’s been taking it very easy with his jump.. except game 6 he came to live wtih his 3′s… he still wasn’t on the defensive end… As for Ben he was jumping around doing what he had to do… Rick hamilton does not move around like he did in the miami series last year… nor does rasheed set those same old picks that would free hamilton… GAMe 1 & 2 of this series proves that oru team got a little too confident and were too relaxed… “The road was an easy road so rasheed and the pistons plan to picnic and celeberate, then came the thundering sounds, they panicked and on their way back home they stumbled, triped, fell and crawled and realized its a bumpy road and nothing comes easy it takes much practice… now its gut-check… will the pistons make it home and pull this one?… ofcourse, don’t under-estimate the heart of a champion… Ben Wallace will attack the ball everytime and wallace will sacrifice his ankle guransheeed and chauncey will keep it hot from the 3 point line… while rip will tire out the defenders from chasing him around… and tayshaun bringing the post up and the blocking reach! just watch out!!!!!!

    peace!

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