Posts Tagged ‘Chauncey Billups’

Growth & development in a fine young man

November 5, 2008

The player who the Detroit Pistons have acquired from the Denver Nuggets is a far different person today than the subject of this infamous clip …

Practice?

older, wiser … and, more mature in his thinking; about life, in general, and particularly his specific approach to the game he loves.

Iverson’s Pistons Press Conference

Allen Iverson Press Conference Transcript 

When your pro sports franchise is run by men with the ‘cred’ of Bill Davidson, Joe D. and MC [Hammer] you are going to be able to ‘integrate’ a great talent like A.I. seamlessly.

—————————-

Q1. Are the Pistons a better team on the court today than they were two days ago?
A1. Maybe; maybe not. Only time will tell.

Q2. With this acquisition, are the Pistons now going to win the NBA title this season?
A2. Probably not; not with the LA Lakers being as strong as they are this year.

Q3. Are the Pistons worse off today than they were two days ago?
A3. Not a chance. They have added a terrificly talented player to their team; created roster space for their burgeoning younger players to grow into; and, freed up ‘Cap Space’ after this current season, depending on what specific direction their GM [Joe D.] wants to go with this team. Which makes this a Win-Win-Win situation for the Pistons, now and going forward.

—————————-

By far, the best observation/quote these eyes have read, to this point, about the tenure of Joe D. with the Pistons is this:

“The Pistons, under Dumars, never stop, they just idle with the engine running. It’s what makes them interesting.”
Mitch Albom/Detroit Free Press

[read more here … on the fine work of Joe D.]

Character and Commitment in Motown

November 4, 2008

What does this trade mean/do for the Detroit Pistons? … now and down-the-road?

——————————————-

Pistons retain focus in victory
I. The remaining members of the Pistons’ core — now a band of three — might have taken the floor with a heavy heart Monday after losing two of their brothers, Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess, in a trade with Denver for Allen Iverson.

But that didn’t stop them from handling the young Charlotte Bobcats with relative ease, 101-83, for their third straight victory to start the season.

“We still have to go out and do what we do,” said Rasheed Wallace, who posted 15 points. “We know (trades are) part of the business. Do we like it, maybe not. There’s no telling at this point. But we still have to go out and play.”

II. “It was a tough day,” coach Michael Curry said. “To lose your captain and one of your emotional leaders and for the guys to gather themselves and play the way they did — we’re proud of them. That’s what we expect. When you put that uniform on, regardless of what else is going on, we’ve got to play.”

III. Clearly, the Pistons veterans were shocked by the trade. Richard Hamilton, Billups’ All-Star backcourt mate who led the Pistons with 19 points, wouldn’t talk to the media.

IV. When asked if he was sad, shocked or hurt by the trade, Tayshaun Prince said, “Everything all into one. I can’t even explain it. I won’t even try to explain it.”

Prince spent much of the day talking to Billups and said he was hurt a bit but doing well.

“When you had six straight years with somebody, you got that bond and that connection and then all of a sudden it’s gone,” Prince said. “That’s tough.”

V. “That’s the most important thing about us,” Prince said. “We are still going to play.”

Prince did try to put a positive spin on the trade.

“We’re getting something special (Allen Iverson) in return, I know that,” he said. “I hope the trade inspires him, which I know it will. When he gets here we are going to welcome him with open arms.”

——————————————-

It shows the character they have and their level of commitment to winning.

In the NBA, today, Joe Dumars … is the new Jerry West.

Say what?

November 3, 2008

A possible NBA trade, reportedly being discussed right now, which would fundamentally change the look of both the Eastern & Western Conferences … this season, and for the foreseeable future.

—————————

Sources: Nuggets, Pistons working to finalize Iverson trade
The Denver Nuggets are expected to trade Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess, Pistons team sources told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

The deal has not been finalized.

—————————

Whoa, nellie! … that would be a doozy!

—————————

UPDATE[S}:
* Source: Iverson traded to Detroit

Pistons go back to basics

September 19, 2008

If this keeps much longer … KSB [much appreciated, JE Skeets!] is going to be listed as a Detroit Pistons’ mouth-piece. 🙂

Not to fear, however … as this correspondent has always had a predilection for anyone, and anything, linked with Making A Commitment To Excellence.

======================

Courtesy of nbaroundtable …

Curry going back to basics
“No matter what the rules are, the game of basketball goes to the most aggressive teams and players,” Curry said. “We want to be the team that’s always on the attack, both defensively and offensively.”

• Pay attention to detail.
• Daily conditioning and player development sessions.
• Increase the intensity and consistency at the defensive end.
• Increase scoring in the paint.
• Establish clearly defined roles. Curry expects to play 10 or 11 players on a regular basis.

Click the link and read the whole thing.

Close your eyes and listen intently.

Do these words and simple concepts harken back to a different place?
A different time?
A different hairdo? 

Say, perhaps, the 1982-1983 season … when a certain young relatively inexperienced assistant coach was promoted internally to the head man’s chair, for a team – and a GM who was himself a HOF immortal – that had recently captured an NBA Title but was also in need of re-direction, at that time, with a fascinating combination of wily vets, established All-Stars, and a certain ‘New Kid On The Block‘ [an athletic 21 year old, 6-9, 225, PF], who was ready-to-rock-and-roll into Prime Time.

Hmmmmm …

Could it possibly be … delectable symmetry?

… in the same season featuring the ‘Re-birth of SHOWTIME, in LA‘.

—————————-

The most important sentence in the whole article?

“[Rasheed] Wallace, who has been at the practice facility most of the summer, has complied.”

—————————-

First-class stuff, all around, from the new Sheriff … in [Mo]Town.

Showtime in the Motor City.

Beast of the East … right now

September 15, 2008

In sharp contrast to many some observers in the hoops blogosphere …

[for example]

* Detroit being left behind as rest of East improves
* Summer Forecast: Which way is the East going?
NBA off-season rankings – v3.0
* NBA power rankings: Celtics no surprise as preseason No. 1

if these eyes had to make a projection, this second, on the eventual No. 1 team this season in the Eastern Conference … the pick would be the … Detroit Pistons.

Given the Celtics’ loss of James Posey [F/G] …

* Exchanging Michael Curry for Flip Saunders is going to have a gigantic, positive effect on the performance of this team
* Adding draft picks like Walter SharpeTrent Plaisted, Deron Washington 
* Exchanging Kwame Brown for Theo Ratliff
* Adding a very athletic Euro pro like Will Bynum

and, most importantly

* The continued maturation of Rodney ‘The Real Deal’ Stuckey [Yr-2], Arron Afflalo [Yr-2], Jason Maxiell [Yr-4], Amir Johnson [Yr-4] and Cheikh Samb [Yr-2] 
* While maintaining their overall roster stability … by retaining KEY players like Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace

has further ensconced Detroit at the top of their conference and cemented Joe Dumars’ place amongst the finest GM’s in the NBA today.

=======================

Q1. Have the Pistons lost three [3] consecutive Eastern Conference Finals?
A1. Yes they have.

Q2. Do they have the horses, once again, to make it back to the NBA Finals?
A2. Yes they do.

=======================

More importantly, though … no other NBA team has been able to re-tool their overall line-up … while continuing to perform at a very high level … and is better equipped, at this time, going forward from here … with a mix of talented veterans & youngsters, in position to ‘wheel & deal‘, if necessary.

Kudos to Joe D.!

The Man simply knows what he’s doing.

El Matador es el numero ocho

August 15, 2008

[as a follow-up to last week’s entry … Ranking Jose Calderon as a PG]

Given the list of players who customarily play the Point Guard position for their respective teams in the NBA, this is how they now rank, in the eyes of this corner:

[previous ranking]

1. Deron Williams [5] … the best combination of PG skills today
2. Chauncey Billups [1] … when healthy, still formidable
3. Chris Paul [7] … only drawback is his lack of size
4. Tony Parker [4] … still plagued by periods of erratic decision-making
5. Steve Nash [3] … inconsistent D & now age beginning to take their toll
6. Jason Kidd [2] … major slippage noticed this past season; REBOUNDING king
7. Baron Davis [6] … multi-dimensional but where will playoff success come from?
8. Jose Calderon [8] … physically sound, steadily improving & just entering the prime of his career

That said … if there was one game to be played next season with the outcome to determine the fate of the hypothetical team GM’d by khandor’s sports blog, in the NBA … Brandon Roy would have the ball in his hands with the shot clock ticking down, on behalf of that team.

NOTE: Thanks to those who submitted comments and voted during the past week; unfortunately, not enough in total to serve as a valid ‘informal’ poll.

Ranking Jose Calderon as a Point Guard

August 7, 2008

Saw this quote two days ago in a solid Olympic Scouting Report [courtesy of Xavier, a European coach, at Forum Blue and Gold]:

Jose Calderon would be a starter in 25 of the 30 NBA teams … “

and, as you might expect by now, it started the wheels a-turning.

============================

Where exactly does El Matador [Jose Calderon] stack up in today’s NBA, versus the likes of:

[in alphabetical order]

Alston, Rafer; Arenas, Gilbert; Barbosa, Leandro; Bibby, Mike; Billups, Chauncey; Blake, Steve; Calderon, Jose; Conley, Mike Jr.; Davis, Baron; Duhon, Chris; Ellis, Monta; Felton, Raymond; Fisher, Derek; Ford, TJ; Foye, Randy; Gibson, Daniel; Gordon, Ben; Harris, Devan; Hinrich, Kirk; Iverson, Allen; Jack, Jarrett; Kidd, Jason; Livingston, Shaun; Lowry, Nick; Marbury, Stephon; Miller, Andre; Nash, Steve; Nelson, Jameer; Parker, Tony; Paul, Chris; Ridnour, Luke; Rondo, Rajon; Roy, Brandon; Telfair, Sebastien; Terry, Jason; Tinsley, Jamaal; Udrih, Beno; Watson, Earl; West, Delonte; Williams, Marcus; Williams, Deron; Williams, Jason; Williams, Mo

Do you think Calderon would be considered as The Starter for as many as 25 of the NBA’s 30 teams?

Where do you rank him, as a Point Guard, heading into the 2008-2009 season? [i.e. as No. ?]

In your personal rankings, is Calderon in your:

i) #1-5
ii) #6-10
iii) #11-15
iv) #16 plus

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Once again, all are welcome to participate.


Note 1:
Final Results will be published Thu, August 14, 2008.
Note 2 : As a precursor … this ranking was published here Dec 19, 2007; followed by this one [Jan 30, 2008].

8 Possessions which extended the Pistons’ season

May 27, 2008

One of the things which many astute NBA observers fail to realize is just how many games are actually decided by the specific outcomes of a small set of Fulcrum Possessions, regardless what other advantages and/or disadvantages might be unearthed from a detailed examination of the various ‘Game Stats’ from that contest.

The final score of last night’s Detroit victory (at home) versus Boston was 94-75 … a 19 point differential.

However, save for the following 8 possessions [#1-8, below] in this game … 4 of which the Pistons played on Defense and 4 of which they played on Offense … last night’s eventual outcome would have been markedly different.

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Pierce Layup Shot: Made (16 PTS) 4:51
[BOS 73-78]
 
  4:50 Team Timeout:Regular
  4:50 Hunter Substitution replaced by Billups
  4:50 Maxiell Substitution replaced by Wallace
  4:50 Stuckey Substitution replaced by Prince
  4:38 Hamilton Foul:Offensive (5 PF)
  4:38 Hamilton Turnover:Foul (2 TO)
[#1] Pierce Jump Shot: Missed 4:28  
  4:26 Prince Rebound (Off:0 Def:2)
  4:05 Prince Hook Shot: Missed Block: Garnett (2 BLK)
Pierce Rebound (Off:2 Def:6) 4:03  
[#2] Rondo Layup Shot: Missed 3:46  
  3:44 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:3)
Perkins Foul:Shooting (6 PF) 3:23  
Perkins Substitution replaced by Brown 3:23  
  3:23
[DET 79-73]
[#3] Wallace Free Throw 1 of 2 (13 PTS)
  3:23
[DET 80-73]
Wallace Free Throw 2 of 2 (14 PTS)
[#4] Allen Turnover:Bad Pass (2 TO) 3:13  
  2:55
[DET 83-73]
[#5] Billups 3pt Shot: Made (10 PTS)
Assist: Prince (3 AST)
Team Timeout:Regular 2:53  
Brown Substitution replaced by Posey 2:53  
Garnett Hook Shot: Made (16 PTS)
Assist: Posey (1 AST)
2:31
[BOS 75-83]
 
Allen Foul:Personal (2 PF) 2:14  
  2:14
[DET 84-75]
[#6] Hamilton Free Throw 1 of 2 (15 PTS)
  2:14
[DET 85-75]
Hamilton Free Throw 2 of 2 (16 PTS)
  2:04 McDyess Foul:Shooting (4 PF)
[#7] Allen Free Throw 1 of 2 missed 2:04  
Team Rebound 2:04  
Allen Free Throw 2 of 2 missed 2:04  
  2:03 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:4)
  1:47
[DET 87-75]
[#8] Hamilton Driving Layup Shot: Made (18 PTS)
Assist: Billups (6 AST)

———————————————————

Full Play-By-Play (Bost @ Detroit, Mon May 26)

In a 3:04 span of the 4th Quarter (4:51-1:47), Detroit converted on 4 of their 6 possessions (66.7%), to the tune of 9 points, while allowing Boston to convert on only 1 of their 5 possessions (20.0%), for a total of 2 points (including 2 crucial missed FTA’s by Ray Allen, the leading percentage free throw shooter in the 2008 Playoffs). 

Given the time & score, at that point of the game …

* 1 Jump Shot: Missed (Paul Pierce)
* 1 Layup Shot: Missed (Rajon Rondo)
* 1 Turnover (Ray Allen)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Missed + Missed (Ray Allen)

by the Celtics … in concert with the Pistons offensive execution, which included …

* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rasheed Wallace)
* 1 3Pt Shot: Made (Chauncey Billups)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rip Hamilton)
* 1 Driving Layup Shot: Made (Rip Hamilton)

proved to be THE difference between the Pistons’ season coming to an abrupt end on Wednesday night in Boston (Game 5) or ensuring that at least one more home game is played in Detroit during this post-season (Friday night’s Game 6).

 

Detroit @ Boston, Game 1 … post mortem

May 21, 2008

On the heels of Chauncey Billups’ hamstring injury and the extended break the Pistons had following their 2nd Round Playoff Series (4-1 vs Orlando), last night’s outcome was actually a solid ‘Game 1’ performance for Detroit, down only 6 pts (i.e. a two possession game) in the 4th Q with under 5 minutes left to play.

Tayshaun Prince’s post-game break down for Game 1
Flip Saunders nails it: post-game break down for Game 1
Game 1: Boxscore
Game 1: Full Play-By-Play

(3rd Quarter)

Prince (3 TO) 11:40
McDyess (1 TO) 10:07
Billups (2 TO) 7:12
Hamilton (1 TO) 6:06
McDyess (2 TO) 5:40
Hamilton (2 TO) 3:48
Hamilton (3 TO) 1:54

If the Pistons can start better in Game 2, with heightened aggressiveness from Billups (looking for his own shot more in his 1v1 match-up with Rondo), limit the Celtics’ interior scoring, and increase their own ball movement … without turning the ball over 7 times in a single quarter … tomorrow’s contest will be decided on the final possession.

The Straw that stirs the drink in New Orleans

May 6, 2008

(in honour of the inaugural ‘Chris Paul Blog Day‘ hosted by AttheHive.com)

Chris Paul (6-0, 175) is now the quintessential ‘Point Guard’ in the NBA.

In terms of Leadership (which is crucial at this position), Offense, Defense & Rebounding … he is operating at the top of the League this season:

EFFICIENCY [2007-2008] *

1 Chris Paul 27.89
2 Deron Williams 22.60
3 Steve Nash 22.40
4 Baron Davis 22.20
5 Jason Kidd 20.64
6 Chauncey Billups 19.29
7 Tony Parker 17.36
8 Jose Calderon 17.28

doing precisely what a Point Guard (PG) is supposed to do for his team … i.e. Make his teammates Better.

Earlier this year, there were other PG’s operating at a very high level who compared favourably to Chirs Paul …

The Best Point Guards in the NBA

but, as the season has progressed several of these outstanding players have fallen by the wayside, unfortunate casualties in the annual ‘War of Attrition’ which is the NBA’s regular season schedule and, most recently, the 1st Round of the Playoffs (i.e. Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Jose Calderon & Baron Davis).

For a player to be considered amongst the ‘All-Time Greats’ he MUST excel in ALL THREE areas of the game, allowing him to DOMINATE the play in whatever way is necessary for his team to succeed, in a given match-up.

With his Size, Strength, Dribbling Skills and exceptional Change of Pace, Chris Paul has the ability to take the basketball everywhere on the floor it needs to go – at whichever speed it needs to get there – for his team to operate efficiently, either, in Transition or the Half-court. 

With his tremendous court vision, his off-the-charts Basketball IQ and, most importantly, his Willingness to involve his teammates in the play, CP3 has the ability to create and then take advantage of the easy scoring opportunities for the other four players on the floor with him. 

With his Size, Strength, Basketball IQ and, most importantly, his Willingness to get the job done, CP3 has the ability to Defend (multiple positions) & Rebound when (i) the opposition has the ball, or (ii) neither team has gained possession of the ball, which gives him the ability to exert His Influence on the game, at all times, and control the action for his team.

During his first two seasons in the NBA, Chris Paul’s major weakness, as a potentially dominant player, was his sub-standard 3Pt Shooting Percentage (i.e. ’05-06/28%, ’06-07/35%). This is no longer the case, however, as this season CP3 elevated his performance in this area to an acceptable level (i.e. ’07-08/37%) for a player with his solid stroke from the Free Throw Line (i.e. Career Average/84%).

At this point, only 3 seasons into his pro career, Chris Paul is a leading MVP Candidate – New Orleans (56-26) finished with the 2nd-best W-L record in the ultra-competitive Western Conference – and is on the brink of transforming his team into a serious contender for the NBA championship this year.

What still stands in his way?

The Best Point Guards in the NBA: An Update

Air Force One‘ … either Kobe Bryant (PG?) or Deron Williams (PG) … and Chauncey Billups (PG) or Doc Rivers (PG) or Lebron James (PG?) … THAT’S All.

It’s a long way to ‘the Top’, in the NBA.

In order to get there, and become ‘The Man’, you MUST beat ‘the Best’.

For Chris Paul … that journey has now begun, in earnest.