Posts Tagged ‘Joe Dumars’

THE Answer for the Pistons

December 8, 2008

Whether Michael Curry, Joe Dumars or Allen Iverson like it or not … the Detroit Pistons will only become the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference, again this season, if they eventually come to the following realization about their team’s mix of players:

#1. PG – Stuckey [should be playing 30+ MPG]
#2. OG – Rip [should be playing 30+ MPG]
#3. SF – Prince [back-up back-up PG, should be playing 30+ MPG]
#4. PF – Maxiell/Johnson/McDyess
#5. C – Sheed
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#6. OG/PG – Iverson [ala The Micro-wave]
#7. SF – Afflalo
#8. PF – McDyess/Maxiell/Johnson
#9. C – Brown
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#10. SF – Herrmann
#11. PF/C – Johnson/Maxiel/Brown
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#12. PG – Bynum [4th string]

Although their best Group-Of-5 does not include Mr. Iverson, if he’s used corrrectly, off the bench …

for high intensity spot duty, in relief of Stuckey or Rip, ala Vinnie Johnson [from yesteryear], as the 3rd Guard in the rotation, behind Zeke & Little Jo, who could really fill it up whenever he’s in the game; but, is nowhere nearly good enough defensively or in terms of rebounding, at this stage of his career, to justify [i] receiving major minutes on this team, or [ii] the holding back of Stuckey, in general, at the PG spot … 

then, the Pistons still have what it takes to regain their perch beside the Celtics.

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How he handles this situation, from here on in, is the first significant test of Michael Curry’s leadership with the Pistons.

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.”

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

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

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.

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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‘.

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The most important sentence in the whole article?

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

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

Showtime in the Motor City.

Bill Davidson, Joe D. and Michael Curry … on the same page with the Pistons

September 18, 2008

Crystal ball gazing …

Instead of back-sliding this year, keen NBA observers SHOULD actually be expecting the Pistons … to improve this season.

* Dumars defends lack of Pistons’ roster moves:
The No. 1 question, though, that hit the Pistons as they completed the first half of their preseason bus tour — which made stops in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Traverse City Wednesday — was this: With the same players coming back, how does this team take a step forward?

The answer: It starts with a new coach (Michael Curry), a rejuvenated attitude and a new commitment, and some significant growth from within — specifically, larger roles for second-year guards Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo, the two featured players on the bus tour.

* Four Pistons seek one spot:
“We are looking at how we can inject our young guys into the rotation more, giving them a solid role and still get the most out of our veteran guys and be as efficient as possible,” Curry said.

* Davidson speaks with Mitch Albom:
Q: How about the best coach you ever hired?
A: That’s a tough one. (He laughs.) I wanna say Michael Curry. (He laughs again.)

Q: Why — because he hasn’t proven you wrong otherwise?
A: No, no … I know Michael. And I have complete confidence in Michael. And I know that the Pistons are gonna be a much different team this year than they were last year — because of the coaching.

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6 years straight … and, still, counting.
UPDATE:
* Pistons’ Dumars to keep nucleus together in ’08 [Fri Sep 19 2008]

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.

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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.

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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.

NBA owner No. 1

September 5, 2008

In so many different ways … and, crucially, some of THE ones which matter most …

(for example)

* I depend, 100%, on the people who are in charge of whatever they’re in charge of. And nobody has run the Pistons better than Joe [Dumars].

* The reason I get rid of a coach is if he’s lost the players. I don’t want to subject my players to a coach they don’t want, basically and in whom they have lost faith.

* I’ve been living with this for 30 years or more, I don’t see color. I don’t distinguish color anymore, which is a good thing. Thirty years ago, I might have. But by being with the players, getting to know them, if you asked me do we have a white player on the team, I couldn’t tell you — well, I could tell you, but it wouldn’t make any difference. I get to know the personality much more than the color of the skin. Color means nothing.

Bill Davidson

Bill Davidson

this Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee [2008] fits the Bill Laimbeer to a tee.

Aptly described as “honest, direct, self-assured, and charming” by Mitch Albom, this is the first extensive interview this correspondent can recall by the octogenarian owner of the Pistons and the Shock.

And, it’s a beaut.

Bill Davidson Speaks … on Isiah, Laimbeer, Joe D., Rasheed, Race, He who is not what he appears to be, Carlisle, Flip, Curry, NBA Owners, NBA Referees, Hugh Evans, tips of icebergs, the City of Detroit, Politics & Business, the Commish, etc.

Yet another ALL-TIME CLASSIC!

Return On Investment

August 29, 2008

Words of Wisdom from two more former Bad Boys

* What makes a terrific GM in the NBA? 
Dumars Interview: Arron Afflalo is one of those guys that all the good teams have to have on your team. Afflalo is just one of those guys that we were just recently talking about James Posey and what he did for Boston and Bruce Bowen and what he’s done for San Antonio over the years. I’ll date myself – Michael Cooper and what he did for the Lakers back in the day. Through the history of basketball, he’s one of those guys that you have to have on your team when you’re considered a really good team because those guys are willing to do whatever it takes to help your team win. It’s never about them individually. They just do whatever is necessary and that’s what he’s shaping up to be in the league. One of those guys that if it calls for defending somebody or face-guarding somebody, he’ll do it. If it calls for tyring to score, he’ll do it. If it calls for diving on loose balls all night long, he’ll do it. When you’re putting a team together you’re always looking for guys like that. Guys who’ll do whatever it takes to win.
Answers and insights like these.

* Live life without making enemies and you haven’t stood for much in this world.
Chuck Daly and his Bad Boys: “I think it must be because Billy made a lot of enemies when he was a player. But I tell you what. He is as smart as a whip. Someone is going to get darn lucky in this league. They just have to take a chance. I talked to the Maloofs about him when they were looking for a coach (last year), and they would have talked to him. But Geoff (Petrie) wasn’t interested.” 
Men like Daly and Laimbeer have always known what they stood for.

Pistons stay the course … with a new head coach

August 13, 2008

Thus far, there’s a lot this corner likes about one Michael Curry, new head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

Courtesy of True Blue Pistons, Curry gets a positive vibe from Kwame Brown

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“What I was hoping for with him and what I got is that he didn’t use anything as an excuse,” Curry said of the most significant off-season addition to the Pistons’ roster, the 6-foot-11, 270-pound veteran big man signed as a free agent. “He put it all upon himself. He didn’t use the way the coach used him or injuries or being young when he came in the league – none of that.

“He took responsibility for himself and, really, once he did that, for me it was easy. That’s one of the biggest things – to get athletes to hold themselves accountable. Whether he did that when he was 18 or 19 – I’m pretty sure I was mature at 18 or 19, but I wouldn’t have been ready to be thrown into a No. 1 pick or right into the NBA and handle that kind of responsibility. Whether he acknowledged responsibility at that time didn’t really matter to me. The fact that now he does is the only thing I want to judge him on.”

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Other Detroit Piston Information from this Off-Season

When the Raptors changed directions with their team, dating back to Feb/2006 and the hiring of Bryan Colangelo (GM), one of the options they had at the time, was to hire Michael Curry, as a young Assistant GM, to work extensively with Wayne Embry (Interim GM) for a period of time and, eventually, to assume full control of the Basketball Operations, on behalf of MLSE, for the franchise in Toronto.

Had this happened, back then, it would have been intriguing to see how the on and off-court development of the Raptors might have been effected and, possibly, be in a different position than it is today (i.e. better off or worse).

A former (and highly effective role) player in the NBA, one-time President of the NBAPA, former Vice President of Player Development for the NBDL, and former Assistant Coach for the Pistons, with a Masters Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Michael Curry has the type of diversified basketball background it takes to eventually become a solid head coach in the NBA (in the mold of men like Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, and Gregg Popovich).

Time will tell … if Joe Dumars (Pistons GM) has Struck ‘Gold’, once again, or if this latest coaching move is simply ‘Strike Two’.

Cavaliers just went backwards

February 21, 2008

Q1. How do you take a team that went to the NBA Finals last year and, then, ensure it has zero (“0”) chance of returning to that same place this season? … despite having, maybe, the best player on the planet, i.e. Lebron (King) James, on your roster!

A1. You have a GM who temporarily loses his mind and deals away almost 50% of his team …

Danny Ferry Goes Certifiably Insane 

for a collection of uninspired cast-offs, misfits and spare parts, whose best days in the NBA are long gone (or never were in the first place).

Wow! … an absolutely classic case of subtraction through addition for the Cavaliers, with the sum of their parts no longer surpassing the value of their whole.

PS. Somewhere, right now, Danny Ainge & Joe Dumars are smiling ear-to-ear.