A MUST Read...The Zoo Crew Unleashed

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by armygirl, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. armygirl

    armygirl Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    A very good article about the Piston's Zoo Crew and Their level of play in Las Vegas. It makes you proud knowing these guys are giving it their all and leaving it all on the floor.

    I think Stuckey and Afflalo will be a force to be reckoned with in the very near future.

    Great Article....

    LAS VEGAS--Early in the third quarter of the Detroit Pistons' 75-66 win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday at the Cox Pavilion, L.A. guard Mike Taylor forced an entry pass to DeAndre Jordan, who wasn't looking back at the ball. Detroit guard Arron Afflalo picked up the loose ball, pounded his dribble into the floor and fed a cutting Amir Johnson for two.


    Starting with defense, showcasing hustle and ending with an emphatic flush, that was a play typical of the Pistons' "Zoo Crew." Afflalo and Johnson are but two members of Joe Dumars' squadron of supporting talent, joining Jason Maxiell and Rodney Stuckey. While Afflalo and Johnson earned a solid 12 minutes per during the 2007-08 campaign, Maxiell and Stuckey were the team's top reserves, playing roughly 20 minutes per and keeping Detroit's stellar starting five fresh throughout the season.

    "Stuckey played last year, and had a really good playoffs," said Pistons head coach Michael Curry. "But I think we have to remember he missed about 35 games last year with a broken hand, so he doesn't even have a full season under his belt yet. He's shown promise, but he's got to get his court time in so he can maximize his ability as a player."
    Stuckey, who sat out most of the second half with an undisclosed injury, has been one of the best players in Las Vegas. He dropped 21 points, five rebounds and four assists in the first game and had totaled eight points and four boards in 19 minutes before coming out of the second. Bullying his way to the rim much as he did throughout the 2008 playoffs, Stuckey frustrated defenders in both contests.

    But even before Stuckey left the game against the Clippers, he wasn't the Zoo Crew member leaving the strongest impression. Afflalo was nearly unstoppable, scoring 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor, going 9-for-9 at the line and nailing a deep two at the 24-second buzzer with 1.2 seconds left in the third. Also, his long jumper with 43 seconds remaining capped the victory. The prolific shooting was a previously unseen element yet to be seen on the NBA level from Detroit's projected backup at the two.

    "This is a league filled with different opportunities, and sometimes scoring is not everything," Afflalo said. "Sometimes you've got to do those little things to make your presence felt. Scoring gets the most notoriety, but if you can go out there, give effort, play defense, do the little things and score, then you're only going to help your team."

    Afflalo built on a solid first game, in which he scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting, while Johnson has proved consistent across the two contests, logging nine points, five rebounds and two steals against Los Angeles after posting 12, five and two in the first. The Pistons' coaches are working hard to ensure steady performances from the trio, a key for the upcoming season, when their minutes are expected to increase.
    As second-year players, they've been offering advice to the younger players where they can. Stuckey cited his role as point guard and floor leader, while Afflalo has made sure to remind the newcomers to stay focused in the face of fresh challenges because mental toughness is the key to playing in "a league of men." Well ... that and practice:

    "It's not work to me," Afflalo said. "I love the game of basketball with all my heart. I could stay in here all day. It's fun, and there's nothing I'd rather be doing. Although it's just one Summer League game, it's big for me because it lets me know this will pay off at some point, and I'm going to push even harder now."

    With an offseason of preparation behind them, Stuckey tersely summed up what to expect from the trio in the coming year:
    "We're still going to be doing the same things we did this past year, just playing good team defense and getting easy baskets." The proof is in the play-by-play. But don't think the hardwood is the only place these precocious players connect. "We hang out all the time," Afflalo acknowledged. "We're part of the young crew, and we're going to try to grow together if possible, on and off the floor."
     
  2. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Stuckey, who sat out most of the second half with an undisclosed injury...

    :bigeyes:
     
  3. lurker

    lurker First Round Draft Pick

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    Toe.
     
  4. raxrets

    raxrets Team Captain

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    something with toe, very minor injury, no need to take risks in summerleague...
     
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Oh yeah baby.
     
  6. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    He seems to have the ideal attitude. Guys like him are great because they just keep improving while other guys plateau.
     
  7. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    It may be rhetoric but its good to hear. Its a far cry from if he can hit his shots he can stay on the floor and do all the little things for us.
     
  8. CarlosGallan

    CarlosGallan First Round Draft Pick

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    Aaron Affalo attitude is just i hope of starters this years, Affalo is not very talented but is a god player,god body,defense and attitude to learn and develope one starter player next years,he only needs improve offensive,this second year AA must have more minutes,other reason to trade Billups o Rip by one real and contrasted center.

    Detroit Basketball¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
     
  9. Delfino Delivers

    Delfino Delivers Bench Warmer

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    Went to a ballgame with my brother last year and he had a couple of pre-paid charge cards to use up. We were looking at the Jersey Style tee shirts with the embroidered numbers and names. He picked the Stuckey jersey and I could not decide between AJ and AA. I chose neither. 2 weeks later my brother showed up with a Palace bag with the AJ Jersey shirt in it.

    I like AA's game and hope he continues to flourish. Maybe all this noise about Joe having to make a move is just that; noise.
     
  10. KGREG

    KGREG All-Star

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    The more I read from MC, it seems as if it is obvious that Flip was nowhere near the page. All season long we whined and complained when AA and AJ would have great games only to get a DNP-CD the next, seems as if the rest of the organization was just as confused as us. Could Flip really have been than oblivious to the big picture????
     
  11. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Wow, and here I thought all the Pistons fans on here had been replaced by pod people. Thanks for proving me wrong!
     
  12. Tha Locstah

    Tha Locstah First Round Draft Pick 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Not very talented? He's in the NBA! Getting PT on a championship contender! What?
     
  13. KGREG

    KGREG All-Star

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    Remember when Michael Redd was in Milw backing up Ray Allen?? Late pick, started out solidly and then took over.....that story is starting to look real familiar around these parts.
     
  14. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    I didn't know AA was that religious.
     
  15. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    AA better get his shot down or AAR will cause his benching.
     
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    I'm scared to buy into this, because the logical conclusion is that Flip was allowed to coach in a manner not sanctioned by the front office for at least one season, if not 3.
     
  17. Winless Wonders

    Winless Wonders Starter Forum Donor

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    I think Flip over thought things too much like a lot of coaches seem to do. They get caught up in the match ups instead of just letting the guy's play. When a guy or a certain group has it going you leave them in the game until they show signs of fatigue. Flip was good at taking out players or a group of players that were in a zone and ruining the flow of the game.:gun1:
     
  18. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Hopefully the front office is learning from their mistakes and adapting.
     
  19. Dlev59

    Dlev59 Bench Warmer Moderator

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    If this is true, it would make Lee a prophet!!
     
  20. lpgrl26

    lpgrl26 Bench Warmer

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    I think the picture might have been too big for Flip. He can only handle so much. I mean he does afterall only call 3 plays. :sssh:

    If that's true, it sadly looks like money was more and more the major point of contention.

    LOL
     

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