April 2006 Pistons articles *frequent updates*

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  1. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Prince lauds King James
    "What he presents on the floor is unusual," Prince said. "He scores from so many different areas, points come easy to him; rebounds, points, all that stuff comes so easily, so natural to him. It's like no other."

    [My favorite part is actually a typo at the end. Spot it and win a No-Prize.]

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Pistons Corner: Cavs' high-scoring LeBron makes MVP statement
    Sitting third in the NBA averaging 31.7 points, he has become nearly unstoppable the past 10 games, scoring more than 30 points in each one, including a streak of nine straight with at least 35 points.

    Finally that has meant victories for the Cavs, who have won nine of those 10 games and are securely in the No. 4 Eastern Conference playoff position.

    Still smiling
    There's no easy way to begin a story about a child with sickle cell disease. But Tony and Margie Delk agree there is a best way. Focus on the child, not the disorder.

    Rosenberg: Punishing Big Ben not worth the risk
    "There is a lot written that there were no apologies," Saunders said. "I talked to Ben. Ben talked to me. Ben talked to his teammates."

    Cavs aren't ready for grind that awaits
    "We're not into it," Billups said. "Because we know once we do get into it, it's a long grind. We've played until June the last two years, and that's long. That's three months. When it's time, we'll be ready."

    .... Some good did come from Fayetteville. Acker said it was so boring there that besides shopping and eating, all he did was work on his game. And in the final five games of the season, he hopes to show Pistons fans some of the things he picked up.

    Hot topics
    Ben Wallace's dust-up with Flip Saunders and teammates last week wasn't the first time he has ripped the team for poor play. But quitting during a game? Doesn't seem like the actions of a captain. Ugly chapter or genius tactic? We're leaning toward the former.

    [Ever notice how, when one Detroit paper has lots of Pistons stories, the other paper follows suit the next day? Yesterday the News, today the Freep.]

    [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

    Lineup questions arise late for Cavs
    Flip Murray has been outstanding since being acquired in a trade with Seattle on Feb. 23 and moving into the starting lineup 21 games ago. He's averaging 13.9 points in 37.5 minutes a game, and Cleveland is 15-6 when he starts. The Cavs were 18-10 with Hughes as the starting shooting guard, and he was averaging 16.2 points before he got hurt.

    Brown, who gave his team Tuesday off, admitted he was hesitant about changing the starting lineup with things going so well.

    [Fox Sports]

    Video: Chauncey Billups on The Best Damn Sports Show, Period

    Preview: Cavaliers at Pistons
    The Pistons are one victory shy of the 1988-89 team that finished 63-19 and won the first of back-to-back NBA championships. Detroit has already clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and is trying to hold off San Antonio and Dallas for the best record in the league .... Detroit has won 12 of the last 14 home games against Cleveland.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    27 (mostly bad) reasons not to like Michael Jordan
    Tell us your reasons why we shouldn't like Michael Jordan — the more awesomely bad twisted logic the better! [ALSO: stories on Ben Wallace being the league's toughest rebounder, "Tayshaun'd" becoming part of the urban vocabulary, and a David Wieme interview that's pretty ho-hum until the Larry Brown part.]

    [Pounding the Rock]

    So you're saying there's a chance?
    .... The Spurs aren't beating a healthy Pistons team (and neither is any team in the Eastern Conference). I just can't see it. Just like last year when I couldn't see anyway PHX would seriously challenge the Spurs (and they didn't). SA will not have home court advantage; that alone infers they will have to play better than last year to beat DET. Then there's the fact DET has undoubtedly improved since last June. SA beating DET simply doesn't make sense. Does not compute. Undefined. Error. REENTER. [This is actually a Spurs blog, April 9 entry. Check out this entry and the follow-up from PO'd Spurs fans, including a priceless photo of the typical online blogger.]
  2. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Booth Newspapers]

    LeBron James even better than expected
    .... The Pistons are pleased with the NBA's decision on Tuesday to allow playoff rosters to be expanded. Teams can now carry 13-man playoff rosters (it used to be 12), although only 12 players will be eligible to play in each game. That means the Pistons can have rookie Jason Maxiell and Kelvin Cato on the playoff roster instead of having to choose between them. This gives them the flexibility to use Cato, who was expected to be left off the playoff roster, in case the Pistons play the Miami Heat and Shaquille O'Neal.
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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  4. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]​

    Take that, LeBron
    When Cavaliers reserve Anderson Varejao grabbed Rasheed Wallace by the face and threw him to the court halfway through the second quarter, the beast was wide awake and breathing fire. If the Cavaliers wanted a playoff game, the Pistons would give them one.

    Final score: Pistons 96, Cavaliers, 73. Statement, anyone?

    .... "The message this sends to us is, we must be kicking their (butts)," Wallace said.

    James is a star, but Billups proves he is a winner
    "I've never been in a situation like this," said Billups, who had eight points and his standard assist-to-turnover ratio (eight to one). "It's unbelievable when you feel this way, thinking you'll win pretty much every time you step on the floor."

    Hamilton finds playoff groove
    The Pistons have played much more zone and deployed more full-court traps the last four or five games, and they will continue to do so for the remainder of the regular season.

    .... Once the Pistons clinch the overall best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs (their magic number is one), Saunders said he planned to activate rookies Amir Johnson and Alex Acker in at least one or two of the remaining games.

    [Detroit Free Press]​

    That's a laugh: 63rd victory ties team record
    "We're trying to accomplish things," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "Playing a lot of people. Doing some things, playing some full-court pressure, play our bench. But always what happens, when you get in the heat of the battle, competitive juices flow, and our guys got juiced up a bit and really executed defensively and carried over the offensive end."

    Pistons Corner: Hamilton cool with light load
    Hamilton missed the Pistons' game against Orlando on Friday, a Detroit loss, to attend the funeral of a family member. In the Pistons' blowout win over the Pacers on Sunday, Hamilton logged only 25 minutes and scored 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting. He scored 14 points in 27 minutes Wednesday against Cleveland. The last time he scored 20-plus points and played more than 40 minutes was March 31 against Milwaukee, when he netted 25 and played 41 minutes.

    [Akron Beacon-Journal]​

    Cavs routed, James injured
    The Cavaliers' experience against the Detroit Pistons Wednesday was as humbling as it was painful, both physically and mentally. Their hosts, the reigning Eastern Conference bosses, sent a profound reminder of the order of things.

    If the Cavs had tasted a little pride after winning 11-of-12 games, the Pistons silenced them with a 96-73 whipping.

    Even Pistons hate to see LeBron limp off
    Even though James and the Cavs loom as a possible second-round opponent for the Pistons, Prince didn't want to see James hobbling off the court and trying to keep weight off his left ankle.

    "For one of our players, or any other player, this is an important time of the season and you don't want anyone to get hurt," Prince said. "You want them to try to help their team accomplish something. Hopefully, this is not too serious for the Cavs and he can get back healthy."

    [Cleveland Plain Dealer]​

    Pistons put hurt on Cavs
    Had this been a heavyweight fight, the Pistons would have won by technical knockout after a brief but intense scuffle between Rasheed Wallace and Anderson Varejao midway through the second quarter. The Cavs (47-31) had no fight left after Varejao was ejected.

    The night went from bad to worse when James, who led the Cavs with 22 points, left the game with 1:46 remaining in the third quarter after falling and spraining his left ankle on a hard drive to the basket. Alan Henderson left early in the fourth with a dislocated finger on his right hand.

    [Need4Sheed.com]​

    The Pistons, Not Just a Team They Are Family
    If you are a Pistons fan you must realize that this team, and especially this season is very special. On the verge of breaking the Pistons franchise winning record, clinching the best record in the NBA and getting ready for playoff dominance, sometimes we take this all for granted. What you are witnessing doesn't come along very often, so watch them, enjoy them, praise them, and thank them, they have made our city proud.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]​

    Carlos Delfino habla Espanol
    NBA en Español recently had Carlos create a series of captions for several humorous photos from around the league. Sounds like a great idea, right? There's only one catch; the captions are entirely in Spanish. (We're told that we should have known that, considering that it was done for NBA en Español.)

    [YAYSports.com]​

    Detroit is arrogant
    If Krista Latham wasn't such a hot name, we'd probably have a thing or two to say about this, other than "Hey Krista - the Cavaliers are a professional basketball team, not a group of seventh-graders thrown together to be blessed by the presence of Detroit basketball."

    [The Mighty MJD]​

    Some happenings in the Pistons/Cavs game
    As you know, I’m a Pistons fan, but… I kinda respect what Varejao did. Earlier in the season, a Rasheed elbow split open Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ dome, and then he laughed in Z’s face when he tried to retaliate. I guess Varejao holds a little bit of a grudge. I like that. Nothing wrong with a hard foul to send a message.

    Of course, the message wasn’t really well-received… the Pistons beat their ass, winning by 23. “Flip outcoached me and their players outplayed us on both ends of the floor,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “Even their cheerleaders did a nice job.” But it was a nice try, anyway, Anderson.

    [Finally, this isn't quite relevant but check out the LeBron James picture here. Remind you of the old Damon Wayans "Handi-Man" superhero? Yes, I thought so too.]
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Need4Sheed]


    Pistons Blowout Cavaliers 96-73

    The Pistons beat the Cavaliers last night to tie the all time franchise season win record at 63. One more win and the Pistons not only beat that record, but they will secure home court advantage throughout the playoffs, a goal they had set for themselves at the beginning of the season.


    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    Democracy trumps monarchy; King James falls

    So about last night's 96-73 win over the Cavs: put it out of your head. For whatever reason — whether it be the pressure of a supposed "statement game", the wear of playing at such a high level while winning 11 of their previous 12, or pure, tangible fear after Cavs reserve "Sideshow" [...]


    Which is which?

    In no particular order, one of these pictures is an NBA player, one is a popular Simpsons character, and another is a former American Idol winner. Can you guess which is which?


    Try not to bleed on the suit

    Pat Riley really doesn't like it when the calls don't go his way.


    Carnival of the NBA

    The Basketball Jones is hosting the latest Carnival of the NBA — head on over to see a round-up of the best the basketball blogosphere has to offer. I guess this makes J.E. Skeets our favorite Canadian carnie . . .


    Carlos Delfino vents his frustration

    Is there discord on the Pistons? First it was Ben in Orlando, now it's Delfino:
    "I need to come in and shoot more, but I'm finding it very difficult to get used to the selfish mentality here.
    "I prefer to pass the ball and here, if you enter for four or five minutes and don't score, [...]
  6. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Wallace: Records aren't a big deal
    Wallace is the only player left from the 2000-01 team that had the last losing season for the Pistons. After four 50-plus win seasons, the Pistons have surpassed 60 and are one victory from setting a franchise record -- they can reach 64 victories tonight in Toronto.

    "For the most part, we're not looking to go out and set records," Wallace said. "We just try to give ourselves every opportunity to win every game. When you do that, when you play hard every night, good things usually happen."

    Rob Parker: Pistons know title is most important, not regular season
    If you were in that locker room following the Game 7 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio, you would know why this group was so focused this regular season.

    The Pistons didn't want to be in that position again. They knew if the decisive game been at The Palace and not the SBC Center, they would be working for their third straight title now.

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Pistons Corner: 'Sheed must bleed' cries draw laughs
    "I laugh all the time because when we were in Cleveland they had signs all up talking about " 'Sheed must bleed,' " shooting guard Richard Hamilton said. "Every time we play them we always kind of mock it, but it's fun."

    .... Delfino will likely represent his country in July, but he will not miss the Pistons' playoff run to join the Argentinean team early to train, as the report speculated.

    [Booth Newspapers]

    Pistons have just a little left to play for before playoffs begin
    The only goals left to accomplish are a franchise record for victories and a league-best record in order to get home-court advantage throughout the postseason. The magic number is one on both accounts and each can be reached with a victory in tonight's game at Toronto, or by beating New York, Milwaukee or Washington next week.

    Full-Court Press: Detroit's toughest foe: themselves
    It doesn't matter who they'll see in the playoffs. If this team plays close to their best game, there's not a team in the NBA that can beat them in a best-of-seven series. Not Dallas. Not Phoenix. Not even San Antonio, even with a healthy Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

    [Toronto Globe & Mail]

    Raptors question marks
    The 26-53 Raptors have three games left in the 2005-06 regular season. They will take on the powerhouse Detroit Pistons at the Air Canada Centre tonight, what will likely be their 11th consecutive loss. The Pistons are 63-15, the best record in the NBA.

    The Raptors, who have not won since losing Bosh to a season-ending thumb injury on March 26, will also be without second-year forward Matt Bonner, who is through for the season with an ankle sprain.

    [Fox Sports]

    Grading the Eastern Conference Coaches
    If it ain't broken, make it work even better. By opening up the Pistons' offense, and by shunning his predecessor's picayune nagging and shrill correctives, Saunders has restored the joy of playing. Aside from periodical bouts of boredom, Detroit has maintained its intensity throughout the season.

    So far, so great. But how will Saunders react as the Pistons get deeper into the playoffs and the pressure mounts? Will he be able to make the miniscule adjustments that spell the difference between champions and also-rans?

    Grade: A+

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    The Gift of Magic: Pistons clinch best record
    Ironic as it may seem, the Boys in Blue clinched tonight in large part due to the contributions of one Darko Milicic (ironic because it is the greatest contribution to Piston success Darko has ever offered). A couple weeks ago, we brought in a real-life Magic fan to educate us on how well the human victory cigar was adjusting to his new sunny locale. Just fine, thank you. Darko went for 14 points, 7 boards, 3 blocks, and a steal in tonight's matchup.

    [Christian Science Monitor]

    Who's best in the NBA? Let the debate begin
    Increased scoring isn't limited to Bryant, James, & Company. Offense is on everyone's mind after several seasons of ugly, jarring, and punishing basketball embodied by the Detroit Pistons' championship team in 2004. Under new coach Flip Saunders, the Pistons are averaging nearly four points more per game compared with last season, though they rank well below perennial scoring machines Phoenix, Dallas, and Miami.

    [Kind of a suck article and mostly a superstar lovefest, but it was fun to include the Monitor after the likes of the Fayetteville Observer.]
  7. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]
    James lifts Raptors past Pistons
    Mike James thought Rasheed Wallace tried to mock the Toronto Raptors when he attempted a left-handed 3-pointer.

    So James bit -- yes, bit -- his former Detroit teammate and had a career night.

    .... Asked what his best line to Wallace was, James said: "I bit him. He grabbed me in a headlock and I bit him. It felt so good. I tried to pull some skin off him."

    [Detroit Free Press]
    Pistons' bench falls late
    More than anything else, the Pistons' objective was to return to Detroit healthy. Check that. But they're not coming home with a franchise record for wins in a season, although that seems to be OK with them.

    "We got out of it what we wanted," Saunders said. "Our main guys played really well, especially in the third quarter when they turned the heat up. We worked on some of our trap defenses that were really effective. Then we gave our young guys some fourth-quarter experience."

    Pistons Corner: Starters to get break; Maxiell gets more time
    Saunders plans to give his starters more rest -- but still maintain a rhythm. The coach said he plans to have the starters play around 20 minutes a game for the rest of the regular season. Saunders also wants to mix in some of the younger players, particularly rookie Jason Maxiell, with the veterans.

    "He's had a great attitude," Saunders said. "He's improved a lot just because he's had to play against Ben and 'Sheed (Wallace) and those guys every day and I think he's a guy if we give him extended time, over a two- or three-game span, he'll produce."

    [Booth Newspapers]​

    Toronto tops Detroit, 108-103
    Richard Hamilton threw a lob pass from near half court that sailed well over Ben Wallace's head. Just before that, Rasheed Wallace launched an ill-advised 3-pointer early in the shot clock ... with his left hand.

    "I knew it was time then to get him out," quipped Pistons coach Flip Saunders.

    Full-Court Press: Cleveland/Detroit rivalry under a watchful eye
    "Yes, I do have some concerns in the event these two teams meet in the playoffs, given the fact that there has been some hard fouling on the part of both teams in the last three games played," Stu Jackson said on conference call Thursday. "I had a conversation with [Cavaliers General Manager] Danny Ferry on this subject."

    [Toronto Globe & Mail]​

    Toronto ends skid by beating one of best
    Before a crowd 19,800, Toronto's fifth sellout of the season, the Raptors staged a gutsy fourth-quarter rally to score a 108-103 victory over the stunned Pistons.

    [I bet you didn't know we were actually in a playoff game last night, did you? The Globe and Mail tries in vain to pretend this game was meaningful by noting that the Pistons' "embarrassment was complete" after the final Mike James free throws. Hogwash.]

    [Detroit Bad Boys]​

    The Best of Grant Hill; A team of his own for Harper?
    NBA talks to Cleveland about physical play

    It's a slow day for news, but it's Friday and I imagine many of you are just itching for something to pass the time before you punch out. So, even though it's not particularly relevant to anything happening right now, let me present some highlights from the Grant Hill

    [Need4Sheed]​

    Best Damn Sports Show Chauncey Interview
    Chauncey Billups gave a great interview on The Best Damn Sports Show last week. With his upcoming appearance on Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith and his MVP attention, Smooth is getting the recognition that he so greatly deserves.

    Another guest of the show was Billups cousin USC Running Back LenDale White, the show brought the two together for a quick segment and LenDale painted a great picture of his famous cousin.

    [Fox Sports]​

    Raptors beat Pistons with a little help
    If you were wondering how the Chris Bosh-less Raptors beat Detroit last night, consider this: Rasheed Wallace was taking left-handed treys in the second half, the Pistons rested their starters in the fourth quarter, and when Detroit had a chance to tie the game with 10 seconds left, Carlos Delfino actually tripped and lost the ball.

    Was this a game that mattered, of course, Delfino wouldn't be anywhere near the rock in crunch time ...
  8. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    Just wanted to take the time to thank Dobber for his efforts on posting these articles... it's one of the first stops of the day.... keeping us all in the loop.

    Much appreciated bro :thumb:
  9. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    More NBA comics

    NBA czar David Stern says Seattle isn't interested in basketball, which begs the question, what is Seattle interested in?

    The gift of Magic: Pistons clinch home court

    Gifts can come from the strangest of places. Take Thursday night, for example. Achieving the league's best record had been the stated goal of these Pistons since last season's game 7 loss in San Antonio, yet it was the all-of-a-sudden unbeatable Orlando Magic that gave the Pistons the gift of home court advantage [...]

    Pistons lose scrimmage to Raptors

    The Pistons, playing their first officially meaningless game of the season after clinching the best record in the league, dropped a game to the Raptors on Friday night. Four of the five starters watched at least half of the game from the bench — Ben Wallace, who racked up five blocks in 28 minutes, was [...]

    Delfino clarifies statements

    The Free Press caught up with Carlos Delfino to ask him about the interview published earlier this week in which he seemed to suggest he wanted to miss the playoffs to play for the Aregentia in the South American Championships:
    The report said Delfino wanted to leave the Pistons during their playoff run. Delfino said [...]


    [Booth Newspapers]

    Rookie anticipate more playing time in Pistons' final 3 games
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons' remaining three regular-season games are against teams with losing records. Considering the Pistons have already clinched home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs, these games don't really mean a lot.


    But don't tell that to guard Alex Acker, one of several Pistons rookies who should get quality playing time this week.


    "I'm approaching this like it's my (NBA) Finals," said Acker, who has appeared in just three games this season. "If he (Pistons coach Flip Saunders) puts me out there, I'll be ready. I'm looking forward to these games."



    [The Oakland Press]


    Pistons Lite
    James leads Raptors over the reserves
    by DANA GAURUDER

    TORONTO - Pistons Lite made its debut Friday night. Get used to it for the next few games.

    This slimmed-down version of the NBA's top team brings upon a variety of unusual sights. The starters sit and watch during close games in the fourth quarter. The defense comes with a few twists. Rasheed Wallace unveils his left-handed 3-point shot and rookie Jason Maxiell plays center with the game on the line.

    With home-court advantage throughout the playoffs secured before they took the court, the Pistons downshifted into neutral and allowed their younger players to gain some experience. The bench couldn't hold a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 108-103 loss to the lottery-bound Toronto Raptors. This was a game the Pistons probably would have won if the starters had remained on the court. But limiting their minutes and keeping them healthy is a higher priority than adding to their franchise-record tying 63-win total. Nine Pistons saw at least 20 minutes of action and no one played more than 28 minutes.


    Maxiell getting more minutes
    by DANA GAURUDER

    TORONTO - Jason Maxiell has been waiting for this chance all season. With home court throughout the playoffs clinched, Maxiell has his chance to make a big impression.

    He's got a simple mission.

    "That I can play with the big boys," said Maxiell, the team's firstround draft choice last June. "That's what I'm here to do, to show Flip (Saunders) I'm capable of running down the floor with the big fellas, bang down low and get my job done."

    Stuck behind Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess at power forward, Maxiell played in just his 23rd game this season Friday night. Unlike some young players in his spot, Maxiell has maintained a positive attitude and continued to go all-out in practice.


    [Hoopsworld]


    Eastern Conference Playoff Chase
    by Eric Pincus

    The season ends April 19th, but as of the 15th the playoff seedings in Eastern Conference are far from set.

    Although the top four seeds are locked, who they will play in the first round is completely up in the air.
  10. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [NBA.com]

    Turbo Pistons
    Some pundits predicted that the Pistons would slip a bit this season without Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown at the helm. That couldn’t have been further from what has transpired.

    [New York Times]

    Consistency, Controversy and Calamity
    (Registration Required) In a season with few extraordinary highlights (Kobe Bryant's 81 points) and few shocking lowlights (Larry Brown's Knicks), consistency (the Detroit Pistons) dominated on and off the court.
  11. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Knicks' Brown calls in sick
    Coach Larry Brown is ill and unable to be on the bench. This time, the Knicks will be feeling Brown's absence during today's game against the Pistons at The Palace.

    Brown did not accompany the team to Detroit, according to Knicks representative Jonathan Supranowitz. Brown remained in New York to recover from a bout with acid reflux.

    [New York Daily News]

    How the East is Won
    Jefferson will tell anybody that will listen the Nets are the last Eastern Conference team to eliminate the Pistons. Of course, that took place in 2003.

    "There is no team in the East that can decide to dominate a game at any given moment (like Detroit)," an Eastern Conference scout said. "There is nobody that can beat them right now the way they are playing in the East."
  12. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Miami Herald]


    Heat has no shot vs. Pistons? Not so fast there
    by Dan Le Batard

    This interminable NBA regular season mercifully lurches to a close with perfectly irrelevant punctuation. Miami has three more miserable games against losing teams, which is the only kind the awful Eastern Conference seems to produce. Fifteen conference teams and only four with winning records? That seems a mathematical impossibility, and it goes a long way toward explaining why what looks like a flawed Heat team likely will win only four fewer games than last season's.

    It also should make you appreciate the business model Pat Riley has built here. Criticize him if you must about not drafting Jameer Nelson or sending off Damon Jones, but that's like complaining about Shakira's toes. Howl and boo all you want about the Antoine Walker acquisition, but it bears repeating that Miami has the game's fourth-best record because Riley got Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade here, period. Remember that, and the difficulties of rebuilding, as the last-place New York Knicks prepare to write a $65 million check to the league for salary-cap mismanagement, more than $10 million of which will go to the Heat.
  13. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Oakland Press]


    Sorry, TV execs, but Pistons are better
    by Dana Gauruder

    The NBA's broadcast partners couldn't get enough of the superstar-laden Los Angeles Lakers two seasons ago. The suits at ABC Sports were thrilled to see Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Gary Payton make the Finals, though the Pistons didn't follow the script and wrecked their victory parade.

    Heading into this year's playoffs, there's no question which team ABC wants to emerge from the Eastern Conference. A Finals featuring Shaq's brute strength, Dwyane Wade's spectacular drives and Pat Riley's mussed hair would ensure healthy ratings in June.


    Pistons' subs can look forward to more action
    by DAVID BIRKETT

    AUBURN HILLS - Alex Acker spent a half-hour after Pistons practice Saturday working with assistant Igor Kokoskov on curl screens, one-dribble jumpers and an assortment of one-on-one moves.

    After his individual workout, he played a rotating game of one-on-one with fellow rookies Amir Johnson and Jason Maxiell.

    With any luck, he'll get to show off his improved game soon.
    .
  14. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit News]


    Playoffs hard to ignore
    Saunders says that's why the final games of the regular season are so tough on his team.
    by Chris McCosky

    AUBURN HILLS -- Flip Saunders likened this final week of the season to the final week of the exhibition season.

    "You are trying to get ready, trying to stay sharp, trying to give some people opportunities, but at the same time you want to be competitive and you want to win," he said.


    Pistons' core key to success
    by Rob Parker

    AUBURN HILLS -- It was only fitting Knicks coach Larry Brown wasn't at The Palace on Easter Sunday.

    Brown, who has missed two games because of a stomach ailment, did not witness firsthand his former team establishing a franchise record for victories in a season (64) by defeating the Knicks, 103-97. The Pistons beat the record set by the 1988-89 Bad Boys team that went 63-19.


    Bad Boys surpassed
    'Extra sharp' Pistons win their franchise-best 64th game, topping record set by '88-89 NBA champions.
    by Chris McCosky

    AUBURN HILLS -- They don't really want to think about it now -- there's too much work left to be done.

    But the Pistons rewrote another page in the history books here Sunday.

    Their 103-97 victory over the Knicks (it wasn't really that close) was the franchise-best 64th of the season, wiping out the 1988-89 Bad Boys' record of 63.


    [Booth Newspapers]

    Inside the Pistons
    Monday, April 17, 2006

    INSIDE THE PISTONS

    A look at the Pistons heading into this week:

    Who's hot: Lindsey Hunter has provided Detroit with more than solid defense lately. In the last four games, he came off the bench to average nine points and six assists per game while shooting 51.6 percent from the field.


    Pistons drill hapless Knicks for record 64th win
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons have the best record in the NBA, and the New York Knicks have one of the worst.

    On Sunday night, fans got a chance to see why both teams are where they are as the Pistons made quick work of the Knicks in a 103-97 win.

    With the win, Detroit set a franchise record for most regular-season wins (64).


    [Detroit Free Press]


    DETROIT 103, NEW YORK 97: Move over, Bad Boys
    Pistons notch franchise record 64th win
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    It's probably a good thing Larry Brown didn't witness Sunday's game between his former team, the Pistons, and his new squad, the Knicks. It wouldn't have rested well with his frayed nerves and faltering immune system.

    The Pistons pummeled the down-and-out Knicks, 103-97, at the Palace with Brown resting at home after a recent flare up of acid reflux, and so-called Knicks stars Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis out with injuries.


    Saunders leads without the melodrama
    by MICHAEL ROSENBERG

    To their long list of 2005-06 accomplishments, the Pistons just added another: a six-point blowout.

    I don't know how they did it. Late in the first quarter on Sunday, the Pistons led 38-11, at which point the Knicks were mathematically eliminated from my attention span.


    PISTONS CORNER: Ex-team has sympathy for Brown
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    The Pistons have treated their severed relationship with former coach Larry Brown with grace and respect all season. Whenever asked about Brown, they've said they loved him. When they played his new team, the Knicks, in the first three meetings, they shook Brown's hand before tip-off.

    On Sunday, that graciousness was evident even with Brown somewhere on the East Coast as he recovers from an acid reflux flare-up from last week.


    [The Oakland Press]


    Pistons put it on cruise control against Knicks
    Win over New York sets franchise record for victories
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Franchise records never seemed so anticlimactic.

    The Pistons just wanted to dispose of the New York Knicks quickly and get off the court in one piece Sunday night. They accomplished both and won their franchise-record breaking 64th game along the way.

    Blitzing the Knicks with trapping defenses, the Pistons scored the first 15 points and led by 27 just 9:14 into the game. The 103-97 final was as deceptive as a well-executed poker bluff.

    "We got pretty much what we wanted offensively," coach Flip Saunders said. "Defensively, we were like vultures to start games."


    Preparation for playoffs difficult
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Flip Saunders is having enough trouble coaching games that have little meaning to his team. Trying to figure which opponent the Pistons will play in the first round is really driving him batty.

    Though Chicago's victory over Miami on Sunday determined the eight teams that will make the Eastern Conference playoffs, there are four teams that could wind up with the No. 8 seed - Washington, Indiana, Milwaukee and Chicago.
  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Oakland Press]


    We could use some titles around here
    by PAT CAPUTO

    In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, Detroit was the undisputed king of professional sports. The Tigers, Lions and Red Wings won world championships that year, earning Detroit the moniker "City of Champions."

    The soup lines didn't close. It didn't make anyone rich - even the athletes of the day.

    It did, however, numb the pain.

    More than 70 years later, the world has changed in many ways. One way it hasn't is in our dependency on the automobile industry.

    It's our bread. It's our butter. When it goes stale, we go hungry.

    The economy nationwide, depending on the economic analysis you believe, has been portrayed as relatively solid. Nobody, however, disputes it's soft around here.

    We're like a basketball team that lives by the 3-point shot. And, as everybody knows about living by the 3-point shot, you tend to die by it.

    General Motors and Ford have restructured, closing factories and eliminating blue- and white-collar jobs in the process.

    This isn't the Great Depression by any stretch of the imagination, but it is enough to make us dejected. Certainly, it's not a reach to say we're not exactly feeling good about ourselves right now.

    But we might be soon. Our boost could come this spring. Sports, once more, might serve as our salvation.

    Within a week, the Pistons and Red Wings will enter the playoffs for what figure to be extended runs toward possible world championships.

    Each will enter the postseason as the best team in their league during the regular season.

    Both have been there and done it in recent years.

    The Pistons won the NBA title in 2004 and advanced to Game 7 of the NBA Finals last season before losing to San Antonio.

    The Red Wings have bounced back from the NHL's labor stoppage as strong as ever. They have won three Stanley Cup championships since 1997 ‹ the most recent in 2002.

    The Pistons are remarkable. More than any other championship-caliber team, regardless of the sport, they rely on the sum of their parts instead of one or two main cogs.

    It's as if the Pistons have been molded in our image. There is nothing fancy about them, but they ultimately gut it out and triumph in the end.

    Ben Wallace, the Pistons' center, is the epitome of a Detroit athlete. He can't shoot a lick. There are times when he looks utterly awful out there. He gets downright ticked off at times.

    Get in his face, though, and see what happens. He doesn't back down.

    Does anybody outwork Big Ben? Or Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace or Tayshaun Prince?

    It's beyond likely the Pistons will advance the absolute distance their talent allows. That would mean another trip to the NBA Finals and a possible, maybe even probable, championship.

    There are more variables involving the Red Wings. There is still a core of players remaining from their three most recent championship teams - Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby.

    The Red Wings' strength this season has been blending those players with younger ones entering their prime such as Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Jason Williams.

    The younger players must come through for the Red Wings to make the anticipated championship run. So must goalies Manny Legace and Chris Osgood, who played above expectations during the regular season.

    It would be incredible if the Pistons and the Red Wings advance to the finals in the same season. Even more so if both win titles.

    It would have a tangible impact on our economy, sure, but the biggest lift would be to our collective spirit.

    "City of Champions" has a nice ring to it. Long ago, it meant an awful lot.

    Under the circumstances, it'd mean just as much this spring.
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [NY Post]


    BROTHER'S KEEPER
    by MARC BERMAN

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - It took Larry Brown's brother, Herb, to say what Isiah Thomas should have stated said weeks ago.

    Hawks assistant Herb Brown, with his younger brother ailing and at home yesterday when the Knicks were beaten by the Pistons 103-97 at The Palace, stuck up for Larry in the Knicks coach's escalating war with Stephon Marbury and bashed the point guard for undermining the team.

    "Players have to understand that the tail does not wag the dog," Herb Brown told The Post. "You have to coach with 12 to 15 players. You got to do what the coach wants you to do. You can only have one leader on the team. You'd like to say it's a democracy, but there's only one boss. If all five guys do what the coach wants you to do, relentlessly and religiously, they are going to win."


    [NY Daily News]


    Knicks need role guys: Ben

    AUBURN HILLS - Ben Wallace believes the problem with the Knicks is that they don't have enough players like himself, guys who perform a role other than scoring to help the team win.

    "That team has what you would call a gift and a curse," Wallace said prior to the Pistons' 103-97 win over the Knicks last night. "They've got so many talented guys that can take over a game, but they don't have a lot of role players, guys that are willing to lay back, rebound and do all the little things that help to win games."

    Wallace, a key performer on the Pistons' 2004 championship team, became an All-Star under Larry Brown. He also saw point guard Chauncey Billups emerge as a dominant player while struggling to adjust to Brown's demanding ways.

    "Chauncey is one of the guys that is not going to rock the boat," Wallace said. "He's not going to fight with the coach. He lets it roll of his shoulders."

    [Newark Star Ledger]


    Ben Wallace says Brown is in a bad spot
    by DAVID WALDSTEIN

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- While most people in the NBA are shocked that the Knicks are one of the three worst teams in the league despite adding Eddy Curry, Jalen Rose, Steve Francis and particularly Larry Brown, Ben Wallace is not one of them.

    If the Pistons center learned anything from Brown, his coach here for two seasons, it's that he can't win with a team like the Knicks because, Wallace explained, they are cursed from all that one-dimensional talent.


    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Pistons beat New York in less than 12 minutes
    by Matt Watson

    Nate-Rob loses the ballIt was obvious from the start that the Pistons' starters were looking to take care of business early. After receiving the tip from Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton found Tayshaun Prince for an alley-oop lay-up to put Detroit on the board just three seconds into the game. Prince was fouled by Nate Robinson and made his free throw, giving the Pistons a three-point lead. After Ben stole the ball on the very next possession, Robinson committed another foul, this time on a streaking Rip, who made one of two free throws.
  17. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Last night's post game presser from Flip was the most insightful and honest I have heard all year.

    The audio is posted in the game thread located, HERE.

    Also...

    We're looking for one or two more News Posters to spell LanierFan. He's done a yeoman's job taking over for Zoso, keeping the Daily News standard high. But like all of us, this is volunteer work and has to take a backseat at times to real life priorities.

    While I fill in where I can, it's going to be more difficult with the playoffs and increased news coverage the Pistons will generate.

    If you would be interested in helping maintain this section, please send me a Private Message. Any assistance would be appreciated.
  18. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Cincinnati Enquirer]

    Maxiell could be a Prince
    Possible to follow Tayshaun's path

    by DAVE GOLDSTEIN

    A rarely used rookie on a championship contender, Jason Maxiell would appear to have little chance of contributing to the Detroit Pistons' upcoming title run.

    Three years ago, the same thing could have been said about Tayshaun Prince, but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the best stories of the 2003 playoffs, nor will the long odds stop Maxiell from staying ready.

    As a rookie, Prince appeared in only 42 regular-season games for a 50-win Detroit team, averaging only 3.3 points a game. Given a chance in the playoffs, Prince shined, nearly tripling his scoring average, ably defending Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson, and helping lead the Pistons to the Eastern Conference finals.
  19. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Back again. Get used to seeing the MLive.com/Booth Newspapers links in separate posts (if at all) from me, kiddies, because that %$#@!$!piece of %$#@!$! site has ruined ol' #16's hard work for the last time.]


    [Detroit News]​

    Bucks devour Pistons' reserves
    Jason Maxiell looked up from his seat in the middle of the visitors locker room -- rookies don't get private stalls -- and summed up Monday's game this way:

    "We'd have been all right if Chauncey (Billups) and those guys didn't dig such a big hole for us."

    Best Bets: Pistons playoff tickets
    The Pistons will put tickets for their first two playoff games on sale Thursday morning. At 10 a.m. at The Palace box office, approximately 500 $12 tickets will be made available. Limit is two tickets per customer, and a customer can only buy one game or the other, not both. Numbers will be passed out to those in line at 8:30 a.m. at the west gate, and a random drawing will be held at 9:30, meaning that all those with numbers will have an equal chance at the first opportunity to buy tickets. There is no guarantee that everyone in line at 8:30 will be able to buy tickets. Purchasers must be at least 12 years old to receive a number.

    At 11 a.m. single tickets at $70, $55 and $45, as well as any remaining $12 tickets, will be put on sale through regular outlets, including TicketMaster.com, TicketMaster outlets or The Palace at (248) 377-0100.

    [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]​

    Rout of Detroit's JV sets up showdown
    The Bucks needed to win and the Pistons did not, and that was apparent from the opening tip as. With Detroit making one of its first 11 shots and Simmons draining 3 three-pointers, the Bucks ran out to a 17-2 lead in the first 5 minutes. The Bucks led by 15 points at halftime, and by as many as 31 in the third quarter before garbage time in the fourth.

    It was apparent about 35 minutes before game time how seriously the Pistons were taking the game when Detroit's Ben Wallace, Dale Davis, Tayshaun Prince and assistant coach Ron Harper were on the court practicing half-court shots. With home-court advantage throughout the playoffs already theirs, the Pistons didn't even bother suiting up Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace or Lindsey Hunter and placed them on the inactive list for the game. Coach Flip Saunders didn't play any of his starters more than 24 minutes.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]​

    Buck whoop Pistons (bench)
    Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace weren't even active, and nor was Hunter. Instead, all three rookies — Jason Maxiell, Alex Acker and Amir Johnson — all saw significant action in the same game for the first time since October, and all three looked good. Maxiell scored 11 points with 12 boards in 27 minutes, while Acker scored four points with four assists and four boards in 18 minutes.

    Johnson, though, was particularly impressive: he scored 18 points in 18 minutes by going 6-6 from the field, 2-2 from three-point land and 4-4 from the line. Just for good measure, he added a couple of boards and two assists. Not bad for an 18-year-old? Heck, that's not bad for veteran All-Star. This kid is some kind of athlete, and it's exciting to think about what he might become in a couple of years.

    ALSO:
    Come On, Rip!
    Can anyone else provide a translation of this page from Chinese?

    http://www.detroitbadboys.com/archives/2006-04-18/darko-the-musical-muse/
    [Y]ou might be interested in a song that may or may not be dedicated to (and/or inspired by) Darko Milicic.

    [Need4Sheed]

    The Future Looks Great! Maxiell, Johnson and Delfino Shine in Pistons Loss
    Maxiell is the best defender of the bunch, but I think Amir will get better with a little more time in the league. It's refreshing to see three young guys play so hard in basically a meaningless game, they know it's their time to shine and they gave 100%. If only Darko had done that when he was here, things would be a bit different. It was nice to see the young boys get some attention, here are Acker and Johnson's post game interviews.

    [Milwaukee Bucks Diary]

    Bucks Match Up Well with Replacement Pistons
    The Bucks really took it to the "Pistons" tonight. The fans at the Bradley have to admit they got their $100.00's worth too (or did they charge Exhibition Season prices?). Some of the names on the Detroit roster the BC faithful may have even remembered. For instance, the Pistons were led in scoring by the Palace at Auburn Hills janitor, Hong Kong Phooey, in assists by the team's Assistant Regional Manager or Assistant to the Regional Manager, the British born Gareth Keenan, and in rebounding by the team's aging superstar from Carver High: Coolidge. All that wasn't enough. The Bucks dropped the Pistons 113-93.
  20. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [DetroitPistons.com]

    Detroit Pistons 93, Milwaukee Bucks 113
    Flip Saunders on the play of the younger Pistons:
    “They were a little bit nervous at first, but after they settled down, I thought they played well. Maxi (Jason Maxiell) did a nice job rebounding and doing other things. Amir (Johnson) did some nice things, (Carlos) Delfino played well. It’s always good to see those guys. They were playing against some of their main people, so it was good to see them in that situation.”

    On any downsides to tonight’s game:
    “I would have liked to have seen the guys get off to a better start early, with their (the Bucks) main group…We said going in the idea was to not get anybody hurt and make sure that the guys we had to play broke a sweat and didn’t get too stale and give our young guys an opportunity to play in a heated situation against some top players.”

    Detroit Pistons First Round Games Available for $12
    The Detroit Pistons announced that tickets for Games One and Two of Round One of the NBA Playoffs, including approximately 500 tickets per game at $12 per ticket, will go on sale Thursday, April 20, starting at 10:00 a.m. The Pistons will use a random numbering procedure to select the first person in line from those on-site, beginning at 9:30 a.m.



    [MLive.com]

    Full-Court Press: A. Sherrod Blakely Forum Notes
    "I don't think you'll see them trap a lot, but I do believe you'll see more of it with Rip and Chauncey than Delk and Lindsey. I know Chauncey's known for his shooting, but him being named to the second team All-defense squad last year was no accident. And Rip, especially this year, has been able to use the same quickness that he uses to get open on offense, to stay with and harass players on the defensive end of the floor."

    Pistons Bulletin: And the coulda-been winners are ...
    You'll also see some guys who seem to step up their play in the final few weeks of the season after having done zilch for the previous four or so months .... Here's my rundown of the best Johnny-come-Lately's in the NBA this season.
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