Houston Rockets Jan. 25th, 6:30 PM

Discussion in 'January 2009' started by Dlev59, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,759
    Likes Received:
    2
    Still Searching

    There’s not much swagger to the Pistons these days. Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace aren’t the only things missing from the glory days. The aura that enveloped the Pistons much of the last six seasons comes and goes today. Right now, they’re a team in search of an identity.

    Michael Curry thought he ended that search early last week, when he brought Amir Johnson back into the starting lineup and moved Rip Hamilton to a super-sub role. The Pistons were going to establish a tone defensively with their bigger lineup, body punch the opponent in the early rounds, then bring Hamilton off the bench to throw the haymakers at them in the second and fourth quarters.

    But that big lineup, the one that was supposed to set the tone defensively, has now dug big early holes in all three of its games together. Against a disoriented Toronto team, they came back quickly, assumed control of the game just after halftime and won in a rout.

    Against Dallas and Houston in a lost weekend at The Palace, the Pistons got carved up in the first quarter of both games. If you thought Friday night’s 31-point Dallas first quarter was ugly, don’t watch Houston’s 39-point opening 12 minutes that saw the Rockets sink seven from the 3-point arc and go up 12.

    So the Pistons began another Sunday in deep slumber. But they didn’t shrug their shoulders, curse the Sabbath siren who’d lulled them to a 1-6 Sunday record coming into the Houston game and accept their fate. Not this time.

    They came back, all the way back, and went ahead midway through the third quarter, 69-68. With Houston back up by a point at 70-69, an electric moment at both ends of the 94-foot hardwood happened – an out-of-nowhere block from Amir Johnson leading to an Allen Iverson lob dunked by Rasheed Wallace, putting the Pistons back ahead by a point.

    For many of its 20 years, The Palace witnessed dozens of such moments, and even in their frequency, they never become routine. The building takes on a pulse of its own, and the energy created by one of those plays – a block, a dunk, a coldblooded triple – rises from the floor, ripples through the lower bowl and crescendos somewhere up in the Noise Factory, where it radiates back and gets soaked in by the Pistons, whose sneakers stop touching the ground at some point.

    The coda to the story never changes. The Pistons win those games. They always win those games.

    They didn’t win this game.

    And as troubling as their first-quarter foibles should be, the really unnerving thing if you’re a Pistons fan is that with the home crowd in full throat, in a building opponents fear – or feared, at least – they no longer routinely close out the deal.

    Separately, both Rip Hamilton and Michael Curry advanced the same theory: All the energy the Pistons expended in coming back was a greater factor than the building momentum that should have been theirs late.

    There was one damning Houston possession that lasted almost a full minute, with the Rockets ahead by four when it started with a little more than two minutes to play. Wallace blocked a Luis Scola layup attempt out of bounds to start it. Then Tayshaun Prince blocked a Tracy McGrady jump shot, but the ball came right back to Scola. Ron Artest missed a jump shot; again, Scola chased down the rebound. The Rockets ran precious more time off the clock before Artest launched a 3-pointer. Again he missed; again Houston rebounded.

    Finally, on Houston’s fifth shot of the possession, McGrady broke them down and made a tough layup in traffic for a six-point Houston lead.

    “Those three offensive rebounds they got in the last two minutes, that’s what happens,” Curry said. “The fact we were able to battle back and take a one-point lead, that was great. But getting down in the hole in that first quarter is something we’ve got to do a much better job of and we’ve done it the last three games.”

    Hamilton, whose 27 points in 31 minutes off the bench at least gives the Pistons real evidence this experiment promises dividends, grows restless on the bench watching the starting unit of which he was a six-season fixture stumble out of the game.

    “It’s tough,” he said. “You’ve got to get out to good starts. When you don’t get out to good starts, the whole game we’re playing catch-up. So we waste all that energy coming back and then they make another run and we’ve got to make our run. We’ve got to do a better job of coming out and playing better early in the game.”

    If you’d have told Curry a week ago that Hamilton would give him 27 points in his third game as a reserve, chances are you’d have to believe his week would have ended with him feeling a little better about his team.

    But that’s the way it goes when your team is struggling to find itself. The Pistons have nothing to hang their hat on now. When they get one problem repaired, a leak springs elsewhere.

    Sympathy is in short supply around the NBA. The Pistons know the rules. When they were riding high, they showed no mercy to undermanned teams, grinding them under their heel. They knew exactly when to turn it on and put teams away. It was in all of those moments that would crescendo at The Palace, when they would seize momentum by the throat and never let go.

    Now opponents are sensing they can’t find that passing gear right now and arriving here for the first time in a long time believing their night might end in high fives.

    “I guess they feel as though we’re not playing good right now, so I guess they feel it’s their revenge factor,” Wallace said. “We’ve been kicking (backsides) for so many years, home and away, I guess they feel it’s time for some get-back.”

    The Pistons swallow such words uneasily. They know they don’t have their fastball right now. But not having it now and not believing they still can rare back and throw one is another matter. The one thing Michael Curry has going for him is that there is no sense about them that any of this is irretrievable.

    I asked Hamilton if he expected to close out the game after the Pistons had come all the way back to take the lead.

    “We thrive and we build and recent Pistons games, when the game is close in the fourth quarter, we find a way to win, and lately we ain’t been doing that.”

    So does that do anything to rattle your confidence?

    “Nah – it’s just because we’re playing so much catch-up basketball early in the game.”

    Fixing that problem goes to the top of their list. Making sure something unforeseen doesn’t spring a leak in the meantime is second on the list of priorities. How Rip Hamilton would respond to coming off the bench was supposed to be the great unknown of last week’s lineup switch. The given was that the Pistons would play better defense early in games.

    If they straighten that out, then we’ll look for signs of swagger in a team that was usually the one administering the lumps, not taking them.

    # Will Robinson and Doug Collins, men whose paths crossed with the Pistons when Collins coached them during the ’90s, will be memorialized at the place their relationship first took root: Illinois State University. Sculptor Lou Cella, a 1985 Illinois State graduate who created the Ernie Banks statue at Wrigley Field, has been commissioned to do a statue of Robinson, the first African American head coach at a Division I school when he was hired by Illinois State from Detroit Pershing High in 1970, and Collins, his star player who played for the 1972 U.S. Olympic team and was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

    Robinson, who died last May at 96, was a Pistons executive when Collins was hired as coach.

    “He was an amazing guy,” Collins told The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Ill., speaking of Robinson, who was honored at Illinois State’s home game on Saturday. “His wisdom was off the charts.”



    PISTONS: True Blue Pistons
  2. Star Jones

    Star Jones First Round Draft Pick

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wasn't able to watch the game live and I just finished. I really think that Michael Curry is a horrible coach. There is no reason why the second quarter of this game could not have been the last 30+ games.

    Suddenly, the backcourt that "couldn't co-exist," unless it was in a caged octagon with a championship belt on the line, manages to produce the best quarter of the game and since the previous winning streak.

    Rodney was given way too much, way too fast. Michael panicked and ended up with a huge mess when the initial games after the trade was a small spill.

    Ah, such is life. There is no point in making sense of this all, because there is none.

    I'll just blame Allen. It's. All. His. Fault.

    Whew! That wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. :eek:



    Now, of course, I don't actually believe that. But then again, I don't believe this season either.
  3. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,030
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Oberlin
    At last, at last. Thank you for saying what nobody wants to really say.

    And thank you for the brilliantly succinct parody.

    Now for my evening:

    I had a great time watching the game in chat. I had fun watching them try to come back (It used to be that I felt certain that they'd always come back. I'm realizing -- I know I've said it before -- that it's much more fun for me to not be sure, to just not know). I had a great time watching Richard tear it up in the 2nd quarter (and watching him and Allen play well together). I loved watching Rasheed show some of his old fire, talking trash (I guess the key is that Coach Curry just needs to say something stupid to him, cause Rasheed seemed to fire up after that exchange of words with Coach Curry somewhere in the 2nd quarter). I also loved watching Richard try to dribble through traffic in the 4th quarter (poor guy he was trying so hard; and then he fell down and hurt his arm -- it was hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time). Finally, and this is what I loved and enjoyed most of all: When Ron missed his 4th free throw, it was because in the chat room I was saying "Noonan! Nnnnnooooonan! Noonan!" And it worked! I also had a great, if nervous, time waiting for my turn and talking with The Low in the podcast. What a wonderful thing it is to be a Piston fan and part of this community of Pistons fans!

    Go Pistons. Go, you beautiful, deeply flawed, directionless, identity-less, confused, rapidly ungluing Pistons!! You are the best, even if you aren't.
  4. CloudWalker

    CloudWalker Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,609
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    a cave

    MEDIC!!!!!


    :granade:



    MEDIC!!!!!


    :help2:


    CAN I GET A MEDIC HERE?!?!?!?!?
  5. Star Jones

    Star Jones First Round Draft Pick

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I wish I could've heard the podcast live, but I was trying to finish the game. Maybe next week. I listened last week and it was pretty interesting. The Low does a good job with it.
  6. Lee356

    Lee356 All-Star

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    558
    Location:
    Flint
    Himat, please note, Amir did not start this game. Kwame did, and we were down 12 after 5 minutes. Amir did not even play in the first half. He did play in the 2nd half. And oh, we won that half.
  7. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,759
    Likes Received:
    2
    When did I talk about Amir/Kwame?

    If you are referring to my super long post that is an article. I would not have the patience to make a post that long. :laugh:
  8. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,285
    Likes Received:
    647
    Location:
    Houston, Texas

    ahhh, but continue....it will...hmm? moohahhahahahhhaa....



    allen iverson = fool's gold!:icon_evil:
  9. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,030
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Oberlin
    Well that settles that. The beautiful and maddening, chaotic complexity of a professional basketball game can now be elegantly reduced to the following two equations (where AJ = Amir Johnson, PT = Playing Time, V= Victory, and L = Loss):

    AJ(PT) = V

    AJ(-PT) = L
  10. lapiston

    lapiston Team Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,212
    Likes Received:
    195
    The team competed. That is good. We competed at a level of a good Houston team--but one without Yao. At midyear, teams around the league have cohesion now. We don't even have a set line up. The coach? Easy out. I wouldn't have started Kwame against them. But the parts just don't seem to fit anyway. He tries one thing then another. We were behind to Toronto and Dallas as well starting the big line up without Kwame. What's left? Start Maxiel and have Stuckey come off the bench.

    Scola was the latest player to go off on the Pistons. Dirk was like 4-19 against a real defense today against Boston.

    Houston hit 6 more threes than the Pistons and started the game zoning a lot. The Pistons post Billips are short on the three ball which is an integral component of an NBA offense.

    Rip is a real warrior.
  11. detteam

    detteam All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,507
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Troy
    Did anyone catch Sheed mouth the F word walking back on to the court after having a serious discussion with Curry?
  12. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,759
    Likes Received:
    2
    You know if you put (-AJ) into your second equation it cancels out the (-PT) and we end up winning...maybe we shouldn't dress Amir and see what happens.
  13. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,030
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Oberlin
    Yeah, I did Det. I thought his play improved after that (almost like when it sometimes does when he gets a tech after a really unjust call).
  14. FreshPrince22

    FreshPrince22 Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    7
    1 quarter does not a season make. Though, I do believe that AI/Rip will work out better than Bynum/Rip in the long run, so I hope they give AI those minutes. Those 2 should be able to take advantage of the opposing bench as they did tonight.

    As for Rodney, he was the only reason it was even close late in the game. Had Curry pulled him when he got his 2nd foul with about a minute left in the 1st, he could have had a huge game and the outcome may have been different. 14pts (58%), 5 boards, 8 assists, only 1 TO.

    I really do not believe the guards are the problem at the moment. Part of it is the musical chairs lineup (STICK WITH ONE CURRY), and part is extreme inconsistency from the bigs (Particularly Sheed, but all of them to varying extents).
  15. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    17,532
    Likes Received:
    2,873
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicaaago
    The good:
    Sheed playing how he is supposed to play. 9 attempts from inside and he converted on 6 of them. Mixed in a few long balls too, but that's great if he's mixing it up inside as well. Also snagged 11 boards.

    And what a guard attack. 61 points, 21 assists from Stuck/AI/Rip/AA. Rip is looking pretty comfortable off the bench b/c he knows he can get right down to the shooting as soon as he touches the ball.

    FG's. Another game where we made more baskets than our opponent. 44 to 39.

    TO's. Only 1 turnover in the first have and 5 for the game. I'm guessing that is the season low on both. Kept us in it.

    We weathered a serious shooting streak by Houston and managed to come all the way back to briefly take a lead. We did it by putting up a lot of points against a good defense.

    The bad:
    MC felt like he had to start KB for the sole reason that he told him earlier that he would. Now KB was supposed to be the Yao stopper. Instead, we got bamboozled by SB of all things.


    [​IMG]


    Houston was missing their all-star starting Center... and it was at the Palace, yet they were in control the whole way.

    We were -7 in free throws to a team playing SB.

    The ugly:
    Endgame scenario where none of the Pistons realized that when you're down 2 and the shot clock is turned off, you are supposed to foul. Maybe it's been a while since they had to worry about that kind of thing.

    We now have 2 more wins than the 8th team in the East. Missing the playoffs is completely possible at this point. If we were in the Western Conference, we'd be clinging to 9th place right now and would have the 10th most wins.
  16. detteam

    detteam All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,507
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Troy
    Sheed got the last word. I wonder what the guys on the bench were thinking about that discourse.
  17. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,030
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Oberlin
    Yeah, but Redd's out for the year. So we might be able to hold off Milwaukee, of course never know what NJ might do. :granade:
  18. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    17,532
    Likes Received:
    2,873
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicaaago
    You're right, NJ is probably our only real threat.

    We may have to intentionally drop to the 8th seed later in the year to get our match-up with ORL and thereby avoid BOS and CLE.
  19. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,285
    Likes Received:
    647
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    THE Q REVIEW:


    Is this what it has come to. After 6 seasons of being no less than the FOURTH best team in the NBA , who has an overall record that is THIRD best and who hasa power rating that is SECOND BEST, we are settling for the fact that we:

    - competed

    - faught

    - came close

    - check to see what/ the Nets are doing?


    1. This was a HOME game people, the second in a row mind you. And yet , we gave up 40 pts in the 1st quarter to a team missing its 7'6" center?
    Like Ive said before, these men must have women who are GREAT GREAT GREAT at whatever they are doing to make their men come out looking so tired EVERY GAME. When was our last first quarter PUT AWAY game. Hell, we tried to blow out Charlotte and our BENCH's Legs gave out!! I thought we were so well conditioned.??

    2. AI aint the answer. We blew it. all the critics were right. He's fun. A good teammate. But he's NOT the fit for this team. I was so wrong , its funny. Funny like Im a clown funny. The Bucks just lost Redd for the year, maybewe can swing a deal. Nahh, we cant because:

    3. Remember this season is about CAP SPACE! AI and Sheed are gone next year or by 2010. TThe team's atmosphere(Sheed, dice and Rip) shows it. sHEED IS SO gone, IT' CRAZY. i HATE to see this team TEAL OUT on us for the rest of the year, but if u think the NBA gods are gonna put a ring on Kwame Brown's finger EVER, U ARE SAdly mistaken.

    4. Stuckey is a GOOD 6th man. Amir is OK, if we make him the 8th man. Max is a good 7th man. Tay is a GREAT flex man. The flexibilty is there if our starters were McDyess- PF; Prince-SF; Sheed -C; Rip-SG; Iverson, -PG. The problem is we made a mistake with Curry. Joe really blew it. Again, we were so wrong. Like Cabrera at 3rd base and trading Jurrjens. We just blew it. Curry has already lost the team and Darryl Walker was a TERRIBLE head coach. We needed an Old Head like JVGUNDY to coach. O well, Joe dont have the guts and too musch pride to fire him. Hell, Sac fired Theus;Wash fired Jordan and Memphis fired Iavamacaroni and they are TURRIble teams. Fire Curry , say OOPS and get on with it.

    5. Sorry Chauncey. Your team is number 3 and u wont see any of your boys at the all star weekend unless they in suits. U were right and I was wrong. U still ugly though.


    We are a team that wants to pride itself on degense with a coach who wants to play small ball and acquiring a player to average 27 pts in an offense that plays in quicksand.


    Shame on all of us who didnt see this coming.

    We lost two games in a row at home; ONE to a team that its beforeandafter US opponents outscored them 257-194 (avg 128-97) and beat us 111-92!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THE OTHER team of misfits score 40 points on us THE TEAM THAT HAD a point to prove!!!


    terrible....nuff said

    Bless us all.
  20. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    20,385
    Likes Received:
    2,225
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dagobah
    himat, thanks for the source link, and we need more people to post more articles, but please snippet the article down, don't publish the full thing verbatim. I hate copyright and patents, but that's the language our server host understands if someone files a complaint for republishing without permission.

    2, 3 paragraphs for pertinent parts, or a teaser would be great.

    :pound: :heh: :stirthepot: :hoops:

Share This Page