January 2005 Pistons articles

Discussion in 'Pistons Archive' started by Zoso, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 1st -


    ~ Detroit News ~

    New Year's Eve bashed: Pistons dealt fourth loss
    Detroit shoots only 35.8 percent against Cleveland as nine-game winning streak ends.
    By JoAnne C. Gerstner

    This news just in: The Pistons aren't going to win every game this season.

    The Pistons showed they are human on Saturday, losing to the Cavaliers 97-84 at Quicken Loans Arena in the New Year's Eve matinee.

    The Cavaliers seemingly couldn't do anything wrong, and the Pistons were unable to connect on wide-open shots.

    The tone was set in the second quarter, as normally sharp-shooting Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince missed open shots in a span of a minute.

    Prince, Billups struggle
    Their poor shooting from field -- 4-for-23 Combine -- hinders the Pistons' chances
    By JoAnne C. Gerstner

    Hard to say what's more frustrating for the Pistons: having no open looks or having wide-open shots and missing them.

    Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince studied the box score after Saturday afternoon's 97-84 loss to the Cavaliers, muttering to themselves about all the shots they missed.

    Prince, especially, had a tough game, shooting 2-for-12 from the field with only four points. He all but disappeared in the second half, attempting and missing two shots.

    Behind the scenes: Vartan Kupelian and Mike O'Hara
    Hey, flip, keep making Joe D. look good in 2006

    We celebrate the annual ritual of resolution-making with a few suggestions of our own for sports figures to live by in 2006:

    Flip Saunders, Pistons coach:To keep doing exactly what he has because he's proving, again, the wisdom of Joe Dumars as well as his own ability.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Pistons end year on losing note
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    It looks like the LeBron James show isn't a one-man act after all.

    James was as good as ever against the Detroit Pistons, but several contributions by his teammates helped Cleveland defeat Detroit, 97-84.

    The 6-foot-8 James led all scorers with 30 points, but four other Cavaliers reached double figures as Cleveland (18-10) snapped Detroit's season-high nine game winning streak and extended its victory streak against the Pistons at home to three.

    ~ Akron Beacon Journal ~

    Cavs cool down Pistons
    James scores 30 points, gets plenty of help to beat NBA's best team at its own game
    By Brian Windhorst

    It was debatable which was more impressive, the way the Cavaliers played against the mighty Detroit Pistons or the way they handled themselves doing it.

    In front of a high-energy sellout crowd, the Cavs played in high gear from start to finish Saturday in a noble 97-84 victory. It ended the Pistons' nine-game winning streak and allowed the Cavs to pick up a game in the standings.

    Yet, the Cavs (18-10), winners of seven of their past eight games, skipped a golden chance to bask in it. It was a mirror image of the style that worked on the court, too.

    LeBron James and Larry Hughes outworked the Pistons' (24-4) super wings, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas scrapped and battled Detroit's dominant and gritty front line of Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace. And Eric Snow reduced Chauncey Billups to being insignificant.

    In other words, the Cavs systematically neutralized a team off to one of the best starts in NBA history, and they did it without fanfare.

    Cavs prove they're on right track
    By Terry Pluto

    If you love pro basketball at its best, this game was for you.
    At least, if you're a Cavaliers fan.

    You saw your team not just beat the Detroit Pistons 97-84 on Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena, but beat them at their own game -- never easy, as these Pistons had won nine in a row and now have a 24-4 record.

    How does Detroit win?

    Defense. Rebounding. Share the ball. Move on offense, hustle even more on defense.

    Which is how the Cavs won for the seventh time in eight games.

    Best of all, they did it without LeBron James doing everything.

    ~ Cleveland Plain Dealer ~


    Cavaliers measure up
    flawless effort foils Pistons
    By Branson Wright

    Greatness is often measured by how a team performs against top competition. If that is the case, the Cavaliers were off the charts on Saturday afternoon against the Detroit Pistons.

    In their most important game so far this season, the Cavs were nearly flawless as they ran away with a 97-84 victory over the Pistons before a sellout crowd at The Q on New Year's Eve.

    The Cavs (18-10) took a major step in becoming one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference by stopping the league's latest juggernaut. The Pistons have a league-best record of 24-4, and they had the longest winning streak (nine games) until playing the Cavs.​
  2. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    Dan Le Batard piece

    You gotta love Le Betard's articles. They're great comic relief. I don't think I've ever seen a journalist that's more delusional than good ol' Dan.


    All not lost in losing to Pistons
    By Dan Le Batard

    There are no moral victories when you are paying Shaquille O'Neal $20 million a season over the next five years. Pat Riley hasn't been chipping at this sculpture for a decade to title the potential masterpiece
    ''Almost.'' Alonzo Mourning isn't squeezing every last ounce of want out of his career to have another season die on Detroit's doorstep.

    But. . .

    Rarely are losses as encouraging as the one Miami suffered at Detroit this week. This was the right way to lose, if there ever is such a thing.

    Seven-footer Rasheed Wallace making a three-pointer from a different area code? You allow him that shot from that spot to end a game 10 times, and you are winning nine of them. Miami shoots 53 percent, as it did against Detroit, and it will win 99 out of 100 times. If you can be tied on the other team's floor in the last minutes of a game with that intensity, you are good enough to beat that team, as Detroit proved here in ending Miami's last season.
  3. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    Late edition update -

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Cavs' Jones makes escape to New York
    By Dana Gauruder

    Damon Jones did not want Saturday's game to run long. He had another commitment on New Year's Eve.
    Jones flew to New York City after the game to help out with ESPN's Times Square coverage.

    "If y'all see me jet out in the fourth quarter," he said prior to the game, "ya'll know where I went."

    Mike Brown: Detroit's best, with an asterisk ~

    Cavs coach Mike Brown was quoted earlier this week as saying that the Pistons' starting five is the best he's ever seen. Reminded of some of the great Lakers lineups during the 1960s and '70s, the 35-year-old Brown slightly retreated from his earlier statement.

    "I'll back it up," he said. "That's the best starting team since I was able to watch TV."

    Rasheed filling up the 3s ~

    Rasheed Wallace ranked ninth in the league in 3-point shooting entering Saturday's action. A career 33 percent shooter on 3-pointers prior to the season, Wallace is hitting at a 43.8 percent rate this season.

    Brown believes Wallace's long-range shooting has made him virtually impossible to guard.

    "I know when I was in Indiana and when I was in San Antonio we had two of the best big men in the league in Tim Duncan and Jermaine O'Neal, and he always gave them problems," he said. "He gave us problems when he defended them and he gave us problems at the other end because of his length and his ability to score on the low block and his ability to rebound.

    "Now with the way he's shooting that 3, I don't know what you do to him. You keep your fingers crossed, try to contest and hope he misses. I don't know which is more deadlier - begging him to go down and post up or begging him to shoot a 3."

    Artest just might miss a return to The Palace
    By Dana Gauruder

    As the Indiana Pacers mull trade offers for Ron Artest, the burning question here is: Will Artest play at The Palace this season?

    Pistons fans, and anyone fascinated by car wrecks, had Feb. 23 circled on the calendar. That was the night Artest was supposed to make his first appearance in the building since his unscheduled visit last November into Section 114 behind the press tables.

    Though Pacers president of basketball operation Larry Bird was quoted Thursday that 14 teams have made bids, it's likely that Artest will wind up with one of a handful of Western Conference destinations. Denver, Golden State, the two Los Angeles teams and Minnesota head the list of potential trade partners, which means there's still a 60 percent chance Artest heads through the visitor's tunnel at 4 Championship Drive.

    Some folks already have resolutions
    By Keith Langlois

    OK. Pry open your eyes. Peel the ice pack off your head. Down that chilled glass of OJ and chug your Alka-Seltzer chaser. It's time for New Year's resolutions. Can't think of any? Here, let the rich and famous, or the blessed and infamous, give you some ideas ...

    Larry Brown ~ I resolve to send Christmas cards to every player I've ever coached, or expressed a desire to coach, or requested to be traded, tarred and/or feathered; and to every owner to employ me, or every owner who inquired as to my availability, or every owner to whom I've made clear my interest, or even held hands with; and to every college president who sought my services, or whom I've chatted up with the intention of soliciting a job offer, or ... Isiah? I need more money. Did you know the price of stamps is up to 37 cents?

    Ben Wallace ~ I resolve to leave one or two rebounds for somebody else ... someday ... but maybe not.

    Flip Saunders ~ I resolve to continue to carry myself as the emotional and ethical antithesis of Larry Brown.
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    January 2nd, 2006

    ~~Detroit News~~

    Saunders counts his New Year's blessings
    If he hadn't been fired by Timberwolves, he wouldn't have been able to take job with Pistons.
    Joanne C. Gerstner

    It's a new year, and a chance for Pistons coach Flip Saunders to reflect on the highs and lows of 2005.

    He has come out on the high side of an interesting journey: not too many coaches have gone from being fired by one of their friends to being on top of the NBA a few months later.

    "I think it's funny how things work out," Saunders said. "A lot of times I said almost a year ago when I was let go that things always happen for a reason. You never know at that time what the reason is, but there is one.
  5. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 3rd -

    ~ Detroit news ~

    Hill's fire still burns
    Magic forward undeterred in rebounding from injuries
    By Joanne C. Gerstner

    To borrow a little old-school LL Cool J, Grant Hill doesn't want to call it a comeback. He's been here for years.

    Still, it seems all Hill has been doing the past few years is making one comeback after the next from injuries.

    Hill, a forward who has been with the Magic since the Pistons traded him in 2000, is back in Orlando's lineup. He missed 19 games this season because of a hernia but is expected play tonight against the Pistons at The Palace.

    Strong man
    by Chris McCosky

    This week's Sporting News will feature the strongest men in sports. And among the strongest men in the NBA, naturally, will be Ben Wallace.

    "Strongest man in the world," Wallace joked, when told of the feature.

    At his peak, Wallace was bench-pressing 460 pounds. But, as a senior at Central High School in White Hall, Ala., Wallace weighed 190 pounds. His transformation into the NBA's version of The Hulk didn't start happening until he transferred to Virginia Union. That's where he discovered a small, dank weight room known as The Cage.

    "I loved what that place stood for," Wallace said. "You didn't walk into that place unless you were dead serious about working out."

    The Cage, sadly, is no more. It has been remodeled and upgraded and now looks pretty much like every other college weight room in the country. But the legacy of The Cage, and Wallace, will live on.

    Burning Questions
    Pistons ignore 70-win idea
    They'd rather have home-court to the playoffs
    By Chris McCosky

    Q. Do you think the Pistons will win 70 games this season?

    A. Let's not get carried away. First of all, it's way too early to speculate on something like that. There are still four months left in the regular season. Too many things can happen, both to the Pistons and to the other teams in the league.

    You should know the players aren't giving it any thought, whatsoever. All they are looking to do is have the best record in the league so they can have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. That is their goal.

    Diogu makes a name, too
    Paul gets noticed among rookies, but 6-8 warrior plays big
    By Chris McCosky

    If things continue as they are, Chris Paul of the Hornets will be the NBA's rookie of the year.

    He was averaging 16 points and 7.4 assists before Monday, both tops among rookies, and he has helped keep an otherwise bad team afloat.

    And, if things continue as they are, you would have to call Atlanta's Marvin Williams (the second overall pick, averaging 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds) and Charlotte's often-injured Sean May (the 13th overall pick) as top disappointments.

    Toronto's Charlie Villanueva and New York's Channing Frye are having major impacts on their teams, but the unsung hero of this draft class has to be Golden State's Ike Diogu.

    At 6-feet-8, he has wrested the starting center job away from $40 million man Adonal Foyle. The Pistons certainly had their fill of him a couple of weeks ago, when he hit them for a career-best 27 points, hitting 13 of 15 shots.

    Alley-oop ... to Amir Johnson
    By Joanne C. Gerstner

    Q. Saw you one day at practice without your braids in, and you had a pretty Ben-like 'fro going. Do you ever cruise around a lot without the braids?

    A. When I can't find anybody to braid my hair, then I've got to go with the 'fro. That's the only way I'll wear the 'fro.

    Q. Why don't you go with the 'fro one game night? You and Ben could have a 'fro-off.

    A. Yeah, that would be really cool. But I think he'd win. He's been growing his longer than me. I got some more growing to do.

    Slam dunks
    By Chris McCosky

    Here's something you don't want to hear from your franchise player 28 games into a season: "We're a big question mark. We have no real identity at this point."

    That was Kevin Garnett, talking to the St. Paul Pioneer Press after the Timberwolves were whacked by the Lakers and fell to 14-14.

    Here's another thing you don't want to hear from your franchise player. Houston's Tracy McGradysaid this season is starting to feel like the 21-win season he endured in Orlando.

    "It's just like it," he said. "It's tough. Having been through it I know how frustrating it was. I know how difficult wins were to come by. I see that that's where we're heading right now." The Rockets are 10-18.

    Basketball 101: Drug Testing
    By Chris McCosky

    Earlier this season, Seattle forward Reggie Evans was late coming out of the locker room for the second half.

    Why? He had been detained by the NBA's drug-testing agency, which demanded he submit one of the four mandated random tests.

    That will be the last random test conducted during a game -- the agency overstepped its bounds there. But, it still does tests before and after games. Teams have complained the agency has asked for the tests as close as one hour before tip-off.

    Under the league's collective bargaining agreement, all players not only have to give four random samples throughout the season, but the league and players' association also have the right to order a test whenever they have reasonable cause to do so.

    NBA: Roundup
    Pacers end their losing streak
    Indiana makes seven 3-pointers in the first quarter, scores its most points this season.

    Fred Jones scored 26 points and Stephen Jackson 22 to help the Indiana Pacers end a four-game losing streak with a 115-96 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Monday night.

    Looking ahead (upcoming games)

    Detroit News Power Poll

    JoAnne C. Gerstner's Top 5
    Bad breaks
    Some NBA stars have spent more time in the trainer's room than on the court. Here are some of the bad breaks (literally and figuratively) this season:

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Hunter better, but not ready
    By Chris Silva

    Lindsey Hunter is back. Sort of.

    His surgically repaired left ankle has healed, and after a three-month layoff, Hunter appears to be good to go.

    But don't expect him to play in any of the Pistons' three home games this week.

    The Pistons' home stand, which starts tonight against Orlando, will help Hunter because the team will practice Wednesday and Thursday, coach Flip Saunders said.

    "Then we'll reevaluate him," Saunders said. "But I would say it would be very doubtful that he would play."

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Pistons regroup after loss
    By Dana Gauruder

    Losing just doesn't feel right for the Detroit Pistons. They have gotten so used to winning that it seemed strange to come back to practice Monday after a poor performance.

    As long as these experiences don't occur regularly, they can take something positive from them.

    "Sometimes, a loss can be a good thing," Chauncey Billups said. "You don't like it, but it makes you shape back up."

    Coach Flip Saunders had plenty of flaws to pick out of the Pistons' 97-84 loss at Cleveland on Saturday, which snapped their nine-game winning streak. After taking Sunday off, the team watched film and had an extended practice to correct those errors.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    There's plenty of reasons for Hamilton to be an all-star
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Richard Hamilton isn't saying much about it. Afterall, he's been through this before.

    He's having his best season ever, with career-bests in scoring (21.7 points per game) and shooting (50 percent from the field, 47.2 percent from 3-point range). The Detroit Pistons have an NBA-best 24-4 record, with Hamilton playing a vital role in the team's success.

    However, Hamilton has that same old feeling that, as in the previous three seasons, it still won't be enough for him to land a spot on this season's all-star team.

    "I don't worry about that any more," the Pistons guard said. "If I did, I'd go crazy." His statistics alone will get him on the short list of All-Star Game candidates.

    When you put it in the context of what he has done since coming to Detroit in 2002, it's difficult to fathom how a player as consistent as Hamilton, on a team as successful as the Pistons, has never been an all-star.

    ~ Orlando Sentinel ~

    Oft-injured Hill hints at retirement
    By Brian Schmitz

    Returning to his old haunt tonight -- the home of the Detroit Pistons -- Orlando Magic forward Grant Hill is playing almost like vintage Grant Hill.

    It might come as a shock then when Hill says he's given serious thought to retiring after next season.

    Then again, after all he has gone through, perhaps such thoughts are really not that surprising.

    "Retirement. . . . Yeah, that's a possibility," Hill told the Sentinel. "That's a definite possibility. That's very real. I'll have to really look and see where I'm at that point."

    Where he'll be is at the end of the seven-year $92-million contract he signed after leaving the Pistons in 2000.

    Where he'll be physically after next season, however, could determine whether the seven-time all-star will play on.

    ~ USA Today ~

    One-on-one: Readers split on Pistons winning 70
    By David Dupree

    The Detroit Pistons are clearly the best team in the NBA a third of the way through the season, but winning 70 games and challenging the Chicago Bulls' all-time record of 72 wins is unlikely. The Pistons are a wise, veteran team with only one goal — to win the NBA championship. Securing home-court advantage by having the best record is a priority, but breaking the Bulls' record or becoming only the second team to win 70 games is not.

    Readers responding to this week's question were split on whether Detroit will crack the 70-win barrier and possibly break Chicago's record.

    ~ Chicago Sun-Times ~

    Bulls' win record long way from falling
    By John Jackson

    The Detroit Pistons are off to a fabulous start and are winning at such an impressive rate that some folks are talking about them possibly challenging the Bulls' NBA record of 72 victories set in 1995-96.

    As someone who witnessed that remarkable Bulls season 10 years ago, I have a message for anyone entertaining such thoughts:

    Just stop it.

    The Pistons' 106-101 victory Thursday against the Miami Heat gave them a 24-3 record heading into their road game Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers -- the same record the Bulls had through 27 games in 1995-96.

    But, please, I don't want to here anything about the Pistons being on pace with the Bulls. With their 24th victory, the Bulls were one game into a massive 18-game winning streak. To keep up with the Bulls, the Pistons must not lose another game until early February.



  6. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 4th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Pistons register routine victory
    Billups earns career high with 37 points; Detroit uses 8-0 run to pull away in the fourth quarter.
    By Chris McCosky

    Welcome to the NBA in January.

    With two months in the books and the playoffs still another four months away, energy levels wane and games tend to drag. Usually the team that makes the last big run takes the game.

    That was pretty much the story at The Palace on Tuesday night, when the Pistons ran off eight straight points early in the fourth quarter and rode it to a 108-99 victory over the Orlando Magic.

    "These are the dog days," coach Flip Saunders said. "The season seems like it will never end at this point. But it seems like no matter who we play, they play pretty good against us."

    The Pistons' ninth straight home victory raised their record to 25-4.

    The worst part about following the Pistons is all the nitpicking.
    Reserves give Pistons, fans little to complain about
    By Rob Parker

    The worst part about following the Pistons is all the nitpicking.

    Guess when you're 25-4 -- after Tuesday night's 108-99 victory over the Orlando Magic at The Palace -- people have to find something wrong with your team. Enter the reserves.

    It's the biggest nonstory this side of the quest for 72 victories in the regular season.

    It would be one thing if the Pistons were losing games and it was because they were routinely getting outscored, outrebounded and outplayed by other teams' benches. It's just not the case.

    Worse is that some ill-informed people really expect the reserves to be as capable as the starting five, arguably the best starting five in the NBA.

    Pistons: Notebook
    Hill is not ready yet, but he talks retirement
    Magic star says he will take it from season to season after he fulfills his current contract.
    By Chris McCosky

    Grant Hill, at the ripe old age of 33, is starting to talk about retirement?

    Say it ain't so.

    "Retirement," Hill told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday, "yeah, that's a possibility. That's very real."

    Well, that sent a minor tremor through the basketball world Tuesday, most notably through his home in Orlando.

    "Yeah," Hill said sheepishly before the Magic played the Pistons on Tuesday, "my wife (Tamia) called this morning and said, 'You weren't going to tell me you were retiring?' I said, 'Would you be mad if I did?' And she said, 'Nah, I just thought you would tell me first.'"


    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Billups' 37 sets career milestone
    By Krista Latham

    Chauncey Billups' best season continues to get better.

    Billups scored a career-high 37 points, and had nine assists and only one turnover Tuesday night as the Pistons beat the Orlando Magic, 108-99, at the Palace.

    The MVP talk seems more and more legit.

    "He's been a solid player in all 29 games we've played," coach Flip Saunders said.

    And while the Pistons (25-4) lacked urgency for the first three quarters, the trademark Detroit defense finally kicked in, Mr. Big Shot showed up, and the Pistons decided to wait to experience their first string of back-to-back losses.

    100 things we love about the Palace
    By Krista Latham

    Here's a toast and tribute to the building that since Jan. 19, 2004, against San Antonio, has been a bumping party of Pistons faithful. One hundred things we (and you) love about the Palace, the top moments in the sellout streak, the unforgettable nights and the way the next 100 could be even better.

    Hill's focus: career, not retirement
    By Krista Latham

    Grant Hill was in a spot of marital trouble early Tuesday, before his Magic played the Pistons.

    The Orlando Sentinel ran a story Tuesday quoting the former Piston as saying he might retire after next season.

    "I got a call from my wife today saying, 'You didn't tell me you want to retire!' he said. "I was like, 'You'd be mad if I did?' and she said, 'I just want you to tell me first.' "

    A reporter asked Hill, always known for his genuine nature, whether he might consider retirement at the end of his contract. He'd never thought about it, he said Tuesday, but given that he's "not 24 or 25," and has already dealt with more than his share of injuries, he couldn't say no.

    Time to talk about technicals, Rasheed
    By Krista Latham

    The NBA increased its fines for technical fouls this season, and along with that extra cash, the highest repeat offenders ultimately face game suspensions.

    And with one Pistons starter near the top of the league leaders in technical fouls -- do we really need to say who? -- it would be understandable if coach Flip Saunders was a tad concerned.

    But Saunders said this week he's not worried about Rasheed Wallace, who through the first 28 games already had eight technical fouls this season. That's halfway to 16, the number at which one-game suspensions begin.

    Rookie diary -- Alex Acker
    Pistons rookie point guard Alex Acker is chronicling his rookie experience in the pages of The Dunk, as told to Krista Latham. Acker works hard at practice every day, but on a deep team like Detroit, he doesn't play. He has been inactive every game. And coming up is an important date -- Jan. 10. That's the day un-guaranteed contracts become guaranteed for the season. The team could decide to waive him before then.

    NBA ticker and when you
    By Al Toby

    Relatively speaking

    The Pistons' Chauncey Billups is generous with his advice to cousin LenDale White, a running back for Southern California.

    He's generous with gifts, too.

    White was spotted this week sporting a big gold chain with a medallion of Jesus. He told the New York Times it was a birthday gift from Billups.

    Billups also paid for White's trip to New York last month, when White accompanied teammates Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart to the Heisman Trophy award ceremony.

    "It's great to have rich relatives," White told the New York Times.

    Soundoff

    Hot topics

    Pistons planner

    By the numbers


    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Billups spearheads 4th-quarter charge in Pistons win

    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The Detroit Pistons can't just expend a little effort to beat a team anymore.

    Every opponent now tends to play better than usual against the Pistons, and the Orlando Magic were no exception Tuesday night.

    But, though the Magic played one of their best games of the season, the Pistons mustered up enough big plays down the stretch to pull out a 108-99 win.

    Point guard Chauncey Billups, who has been the catalyst for the Pistons' best start in franchise history, had a regular-season career-high 37 points and nine assists. His backcourt mate, Richard Hamilton, added 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field.


    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Billups said Sheed is team's MVP
    By Dana Gauruder

    Chauncey Billups feels flattered to be considered an early NBA Most Valuable Player Award candidate. But in his mind, he's not even the MVP of his team this season.

    "I think Rasheed Wallace is the MVP of our team honestly" he said. "For them to be saying that about me, it's kind of surreal. At the same time, it makes me feel good because I put a lot of work into this."

    Except for his vastly improved 3-point shooting, Wallace has very similar statistics to last season. He ranks among the top 10 in the league in long-range shooting, but it's his consistency that has impressed Billups.


    ~ DetroitPistons.com ~

    Detroit Pistons Pay Tribute to Bad Boy Extraordinaire for Flashback Friday
    The Detroit Pistons will honor Bill Laimbeer, arguably the most hated Bad Boy in the history of the NBA, on Friday, January 6 when they host the Seattle Supersonics at 8:00 p.m.

    The Pistons will honor Laimbeer, who spent 13 seasons with the Pistons and now serves as a television color analyst, is the head coach of the WNBA Detroit Shock, won two championships and was one of the original “Bad Boys.” Laimbeer is the all-time leading rebounder in Pistons history (9,430 career) and still ranks in the Top Ten in 11 Pistons all-time career categories.


    ~ Orlando Sentinel ~

    League's best team shifts into overdrive
    By Brian Schmitz

    The Orlando Magic were playing their best basketball of the season.

    The Detroit Pistons were playing their best basketball in their history, and the Pistons' history includes three NBA titles.

    The Magic brought out the best -- and the beast -- in the Pistons and fell 108-99 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

    The Pistons improved their record to 25-4 -- tops in the NBA -- and continued a march toward an improbable 70-victory season.

    The Magic (12-16) came in riding a modest three-game winning streak and showing signs of consistency. They continued playing well and together, extending the game into the fourth quarter before the powerhouse Pistons simply turned it on.

    "They turned the screws when they needed to," Magic forward Grant Hill said. "They don't make mistakes. They wait for you to make mistakes."
  7. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    AS Blakely piece

    Saunders first Piston to get consecutive coach-of-month honor
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The Detroit Pistons keep winning, and the praise continues to come Flip Saunders' way.

    For the second consecutive month, Saunders was named the Eastern Conference's coach of the month after helping guide the Pistons to a franchise-record 13 wins in December. He is the first Pistons coach to win the award in back-to-back months.
  8. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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  9. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 5th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Pistons: Notebook
    Delfino welcomes expanded role
    Reserve swingman's knee has recovered, and Saunders is getting him more playing time.
    By Joanne C. Gerstner

    Sometimes all it takes is a little faith.

    Pistons reserve swingman Carlos Delfino finally believes, and the positive results are translating to the basketball court.

    Delfino, whose 2004-05 rookie season was virtually obliterated by recurring right knee problems and surgeries, is now hitting his stride.

    His playing time has gone up the last 10 games, averaging 12.2 minutes. Delfino averaged 8.6 minutes in the first 15 games he played in. He's averaging 3.2 points and 1.5 rebounds overall this season.

    NBA: Roundup
    Ex-Spartan Cleaves is waived by Sonics
    Magic place former Piston Hill on inactive list because he has been slowed by a groin injury.Guard Mateen Cleaves was waived by the Seattle Sonics on Wednesday.

    A six-year veteran, he played in 19 games this season, averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 assists.

    A first-round draft choice of the Pistons in 2000, Cleaves averaged 3.8 points in 159 career games. He also played for Cleveland and Sacramento.

    Hill placed on inactive

    Magic forward Grant Hill was placed on the inactive list for Wednesday's game against the Raptors because of a strained groin.
    Hill, a former Piston who missed the first 19 games this season after sports hernia surgery, was averaging 17.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in nine games.

    Dropping in
    Webber has hunger for restaurant business
    Chris Webber no longer plays with the Kings, but he's keeping ties to Sacramento by opening a restaurant.

    Webber, while in town with the Philadelphia 76ers, held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for "Center Court with C Webb."

    The family and entertainment restaurant, which will resemble a basketball court, is scheduled to open in October.

    Given that Sacramento has been deluged with about 8 inches of rain since Thursday, breaking ground presented a challenge. As Webber walked to the site, his left sneaker was sucked off his foot by mud.

    Webber, whose venture calls for 10 more restaurants, said he would like to open a restaurant in Detroit.

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    New coach could be tonic for Sonics
    By Chris Silva

    The Pistons continue to bulldoze their way through the league.

    The Seattle Supersonics continue to struggle, so much so they fired coach Bob Weiss on Tuesday and replaced him with Bob Hill.
    And Hill will be thrown into the fire when the Sonics and Pistons meet Friday night at the Palace.

    Beating the NBA's hottest team with a new coach could be the boost of confidence the Sonics need. They are 14-17 after Wednesday night's 101-97 victory in Chicago, one season after posting 52 wins and advancing to the Western Conference semifinals under former coach Nate McMillan, who left for Portland this season.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Pistons will listen, but not seek trade offers
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    When you consider the Detroit Pistons' impressive record, it's hard to imagine they would try to change a thing.

    However, standing pat, even in good times, has not been a given in recent years.

    During the team's 2004 championship season, the Pistons pulled off a three-team blockbuster deal just before the trading deadline that brought them Rasheed Wallace. A year later, they added Carlos Arroyo via a trade from Utah that helped put them in the NBA Finals for the second consecutive season.

    The Pistons (25-4) aren't looking to move any players, but they are at least willing to listen to teams wanting to discuss potential trades.


  10. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 6th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Pistons: Notebook
    Saunders won't do All-Star campaign
    He calls making any pitch for his players 'lip service' because coaches have an idea on picks.
    By JoAnne C. Gerstner

    Call The Palace a spin-free, no-politicking zone, at least in coach Flip Saunders' office.

    The All-Star game is drawing near, and Saunders will soon have to choose which players he will vote for as reserves. The game is Feb. 19, in Houston, and fans will pick the starters via paper ballots at arenas and on-line voting.

    As of Dec. 29, no Piston was the leading fan vote-getter at his position. Fan voting ends Jan. 22.

    If the current trends hold, Pistons such as Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallace likely will have to be picked by the coaches as reserves to be All-Stars.

    ~Detroit Free Press ~

    Pistons attract hoopla aplenty
    team's popularity soars as it wins big
    By Krista Latham

    Have the Pistons replaced the Red Wings as Detroit's most beloved team?

    Has Hockeytown turned into Hoops City?
    It's certainly possible.

    The Pistons are off to their best start in franchise history -- 25-4. Only seven teams in NBA history have started better.

    And that's not all. The Pistons franchise is winning in every other conceivable way.

    More fans than ever want tickets. More viewers than ever watch games on television. More browsers than ever read the team's Web site. More shoppers than ever purchase team merchandise.

    New bars have opened to feed the basketball frenzy, from the year-old Hoop City Grille in Southfield to the month-old 24 Seconds in Berkley.

    Delfino flies solo, watches minutes rise
    By Chris Silva

    He stops whatever drill he's doing for a few seconds and peers over his shoulder to see what his teammates are up to. One day they're involved in a pickup game; the next, a game of horse.

    Sometimes Carlos Delfino will join in. Other days, like Thursday, he'll resume his workout at an adjacent basket, where he's usually floating the perimeter, working on his jump shot, conducting drills by himself, quietly adding to his repertoire.

    Delfino cherishes his time alone, yet he doesn't consider himself a loner.
    "Every time I try to work alone, because when you work alone, you don't have any noise," Delfino said. "You can just focus on you. You focus on what you want."

    What Delfino wants he has received: more playing time.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Saunders knows all about Sonics' nightmare season
    By A. Sherrod Blakely


    Last season, the Seattle Supersonics looked like a team on the rise, shocking many with their unexpected ascension to the Northwest Division title with a 52-30 regular-season record.

    Now, less than a year later, Seattle's team harmony has been replaced by a number of headaches throughout the organization, a scenario Pistons head coach Flip Saunders can relate to.

    "We went through a little bit of the same situation (in Minnesota)," Saunders said.

    After Saunders led the Timberwolves to the best record in the Western Conference (58-24) two years ago, the personal agendas of some Timberwolves players took precedence over playing to win last season.

    That led to a slow start by Minnesota, and Saunders was fired last February.

    A similar unraveling is taking shape in Seattle now.

    Catchin' up with ASB
    The lastest forum musings from MLive.com's Pistons scribe, A. Sherrod Blakely:

    On rumors surfacing that Ron Artest will be traded to Golden State for Troy Murphy...

    I like that deal for both teams, although I believe Golden State would make out better at first because their division is so weak this year and because of that, Artest could help them not only get into the playoffs, but possibly get to the second round if they get the right first round (Dallas) opponent.

    On ex-Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves' release from Seattle Wednesday...

    There was more to it than just saving a few bucks. I talked with Mateen a few minutes after he was waived. Money was definitely a factor. But so was the fact that they have a new coach, who wants to play a style that requires guys to shoot the ball well - which as we all know, is probably Mateen's biggest weakness. I think he'll latch on with someone else, but it probably won't be until sometime after the all-star break.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Sonics visit Pistons with Hill in charge
    By Bill Roose

    What's happened to the Seattle Supersonics?

    Eight months removed from being crowned Northwest Division champions and taking San Antonio to a sixth game in a Western Conference semifi nal, the Sonics are swimming in mediocrity.

    Not even to the season's halfway point, the Sonics have fired first-year coach Bob Weiss and replaced him with assistant Bob Hill, who brings his Sonics into the Palace tonight.

    The Pistons are well aware that a change of leadership can often breathe new life into a battered team.

    "There's always a bounce," coach Flip Saunders said, referring to any midseason coaching change. "You have a new coach; he comes in with a lot of enthusiasm. The players either get new plays, a new system, a new voice. It's like they hear a little bit more right away."

    ~ DetroitPistons.com ~

    Detroit Pistons Reach Milestone of 100 Consecutive Sellouts
    Several Expressions of “Thanks” Planned for Fans to Celebrate 100th Consecutive Sell-Out

    The Detroit Pistons will sell-out their 100th consecutive game this Friday, January 6 when they host the Seattle Sonics for an 8:00 p.m. contest.

    The streak, which began January 19, 2004 during the 2003-04 season, includes regular and post-season games at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Capacity for a basketball game is 22,076.

    “This is quite a mark to hit, especially when you consider where we were just five years ago, AND we have the largest building in the NBA,” said Pistons CEO Tom Wilson. “The milestone is a great testament to the loyalty of our fans, and it is also a great testament to the hard work put in by the players and our organization. When you give fans a great experience, they will reward you.”

    The Pistons record in the 99 games during the sell-out streak is 78-21 and includes two trips to the NBA Finals in 2004 and 2005. ​
  11. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    ESPN.com is all about the Pistons today

    The front page says "That 70 show."

    The weekend edition of the 'Daily Dime.'

    You can vote on 'SportsNation', on whether or not the Pistons will win 70 games.

    Here's a game by game breakdown, comparing the current Pistons season to the year the Bulls won 70.

    Read what ESPN.com's experts have to say about the Pistons possibly winning 70 games. And see their picks on whether or not the Pistons can actually do it.
  12. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

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    Re: ESPN.com is all about the Pistons today

    read theat all 12 changed there mind on who wins the east and all of them picked the pistons, but 8 of the 12 still pick the spurs to win it all. they are entitled to there opinion, but i do think detroit is definantly the best team. i don't really care about winning 70 as long as we get homecourt.
  13. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Motown Soundtrack: The same boy you’ve always known

  14. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~~Detroit News~~

    Pistons overpower Sonics
    Strange four-point play leads to 10th straight home victory.

    Dana Wakiji / The Detroit News

    AUBURN HILLS -- The Pistons have gotten contributions from everyone who has played this season. Friday night, they got a rare assist from the opposing coach.

    With the Pistons leading, 83-76, with 4:19 remaining in the game, referee Bob Delaney ruled that new Seattle coach Bob Hill interfered with Rip Hamilton on a three-point attempt. Although Hamilton missed the shot, it was counted as good and Hill also received a technical foul, which Chauncey Billups made to complete a four-point play.


    Billups struggles with free throws
    He misses three of 11 attempts from charity stripe.
    Dana Wakiji / The Detroit News

    AUBURN HILLS -- After Friday night's victory over Seattle, the question was, what was more unusual -- Seattle coach Bob Hill getting called for interfering with Rip Hamilton or Chauncey Billups missing three of his 11 free-throw attempts in the game?

    "Chauncey missing three free throws," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "That's pretty rare for him."


    Pistons' challenge: Stay focused through 'dog days'
    Brian Mahoney / Associated Press

    Before the Detroit Pistons think about winning 70 games, they have to prove they can do something else the Chicago Bulls did: Stay interested.

    That might be the biggest challenge for a team that went 24-4 in November and December. The Pistons' first game of 2006 showed how difficult that might be, as they allowed 55 points in the first half and needed a career-high 37 points from Chauncey Billups to beat Orlando 108-99 on Tuesday night.


    ~~Detroit Free Press~~


    PISTONS CORNER: Palace's empty days are a distant memory
    BY KRISTA LATHAM
    FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

    On Friday night, for the 100th time in a row, 22,076 fans made a Pistons game at the Palace the hottest ticket in town.

    The Palace planned to celebrate its 100th straight sellout with an in-game ceremony involving 100 fans.


    DETROIT 97, SEATTLE 85: Big Ben super on strange night
    Wallace's 21 boards take Pistons to 26-4
    BY KRISTA LATHAM

    Seinfeld fans would have said it was bizarro night at the Palace on Friday night.

    Pistons reserve point guard Carlos Arroyo outrebounded forward Rasheed Wallace. Chauncey Billups missed -- gasp! -- three free throws. And the opposing coach, Seattle's Bob Hill, was called for coaching interference. That's right -- coaching interference.


    ~~Booth Newspapers~~

    Detroit 97, Seattle 85
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS - It wasn't one of the Detroit Pistons' better games of the season.

    But when you're playing as well as they are, even playing less than your best can still net you a win.

    Seattle now knows this all too well, as the Pistons made all the necessary plays down the stretch for a 97-85 win.


    Saunders knows all about Sonics' nightmare season
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- Last season, the Seattle Supersonics looked like a team on the rise, shocking many with their unexpected ascension to the Northwest Division title with a 52-30 regular-season record.

    Now, less than a year later, Seattle's team harmony has been replaced by a number of headaches throughout the organization, a scenario Pistons head coach Flip Saunders can relate to.

    "We went through a little bit of the same situation (in Minnesota)," Saunders said.


    ~~The Oakland Press~~

    Pistons push their way past Sonics
    By DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Pass interference? It happens all the time. Catcher's interference? Every once in awhile.

    Coach's interference? Now that's something to talk about.

    It happened Friday night during the Pistons' latest victory, a 97-85 win over Seattle. The violation, called against new Sonics coach Bob Hill during a Richard Hamilton 3-point attempt, turned into a bizarre four-point play with 4:19 remaining. That gave Detroit, now 26-4, a commanding 87-76 lead.


    ~~USA Today~~


    Jazz-Pistons Preview
    GAME: Utah Jazz (16-17) at Detroit Pistons (26-4).

    (Also see our Game Thread, located in the January 2006 Forum)

    ~~Seattle Post Intelligencer~~

    Sonics coach crosses line in loss to Detroit
    Hill picks up costly technical for interference
    By GARY WASHBURN

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- There was a realistic chance that the Sonics may not have pulled out a physical, back-and-forth, intense game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night at the Palace.

    The Pistons led nearly the entire game and were ahead by seven points when the strangest and one of the most pivotal plays of the season cost the Sonics an opportunity down the stretch. New coach Bob Hill, passionately coaching the Sonics' best performance in weeks, got too involved in the action and was whistled for an extremely rare interference call on Richard Hamilton as he attempted a 3-pointer near the sideline.


    ~~The Seattle Times~~


    Hill's technical for stepping on court helps boost Pistons
    By Percy Allen

    Sonics coach Bob Hill, right, reacts angrily as he is whistled for a technical foul by official Bob Delaney after Hill stepped on the court during play in the fourth quarter.

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — It wasn't exactly Woody Hayes punching Clemson's Charlie Bauman 28 years ago, but Bob Hill admitted he was offside and ventured on the court where he shouldn't have been.

    He avoided a collision with Detroit's Richard Hamilton while Hamilton was in the process of lofting a three-pointer, but referee Bob Delaney spotted Hill's dapper loafers on the court and called him for interference.

    ~~Hoopsworld~~

    Give the Pistons Their Props but Let's Not Go Overboard on Them Yet

    Detroit is still impressively near the top of the league in scoring with about 99.6 PPG but their winning point differential has dropped to a still heady 7.75. However, this is considerably lower than a double digit point differential that the Spurs had about this time last year and far lower that of the Bulls in their championship season that finished with an incredible 12.2 PPG differential in their 72 win season in 1996-97.


    ~~The Salt Lake Tribune~~
    (know your enemy information)

    Jazz streak comes to an end
    Paul Gasol dominates as the Grizzlies hand the Jazz their first loss after five victories

    By Phil Miller

    What was far more mystifying, though, was the Jazz's collective yawn toward playing the game. Sloan was begging for effort from the start, and other than Kirilenko, who scored 20 points and made eight of 14 shots, he never really got much. This from a team that had not lost in two weeks and trumpeted its renewed confidence in each other.

    "I was definitely surprised," Sloan said. "I thought we would come with a lot more energy. I don't know how you could work to get to .500 like we [did], then come out with this kind of effort."
  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~~SportsIllustrated.com~~


    Main men
    Nuggets ride Carmelo; Dumars, Popovich open up


  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Pistons Articles January 8th, 2005

    ~~Detroit News~~


    Déja vu? Pistons fall apart vs. Jazz
    Detroit blows big lead for second time against Utah, journeyman hits big baskets to seal it.
    Chris McCosky

    AUBURN HILLS -- Something about the Utah Jazz always brings out the worst in the Pistons.

    Remember last season, when the Pistons did not make a single basket in the fourth quarter and still won the game? Remember earlier this season when they blew a 13-point halftime lead and lost in Utah.

    The rematch here on Saturday was just as bad.

    The Pistons blew a 14-point first half lead. They blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead.


    Cuban complains about Pistons, Spurs
    Mavericks owner says the most aggressive teams in the league are also the least penalized.
    Chris McCosky

    AUBURN HILLS -- You hear that noise, kind of shrilly and annoying, coming from the South?

    It's another fine whine coming from deep in the heart of Texas.

    Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks the league's officials might be giving the Pistons and Spurs too much leeway during games, perhaps in deference to their reputations as tough, defensive teams.


    ~~Detroit Free Press~~


    Jazz top Pistons again
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    AUBURN HILLS -- Andrei Kirilenko had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and former Pistons player Mehmet Okur added 13 points and 17 rebounds as the Utah Jazz beat Detroit for the second time this season, 94-90 in overtime Saturday night.

    The win gave Utah a season-series sweep of Detroit and almost as many wins against the Pistons (2) as the rest of the NBA combined (3). The 26-5 Pistons, losers for just the second time in 13 games, had their 10-game home winning streak snapped.


    ~~Booth Newspapers~~

    Palacio's baskets give Jazz OT win against Pistons
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- This was not how the Detroit Pistons envisioned their rematch against the Utah Jazz.

    The Jazz handed the Pistons a humiliating loss in December that bothered the players for weeks.

    The Pistons (26-5) played better Saturday night against Utah than in that December loss, but it wasn't enough as the Jazz rallied for a 94-90 overtime win.


    ~~Salt Lake Tribune~~

    Jazz 94, Pistons 90: Reserve power
    Palacio, Ostertag key overtime win, season sweep of Detroit
    By Phil Miller

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - File this away for June: The Pistons absolutely do not want to face the Jazz in the Finals.

    Little too strong, perhaps? Little too out-of-the-ozone? Definitely. But while we're on the topic of absurdity and Twilight-Zone storylines, try to fathom this one: Milt Palacio and Greg Ostertag, all but flotsam on the Jazz's bench lately, step forward late in a game against the NBA's best team, on the road, one night after a dispiriting loss, and somehow pull out an overtime victory.


    ~~Deseret News~~

    Jazz post another win over Pistons
    Billups' misfire in regulation sends game into overtime
    By Tim Buckley
    Deseret Morning News

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Jazz won Saturday night, and they were still at a loss. A bit uncertain. Just not sure.

    All right — downright clueless as to how, after rallying to beat Detroit 94-90 in overtime at The Palace of Auburn Hills, they can now lay claim to having come out on top against the top-shelf Pistons not once but twice this season.

    "That's the best team in the league right now. Best in the NBA," said rookie point guard Deron Williams, who sat out when the Jazz shocked the Pistons with a 92-78 victory back on Dec. 12 at the Delta Center. "It feels good to beat them."

    But how were they able to do it?


    ~~The Oakland Press~~

    Cuban critical of Pistons, Spurs
    By DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks the league's officials have a cozy relationship with the Pistons. The always-opinionated Cuban believes the Pistons and San Antonio Spurs get away with physical play.

    "What I don't understand is how the two most aggressive defensive teams in the league are Detroit and San Antonio, yet they've had the fewest fouls called against them," he said. "How does that happen? I don't understand it."


    Jazz jolt Pistons
    Utah sweeps season series from NBA's best
    By DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - If Pat Riley and Rick Carlisle want some tips on how to frustrate the Pistons, they ought to call Utah coach Jerry Sloan. The Jazz always find a way to junk up the game and make the Pistons look rather ordinary.

    Last season, the Pistons somehow beat the Jazz at home without scoring a fourth-quarter fi eld goal. Earlier this season, Utah outrebounded Detroit, 55-27, in a 14-point Jazz victory. More ugliness ensued Saturday night at The Palace.
  17. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 9th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Pistons: Notebook
    Loss to Jazz part of bumpy stretch
    One remedy to end the lull will be to get increased production out of Rasheed Wallace.
    By Chris McCosky

    Games like the Pistons' overtime loss to the Jazz on Saturday show the futility of trying to project or prorate victory totals over an 82-game schedule.

    Statements like, The Pistons are on pace to win 70 games, don't account for heavy legs, low energy, individual performance lulls or an energy burst from an opponent. But all those things are facts of life in the NBA, and they were all on display Saturday.

    "It was just one of them nights," Ben Wallace said.

    Actually, the Pistons are fighting through one of those stretches. Since losing at Cleveland on New Year's Eve, Detroit hasn't exactly been firing on all cylinders.

    Feedback
    Billups can't be only late option

    From: L.A. Piston
    City: Pasadena, Calif.

    The last three minutes we are becoming too much Chauncey Billups. We tend to go back to one on one when we get in trouble. The ball needs to move and we need to screen in the fourth quarter even more than the first. Yes, Chauncey can take it once in a while. The last play of regulation was not smart. Sheed was wide open as Kirilenko left him. Chauncey wasn't even looking.

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Midwinter roadwork lies ahead
    By Krista Latham

    Time to dust off the suitcases, break out the road jerseys and return to typical NBA life.

    The Pistons will say bye-bye to Michigan's gray skies this week with games Tuesday in Oklahoma City against New Orleans and Thursday in San Antonio.

    The NBA leaders were home for most of the past three weeks, playing eight of nine games at the Palace. Their only away game during the holiday season was a quick jaunt to Cleveland, Detroit's closest opponent, geographically.

    After losing to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, point guard Chauncey Billups said it's not a bad time to go on the road.

    "We love the road," Billups said. "We love playing in opposing buildings. We've been like that for years." Still, no one is doing cartwheels about leaving Michigan for the week.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Faring well after losses, Pistons take aim at Hornets
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The Detroit Pistons' 94-90 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday was the kind that players can't easily wash away.

    The only way to fully cleanse themselves of that defeat is to do the only thing they know how to do when a winning streak, even a modest two-game streak, ends -- start another one.

    The Pistons have been one of the best in the NBA this season at bouncing back from a loss -- they have won each of the four previous games following a defeat by an average of 13.5 points per game.

    However, only one of Detroit's four previous losses was followed by a road game.

    Inside the Pistons
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    A look at the Pistons heading into this week:

    Who's hot: The MVP-buzz surrounding Chauncey Billups has died down, in part because of the recent play of teammate Ben Wallace. In three games last week, Wallace shot 52.2 percent from the field while averaging 9.3 points, 15.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game.

    Who's not: Rasheed Wallace continues to be a defensive presence, but his shooting was woeful last week -- he made just 36.7 of his shots from the field and averaged only nine points per game.
  18. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~~Detroit News~~

    Ben's beginnings
    Alma mater in Virginia becomes his haven
    By Joanne C. Gerstner

    AUBURN HILLS --There's a special place Ben Wallace goes to be a normal guy.

    No screaming fans, no demands on his time, or the other things that are involved with being a very recognizable Piston and NBA All-Star.

    Virginia Union, a small, private Division II university in Richmond, is Wallace's alma mater and his retreat. He kicks back, enjoys life and becomes just a guy named Ben who hangs around the gym for summer league games.


    Burning questions
    Billups is often set up for last shot
    By Chris McCosky

    Q . I know they call him Mr. Big Shot, but why does Chauncey Billups always have to take the final shot?

    A . He doesn't always have to, but most of the time, the ball will be in his hands and it will be up to him to make the final decision. In the loss to Utah on Saturday, the final play of regulation was designed to go to Rasheed Wallace. Billups, though, got knocked off the play, stumbled and fumbled and had to throw up a circus shot.


    ~~Detroit Free Press~~

    They're OK now
    Hurricane Katrina left the New Orleans Hornets without a home, but Oklahoma City has embraced the team.
    BY SHAWN WINDSOR

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- It was a sunny morning, play-by-play radio announcer Sean Kelley recalled. And cold.

    Especially for late November. Especially in Oklahoma City.


    PISTONS CORNER: Hunter's return could shuffle bench
    BY CHRIS SILVA

    The Pistons' bench is still a work in progress.

    And with guard Lindsey Hunter expected to return soon, coach Flip Saunders said he's considering a timed rotation, meaning reserves will come off the bench at specific points during a game.


    ~~Booth Newspapers~~

    Because of new suspension rule, Wallace's technicals a concern
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- It's unlikely the Detroit Pistons would ask Rasheed Wallace to temper his emotions, but the number of technical fouls he has picked up lately is reason to be concerned.

    In Saturday's loss to Utah, Wallace received his fourth technical in the last seven games. A new NBA rule this season regarding technical fouls includes the possibility of suspensions. If a player picks up his 16th technical of the season, he will be suspended for a game. After that, for every other technical (18, 20, 22, etc.), that player would be suspended for a game.


    Faring well after losses, Pistons take aim at Hornets
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons' 94-90 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday was the kind that players can't easily wash away.

    The only way to fully cleanse themselves of that defeat is to do the only thing they know how to do when a winning streak, even a modest two-game streak, ends -- start another one.

    The Pistons have been one of the best in the NBA this season at bouncing back from a loss -- they have won each of the four previous games following a defeat by an average of 13.5 points per game.
  19. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    Darko article from today's Oakland Press

    Darko needs to get regular playing time
    By Pat Caputo

    They are talented. They are together. They are the best team in the NBA.

    The Pistons, however, are not perfect. You have to look no further than the end of their bench to see why.

    There, night after night, sits Darko Milicic. He was the second overall pick in the NBA draft in 2003, you know. The Pistons passed on Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to select him, remember? And they are paying Milicic more than $3 million per year.

    For what? He hasn't played the last five games nor in eight of the last 10. He hasn't played more than a minute in any game since Dec. 17.

    It makes no sense whatsoever.
  20. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 11th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Poise earns Pistons victory
    With game up for grabs in a hostile environment, a clutch 12-0 run takes sting out of the Hornets.
    By Chris McCosky

    It was like playing a pro game at Cameron Indoor Stadium or the Breslin Center.

    But playing the young, spunky Hornets was nothing like playing a college team.

    The fans stand and stomp and scream for just about the entire game.
    They don't sit at all until the home team scores its first basket.

    San Antonio, Miami and three other division leaders wilted in this atmosphere. The Pistonsflexed not only their defensive muscle, but also their championship poise. With the Hornets trailing by a point, the Pistons scored 12 straight and held the Hornets without a basket for more than six minutes down the stretch to improve their record to 27-5 (13-3 on the road).

    Pistons already have midseason acquisition: Hunter
    By Rob Parker

    In 13 NBA seasons, Lindsey Hunter has learned the value of patience.
    Hunter wants nothing more than to get back on the court and join the Pistons on their magical victory tour. Five years ago, Hunter, recovering from surgery on his left ankle, probably would have been back already.

    But Hunter knows it would be silly to rush back and possibly re-injure himself. Hunter knows his value, as do the Pistons. It's in the postseason that the team needs a defensive spark off the bench.

    "It's a lot easier to accept now," said Hunter, who hasn't played this season. "Being in the league as many years as I have been in and understanding what goes on and how our team is put together, I'm cool.

    "When I was younger, I would have been eager to try to rush myself and probably go before I'm ready."

    Saunders OK with his choices
    Coach had chances to coach Oklahoma City's CBA team, but better jobs soon came along.
    By Chris McCosky

    Sometimes a person will look back on his life, at a certain choice he made, and wonder how things might have turned out differently had he gone in another direction.

    Pistons coach Flip Saunders was experiencing a little bit of that here before the game.

    "Yeah, you never know," he said.

    Thing is, Saunders knows he made the right call back in 1991, when he walked away from the chance to be the head coach of the CBA franchise in Oklahoma City. It seems like a no-brainer now, as Saunders, in his 11th NBA season, is coaching the NBA's best team.

    Detroit's top sports moments will be recognized
    Festivities will take place during the week of Super Bowl at black-tie event at Fox Theatre.
    By Mike O'Hara

    A galaxy of stars representing a cross section of great athletes and performances spanning more than a century will be toasted and honored in the opening ceremonies for Super Bowl XL.

    The top 40 moments in Detroit sports will be presented at "A Salute to Detroit" on Jan. 30 at the Fox Theatre.

    They range from the 1901 University of Michigan point-a-minute football team to the Pistons' team that won the 2004 NBA championship.

    "These moments are not only part of Detroit, but defining moments throughout the world of sports," Super Bowl XL Host Committee chairman Roger Penske said in a statement announcing the top 40 moments in Detroit's sports history.

    The athletes or representatives of those involved in the top 40 events will be honored at a black-tie dinner at the Fox. Sportscaster Mike Tirico of ESPN and ABC will emcee the event.

    Top 40 moments in Detroit sports history


    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Pistons hold off pesky Hornets, run record to 27-5
    By Krista Latham

    Five other one-time division leaders had entered the Ford Center and left losers.
    San Antonio. Miami. Minnesota. Philadelphia. L.A. Clippers.

    The Hornets almost added the Pistons to that list. Detroit lagged through the first half, rallied in the third quarter, then nearly lost in the fourth quarter to the New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night.

    That's when the Pistons' resolve and savvy -- not to mention big buckets from all the usual suspects -- quieted a capacity crowd of 19,260 straight out of March Madness central casting and halted the Hornets' rally.

    Instead, the team with the NBA's best record won, 96-86, and is 27-5 heading into the final regular-season showdown with the Spurs, Thursday night in San Antonio.

    PISTONS MIDSEASON GRADES: Easy A
    The only F's on this team are for 'Fros
    By Krista Latham

    Before each game, regardless of the opponent or the city, the same scene unfolds in the locker room.

    Center Ben Wallace plugs in the team's stereo. And as the Pistons pull on socks and shoes, they glance at the big-screen TV in the corner and bop to hip-hop music. They laugh and joke and stay loose.

    Closer to game time, the coaching staff enters. Head coach Flip Saunders tells Wallace he's ready to go, and he doesn't have to ask twice. Wallace flicks off the music.

    Saunders gives his final thoughts about the upcoming game, and the players sit and listen.

    He doesn't have to ask them to focus. They just do.

    Then, as they leave the locker room, shooting guard Richard Hamilton says, "Let's get on them early." And Wallace replies, "Let's take care of business."

    Every game. Just like clockwork.

    Starters slump, but wins keep coming
    By Krista Latham

    Here's a luxury the Pistons have that few other NBA teams can claim:

    One or two starters can have total off nights -- nights in which their shooting stinks like morning breath and their legs are filled with paperweights -- and usually, the team still wins.

    You'd think that on a team built around the idea that it excels as a unit, not as individual stats, that a bad night for any starter might throw everything out of whack.

    One night, a player might carry the load, then rely on someone else the next game.

    Or Tayshaun Prince will help out in one way, then do something different to contribute another night.

    Forget 400 thread-count sheets. Versatility and margin for error, that's luxury.

    Now watch Piston games on your PC
    By Mark Francescutti

    Missed the Pistons' game last night? Forgot to set your VCR or TiVo? No problem.

    Google and the NBA are now offering games for $3.95 each at video.google.com/nba.html. It's fairly easy to use the service. Just set up a free Google account (which gives you a free 1GB e-mail box) and download the video player. Within five minutes, everything is set up.

    A Darko Christmas
    By Chris Silva

    Pistons reserve Darko Milicic didn't celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, nor did he exchange presents. Instead, Milicic, a Serbia-Montenegro native, celebrated the Serbian Orthodox Christian Christmas with his family on Jan. 7. And, judging by what happened, this should be a very good year for the third-year player. How he spent his holiday:

    Saunders wants to mix old, young
    By Krista Latham

    Pistons coach Flip Saunders clarified his plans for reworking bench rotations before Tuesday night's 96-86 victory over the Hornets, saying he wants to make sure he mixes his less experienced reserves with starters and vice versa.

    That means he'll get Chauncey Billups more time with young wings like Carlos Delfino and Maurice Evans, and backup guard Carlos Arroyo additional court time with veterans like Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince.

    Saunders hopes that encourages consistent production throughout the game and takes pressure off the bench.

    Pistons planner

    Soundoff

    NBA Ticker


    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Pistons hold off hornet's
    By Dana Gauruder

    The league's top rookie showed his grit. The league's newest city showed its enthusiasm. In the end, the league's most successful team showed its veteran poise.

    Leading by only one halfway through the fourth quarter, the Pistons scored 12 unanswered points to silence a raucous capacity crowd and outlast the youthful New Orleans/ Oklahoma City Hornets on Tuesday night, 96-86.

    Detroit was playing for the fi rst time in Ford Center, the Hornets' temporary home while the New Orleans Arena is repaired. The Hornets fed off the crowd energy, and their slippery point guards fouled out both Chauncey Billups and Carlos Arroyo. But there was no substitute for experience, as the Hornets couldn't score for nearly three minutes while the Pistons pulled away.

    Saunders knows OK city well
    By Dana Gauruder

    Most of the Pistons players found themselves in unfamiliar territory Tuesday, unlike their head coach. Flip Saunders has passed through this city many times during his coaching career - and once came very close to unpacking his bags for an extended stay.

    Oklahoma City had a Continental Basketball Association team from 1990 until 1997, when the franchise folded. Prior to the team's second season, Oklahoma City Cavalry president Chip Land courted Saunders to become the team's head coach. Land felt he had a handshake agreement with Saunders, but the coach opted to stay in the Midwest and remain the coach of the CBA's La Crosse (Wis.) Catbirds.

    The Cavalry made another pitch to Saunders prior to the 1994 season, but Saunders chose to coach in Sioux Falls. A year later, Saunders' former college teammate, Kevin McHale, gave him a front-office position with the Minnesota Timberwolves and, 20 games into that season, Saunders was named head coach.


    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Hamilton carries offense in Pistons 96-86 win over Hornets
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Scorer. Rebounder. Hey, how about playing point guard, too?

    Richard Hamilton did a little bit of everything in helping the Detroit Pistons pull away in the second half for a 96-86 win against the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets on Tuesday.

    Hamilton had a game-high 30 points and five rebounds as Detroit (27-5) improved its road record to 13-3 this season.

    After point guards Chauncey Billups and Carlos Arroyo each fouled out in the fourth quarter, the Pistons finished the game with the 6-foot-7 Hamilton as the primary ball-handler.

    Arroyo produces when called upon
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Sooner or later, Carlos Arroyo was going to get an opportunity to play more.

    The only issue was whether it would be for the Detroit Pistons or another NBA team.

    Arroyo, who has been the subject of trade talks throughout the league, showed why he may be a player coveted by other teams.

    With starting point guard Chauncey Billups in foul trouble, Arroyo made the most of the extra playing time in the Pistons' 96-86 win against the New Orleans Hornets.


    ~ DetroitPistons.com ~

    Pistons Center Ben Wallace and PS&E President Tom Wilson Unveil New “RAC Room”
    Pistons and Rent-A-Center Team Up for Recreation Room Remodeling Program​

    Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace and Palace Sports & Entertainment President and CEO Tom Wilson helped unveil a new “RAC Room” at the Fauver-Martin Boys and Girls Club on January 5, 2006. The grand opening of the newly remodeled room was the first in a series of three in the Pistons RAC Room program.

    "I'm am happy to be part of this grand opening at the Boys and Girls Club," said Wallace. "This RAC room will give kids an even better reason to use the club and gives them a place where they can spend their free time in a positive way."

    The Pistons RAC Room at the Fauver-Martin Boys and Girls Club will be used daily by more than 200 children, before and after school, giving them a fun and safe place to gather. The Pistons-themed refurbishment will include new sofas, a big-screen television, stereo, video game consoles, computers, and more – all furnished by Rent-A-Center – in addition to Pistons memorabilia.


    ~ The Times-Picayune ~

    Chris Paul returns to lineup, but Pistons throttle Hornets

    By Benjamin Hochman

    Seventy minutes before every Hornets' home game, four team statisticians meet with Coach Byron Scott. Then, as protocol goes, one will ask Scott for the Hornets' official starting lineup.

    Knowing guard Chris Paul had a torn thumb ligament, and Speedy Claxton was chosen the starter for Tuesday night's game against Detroit, one statistician flippantly asked Scott: "Any changes to the lineup?"

    Scott, trying to hold back his smile, said, "C.P. for Speedy." One guy even high-fived Scott.

    Tuesday's surprising news that Paul was cleared to play energized Hornets fans, and the rookie, in turn, energized the Hornets, despite their 96-86 loss to the NBA's top team. Once expected to be out for two weeks to a month, Paul, who tore a ligament in his right thumb against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, returned to the starting lineup four days later and scored 13 points in 32 minutes to go along with his team-high five assists

    'Birdman' starting to take off
    By Benjamin Hochman

    Lately, there hadn't been much to flap about for Hornets backup center Chris "Birdman" Andersen. But on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons, the Birdman found himself in a refreshing situation -- doing his bird-wing hand symbol, which customarily follows a slam dunk.

    In the second quarter at the Ford Center, Andersen received a pass from Speedy Claxton and threw down a slam -- which, of course, led to the hand symbol. On the Hornets' next possession, Andersen made another dunk to give the Hornets a 34-30 lead.

    January has been kind to Andersen, who came off a lackluster December. After being benched against Charlotte on Jan. 2, he played 20, 21, and 10 minutes in the next three games. He entered the game against the Pistons averaging 17.7 minutes, 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

    He finished Tuesday night's game with four points and three rebounds.

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