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January 2005 Pistons articles

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

  1. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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  2. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~ Detroit News ~​

    Bench making things easier

    by Chris McCosky
    So the question put to coach Flip Saunders was this: Given the team's efficiency and utter dominance of late, what the heck could he have possibly talked about at practice on Saturday?

    ~ Detroitpistons.com ~​

    Pistons versus Rockets Preview

    The Pistons will return home to take on the Houston Rockets on Sunday, January 22nd at 6:00 p.m. at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons (32-5) have beaten the Rockets (12-25) in eight of their last nine meetings in Detroit, including the last four straight. In their first match-up this season back on November 18, Detroit defeated Houston 78-70 in Texas.

    ~ Houston Chronicle ~​

    Billups near All-Star Goal

    by Jonathan Feigen
    Chauncey Billups could have played it cool, but at this point, why bother? He has been kicked around the NBA and has been MVP of the Finals. He's been underappreciated and celebrated, on lottery teams and a champion.
     
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Thanks #16. Zo and I really appreciate it. ;)


    ~~Hoopsworld~~


    Scheduling "Strangeness" and Strength of it So Far
    By Peter Rumm, MD

    Currently, the Bucks are ranked as having the hardest schedule so far, followed by the Jazz and the Lakers.

    Give these young teams their props!

    On the other hand, the Detroit Pistons have played the easiest schedule in the league. That being said they are a very stout 4-1 against the top five teams in the league (albeit in fewer games versus them than some other teams so far); while Dallas is also an impressive 5-2.
     
  4. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    No need to thank me. Cash will do just fine.

    Here's another one:
    ~ RealGM.com ~

    The Big Blue Machine

    by Christopher Reina
    ....Rasheed Wallace is the purest shooter at the power forward position that I have ever seen play, if not the purest ever. Let me know another name if you can think of one, because I genuinely would like to know. “He’s the best I’ve ever played with, with his inside/outside game,” said Billups about Wallace on Thursday when asked that very question. “His feel for the game is something that people don’t talk about a lot.”
     
  5. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Regarding the RealGM piece, normally I sneer at young guys making "greatest X ever" claims without any actual basis in history. But dammit, he's right. Bob McAdoo was basically a 4 playing 5 for most of his career, and he's the closest match I can think of. Travis Grant? Stew Johnson? Big men who were hot shooters in the ABA of the 1970s, but not really consistent OR power forwards. Nowitzki is an obvious comparison, but a power forward should be able to defend the 4 or 5 spot in addition to operating down low. Raef Lafrentz? Okay, stop laughing.

    Sheed really IS the best all-round shooter I've ever seen at the power forward spot. When you consider his size, skills and big-program pedigree in college, the fact that three guys were taken ahead of him in '95 is pretty amazing.
     
  6. max

    max All-Star

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    Atkins Interested in Pistons

    According to a source close to Atkins, the veteran guard is closely weighing his options and could be waiting to see what moves are made by the Detroit Pistons with the idea of possibly signing there. Atkins spent four seasons with the Pistons and was popular in Detroit, as evidenced by the ovation he received when he made six three-pointers and scored 20 points in Washington's 120-114 double-overtime victory at Detroit on Nov. 25.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/21/AR2006012101146.html
     
  7. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    Yes, thank you very much for the assist LF. Most definitely appreciated. :thumb:


    ~ The Orlando Sentinel ~


    By Tim Povtak

    A year ago, Flip Saunders was the embattled coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, trying to explain why his high-priced team was so mediocre, knowing he would be fired soon.

    Today he looks like the mailman who just won a million dollars -- only because he was selected randomly as the one millionth customer at a fast-food restaurant.

    It's like a pot of gold just dropped from the sky and into his back yard.

    "How things can change,'' Saunders quipped last week with reporters.

    As the first-year coach of the Detroit Pistons, he is working with a team good enough to make history, luckily landing the opportunity with a ready-made championship contender. That rarely happens.

    All he had to do was not mess it up.


    ~ Shreveport Times ~

    Mavs closing in on Spurs, Pistons
    By Larry Wade

    After watching the Dallas Mavericks dismantle his team earlier this season, Detroit Pistons head coach Flip Saunders offered a simple explanation for his team's lopsided defeat.

    "They beat us every which way you could get beat," he said.

    The Mavericks outshot, outrebounded and otherwise outplayed the Pistons, who entered the Nov. 19 game in Dallas with an 8-0 record. But the Mavericks put a start-to-finish whipping on the Pistons, jumping out to a 26-point first-quarter lead before leaving with a 119-82 victory. And the Mavericks were without the services of Keith Van Horn or Jerry Stackhouse.

    The Pistons and the defending champion San Antonio Spurs are at the top of the NBA ladder, but they're about to have company.

    The Mavericks are climbing fast.


    ~ The Boston Herald ~


    By Mark Murphy

    From what we can tell, at least one condition from Detroit’s Larry Brown era remains the same. As evidenced by his participation rate under Flip Saunders, Darko Milicic still can’t play.

    Otherwise, though, an unofficial coronation has taken place. The more people talk, the more the Pistons, and not the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, draw reverence as “the best team in the league.”


    ~ The Oakland Press ~


    By Dana Gauruder

    He is everybody's favorite mistake. On any other team, Darko Milicic would be a franchise killer. Getting nothing out of the No. 2 overall pick in the draft in his third season, when the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyade Wade were waiting for their names to be called behind him, would have sunk many general manager's careers and made Milicic the most unpopular player in town.

    Joe Dumars has done so many things, he could afford to roll the dice at that point in the draft. And with the Pistons off to a ridiculous 32-5 start, the Milicic issue is as much of a blemish as a curl of dust in the corner of a Rembrandt. He's so inconsequential that he still gets cheered as a novelty act when he heads to the scorer's table.

    Pistons stir memories of '84
    By Pat Caputo

    The beauty of sport not only lies in the competition, but the debate. The rules of debate aren't that rigid, either, which only makes it that much more interesting.

    An example is the 1984 Tigers. Another example is the current edition of the Pistons.

    Different sports. Different eras. Yet, the two have become locked together lately because of something as simple and pure as the Pistons' win-loss record.

    The Pistons will carry a 32-5 record into tonight's game at The Palace against the Houston Rockets. Three more victories and they will match the 1984 Tigers' 35-5 start. First of all, the Pistons have to get there. Houston has some talent. Minnesota is never easy to beat on the road, and Milwaukee is much improved. Yet, say the Pistons do start 35-5.

    Which team is better?

    The two teams are similar in some ways, yet diametrically opposite in others.
     
  8. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 23th -

    ~ Detroit news ~

    Pistons 99, Rockets 97
    Wallaces make big play look easy in 33rd win
    Rasheed's difficult pass to Ben for a dunk in final minute is enough to beat persistent Rockets.
    By Chris McCosky

    There was less than a minute on the clock and the Pistons were clinging to a two-point lead over a spirited Houston Rockets team Sunday.

    Rasheed Wallace got the ball about 28 feet from the basket, facing the goal from the free-throw line extended. Somehow, through the maze of a swarming Rockets' defense, he spotted Ben Wallace cutting toward the rim. Wallace hit him with a laser pass, right at the rim. Ben Wallace caught the ball with his back to the rim and brought The Palace crowd to its feet with a stunning reverse dunk.

    "That was the best pass I've seen in the last minute of a close game," said Pistons coach Flip Saunders, after the Pistons secured the hard-fought 99-97 victory.

    It was the Pistons seventh straight victory, raising the record to 33-5.

    Roundup
    Bryant's 81 points are second all-time
    Detroit news wire services

    Kobe Bryant scored a staggering 81 points -- the second-highest total in NBA history -- and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors 122-104 on Sunday night.

    With the fans at Staples Center chanting "MVP! MVP!" Bryant made two free throws with 43.4 seconds remaining for his final points, putting him behind only Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list.

    Bottom of the second: Around the sports world
    Billups backs his alma mater with cash gift
    By Chris McCosky

    Chauncey Billups wore his Denver colors proudly this weekend. Not only did he loudly support the Denver Broncos -- he congratulated a reporter on Saturday for wearing a Broncos T-shirt -- but he also is amping up his profile and support for his alma mater, the University of Colorado. Billups has donated a gift of $100,000 to the men's basketball program, which will be used to provide free tickets to 40,000 kids over the next four years.

    James' mother in trouble with the law
    She faces multiple charges in Akron after police stop her for driving intoxicated.
    By Tim Reynolds

    LeBron James' mother was arrested for driving while intoxicated, disorderly conduct and other charges.

    Gloria James, 34, was pulled over Friday night by two off-duty officers, who were working security for the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, said Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards.

    "I don't have all the info of what's going on," LeBron James said Saturday night before the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. "Once I find that out and once I sit down with my family, you know, I'll be able to comment on it a little bit better."

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Pistons survive T-Mac's 43
    By Chris Silva

    The Pistons were due for a tough challenge, a good slap-in-the-face, take-it-to-the-buzzer type of game.

    They got one Sunday evening against the Houston Rockets, owners of the league's fourth-worst record.

    Tracy McGrady scored a season-high 43 points for Houston, but even he couldn't quell the hottest team in the league, as the Pistons escaped the Palace with a 99-97 win.

    'Sheed's all-around game gets kudos
    By Chris Silva

    Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy gave much praise to the consistent play of Rasheed Wallace and the way he has fit in with Flip Saunders' flex offense.

    Wallace is averaging 15.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 41% shooting from three-point range.

    "He can do it from the post, he can do it from the pass, he can do it with the long ball, and defensively, too," Van Gundy said. "I think he's been dominating."

    Wallace had 11 points, seven rebounds and was 1-for-6 on three-pointers in Sunday's 99-97 victory over the Rockets.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Rasheed's long pass to Ben keys Pistons win
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    This is what makes Rasheed Wallace, well, Rasheed Wallace.

    Never one to play it safe, the 6-foot-11 Detroit Pistons forward will do whatever he believes it takes to help his team win.

    Even if it means throwing a long, seemingly improbable lob pass to teammate Ben Wallace for a reverse dunk in the final seconds of a close game -- the kind of pass you seldom see, let alone in a game that's still up for grabs.

    But that's exactly what Rasheed Wallace did, which turned out to be a key play for the Pistons (33-5) in their 99-97 win against the Houston Rockets Sunday night.

    Inside the Pistons
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    A look at the Pistons heading into this week:

    Who's hot: Carlos Delfino came off the bench to score in double figures in three of the last four games.

    Who's not: Chauncey Billups shot just 35.6 percent from the field in four games.

    Play of the week: Leading 96-94 with less than a minute to play on Sunday against the Houston Rockets, Rasheed Wallace lobbed the ball from beyond the 3-point line to Ben Wallace, who caught the pass and completed a reverse dunk.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Close call
    Pistons survive Rockets' last-second three-point try and take 99-97 victory
    By Bill Roose

    Things have come mightily easy for the Pistons lately. So much so that coach Flip Saunders issued this warning to his players: Just because a team has a losing record doesn't mean it's easy prey.

    "When you go from about the middle of January to the All-Star break, I call it Upset City," Saunders said. "Where you see teams that are playing pretty well, you think, Well, they're going to win that one.' And teams come in and beat those teams."

    On Sunday, the Pistons encountered a hobbled Houston Rockets team that was ripe to pull off an upset.

    Despite missing several players to injury, including center Yao Ming, and Tracy McGrady in his second game back from back spasms, the Rockets pushed the Pistons to the brink of their sixth loss of the season.

    Billups gives $100k to Colorado for kids' tickets
    By Bill Roose

    Growing up in the rough Park Hill neighborhood of northeast Denver, Chauncey Billups was a huge sports fan without the means to worship his boyhood idols in person.

    But now, as one of the NBA's leaders in assists, Billups is giving assistance to Denver-area children.

    Billups has given a $100,000 gift to the men's basketball program at the University of Colorado, which will provide at least 40,000 free tickets to less fortunate children in the next four years.

    "This will bring a lot of kids up to the games in Boulder," Billups said. "I never had a chance to see games. Never. And it definitely played into getting this going, because I never went to a college game until I was a senior in high school on a recruiting visit.​


    ~ Houston Chronicle ~

    Rockets get close, but Pistons escape
    Chance to beat best evaporates with late misses
    By Jonathan Feigen

    The last-second shots had rolled the wrong way nearly 30 minutes earlier when Tracy McGrady sat alone at his small, metal locker and felt a different sort of pain hit him.

    He leaned back with his eyes turned upward and his face twisting into that tortured look so familiar this season, finally letting out a moaning, "Ahhhh, damn."

    It turns out being good enough to beat the best was not good enough for the Rockets.

    Instead, Luther Head's last 3 for the win bounced away, and Juwan Howard's tip for overtime rolled out, and the Detroit Pistons rolled on, beating the Rockets 99-97 on Sunday before 22,076 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

    ~ Detroit Pistons.com ~

    20 Questions With Pistons Legend Vinnie Johnson

    The Detroit Pistons will honor Vinnie Johnson, also known as "The Microwave" because he could heat up in a hurry, on Friday, January 27 when they host the Memphis Grizzlies at 8:00 p.m.

    The Pistons have planned a halftime ceremony where they will play a video detailing Johnson's life and career. George Blaha, the voice of the Pistons, will introduce Johnson to the crowd and the organization will unveil the permanent 'signage' on the court. Johnson will briefly address the crowd.

    As part of the week-long celebration, Pistons.com will post "20 Questions with Vinnie" and include questions from the fans.


     
  9. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 24th -

    ~ Detroit news ~

    Pistons Rap
    Saunders vindicated
    coaches success takes most of sting out of visit to his old team
    By Chris McCosky

    If you would have asked Flip Saunders a couple months ago what he might have been looking for when he finally makes his first visit to the Target Center, he might have said something like redemption.

    But Saunders is bringing a 33-5 Pistons team in to face his old team tonight, a Timberwolves team that is foundering at 19-19. That's all the redemption he needs.

    Burning question
    Atkins hits goal: ample playing time
    By Chris McCosky

    Burning questions as the midway point of the season -- and eventual trade talk -- arrives:

    Q . How come there were so many reports surfacing about Chucky Atkins wanting to come back to the Pistons?

    A . Because Atkins, who was bought out of his contract by the Wizards and cleared waivers, was essentially a free agent.

    He signed with Memphis on Monday.

    Atkins did explore the possibility of returning to the Pistons, but he wants to play. If he came back here, he would maybe -- maybe -- have played 15 minutes a game.

    And, as much as you might think the Pistons could use another shooter on the bench, it wouldn't have been that simple to add Atkins to the roster.

    Pistons: Notebook
    Taking offense about defense
    Saunders bristles over lingering remark that he didn't coach defense with his Minnesota teams.
    By Chris McCosky

    It was before the season and new Timberwolves head coach Dwane Casey was asked during a national teleconference how his team would be different from those Flip Saunders coached the previous nine seasons?

    "One thing for sure," Casey had said, "is we will hold the players accountable on defense."

    It was that kind of slap that had been stinging Saunders since the day he was fired by the Timberwolves last February.

    "Those I take as being comments from a young coach who has never been in that situation," said Saunders, who returns to the Target Center for the first time tonight. "I've never been a coach who downgrades what somebody else is doing to build myself up. I have enough confidence in my own ability to where I feel like I can just go out and show what I can do."

    MVP? Bryant, hands down
    Words don't do him justice, but just look at the numbers
    By Chris McCosky

    We probably can stop the debate on the leading candidate for Most Valuable Player honors now, right?

    The debate, for now, is over.

    Chauncey Billups may be driving the best team in basketball, but the best player in basketball is undeniably Kobe Bryant. And last I checked, the MVP was an individual award.

    There just aren't enough words to adequately describe what this guy is doing. The numbers speak fairly loudly, though. Start with his 81-point performance Sunday. I watched in awe as Tracy McGrady rang up 43 on the Pistons, despite some pretty heavy pressure. I cannot fathom what 81 points must've looked like.

    Joanne C. Gerstner's Top 5 ... Bryant's best cases against the defence
    Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has been wearing out scoreboards with his prolific performances. His five top scoring games this season:

    Detroit News Power Poll

    Slam Dunks

    Looking Ahead

    Around the NBA

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Flip takes 33-5 résumé vs. old team
    By Krista Latham

    Boos? He doesn't expect boos. Not after 10 years of hard work and solid community relationships.

    Awkwardness? He wouldn't be shocked if there was some when he takes the unfamiliar walk to the visiting locker room. Or sees the former bosses who fired him.

    Emotion? Surely there will be some of that. Like when he gets some rare time with his still Minnesota-based wife and kids. Or when he sees Kevin Garnett, who is almost like a son to him.

    Other than that, Pistons coach Flip Saunders isn't fretting about what might overcome him as he steps into the Target Center tonight for a game against his former team, the Timberwolves.

    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Things will be a bit different for Saunders at Target Center
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Flip Saunders will be surrounded by family and friends tonight at the Minnesota Timberwolves' Target Center.

    The environment will seem quite normal, except one thing. One big thing.
    Saunders will not be leading the Timberwolves.

    Instead, he will be with his new team, the Detroit Pistons, who hired Saunders last summer. The Timberwolves fired him last February after 10 seasons as the team's head coach.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Saunders returns to Minnesota
    By Dana Gauruder

    Flip Saunders never wanted to leave Minnesota. That in itself makes his return to the Target Center a whole lot different than Larry Brown's first visit to The Palace this season.

    Minnesota's arena was like a second home to Saunders for nearly 10 seasons. When he sets foot in the building for the first time since he was fired by the Timberwolves 51 games into last season, he'll feel somewhat awkward but also happy to be coaching the other team.

    "Being 33-5, there's more emotion in what we're doing than what's happened in the past," he said Monday. "The only good thing about going home is that I'll be able to see my wife and kids - and we play a game."​


    ~ Minneapolis Star Tribune ~

    Saunders standing tall again with Detroit
    Flip Saunders took the fall for the Wolves' flop last season. But he has landed on his feet, coaching the Pistons to the best record in the NBA, and he returns to Target Center tonight to face his former employers.
    By Steve Aschburner

    Playing well is the best revenge.

    When Flip Saunders walks into Target Center tonight for the first time since being fired by the Timberwolves Feb. 12, he will come in on the high road. Not so much from humility or generosity of spirit toward the team that dumped him after nearly 10 years of service, but because he can.

    Saunders, in effect, already has won.

    The winningest coach in Wolves franchise history, the only man to lead the team into the postseason (something he did for eight years in a row), Saunders is back on his feet, leading a Detroit team that is the envy of the NBA. At 33-5, the Pistons have turned their rivals in the Central Division, projected to be perhaps the league's most competitive, into a bunch of also-rans, and they already have clinched for Saunders the Eastern Conference head coaching duties in the All-Star Game.

    ~ St. Paul Pioneer press ~

    Saunders has rebounded nicely
    By Rick Alonzo

    Twice in the past three seasons, Flip Saunders has earned the honor of coaching in the NBA All-Star Game.

    During the other season, he was fired.

    The precariousness of his chosen profession isn't lost on the former Timberwolves coach.

    Tonight, he returns to Target Center for his first regular-season game against the team that decided in February he was no longer the right man for the job after 10 years.

    He comes back to Minnesota as the triumphant leader of the white-hot Detroit Pistons, who have shredded opponents on their way to the best record in the NBA.

    The Pistons' 33-5 start rivals that of the league's all-time elite teams and tops the Wolves' .500 record by 14 victories. Detroit is chasing history and a championship while Minnesota scraps for consistency and a playoff berth.

    Flip has nothing to prove
    By Charley Walters

    Other than a shoot-around with his NBA-leading Detroit Pistons this
    morning, tonight's game against the Timberwolves will be the first time coach Flip Saunders has been at Target Center since his firing by the Wolves nearly a year ago.

    The Pistons are 33-5, and Saunders, who has been a Minnesota favorite since a standout career with the Gophers, certainly has nothing more to prove.

    "It's not like I have to prove that they made a mistake by firing me," Saunders said of his much-anticipated return to Minnesota. "When I was fired, I didn't feel I was the problem. I felt I could be part of a solution.
    But that was (Wolves vice president) Kevin McHale's decision to make, not mine. We're coming in 33-5, so I think there's no need to prove anything.

    "My feeling is that this is an important game for us. We've won seven in a row, and I just want us to continue to play well. My emphasis for this game is that we prepare the same as the previous 38 games, no more, no less."

    Saunders then and now

    ~ MSNBC.com ~

    Saunders flips firing into great fit with Pistons
    Former Timberwolves coach returns Tuesday with NBA's best team
    A/P

    Flip Saunders is enjoying quite a severance package these days.

    Yes, he was surprised and hurt last February when Minnesota fired him during his 10th season coaching the Timberwolves. But a look at the NBA standings serves as a reminder that everything sure worked out well for Saunders.

    The Detroit Pistons, his new team, are a league-best 33-5 with seven straight wins and victories in 18 of their last 20 games. Minnesota (19-19), meanwhile, has been hovering around the .500 mark. The two teams play Tuesday night in Minneapolis.

    ~ Miami Sun-Sentinel ~

    Numbers don’t tell whole story for Heat
    By Dave Hyde

    Myth No. 5: Detroit and San Antonio are uncatchable.

    You mean like Indianapolis was in the NFL regular season? San Antonio already has issues with Tim Duncan having a lingering foot injury. And this isn't to diminish Detroit's success, which is noteworthy. But it has been playing in a top gear with its starting five for 30 injury-free months.

    What happens if Detroit loses, say, Chauncey Billups to injury and Carlos Arroyo becomes point guard?

    Plus, there's Flip Saunders, the coach who hasn't won anything in the playoffs. No, NBA coaching can't win series like players can. But they can contribute to losing them. Does Saunders, who has won two playoff series, match up to Riley?​
     
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    For the folks who still like LB...

    Interview with Marc Berman

    Where is the Marbury-Brown relationship headed?
    – Adam Hahn (Hermosa Beach, California)

    MB: This is turning into one of the brightest points. Since the Orlando fiasco a month ago when they stopped speaking, Marbury has stepped up his play to a great level and now they joke around all the time. He's become the extension of the coach on the court. The tension for now is gone. Larry constantly calls him now “our leader and best player'' without hesitation. Marbury's absence the past three games – all losses – has shown Brown he's the engine that drives the Knicks and trading him for role players would be catastrophic.
     
  11. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    ~~Sporting News~~​


    Just call it O-town
    by Sean Deveney

    Better get yourself a pencil and paper because you'll have to write down the following: 425 Twist. Hawk cut. Misdirection post-up. Got it? Good, because if you truly want to understand what is going on in the NBA these days, you'll need to know phrases such as these.

    There has been no bigger story through the league's first three months than the scoring surge in a less-than-likely locale -- Detroit, where four years of the Pistons' clock-chewing, paint-drying pace under coaches Larry Brown and Rick Carlisle have been replaced by the offensive ingenuity of new coach Flip Saunders.
     
  12. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Nice Micro, that's one of the better articles on the Pistons this year... A reporter that actually understands the right questions to ask (why couldn't our locals come up with the strategy side of the offense).

    We're better informed.
     
  13. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Not really an article... just some comments from Sherrod Blakely:

    As you can imagine, the Artest trade that was on, and now off, has been the talk inside the locker room. Fellas weren't concerned about Indiana when they were about to add Peja. And with Ron-Ron back (for now), nothing's changed. I said early on that I thought New Orleans might be Indy's trading partner. With the Maggette deal not working out, and now the Peja deal falls through, a Ron-Ron for Desmond Mason deal might be the only deal they can cut right now.

    When people ask this question, to me, it comes down to what do you expect. I think Kobe is a better individual player, but to me, Rip is a more complete TEAM player. He understands better than Kobe the importance of not just having, but actually relying, on guys around you to be successful. Plus, I really believe Rip's presence has made some of his teammates (Tayshaun comes to mind right away) better players. I can't think of a single player Kobe has helped make into a better player. If I have a team that's ready to compete for a championship, but I feel I need that one stud at the 2-spot, then I go with Kobe. If I have a championship contender and feel I need a really good scorer who can make those around him better, I'm taking Rip everytime. Like I said, it ultimately comes down to what your needs are.

    I don't care what Bird and Carlisle say, that team is in shambles. And once they get this Artest trade over with, and take that first round bouncing in the playoffs, expect a lot of changes to be made in Indiana this summer.
     
  14. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    The O-town article is great.
     
  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    I'm working on the news kids, it should be up soon. :D
    -
     
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Told ya, today's a doozy of a news post!
    ~~Detroit News~~

    Pistons 107, Timberwolves 83
    Pistons clobber Wolves
    Saunders enjoys triumphant return to Minnesota; Billups puts on three-point show.
    by Chris McCosky

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Standing ovation for Flip Saunders on his first return to the Target Center - check.

    Pre-game hug from Kevin Garnett - check.

    Rousing victory against his former team - check mate.

    Things pretty much went as scripted for Saunders and the Pistons, as they rallied after a rough first half to wallop the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team Saunders coached for nine-plus seasons, 107-83 Tuesday.


    Pistons: Notebook
    Hamilton is best in East for the week
    Guard's defensive effort earns award, the team's first individual honor of the season.
    by Chris McCosky

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Well, what do you know, the league has finally bestowed an individual honor on a member of its best team.

    "Yeah, what week are we in,” said Richard Hamilton, who, in the 13th week of the NBA regular season, was named Eastern Conference player of the week. “You have to be happy with the team success, but, I mean, we should have had more than one. Look at our record. But, we'll take whatever we can get.”


    ~~Detroit Free Press~~

    DETROIT 107, MINNESOTA 83: Hot Pistons win one for Saunders vs. T-Wolves
    Billups nets 27 in 8th straight win
    by CHRIS SILVA

    MINNEAPOLIS -- The night started with a few simple waves and nods of acknowledgement.

    But when Flip Saunders was announced as the head coach for the opposing team Tuesday night, the Target Center crowd rose to its feet and gave him a standing ovation, the closest resemblance of a sendoff for Saunders, who was fired almost a year ago after 10 years as head coach.


    MOTOR CITY JOURNAL: '84 hype still unmatched

    If everything goes well tonight, the Pistons will rack up a 35-5 record in their first 40 games.

    And it will have been the quietest 35-5 streak for a Detroit sports franchise in almost 22 years.

    If you are 30 or older, you might remember the last one.

    The Tigers won 35 of their first 40 games in 1984, and those 40 games were accompanied by such a fuss -- both locally and across the nation -- that you would think there is a conspiracy afoot to keep a lid on the Pistons' accomplishment.


    PISTONS CORNER: Rip named NBA's player of the week
    by CHRIS SILVA

    MINNEAPOLIS -- If the NBA gave out a team of the week award, the Pistons probably would have been the recipients for each of the 12 weeks this season.

    But since no such award exists, all they have a shot at are individual honors, and for the past few years it's been clear that the Pistons don't put much stock in those.

    They would rather have their resumes gleaming with championship titles.


    Delfino's new look
    Don't cry for this Argentine; he's finally happy in Motown
    January 25, 2006
    by CHRIS SILVA

    He was patient. Always was, still is.

    Carlos Delfino was a kid growing up in Santa Fe, Argentina, trying to find his niche, something he would succeed at for the rest of his life. He was only 8 years old, and extremely active.

    First came swimming.


    KRISTA LATHAM: No matter the sport, tough run to 35-5

    In July 1984, the New York Times came to Detroit to chronicle the Tigers' improbable 35-5 start and the team's subsequent return to normalcy. The writer observed, with a condescending tone: "In Detroit, they talk about 35-5 as if it was an era in history."

    Well, why not? It's a streak that still burns in sports fans' memories more than 20 years later, and while that torrid pace leveled out by mid-summer, it still set the stage for the Tigers' World Series title in October.



    Pistons
    HOT TOPICS

    He shoots, he scores

    Kobe Bryant scores 81. The Sonics and Suns combine to score 301 points in double overtime. The Pistons drop 117 on the lowly Hawks. Is this the NBA or a PlayStation 2 game?

    Trade talk to heat up

    You'll start to hear more trade talk involving Darko Milicic as the Feb. 23 trade deadline nears. The Pistons insist that all they're doing is listening to offers. Let's hope someone pulls a "Godfather" and gives them an offer they can't refuse. We'll take a horse's head if need be.


    ~~Booth Newspapers~~

    Pistons turn close game into another blowout
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    MINNEAPOLIS -- In his first game back in Minnesota since he was fired by the Timberwolves last February, Detroit Pistons head coach Flip Saunders received a warm reception from the fans. They gave him a short standing ovation, with one fan yelling, `Come back, Flip!'

    The way Saunders' new team dismantled his old one, that sentiment was shared by many who witnessed Detroit's 107-81 pummeling of the Timberwolves on Tuesday night.


    Billups breaks out of shooting slump in style
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Chauncey Billups didn't need to see Detroit's most recent box scores.

    The Pistons point guard knew he hadn't been shooting well.

    And when he missed his first nine shots from the field on Tuesday, there was only one thing he could do -- keep shooting.


    ~~The Oakland Press~~

    Pistons roll past T'wolves
    by DANA GAURUDER

    MINNESOTA - Watch out, Sparky & Co. Some very tall men are coming after you.

    Sparky Anderson's 1984 Detroit Tigers established the standard for a great start in Michigan professional sports by winning 35 of their fi rst 40 games. With a home victory tonight against Milwaukee, Flip Saunders' Pistons can join those storied Tigers in the exclusive 35-5 club.

    Victory No. 34 was especially sweet for Saunders, as the Pistons made his return to Minnesota's Target Center a triumphant one with a 107-83 win over the Timberwolves on Tuesday night.


    Rip showcasing complete game
    by DANA GAURUDER

    MINNEAPOLIS - Richard Hamilton makes no excuses for his defense and 3-point shooting this season. He can brag about those areas of his game now.

    Hamilton established himself in the league with his midrange jump shooting and slithery moves to the basket. While winning the Eastern Conference player of the week award - the Pistons' first this season despite their incredible start - Hamilton excelled on many levels.


    ~~Hoopsworld~~

    Special Motown Soundtrack: Bad meets evil
    by Adriano Albuquerque

    Ok, so maybe I went a little overboard on the title, but when two of your enemies come together, how else to describe it... Using a song by someone from Detroit? I won’t even wait to the end of the column to tell you who it is – it’s Eminem’s song from his Slim Shady album.

    If the league approves the trade between the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings that takes Ron Artest to California – and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t approve it, I think – I will feel ripped off. Robbed.


    **Late one**
    Motown Soundtrack: Yester me, yester you, yesterday
    by Adriano Albuquerque

    It’s here, it’s happening. The day that Flip Saunders returns to Minnesota to see his boy, a.k.a. The Kid, a.k.a. KG, all grown up.

    Of course, he’s seen it already. He witnessed the best of the best that Garnett can be. They also saw each other again during preseason. But now it’s for real. And it’s on the grand stage where they spent almost all of their careers together: the Target Center.

    This will probably not be an emotional game for the Detroit Pistons and much less to the Timberwolves. It’ll be emotional only for two people: The Kid and his mentor.


    ~~St. Paul Pioneer Press~~

    Flop against Flip
    Former Wolves coach Saunders, guard Billups light up their old team
    by RICK ALONZO

    The point guard and the coach the Timberwolves decided weren't good enough ganged up on their former club Tuesday night.

    And they smiled while doing it.

    Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups scored 18 points in the third quarter to turn a tight game into a 107-83 blowout of the Wolves in coach Flip Saunders' return to the building he called home for 10 years.


    Billups having an MVP season
    by RICK ALONZO

    Picking the most valuable player on the best team in the NBA isn't easy. But Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups garnered strong support from a former teammate.

    Timberwolves all-star Kevin Garnett said Tuesday he thinks Billups is the MVP of the Eastern Conference so far. Billups, who played for Minnesota in 2000-01 and 2001-02, is averaging career highs with 18.8 points and 8.6 assists. He scored a game-high 27 points Tuesday night in the Pistons' 107-83 rout of the Wolves at Target Center.

    "Chauncey, he's playing at an unbelievable level in games that doesn't necessarily signify that he's scoring a lot, but the fact that he's getting everybody the ball where they need it... he's directing the team, he's being the general," said Garnett, a former NBA MVP. "He's playing defense. He knows how to shift that momentum. When they need a big shot, he's there. Yeah, he's my MVP candidate."


    Wolves' ex returns to cheers and leaves with a 'W'
    TOM POWERS

    We should all get fired and then wind up in a pile of rose petals.

    It was great to see Flip Saunders again Tuesday. He got a bad deal here when he was fired last season. But you'll have to forgive me if I can't muster up a lot of sympathy.

    He is currently the coach of the NBA's best team — a selfless, talented, mentally tough, determined bunch. Some might call them the anti-Timberwolves. And these Detroit Pistons have embraced Saunders as if he were a long-lost cousin.


    ~~Minneapolis Star Tribune~~

    Souhan: Flip shows Wolves what they're missing
    The lively coach returned to the Target Center for the first time since he was fired, and the Pistons' victory highlighted mistakes made at the top.
    by Jim Souhan

    Flip Saunders paced the Target Center sideline Tuesday as if he -- or at least his tics -- had never left.

    You've heard of the plastic surgery drama "Nip/Tuck?" This was more like Flip/Tug.


    Garnett remains fond of Flip
    by Steve Aschburner

    Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett is about as emotional and demonstrative a player as there is in the NBA, at least on the court.

    But Garnett occasionally can be subtle, such as Tuesday morning when he spoke about fired Wolves coach Flip Saunders coming back to town with the Pistons and point guard Chauncey Billups, one of Garnett's best friends.


    Detroit 107, Timberwolves 83
    Flip Saunders wasn't the only ex-Timberwolf returning to Target Center. Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups also made his presence known in leading to a Pistons runaway.
    by Steve Aschburner

    If you want to think of the Timberwolves' 107-83 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night at Target Center as a measuring stick, a way of gauging the competitive distance between the Wolves as currently constituted and the NBA's most efficient, most selfless and most successful squad, you'll want to start with a standard 12-inch ruler.

    Lay the ruler on the ground. Now place a yardstick at one end. Have a friend stand at that point holding the end of the longest tape measure you can find. Walk until you hit the tape's end.
     
  17. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Attaboy, Flip! Rub it in, baby.
     
  18. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: January Pistons Articles *Updated Daily*

    Midseason awards
    By Marty Burns

    The NBA season is at the halfway point, and there has been no shortage of story lines in David Stern's wild Kingdom:

    The Pistons' quest to win 70 games. Kobe Bryant's 81-point masterpiece. Antônio Davis' venture into the stands in Chicago. And, of course, a seemingly never-ending Ron Artest saga.

    Meanwhile, here's how we see the various postseason awards shaping up if the votes were held today:
     
  19. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    January 26th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Pistons 106, Bucks 102
    35-5: Bucking history
    After overtime victory, Pistons' start equals '84 Tigers, but the numbers mean little to team.
    By Chris McCosky

    The Pistons don't really grasp the historical and cultural significance of 35-5 around these parts -- the Tigers' magical start in 1984 is largely inconsequential to most of them.

    But 35-5 doesn't need any historical or cultural reference to be impressive.

    "That's definitely something very special," said Chauncey Billups. "That's an unbelievable feat, one that hasn't been seen in a long time. We may not see it again for a long time, either. We have to celebrate it, then keep it going."

    The Pistons hit the magic mark on Wednesday with an exhausting 106-102 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was their ninth straight victory, their third nine-game winning streak of the season.

    Pistons: Notebook
    Trade seen as plus for Pacers
    Evans, Saunders agree Stojakovic-for-Artest deal will help Indiana's offense on perimeter.
    By Chris McCosky

    The ground did not move under the Pistons when word came down that Ron Artest had indeed been traded to Sacramento, and that they would be facing an Indiana team with sharp-shooting Peja Stojakovic four times this season.

    Former King Maurice Evans doesn't believe the balance of power in the Central Division shifted in any way, but he believes the Pacers definitely got the better end of the deal.

    "I don't think that's a good deal for Sacramento," he said. "I don't think the guy (Artest) is that helpful. He was just coming off a suspension and that's how he reacts, by demanding a trade? He should be happy to be playing."

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Mitch Albom: it's time to show Pistons some love
    Like parents who kiss their kids goodnight before departing for the New Year's Eve party, we need to show the Pistons some love before we take off into Super Bowl insanity.

    So here it is:

    This is one amazing franchise. We don't say it enough, because we'd be saying it all the time. What Detroit's basketball team has done in its first 40 games this season is nothing less than superlative, largely because they don't use superlatives.

    They just get it done.

    Wednesday night, with a typical, grind-it-out overtime performance, the Pistons equaled the winningest number in Detroit sports history, 35-5, the same start that launched the 1984 Tigers to a World Series crown. You can argue that it's harder in baseball than basketball, or the other way around. Let's just say it's damn near impossible and take our hats off.

    GR-R-REAT! 35-5 Pistons capture Detroit's heart like the '84 Tigers
    By Krista Latham

    All week, the Pistons heard about the Tigers' 35-5 start in 1984.
    They heard about it so much that after tying the mark with a turbulent 106-102 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, guard Chauncey Billups hoped "it's something I don't have to keep hearing about every day."

    OK, so matching the mark dear to Detroiters clearly was never a priority for the Pistons. But now that it's done, they hope to follow in the Tigers' steps in one big way.

    "Correct me if I'm wrong," coach Flip Saunders said, "but they won a championship that year, right?"

    Right.

    Flip: Pacers must adjust with Peja
    By Krista Latham

    The new face on one of the Pistons' biggest rivals ... Peja Stojakovic?

    The Indiana Pacers finally concluded their version of the Ron Artest saga Wednesday and shipped the volatile forward to the Sacramento Kings for shooting guard Stojakovic.

    The Pacers -- the team the Pistons battled in the Eastern Conference finals two years ago and in the second round last season -- might go through an identity tweak.

    Artest worked both ends of the floor and was the defensive cog on a grind-it-out team. Stojakovic isn't known for his defense and likes to shoot, shoot and shoot some more.

    Pistons win one for Saunders
    By Chris Silva

    The night started with a few simple waves and nods of acknowledgement.

    But when Flip Saunders was announced as the head coach for the opposing team Tuesday night, the Target Center crowd rose to its feet and gave him a standing ovation, the closest resemblance of a sendoff for Saunders, who was fired almost a year ago after 10 years as head coach.

    Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, like a long-lost son to Saunders, capped the moment when he jogged across the court, slapped hands and embraced Saunders.
    The night just about ended as soon as another former member of the Timberwolves, Pistons guard Chauncey Billups, found his touch in the third quarter.

    Billups scored 18 of his 27 points in the third quarter, draining jumper after jumper, turning a close game into a 107-83 rout.

    Isaiah denies sexual harassment claim
    Free Press news services

    Anucha Browne Sanders, one of the highest-ranking black female executives in sports, sued New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas and Madison Square Garden for sexual harassment.

    The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York, claims Thomas, a member of the basketball Hall of Fame and an ex-Piston, began harassing Browne Sanders soon after he joined the Knicks in December 2003 and that the team fired her in retaliation for complaints about the matter.


    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Tired Pistons pull out win against Bucks in OT
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    There were no bags underneath their eyes, not a lot of slouched shoulders or heavy breathing between trips up and down the court, either.

    But make no mistake about it: The Detroit Pistons, playing their third game in four nights, were a tired bunch on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

    Still, even with some sub-par performances, the Pistons again found a way to make all the necessary plays when they needed to in rallying for a 106-102 overtime win.

    Rasheed redeems himself with big shot in OT
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Rasheed Wallace had a great look at the basket on a 3-pointer that would have won the game in regulation for the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night, only to see it rattle around the rim before bouncing out. Before that, he missed a pair of free throws.

    Wallace got a chance to redeem himself in overtime, and he made the most of that opportunity to spark the Pistons to a 106-102 overtime win against Milwaukee.

    Trailing 98-94, Wallace's 3-pointer spearheaded a 12-4 run to close the game as the Pistons won their ninth in a row.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Pistons hit 35-5 plateau
    Tigers' 1984 start is matched with overtime victory
    by Bill Roose

    The Pistons matched the greatest start to a season in Detroit sports history on Wednesday. They needed overtime to do it - equaling the Detroit Tigers' 35-5 start to the 1984 baseball season - with a 106-102 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at The Palace.

    After the game, the record meant little in the Pistons' locker room.

    "It don't mean nothing to us, man," Ben Wallace said. "We just want to go out and try to win every game that we possibly can. Then, at the end of the season, we add them up and, hopefully, we can end up with home-court advantage. That's the only thing that we're shooting for right now."

    Pistons join rare company
    By Bill Roose

    A planned motorcycle race displaced the Pistons from their Silverdome home, forcing Detroit to play Game 5 of their playoff series with the New York Knicks at Joe Louis Arena. It was April 27, 1984. The Detroit sports scene was electric. The Pistons finished the regular season at 49-33 - then the second-best record in franchise history.

    The national media began to take notice of what was occurring in the city.

    "They got coverage," Pistons president and CEO Tom Wilson said. "Everywhere you went, they were the story."

    But Wilson wasn't speaking about the Pistons.

    Despite the team's magnificent turnaround under first year coach Chuck Daly, the Pistons were trumped on local sports pages by the Detroit Tigers' improbable 35-5 start.

    ~ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ~

    Another heroic efforts slips in clutch
    Redd's 41 points not enough
    By Tom Enlund

    Shades of San Antonio.

    The Milwaukee Bucks couldn't help thinking back to their three-point, down-to-wire loss to the Spurs one week earlier in Texas after their gut-wrenching 106-102 overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

    Both games were on the road and weren't decided until the closing seconds, both were against teams that played for the National Basketball Association championship last June, and in both games the Bucks gave the more-heralded opposition all they could handle before coming up just short at crunch time.

    But both went into the ledger as defeats.

    ~ Detroit Pistons.com ~

    The Pistons will honor Vinnie Johnson, member of the original "Bad Boys" championship teams in 1989 and 1990 on Friday, January 27 when they host the Grizzlies at 8:00 p.m. Fans submitted their questions and Johnson answered online at Pistons.com.

     
  20. detteam

    detteam All-Star

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