March 2006 Pistons articles *Frequent Updates*

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  1. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Team hasn't been on the March
    "We are not in a situation right now, where we have to really turn it on and go," he said. "It's a fine line between trying to get everything well-oiled and pushing too hard. Right now, from our perspective, we're looking to play 45-to-50 more games. You look at it that way and you'll be careful how you approach things."

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Pistons Corner: Elite foes should give team a spark
    "No disrespect to anybody," point guard Chauncey Billups said, "but it's fun to play other elite teams. It makes a difference." The Miami Heat plays at the Palace on Wednesday, beginning a stretch that runs through early April during which Detroit plays only playoff-bound (or playoff bubble) teams, including Indiana, New Jersey, Dallas and Phoenix.

    [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

    Rookies don't make trip
    Hawks rookies Marvin Williams and Salim Stoudamire both will miss tonight's game in Detroit. Williams left the team after Sunday's game to go to North Carolina, where his father and other family members are with his ailing grandfather .... Stoudamire stayed back to have further tests on his right elbow.

    [MLive.com - Beyond the Arc]

    Acker points the way
    For the game, Acker tallied 18 points, 7 boards and 6 assists. Amir Johnson, the Pistons' other rookie assigned to the Pats, had 22 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Johnson also got the start.

    The Patriots are 8-2 since Johnson and Acker joined the team.

    [NBA.com]

    Patriots outlast 66ers
    After Tulsa's Ersan Ilyasova nailed two free throws to tie the game with 1:04 left, point guard Alex Acker seized control of the game. He found center Rick Rickert for a short hook shot, got Erik Daniels to the line where he made one of two, and then drew a foul and hit two free throws with 14 seconds left to close out the game. The 66ers' John Lucas III led all scorers with 26, but Acker denied him a decent look at the basket in the last three minutes.

    "We have a group of guys here now that know how to win, how to close out a game," Daniels said of the Patriots' recent run of success. "I love playing with these guys. Everybody really plays as a team. We don't have to force things now."
     
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [HoopsWorld]

    Motown Soundtrack: Cramp your style
    by Adriano Albuquerque

    There are few teams that really have an identity that’s been firmly associated with them throughout the years in the NBA. When you see teams like the Sacramento Kings, for instance, that don’t really have that lasting identity – to the point that after years of offensive and creative basketball got a transformation into something different as Ron Artest got there – or the L.A. Clippers, whose lack of identity has been the key to years and years of futility, you value seeing the few franchises which have maintained a certain style for years.


    [Need4Sheed]

    Rasheed Wallace Is Quite Frankly Awesome

    So let me tell you about my adventure. It all started with an email I receiced Tuesday afternoon the 14th, from ESPN2's Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith inviting me and my guests to watch the taping of Thursday's show featuring my website's namesake and centerpiece, Mr. Rasheed Wallace. I quickly called everyone I knew and read them the e-mail. My first call was to my best friend and fellow Sheedologist. The first thing that came out of his mouth when I finished reading him the letter was, "SHEEEEED" followed by "I'm looking for flights right now." When I actually read the letter it was about 6pm Tuesday evening, we had to all be in NYC at the studio by Thursday at 1pm. Not everyone who wanted to go could drop everything and fly to New York at a moment's notice, but I knew I could count on Team Sheed. Jeff met me in New York from Miami and my nephew Michael, who runs the forums, flew in with me.


    [The Oakland Press]


    Pistons get caught looking ahead
    by DANA GAURUDER

    Construction season looms just around the corner. Like many weary travelers, the Pistons want to find every shortcut possible.

    In their case, trying to be sneaky only makes their trip longer and more agonizing than necessary.

    [Blue Collar Blueprint]

    Where are we and when does the bus leave?
    by Eli Zaret

    I was lying in bed late Wednesday night making some notes for this blog when I looked up from my pad and did a double take. I had my Toronto hotel room in mind’s eye and it took me a second to remember that I wasn’t there anymore. This was New York and that other room was yesterday.

    Life on the road is a world unto itself.
     
  3. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit Free Press]​

    Pistons wrap up Central
    Detroit won, 91-84, and the victory clinched the Central Division title, Detroit's fourth such title in five years. The celebration was minimal, at best. "The thing about it, nobody even knew about it before today's game," Tayshaun Prince, who scored 18 points, said of winning the division. "That just shows you where our mind is at."

    Pistons Corner: Winning Central no big deal
    They've played well enough to own an NBA-best 53-13 record despite a bumpy past few weeks. And that's largely due to the group of five players who tied an NBA record on Monday by starting their 66th straight game together. The other group to do so was the 2002-03 Golden State Warriors. "I think that says a lot about the guys here, being dedicated to winning," Wallace said. "And it says a lot about the organization being dedicated to winning, doing what they have to do to keep this group together. "

    [Detroit News]​

    Pistons clinch the Central again
    Credit Ben Wallace for creating the spark. He had five points, five rebounds and four steals in the first quarter, sending the Pistons out with a 30-20 lead. "I was just trying to get the tempo up," said Wallace, who finished with 13 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. "I was trying to make them play out of character, just make them do some things different than they want to."

    Looking ahead: Pistons
    The Heat are red-hot, having won 15 of their last 16 games. Dwyane Wade is on a tear; he has been their leading scorer in seven consecutive games. He has scored fewer than 25 in one of those seven and has 40 or more twice. The Pistons are close to clinching the Central Division, but their lead in the East over Miami had dwindled to 7 1/2 games before Monday.

    Slam Dunks
    Remember Sarunas Jasikevicius , the 30-year-old European star to whom Larry Bird paid $4 million a year, proclaiming him the "best player in Europe"? Well, he's not even the second-best point guard on the Pacers. Rick Carlisle has bumped him from the rotation, going with Jamaal Tinsely and Anthony Carter . "I have to deal with it," Jasikevicius said.

    Delfino is a victim of numbers
    Here's the thing about Evans: Right or wrong, he is Saunders' guy. Saunders brought him into the league. Saunders has helped nurture his career. There is a certain trust and comfort level. Delfino, obviously, hasn't had the chance to gain the same trust level.

    Shed no tears over Darko
    And now Milicic is getting that chance, getting to play on a lottery team and putting up decent numbers, Dumars is supposed to regret trading him? As if the fact Milicic can put up numbers on a bad team is somehow a surprise to him, like he didn't see that coming. Please.

    Alley oop ... to Pistons assistant coach Igor Kokoskov
    Q: What do you consider home these days -- Serbia or the U.S.?
    A: Definitely Serbia. Even though I have now lived here for seven years and am used to everything here, Serbia is always where my family and friends and my heart is.

    Detroit News NBA Power Poll
    Still #1 in the East.

    Hunter's bursts can knock opponents off their game
    The Bobcats were inbounding the ball to start the fourth quarter. A normally stress-free play suddenly turns into a panic for the Bobcats as Lindsey Hunter darts into the fray, forcing Brevin Knight to throw a harried and errant pass. Next possession, Melvin Ely has the ball one second, and the next it's gone. Hunter has picked his pocket and is leading a fast break the other way. From the time Hunter entered the game late in the third quarter, to the time he left early in the fourth, the Pistons had taken a one-point lead and extended it to 12.

    Top 5: Best bets for the lottery
    Yes, the Hawks were 21-43 before Monday. But in some ways, this season hasn't been a total disaster. They have overcome a lot: Owners suing and fighting before the season started, center Jason Collier passing away during camp and the turbulence of trying to mold young players. Coach Mike Woodson has kept the ship together. And most notably, the Hawks have eight more victories than last season.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Pistons tether Hawks, discover pleasant surprise after game
    Oh yeah, one other thing happened that's worth mentioning — with the win, the Pistons clinched the Central Division title. It was kind of like a finding the prize in an old box of cereal — the Pistons have had a double-digit lead in the division for so long that everyone knew it was coming someday, but no one paid close enough attention to realize it was about to happen. But, what do you know, the final horn sounds and, boom, there it is, sitting in a bowl of milk, a second consecutive division title, the team's fourth in five years.

    Tony Ronzone pops up in New Zealand
    Came across another article on Pistons' director of basketball operations and international scout extraordinaire Tony Ronzone today. . . in a New Zealand newspaper.

    [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]​

    Wrong team to trail
    Instead of rallying for one of their trademark late-game wins with their gutsy second half, the Hawks had to settle for a 91-84 loss and watching the Pistons celebrate clinching their second straight Central Division title before a raucous sellout crowd of 22,076.

    Delk: "Nothing but love" for Hawks
    "I'm just glad to be in a place like this on a team that is going to compete for a championship. People around this league talk about being a first class organization and all that but few people actually live like that. It's not just talk around here. It's the real thing. From ownership to the team president (Joe Dumars) to the coaching staff and all the players and everyone else involved, it's a first class operation. And that's always a good thing to be a part of as a player in this league."

    [Fayetteville Observer]​
    Johnson's post play leads Patriots to a win
    The last high school player taken in the 2005 NBA draft — and perhaps the last prep player ever drafted if the NBA doesn’t change its age-limit requirement — Johnson continued to spark the Fayetteville Patriots’ late-season turnaround Sunday. The 18-year-old scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds as Fayetteville pounded Tulsa inside during a 106-102 win in front of 828 at the Crown Coliseum.

    “He just jumps over us,” said Rogers, who is filling in for Joey Meyer while Meyer mourns the death of his father, legendary DePaul coach Ray Meyer. “Having an athletic guy that can finish around the basket is unbelievable. At his height, he’s 6-foot-10, and he runs the floor like a wing guy. He has a bright future.”

    [ESPN.com]

    NBA Power Rankings
    San Antonio beat the Suns on Friday to win the season series 3-1 and clinch its move into the top spot for just the third time since Week 1. The Pistons were also passed by No. 2 Dallas, with New Jersey (at No. 8) and Memphis (at No. 9) also returning to the top 10.
     
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Looking at the rest of the schedule

    Flip Saunders made a very good point in today's Detroit News while addressing the Pistons' recent less-than-stellar performances:
    "We are not in a situation right now, where we have to really turn it on and go," he said. "It's a fine line between trying to get everything well-oiled and pushing too hard. Right now, from [...]


    [Need4Sheed]

    Pistons Clinch The Central Division

    The Pistons beat the Hawks 91 - 84 and clinched the Central Division Title. Rasheed Wallace was the leading scorer with 26 points and he also became the first player in NBA history to get 100 blocks and 100 three pointers in two consecutive seasons.
     
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Booth Newspapers]

    Ho-hum, Pistons clinch another division title with 91-84 win over Hawks
    by Tom Kowalski

    AUBURN HILLS -- There was a time, not so long ago actually, when 50-win seasons and Central Division titles were something to embrace and celebrate. Now, those occurrences are nothing more than a passing billboard on the side of the road as the Detroit Pistons race to their ultimate destination.


    Pistons ironmen starters on verge of record for consecutive starts
    by Tom Kowalski

    AUBURN HILLS -- Barring any unforeseen calamities, like somebody burning themselves on the waffle iron at home, the Detroit Pistons will break the record Wednesday against the Miami Heat.

    In Detroit's 91-84 win against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, the Pistons used the same starting lineup for the 66th consecutive game, tying the NBA mark set by the Golden State Warriors during the 2002-03 season.


    [The Oakland Press]


    Pistons tie modern mark for same lineup
    by BILL ROOSE

    AUBURN HILLS - History loomed large over The Palace on Monday. The Pistons needed a victory over the Atlanta Hawks to clinch their fourth Central Division title in five years.

    And with the same five starters that they deployed in their first 65 games, the Pistons became only the second NBA team since 1980 to start the same players through all 66 games.


    [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

    Riley changes his tune, gives vote of confidence
    by Michael Cunningham

    New York · For at least one day Heat coach Pat Riley set aside the critiques of his team and gave a confident endorsement of its chances of unseating Detroit in the Eastern Conference.

    Before the Heat played the Knicks on Sunday night, Riley was asked whether he believes the Heat can contend with the Pistons, who won the East title over Miami last spring.


    Heat does it Wade's way
    Riley recognizes changing times, encourages guard to do what he does best.
    by Ira Winderman

    MINNEAPOLIS - To put into perspective how far Dwyane Wade has come, consider where Pat Riley has been.

    The coach of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Bob McAdoo, Patrick Ewing, Tim Hardaway, Jamal Mashburn, Eddie Jones and Alonzo Mourning never has had as prolific a single-season scorer.

    "We realize it would be crazy for us to make a guy of his talent the No. 2 option," O'Neal said, offering the type of concession he never could make to Penny Hardaway in Orlando and only grudgingly could tolerate with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. "If he was playing with the 27- or 28-year-old Shaq then it would probably be different.

    "He's the first option. I'm going to be the second option. Everybody else agrees, and we don't have a problem with that."



    [Miami Herald]


    HEAT NOTEBOOK
    Wade: Team improving
    by ISRAEL GUTIERREZ

    MINNEAPOLIS - It's almost time to pull out the measuring stick again.

    Since beating the Pistons on Feb. 12, the first time this season the Heat beat one of the league's top four teams, Miami has been gaining confidence and piling up wins while playing a relatively weak stretch of the schedule. Currently on a 15-1 run, the Heat will face the Pistons again Wednesday after taking on the Timberwolves tonight at Target Center.

    There's something about facing the Pistons that allows the Heat to evaluate its place in the NBA hierarchy.
     
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Heat bring dormant playoff feel to the Palace

    The Pistons are a very respectable 12-4 since their 100-98 loss to Miami on February 12. But during that same stretch, the Miami Heat are tearing up the league's have-nots at a 14-1 clip.1 Dwayne Wade thinks it has everything to do with that win over the Pistons, a game that saw the [...]


    [BEYOND THE ARC]

    Delfino: In or out?

    In spite of nice improvement shown by second-year forward Carlos Delfino, Pistons coach Flip Saunders remains unsure where the Argentinian...
     
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Pistons not raking in endorsements

    They may be the talk of the NBA, but the Pistons are virtual unknowns on Madison Avenue.

    Unlikely teammates in Orlando

    Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel has a decent article on Darko Milicic — not on how he's adjusting on the court with the Magic, but how he's adapting to one of his new teammates.
    They are Orlando Magic teammates, but they probably never can be friends — not in the truest sense.
    A civil war-torn [...]

    Explaining the Delfino/Evans rotation

    Chris McCosky addresses Carlos Delfino's declining minutes in his Burning Questions feature in today's Detroit News. He goes more in-depth in the actual article, but for the sake of brevity here are the quick answers:
    Q . Can you explain Saunders' reluctance to use Carlos Delfino?
    A . I don't think it's reluctance on his part. I [...]


    [BEYOND THE ARC]

    The impact of stats

    82games.com is a great resource for statistical breakdown of all sorts of NBA categories. While the NBA doesn't keep official...
     
  8. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]​

    Heat fire up Pistons
    "I am just happy to have a game like this against a team that's smoking hot," Chauncey Billups said after the Pistons' short practice Tuesday. "It'll be a good challenge for us and it's a team that we will see down the road, hopefully. But as far as it being a measuring stick, I think we are still everybody's measuring stick."

    Heat haven't shown that they can match up with the Pistons
    The Miami Heat are not the team most think they are. They have not fully come together. They're not as good as they were a year ago. They're not making their surge to the postseason. They're not ready to dethrone the Pistons in the Eastern Conference or win a championship. The Heat are simply doing what most teams do in David Stern's NBA -- gobble up victories over bad teams.

    [Miami Herald]​

    Wade: Team improving
    ''I still think there's two teams that are legitimately ahead of us because they've won championships, and that's San Antonio and Detroit,'' Heat coach Pat Riley said. ``I think Dallas and Phoenix are so much different than we are, and they play more of an unconventional game with their running and the pick-and-rolls and the 7-foot shooting power forwards and centers. But we're there, with New Jersey, Cleveland and a number of other teams.''

    That's where Riley would have placed the Heat even before his team's 15-1 run through February and March. But Dwyane Wade says he has seen definite progress since the Heat beat Detroit last month, and coming back from 13 down in the fourth quarter to win that game had a lot to do with it.

    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Are the Pistons inside Miami's head?
    It looks like, in anticipation of tomorrow's matchup with the Pistons, the Heat have decided to shelve Kazaam for tonight's game against the T-Wolves. (I'll let that sink in for a second…) Now I have read nothing that confirms the Big Lazy is sitting due to Detroit's spot on the schedule tomorrow night. But if this is the case, then we may be seeing the negative effects of tying your confidence to success against one team.

    [Fayetteville Observer]​

    66ers go small to knock off Patriots
    Against the beefier Fayetteville Patriots, Rogers completely abandoned post play Tuesday, inserting a four-guard set that helped the 66ers rally from an 11-point deficit and sprint past the Patriots 120-106 in an NBA Development League game in front of 786 at the Crown Coliseum.

    The 66ers (18-23), who used a full-court press to force 20 turnovers, kept the Patriots off their offensive game by hounding Alex Acker in the backcourt.

    Fayetteville’s only reliable ballhandler with Mateen Cleaves and Darnell Miller still out with nagging injuries, Acker scored 19 points and had seven assists, while playing all 48 minutes .... The loss essentially slammed shut the Patriots’ slim playoff chances. With seven games remaining on their schedule, they are seven games out of the fourth and final spot.

    [Weird game, from the box score. Acker shot 7 for 20, and Amir Johnson fouled out in 19 minutes with 12 points (5-6 shooting) and 6 rebounds. Johnson may have been hindered by a sore ankle reported after the previous game.]
     
  9. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Bill Simmons annoints the Pistons as the team to beat

    Well look who took some time off from his post-All Star break Celtic-love to throw the Pistons a bone. I've been out of touch since last Wednesday, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to respond to Bill Simmons' monthly "Big Picture" column, where he annoints the Pistons as the team with the best chance [...]


    [Need4Sheed]

    Pistons - Heat Preview

    This is, in my opinion a huge statement game as far as the Heat vs. Pistons series goes. With the season series tied at 1 a piece, both teams are looking to get a mental edge with a win. The Palace will be rocking, this game will have a definite playoff game type feel to it. The Heat have been on a roll as of late. The Heat will have a chip on there shoulder going into this one, they feel like they get no respect (from their peers), but the media surely has their back.


    [Detroit Free Press]

    FLAVOR OF LOVE: Chef Loving's menus keep Pistons' Hamilton fueled
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    It's not yet 11 on a Sunday morning, but chef Shawn Loving is up and at it early, his tall white hat sitting high on his forehead, a hustle in his step as he works to prepare a VID. That's a Very Important Dinner.


    PISTONS CORNER: Warming up for Heat showdown
    by GEORGE SIPPLE

    A day before a big game with the Miami Heat, Chauncey Billups was practicing his big shot.

    Billups stroked several consecutive three-pointers at the end of Tuesday's shootaround at the Pistons' practice facility. Afterward, he talked about the Heat, which has won 15 of its last 17 games.


    Working OT with Al Toby

    Quite frankly, we'll watch

    Normally, we wouldn't recommend watching "Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith" unless you have a high tolerance for listening to bombastic chatter.

    But the ESPN2 talk show might be a treat if you're willing to stay up late next week. Smith's guest: Rasheed Wallace.


    KRISTA LATHAM: Delfino doesn't let dropping minutes sag his spirits

    Late at night, long after work should be over, Pistons guard Carlos Delfino likes to sneak into the empty Pistons practice facility for a little extra work.

    No one tells him to do it. And it's not just because his minutes have gone down since the arrival of Tony Delk three weeks ago.

    Delfino shows up out of habit and desire. He wants to get better, and besides, when he played in Argentina, two-a-day workouts were a way of life.


    Central title belongs to the Pistons
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    At halftime, the game seemed as good as over. The Pistons led by 19 points. They'd won 14 straight games at the Palace. And the visitors -- the Atlanta Hawks -- weren't the kind of team that sends shivers through the locker room.

    But these days, the Pistons can't seem to go an entire game without a lull or two. It came Monday night in the third quarter, when the Hawks outscored Detroit by seven and gave themselves a chance to rally and win in the fourth.

    It was a situation coach Flip Saunders had predicted.


    Pistons statistics
    March 22, 2006

    Through Tuesday...


    SOUNDOFF

    Last week we asked Pistons fans what they found most annoying about Heat center Shaquille O'Neal. Here's a sampling of your pet peeves of the Diesel. We'll go on record in saying that he's still a media darling to us.

    * I think Shaquille O'Neal is the most overrated player in the NBA. His name Diesel says it all for the Heat. They are going to Die or Sell with Shaq. -- Gene McKinstry, Birch Run


    ROOKIE DIARY: Alex Acker
    Nothing finer than being in Carolina

    When we last left Pistons guard Alex Acker, he was languishing on the bench with the Pistons. All that has changed since Detroit assigned him to the Fayetteville (N.C.) Patriots in the NBDL. Acker is averaging 17.5 points and 4.7 assists a game and has helped the Patriots win eight of the 10 games since he arrived through Monday.

    It's going really well down here. It's everything I wanted -- just to play and get on the court. There's not a lot going on here in Fayetteville, but I wanted to come to a place where I can just concentrate on basketball. And there's really not that much to do here right now but go to the mall and once you do that, you're basically chilling in your room, watching TV.


    Hot topics

    Anger management

    Thumbs down

    You knew it would come down to this, didn't you? Two more technical fouls, and Rasheed Wallace draws a mandatory one-game suspension. It's time to cringe anytime a call goes against Wallace.


    Pistons planner

    TONIGHT, MIAMI AT PISTONS, 8 P.M., CHANNEL 20 and ESPN: The Heat had gone 15-1 through Monday since beating the Pistons on Feb. 12. The surge gives Miami a nice cushion against New Jersey for the No. 2 seed in the East playoffs. Dwyane Wade has made a career of lighting up the Pistons: He averaged 35 points in two games against Detroit this season.

    FRIDAY, PISTONS AT INDIANA, 7 P.M., CHANNEL 20: The Pacers can't get on a roll and are in danger of falling to a low playoff seed. Ron Artest got a rude welcome when he returned to Indianapolis last week as a Sacramento King. The Pistons' greeting might be a tad warmer, but frosty nonetheless.


    By the numbers

    37th

    Birthday Pistons' big man Dale Davis will celebrate Saturday. He is the eldest on the team.

    12-11

    Pacers' record through Monday since star forward Jermaine O'Neal suffered a torn groin in late January. O'Neal says he's ahead of schedule and could return before the playoffs.

    [The Oakland Press]


    Pistons keep 'D' secret
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Flip Saunders, amateur magician, has a few tricks up his sleeve for Dwyane Wade. When Saunders decides to tug between his wrist and sports coat is the trickiest part of the stunt.

    Barring some tomfoolery in the early playoff rounds, the Pistons and Miami Heat will meet in the Eastern Conference fi nals. Saunders doesn't want to bring out the magic bag too soon and give away his secrets to Heat coach Pat Riley.

    [Booth Newspapers]

    Billups ready to face Heat and their `Mr. Big Shot'
    by Tom Kowalski

    AUBURN HILLS -- Maybe the mind games have already begun.

    In the Miami Heat's recent media package, they have a section titled "Mr. Big Shot," but it's not about the Detroit Pistons' Chauncey Billups, often referred to by that moniker.

    It's about Miami's Dwyane Wade. To make matters worse, the segment details how Wade scored the final 17 Heat points in the 100-98 come-from-behind win against the Pistons in the last game between the teams, on Feb. 12.


    [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

    Next game good gauge
    Pistons wait at home for Heat, Wade
    by Ira Winderman

    MINNEAPOLIS · It has been 51/2 weeks since the Heat has had the opportunity to take measure of itself.

    That's what makes tonight's game in Detroit its most significant since it defeated the Pistons at home 100-98 Feb. 12, and its most significant until the teams meet again April 6 at AmericanAirlines Arena.


    [Palm Beach Post]

    Brown: Heat closing the gap
    by Chris Perkins

    MINNEAPOLIS — Since starting out 37-5, the Detroit Pistons have slowed to a 16-8 record and admitted to an affliction that dogged the Heat.

    They think they can turn it on at any time.

    "We still have the best record in the league, but we're not playing the best basketball in the league right now," Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said. "We have to get back to doing the things we were doing earlier in the season."


    [Washington Post via MSNBC]


    After a cold start, the Heat is rising
    Miami confident Riley's chemistry experiment worked out
    by Michael Lee

    For about four months, the Miami Heat had no idea what it was. A legitimate NBA championship contender? A mismatched collection of individual talents? An aging team with a rapidly closing window? All of the above?

    The team Pat Riley built to beat Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals and possibly win an NBA title looked as if it was going to make the playoffs by default, with the overwhelming talent of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal allowing it to easily win a weak division, but with chemistry issues and health concerns limiting it to being an also-ran in a race with the Pistons.
     
  10. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]​

    Real-time recap: Pistons cool Heat
    [If you missed the game, this is your best starting point: a blow-by-blow accounting of the game, with such highlights as ...]
    Hunter grabs defensive board over Shaq. Hunter, 6-2, not 200 pounds soaking wet, grabs a rebound over Shaq. Seems like all the boards Shaq gets anymore are the ones that just fall to him, which works a lot of the time since he’s so big he forces his way into position. Maybe if they painted the ball to look like a pork chop…

    [MLive.com - Beyond the Arc]​

    Pistons stand their ground
    ...They were deadly when they needed to be, and the Heat were not. And while they may have earned little in the way of style points last night, they served notice that for all their offensive improvement this year, they can still win ugly and lock teams down when they need to.

    [Miami Herald]​

    Down (Heat) and Out (Zo)
    Although most of the Heat players were dejected by the combination of the loss and the injury to Mourning, O'Neal was his usual defiant self. ''We're not impressed with what they so-called did,'' O'Neal said. "It's what we didn't do.

    "We [messed] that game up. And you can put it just like that. We [messed] that game up."

    A tepid rivalry?
    Although the Heat and Pistons have a certain amount of contempt for each other, Mourning said the series lacks the physical confrontations that dominated the Heat-Knicks games, such as when Mourning and Larry Johnson took swings at each other and P.J. Brown flipped Charlie Ward.

    [Palm Beach Post]​

    4th-quarter failure
    Detroit knew exactly what it had to do to defeat the Heat on Wednesday — shut down guard Dwyane Wade and center Shaquille O'Neal. And much to the Heat's chagrin, the defense-minded Pistons did that with relative ease.

    [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]​

    Ira Winderman Blog
    .... Detroit's traps against Dwyane Wade were effective enough to create concern. Thirteen points won't cut it against Detroit. The frustration was apparent. Riley said he needs to get Wade the ball in better scoring position, instead of making the third-year guard constantly having to create his own space.

    Mourning tears calf muscle in Heat loss
    A year ago, Detroit won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals between the teams at AmericanAirlines Arena. This season, the much-anticipated rematch would feature four of the seven games scheduled for the Pistons' home court. And for that, the Heat should be very concerned.

    Wednesday's victory extended Detroit's home winning streak to 16 and left the Pistons without a single home loss this season in regulation time.

    [Foxsports.com]

    Heat lose this round, but best is yet to come
    Depend on Pat Riley to make some significant adjustments next time around; on Shaq to have more stamina come the playoffs; and on Wade to let the game come to him.

    Even so, the Pistons have more go-to scorers than the Heat. More shut-down defenders. More confidence. More resourcefulness. And without a big man clogging the lane — no matter how much damage Shaq may do down there — more flow and variety in their offensive sets.
     
  11. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]

    Pistons seize command
    The Pistons, down by as many as 12 early, never could find their shooting eye but still managed to take control in the second half and grind out an 82-73 victory before the 117th straight sellout at The Palace. It was the Pistons' 16th straight home victory and it reduces the magic number to clinch the best record in the East to six.

    Heat get Pistons' attention and make them sweat a little
    Near as we can tell, the Pistons have only two formidable foes in the Eastern Conference. One is boredom. The other is Miami. When the latter shows up, the former disappears.

    Pistons get the last word
    Bodies, and a few elbows, frequently flew down low, looking like a scene from an old-school Tom Izzo practice. The Heat slowed the game down a lot, using virtually every second on the shot clock in the second half. The stagnation stopped the Pistons from using their transition speed to beat the Heat.

    But the Heat were unable to sustain the intensity. They drooped late in the third and fourth quarters, perhaps worn out by playing their third road game in four nights.

    Starters set record for togetherness
    Before Kelvin Cato could be activated and wear a Pistons uniform for the first time, he had to pass what Flip Saunders calls the Detroit Pistons' SAT.

    "He got a perfect score," Saunders said. "I was fairly impressed with his knowledge of things. Not just the plays, but our philosophy and what we are trying to get accomplished. It was sort of a litmus test to see how much he'd been listening. He's taken in quite a lot."

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Flameproof: Pistons struggle in ugly victory over Heat
    "That's what we have to get back to doing," said center Ben Wallace, who grabbed 10 rebounds. "We said early that regardless of who we're playing against, we have to get back out and establish ourselves on the defensive end, and I thought tonight we made a giant step to getting back to playing that Pistons defense."
     
  12. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Booth Newspapers]

    Pistons rally in second half to beat Heat, 82-73
    Pistons coach Flip Saunders believes pride comes into play when the Pistons play a team as talented as the Heat.

    "You know that if you don't come out, you're going to get embarrassed,'' Saunders said. "It's definitely a game where I think both teams are excited about playing each other.''

    Pistons' starters set consecutive games record
    The Detroit Pistons' starters have played more consecutive games together than any group of starters in NBA history. They showed that cohesiveness when it counted most on Wednesday as the Pistons rallied in the second half for an 82-73 win against the Miami Heat.

    When asked about the streak that now stands at 67 games, Pistons coach Flip Saunders quipped, "It keeps the coaches' blood pressure down. You don't have to worry about who you're starting."

    A. Sherrod Blakely Weblog
    The Pistons are pretty good about calling things the way they see it, but there are some truths they would just as well try and ignore. Like the one about who their best perimeter defender is this season. For the past couple of years, that’s been a pretty easy one to figure out .... But the crown this year has been passed along to the one guy who you’d figure on being the most unlikely player to develop into a pretty good defender: Rip Hamilton.
     
  13. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [ESPN]

    Bill Walton: Shaq strong, but Pistons win
    Now we look forward to the April 6 meeting in Miami. This game gives a push to the Detroit Pistons, who can't be happy. Chauncey Billups told us after the game that he was not pleased how they played. They've got to sharpen it up. McDyess was decent. They need more from the bench guards, Lindsey Hunter, Maurice Evans, Tony Delk.

    For Miami, nothing in the standings, but they showed that for two quarters that with Shaq rolling and everything going right, they certainly have the chance to come in here and unseat what will be the regular season top team in the East, the Detroit Pistons.
     
  14. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    Tony Pizzle concert

    We weren't kidding: Tony Parker, your favorite French rapper, live and in concert. (FYI, you'll want to turn down your speakers… even if you're allowed to listen to music at work.) Link via sportsken

    Bring on the contenders

    Chauncey Billups on the team's recent struggles against some of the league's basement teams:
    "I don't a lot of times enjoy playing those games," he said. "I enjoy playing the games that are 'big' games. Not the games that a team's coming in and they just do whatever they can and are just happy to [...]

    Rasheed said "ship" ? not that other word

    I obviously prefer watching FSN's Detroit Sports Report over ESPN, but it's always kind of bugged me that the DSR is actually broadcast from Seattle — it just seems misleading, and a bit manufactored than how I'd prefer my local sports news to be. Plus, if you've ever had one of those TV packages where [...]

    YAYdetroitbadboys!

    As always, we're here to make YAYsports! life easier.


    [Need4Sheed]

    Bill Walton Is A Tool

    Why does ESPN, an honorable sports broadcasting network, continue to allow Bill Walton, perhaps the most biased and belligerent commentator in the history of professional sports, to anchor NBA games?

    The Pistons Down The Heat 82-73

    The Pistons beat The Heat 82 -73 holding Dwayne Wade to a season low 13 and making it 16 straight wins at The Palace. Now usually I would give a few stats and tell you that Rip shut down Dwayne and Chauncey was yet again Mr. Big Shot putting up 24 with 10 assists and 5 rebounds, but instead I will give you my Miami Heat Rant!


    [BEYOND THE ARC]

    Pistons stand their ground

    Heading into Wednesday night's game against the Pistons, the Miami Heat had won 20 of its last 24 games, and...
     
  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Fox Sports]


    Heat lose this round, but best is yet to come
    by Charley Rosen

    Given the continued health of all their moving parts, is there any question that Detroit and Miami are the two best teams in the East?

    That's why their Wednesday confrontation in Detroit was so enthralling.

    Was the Pistons' 82-73 victory a sign of things to come in the conference finals? If not, what must Miami do to get past Detroit when they inevitably meet in the playoffs?
     
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    Bill Walton is my hero

    Stay with me for a second here.
    For a long time, I was in the camp of the Bill Walton haters. I seethed every time I heard him laud praise upon Kazaam or fall at the feet of Kobe Bryant…I mean, Mamba. I chose to watch games on mute rather than hear his man-love [...]
     
  17. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [The Oakland Press]

    Cato shows playbook knowledge
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Kelvin Cato got handed a test before he got handed a uniform. The Pistons coaching staff gave Cato a pop quiz Wednesday morning, making sure he knew their plays and concepts before activating him for the first time since he was acquired from Orlando last month.

    "We gave him the Detroit Pistons SAT test today," coach Flip Saunders said. "He got a perfect score, a 1400, so that was pretty good. Actually, I was fairly impressed of just his knowledge of everything, not just the plays, but the philosophy of what we're trying to accomplish and do."


    That old Pistons 'D'
    Detroit shuts down Wade, Heat
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Dwyane Wade tried a little bit of everything in a desperate scramble to stick it to the Detroit Pistons once again.

    He faked. He spun. He darted. He moved every which way. He tried to draw contract. He tried to get to the basket. He attempted 15-footers and 3-pointers.


    [Miami Herald]

    Down (Heat) and out (Zo)
    Dwyane Wade was held to 13 points -- less than half his average -- and Alonzo Mourning sustained a torn calf muscle and might miss the rest of the regular season.
    by ISRAEL GUTIERREZ

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - There are wake-up calls, and then there are ice-water-to-the-face, alarms-blazing, kick-in-the-gut, mind-rattling shocks to the system. The Heat's experience against the Pistons on Wednesday was much more of the latter.

    Not only did the Pistons devise a successful game plan to shut down Dwyane Wade and, at times, Shaquille O'Neal, but Miami also lost a key member of its rotation, Alonzo Mourning, likely for a significant amount of time.


    A tepid rivalry?
    by ISRAEL GUTIERREZ

    Shaquille O'Neal played through a sore right thumb for it. Dwyane Wade fought through a sprained right wrist for it. And it was the most anticipated Heat game since, well, the last time the Heat played the Pistons.

    A rivalry? Not yet.

    At least not compared to the Heat's most famous rivalry, the one between Miami and the New York Knicks that began in the late 1990s.

    ''It's not even close,'' Heat backup center Alonzo Mourning said of the Heat-Pistons series compared to the Heat-Knicks rivalry.

    So what's missing?


    [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

    Mourning tears calf muscle in Heat loss
    Wade scores season-low 13 points
    by Ira Winderman

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. · It ended amid dejection for Dwyane Wade, regret from Pat Riley, but even more significantly, pain for Alonzo Mourning.

    Losing 82-73 Wednesday night to the Pistons was agonizing enough for the Heat, especially when it played Detroit on even terms until the midpoint of the fourth quarter.

    But the fallout of the defeat told an even more damaging story.


    [Palm Beach Post]

    4th-quarter failure in Detroit
    by Chris Perkins

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Detroit knew exactly what it had to do to defeat the Heat on Wednesday — shut down guard Dwyane Wade and center Shaquille O'Neal.

    And much to the Heat's chagrin, the defense-minded Pistons did that with relative ease.


    Shaq says his thumb is 'all right'
    by Chris Perkins

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Shaquille O'Neal feared the worst Sunday when he banged his right thumb on the rim and got hacked from behind by Eddy Curry while attempting a dunk against the New York Knicks.

    "I thought it was broken," he said.
     
  18. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Detroit News]​

    Pistons Notebook: There's still work to do
    The Pistons, after a three-week lull, seem to be re-imposing their defensive will. They limited the Hawks to 84 points and the Heat to 73 the last two games .... Their offense, though, continues to sputter. They shot a season-low 34.9 percent against the Heat.

    [Detroit Free Press]

    Pistons Corner: Pacers tougher with O'Neal
    "It'll be a good one, man," Billups said about tonight's game. "It's always a good battle when we play them anyway. They always play so hard when we come to town or when they come here. They've got their whole ballclub back. I know J.O.'s probably not in the best condition, but it should be a good one."

    [Booth Newspapers / MLive.com]​

    Pistons near mark for victories on the road
    Detroit has developed quite an appetite for road foes, with a road win tonight leaving them one victory away from tying the single-season franchise record of 26, set during the 1988-1989 championship season.

    [Indianapolis Star]

    Pacers' task: Quickly get playoff-ready
    The Central Division champion Detroit Pistons come to Conseco Fieldhouse tonight fully intact. Wednesday night, they became the first team to use the same starting lineup for the first 67 games in a season.

    The Indiana Pacers, meanwhile, have used 25 different starting lineups this year and are fighting to secure a playoff spot.

    Pistons just keep churning
    Due to their extended playoff runs, the Pistons have played 311 games the past three seasons. If the fatigue has taken a toll, it doesn't show. Their starting lineup has been together for 67 straight games this season. That's a record dating to 1970, when the NBA began keeping track of such things.

    [NBA.com]

    Strong second quarter lifts Toros over Patriots
    Trailing by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, the Austin Toros used a strong second quarter to build a 17 point lead as they coasted to a 116-101 win over the Fayetteville Patriots Thursday night at the Austin Convention Center. Toros forward Marcus Fizer followed up a D-League season high 44-point performance on Tuesday night with 36 points against the Patriots. He connected on 14-of-23 from the field and had seven rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots. [Acker 9-17, 18 points and 2 assists; Johnson 6-9, 12 points and 4 rebounds]

    NBA Blog: Rodman predicts Spurs to win it all
    Which team will win the NBA title this year? Rodman predicted two of his former teams, San Antonio and Detroit, will advance to the finals with the Spurs eventually bagging the crown. [Check out the latest scheme Rodman's involved in -- a couple of games against Filipino all stars with a team combining American servicemen with Kevin Willis, Calvin Murphy, Alex English, Otis Birdsong and Darryl Dawkins. And don't miss the part about the harem Rodman's dad has going in the Philippines.]
     
  19. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Need4Sheed]

    New Rasheed Wallace Wallpaper

    New Rasheed Wallace Wallpaper located in the Wallpapers section of the website.


    The Realests Love 24 - We Love Sheed

    The Realests are having a "Master of Realety - Jack Bauer Challenge." Each week Jack will go up against a worthy challenger. This week features our guy, RASHEED WALLACE. Check it out and find out who comes out ahead.


    [Beyond the Arc]


    The last one

    I penned the first entry for my version of "Beyond the Arc" on October 18, 2004. Before that, it had...


    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    Breaking and entering

    Rasheed Wallace on the Pistons' success on the road (24-11) this year:
    "I guess it's the will and drive in the guys," said Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace. "I know I've always been one to love going into somebody else's house and beat them up, whipping (their) chops. I guess that's how we all are."

    Random multimedia fun

    There's not much going on in the news today in the wake of Wednesday's win over the Heat and the calm before tonight's storm in Indiana, but we didn't want to leave you with nothing today. If you can get away with it, here's some multimedia for you to pass the time:
    Flip Saunders interview
    MLive.com has [...]

    Darko Milicic's European Vacation

    Another gem from YouTube. I'm not sure what this is from, but I think it's a highlight reel from last summer's European Championship. Yes, the music is a little dramatic for a bunch of soft putbacks and jumpers, but he clearly as a knack for blocking shots. (Note: if the video seems to [...]
     
  20. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Detroit Bad Boys]

    World according to Wizznutzz: Darvin does Manila

    The Wizznutzz are at it again. In their never-ending quest to make Wizards off days more entertaining than Wizards game days, they have cobbled together a semi-fictional (we hope) chronology of former-Piston Darvin Ham's exploits in the Phillipine Basketball Association. By their account, since leaving the Pistons after last season, Darvin has [...]

    Pistons travel to Hooserville

    For those who enjoyed our real-time recap of Wednesday's Miami game, we'll be doing the same thing for tonight's Pacers game. The Pistons won their last meeting with the Hoosiers, but this will be the first time they've seen Jermaine O'Neal since his asinine comments about wanting to see the Pistons in the first round [...]


    [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


    Heat offense, power rotation now have questions
    by Ira Winderman

    Pat Riley went into Wednesday insisting that a solitary game in March could not alter the outlook on a season.

    The Heat's loss to the Pistons came close.

    In the wake of the 82-73 defeat at Detroit, the Heat:

    Suddenly has issues with what had stood as one of the league's deepest power rotations. Backup center Alonzo Mourning is listed as out two to four weeks with what a Thursday MRI showed to be a partial tear of his right calf.

    (roscoe36: This pleases me to no end that the Pistons upset the mental state of the Heat by winning on Wednesday.)


    [The Oakland Press]


    Pistons chasing road record
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - Rasheed Wallace handed out championship belts to his teammates at the beginning of last season as a reward for winning the title in 2004.

    The Pistons won crucial postseason road games in New Jersey, Indiana and Los Angeles to earn the so-called heavyweight crown. They still haven't lost the ability to overcome the most hostile of environments, and Wallace retains that boxer's mentality in those games.

    "I guess it's just the will and the drive in the guys," he said.
     
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