May 2006 Pistons articles *Frequent Updates*

Discussion in 'Pistons Archive' started by LanierFan, May 1, 2006.

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  1. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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  2. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [SI.com]
    STEVE RUSHIN: A Life on the Flip Side
    (Available to Subscribers Only) You never forget your first felony. Mine was mail tampering. As a hoops-crazed 13-year-old, I rifled through a new neighbor's mailbox to confirm that the occupant of the split-level on 98 1/2 Street in Bloomington, Minn., really was former Gophers basketball star Flip Saunders.

    By then, Flip was a 24-year-old coaching prodigy at Golden Valley Lutheran College, where his teams would go four full seasons without losing a home game. Yet he did an extraordinary thing: He invited us to shoot hoops in his backyard.

    It was a concrete half-court overlooked by the luxury suite of a small deck. We called him Flip, and he called us Mike and Rush -- or more accurately, Mike&Rush, a single entity joined by an ampersand, always two feet behind him, like backup singers. We were Flip's Pips.

    On Flip's court, we organized an annual, all-day, two-on-two tournament in which a couple of lucky teenagers (Mike&Rush) got to play with and against NBA players (like Houston Rocket Jim Petersen) at a time when teens and NBA players were not one and the same.

    An aspiring writer with a weakness for wordplay, I suggested we call our shindig the Saunders Hoop Invitational Tournament, whose acronym Flip gleefully scrawled on a piece of white trainer's tape and adhered to the trophy, which he made from a Cool Whip tub and Nerf ball wrapped in aluminum foil.

    And thus was born the SH*T, at which, on June 23, 1984, play was suspended every time Ryne Sandberg, our athletic ideal, hit for the Cubs. On the Game of the Week, against the Cardinals' Bruce Sutter, Ryno hit two game-tying homers that day.

    [Thanks to truehoop.com for the excerpt.]
  3. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    [Yahoo! Sports]
    Steve Kerr: Ask Steve
    From Tom Bailey of Fort Wayne, Ind.: Why have the Pistons gone away from their offensive set where Richard Hamilton runs off of the double-baseline screens? Say what you want about Flip Saunders or the boring offensive sets of Larry Brown, but the Pistons have stopped running their offense through the two guard and made it a team bricklaying contest. I would not be surprised that once Detroit is ousted in this round that Flip Saunders will be, too. Your thoughts?

    Tom, you're absolutely right, the Pistons have gotten away from the dynamic offense they displayed all season. Detroit was very efficient with its ball movement this season, passing for 24 assists per game while turning the ball over fewer than 11 times a night. In the last two games of the Miami series, the Pistons have totaled 25 assists and 24 turnovers. This is a trend that has been developing ever since the beginning of the Cleveland series. Detroit is just not the same team, and a big part of it is the over-dribbling, one-on-one style it is playing.

    The Heat have done a nice job of rotating over to Rip Hamilton on the screens you talked about, but that's to be expected. Every team's strategy in defending Detroit begins with the Hamilton curl play. But when defenses commit to stopping Hamilton, the Pistons' counter play is to hit Rasheed Wallace – who's the screener – either on a roll for a dunk or on a pop for a jumper. Wallace, though, has not been the same player since spraining his ankle against the Cavaliers. And with Detroit struggling offensively, it no longer is able to rely on its defense, which comes and goes.

    All in all, I think the Pistons have lost a lot of confidence at both ends of the floor, and it appears they're going to lose this series. Still, I don't know how Joe Dumars would fire Flip Saunders. He signed a five-year deal, he won 64 games and he did a terrific job all season. How could they fire him for one bad postseason? Besides, who would they hire if they unloaded Saunders? I'd be shocked if he wasn't back next season.
  4. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    [Booth Newspapers]


    Fast start imperative for Pistons
    by Bill Khan

    MIAMI -- The Detroit Pistons' task is pretty straightforward: Win three consecutive games or their season is over.

    It's certainly within the realm of possibility for a team that has had 16 three-game winning streaks this season.

    However, the Pistons haven't done it under these circumstances, with their NBA playoff survival at stake against a team as motivated and talented as the Miami Heat. Trailing the Heat, 3-1, in the Eastern Conference finals, Detroit's quest for three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals could end tonight at The Palace of Auburn Hills.



    Heat seek reversal of celebration scenario
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    MIAMI -- In last year's Eastern Conference finals, the Miami Heat came to The Palace of Auburn Hills for Game 6 needing a victory against the Detroit Pistons to advance to the NBA Finals. They lost that game, and the one that followed back in Miami.

    Tonight, the Heat face a similar opportunity, trying to wrap up a series they lead, 3-1. Miami players remember how the Pistons celebrated on the Heat's home floor in Game 7 of that series.

    And, it wasn't just the players who recall that moment.


    [The Oakland Press]


    It will be a nervous night at The Palace
    by KEITH LANGLOIS

    Almost as intriguing as how the Pistons will respond this time - with their backs more forcefully pressed to the wall than ever before - will be how their fans respond to them.

    What will be the mood inside The Palace tonight if the Pistons again start tentatively, fall behind and flail away as they have for most of this series? How long will a crowd that arrives hopeful but wary stay on the cheery side of the fence if the Pistons again play as dispassionately as they've appeared to play over the last two weeks?


    Saunders gets some support
    by DAVID BIRKETT and PAULA PASCHE

    Flip Saunders' coaching acumen has come under fire as the Pistons' chances of winning an NBA championship have diminished, and at least person in the organization doesn't think it's fair.

    Saunders said Tuesday "some guys" have approached him and apologized for comments for several players made suggesting Saunders could have done more to prevent losses in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.


    Last call?
    Pistons are down to their last chance to get it done or get eliminated from playoffs
    by DAVID BIRKETT

    AUBURN HILLS - The Pistons are down to their last breath, both in this historic season and possibly in their four-year run of excellence, and no one can pinpoint what ails them.

    Offensively, the formerly rejuvenated band of Bad Boys who scored so effortlessly most of the season has struggled to find its rhythm the last two games, passing up open looks, turning the ball over (24 times in games 3 and 4), and shooting miserably from the field (39 percent Monday).
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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