October/November 2005 Pistons Articles

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  1. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    October 29th

    The Detroit news -

    Pistons prepared for season
    Associated Press

    Wally Szczerbiak scored 22 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves over the Detroit Pistons 96-92 in their final preseason game on Friday night.
    Maurice Evans had a game-high 24 points to lead Detroit, including 17 in the second quarter as the Pistons built a 54-44 halftime lead.

    The Detroit Free Press -

    PISTONS' EXHIBITION SEASON REPORT: Now we know
    Team answers questions about Darko, Flip, depth
    by Krista Latham

    The Pistons' exhibition season ended Friday night in an unlikely place.
    Far from the typical bright lights of NBA cities, the Pistons closed the month of meaningless results with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves just miles from the shadows of Mt. Rushmore, the greatest achievement in American ... rock chiseling?

    Pistons finish 4-4 preseason
    Top players sit out loss to T'wolves
    by Krista Latham

    If Carlos Arroyo or Maurice Evans needed extra confidence entering the regular season, they got it Friday night.
    Wary of injuries, Pistons coach Flip Saunders kept his top six players on the bench throughout most of a 96-92 exhibition loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess didn't play, and Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton sat before halftime.
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Day Late Entry, from Hoopsworld Oct 28th

    Motown Soundtrack: The Composer

  3. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    October 30th

    The Detroit news -

    Goals are met, players healthy
    Saunders likes status of his team entering regular-season opener Wednesday vs. 76ers.
    By Chris McCosky

    Don't let the modest 4-4 record fool you. By just about every measure, the Pistons got from the exhibition season what first-year coach Flip Saunders wanted.

    "I think we have met our objectives," Saunders said. "I think our main guys are playing well. I thought the last two games, when they were playing together they were very sharp. We wanted them to get comfortable with what we are trying to do, and I think they have.

    The Oakland press -

    McDyess yearning for a championship
    By DANA Gauruder

    Whenever any Pistons regulars feel pangs of regret or disappointment about the way last season ended, they can always take their 2004 championship rings out of safe keeping. Well, almost all of them.
  4. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

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    sucks for dice. he has another great chance though.
  5. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    Newsday:
    The Central Division is where it's at this season, replacing the Southwest as the most interesting division in the NBA, not to mention the best.


    Central Stuff
  6. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    Maybe a trade to clear the roster spot?
    Detroit News:

    "There are different options on the table and different reasons to keep both guys," Dumars said. "We are trying to work through them. We will have something done in the morning."
    It sounded like the Pistons were trying to work some kind of trade, probably involving Dupree for a future draft pick.

    Det News article
  7. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    October 31st (Happy Halloween!)

    The Detroit news -

    It might be a bull market for Wallace
    Chicago will have the money and could target Pistons' burly center as free-agent acquisition.
    By Chris McCosky

    Keep your eyes on the Chicago Bulls.
    Not so much during the season, because they are going to struggle. Losing Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis has left them barren in the middle, and that's death in the newly fortified Central Division.
    But keep your eyes on them next July, when they take the $20 million in cap space they will have and start wooing free agent Ben Wallace.
    The Bulls were a playoff team with Eddy Curry in the middle. With Wallace, they could be a title contender.

    Prince will get a five-year deal
    Forward agrees in principle to the contract extension that will pay him about $48 million.
    By Chris McCosky
    Tayshaun Prince is in, and, from the looks of things, Ronald Dupree might be out.
    The last two pieces of unfinished business will be cleared up today, as the Pistons prepare to open the regular season on Wednesday against the Sixers.

    Basketball 101: NBA Development League

    By Chris McCosky
    The NBA Development League (NBDL) is opening its fifth season on Nov. 18, but this is the first year that its teams (eight of them this season) have direct affiliations with NBA teams.
    The minor-league system was put in place with the new collective bargaining agreement signed last summer, and the ultimate goal is to have 30 NBDL teams, one for each NBA franchise.

    Quick hits
    by Chris McCosky

    The Detroit Free Press -

    Dumars: Prince's deal all but done
    by Krista Latham

    By midnight tonight, barring an unforeseen setback, Tayshaun Prince should be wrapped up.
    Pistons team president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said he and Prince's agent, Bill Duffy, have agreed in principle on a five-year deal worth from $45 million to $50 million.

    The Oakland press -

    Pistons set to extend Prince's deal
    by Dana Gauruder

    Joe Dumars and Tayshaun Prince can breathe a sigh of relief heading into the Pistons' season opener Wednesday.
    After months of negotiations, the Pistons reached an agreement in principle with Prince to extend the fourthyear forward's contract. Though terms were not disclosed, the five-year extension is believed to be worth approximately $47.5 million.

    Booth newspapers -

    Pistons, Prince reach agreement on contract extension
    By A. Sherrod Blakely
    The Detroit Pistons and Tayshaun Prince have reached an agreement in principle on a five-year contract extension that's believed to be worth about $48 million.
    Joe Dumars, Detroit's president of basketball operations, confirmed Sunday night that an agreement had been reached.
    "(Today), we just have to put the contract together," Dumars said.
  8. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 1st

    The Detroit news -

    Prince is happy to stick around
    Swingman Dupree traded to Timberwolves for second-round pick; Acker makes the team.
    By Chris McCosky

    Know this up front: Had Tayshaun Prince put himself in the free-agent market, even in a restricted capacity, he would have been offered a deal considerably larger than the five-year extension worth just over $47 million he signed with the Pistons about 4:30 p.m. Monday.
    But, at the tender age of 24, Prince understood that whatever additional money he might have made wouldn't have bought him the comfort, security and success he has had with the Pistons.

    Visit by Pistons cheers sick kids
    Halloween appearance at Children's Hospital is also showtime, and team trots out its best actors.
    By Joanne C. Gerstner

    The laughter was everywhere, echoing through the halls at Children's Hospital of Michigan.
    The Pistons acted like goofy kids Monday afternoon, and the pint-size patients responded in kind.
    It's not fun to be sick on Halloween, and it's even more of a bummer to be in a hospital.

    The Detroit Free Press -

    Prince, Pistons finalize extension
    Forward Dupree sent to Minnesota
    by Chris Silva

    Tayshaun Prince will be here for a while, and forward Ronald Dupree is already out the door.
    Prince signed a five-year contract extension worth $48 million Monday, making him the third-highest-paid player on the Pistons' roster. The contract includes close to $15 million in performance-based bonuses, a person close to the negotiations said.

    Hamilton gives the Wheel a spin

    In mid-September, Pistons guard Richard Hamilton went on a shopping spree of sorts, buying as many vowels as he could.
    He was all about the big money.
    Hamilton was one of 15 NBA players who participated in NBA Week on the syndicated "Wheel of Fortune" game show. The taped episodes are airing this week (Hamilton's round is scheduled for 7 p.m. today on Channel 4 in Detroit)

    The Oakland press -

    NBA tries to dress for success
    Spurs are favored to defend their title, but Pistons are still among the top contenders
    by Dana Gauruder

    The most memorable event from last season was called obscene. This season starts off with a question that sounds like an obscene call. What are you wearing? That's what the NBA's league offi ce wants to know when their highestpaid employees walk in and out of the arena, head to the team bus or sit on the bench out of uniform. The new dress code, which goes into effect when the regular season begins tonight, has dominated the discussions about the league during training camp.

    Dupree traded to T'wolves
    Pistons get second-round pick; lock up Prince for five more seasons
    By Dana Gauruder

    Just two nights before Flip Saunders' regular-season debut as the Pistons' head coach, one player found a new home with Saunders' former team.

    New deal for 'Big Ben' is not so easy
    by Keith Langlois

    Joe Dumars managed a basketball team whose future looked murky even before Grant Hill high-tailed it out of town on Independence Day 2000. He took some unknown named Ben Wallace in return, and the Pistons' renaissance began. We weren't even sure who the prize was: Ben Wallace or Chucky Atkins?

    Joe D knows none of what has been accomplished on his remarkable watch would have happened if not for the proud man with the blacksmith's arms who anchors the NBA's most imposing frontcourt.

    Booth newspapers -

    Rasheed a changed man, with something to prove
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Rasheed Wallace is a changed man.
    He's still one of the more fiery players in the NBA. Heck, he might as well cut a blank check to commissioner David Stern now and have him fill it in at the end of the season for all the technical fouls Wallace will get this season.
    The change he has undergone is the kind that all great players undergo after they came up short in a big game or playoff series.

    Saunders confident he's what Pistons need right now
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Bodies are sprinting up and down the Detroit Pistons practice court non-stop. There is dribbling and shooting, followed by more dribbling and more shooting.
    The only bad shots taken seem to be the ones that don't go in the basket.

    "Practice is a little different now," said Pistons guard Richard Hamilton.

    So is the new head coach, Flip Saunders.

    Pistons send Dupree to Timberwolves
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The Detroit Pistons were pleased with the way Ronald Dupree played in the preseason.
    He scored, rebounded, did everything the Pistons were looking for.
    In the end, however, it still wasn't enough as the Pistons traded the 6-foot-7 forward to Minnesota for a future second-round pick on Monday.

    Pistons glad for low expectations from others
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Basketball pundits have given the Detroit Pistons exactly what they want heading into the regular season -- low expectations.
  9. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 2nd

    The Detroit news -

    NBA season preview

    The Detroit Free Press -

    NBA season preview

    Booth Newspapers -

    Saunders hopes to add to superb opening-game record
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    For the first time in nearly a decade, Flip Saunders will open an NBA season coaching a team other than the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Putting his past behind him won't be a problem.

    The real challenge for Saunders and the Detroit Pistons tonight will be to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers, one of several Eastern Conference teams looking to close the gap between themselves and the Pistons.
  10. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 2nd (cont.)

    The Oakland press -

    [​IMG]

    Pistons open season tonight
    By Al Elvin

    Before the Detroit Pistons take the floor tonight at The Palace against the Philadelphia 76ers to open yet another season, there will be a familiar wrinkle.

    The team will raise another banner to the rafters, albeit, this time, the flag will not say World Champions.

    Pistons want to avoid another slow start

    By Dana Gauruder

    For the second straight opening night, the Pistons have a banner to unveil. But this one doesn't have quite the same meaning.
    Though the Pistons take a lot of pride in being Eastern Conference champions two years running, the only banner that carries true meaning to them is the one that proclaims them as world champions. Their latest quest begins tonight, when the Pistons ring in the new season against Philadelphia, the team they eliminated in the opening round of last spring's playoffs.

    Magic man Flip aiming for first title
    By Dana Gauruder

    Flip Saunders has something up his sleeve. It could be an offensive wrinkle to make the Pistons less predictable. "He's like a Steve Spurrier," Rasheed Wallace said. "He wants to get those points up there on the board." It could be a zone look that catches the opposition off guard. "Our defense is going to remain one or two in the league,"
    Chauncey Billups said. Or it could be a coin or a string of handkerchiefs. Saunders, the Pistons' new head coach, has studied and performed magic tricks since he was 17, around the time he was considered Ohio's top prep basketball player.
  11. webz

    webz All-Star Snub Administrator 2x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    nice photo. if you didn't know who any of these guys were you'd probably think Ben was the PG. :P
  12. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 3rd

    The Detroit news -

    Ben: My heart is here
    Forward, eligible to become a free agent after season, won't let contract affect his game.
    By Chris McCosky

    If he has his way, Ben Wallace, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, will finish his career as a Piston.
    "I came here and played the best basketball of my career here," he said before the season opener Wednesday night against the 76ers. "This team, this organization opened their arms up to me and let me come in at a time when probably only a couple of other teams would have. The Pistons stepped up to the plate.

    "There is no question where my heart is at."

    No offense, but Rasheed must look for his shot
    By Rob Parker

    There are few players more team-oriented than Rasheed Wallace.
    Wallace easily could command a certain number of touches of the basketball a game and expect to score 15-18 points a night.
    But that's not his way. He is about winning. The other stuff, he says, will take care of itself.
    Wallace, though, is vital to the Pistons in their quest to reach the NBA Finals for a third straight season. They can get more out of him, and, as much as the Eastern Conference has improved, they'll need it.

    Pistons still can click, even with differences
    By Bob Wojnowski

    It was different, slightly different. For one, the pregame ceremony was shorter, the applause was muted and there were no rings involved. The unfurled banner -- Eastern Conference champions -- was nice, but not worth a parade.

    Fast out of the gate
    Hamilton flips switch on Pistons' offense into high gear to give Saunders an easy victory in his debut.
    By Chris McCosky

    Before the game, coach Flip Saunders told Chauncey Billups, "You know, I've never lost an opener."
    He hadn't. He won 10 straight openers with the Timberwolves.
    "Well, you aren't going to start tonight," Billups said.
    He didn't.

    The Detroit Free Press -

    Savor the Big Five while there's time
    by Mitch albom

    Rip wore the mask, Rasheed argued with the refs, Tayshaun made several gravity-defying moves, Chauncey had the sweat pouring down the back of his neck and Ben -- well, Ben was Ben, except when he uncharacteristically took the microphone before the game and welcomed the fans back "on behalf of my teammates." And he seemed to want to continue talking, but then he stopped and abruptly punched the air instead. The crowd cheered. A fist is worth a thousand words.

    Some flaunt, some flout dress code
    Pistons and 76ers strut back to work


    Down the concrete catwalk the players strutted, wearing custom-made suits, bomber jackets and spiffy kicks.

    They made their way through the players' entrance at the Palace and past a throng of cameramen, photographers and reporters -- standing in for the executives you'd usually see at a fashion show -- all of whom eyed the players up and down, on the lookout for anyone who dared defy the new NBA dress code.

    After a quiet camp, Big Ben peals forth
    by Krista Latham

    For the past month, Pistons center Ben Wallace has kept a low profile.
    He declined media requests. He promised he'd get to the pen-yielding, microphone-grasping posse later. He smiled to himself as he sauntered in the locker room, sans comment on the new coach, his new teammates or getting back to the Finals.
    Was it media hatin'? Was he hiding something?
    No. It was just Wallace getting readjusted to life in training camp.

    No worries with new-look Pistons
    Darko's got bite, Billups no ball hog
    by Michael Rosenberg

    The Pistons opened their season Wednesday night, and within a few minutes your worst fear was realized: Without Larry Brown to keep him in check, the point guard quickly hoisted five shots and made only one.
    OK, so it was Allen Iverson. The other post-Larry point guard, Chauncey (Mr. Big Pass) Billups, had five assists in the first quarter.

    Banners, boos and an early dose of Darko
    Opening night highlights at the Palace

    Hamilton scores 37 as Pistons open season with a rout
    by Krista Latham.

    Welcome to Pistons basketball, version 2006: It's faster, flashier and more efficient than previous models!
    At least it looked that way after the Pistons zoomed to a 108-88, season-opening victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at the sold-out Palace.

    The Oakland press -

    Big Ben is not looking to leave Detroit
    by Dana Gauruder

    Breathe easier, Pistons fans. Though Ben Wallace becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season, he has no intention of skipping town.
    Wallace feels a sense of loyalty to the organization and president of basketball operations Joe Dumars, who offered him a six-year, $30 million contract during the summer of 2000 when he was a little-known free agent in Orlando.

    Let 'er Rip!
    Hamilton scores 37 as Pistons run to easy win in Saunders' debut
    by Dana Gauruder

    New boss, same as the old boss.

    The Pistons did not look any different in their season opener with Flip Saunders as head coach instead of Hall of Famer Larry Brown. On a night when the 2005 Eastern Conference championship banner was unveiled, the Pistons out-hustled, out-worked, outsmarted and simply outplayed Philadelphia to make Saunders a 108-88 winner in his Detroit head coaching debut at The Palace Wednesday night.

    Pistons still know how to win
    By Keith Langlois

    Somewhere, Larry Brown was smiling. OK. Maybe not. But if he wasn't otherwise occupied with another NBA team, and if he wasn't helplessly self-absorbed, and if he hadn't agreed to coach a dysfunctional franchise that will require every ounce of his genius and tweak each of his many neuroses, LB would have enjoyed this.

    OK. Maybe not.

    Booth Newspapers -

    Wallace enters season in top form, not concerned with contract
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Ben Wallace spent most of training camp in silence, quietly going about the process of getting to know his new teammates, and of course, his new head coach, Flip Saunders.
    It's he regular season now, which is when Ben Wallace usually has a lot to say.
    Unlike some NBA players, Wallace lets his talent speak for itself which is exactly what he did in Detroit's 108-88 season-opening win over Philadelphia on Wednesday.

    Hamilton's 37 leads Pistons past Sixers 108-88 on opening night
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The Detroit Pistons were handing out Ben Wallace figurines before Wednesday night's season-opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. But it was another Piston - Richard Hamilton - who gave those in attendance something to remember.
  13. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 4th

    The Detroit news -

    Saunders impressed with up-and-coming Celtics
    Coach wants to control tempo, stress defense against starters, who are effective from perimeter.
    By Chris McCosky

    If the goal, as stated by Richard Hamilton, is to "go out and make a statement early," it would behoove the Pistons to buckle up for games tonight at Boston and Saturday against Toronto.

    After those games, the Pistons will play 11 of their next 15 on the road, including at Sacramento, Phoenix and Portland next week.

    The Detroit Free Press -

    Opening-night play pleases Flip
    by krista Latham

    Hours after the high of beating Philadelphia, 108-88, on opening night, Pistons coach Flip Saunders popped in a game tape and did what coaches do best -- he started looking for things to work on.
    He had some trouble finding them.

    The Oakland press -

    Pistons off to a running start
    by Dana Gauruder

    Using the season opener as a barometer, Richard Hamilton will challenge for the scoring title, Chauncey Billups might lead the league in assists and the Pistons could change their nickname to the Motor City Suns.

    Booth Newspapers -

    Pistons showed offensive prowess in opener
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    There's little doubt that the Detroit Pistons are going to score more points under new head coach Flip Saunders.
    His offensive system involves more movement, which creates more scoring opportunities for the Pistons and more headaches for their opponents.

    If dealing with Detroit's tough defense wasn't enough, teams like tonight's opponent, the Boston Celtics, must now cope with an offensive unit that may be among the league's best this season.

    The Grand Rapids press -

    Pistons begin new season eager to prove themselves
    By David Mayo

    They loved Larry Brown. They miss him every day.
    And they are eager to prove this wasn't all his doing.

    For everything the Pistons achieved during Brown's two-year coaching pit stop here, with two NBA Finals appearances and a world championship, he deserves credit.

    Just don't overdo it.
  14. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 4th (cont.)

    The Grand Rapids press

    Kelser won't count out Pistons even if others will
    by Brian Vanochten

    The national media strikes again.

    On TNT and ESPN, the talking heads proclaim it's a two-team showdown for Eastern Conference supremacy between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers to see which title contender ends up meeting the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals this season.

    Hello?

    Don't forget about the Detroit Pistons.
  15. jammertime

    jammertime Starter 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Fine with me. Let em forget about us. The Pistons play better with a chip (and hopefully now a Flip) on their shoulders!
  16. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 5th

    The Detroit Free Press -

    R.I.P., CELTICS: Hamilton stuns Celtics at buzzer
    by Krista Latham

    Well, they can't all be pretty.

    But sometimes ugly is just as exciting.

    Two days after a show-stopping performance in a season-opening victory, the Pistons -- on the strength of Richard Hamilton's buzzer-beating shot -- edged the Boston Celtics, 82-81, on Friday.

    Rip used to All-Star snub
    by Krista Latham

    Two years ago, Richard Hamilton wondered what he'd have to do to make the NBA All-Star Game.

    The way the Pistons shooting guard saw it, he was the highest-scoring player on one of the best teams, a team that would go on to win the NBA title in 2004.
    But the 2003-04 game came and Hamilton had no invite.
  17. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 6th

    The Detroit news-

    Former Piston James has been on the move
    Since 2004 title, guard has signed with Bucks, been traded to Rockets, who sent him to Raptors.
    By Chris McCosky

    Lindsey Hunter, taking a pause from his pre-game rehabilitation session with physical therapist Arnie Kander, was told that his former teammate Mike James was in the house and had said hello.

    "Tell Mike James when I see him I am going to punch him in the mouth," Hunter said, his laughter belying any malice in his words.

    James only wore the Pistons colors for four months, but it was a memorable run, culminating in a championship in 2004.

    Pistons push cruise control
    They turn game against winless and disjointed Raptors into mismatch early and improve to 3-0.
    By Chris McCosky

    It's early yet, so nobody's getting too excited, but one thing is certain about these Pistons.
    If their opponent has a weakness, they will find it and they will exploit it again and again. And if the opponent has multiple weaknesses, as the Toronto Raptors obviously do, well, get ready for a long night.

    Booth newspapers -

    Pistons cruise early, roll past Raptors
    By Danny Knobler

    One minute, the Detroit Pistons coach called his team an offensive work in progress. The next minute, or the next 12 minutes, the Pistons had as good an offensive start to a game as a team can have. They scored 38 first-quarter points Saturday night, and coasted to a 117-84 win against Toronto at the Palace.
  18. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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  19. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 7th

    The Detroit news -

    Tough tests await on Western swing
    By Chris McCosky

    Let's be honest: as well as the Pistons have looked in their first three victories -- especially the two at home -- they haven't exactly defeated any top-tier teams.

    Boston and Toronto almost are certain lottery candidates, and Philadelphia is, at best, a bubble team.
    Credit the Pistons for taking care of their business and getting off to their fastest start since the lockout-shortened 1999 season, but don't lose perspective.

    Basketball 101: Inside the CBA
    By Chris McCosky

    For the most part, reading the laws and clauses in the new collective bargaining agreement can be as tedious and frustrating as trying to read the last sentence of James Joyce's "Ulysses."
    But, as with Joyce, if you stay with it, there are rewards at the end.

    Slam dunks
    by Chris McCosky

    Boozer has become a bust for the Jazz
    Injuries keep $70 million forward on sideline
    By Chris McCosky

    What in the name of soaring medical costs is going on with this league?
    It's been one serious injury after another, and the season isn't even a full week old.

    The Detroit Free Press -

    Team flexing its offensive muscle
    by Chris Silva

    Flip Saunders is impressed.
    The new-look offense has been on a tear. And that gritty defense hasn't gone anywhere. It has made the transition to coaching a new team that much easier.
    The Pistons are 3-0 in the Saunders era, and while the personnel has basically remained the same, the means of production has been much different.

    Booth newspapers -

    Pistons face test on trip West
    By Danny Knobler

    One week in, the Detroit Pistons are undefeated. And also, to a certain extent, untested.
    They're 3-0, against three teams that are a combined 2-8. They're 3-0, and no one's complaining, but wouldn't it be nice to see them play someone good?
  20. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    November 8th

    The Detroit news -

    Evans returns to his roots
    Guard will celebrate 27th birthday while going up against his ex-Kings teammates.
    By Chris McCosky

    Maurice Evans probably hasn't checked, but the two guys the Sacramento Kings decided to replace him with -- Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia -- have combined to produce 20 points and six rebounds through three games.
    Evans, who signed with the Pistons in August, has 25 points and nine rebounds in three games.

    The Detroit Free Press -

    Sacramento, ARCO await beast from the East
    by Chris Silva

    Now comes the first big test. The Pistons' 3-0 start is nice. But they will play their next three games out West, starting tonight against the Sacramento Kings.
    The Kings (1-2) haven't exactly bolted out of the gate, but the Pistons haven't won at Sacramento since 1996, and ARCO Arena, dubbed the loudest arena in the league, surely will be rocking for the Kings' home opener.

    The Oakland press -

    Pistons open first West Coast swing
    by Dana Gauruder

    A familiar weather pattern typically greets the Pistons when they trek to the West Coast early in the season. It's sunny and pleasant outdoors, stormy and slick inside.

    They had better have packed a few extra outfi ts this week. The early forecast for their three-game trip goes like this: Sacramento today, partly cloudy and breezy, high 65; Phoenix on Thursday, sunny skies, high 78; Portland on Friday, showers, high 50.

    Booth Newspapers -

    Off to solid start, Arroyo already shedding label
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    If only NBA labels were as easy to discard as those you find on the back of t-shirts.
    A simple yank and you have a label-free garment. However, NBA players have found that getting rid of labels requires great effort on their part, in an attempt to prove themselves.
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