Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivator

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by armygirl, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. armygirl

    armygirl Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Okay, the Pistons are right back where they started at in the fall of 2004. They were serious underdogs and were told that they could not win with the group of toss offs and has beens that Joe assembled. No way would they beat the mighty Lakers/No way can the Pistons go anywhere without Ben Wallace, hear the resemblance, deja vu anyone?

    This year, we will be serious underdogs again and already listed in 6th or 7th place in Power Rankings. Once the sporting magazines comes out next month, I fully expect for us to be sitting below the Heat, Cavs, Nets, and others in the predictions.

    I think this is a very good spot for the pistons to be in. These guys thrive on adversity.
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    The missing ingredient is that these guys were all underrated with the exception of Rasheed. Underdogs or not, they can't fall into believing their own hype.
  3. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I agree, armygirl. I think the Pistons will be okay. I think you meant fall of 2003 (not 2004), by the way.
  4. max

    max All-Star

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    Lets see. At the start of 04 we were talking about 2 2nd year players Prince and Okur as the x-factors. Signed Elden Campbell to replace Cliff Robinson who was traded for Bobby Sura. Traded Curry for Hunter. And of course Darko was about to start his career.

    Its not quit the same thing. The team was hungrier back then and younger.

    Hard to say who the better team was. This years team has less talent perhaps but they are much more experienced. Yes this years Pistons should be motivated. Will it be enough? Depends on a lot of factors that have been discussed in various threads.
  5. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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    I think that the confidence in the coach back then and the amount of experience running a defensive oriented system makes this scenario very different. It would definitely be nice though.
  6. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    90% of the talk will be, how does Nazz fill BBeens shoes? FlipM for Delk should be a wash. Fino for Mo hopefully a wash. I still don't know what's going on with Cato.
  7. hack

    hack First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    Confidence in the coach -- that's a big factor, IMO. The breakdowns and turnovers at the end of games this year, the body language when timeouts called, etc. -- a big part of our composure came from having LB there doing his in-game wizardry thing.
  8. ggazoo69

    ggazoo69 Team Captain Forum Donor

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    If they want to mirror the 2004 Pistons, they will need to make a key acquisition near the trade deadline like they did when they got Sheed.
  9. aurora

    aurora Bench Warmer

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    A key acquisition. Hmmm. Like the Pistons organization coming to terms with the duality of Larry Brown? Great coach/lousy person gets asked to return? Not likely, but that's the only way they will EVER "mirror the 2004 Pistons" again.

    I mean come on they would have to return to their defensive identity to even begin to look like that team. Can this team play great defense under Flip and play in Flip's offense? I don't know. Doubtful, especially with rule changes.

    The underdog motivation. I think that is mostly media hype.However, I don't think the Miami, Cleveland, Chicago teams or players will underestimate this team. They know there are still four 2004 championship winning starters on the Pistons who are going to want to prove they can win without Ben. That's just how champion athletes are.

    So yes, I think the underdog motivation of our Pistons may well work in our favor. But perhaps our guys will be the only ones viewing themselves as underdogs. Underdogs tend to win in part because they are underestimated by more successful teams. Detroit is a too recent champion for any team to dismiss.
  10. Pwn Toney

    Pwn Toney All-Star Forum Donor

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    Besides, this team was able to sneak up on people by doing all the little things. Well, the little things have been tossed out the window in hopes of trying to "flash and dash" they're way back to the top. I just don't see it happening. They don't have the focus to take people out like they used to.

    I saw a lot of shoulder shrugging at the end of losses this year and not much getting angry and getting back. That's what made them great underdogs.
  11. max

    max All-Star

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    Thats a very good point. All the little things was pretty much Ben Wallace. At least up to last season.
  12. hack

    hack First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    Coaches aside, the 2005 and 2006 groups did suffer a very severe version of championship ego bloating. LB was better at compensating for it.

    Interesting about the shoulder shrugging -- it has been strange, this reaction to defeat. They were so damn hard to beat in the previous two years that you'd think getting smashed would elicit a visible reaction, yeah. They went down peacefully. Not sure why.

    Another thought -- I wonder if it might have been better from a motivational standpoint for Flip to have announced that they would shoot for winning 73 games. If he rallied everyone around that goal perhaps the team wouldn't have spent February and March being bored and letting their effort and focus go to %%%%. I guess it would have risked wearing out the players, but more bench play could have compensated for that. And if they didn't end up winning 73, would have possibly provided more motivation for the playoffs.
  13. pass99

    pass99 All-Star Forum Donor

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    Of course they will. It is called professional pride and losing Ben as the biggest story in the NBA should matter. Even though they are in a holding pattern so far this year, they won’t drop much. A lot of sound-and-fury with many teams, but I don’t see much change from last year. Looking closely at the schedule, I just don’t see the Pistons coming under 55 games. I have November as 12-4; December 10-4 with the easiest two months coming up next. Any serious deviation from that and JD will be in a serious trading mood.

    FWIW: In the East I have Detroit, Cleveland and Miami in that order. I can’t believe those who will find this year boring. Many delightful dramas going on.
  14. Dlev59

    Dlev59 Bench Warmer Moderator

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    The underdog role will be a motivating factor for the Pistons this year. However, a point of concern is; the players have to be self motivated because Flip Sr. is a very poor motivator.

    We are talking about professional athletes here and self motivation takes a backseat to a paycheck sometimes. CB will be in a contract year. Will he be motivated? Yes indeed, but will that motivation be to win, or for a fat payday? For the contract he is probably looking for he will not need Flip or anyone else to be in his ear.

    It`s the remaining players that concern me. Will their motivation continue for the entire 2006-2007 season? If Flip sees that edge waning will he step in and address it? I say he will not because that is not his style. Perhaps he will look to CB or Sheed to instill that kick in the arse that might be needed.

    So, will they excel or not, I don`t know. They will certainly try.
  15. hack

    hack First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    I think Flip is helpless in that regard. We'll have to hope the humbled remains of the roster come back ready to regain their edge. I'm sure they will, but I wonder if that's going to be enough. Once Riley shuts down everything Flip is doing in the ECF, motivation isn't going to matter much.
  16. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    The way most people have been posting around here, getting to the ECF would be a great season...
  17. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    That's my standard for this season! :)

    Last year I wrote that I would be happy with a 7th game ECF loss. We were so close! ;) :rofl:
  18. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    If they stay healthy, the Heat are still the team to beat in the East. I'm still holding out for something positive to come out of Ben leaving and some great coaching by Flip Saunders.:fingerscr
  19. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    I think Nazr will be ok, and Dale Davis can team well with Sheed.

    The one thing we can't have this year if there are any serious aspirations are injuries. Arnie Kander is our MVP.
  20. Pckast

    Pckast First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Will the Pistons Excel in the Underdog Role Like in 2004 and Use It As A Motivato

    You cannot keep injuries away forever. And this group has gone a long time without serious injuries. Maybe some minor injuries could be a blessing to this group, Flip has to use his bench more than he really wants to, when this would happen.

    The only knowledge I have of the 2004 championship run is what I saw on the championship-DVD, not much compared to most of the posters on this board.
    The main difference IMO with the present time is, there was no "been there, done that" with the players. It was a new and exciting experience for them. And they were nobody's to the media. That combined was a great motivation.
    These players now have seen the Finals twice, and have been to the Conference Finals four times in a row. They've gone from nobody's to All Stars. They've been there and done it. I don't think the players will see themselves as underdogs ever again. And I doubt the rest of the league will either.

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