Archive for the ‘Detroit Pistons’ Category

When players get paid a lot, the default commentary position switches from pointing out their strengths to emphasizing their failings. Rudy Gay fell victim to this the day he signed a maximum value contract.

It is inevitable — he is being paid the max, but he doesn’t perform like a max player, and nor will he ever. This isn’t just true of fans’ perspectives, but of teams as well. Memphis, unashamedly and understandably on a budget, figured they don’t get enough from Rudy at that cost to make him worth keeping. Conversely, Toronto figure he’s worth the financial commitment. So who’s right?

In light of respective circumstances, possibly both.

Toronto’s small forward rotation has been one of the weakest positional rotations in the league. Landry Fields and Linas Kleiza have been hurt and underwhelming, while Mickael Pietrus has been just plain underwhelming. The position has been manned by out-of-position two guards who can’t defend the spot and shoot too much. Now the Raptors have a two-way fringe star of a player at the spot, for only the cost of two players whose usefulness they couldn’t maximize anyway.

Rudy’s performance this year has been frankly poor, but such is the very nature of apathy — a return to his usual career numbers is certainly plausible. At his best, Gay contributes in every facet of the game. Of course, even at his career apex, Gay’s contract is worryingly close to double the size it should be for a man of his impact. But the amount spent is only of importance if it prohibits future spending. The Raptors’s salary situation is sufficient that this should not be a factor going forward — as such, Gay’s contract, a big issue for Memphis, isn’t the same issue in Toronto. The issue is the impact of the team’s play going forward, and what value was achieved in the deal.

If you concede Jose Calderon couldn’t return to the Raptors next season — and, if you value Kyle Lowry, he couldn’t — he had to be dealt while his value was high. If Jose stays, he and Lowry negate each others value and create a expensive, if talented, logjam that’s destined to end in a ruckus. And, even though Calderon betters any team he is on, there weren’t many suitable suitors. Those who needed him the most didn’t have the pieces. And those who had the pieces didn’t really need him.

Toronto loses this deal if Gay doesn’t return to his best, and if they go forward with a trio of DeRozan, Gay and Bargnani, a highly paid trio that duplicates itself too much and doesn’t defend nearly as well as it should. But considering that Bargnani’s days are increasingly numbered, and in light of the intriguing play of Terrence Ross, there is no reason to believe that is the plan going forward. This trade completes phase one of a multi-part plan for the Raptors to return to the playoffs without tanking. Without pieces two or three in place, it’s hard to judge phase one accurately. In theory, however, Toronto takes forward a core of Lowry, Ross, Gay, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas, with Landry Fields and whatever they get for Bargnani and DeRozan also in the mix. That’s a low-seeded playoff team. For now, that’s a good start.

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Can’t wait for the sequel — “Pistons Fan Puts Old Tayshaun Prince Jersey at Bottom of Drawer Because He Thinks He Might Wear It Again Sometime, Only to Realize It’s Been So Long That He’s Worn It That Now It’s Full of Wrinkles.” It’s a working title, but you get the point.

“I didn’t go to the Draft! So here is my draft night hand shake. 7 months later”Kim English, Detroit Pistons second round pick, upon meeting Moby

(via Zac Dubasik)

Even if he might miss the rest of the season, I hope Rasheed Wallace keeps hanging around the Knicks so we can get little moments like this, where he just quickly walks behind Kyle Singler and yells “North Carolina!” because he bleeds Carolina blue and can’t let a Duke player enjoy his time in the spotlight. Just the best.

(via Courtside Collective)

Ben Gordon in 2009, courtesy of the Daily Mail:

‘I don’t have any regrets, and I don’t have any bitter feelings for the Bulls,’ Gordon said. ‘Business is business. I’m going to a situation now where winning is the number one priority. I’m happy with my decision.

Ben Gordon in 2013, courtesy of the Detroit News:

Gordon, 29, didn’t shy away from assessing his three years as a Piston, terming it “a failure.”

“Yeah, because when I came here, it was — is — a great, storied organization,” he said. “I had visions of going to the playoffs and things of that nature.

“We didn’t make it while I was here and that was disappointing to me. We had the talent, but for some reason we were never able to reach that goal of being one of the better teams in the East.”

In the three years that Ben Gordon spent with the Detroit Pistons, his team won 52 games. During those same three seasons, the Chicago Bulls won 153. That’s a one Pistons win every Bulls three wins average, to paraphrase Jay-Z in the most awkward and useless way possible.

Not to mention, Gordon’s three years in Detroit double as his three worst seasons in terms of points per 36 minutes average, PER and usage rate. Basically, that means he played the worst he ever has while getting fewer opportunities than he ever has, all while functioning as one of his team’s three highest paid players. In other words, very cool for everyone involved.

Of course, now that he’s a Bobcat, Ben Gordon probably looks back on his Detroit days with longing in his heart. Can’t wait to read his quotes in three years.

The Detroit Pistons are dead last in home attendance and sell a whopping 15 percent less of the Palace’s seats than any other team in the league sells of their arena’s seats. But all that changes tonight (probably not), as they’re going to lure every nerd from age 16-60 in the midwest to their thriller against the Hawks.

How are they going to do this? The Force. Via Pistons.com:

“Star Wars Night” is back at The Palace of Auburn Hills this Friday, Jan. 4 when the Detroit Pistons play the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m.!

Billy Dee Williams – or Lando Calrissian to fans of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – will sign autographs during “Pistons Power Hour” from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Palace North Pavilion as part of “Friday Night Out,” presented by Buffalo Wild Wings.

Lando will be joined by Chewbacca, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Jedi Knights and – from the dark side, Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers – throughout the evening. The Pistons’ Star Wars-themed halftime show will also feature Star Wars video footage courtesy of Lucasfilm and a performance from our Pistons Entertainment teams.

Star Wars-themed food and cocktails, like the Darth Burger and the Yodatini (Hint: It’s green!), will be available for purchase in the North Pavilion throughout the game.

Oh man, Billy Dee Williams (age 75) and Yodatinis? Sounds wild. And there are going to be a whole bunch of people wandering around in costumes? Should be a very fun environment, so sign me up.

And hey, if this works and people actually go to a Pistons game, why not go for a famous movie promotion every night? A “Titanic Night” where a string quartet never stops playing could be very successful, and an “Avatar Night” where everyone plugs their USB cords in to each other’s heads sounds brilliant. I’m no marketing expert, but this is a team that needs to draw some fans, so anything helps. And if no one shows up, just call that game “John Carter Night” because no one will know the difference.

Great video, better cause, so this is 100 percent the best. High-fives to all these kids.