Blogs > Pistons' Point

An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Monday, November 26, 2007


There have been some suggestions lately that maybe the
Pistons should experiment with Rip Hamilton in a sixth
man/Vinnie Johnson Microwave role.
Forget about it.
"That's not even an option," Flip Saunders said
Hamilton has not played well this season and hasn't
reached the 20-point mark the last five games. He's
also been turnover prone.
Saunders attributes that to Hamilton being out a
majority of the preseason with an ankle sprain, then
missing time for the birth of his son. The last few
games, Hamilton has played despite being under the
"If a guy has been healthy and play, that's
different," Saunders said. "When a guy hasn't been
healthy, now all of a sudden you're making adjustments
when you don't need to."
Perhaps, but when he is healthy, he's going to have to
make some adjustments in his game. If you recall, he
slumped at the end of last season when Chris Webber
joined the lineup.
The Pistons are using another scoring big man, Antonio
McDyess, in that spot this season. Tayshaun Prince's
offensive game has evolved to the point where he needs
to be more than the fifth option. And Rasheed Wallace
has played inspired ball.
That means Hamilton will have to make some sacrifices,
take fewer shots and be more of a decoy to gain
maximum efficiency from this group.
Other developments in practice Monday:
Wallace, who has been out the last two games with a
sore knee, practiced on the limited basis. He should
play Wednesday against Cleveland.
Rodney Stuckey still isn't allowed to have a contact,
but there's a chance he could make his season debut as
early as this weekend.
Also, trainer Mike Abdenour's technical on Sunday was
assessed by Marc Davis, not Bennett Salvatore. Davis
was also the official who tossed Saunders in Utah's
10-point win at The Palace.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Early observationis about this year's Pistons:
1. Going 6-4 in the first 10 games wasn't bad,
considering eight were on the road and two of their
starters missed time on the West Coast trip. But
losing the last two while getting outplayed in the
second half by mediocre teams (Lakers, Kings) siphoned
away most of the juice from their quick start. They've
got to be able to finish games, whether or not they're
2. Rasheed Wallace has been their best player,
probably the only one playing at an All-Star level.
He's showing no signs of decline at this stage of his
career. When he's got the energy and the desire, he's
still one of the league's best interior defenders. And
no one can stop him one-on-one in the low post when he
sets up shop there.
3. Jason Maxiell is perfectly suited for a major bench
role but it's hard to see him ever becoming a viable
starter in the league. That point was reinforced the
past few games with Antonio McDyess out. He's just too
foul prone to stay on the court for long stretches.
4. Richard Hamilton was the team's best player during
the first half of last season but he hasn't found his
shooting groove yet and he's still getting frustrated
too often by clutching-and-grabbing tactics.
5. Cheick Samb can actually contribute. He really
wasn't supposed to play at all but Flip Saunders got
desperate with McDyess out. Samb showed he wasn't
afraid to mix it up and he can block a lot of shots. I
still think he needs significant time in the NBDL this
season to develop his game.
6. It will interesting to see what happens to Flip
Murray when Rodney Stuckey comes back from his injury.
Murray has been pretty solid as Chauncey's backup and
he's really best at his best going to the basket,
something he didn't do enough last season. Stuckey's
game is predicated on frequent trips to the basket, so
if Murray slides to shooting guard, he'll have to
become more of a jump shooter, which makes him less

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I'm here in Chicago for the Pistons' game tonight and
I'm not really surprised by the Bulls' 0-4 start. The
Kobe trade talks and contract situations of Deng and
Gordon were bound to affect that team, at least in the
The numbers that really grab me are this - 6 in 117.
The first is the amount of defensive rebounds Ben
Wallace has made, the second is his minutes. That used
to be the amount he'd get in a half, or sometimes a
quarter. He's EIGHTH on the team in that category!
To be fair, Ben has been playing with a sore ankle.
But he used to post close to his usual numbers while
playing with nagging injuries all the time in Detroit.

Guys like Deng, Gordon and Hinrich will come around.
The biggest dilemma for Bulls coach Scott Skiles is
what to do with Wallace, who has become a $60 million
albatross for Chicago's franchise. Wallace used sheer
will, great instincts and wondrous athleticism to
become the league's most dominant defender. He's lost
some of that athleticism, and without it, he's no
longer a special player.
The Bulls have young, frontcourt colts like Tyrus
Thomas and Joakim Noah chomping at the bit for more
PT. Does Skiles go with the young guys or stick with
the team's highest-paid player? Skiles' decision on
that topic could determine how far Chicago goes this

Friday, November 2, 2007


The Pistons staff thought Richard Hamilton would be
back in time for tonight's game against Orlando but
he's still in Michigan. His girlfriend gave birth to
his son on Wednesday. Rip will return for Sunday's
home opener but Arron Afflalo will get his second
straight start tonight.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The Pistons didn't bring their starting shooting guard
to Miami for their opener Thursday night. Richard
Hamilton stayed home to attend to a personal matter.
He might rejoin the team Friday for its game at
Arron Afflalo is the surprise choice to start in his
place. Flip Saunders would rather keep Flip Murray as
the first guard off the bench since he'll probably
back up both guard spots tonight.