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Detroit Pistons Season Review: Tank Edition

April 22nd, 2014 at 3:05 PM
By Sean Walters

'Greg Monroe' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
The Detroit Pistons came into the season with high expectations. A playoff spot in a weak Eastern Conference was a goal, and something that they probably should have accomplished with the talent they currently have. The Pistons finished the season with a brutal 29-53 record, but all is not lost. There were certainly positive takeaways from the season, and a Philadelphia 76ers style tank and rebuild isn’t needed with the pieces this Pistons roster has on it.

Detroit opened slow, posting a 5-10 record in the opening month of play. People seemed to think that there were just chemistry issues as the Pistons brought in two big name players in Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith. That eventually Mo Cheeks, and this new group of Pistons would figure things out. That never happened. Jennings and Smith just had bad years, no other real way to put it. The guys got paid, then coasted through a year of losses. Smith’s numbers were down across the board. His worst offenses came in field goal percentage, and blocks where Smith posted career lows. Jennings didn’t help much with his 37% shooting, and absolute lack of effort defensively.

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Interim Coach John Loyer’s Future Undecided

April 20th, 2014 at 12:43 PM
By Sean Walters

'Greg Monroe' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
John Loyer was thrown into an impossible situation after the Detroit Pistons fired head coach Maurice Cheeks in the middle of a disastrous season. His task was to hold together a sinking ship, and try to get them to fight every night in the midst of a lost season. Whether he did that, is definitely debatable.

When asked about his job to close out the season Loyer said “I’ll let what I’ve done and what I’ve brought to the table ever day speak for itself.” So let’s examine his work. Loyer guided the team to an 8-24 mark over their last 32 games. A very poor record, but that was to be expected when there wasn’t much to play for. The team wasn’t playing well for Maurice Cheeks so a rapid turnaround wasn’t really in the cards.

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“Bad Boys” Sacrifice Brings Detroit Together

April 18th, 2014 at 6:19 PM
By Sean Walters

'Detroit Pistons' photo (c) 2009, Michael Tipton - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Last night ESPN aired the newest installment of their 30 for 30 series “Bad Boys”, the story of the Detroit Pistons from the eighties and early nineties. If you missed it, it will be replayed countless times in the future on the various ESPN channels. It is definitely worth checking it out.

It was a story of sacrifice, as the Pistons went about learning how they could be most effective as a unit. Everyone was team first, and that was the only way they were going to win a championship. Everyone had to learn their roles, and play in that role for the team to have their best chance of winning. General Manager Jack Mccloskey had done such an amazing job of acquiring talent that guys absolutely had to put their own individual agendas aside, and work together under the direction of Coach Chuck Daly or “Daddy Rich” as the players called him. The sacrifice was top to bottom. At the top Isiah Thomas had to sacrifice his shots. He understood early on that if he gave up some of his shots and scored a few less points per game the bigs down low would have more chances to score, at a higher percentage, and the team would ultimately be in a better position to win.

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Detroit Pistons Must Make Finding the Next Jack McCloskey a Goal in General Manager Search

April 18th, 2014 at 4:35 PM
By Max DeMara

Even though a restaurant may receive acclaim for having fantastic food thanks to a superior chef, the restaurant owner first had to cook up the dream, then hire the correct people to help it become reality.

'Deeetroit Basketball' photo (c) 2006, Andrew McFarlane - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Thursday night, the Detroit Pistons and their legions of fans celebrated an ESPN "30 for 30" documentary about the Bad Boys. Though the film featured interviews with plenty of players and explained the journey of the team, it became clear who the real star of the show and the team was.

Jack McCloskey.

McCloskey, as it was explained, became Detroit's general manager during a time of organizational drift. The Pistons didn't have an identity. McCloskey didn't have experience building a team, and the franchise was going out on a major limb with his hiring. Clearly, the one thing McCloskey did have working to his advantage was vision, and that's the reason the Bad Boys happened.

Though he never threw a punch, made a shot or dripped an ounce of sweat on the floor during play, McCloskey was the architect from 1979-1992. His keen basketball vision helped set everything else in motion for two decades.

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ESPN to Air “Bad Boys” 30 for 30 Documentary Tonight

April 17th, 2014 at 5:05 PM
By Sean Walters

'Detroit Pistons' photo (c) 2009, Michael Tipton - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tonight at 8 PM Eastern ESPN will air the newest documentary in their critically acclaimed 30 for 30 series, “Bad Boys.” The documentary will focus on those old school Detroit Pistons teams that weren’t afraid to get dirty.
The tagline for the documentary reads “What if I told you that sometimes you gotta be bad… to be good?” That says it all. These guys were the definition of physical, it was their calling card, and the reason they were so good.

Players such as Bill Laimbeer, Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, and Vinnie Johnson were perfect for the city of Detroit, and perfect for the hard-nosed style of basketball they played there. They would knock you down, push you over, and then literally punch you in the mouth with no apologies. On the court these guys were bad, and everyone knew it.

The Bad Boys of Detroit were the pioneers for tough physical basketball on both ends of the floor in the 80’s. When other teams tried to match up, it just didn’t work out and the Pistons quite literally knocked them out. The Bad Boys hit their peak in 1989 winning their first title, then successfully defending it in 1990. Their streak came to an end in 1991 when they lost to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. The series is best remembered for when the Pistons players walked off the court early, refusing to shake hands with the Bulls players.

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