November 6, 2008

Why the Iverson Trade Will Win the Pistons the Championship

Hey everyone, U-E Sampang here with my first Hoop Heads North blog post. And for anyone who knows me, it'll come as no surprise that my first post will be about DEEETTTROOIIIITT BASKETBAAAAALLLLL! The original title of the post was going to be “Why the Pistons Will Win the Championship”, even before the blockbuster trade that brought Iverson to “The D”. But now, post trade, I'm sure a lot more people will agree with me. Including all those national media folks who are still on a honeymoon with their beloved (as Rasheed would call them) “Team NBA” Celtics.

So what makes this year's Pistons better than the last 3 years' teams, all of which went down in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals? First off, the coach. Anyone who watched Michael Curry as a player probably thought “Why the heck is this scrub on the floor?” Anyone who watched him closer knew he was on the floor because he plays hard, he plays smart, and he's a leader on the court, despite his limited physical gifts as compared to the game's elite.

As a first year head coach, Curry brings all the qualities that made him a respected NBA player and already commands the respect of his team. He's not afraid to play any of the young guys during crucial points in the game (Will Bynum and Alex Acker on the floor in the fourth quarter against the Raps last night? What the?!?), which will pay off big-time in the playoffs. He's also been big on accountability of all players, even the veterans. If you don't bring it on offense and defense every single time you step on the court, you sit, simple as that.

The Pistons have also gotten younger over the past couple years. Not only is Amir Johnson in the starting lineup now, but on any given night, Rodney Stuckey can affect the game with his hard drives to the basket and on ball defense. Jason Maxiell has shown he can post, hit jumpers, throw down alley oops, and protect the hoop in always spectacular fashion (Chris Paul to Tyson Chandler alley-oop?!? Not in J-Max's house!). And the pony-tailed Argentinian Walter Hermann can defend and hustle, hit 3's and drive to the hoop for a spark off the bench. Even Arron Afflalo, Will Bynum and Kwame Brown have already shown they can come in and help out. We're only 4 games into the season, but so far, so good: 4-0 with a point differential bested only by the Lakers and the Jazz.

And last but not least, there's A.I. Allen Iverson, the Answer. The fans, the media, everyone has been saying for years that the Pistons offense fails in the playoffs because it lacks a superstar who can get a shot off in any situation. Enter A.I Done and done. Some are saying that taking away Chauncey and adding Iverson's ball-dominating ways will take away from the Pistons team concept. I disagree. Michael Curry's running a Princeton-style motion offense. As long as there are 5 guys on the court willing to pass, make cuts and find the open man, the offense should flow. Iverson said all the right things at the press-conference about wanting to fit in and his main goal being a championship, so I think he'll buy in to the team concept, in the same way that Ray Allen and KG did when they went to the Celtics. Sure Iverson played with many capable scorers in Denver who complained about not getting enough touches, but this is Detroit. As long as they're winning, I highly doubt Rip, Rasheed and Tayshaun will complain about touches. Carmelo Anthony was still able to average over 25 points per game playing with Iverson and let's not forget that despite all his shots, Iverson is still among the league leaders in assists every year.

On the defensive end, Iverson's quickness should fit in well with Curry's plan to play more pressure D, cause turnovers and run more. If he buys in to Curry's hard practices, and practices hard in practice, the defensive end is where Iverson can really surprise people.

One last note, although it's not official, Antonio McDyess will probably be bought out by Denver and Detroit can re-sign him in 30 days, giving them another quality big who can rebound and hit shots come playoff time.

So to all those “bandwagon-ass cats” (another Sheedism), hop on board, there's plenty of room on the '09 Pistons Championship train!

1 comments:

ROMES November 6, 2008 at 9:17 PM  

That was one of the best blocks I've ever witnessed.

Jason Maxiell is sick.

http://www.detroitbadboys.com/archives/2007-01-29/the-jason-maxiell-eats-babies-t-shirt/

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