Monday, June 13, 2005

A SHOPPING LIST OF PISTONS PROBLEMS

Recently, ago I wrote about what is right about the Spurs following Sunday's 97-76 embarrassment at SBC Center.
Here is what's wrong with the Pistons.

** The Spurs are so deep and playing the game at such a high level that the Pistons become frustrated and confused. The Spurs are playing as a team, moving their feet and moving the ball. The Pistons cannot counter and are trying to win as individuals.

** They remain obsessed by the officials. This team does more barking than any team I know. They are frustrated and are playing as if they are waiting for the next whistle to blow. I believe most of their griping has been unfounded. Sunday, the officials were unfair to them, but it is not the reason they lost.

** This team has partially tuned out Coach Larry Brown. It became obvious in the Miami series when Brown told players to do one thing during time outs and they'd come out and do the opposite. This series is an indictment on the Heat who were not good enough or healthy enough to take advantage of the great Pistons divide.
The Brown courtship by the Cleveland Cavaliers has taken a toll. The players are angry with him and are no longer playing for him.

** The Pistons are missing easy shots. This could partially be mental. They know the Spurs are the best team they've faced since beginning their championship run last season. The Pistons are not relaxed. They are rushing and not thinking the game through.

** The Pistons are not as good as we thought. This is the first healthy team they have faced in the playoffs. The Pistons playoff run has been riddled with broken down bodies. Now this is a team that is healthy, fresh and superior. The Pistons are being outclassed, out hustled, out thought and will soon be out of the championship hunt.

35 Comments:

Anonymous Brian said...

T,

I have to agree with you on the team tuning out Larry Brown. It's so obvious there are some big time locker room issues. These guys aren't playing for their coach, eachother, or even themselves. They're playing like a bunch of over-achieving crybabies who forgot what round of the playoffs this is. They remind me of the Lakers last year. A very talented team, but too many personal locker room issues.

Right now this team is embarrassing not only themselves, but the organization and all Pistons fans. Let's give credit to the Spurs though, they're playing "the right way" and have looked phenomenol. The last two games have looked like scrimmages, not a fight for a world championship. Come on guys, at least put up a fight.

Right now i'd like to smack Tayshaun and Rip. Tay quit playing like a Rookie. Rip make a freakin shot.

7:30 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Brian,
My worst fear has happened. And I mentioned it on our show Friday. That if the Pistons got blown out Sunday there was a chance they could become the 2004 Lakers because of Brown.
It is happening.

7:50 AM

 
Anonymous Brian said...

Yeah it's absolutly true. If i can recall correctly, in the Finals last year the Lakers were crying to the refs on just about every call (along with Phil Jackson), almost like this years Pistons?

8:34 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

T and Brian,

If the locker room is as fractured right now as you indicate, we can only hope for a quick death in this series...let LB get his personal business together and take his media harem with him...allow Joe to analyze everything and then make his moves.

BTW, Ben Wallace doesn't have his head in the game...wonder if it's the LB Factor or something else?

Tim Duncan looks like twice the "team leader" that BW is for us right now.

8:48 AM

 
Blogger WTFDetroit.com said...

Blaming Brown is a cop out IMO.

We're getting beat by a superior team.

It really can be as simple as that.

9:02 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_RIght_Way said...

I gotta believe that LB may have had some affect on these guys, but come on. They are the defending champions. I can't imagine that they would get to the finals and fold because their coach is likely moving on.

If they don't have enough pride to play like they are defending champions because of the "business side of basketball." They don't deserve to be champions.

This theme, "Play the Right Way" is like one of those tired corporate slogans that don't really represent the essence of the company. For instance McDonald's, "I'm Lovin It" a more appropriate slogan might be, "our food could put pounds on a crack addict."

I think the Piston should go ahead and can "Play the Right Way" for something more appropriate like:
"Never met a ref we didn't argue with"

9:10 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

As I recall, the Lakers took their whooping like men. I never recall them arguing every call, or worse rolling on the floor after blatantly fouling another player ala Crysheed Wallace.

The Pistons are quickly distinguishing themselves as the crybabys of the league.

I predicted that Rasheed would eventually be a cancer to this team. It would appear that his team-mates are following right in his footsteps.

Rasheed's act is tired, he needs to shut his mouth and play basketball.

Look back on the season, they have been complaining about fouls long before LB started talking to Cleveland. My understanding is the NBA is going to crack down on this and the Pistons are the worst culprits.

9:25 AM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

Dang Terry it is hard for me to argue on that point but I still feel some home cooking will be the difference and if we get blown out again then we are the lakers of a year ago. What happened to our theme going to work. If the pistons get beat on our own floor then we deserve all the monikers flukes and one year wonders Even though we reached the finals people will still say those things. I wonder if the players are just burned out mentally as well I know manu is good but man the pistons make him look like Jordan.

9:28 AM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

One more thing Larry fosters that whining about the Refs look at his press conferences from the past

9:29 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

The Miami Heat are probably kicking themselves. They are thinking injuries or no injuries we could not beat this team?

9:49 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

wtf,
The biggest issue is the Pistons are being beaten by a superior team. There is no question. But this team tuned Brown out in the Miami series. IT is a factor why they cannot at least be functional.

9:50 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Here is what Rasheed should understand. He is hurting his team with the refs. They are picking on the Pistons in part because he and others are showing them up.
They are playing like knuckleheads.

9:53 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

billionaire,
I really really really believe in home cooking in the NBA. The problem is we've seen the Pistons melt down twice and get totally outclassed. If Game 2 were close I could buy the home cooking thing. I believe we have a team that has given up on their coach and will not be able to muster enough energy to win this series. I definitely don't think they can sweep the Spurs at home. It is the only way they can win the series.

9:57 AM

 
Blogger Jack Fu said...

1.) The officiating in this series has been laughably one-sided thus far. I’m not saying there’s any agenda or conspiracy, nor am I saying that it’s the reason the Pistons are losing. I’m just saying that, through two games, damn near every single “could go either way” call has gone against Detroit. It bears mentioning that this mistreatment by officials may be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that the Pistons’ excessive whining may have been the impetus for some refs to (consciously or unconsciously) decide to always make calls in the opponent’s favor. At any rate, the one-sided officiating has just been one more thing to get frustrated about in this series.

2.) Much more annoying has been the team’s reaction to not getting the benefit of any calls. As Detroiters, we like to posture and position ourselves as being tough and hardworking and all that, and the Pistons’ shtick for years now has been that they’re an accurate representation of the blue-collar nature of the city. With that in mind, you would think that this recent streak of incessant whining by the players would be counter to the nature of the city, and therefore to the nature of Pistons fans. I think the reverse is probably true: we are a bunch of slappies, whining about God-knows-what, and never admitting that we have fallen to a superior team (it is here that the overlap between Pistons fans and Michigan football fans becomes apparent: neither team has EVER legitimately lost a game). Just listening to Mike and Terry’s show on Friday makes this apparent.

3.) The Spurs look good. Real good. This is why I was rooting for the Suns in the Western Conference finals - I think we would have had a fighting chance against them. But the Spurs are just too damn good. They do everything the Pistons do, but they do it all a little bit better. Plus, I mean, having Tim Duncan doesn’t hurt. Let’s just hope the boys can come out like gangbusters tomorrow, and restore a little pride. Because they’ve looked like dogs through two games.

10:02 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow,

Real Right Way's post says that the Pistons are the defending champions?

I thought he said that they were a fluke?

Gee, I'm not sure what to believe now...

10:13 AM

 
Blogger DonVitoCorleone said...

The Pistons were the beneficiary of fortunate circumstances during last years title run. Yes, they won it all, but they had a lot of luck on their side. No, it wasn't a fluke -- but luck was involved. Plain and simple.

They had been the beneficiaries of similar luck this playoff run up until now. What they are facing in this series is a very talented team who isn't injured mentally (see Lakers last year) or physically (see the laundry list of teams over the past two years).

First time the Pistons have faced this combination in two years. We are seeing the result so far. Their crybaby ways don't help.

The Pistons were the champs last year, but if this continues, it's going to be clear (whether Piston fans like it or not) that last year's team was perhaps the weakest champion in the past 30 years.

10:18 AM

 
Blogger DonVitoCorleone said...

The Pistons still have time to clean this thing up, but their whining ways must stop.

It's embarassing.

10:21 AM

 
Blogger hitman said...

We knew Sheed jawed with the refs all game before he got to Detroit. Thats his career, thats his game, thats him, deal with it. Don't excuse the others though bec. of him. Their grown men responsible for their own action/reactions.

The biggest disappointment for me in all this is Ben. I noticed during the season, in all his whining, he seemed to have lost that love for the game. It just doesn't seem fun to him anymore, he's become ornery. Maybe the NBA grind and personal tragedies will do that to ya, but I long for the days of energetic Ben playing the game like he couldn't believe he was in the NBA.

10:34 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

I don't think anyone is saying last year was a fluke. They had some advantages that they took advantage of. The Spurs are a superior team and are bringing the demons out of the Pistons.
It is ugly and I believe it is going to get worse. I do not expect a sweep.

10:47 AM

 
Anonymous The_Real_Right_Way said...

Here are some key questions that I had posted prior to this series beginning:

Key Questions for Next Series

1. Will Ben Wallace be able to recover from being severly out played by Oneal?

2. Will Rasheed be able to uncharacteristically control his emotions in a physical series?

3. Will the Pistons be able to shake their new identity as the crybabies of the league when calls don't go their way?

4. Who will Bruce Bowen frustrate into a bad series or gametime meltdown?

I think they are being answered.

10:50 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

Game 3 Predictions

Ben Wallace - San Antonio will continue to exploit his inability to score. The Spurs discipline will keep Ben from dominating the boards.

Rasheed Wallace - At home, you would think he will do better. I think Rasheed will resort to jacking up threes and get 18 points and 1 technical. Keep in mind he is the classic underachiever and has never worked on the mental game. He will continue to be frustrated by a superior physical and mental opponent.

Tayshaun Prince - If LB does not replace him in the starting line up, he is crazy. Prince can not play this "WEST COAST" physical style.
..
Chauncey Billups - Will shoot better at home, but will continue to be stimied by his inability to distribute the ball and create passing lanes and opportunities for his team-mates..
.
Rip Hamilton - San Antonio is playing him tremendously. The classic was when Ginobili forced him left when he wanted to come around on his normal curl. Rip is really what makes this team go when he is shut down its over..
.
Overall - It's Over!!! Game 3 San Antonio

12:29 PM

 
Blogger KG said...

Question for you Terry. In Drew Sharp's column today I saw the same story about Rasheed and Dumars in the elevator that you put on this blog a day or so ago. Were both you guys in the elevator with those two or does everybody from the Free Press rip off information from other writers.

1:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Terry, I have a question:

I remember times last year we played zone defense for a little while, just to mix it up.

It seems as though this whole year we never played any zone-D, and in my opinion couldn't zone defense be much more effective than whatever we're playing now?

4:12 PM

 
Blogger hitman said...

T,

There has been talk that there was an extended team meeting today in which Larry did MOST of the talking. Supposedly he dressed down Rip, Tay and mostly Ben. Were you privy to any information from that meeting, any truth to it?

5:01 PM

 
Blogger beekfitz said...

terry,

if they have tuned out larry, do you just ride it out or do something extreme to win the series? the players are hurt and angry with cleveland brown and there is no way he is coming back. davidson should pull a steve fisher. the person that davidson and the players both trust is ...joe dumars. no coaching experience but he could spark something. not a fulltime gig either, just the finals. it worked for the wolverines. whaddayathink?

6:13 PM

 
Blogger beekfitz said...

terry,

the pistons have tuned out cleveland brown. if they are pissed and not listening to him, what use does he serve? davidson should pull a fisher and insert the man that he and the players most trust...joe dumars. brown isn't coming back next year and who knows if the opportunity to win a championship will happen again. be bold, shake it up and name joe interim. still leaves the window open for a name coach after the finals.

6:23 PM

 
Anonymous The_Real_Right_Way said...

Run off the coach that brought the Pistons their first title in umpteen years. I would hope this organization is better than that.

If you want to place blame shouldn't the organization step up and say they allowed it due to LB's health.

6:45 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

I will agree with you that the Pistons received a bit of luck in winning the title last year. I won't call it a fluke. I even talked to some people in San Antonio today and they said most of their friends were rooting for the Pistons last year once the Spurs were eliminated and felt the championship was legit

9:15 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

kg,
None of us were on the elevator. Joe Dumars told the story to a bunch of writers after practice and people used it. There was nothing unethical. We were reporting and not ripping off.

9:17 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

I am not a big fan of zone defenses in the NBA. The players are too good and it makes you vulnerable rebounding. But you do need to mix it up a bit. The Pistons should play a little more zone. But at the same time San Antonio does not use much zone.
Try moving your feet. that might work.

9:18 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Hitman,
The meeting you talked about did take place and he did dress down a number of players. I will write more about this tonight.

9:20 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Beek,
It is way too late to pull a Steve Fisher. It would not work. The Pistons best chances are with Larry Brown and if they listen to him.
If you change coaches it is a sign of panic and you will see everybody jumping off the ship. There is no one you could bring in for a couple days that can coach and at the same time players would respect.
And don't say Joe Dumars. I respect him, but that would be a disaster.

9:22 PM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

okay terry as i see it I still think the players will win their home games because of pride . I think they realize that nobody will respect them if they get swept or loose on our home court in fact they would be this years version of last years lakers. Who I blame in all of this mess is Joe Dumars. By him allowing the Cavs to holla at Larry it allowed for this mess. I got a feeling Dan Gilbert was disegeninuos. He probably told Joe i want to holla at Larry but did not say when. I am positive Joe thought Dan would holla at the end of the season and not during a playoff run. With that said regaurdless of how the pistons goes I say it was worth it and I am sure any team would take it. Also this still does not excuse the players if they lose on our court because they are grown men and are professionals.

9:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey T,

How many more days before we can hear the sweet sounds of Bud Lynch yelling

Deeee-troit
Hockey-Puck!


Doesn't it seem like the relationship between Ben Wallace and head coaches has about a 1-1/2 to 2 year shelf life?

George Irvine (who reminds me alot of Phil Jackson's underloved brother - ala Robert on Everybody Loves Raymond) couldn't exist with him.

Rick Carlyle couldn't co-exist with him

LB seems to have lost the line of communication with him

Did Doug Collins coach Ben?


I think Mitch Albom could coach this team into heaven, where they would meet the 5 to 7 most influential people in Mitch's life, or at least the 5 to 7 people mitch SAYS influenced his life... 3 to 5 of them probably never even heard of him...

10:32 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

we may never hear deeeeetroit hockey puuuccckkk again
I hope it will happen this fall. It seems like they are getting closer. And you are right about Ben. two years and out. But I think he would hang with Brown if Brown were not looking elsewhere

10:55 PM

 

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