Pistons fans: One Way To Progress This Off-season

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

Hello Pistons nation. Hello Detroit. I’ll start by saying that the Pistons will have $-8,729,154 in cap. So in order to get better, we honestly need to shed a few contacts.

Reggie Jackson – 18mil
Leuer – 9.5mil
Langston Galloway – 7mil
Glenn Robinson – 4mil

Those are the contracts I would shed by any means.

It would give us about 30 in cap room but that’s without re-signing Ish (who is making 11 million), Wayne Ellington, Jose & ZaZa. We do have cap holds which would allow us to use the 30 on someone else and go into the luxury tax after that to retain any of the incumbent players we have (cap hold). I would only keep Ellington and maybe ZaZa.

I would also use that 30 million to go after someone like Kemba, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi, or even Klay. I don’t think market size matters to those players in particular and they bring an element and skillset we need to take the next step. Of course Jimmy and Kemba would be the likely targets to actually move and consider Detroit.

This is still SVG’s roster. We just gotta be aggressive this off-season. Kemba wanting to come here by sign & trade would be a godsend. If the hornets wanted a return on investment they can get Jackson & Leuer back as they will be on expiring deals anyway.

As far as trading Blake Griffin to Miami. I keep seeing publications writing stuff just to have something for their basketball sections to cover the Pistons. Please stop the utter nonsense. Why would you trade your best player for something less than a best back in return of for the 1st pick in the draft for Zion? It makes no sense. Dig deeper. As a Piston fan and supporter of anything Detroit, when I see such slander, I wonder where you are actually from. Who are you really a fan of? Go back to the drawing board.

The blueprint is simple. It’s just about execution. We will see this off-season. I expect good changes that propel this team into a higher seed and the conversation of top 5 in the east. No John Wall, no Victor Oladipo? We will be top 5 next season if we can shed salary and make changes. Trading Blake means tanking. We’re not built to quit. So change your perspective. Thanks in advance.

#DetroitBasketball

Will the Rockets Dethrone the Warriors?

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

Rematch set.
Rockets healthy? ☑
Warriors hobbling? ☑
Warriors without rest? ☑
Rockets focused? ☑

Game 1 will go to Houston unless KD has another big game in him. Of course he does. Then it will be about limiting the others. I watch plays. It’s something hard to do but easy to do when their rotation players are in the game. I hope Kerr is gameplanning cause the Rockets will be a threat to take the first 2 games, easy. Especially if Klay isn’t ready to go.

James Harden, defending MVP. Will he be able to be effective and get his teammates involved while also scoring big and in bunches? He’s still the player who gets the most calls. Imagine Draymond or Kevin getting 2 early fouls. It’ll be like the 2016 finals all over again.

Is Steph healthy enough to help Kevin force wins at home? That’s what this will be all about. The Warriors MUST protect home court or they will be in trouble. No other way to put it. If they drop any game and give away momentum, then we will see an upset. That will open up the entire league to a new champion. It doesn’t guarantee the Rockets anything. Just revenge. The Rockets need to control their emotions in this series. That’s the only thing I see as a problem. It won’t be easy.

Can’t wait to see it all unfold. I expect 7 games unless Durant has about 4 40 point games in him, ready to go. That could actually be Kerr’s plan with Steph hobbled a bit and Klay hurt to begin the series. Not a bad plan.

TIGER WOODS: THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME

By: Steven Brown

4 back surgeries including one to fuse his spine. A comment at the Masters champions dinner in 2017 that he would never play golf again. The scandal of all the affairs in 2010 and the embarrassment of getting arrested for a DUI in 2017. Tiger has endured everything imaginable that threatened to keep him from achieving greatness again on the golf course. Little did we know that Tiger was saving his greatest achievement for the Masters in 2019.

Fast forward to 2018. Tiger was back on the golf course not knowing what to expect. Not even knowing if he could achieve a fraction of the greatness he once had. He showed flashes with a 2nd place finish at the Valspar Championship. Later that summer he led at the Open Championship going into the second nine. He didn’t win but it was a taste of having the lead at a Major Championship. Then came the PGA Championship in August where Tiger showed a huge leap in confidence and play when he finished 2nd to Brooks Koepka. Finally, Tiger broke through with his 80th PGA Tour win at the Tour Championship. That win showed that Tiger could again compete with the best and that he could win under the pressure of tournament golf.

Now we finally come to the Masters in 2019. Tiger started the final round 2 strokes back of Francesco Molinari. Molinari has been the model of consistency over the last 12 months. Even midway through the final round, it looked like Tiger was again going to fall short as Molinari kept making unbelievable pars from spots he shouldn’t make pars from. Then came the 12th hole. Molinari hits it in the water and makes double bogey and opened the door for Tiger and many others to win.

The thing that made this tournament more impressive than any I can remember for Tiger was the level of competition he had to overcome to win and the circumstances surrounding his return to greatness. The likes of Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, who are Major Champions in their own right, were breathing down his neck as Tiger came down the stretch but Tiger did not relent. He hit great shot after great shot down the stretch and pulled out the one-shot win.

As a fan and a person who idolized Tiger growing up, this win was so emotional for me. Tiger has overcome long odds and unbearable physical ailments to return to the glory he deserves. I’m so happy and excited for him and I can’t wait to see what he does the rest of the year and beyond. The record of 18 Majors held by Jack Nicklaus seems like it could be in reach yet again for Tiger. All that has happened has proven to me that Tiger once and for all is not just the greatest golfer of my generation, but that he is the greatest golfer of all time.

Kawhi & Jimmy Butler to the Clippers?

By: Michael Tolliver Jr (Opinionated MJ)

It could very well happen.

There’s rumblings all around the NBA about a few teams being major players in free agency. Namely, the Lakers, Nets, Knicks, and Clippers. Honestly, who in their right mind believes the Clippers will actually make a big splash and land two free agents to fill those max slots? Well, me. Let me explain why. There are a few factors.

Steve Ballmer

He’s the financial engine behind this team now. His pockets are filled with enough money to own a few NBA teams. He’s also redistributed power throughout the organization and formed a hierarchy. He’s got a great front office. That’s something that is constantly overlooked when it comes to picking a franchise to play for. Nobody really wants to play for a franchise that doesn’t have structure. I look at them like the Dallas Mavericks from the early 2000s. Owner with big pockets and a stable structure going forward. I’ll elaborate further.

Doc Rivers

A championship coach, regardless of who was on his roster. He’s coached many greats and has been to two NBA finals. He’s coaches the likes of CP3, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce just to name a few. He has been at the helm for consistent playoff runs in his time coaching and also has this current a Clipper team exceeding expectations. I think he is also one of the few respected coaches around the league. I expect him to be able to lure players in.

Jerry West

The actual trump card in all of this. He assembled great rosters for the Lakers and helped the Warriors recruit Kevin Durant. That alone let’s me know that the Clippers are about to make some noise. He might be the most respected executive around the entire league. The only teams that may actually take the threat of the Clippers acquiring two top tier free agents is the Lakers and Celtics. For the same reason: Jerry West.

So once free agency hits on July 1, don’t think for a second that they won’t secure free agents to come to this team. Kawhi Leonard wants to come back to LA and might not want to be a Laker alongside LeBron and I could honestly see Jimmy Butler coming along. Those two could form the greatest two-way wing combination the league may have seen since Jordan and Pippen. That thought alone should be enough to scare the entire league, not just the western conference. They could be the true threat to the Warriors even if they retained Kevin Durant this off-season. Things are looking bright for the Clippers going forward.