Tag Archives: Detroit Basketball

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

DEEEEETROITTTT BASSKKETTTBALLLLLLL!

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

DEEEEETROITTTT BASSSSKKKETTTBALLLLLLLL!

Let’s go Detroit! It’s very different this year. It’s all because of Dwane Casey, Blake, Drummond, and the rest of the team accepting their roles. This is just the beginning. Just wait till everyone really grows into their roles. Luke Kennard is still hurt and he was trending upward before injury. Helped us win games early while everyone was trying to figure out their roles.

I don’t know the ceiling for us because we’ve got two dominant bigs. I’ve always believed in that formula. Duncan/Robinson, Bynum/Gasol, Davis/Cousins, and now Blake/Drummond. It always yields successful results as long as one member of the duo can stretch the floor. If our wings make timely shots, Reggie Jackson & Stanley Johnson continue to split 3rd/4th option duties, and the rest of the team continue pressing forward and improving… I think we will be a serious problem. Let’s not sleep on the unguardable pace Ish Smith runs at. He does the Steve Nash thing alot as well. If only he had the passing acumen. It’ll be even greater for this team.

I’m not predicting this, but I want to say this.. We will make the playoffs of course, and once we do, if we’re clicking, I anticipate that we could actually make the conference finals. How? Because we already play playoff basketball. Half-court style, slow-grinding, inside-out, basketball. So we will not be shocked when teams focus in. They already have been doing so, at least when it comes to Blake Griffin. They’ve been doubling him ever since he dropped 50. Thereafter, he had a bad game because the scouting report probably began to focus on limiting his space and opportunity to go 1 on 1 cause he’s very strong. That’s when our team began to adjust and then found their shots cause we were shooting horrible early in the season, within the first 10 games. Having Drummond cleanup the boards definitely doesn’t hurt either.

Having Dwane Casey is a big, big deal. It may not be acknowledged until we beat a few other great teams. He’s already recently had the best team in the east, just last year. Fired as a scapegoat for the Raptors. He then accepted a role with our organization just southwest of Toronto. Detroit welcomes him with wide open arms.

The win yesterday was also huge for our city. I just hope those who didn’t make the game made sure that they watched it. That’s about the most packed I’ve seen the new LCA Arena, for a Pistons game. I monitored the tickets all the way up til 30 minutes before gametime and it went from having plenty tickets to only a few in ONE SECTION! I believe we were very close to selling out if we didn’t actually achieve that feat. Great for our city, our organization, and our players. Especially with them being in the heart of Detroit, downtown. Not in Auburn Hills. Downtown Detroit is surrounded by bars, restaurants, clubs, and nightlife, I’m sure it put all the corporates on notice downtown as well who are apart of it. Reminded me of how the gym was packed when we had our “Doin’ Work” Pistons roster with Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Richard Hamilton. We had like a 250+ sellout steak. I forget the exact number but I attended about 4-5 games during those years. Very exciting. Loads of energy in the building.

Lookout for the Pistons. Everybody is learning their new roles now. Including the fans. Detroit is full of some of the most passionate you’ll find. This combination will become dangerous once the playoffs begin. Even ESPN showing us love. Watch out NBA!

Photo by @WM13Edit on instagram

MoneYBaLL Podcast Episode 9: The Blake Griffin Pistons

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Blake Griffin, Welcome to Detroit!

King of the Ring: LeBron, the Cavs, and a Look Around the League

 

By: Opinionated MJ
Congratulations to LeBron and the Cavaliers! Cleveland, embrace this moment! You’ve been waiting for this. To finally see one of the best players ever, fulfill his promise to bring Cleveland a ring has got to be a breath of fresh air. I remember the feeling of living through a championship with my Pistons in 2004. The Red Wings were also prosperous. The Tigers were doing well as well if I’m not mistaken, I think we may have made the World Series that year. We had the Super Bowl here as well and I think a WrestleMania or something like that. Final Four NCAA basketball around this time as well. Great Year! Enjoy it!

 

LeBron has been preparing for season’s opening since Kevin Durant decided to become a part of the Golden State Warriors. They seem to be the only team that stands in the way of a repeat for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’d like to add that, if I were Carmelo Anthony seeing this ring ceremony tonight, I’d probably cringe and play with nothing but anger and hunger in my heart. Knowing I had the chance to be a part of the Miami team that won a ring and to be able to finally experience that level of success. It must be fulfilling for LeBron for sure. He has one ring by himself now as well. Kyrie pitched in BIG! I even thought Kyrie would win finals MVP after closing out Steph Curry and the Warriors in crunch time of those last few games.

 

I’m not big on picking another team except the current reigning Champions as the favorites to win it all. I’m going with the Cavs but I will admit I want my Pistons to win and if they can’t then I would love to see the Warriors win one for KD while he’s on a LeBron-esque mission to obtain a ring and put that on his resume. That would solidify him with other future Hall of Famers. I’d also like to see if they Bulls could somehow someway pull a rabbit out of a hat. Although, I think Chris Bosh is the only way they could achieve such success. I would also like to see the Spurs acquire DeMarcus Cousins for LaMarcus Aldridge. You heard it first. Chris Bosh to the Bulls, Cousins to the Spurs.

 

LeBron wants to win the MVP this year and that is making waves throughout the league. I think Paul George may have mentioned MVP first but he’s driven to do so as well, Damian Lillard wants to, and I’m very certain that Russell Westbrook wants to as well without saying it. Westbrook was chasing Magic Johnson’s triple-double record last year and didn’t admit it until someone asked him. I think LeBron should relax and let Kyrie and Kevin prove themselves and let them man the battleship until it absolutely requires LeBron to come in and take over. I know things used to fall apart fast when he exited the game last season and they would struggle to extend their lead over other teams at times. Let’s not forget their struggles en route to their triumph. Up and down season with LeBron thinking of his Banana Boat squad being teammates one day, social media jabs at some of his teammates, and a few other things. Maybe he also took a few pointers from Kobe about challenging your teammates. You do have to PUSH others to get something done more times than not. He successfully pulled that off and led his team to a Championship after being down 3-1. Congrats again to the Cavaliers! Good luck to the Cleveland Indians!

WHY THE MARRIAGE OF KD AND THE WARRIORS WILL BE GREAT FOR THE NBA

By: Opinionated Reezy


Let’s take a walk back in time for a moment.  Forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear names Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, and Karem Abdul-Jabar.  I will ask you again to forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear the names Larry Bird, Danny Ainge, Robert Parrish, and Kevin McHale.  These were the Showtime Lakers and Dominate Celtics teams from the 80’s that dominated the decade and ultimately suffered from old age.  These two teams were dynasty’s both in their depth and starting rosters and would be considered super teams in today’s NBA.

I can’t remember much about that era, but I imagine that people were shocked when either the Lakers and/or the Celtics were not in the finals.  History would show the following (The champion is bold):

·         1979 – 80 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1980 – 81 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1981 – 82 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1982 – 83 Season: 76ers v Lakers

·         1983 – 84 Season: Celtics v Lakers

·         1984 – 85 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1985 – 86 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1986 – 87 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1987 – 88 Season: Lakers v Pistons

·         1988 – 89 Season: Pistons v Lakers

·         1989 – 90 Season: Pistons v Trailblazers

We literally had to go a full decade before we had an NBA Finals that did not feature the Celtics or the Lakers and that forced teams to get better.  It made players think strategically about how they were going to win.  No one was tired of the NBA, in fact being from Detroit, it became a unified front to watch your team develop into a legitimate threat and watch that team rise to greatness.

ALL THAT BEING SAID.  I see it happening again!  Let’s wind back the clock a few years:

·         2010 – 11 Season: Mavericks v Heat

·         2011 – 12 Season: Heat v Thunder

·         2012 – 13 Season: Heat v Spurs

·         2013 – 14 Season: Spurs v Heat

·         2014 – 15 Season: Warriors v Cavaliers

·         2015 – 16 Season: Cavaliers v Warriors

LeBron is the common element in this scenario in that for the past six seasons, LeBron led teams have been in the Finals.  Now a consistent team in the West has a legitimate chance to be consistent.  The last two seasons alone have been exciting for all the plotlines interwoven in the season.  I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE NBA IS SCRIPTED; however, the story is one of note.  The rise of Golden State in the West, the Apology tour of LeBron James coming home and taking a team destined for the lottery to the FInals twice and Championship once.  Many were already anticipating the Trilogy reminiscent of Lakers and Celtics of old and then KD throws his name in the hat and now all we can say is.. IT’S ON!! 

This season may be dull for a moment, that will pass once Golden State faces their first real loss.  You see it now and LeBron sees it with the fevered insistence on bringing the band back together.  The pleas to sign JR is a message that we are going back to the days where teams determined success and not just one or two players.  Owners can no longer gamble on the notion of a star player and a bunch of role players.  Left unchecked, Golden State has the chance to win multiple championships and other teams will be forced to used their resources wisely to counter that.

KD didn’t hurt the league, he probably singlehandedly saved it… 

Detroit VS LeBron (Cleveland Cavs)

SJvLBJ

By: Opinionated MJ

 

Go ahead LeBron fans, declare us swept if you wish. The Detroit Pistons are just getting started and I’m going with my home team to the fullest degree. WE CAN BEAT LEBRON! We can beat the Cavaliers. I’ll provide you with reasons why and how this dismantling can go. We all know your team is expected to make it to the NBA Finals all shiny and untouched but I think this will be the series that will be the toughest for them as far as physicality and strategy is concerned. Let’s begin, shall we?

Stanley Johnson. Yes. It seems as if I’m just an echo, but proof of my confidence is with those who have personally heard me say that Stanley Johnson is the future, he is our Kawhi Leonard, he is the missing link in our equation to being a consistent title contender, and he is the way we can beat LeBron and the Cavaliers. I’ve been reading across the internet, articles that point out Stanley playing LeBron before he even made it to the league. I’ve seen the praise of Stanley from when he played against LeBron during this season and also seen that he holds LeBron under 40% shooting (I think it said about 39%) in comparison to his 52% clip. I’ve seen all of that stuff over the last few days but this wasn’t a bandwagon situation. I was sold since draft day after I became upset we didn’t go with Winslow. My wise friends then told me that Stanley was the way to go and of course YouTube became the source of proof as to why. So after watching highlights and hearing how confident he is, seeing him embrace the city a little bit thereafter, I grew to believe this kid will be the diamond in the rough that we’ve all been waiting for. He’s already guarded LeBron in game 1 and put all eyes watching on notice. In a very short amount of time. I’ll let his play speak for itself. I’m very confident in his defensive abilities and I’m confident in the growth that Detroit fans and the Pistons team will see from him this summer and going down the road.

Marcus Morris. Yes, he flamed out in the second half against the Cavs. I won’t bet on that trend continuing where he only shows up for 24 minutes. I also notice everyone doesn’t expect us to shoot 57% from 3 again as we did in the first half of game 1. I also don’t expect Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to combine for 59 points again either, nor do I expect Stan Van Gundy to allow Kevin Love to quietly but obviously play at the 5 position without that being immediately addressed. I respect his decision to not break course cause another team made an adjustment. You don’t fix something that isn’t broken if you don’t know that it’s broken. It ran its course, we lost, fine. Cleveland is “supposed” to hold serve at home anyway, right? Isn’t that how that works? We have weapons that we have yet to unleash and Cleveland hasn’t seen our counter to their little small-ball lineup. Maybe Stan Van Gundy was even more smart to hold serve and not give the rookie Tyronn Lue a look at what would come in game 2. I see a coaching advantage but it’s a two headed monster with LeBron being a coach on the floor.

The Pistons will need better games from everyone involved including Morris, Reggie Jackson with his decision making down the stretch, more assertiveness and defensive tenacity from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, more offensive intensity from Andre Drummond and much more effectiveness from the bench unit. We have to dispel Cleveland’s big 3. We have sparks on our bench with Johnson, Bullock, Tolliver, and Baynes. Not many coaches have put LeBron out of the playoffs either. Stan Van Gundy is one of those coaches. He is who my trust will be in to see us to beating Cleveland in game 2 and beyond. Don’t sleep Cleveland fans. Yes, LeBron is one of the best in the game if not arguably the best in the game. I respect and love LeBron’s game. I don’t trust his teammates. I see Cleveland as vulnerable as they may ever be this year. They’ve already been tested and only 3 men in their rotation showed up to play in game 1. We’ll see what will happen in this series. I’m biased and I predict Detroit in 7.

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One
CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 17: Stanley Johnson #3 of the Detroit Pistons reacts after scoring during the first half of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

#DETROITBASKETBALL

Detroit Pistons VS Everybody

Stanley-Johnson-1

By: Opinionated MJ

Everybody has an opinion about the Detroit Pistons for the upcoming year. I don’t agree with any of them but the positive ones. The ones that talk about Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson becoming first time All-Stars. The one about Stanley Johnson being a dark horse Rookie of the Year candidate. The ones about Stan Van Gundy finally having a team that represents his build. Then I hear the negativity. I hear that we won’t make the playoffs. I hear that the Reggie Jackson signing wasn’t a good signing. I hear that Brandon Jennings accepting coming off the bench may be a “lie” in order to appeal to coaches, players, etc. I hear that Drummond will be exactly like Dwight Howard and won’t learn any more moves and be a hustle, pick and roll, and points-from-offensive-rebounds player ONLY (Yeah I made that up). I hear that people dismissing us and saying we can’t get it done. Pessimism is unattractive.

First, let me address the Reggie Jackson signing. Who would’ve been better or available for us going forward? Rondo? Russell Westbrook in 2 years? WHO? Answer me that then also answer if Detroit is a target market for free agents going forward. I believe that we can get a big time player in free agency. We’re one Superstar away from being a very good team. Lets say Drummond, Jackson and Johnson become a big 3, Detroit will be a contender for sure. We can have a homegrown superstar instead of having to sign one. It would’ve been nice to land LaMarcus Aldridge. I think if we would’ve landed Carmelo in free agency last offseason, we would’ve been fine. Stan like his teams to shoot and he’d find a way to insert defense around Carmelo to fill in for his “deficiency” doing so. I’ve seen him play defense, he only wants to defend big time players, you know, LeBron, KD, etc. I’m accepting of the Reggie Jackson deal because there is no one else available and more importantly, HE PLAYS DEFENSE. When Westbrook, Curry, Harden, and others come to town, who did we have to defend them? No one. He also averaged about 17 and 9 during his time in a Pistons uniform thus far. So I’m not upset at all. Coaching is everything.

Next up, Stanley Johnson. The kid says he’s ready to see LeBron. He went up 1,000 notches in my book for this statement. We didn’t have anyone to defend LeBron, Carmelo, KD, now we do. He can also defend different positions AND he is strong. He’s not little, he’s not weak, he’s not scared. I wanted Winslow but when I took a deeper look at him and watched him during the summer league, I fully accepted the pick and I think we have a player who should have been top 5 in the draft. Once he grows into his role and grows as a player under Van Gundy, he will be a force. Mark my words. I don’t know his ceiling but I know it’s high. He can facilitate, shoot, post, pick and roll, defend, rebound, the kid can do it all. Only thing is that he’s a rookie. So he’ll burst onto the scene, then he’ll possibly encounter a rookie wall. Once he breaks it, he’s going to become something special. He’s already embraced the city and as a hometown Detroit kid and a Piston fan, I’ve embraced Stanley Johnson. Good things will come from him. Stay tuned!

Now to Drummond. We know that he’s in control now that Monroe is gone. This is now Drummond’s team to lead. He has embraced that and has already seemingly become a vocal leader and understands that he’s the man now in Detroit. With Jackson facilitating and having shooters around him to give him more space on the floor, it’s time for him to show his growth. I particularly paid attention to his work with Monty Williams from the Team USA practices from last year and he helped Drummond develop post moves. He was pushing Drummond to do more with his game. If Williams helped Anthony Davis, I’m sure he’s able to help Drummond develop in such a short period of time. Let’s also not forget what Van Gundy did for Dwight Howard. Giving certain players the green light allows them to develop in a way that they couldn’t otherwise. He has geared this team towards Drummond, just time for him to step up now. I expect to see him have his best season yet with no Monroe and Smith hogging up his space and touches.

Lastly, our depth and our coach. We have a lot of stretch shooters, decent defenders, and a coach that knows how to make it all fit together. With Morris, Tolliver, Meeks, Cadwell-Pope, Jennings, a few bigs to get a few fouls, I think we have the build of a playoff team for sure. Weak Eastern Conference full of teams with potential (Celtics) and a few teams that have retooled (Pacers), we should be able to find ourselves in the top 5-6 teams of the east. I see it shaking out top to bottom with Cavs, Heat, Bulls, Bucks, Hawks, Pistons, then you can insert two teams after. They’ll have losing records anyway so just take your pick. Just don’t sleep on the Pistons this year cause we are set up to make a run to the 2nd round and maybe the Conference Finals depending on how the seeds fall. Don’t be surprised if we’re able to become the weakness of a Miami, Chicago or Cleveland team with our playing style and depth. We will surprise a lot of people this year. Low expectations but loads of hidden upside. We won 32 games last season, just think about what would’ve happened had we traded or released Josh Smith before last season began. Should leave you confused with what we’ll be able to do. Last time Van Gundy achieved his build, he coached a team to the NBA Finals with ONE Superstar type player, a strong guard, and a bunch of players that can stretch the floor. The formula is proven and still fits and applies to today’s run and gun style.

Prediction: 45-37, 5th or 6th seed in playoffs. Be on the lookout for a possible big trade for us that could put us in the 50 win range.