Tag Archives: Detroit Pistons

Blake Griffin: Valuable or Useless

By: Christopher Wilson

Blake Griffin: Valuable or Useless

It seems to me the consensus on Blake Griffin is that he’s done. No lift in his legs, slow, no explosiveness, defensive liability etc.. I have seen these statements posted several times on a few Piston community’s comments. Of course we all wish he’d return to the all star from years past however, I believe he can still be a valuable asset not only from a veteran leadership standpoint but production as well.

As a big fan of Griffin, I will try to be as unbiased as possible while pleading my case for why the Pistons have a good asset in the former all star. Let’s take a look into his statistical performances so far, starting with the first few games before his concussion protocol absence. In 3 outings he shot 45.9% from the field while going 43.5% from beyond the arch which he was taking 7+ 3’s a game, 5+ boards per and very few turnovers.

Up until his concussion protocol he showed flashes of the all star Blake we grew accustomed to from the 2018/19 season. Defensively he was still a liability giving inconsistent effort and bringing little to no energy unlike Tasmanian Stewart. However, teams not named the Celtics or Bucks have struggled at the PF position against Detroit shooting 15-59 (25%) from the field. I’m sure Blake was not the primary defender the entire time but his veteran defensive savvy helps him recover when he gets beat and close out on open forwards after helping on D, especially when the ball is kicked out for 3. After the concussion protocol his production was dismal, shooting 31% from the field in his first 4 games back. Defensively he looked lethargic and helpless especially against Giannis (who doesn’t), he bounced back in his next two games defensively but still struggled on offense.

Finally, In his last couple of games his performance has resembled pre-concussion Blake. He’s been on the floor constantly for loose balls, attacking the basket more and distributing like he was a couple of years ago. I don’t expect him to be the 24-7-5 guy who carried us to the playoffs, but I also don’t think he should be getting the amount of hate or disrespect either. His attitude has been very professional and positive which is great for the young guns, also most guys with his stardom in a similar scenario would have some sort of issue or become a locker room distraction trying to get traded to a contender. Going forward if he continues to adjust well with being the #2 guy to Grant I think his value would increase exponentially around the deadline.

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast 27

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast 27 featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ

 

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 15: Prime Kobe & LeBron?

Featuring Opinionated MJ, NilClassic, Lenny Justice, and J. Johnson

Pod is NSFW

*ADULT LANGUAGE

*NSFW

Shout out to ShopTalk and PartyFavors! CrispyChrisTV and LXJ!

MoneYBaLL Podcast Episode 9: The Blake Griffin Pistons

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Blake Griffin, Welcome to Detroit!

MoneYBaLL Episode 6 NBA Podcast

 

Episode 6 with Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

 

 

LeBron, Kyrie, Celtics and more!

Enjoy the podcast!

 

 

 

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NBA Overload (Stats VS Effect): MoneYBaLL Episode 3

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Stats vs Effect

LeBron vs Kobe

Tim Duncan

And everything NBA!

Enjoy and thank you for the support!

The Cleveland Cavaliers Will Win The 2016 – 17 NBA Championship

By: Opinionated MJ



I have one question… Who’s stopping the Cleveland Cavaliers? I mean honestly? Who in the Eastern Conference can actually contend for a championship? The team that gave them their toughest on-court opposition isn’t in the picture. That would be my very own hometown Detroit Pistons. They’re still trying to match last year’s mentality. It’s getting late. The Chicago Bulls, the team that I considered one stretch four away from contention, isn’t in the picture. Dwayne Wade and LeBron still may NEVER meet in the playoffs in their ENTIRE career. Let that sink in… Carmelo Anthony isn’t doing enough with the New York Knicks to get them over the top and into playoff seeding. He’s only played LeBron one time as well.

At the top of the eastern mountains are the Cavs, Raptors, Celtics, and Hawks. I personally feel like you need a defensive big man to contend with any LeBron team. Dwight Howard is back out East and he has one big win against the old LeBron led Cavs from the past. He went to the big show that year as well. If any team has a chance, it’s Atlanta… But wait… They gave away Kyle Korver. Someone who actually helps the Hawks create space for Dwight to operate. Oh well.

There’s also the Celtics and Raptors. I’ll bundle them up together cause they’ve done the same thing the last 2 years: crumble when LeBron takes the floor against them. I’ve seen LeBron come in and literally CRUISE through those series without having to break a sweat. The Celtics seem to sadly, fold. The Hawks seem to implode and forget their style of play and their routine. Its very frustrating to watch. It’s like there’s no competition out east. Well, it’s not.

I think there are a number of west teams that could at least give the Cavs a good 2-3 games in a playoff series. Of course the top 3 can. I also think the Grizzlies, Jazz, Rockets and Thunder would have a decent chance, better than any east team. The west has forever been a Fight Club fight on the way to the finals. Injuries and grind show in the Western Conference playoffs. Just ask the Clippers, Warriors, and Spurs.

I picked Cleveland as the favorites for this season anyway. Now they’ve added a top shooter with this lineup and still don’t even have JR Smith back yet. This will be the year Kyrie shows his self-worth that has been overlooked since LeBron decided to go back home.
The Warriors are good but very vulnerable. They have patented their routine and they don’t know who’s going to shoot the last shot. I say Steph Curry every time.

Cavs vs Anybody in the finals. 4-1. LeBron coasts, Kyrie wins finals MVP finally, another ring for “The Land”. Comparison to Jordan ensues. Blasphemous commentary on this subject continues as LeBron gets closer to 6. He’s great, maybe he’ll wind up being second best. Maybe he’ll wind up winning the next 5 thanks to this garbage Eastern Conference. Man up Eastern Conference! Continue to slaughter them, Bron.

Rambling Thought: NBA January 2017

By: Opinionated MJ





The New Year has featured Russell Westbrook dropping a triple double in 19 game minutes. James Harden dropped a monster triple double as well with 53 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped a monster statline reminiscent of something we seen in smaller packages from Andrei Kirilenko. LeBron and Kyrie are running the Eastern Conference. The Warriors are still the best in the West, although stumbling in places they once succeeded. MVP candidates throughout those teams.

DeMarcus Cousins will be apart of the Boston Celtics. The Bulls will land a stretch 4. The a Pistons will find themselves. The Jazz will continue to amaze with their silent rise. It’s also scary that Memphis is always competitive and playing in between all the other top 8 out west. They’re a star away, maybe Paul George.

Typically, the Cavs will make the finals as they usually do. It’s crazy out west once you get past Golden State and San Antonio. I think we may see the Jazz, Rockets, and Thunder all make the playoffs. They’re in the thick of things. It’ll be fun to watch who will occupy the 8th seed leading up to a fun playoff. No one out East to contest Cleveland. They await. Rightfully so, since they’re the defending champs. As long as their big 3 is healthy. 

Russell Westbrook will win the MVP award if his team stays a top 4 seed. He’s a given if that is achieved. I don’t see how anyone else wins it, rightfully. The league could get hacked right? Vote in all the bigs for the All Star game. That’s justice.

The Knicks are currently on another skid, as well as the Clippers. This is only fueling Melo for Blake rumors. I think it would actually work for both teams although that would cause some more rotation issues I think New York finally has figured out. The Knicks honestly just need bench depth. A scorer here, defender there, enforcer there, and boom! They’re a contender. The east is weak enough that they could rise to number 3. Even the 2nd seed isn’t a foregone thing to me.

I expect the second half of the season to be exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing what east team will take a risk and stop being afraid of failure. No risk, no reward. Someone needs to chase Cousins. Someone needs to go after Blake, CP3, Melo. I want to see a great competitor developed to truly contest Cleveland. Make it interesting to see them against someone out east. Instead of it being the “leastern” conference. The “feast on” conference, the “least strong” conference. I could go on. We’ll see where the season goes from here. Starting with wondering if Rondo will be in the NBA anymore after the latest news.

I love this game.

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… 

The Durant Warriors

 

By: Opinionated MJ

Durant will takeover the Warriors by season’s end. He will pry away the grip of the team away from Stephen Curry. Yes, the back to back, unanimous MVP will be dethroned from being king of the Golden State. He will step down, WILLINGLY, and allow Kevin Durant to take the reign. This doesn’t mean that there will be friction. This doesn’t mean that there will be egos clashing or silent envy brewing, no, not at all. It’s just the order of things. In order to have proper success, things must have an order.

 

You can’t have the same Steph Curry shot selection from the playoffs and have a thriving Kevin Durant in all of this. Not productively anyway. I’m sure he wants to maintain something north of 20 points per game. Lets look at this on the base level: Kevin Durant will take Harrison Barnes shots, plus more. With that being said, there needs to be a pecking order then. I think Steph needs to become a swap option with Klay Thompson. They need to exchange 2nd and 3rd option amongst one another (and maybe even 1st option with Durant on many nights) depending on who has the hot hand, depending on who is defending who, depending on what lineups are in. Everything is situational with this team now. If you know Steph Curry can pull up from 50 feet and make a shot on you and you still have to guard Klay, Kevin, and Draymond also keeps you honest, then what can you honestly do as far as stacking up on defense? There will be no double team that isn’t dissected. There will be no mismatch that can’t be instantly exploited. Let’s not mention the new death lineup. We’ll call it that now. I wish someone credible could read this. Commentators could say, “Uh oh, looks like the Warriors are going with the ‘New Death’ lineup!” New Death. Death you haven’t seen before cause it’s so many ways to kill opposing teams now. Enough sounding like I’m brown nosing. Pistons will sweep the Warriors in the finals. Neutral?

 

New Death… because Kevin Durant brings them about 3 new dynamics. I’ve come across things that say that he was the #1 player in post efficiency last season and I personally thought that it was their only weakness last year. Not being able to slow down the game and grind it out. They also have Kevin Durant, who can play isolation and create for himself without intimidation or hesitation. I’ve watched Steph avoid contact (guess he was hurt) in the finals, and I also watched Klay avoid it as well and pull up from the elbow. Durant will take the ball to the rack, with authority, and he’ll probably embarrass some opposing defenders and make some nice posters with his new digs on. The shot. The Drive. The Post. The Warriors sacrificed their defense for the opportunity to have what I’d call a “Super Offense”. Their defense should pick back up as the season goes along.

 

Once Draymond gets through to everyone on the team, everyone gets familiar with their place on the floor in those sets and how to help Durant, Steph & Klay when they run someone off the perimeter. Draymond will now be a rim protector. I think he should be anyway. He did a nice job of fouling LeBron from totally removing his soul in game 7 of the finals. Impressive if you can stop him from hammering you and instead you hammer him. I watched him tangle with Dwight Howard and come out on top. I watched him only be drowned out when there was a Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams combo on the floor to deny him rebounds and the ability to help on certain plays. It takes 2 baby!

 

They’re vulnerable, though. Everything has to go smooth. They have to iron the kinks out. I think we’ll see some things that we seen with the Big 3 in Miami. This time they’ll figure out the puzzle earlier on because they all lack the ego where they just HAVE to be the #1 Alpha on the team. The thing that everyone is on Durant about will be the same thing that could bring them good success. This is a TEAM sport right? It’s about having help and teammates they said. It’s about having a #2 they said. Jordan couldn’t do it without Pippen and without Rodman they said. Kobe couldn’t do it without Shaq they said. Wait, Shaq couldn’t do it without Kobe and shooters I said! LeBron couldn’t win a ring without Wade, Bosh, and Ray Allen, then Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, JR Smith they’ll say. Everybody needs somebody. Russell Westbrook was a ball hog that had everyone screaming for him to pass the ball to Durant before Durant fell to injury, right? How soon some forget some things. With that said, Russell Westbrook will be your 2017 NBA MVP… IF he can land the Thunder a 1-4 seed. Maybe even a 5 seed depending on his numbers and in-game performances. Especially if he dominates. I can’t wait to watch. I hope to see 2006 Kobe reincarnated.

 

Just my opinion.

Landscape of the NBA: Summer 16 (Part II)


By: Opinionated MJ

Welcome to another installment of the “NBA Landscape” series. Let’s jump right in to a few intriguing teams going into the 2016-17 NBA Season. Representing the Eastern Conference, yes, the conference I think possibly has NO chance to stop Cleveland regardless of how interesting they may get. I Like these teams but I believe they’re still one major piece short. That piece could be the growth of a player already existing on their roster.

 

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have found themselves loaded with talent in their starting lineup now and actually look very scary with Paul George another year removed from injury and with an entire season of health under his belt. No Danny Granger curse here. The Pacers now consist of Paul George, Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young just to name a few. They now have the depth that it takes to make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs. The only question is, will their new coach Nate McMillan be able to translate his defensive prowess into these players and onto the court while also finding an offensive system to get this collection of players to coexist in. I guess people will be saying Teague is declining because he won’t be finishing as much as he did in Atlanta, he won’t have to. Their X-factor that can bring them success is Myles Turner. He needs to grow and continue to expand his game. If he can successfully fit in around a bunch of ball dominant guards, this team can potentially contend against a LeBron James Cavaliers team. If not, they’re doomed to be defeated by King James as easy as Toronto and Atlanta have been in the past.

 

Boston Celtics

Very intriguing as well but they’ve also landed an ex-Hawk in Al Horford. I’m not too fond of that 60 win Hawks teams from 2 seasons ago because they still folded against LeBron when it mattered just as they did during the playoffs this past year. They still have Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Gerald Green, Avery Bradley, and the rookie Jaylen Brown. This team just keeps expanding their depth every year. I really think they just need to either find the formula the 2004 Detroit Pistons found by having depth and defense with sparky offense, or they need to try to find a way to land a superstar by DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES! Allegedly they could’ve landed Jimmy Butler, should’ve pushed for DeMarcus Cousins, and were in the running for Kevin Durant. A lot of people thought they would land Russell Westbrook but he decided to stay in OKC. I see Boston being more of the same since Al Horford doesn’t really want to play with his back to the basket. He’ll provide relief for Thomas. The Celtics need more perimeter defenders in case they fall to the injury bug again when it matters most. If you lose Bradley, Crowder, and even Thomas’ scoring when it matters most, you’re doomed. More depth may be the key. Maybe if Jaylen Brown can make an instant impact then they’ll be better than expected. He is their X-factor.

 

Detroit Pistons

My lovely DETROITTTTTTTTTT BASSSSSSKETTTTTBALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! I expect big things from this Pistons team coming into the 16-17 season. First things first, young Drummond. You must improve your free throws! This team is doomed unless… Stanley Johnson begins to find his inner Kawhi Leonard. I expect big things from him to go along with his attitude that he stands down to no man. I actually appreciate him for that reason. A lot of Cavs fans and NBA fans around the globe were saying that he should’ve kept his mouth shut. I beg to differ. What better to do being a #8 seed, underdog, gritty, new, young Pistons team making the playoffs for the first time in years and you get to see LEBRON JAMES as your opposition. It’s already win or go home. Sense of urgency from round 1! What better way to improve than to play against the absolute best team in the Eastern Conference and arguably the best player on the planet? Who better to talk smack to so you can be forced to elevate your game or be embarrassed. No matter the result, you win, due to the stage that this team is in. You automatically improve. He’s 19 (probably 20 now). He’s a kid! Already has the mindset of a man ready to put in the work to reach the goals and expectations set by his peers, the fans, and most importantly, his coach. Stan Van Gundy has a real diamond in the rough with Stanley Johnson. He IS the X-factor for the Detroit Pistons. I expect them to be top 4 in the East and as good as top 3. We stole Tobias Harris midseason, we’ve allowed Jackson a year to be the man running the show, we have Drummond who is capable of 20 & 20 on any night, and we also have Morris and KCP who can drop 20 without you expecting it at all. We have a well-rounded team. We just need Drummond to have a season where he plays better defense and can convert on 60-70% of his free throws. We were the BEST COMPETITION IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS against the Cavs. Everybody else tucked their tail in and cowered in fear. I say that with absolute confidence because it is true. LeBron hasn’t had any competition in the east but 1 team every year. The Heat were expected to be the competition but fell to the injury bug, piece by piece.

 

I’ll stop it at the Pistons. I’ll also get into the Knicks, Bulls, and express what I expect from teams like the Wolves, 76ers, Lakers, and more in upcoming articles. The Knicks are surrounded in mystique at this point. I also wouldn’t sleep on the Bulls. The defense I expect from them would resemble something like that of the Wade, Bron, Bosh Miami Heat. Durant, OKC, Pelicans, Jazz, Suns!! Can’t wait for this season!

Until next article!