Winds of change

I sense a new beginning! Since this is the first post, I'll start with an introduction.

- This blog is titled "The Pistons", but it will cover all of the NBA. The team in question will be the focus, seeing as how they're my favourite, but I have love and hate for all thirty teams.
- Seeing how much free time I have on my hands, updates will often be daily
- Note: Absolutely no talk about the NCAA on here. I'm a small fan of that but just about everything I hear about in sports (aside from the steroid stuff in baseball) these days is regarding that. Thus, it shall not be discussed here
- A bit about me: My name is Corey, I live in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I'm currently attending Wilfrid Laurier University, but that is ending in April. Come September, I'll be attending the University of Windsor and living in the city of the same name. For those unfamiliar with the area, it's just a bridge away from Detroit.

That's about it for introduction. I know it's a strange idea to fire a blog up in the later half of the NBA season, but it goes anyway.

I'll start with the Pistons/Raptors game that took place earlier. The Pistons were victorious, 103-92. Why was this? As I suggested would happen before the game (not that I can back this up or anything), something that often happens to the Pistons, the best player on the opposing would explode and the rest of the team would play like grade schoolers. Normally the best player on the Raptors would be the raptor-appearance-esque Chris Bosh... but he was hurt/injured on the evening and didn't want to aggrevate the hurt/injury against the powerful Piston frontcourt. But tonight, the best player on the team (and someone I've thought has been the second best player on the Raptors ever since he got there) was Donyell Marshall. Sure enough, the Ludacris-lookalike had a wicked 10-16 from the field, 5-10 from behind the arc, 12 board, 25 point game. The rest of the Raptors? 25-77 from the field, 3-11 from behind the arc and only 28 boards. Standouts included Detroit native Jalen Rose, who had his standard array of bad shot selection, finishing a sparkling 9-26 and 1-5 from 23'9+ on the night, as well as Aaron Williams, who actually got more than two minutes of playing time! Maybe crazy old Sam Mitchell will start playing Eric Williams next game too, it'll be a miracle twice in a row. I really don't understand what that guy (Mitchell) is doing to the team. As I stated above, I think Marshall is great, yet this was his FIRST START OF THE SEASON. I realize that playing small forward or center is out of position for him, with Bosh usually taking up the PF role, but that's ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous about it is that despite that the Raptors are pretty much just playing for ping pong balls at the moment, they're still throwing Marshall out there as he basically increases the amount he signs for in the offseason. I really don't understand it. Why start giving him more time now when they're practically out of the race instead of earlier in the year when they still had a shred of hope? As for the Pistons, it was the usual good job all around, aside from Rasheed's usual chucking, unusual 2-7 from the charity stripe and McDyess's out of the ordinary 2-7 from the field. Tayshaun had another strong game, going 6-10 from two, 1-2 from three and 6-6 from the line, for totals of 21 points and five boards. He also was part of the reason Rose shot like ass. Rasheed chucked but had 18 and 13, so no large complaints, even though his defense was questionable. Ben had 15 boards and 4 blocks, another wonderful game from the heart of the team. Rip looked good on O and D, putting up 20 points on 9-16 shooting and holding Mo Pete to 13 points on 4-13 shooting. Chauncey did some serious beating down of the weak (that's weak as in the opposite of strong) Raptor PGs, scoring 23 points on 7-10 shooting to go with 8 assists and 6 boards.

Also recently in the news was the firing of Johnny Davis and his assistant... I really think the guy got a raw deal. The team may have been playing like crap, but whose fault was that? As often mentioned, the team started out 13-6 but has tailed off since. I don't suppose part of that could be because of the terrifying lopsided Doug Christie for Cuttino Mobley trade that Weisbrod made? I understand that they didn't want to pay Mobley, but trading him and angering your team's best player (Francis, though Howard will probably overtake that by next season) is a worse alternative to me than letting him walk. At least you clear cap room that way. The way Weisbrod did it, they get a contrasting personality in Christie, then throw him on the IL. Why? Why would one do this?

I read the link title of "Wife of Piston Ham arrested in domestic dispute" as "___ piston __ arrested in domestic dispute" and I was worried for a moment. Then someone got me thinking, his wife must also be quite large if she can crack a 6'7 guy over the head with a wine bottle (semi-related note, I measure in at 6'8, not that this is necessary information). Which is kind of cool, seeing as how the average height of women is North America is 5'4.

Vladimir Radmanovic is out 4-6 weeks. That's right, a good team's popular shooter off the bench is out 4-6 weeks. Normally this would be cause for concern, right? In this case, not so much. For one, Vlad is only averaging 1.14 points per shot (happily referred to as PPS) while another deep shooter off of Seattle's bench, Antonio Daniels (1.37 PPS) provides a much better alternative. Daniels is a 7% drop from downtown, but is a 6% increase in two pointers and gets to the line much more often (4.1 FTA/game for Daniels, 1.6 FTA/game for Radmanovic). And inside, of course, there is the statistical anomaly that is Danny Fortson (who has a disgusting 2.07 PPS). Unfortunately he's limited to 3.8 FGA/game, but if he could cut down on the fouls and improve on the stamina, losing Vlad wouldn't cause much of a difference at all. Unfortunately, I read that Nate McMillan might just use Flip Murray (a special 1.02 PPS) in his place instead. I realize that PPS isn't everything, but Radmanovic is mainly a scorer... thus, being mainly a scorer, PPS is quite important (at least in my eyes). So why not increase the shots of Daniels and Fortson, who are efficient, instead of adding the inefficient Murray?

This is kind of old, but since I didn't exactly post anything about it at the time, I'll cover it now: The big deal about Payton resigning with the Celtics. I hear people saying "OH THE CELTICS GOT A GREAT FREE PLAYER". One, Payton isn't great anymore. He may have been one of the best guards of the 90's and maybe early 00's, but he's falling apart now (from what I can see). His stats are average, his defensive PER may be alright but we all saw him in the playoffs last year, right? He must've had a had time guarding a barn. Second, what's the big deal? It's probably collusion, sure, but it's not like he's being paid under the table like Joe Smith (ex-Piston) was (though if he is getting paid under the table for this move, it's a different discussion entirely).

Other games of note around the league from the night:

Indiana 103, LA Lakers 97; Reggie Miller goes up for 39 points, Dale Davis goes up for 16 boards (including 7 O boards).

Wow! I don't know which is more impressive, that old man Miller can still have nights of 13-18 from the field and 10-10 from the line or that old man Davis can scoop that many of the old "OREB" up. Talk about overachieving.

New Jersey 94, Utah 80; Utah grabs a massive 27 rebounds as a team.

Andrei Kirilenko, as usual, had a nice night (though it only contained one board, somehow) and wasn't rewarded for it. AK47 might be the single best player in the league and he's just wasting away with the hacks (Boozer, while not a hack, is hurt at the moment) in Utah. Garnett's going through similar trouble, but his recognition is seen often, like that MVP he got last year. Whenever AK47 gets recognition it's usually "WOW WHAT AN UNDISCOVERED TALENT" even though he signed a fat extension earlier in the year... thus, not really recognition at all (how can you have recognition if what's being recognized isn't properly analyzed?) What I find funny about Utah is how the bitching is that they need a good point guard... hm, seems to me they had one earlier in the year (I realize Arroyo's stats weren't too swell in Utah, but as seen with the Pistons it was just a dry spell) and shipped him off for a late first rounder. Hypocrisy is super!

Golden State 110, Phoenix 100: Baron Davis learns how to shoot, going 7-10 from behind the arc.

Zuh? This stat might be even weirder than the other Davis's O boards. I really don't like Baron Davis. I appreciate that his steal numbers are good and he often puts up good assist numbers but THE MAN HAS TO STOP SHOOTING THE THREE BALL... just like Antoine Walker, Rasheed, Iverson, Kobe, etc. As you can see, I'm not a fan of the chuckers. Well, Kobe's not really a chucker, but in regards to threes he can be. The others stand regardless. Back to BD, I applaud him for the stat, even though we'll probably never see it again. Speaking of Phoenix, Nash is my second pick for MVP this season (Nowitzki is number one).

That's all for the first night.


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