Detroit Pistons

Around the Rim: Not in our house!

1. Detroit outshines Phoenix
In what very well could be a preview of this year’s NBA Finals, the Pistons proved they still got it when it comes to breaking Shaq’s heart. The Suns were on a seven-game winning streak going into Detroit on Monday, but Detroit posted 14 points in overtime to take a 110-105 victory. Since joining Phoenix, the Bad Boys have twice defeated Shaquille O’Neal and the last time the Diesel was sporting a Western Conference uniform, the Pistons sent his Lakers home brokenhearted from the game’s ultimate stage. O’Neal managed to have a solid outing, posting 12 points and 10 rebounds to compliment Amare Stoudemire’s 33 points and Steve Nash’s 23, but Chauncey Billups was too much to handle down the stretch, scoring nine of his 32 points in the extra frame.

2. Beantown letdown

Philadelphia’s shock-n-awe tour continued on Monday night when the Sixers stopped in Boston and knocked off the league’s top dawgs 95-90. Andre Iguodala finished with 28 points and went bonkers in the fourth quarter, going on a personal 10-0 run as part of a 19-0 run to claw out of an 11-point hole. Boston’s “Big 3” combined for 44 points, but only posted five in the final quarter and the Celtics lost their second straight. Philadelphia improved to 8-2 over its last 10 games and now sits in sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

3. The Nuggets keep rolling
On Sunday, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony combined for 69 points in a victory over Toronto. On Monday, the dynamic duo posted 49 points, but the results were the same – a win. The Answer finished with 26 points and Carmelo Anthony tallied 23, however neither could hold a candle to J.R. Smith in Denver’s 120-106 win. Smith went nuclear in the final period, ripping off 25 of his 27 points, including seven bombs from downtown. The W was the Nuggets third consecutive as they try to work themselves back into the playoff picture in a stacked West. The Grizzlies got big games out of a pair of blossoming youngsters as Rudy put up a game-high 30 points and Hakim Warrick finished with 29. But don’t let the inexperienced talent fool you, this team stinks. In fact, if it weren’t for Seattle’s current 1-11 streak, Memphis might very well own the conference’s worst mark.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Lamar Odom @ Golden State 53 min, 23 pts (FG: 10-15, FT: 3-5), 21 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 5 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: San Antonio (47-23) @ Orlando (46-26)
The last time the Spurs visited Orlando Dwight Howard slam dunked his Magic to a victory with less than one second remaining in the game. Until he went Superman at All-Star Weekend, it was the defining moment of his short career. The Spurs have now won three in a row after dropping six of seven and just added Brent Barry back to the roster to give them some solid perimeter shooting for the playoff push. It’s a strategy the Magic are quite familiar with. Orlando averages the second-most treys in the league (25.1 3FG per game) and Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu and Keith Bogans are amongst the top 12 in the league for 3-point attempts.

Buzzer Beater: Fans in Seattle chanted “Save Our Sonics!” at any chance they could get last night and apparently the players just aren’t used to hearing anything other than boos when they play in front of the home crowd after dropping 11 in a row before beating Portland 97-84 on Monday.

Messed me up a little bit,” [Kevin] Durant said. “But I heard them and that’s something I love. The crowd was into it tonight and that shows they’re going to stick behind us.

Detroit Pistons

Around the Rim: Rasheed indeed

1. Pistons’ slide ends at two
The Pistons desperately needed a win after dropping their previous two games, so when they traveled to San Antonio on Thursday, they didn’t bother asking; they simply took it. One quarter into the game, Detroit had already doubled-up the Spurs, 30-15, and they hardly gave an inch from there, winning 90-80. Rasheed Wallace was huge for the Bad Boys, scoring 23 to go with 15 boards, three assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. While the Spurs’ All-Star trio was healthy for the contest, they certainly weren’t firing on all cylinders as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 21 points and six assists in the defeat.

2. Injuries were music to the Jazz’s ears

The Suns are good, but they’re not that good. With Shawn Marion, Steve Nash and Grant Hill all out of the lineup against Utah on Thursday, Amare Stoudemire was expected to pick up the slack. He did what he could, scoring 21 and grabbing 14 rebounds, but the Jazz finally showed a little pride and took the undermanned Suns behind the woodshed for an old fashioned beat down, 108-86. The knockout punch came in the third quarter when Phoenix could only produce five field goals and 12 points. Five players finished in double-digits for the Jazz, including Carlos Boozer (22 pts, 17 reb) and Deron Williams (17 pts, 11 ast) who both grabbed double-doubles in the contest.

3. Kings of the court, at least against the Grizz
Memphis and Sacramento played a nail-bitter in California and points were plentiful for almost everyone who stepped foot on the floor. Nine players scored ten or more points in the game, led by Rudy Gay’s 31. In the end, the Kings eked out a 116-113 victory with four starters hitting for at least 22 points. The Grizzlies have now lost 18 consecutive games in Sactown, going back to when they called Vancouver home.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Rasheed Wallace @ San Antonio 40 min, 23 pts (FG: 9-15, 3FG: 1-4, FT: 4-4), 15 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk

Friday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (23-14) @ Denver (21-13)
The Magic already have 22 road games in the book this season and, surprisingly, they are dominating. With a 16-6 record outside of Orlando, Dwight Howard & Co. are far better on the road then they are at home (7-8). Denver is basically the opposite, owning a 14-5 record at home with a subpar 7-8 showing on the road. If O-Town wants to win, they’ll have to pay special attention to Allen Iverson tonight. A.I. scored his career-high 60 points against the Magic when he was still in Philly and in his last three games against Orlando he has topped 30. And if that’s not bad enough for the Magic, Iverson has scored a combined 103 points in his last three contests.

Buzzer Beater: Utah is desperate to get their players into the All-Star game. How desperate? Apparently, they’re desperate enough to bribe fans for votes.

First there was Chris Bosh, with his home-made “vote-for-me” video on YouTube. Now the Utah Jazz are weighing in as the season for NBA all-star voting nears conclusion, offering free hot dogs to fans in exchange for home-team votes.

The Deseret News reports that the Jazz offered fans free hot dogs in exchange for 10 ballots filled out at their home game last night against the Phoenix Suns – stuff your face, stuff the box.

Detroit Pistons

Around the Rim: Now who’s the best in the East?

1. Pistons pack pop for trip to Boston
The Celtics took their first real test of the season on Wednesday, falling a few points shy of a passing grade and a win. The Pistons escaped Boston with a two-point victory, 87-85, thanks to a pair of last-second Chauncey Billups free throws. Mr. Big Shot finished with game-highs of 28 points and eight assists as Detroit’s starting five scored all but 14 of the team’s points. Still, that’s nine more points than Boston got from their bench that shot two-for-nine in a combined 52 minutes of work. Kevin Garnett (26 pts, 12 reb) and Ray Allen (24 pts) took care of business, but the third piece of the triforce, Paul Pierce, shot a pathetic five-of-16 for 11 points. Boston proved they aren’t where they need to be yet and despite their 20-3 overall record, the Bad Boys are still the elite out East.

2. Too little, too late

Things didn’t look good for the Suns after the first quarter of their game against Dallas. With 12 minutes in the books, Phoenix was staring up from a 17-point hole. By the middle of the fourth quarter it wasn’t much better as the Mavericks held a 14-point advantage, but that’s when the Suns turned on the burners, using a 23-12 run over the final 6:56 to get within one Steve Nash 3-point air-ball from forcing overtime. Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 31 in the 108-105 shootout, giving the Mavericks their fourth consecutive win. The Suns still hold a half-game advantage over Dallas in the standings and Nash further padded his assists per game lead by handing out 18 dimes to go with his 21 points.

3. End of an era
Miami lost again on Wednesday, this time to Atlanta, but that’s nothing new. The real story of the game was the torn patellar tendon in Alonzo Mourning’s right knee; an injury that will most likely end the career of the 15-year vet. Mourning is a seven-time All-Star, a two-time defensive player of the year and ranks 10th all-time in career blocks. You never want to see a career end on an injury and you really never want to see a career end on a stretcher, which was the original means of transportation to get the big fella and his bum wheel off the court following the injury. But like the rest of his life, Zo was going to do things his way.

That’s not the way I envisioned myself walking off the court for the last time in my career,” he said. “I’ve been through so much in my life. If I had to crawl off the court I would have. Nobody was going to push me off on a stretcher off the court. That wasn’t going to happen.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Steve Nash @ Dallas 37 min, 21 pts (FG: 9-15, 3FG: 2-3, FT: 1-2), 3 reb, 18 ast, 1 stl

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (15-9) @ Cleveland (11-15)
We could sit here and cram records down your throats or talk about bench depth, but we all know why this game gets top billing for the night, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. The two are sitting at No. 1 and No. 2 in the league in scoring with LBJ scoring 29.6 a night and the Mamba dumping in 26.8 per contest. And for a little more parody, both are also leading their crews in assists and steals. We know that these teams have a ton of work to do if they want to sniff the NBA Finals this year, but, in late December, we don’t really care about teamwork. Until summer rolls around, we’ll take a showdown between a pair of one-man-bands any day of the week.

Buzzer Beater: Even a little blurry, this is one of the sickest moves you’ll ever see by someone not named Skip To My Lou.

Detroit Pistons

Don’t turn your back on Sheed, not even for an interview

Rasheed Wallace is a crazy guy, but we don’t need to tell you that. However, with all temper tantrums, technicals, taunting and trash talk, you might not know that he’s is actually a pretty funny fella. Just ask Jason Maxiell what a funny guy Sheed is.

Nothing like a little bout of pregame dodge ball to loosen up the nerves.


[Awful Announcing]: It’s Dangerous Being A Sideline Reporter Around Rasheed Wallace

Detroit Pistons

Around the Rim: Wrestling with the truth

1. Welcome back, Rasheed
The NBA season is rolling, but something just doesn’t feel right. Something is missing. Ah, of course! Rasheed Wallace hasn’t done anything stupid yet. Wait; looks like we can check that off our list. Here’s what Sheed had to say about the Pistons being eliminated from the playoffs by Cleveland in six games last year.

“There’s a lot of people out here who think they really beat us,” Wallace sniffed, apparently ignoring the fact that five close games were followed by a 16-point Cavs blowout in Game 6. “It was ourselves. We beat ourselves. We fell victim to the little, personal NBA thing where they’re trying to make it a world game and get ratings and all that.

“They wanted to put their darling (LeBron James) in there, and they did put him in there. Look what ended up happening.”

“So this game, this ain’t basketball no more, it’s entertainment. It’s like WWF. Ain’t no more real (than) wrestling. All the days of Ric Flair and Rick Rude and Jake the Snake. … It’s so fake.”

That’s more like it, we feel much better now.

2. Seeing green

So far, so good for the green clovers. Sure, they’re just two games into their season, but the Boston Celtics tremendous trio is looking pretty intimidating at the moment. After spanking Washing by 20 points on Friday, the Celtics returned to action on Sunday against Washington and when it came time for someone to step up for the game winning shot, Ray Allen made a 3-pointer to give Boston a 98-95 victory over Toronto in overtime. Allen led the way with 33 points, including seven treys, and Kevin Garnett followed up his double-double debut with 23 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Celtics senior Paul Pierce dished in 13 points, five rebounds six assists and a pair of steals. So far, the green’s big three have Boston fans feeling like kings of the sports universe with the Celtics joining the Red Sox, Patriots and Eagles atop their respective sports.

3. No Stoudemire, no sweat
Despite missing their star big man Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix rolled over Cleveland in the second half and sent the Cavaliers on to Golden State with a 103-92 defeat. The defending Eastern Conference champs are now 1-2 on the young season, getting handled by the pair of western big boys they’ve faced. LeBron James had a great game, leading the team in every major stat except for rebounds, and the Cavs out-rebounded Phoenix by 11 (51-40), but the team’s 18 turnovers proved too much to overcome. Steve Nash played like Steve Nash (30 pts, 10 ast), Shawn Marion did his thing (23 pts, 12 reb, 2 stl, 2 blk) and before you know it, BAM, the Suns have 103 points off an eight man rotation, seven if you exclude Marcus Banks’ five minutes of play.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: LeBron James @ Phoenix 43 min, 27 pts (FG: 11-26, 3FG: 3-5, FT: 2-2), 5 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl, 4 blk

Monday’s Game to Watch: Houston (3-0) @ Dallas (2-1)
It’s easy to call this our “Game to Watch” because it’s the only contest on the calendar. But even if they weren’t flying solo on Monday night, they’d still have a legitimate claim for the NBA’s top billing. Dallas bounced back from an embarrassing loss to Atlanta on Friday to pop a hapless Sacramento team in the mouth on Saturday. The Mavericks looked good in their 123-102 spanking of the Kings, but Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia and Brad Miller really don’t compare to in-state rival Houston’s lineup of Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier and Yao Ming. The Rockets are finally starting to look like the team everybody expected to see when McGrady first joined the crew in 2004. Luis Scola is shaping up to be a steal from the Spurs based on his effort alone. It should be another 1,2,3 finish for the three Texas teams in the Southwest division, but this year could be the year Houston escapes the bronze medal.

Buzzer Beater: It was discovered over the weekend that a pair of NBA notables recently turned up their noses to a pair of different offers. First, Phil Jackson said that Grant Hill wouldn’t return his phone call over the summer while he was deciding on his future as a free agent. “I figured he didn’t entertain the idea very much if he didn’t return that call,” said Jackson. We can understand that considering that Hill actually wants to win a title and not just be Kobe’s shadow in the midst of a storm of uncertainty. Then comes the bad news for Philly fanatics. It appears that Andre Iguodala has declined the team’s final offer of a contract extension. Apparently, $57 million just isn’t enough to keep him settled in Philadelphia for the next five years. Again, we can’t blame him; have you seen the freaks that live in that dump? Not to mention he’d still be on the Sixers.

Overtime Buzzer Beater: Dirk Nowitzki loves him some NASCAR-Nextel Cup. Herren, fangen Sie Ihre Motoren an!

Detroit Pistons

Rasheed Wallace was once in bed at 1:00 in the morning? Our Sheed?

You know that NBA teams are back in training camp, right? You did remember that the NBA season is right around the corner, didn’t you? Yea, we know; the NBA doesn’t start until MLB, NFL and NCAA football wrap up. But that doesn’t mean that rookies aren’t still getting hazed.

It’s a fact of life: cold showers, being taped to the goalpost, getting beaten with bars of soaps inside of a sock in your sleep, the shocker. These are some of the most infamous `team building’ exercises out there. Luckily, Rasheed Wallace didn’t have to worry about the last two; at least not to our knowledge.

Nothing really embarrassing, just tedious tasks,” Wallace said, recalling what veterans like Chris Webber made him do as a rookie on the Washington Wizards. “One night Webber was downtown and it was about 1, 1:30 in the morning. He called me up talking about how he needs a ride.”

Wallace, worried that Webber was drunk and couldn’t get home, climbed out of bed and got in his car.

“When I got downtown, come to find out, he didn’t need a ride,” Wallace said. “I was upset. But there wasn’t nothing I could do — I was the rook. But I didn’t do nothing really heavy like these guys are going to do.”

Wallace has already struck once, writing the word “Rook” on his teammates’ headbands for the team’s open practice last week. That’s only the beginning, he said.

“It’s coming; it’s coming,” Wallace said. “They’re going to take us out to dinner and everything. Doughnuts, coffee, all that. It’s coming.”

Wallace said they should feel happy that they have one another. He was his team’s only rookie; this way, “they can combine their money together.

Making the young guys pick up the bill and bring the doughnuts is all well and good, but Webber’s outlook on hazing it totally more our style. But what we can’t believe is that a young Sheed was actually able to keep his cool when C-Webb dragged him outta bed. This is the same Rasheed we’re thinking about, right? `Both teams played hard‘ Rasheed, right?


[]: Pistons rookies ready for hazing; `Sheed recalls what Webber did to him

Detroit Pistons

Flip Saunders was just 20 yards from bridge as it collapsed

Detroit Pistons coach Flip Saunders revealed on Thursday that he was about 20 yards form the I-35W bridge that collapsed on Wednesday in Minneapolis. Amazingly, it was construction that saved his life as the entrance ramp to his normal route was closed, forcing the Minnesota native to take a detour.

I usually take the 35W bridge, but the ramp was closed,” Saunders said Thursday from Minneapolis in a telephone interview with the AP. “My daughter was driving in a car right behind me when the bridge collapsed — about 20 yards away from us. It
sounded like a bomb when it dropped.

“I got out of my car, and the first thing I heard was the kids screaming on the bus. I called 911. I didn’t really know what else I could do.

Saunders was driving to his home after making an appearance at Tubby Smith’s basketball camp which was being held at his alma matter, the University of Minnesota.

A day later, I’m still in a surreal state of mind,” he said. “I can still see what happened. It’s kind of like having flashbacks.


[]: Saunders avoids bridge collapse

Detroit Pistons

Mr. Big Shot isn’t going anywhere

Get ready to hear “Chauncey
B-B-B-Billups” for a long, long time.

There has been lots of talk over the past few months that Chauncey Billups was going to leave Detroit for a lucrative offer from another team, but the Pistons have officially squashed any doubt that they would lose their point guard after they threw a wad of cash at him and he promptly accepted. Joe Dumars locked up his Finals MVP winning guard to a $60 million contract that will keep Billups in Motown for the next five years with $46 million guaranteed over the next four seasons and a team option for the fifth.

We said from the beginning that re-signing Chauncey was our top priority, and now we can move forward knowing that Chauncey will continue to lead this team,” Joe Dumars told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “One of the toughest positions to fill in this business is the point guard position, and that’s why it was imperative that we re-sign Chauncey.

Apparently Dumars has learned his lesson after he let one of the other “toughest positions to fill” skip town when Ben Wallace, one of the few legitimate centers in the league, bailed out of Detroit for the rival Bulls last year. This move goes a long way to helping the Pistons shoot for a sixth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearance; and even if they don’t make it back to the East’s championship game, an average salary of $12 million per year will make it a lot easier to cope with the pain of losing. At least for Billups it will.


[]: Billups re-signs with Pistons for $60 million

Detroit Pistons

Do black people all look alike to you, Craig Sager?

Via the big lead comes this great clip of Craig Sager interviewing Chris Webber’s father and then afterward realizing that it was his AAU coach and then having to interview the real Mayce Webber instead.

Two things. 1) It’s a shame that it was Webber’s AAU coach and not just some random guy in the stands. 2) Too bad the guy didn’t look like Sugar Ray Leonard.

Detroit Pistons

Dale Davis gets tasered in Miami Beach

Where am I?

How many times do we have to say it? Professional athletes need to stay away from Miami. We know there are scores of hot chicks everywhere wearing bikinis and… shit.. see you suckers later.

Hmm… it turns out sports bloggers can’t afford last minute flights to Miami. Anyway, Dale Davis was tasered for assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence on Tuesday. The police were called to a hotel by the staff and when they asked Davis to leave, he refused to do so. Then it got ugly.

Police said they asked Davis to remove his hands from his pockets for officer safety, and Davis complied after asking officers if they were going to shoot him.

Davis pulled out money, three cellular phones and credit cards. He put the items back in his pockets and said he’d beat up the officers if they took off their badges and got rid of their guns.

Davis then balled his fists and began walking toward officers in an aggressive manner, and he was warned that he would be hit with a Taser gun if he continued. He didn’t stop, and an officer used the stun gun to hit Davis in the chest and he fell to the ground.

His agent said that they plan on filing a lawsuit against the police. What retarded jury would find for the plaintiff in this case? He was walking towards the officers in an aggressive manner. Davis is lucky they didn’t just shoot him. Also, why does Dale Davis carry 3 cell phones? 1 for his wife, 1 for his mistress, and 1 disposable one for the hos he meets on South Beach? I guess we’ll say it again. Just stay away from Miami.


[MSNBC]: Miami Beach cops stun-gun Pistons’ Davis
[Detroit Free Press]: Pistons’ Davis considers lawsuit vs. police