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Pistons players getting psyched for opener October 27, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Pistons players are stoked for the regular season opener tonight against the New Jersey Nets. Check out a few recent Twitter posts by forward Charlie Villanueva and guard Ben Gordon:

About an hour ago from Villanueva:

CV31: Okay, Fantasy is fun and all, actually helps me with scouting techniques. But enough of that, it’s time… GAMETIME. Tonight vs. NJ Nets. G1

And just a few minutes later:

CV31: It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday, last week, last month or last year – today we overcome our challenges. Let’s go to work Detroit.

Wow. Sounds like he’s focused.

Finally, Ben Gordon is getting into the routine:

BenGordon8: Pregame meal…chicken and pasta w/ asparagus…mmhhmm

Take a look at the Twitter feeds from several Pistons players on Championship Drive’s right sidebar, and be sure to check back often for updates throughout the season.

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Dumars going dealing? October 25, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Pistons President Joe Dumars / Photo via Clarence Tabb, Jr., The Detroit News

It’s no secret the Pistons have long been trying to make trades to improve the team. Even guard Richard Hamilton and forward Tayshaun Prince, holdovers from the championship glory days earlier this decade, have been on the table.

Pistons President Joe Dumars recently told The Detroit News he’s “comfortable” with the current roster, but not “content.”

Pure logic would have the Pistons trade one of the myriad of wing players they have on the roster, (i.e. Hamilton or Prince to free up playing time for star guard Ben Gordon and newcomer Tracy McGrady), to fill holes in the post, especially with the injury to forward Jonas Jerebko.

But as Dumars told The Detroit News, he won’t pull the trigger on a deal unless it clearly benefits the team. So unless such a trade falls in his lap, the Pistons may stand pat for the foreseeable future.

Pistons sale could be finalized in November October 24, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Pistons news.
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NBA Commissioner David Stern believes a deal to sell the Pistons could be sealed next month.

As widely reported in early October, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is interested and has a set time frame in which to make an offer. Stern pegged the expiration date of that negotiating period around Oct. 31.

He hopes the agreement could then be formalized over the next 40 to 45 days or so.

Ilitch’s group has met with officials of the Pistons’ parent company, Palace Sports & Entertainment, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Bynum coins a new color October 24, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Pistons news.
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“Bynum Blue” sneakers / Photo via Chrios Iott, MLive.com

He calls it “Bynum Blue.”

If Will Bynum doesn’t grab attention this year with his play, at least his shoes will. The Pistons guard has been running up and down the court in bright blue sneakers that are sure to turn heads.

The athletic phenom says the shoes make him look and feel faster, that it’s a “mental thing.”

Bynum says he’ll wear the shoes all season as long as he doesn’t get fined.

Ease up on the Magic to Pistons talk October 20, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Earlier this week, Lakers legend Magic Johnson sold his share of the team, rumored to be more than $27 million, although no official figure was announced.

If you’re a basketball fan from the state of Michigan, your mind probably jumped straight to a vision of the former Michigan State great buying a stake in the Pistons and continuing his basketball glory for the Mitten State. As mentioned on PistonPowered.com, that’s exactly where Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk went.

Not so fast, says the Detroit Free Press.

According to J.A. Adande of ESPN, Johnson’s agent said Monday that Johnson will not jump to the Pistons. Adande suggests buying into the L.A. Dodgers instead.

While I get most of Adande’s points in his argument, it would pain me — as a Michigan sports fan who is crazy for basketball and indifferent toward baseball — to see Johnson have a foot in the baseball world with no stake in basketball. But hey, Johnson seems to be business savvy, so I’m sure he’ll make the best financial decision. And I’d bet even if he held a stake in a baseball team that he would remain visible in the NBA.

Monroe gets no love from rookies October 18, 2010

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Pistons rookie forward Greg Monroe earned no votes for Rookie of the Year when NBA.com surveyed 40 rooks in August.

Picking Washington Wizards guard John Wall — the clear number 1 pick in last summer’s NBA draft — for the this year’s award is unsurprising. But PistonPowered.com wonders why Monroe didn’t even get a look from his fellow rookies.

The blog makes a good argument in Monroe’s favor: He’ll get significant playing time in Detroit’s frontcourt, especially with the loss of Jonas Jerebko.

Monroe is also the first legit post threat the Pistons have had in years, notwithstanding the times Rasheed Wallace decided to stay inside the arc.

Hopefully, Monroe will use the news as bulletin board fodder to spur his play to greater heights, as Patrick Hayes of PistonPowered.com suggests.

Refs ready to “T” it up this season October 17, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, NBA news.
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Richard Hamilton will have to tone down the whining this season, and he knows it. Photo via Robin Buckson / The Detroit News

This year, the NBA front office has instituted a much stronger technical foul policy.

The new rules are partly aimed at curbing players’ arguments and complaints toward referees. NBA officials want to clean up the league’s image as the major sport with the players who arguably whine the most.

But the NBA Players’ Association thinks the stricter rules and fines take it way too far. Ben Wallace says it will cut off healthy communication between players and referees.

I don’t know how this will shake out between players and refs, but at least part of me is glad the Pistons no longer have perennial technical foul champion Rasheed Wallace on the team. (I love you Rasheed, but you know it’s true, Mr. All-Time NBA Leader in Technical Fouls.)

On the other hand, we do still have Richard Hamilton.

An argument in favor of televising all NBA preseason games October 17, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, NBA news.
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One of my favorite Pistons blogs, Need4Sheed.com, last week called for televising the NBA preseason.

The point is well-taken when you’ve got 6-foot-tall Will Bynum rising up for one-handed jams like that.

But would the NBA really gain anything by televising more preseason games?

Injuries set Pistons back in preseason October 12, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Pistons news.
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Jonas Jerebko / Photo via MLive.com

UPDATE: Detroitbadboys.com reported Jonas Jerebko and Terrico White underwent successful surgeries.

Injuries are inevitable in competitive sports, but going down in a mostly meaningless preseason opener is just unfair. Pistons second-year forward Jonas Jerebko, a starter last year, tore his right Achilles tendon and is expected to be out of commission for at least five months. Ouch.

And point guard Terrico White suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He will be on the bench at least six weeks. Double ouch.

Both players underwent surgery last Friday.

Meanwhile, forward Chris Wilcox missed the preseason opener against the Miam Heat because of a sore hamstring.

And head coach John Kuester rested guard Tracy McGrady against the Milwaukee Bucks last Friday night because he wants to “pace him.”

At least guard Richard Hamilton has a happy reason for missing a game: His son was born last week.

Clock ticking on the Palace? October 8, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Pistons news.
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Crain’s Detroit Business reported last week that Detroit Pistons owner Karen Davidson is selling the team and its parent Palace Sports & Entertainment Inc. to Mike Ilitch, a Detroit pizza chain mogul who already owns the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers.

The deal is not done, but the Detroit Free Press reports Pistons ownership has reportedly given the Ilitchs a 30-day exclusive window.

While this is potentially relieving news for Pistons fans freaking out about the team perhaps vacating Detroit, Ilitch might move the team downtown and out of the Palace (which would also require renaming this blog). Word on the street is the Red Wings would share the new facility, moving out of the famed Joe Louis Arena.

Currently, almost 79 percent of voters in the Detroit Free Press’ poll think the Pistons moving downtown is a good idea.

Free Press columnist Drew Sharp thinks Ilitch can’t fiscally handle keeping three professional teams successful, and the Pistons will draw the short straw.

Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News thinks the pros outweigh the cons.

What about you? Do you want the Pistons to join the other Detroit franchises downtown, or is the scent of Palace nostalgia too powerful for the team to leave?

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