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When I have frequent arguments with friends about why basketball is better than hockey or baseball, it always comes down to one true point on my side.  Basketball is entertainment.  After taking in the Pistons/Knicks game last night in Detroit, my love for this league shot up higher than it ever was before.  As we all know, Mr. Isiah Thomas has been booed…booed …and booed some more.  He’s booed at home in New York and booed on the road in New York.  Until last night.  After I ran to my seat after getting soaked in the gross Auburn Hills rain, I was right in time for the introductions (or the best part of basketball—my thoughts at least).  You had your Eddy Curry’s, your Starbury’s…and of course…we all came to hear the reaction of Zeke himself.  To my thoughts, the Piston gang of fans cheered this guy as if he was still starting at PG for the Bad Boys.  This guy can assault an employee, become a losing/terrible coach, yet all these fans can remember is how amazing of a leader he once was for the boys in red, white and blue.  I was a little shocked at the reaction, until I found myself standing and clapping like everyone else. 

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Okay, terrible joke. I was going to write about how Piston rookie guard Rodney Stuckey broke his hand in last night’s exhibition win against the Wizards, and how I think he’s going to be one of this year’s top Rook candidates, and now the Pistons are not in as great shape to start the season although ultimately will be one of the top teams in the East still, BUT due to me realizing that my title joke was brutal, I’m going to forget it.

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It appears that the New York Knicks will likely ink old timer, veteran, grampa (whatever you want to call him) Allan Houston.  After being out of the league for quite a while now due to injuries, Houston will attempt a comeback with the team he last played with.  It wasn’t thaaaaat long ago that Houston was tearing up the courts in New York.  He established himself as one of the purest shooters in the game during his prime.  Although long out of his prime, Houston brings a lot of veteran leadership to the table that is greatly needed in the big apple.  I still remember when Houston played for Detroit.  He formed an amazing backcourt with non other than current Pistons President and legend, Joe Dumars.  Together, those two knocked down every shot.  Unfortunately, the Pistons didn’t have much success during those years and are much better off nowadays.  For Houston, coming back to the Knicks gives him a chance to finish his career on the court, rather than finishing due to causes out of his control.  It really is a win-win situation for Houston and the Knicks.  Hopefully the old man will last.

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I know lately I’ve been calling a lot of people names that aren’t so polite, so instead of ditching my rudeness, I figured I’d just put a little title on it so I can refer back to previous Idiots.  Everyone loves a good idiot.  Anyways, word on the street is that Varejao and Pavlovic of the Cleveland Cavliers have yet to show up to Cavs training camp.  To be quite honest, I think these guys are IDIOTS (bet you didn’t see that one coming).  Clearly the main problem here is money.  I know these two think they’re worth more than they’re being offered, but I truly don’t think either of the two are that great of players.  I genuinely believe the Cavs will not be back in the Finals, let alone the East finals.  Their title run last year was pretty fluky.  I still can’t believe they even got past the Pistons.  The boys from Motown really melted down, and seemed a little unusual how they kept losing those games.  Maybe a little Tim Donaghy style scam happened?  Probably not.  Back to the two clowns.  Even as the Cavs made it to the Finals, Pavlovic was garbage!  Both he and Larry Hughes were pretty useless, and it proved so in the actual Finals series again the Spurs.  As for Varajao, he is one of those up tempo energy players, but that’s about it.  He’s pretty physical, but all in all, not worth $10 milllion per season.  He’s a little full of himself for now, and needs a little kick in the ass.  With his clone Joakim Noah in the league, Varejao will likely get overlooked this season, as he rightfully should!  If Cleveland was smart, they would have used the money they were allotting to these guys, and searched for some more valuable talent and aggressively pursued it.  Instead, they’re stuck with two garbage players who think they’re 1000% better than they actually are!  Good work…idiots!

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It seems like the Pistons are going to be moving Rasheed Wallace into the center spot, allowing Antonio McDyess to move into the starting lineup.  Although having Dice moving into the starting lineup sounds great on paper, this significant adjustment is quite harmful for the boys in red, white and blue.  To start out, Sheed isn’t a true center.  He’s fantastic power forward who can post up down low and drain the 3-ball.  Having Dice allows Sheed to get more room posting up, and will in fact force him to post up more often (as opposed to settling for shots from 3).  For those that don’t remember, Dice went through a serious injury and is even lucky to make such a brilliant recovery from it.  Having him come off the bench and play a respectable role was a perfect spot for him.  In this lineup, he’ll be forced to play more minutes than his body can probably handle, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go down in the middle of the season because of the demand the lineup change will put on him.  Now, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson will be the primary big men coming off the bench.  Although Maxiell is one of the better up-and-coming younger big men in the league, he’s not at the point to become the Dice-like 6th man.  As for Amir Johnson, the Pistons gave him a lot of money and have high hopes that he’ll perform like he did in the D-league.  He is a huge gamble.  To me, this kind of move is showing that of a team who’s in the middle of something in between a rebuilding year and contending year.  It’s a hybrid that doesn’t seem to make any sense.  The Pistons still have an amazing young core of guys in the starting roles, and should have made a move, or still should make a move for some more depth.  Having Dice coming off the bench was probably a plan B or C.  Joe D and the boys in the front office need to start working on Plan A and cook up some magic.

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The Detroit Pistons have signed backup guard/forward Jarvis Hayes.  With the intention of having him as a backup to Tayshaun Prince, Hayes has a career average of about nine points per game, according to his website (www.jarvishayes.net).  Will JH’s nine points per game be enough to provide a confident Flip Saunders with reason to have some serious confidence in his bench?  Well, if you look at who was backing up Prince before, Carlos Delfino average 3.6 points per game last season, which was his best yet.  The worst part about Delfino was he was incredibly inconsistent.  Getting rid of him was a wise move on Joe Dumar’s end.  I feel with Hayes, the Pistons will finally have some consistent backup on the bench.  Combining Hayes and some of the talented rookies, and of course McDyess, the Pistons are in good shape for another title run. 

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It’s great to see the Pistons could come to terms with Antonio McDyess.  Night-in and night-out, Dyess is one of the most consistent players on the team.  I really believe he should have got some more votes for 6th man of the year.  Hopefully the Pistons can make a better run at the title in the weak east.  With all the main pieces coming back, the Pistons should try and strengthen up the bench.  Sure, they got some great draft picks with loads of potential, but this team isn’t looking to rebuild right now, they want a ring!  They really needed Grant Hill or Mo Pete. 

 

Speaking of Mo Pete, he decided he’d get the most playing time with New Orleans.  For a while, it seemed like he was bound for Utah, but apparently not.  I really believe Mo would have been a great fit for the Jazz, and could have been that final guy they needed to push them into the finals.  Mo Pete still has a lot of gas left and is capable of being a consistent shooter on a nightly basis.  He started to diminish in Toronto, and luckily, he got out there!  In New Orleans, he joins Chris Paul and co.  Even with Mo Pete, these guys are a long way away from being contenders.  They are a team that really should have been looking to make a big move in this off-season, if playoffs were on their mind.  At least Mo Pete will finally get the playing time he deserves.  Sorry Toronto fans, Mo Pete is gone!

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