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Paul Delaverdac

People are talking about the Pistons? Really?

Starting Five: PG Brandon Jennings, SG Rodney Stuckey, SF Josh Smith, PF Greg Monroe, C Andre Drummond

 

Key Bench Players: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, PG Chauncey Billups, PG Luigi Datome, G/F Kyle Singler

 

Notable offseason additions: Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, Chauncy Billups, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Luigi Datome

 

Notable offseason subtractions: PG Jose Calderon, PG Brandon Knight, PF Jason Maxiell

 
FACT OR FICTION: With the additions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, the Pistons will earn a playoff spot in the East.
 
FACT. This team looks much different from last year, and, before we get into why or what that means, lets just understand that different is better for Detroit. Last year was ugly. Heading into the 2012-13 season, the Pistons had 1.5 NBA caliber players on the roster in Greg Monroe and Tayshaun Prince (Prince doesn’t weigh enough to count as 1 player). The hope was that Andre Drummond would prove to be NBA caliber too. Well, Drummond struggled with some back problems, but he certainly showed plenty of potential. Then he dominated the Summer League, posting 15.5 points, 14.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 2.0 blocks while shooting 51.2% (generally, summer league stats are worth little, but as a Pistons fan I’m allowed to say things like “Did you see Drummond this summer? Incredible. Definitely having a breakout season, 25/15 at least. The Pistons are so exciting, you gotta watch. Probably the 3 seed in the East”). So back in July, even with Prince gone and Jose Calderon in Dallas, the Pistons already had two NBA caliber players. Wild.… Read more...

Three-peat? Miami Heat Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Mario Chalmers, SG Dwayne Wade, F Shane Battier, F Lebron James, F/C Chris Bosh

 

Key Bench Players: Ray Allen, Udonis Haslem, Norris Cole, Chris Anderson, James Jones

 

Notable offseason additions: Greg Oden, Michael Beasley

 

Notable offseason subtractions: Mike Miller

 

FACT OR FICTION: Three-peat?

 

Fact. If you had to bet on either the Miami Heat or the field, who do you like? The Heat have LeBron so I don’t see anyway to pick the field. James is the closest thing to basketball perfection right now and maybe ever. He’s not perfect, and he can’t do it alone, but with the same core, some veterans and some potential, and a flat-faced coach who gets his guys to commit on the defensive end, the Heat are definitely the favorites.

 

We all have the same questions about the ‘13-’14 Miami Heat: Can D Wade stay healthy enough to be a consistent contributor? Can Bosh and Chalmers be the players Lebron needs if Wade isn’t a superstar? Will the bench have enough firepower or are Ray Allen and Udonis Haslem too old? Does is matter that Mike Miller is gone and Greg Oden is in? Does Michael Beasley still do drugs?

 

We asked most of these questions last summer. Mostly the answer was “yes”: the Heat won the title so they clearly did not have many major flaws. They beat a very deserving Spurs team, and faced some stiff competition along the way. It was no cake walk. Of course, with a guy like LeBron James, some nights the answers to the those questions were “no”, and it didn’t matter. There are going to be nights like that this year too. The worry for Heat fans is that at some point we are going to remember that James is a human being. But for all us NBA fans, let’s hope we aren’t forced to remember that for a few years.

So let’s focus on what’s different.… Read more...