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Friday’s Layup Drill

  • Off topic, but we'd be remiss if we didn't comment on the Detroit Tigers' remarkable week. They are making believers out of the most skeptical of fans and have continued the Detroit-area teams' run of regular-season dominance. After taking two of three from the rival White Sox, they are now 64-31 tops in the majors. Let's hope this team is playing well into October and that their post-season success surpasses that of the Boys in Blue and the Red Wings.

    [Edit: How far has Tiger fever spread? Mack Avenue Tigers reports that it's already infected the U.P.!]

  • U.S. National Team member Chauncey Billups, who will miss the world championships in August to be with his pregnant recovering wife, was in Las Vegas as his teammates vied for about 15 spots on the World Championship roster. Says Chauncey (via ESPN):Matt correctly pointed out to me that Chauncey's wife has already given birth, in late June. The article cited below is mistaken

    "The challenge is to try to become cohesive and get all that camaraderie right now," said Billups, who will miss the world championships to be with his pregnant wife. "I don't know if that hurts me or not in future years, but it's not about me. It's about what's best for the U.S."

  • Now don't get me wrong, you never want to finish the regular season with a record befitting a lottery pick, but do you remember how exciting it was to watch the Pistons select at the top of the first round (and end up with Darko)? Remember the influx of talent from multiple first-round picks, with hope springing eternal as Joe D somehow snagged both Darko and Delfino in the same draft (in the same draft!)?

    Well, barring a trade between now and next summer, the Pistons will have multiple picks in the '07 draft with at least a chance of one of them being fairly high (Orlando's pick is projected to be a low lottery spot this season). The folks at are, as usual, all over the NBA draft with frequently updated projections up to two years in advance.

    So who are the Pistons projected to nab in next year's draft? The answer, Hasheem Thabeet, a freshman center from UCONN and Aaron Gray, a senior center from Pittsburgh. And while I'm absolutely certain that neither one of these players will be Pistons, it is entertaining nonetheless to read the projections of folks much more educated about amateur basketball than myself.

  • Finally, of the Pistons famous four, only one can brag to have the best official website: Tayshaun Prince. With frequent updates, and occasional messages from the man himself, Tay's humble, fan-friendly persona translates quite well in cyberspace. An honorable mention goes to Rasheed, for his fitting site intro. Note to Rip and Chauncey: it might be time to kick your webmaster in the ass and have him transfer your page to the real web address. Then again, nothing says "Mr. Big Shot" like