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Wednesday’s Layup Drill

  • Bethlehem Shoals, FreeDarko impresario and my FanHouse colleague, has penned his preview of the Eastern Conference, noting which story lines that he'll be following, including ...

    The New Look Pistons: Speaking of the Pistons, the consummate vet team will be a lot more lively this season. They'll be laying the groundwork for the future while still trying to win--a seemingly obvious concept that only the most talented executives can actually pull off. Joe Dumars definitely falls in that category, so expect a refreshing blend of experience and youth, wisdom and fire.

    Look for increased contributions from any number of promising youngsters. FanHouse favorite Amir Johnson is the truth, a hyper-athletic, skilled big man whose enthusiasm and energy are already legend. Jason Maxiell eats babies, and could end up being a poor man's Ben Wallace, but with more offense. Rodney Stuckey will bring aggressive, drive-minded guard play. Youth is knocking and will not die, this most prosaic of teams will have electricity in the house.

    Previews are a dime a dozen this time of the year, but the whole thing is worth your attention.

  • A. Sherrod Blakely talked to Jason Maxiell about being a complete player:

    "People know about the great dunks, the shot blocks and that I'm strong," Maxiell said. "But a lot of people don't know what got me here. It was a jumpshot, a 15-footer, that got me to the NBA. In college, all I worked on was a 15-footer."

  • Rob Parker has an interesting column on Amir Johnson, though he didn't get the memo about Johnson's growth spurt: (emphasis mine)

    "I've been watching and learning for two years," said Johnson, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward.

  • Going to the game in Grand Rapids tonight? Take pictures and post them to the Detroit Bad Boys pool on Flickr.
  • Since people have already started talking about it in the comments, I guess I'll officially open the floor: Kobe Bryant is still disgruntled, Jerry Buss is willing to trade him, should Detroit go after him? Personally, I think the argument is moot since I just don't see it happening in any way shape or form, but I'm sure other opinions exist, so feel free explain your stance in the comments.

Update: This late addition was actually posted five minutes after my post went up, but it's definitely worth adding: PistonsNation has a Q&A with Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune about the Pistons-Bulls rivalry, Ben Wallace in Chi-town, and more.