You've heard of "addition by subtraction," right? Well, the Pistons did something kind of similar yesterday: "addition by stagnation." By staying absolutely still, they managed to improve themselves. How? Because every single team around them that needed to make a move to be considered a legitimate contender failed miserably.
That leaves the Pistons the toast of the East. It's likely that -- barring injury -- they will be the front-runners to make the Finals, especially with an injured Dwyane Wade in Miami, with warring centers in Washington, with an unresolved point-guard problem in Cleveland and a lack of inside scoring in Chicago.
It won't be a complete cake walk -- the Pistons are 13-4 since Webber arrived, and two of those four losses were at the hands of the Wizards -- but you have to like Detroit's chances in a seven-game series with any team in the East.
Of course, just because the trade deadline has passed doesn't mean there won't be any more player movement -- a player could still pass through waivers and land on another team. Plus, Scottie Pippen has yet to sign a contract, and you have to figure that Cleveland's chances of landing him shot through the roof when Miami's title dreams were rolled off the court in a wheelchair earlier this week. But still, there won't be any more blockbusters, and I highly doubt the balance of power in the Central Division will be decided by a 41-year-old guy who hasn't played in three years.
The "Mike Bibby to Cleveland" rumors were interesting, but what really had me nervous were the "Pau Gasol to Chicago" rumors, which were so persistent I practically took for granted that Bulls GM John Paxson would pull the triggers sooner or later. Luol Deng and Ben Gordon better develop into some pretty special players, because I'm pretty sure Paxson just missed out on his "trading for Rasheed Wallace" moment because of them.
In other news, A. Sherrod Blakely speculates that the end of the bench will see some re-ordering:
Now that the trade deadline has passed, the Pistons may consider putting Ronald Dupree on the active roster and moving Flip Murray, who they were looking to trade, to the inactive list.
A shrewd move by Flip Saunders, keeping Murray healthy for the stretch run, I presume. Well, that or it's nigh time for Murray to call his real estate agent.
Dumars content to leave roster unchanged [Detroit Free Press]
Dumars says Pistons weren't close to making a deal [MLive.com]