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Morning Shootaround: Zilch Chance, Zeke Coaching Again, and The Bird

Balls_medium It's official. The Pistons are your eight seed in the Eastern Conference for the 2009 NBA Playoffs. As you know, they play the Cleveland Caveliers in a seven game series. Some people say we have zilch chance. Well, in a seven game series there's a pretty solid chance we'll lose considering the Cavs get four vs. three home games and they are 39-1 at home this season. "So you're telling me there's a chance?" Yea! I read ya. (Thanks, DETPistons twitter for this funny allusion).

Balls_mediumCavsBlogger over at Fear the Sword says the first round will be more enjoyable because the Cavs are playing the Pistons, a team he says doesn't have the talent to back up their talk. I'm not denying the fact that this is going to be a pretty tough series for the Pistons to win, but with all due respect, what "tough" talk? The quotes I've seen in the past few days imply that the Pistons are just happy they're in the playoffs. I think the "we don't care who we play" quotes were their way of saying, "beggars can't be choosers, we're just happy to be in." In fact, I think some of Pistons have come about as close as possible to saying the taboo, "we're going to lose."(see McDyess quote in FTS comments).

Balls_mediumRyan Vaughn of the Detroit Sports Report has a very cynical view on how things will go for the Pistons in the playoffs, perhaps deservedly so. He also has a very interesting idea for the post-season: trade Rip.

Balls_mediumTwo Pistons cracked Steve Aschburner's "NBA Awards...with a spin" on Sports Illustrated, but not the type of awards you'd want to brag about. Allen Iverson won the First Man Award for basically being the biggest "I" guy. The second Pistons representative was Joe Dumars who was awarded the Executives Assist Leader for dealing Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets. Meh.

Balls_mediumThe factory that spawned the Pistons is closing. The Fort Wayne Plant in Indiana that was called Zollner Piston will shut down as a result of the economy. Fred Zollner helped found the NBA and his Pistons were in Fort Wayne before they moved to Detroit in 1957, so the name of the plant was fitting.

Balls_mediumA couple former Pistons have found new coaching jobs. Flip Saunders has basically all but made it official with the Wizards and Isiah "Zeke" Thomas will coach at Florida International University. I guess the bright side for Zeke is that if FIU is ever as bad as the Knicks were while he coached there, at least no one will ever hear about it, right?

Balls_mediumMatt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys and NBA FanHouse went 1-on-1 with Will Bynum the other day. Bynum, unlike some people, has nice things to say about A.I. and his influences on Bynum to help him get over that "I'm actually in the NBA" realizatioin hump. FYI- Kwame Brown says he and Will Bynum are not friends. Check out the interview, it's a good one.

Balls_mediumAs we mentioned earlier, the Pistons will rest most of their starters tonight against Miami with hopes to be well rested come playoff time. Dan Feldman at Piston Powered doesn't like the idea of this. He feels this will give them too many days off. I tend to agree, but the Pistons have played well this season after receiving a couple days of rest. Will this be too long, though? What do you think?

Balls_mediumTayshaun Prince will start, however, as he has a consecutive games streak to keep intact. After tonight's game, Tayshaun will have played in 494 consecutive games, dating back to his rookie season in 2003. The Cal Ripken Jr. of the NBA? He's only a little more than halfway there.

Balls_mediumThat being said, the Pistons still have to play this final game and I'm sure they'd like to go into the playoffs with a win, no matter who's starting or playing. Make sure you check back here or over at the Miami Heat SB Nation blog before the game.

Balls_mediumI apologize in advance, this is not Pistons, NBA, or even basketball related, but I want it to be said. As you all know I'm sure, former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych died Monday. If you read my introduction, you know I played baseball in college (I was a pitcher), so that explains why I want to at least touch on this. I wasn't gung ho on The Bird like Joe Posnanski was, I didn't hang his pictures up on my wall or anything, but he definitely has a special place in my heart. Growing up, my dad, who taught me nearly everything I know about baseball, used to tell me stories of Fidrych all the time. Most were about his quirkiness: how he would talk to the ball, fix up the dirt on the mound with his hands, and run out to players who made nice plays to thank them. In reality, The Bird didn't have a star's career and probably won't be in the Hall of Fame. In fact, he only really had one great season. But this humble class act's legend will definitely forever live on in our hearts. RIP Bird. (Also, check out the really touching tribute by Ian Casselberry, our fellow Detroit SB Nation blogger, over at Bless You Boys

Balls_medium If you have any links or tips, please feel free to email me.