Here is the list of the panel's participants and the respective links to their sites where you can find more, solid Pistons analysis:
- Chris McCosky, Detroit News
- Michael Rosenberg, Detroit Free Press
- Greg Johnson, The Grand Rapids Press
- Dave Dial, Full Court Press
- Matt Watson, Detroit Bad Boys
- Zack Slabotsky, Count That Baby And A Foul
- Brian Packey, Motown String Music
- Jesse Murphy, Pistons Nation
- Dan Feldman, Piston Powered
Dan did a phenomenal job gathering everyone's responses in a timely fashion and putting this together. He asked us all the same five questions and then followed those up with a specific question for each individual. Overall, I think this turned out really great.
(Disclaimer: There are a few answers that were given before the playoffs started and/or before the Pistons knew who they would be playing in Round One.)
For just my (somewhat edited) responses, you can continue reading this post.
1. How far do you see the Pistons going this year (some answers came before the playoff seeding was set)?
Everyone has been saying, "it’s not a matter of how far do you think the Pistons will go, it’s a matter of how many games do you think they will squeeze out in round one, if any." I think that’s fair given they play Lebron/Cleveland, the No. 1 seed who have lost just two games at home all season.
People knock the Pistons because of their record, yet I see this team as predominantly the same that helped lead them to six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals sans Chauncey (granted a big part).
Now, if I was a betting man, I probably wouldn’t put anything on them making it past Cleveland, but then again, I would never bet against my own team either. That being said, if the Pistons play the type of basketball they played the five games before Miami (minus the final six minutes of the Bulls game), I think they are more than capable of making this a very competitive series.
Unfortunately, Cleveland is still 39-1 at home this season with their normal starters in the lineup and the glory of having home court advantage is they get to play one more game there in a seven game series. I might get slapped in the face for this somewhat bold call, but Cavs in SEVEN.
2. How well do you think the Pistons handled the Allen Iverson situation? What’s his future in the league?
I think the Pistons handled the A.I. situation about as well as they possibly could. There were only a few instances where Iverson publicly complained about his role on the team and it reached newspaper headlines. And, if you recall, the Pistons squashed those rather quickly.
All along I predicted that the back injury to Iverson was a Detroit Lions/Jon Kitna-like cover up and while we may not know the real truth, I think the Pistons took advantage of an opportunity to let Iverson back into the shadows with some dignity and in turn, let the Pistons move on without him.
The trade was a high risk/high reward type deal (in addition to the money it’ll free up) and obviously, the high risk part shined through.
As for Iverson’s future, I definitely don’t think he’s done. If he’s in fact healthy some team is definitely going to want him. He just didn’t fit in with Detroit’s style. Him signing elsewhere depends on the market for him. I think A.I. is going to have to compromise again with a new team, where he might have to agree to sign for less if the team gives him more minutes. Or possibly even vice versa if the team can afford it.
3. What do you see as Michael Curry’s future with the team?
There have been so many grumblings about Michael Curry’s ineptness as head coach and people crying out that he should be gone for someone like Avery Johnson this off-season. With all due respect, I couldn’t disagree more with those people.
This is Curry’s first year on the job and he was thrown into a terribly awkward situation two games into his first season when Joe Dumars traded his star team-player point guard away for A.I.-guy, “the answer.” Curry, for the talent he had, managed to play a full career as an NBA journeyman, he was president of the NBA’s Player Association, and served as Vice President in the NBDL. This tells you he’s managed to hold important leadership positions before. In addition, throughout those years, Curry has been known as incredibly hard working and a people’s person.
What makes you think, given his history of hard work and dedication to succeed and this season’s circumstances, he should be gone after just one year? I think it would be highly unfair and I think there’s a better chance of Allen Iverson suiting up in the playoffs (zero) than Curry getting fired after this year.
4. If you were Detroit’s coach, how would you adjust the rotation?
If I were Detroit’s coach, I would play Walter Herrman 30 minutes a game merely because I think he’s fun to watch.
Seriously, the rotation is tough to analyze as it often depends on the opponent. That’s probably a cop out, but it’s true too. I wouldn’t mess with the rotation we had during our latest three-game winning streak. I think Will Bynum and Aaron Afflalo get just enough minutes to the point where they are maximized. Jason Maxiell should see 15-20 minutes a night with Kwame Brown seeing maybe 20+.
Against the Cavs in the first round, I think it’ll be important to rotate accordingly with the Cavs. Timing up the rests coach gives the players will be underrated keys to winning games. I also think the Pistons are going to have to rotate often as I have a feeling it’s going to be a very physical series, with a lots of fouls.
5. What’s a realistic off-season plan for the Pistons?
They will have to make a decision with Sheed (which I think will be "see ya") and decide if they want to spend their money this summer or wait for the bigger names in 2010. I think they will probably start by trying to improve with the draft and depending on who falls to them at 15, that will impact the rest of their summer spending.
Someone brought up an interesting trade idea, too. Rip for Bosh this off season and then lock up Bosh long term before he’s a free agent after next season. I don’t know how feasible that is, or if Toronto would ever do that, but I was intrigued by the idea of it.
As the newest Pistons blog around, what do you want to offer that isn’t available anywhere else?
First and foremost, I’m no different than any other one of the Detroit Pistons blogs in that I want to be able to offer up-to-date news and analysis on what’s happening with our Detroit Pistons. That being said, every blog has their own style, set up, or voice in their writing and I just hope I can provide a little more pizzazz.
Also, SB Nation is great in that it allows fans to get directly involved with the blog through comments, FanPosts, and FanShots. I’d like Motown String Music to be the blog where every fan can feel comfortable going to on a daily basis to post their thoughts, link to relevant material, and be heard by the rest of the Pistons fan base. In the end, I’d like it to be more of an interactive Pistons community rather than just a blog.