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Friday’s Layup Drill

  • Rodney Stuckey is ready to lead, says Rodney Stuckey. After reading Stuckey's comments to Vince Ellis, I riffed on last year's leadership void on FanHouse:

    As things played out, the notion of Detroit as a rudderless ship was reinforced, not only in how the Pistons were swept out of the first round, losing every game by double-digits, but also how things played out behind the scenes after Game 4.

    Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace -- the only remaining members of the 2004 championship team -- all dodged the media, either sneaking out of the locker room early, waiting in the shower area until reporters on deadline gave up or blatantly ignoring questions while walking through a throng of reporters.

    With no one else taking responsibility, young players like Arron Afflalo, Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum were hung out to dry, unfairly fed to the media and forced to answer for the team's most disappointing season in nearly a decade.

  • PistonsNation puts Ben's return in context, as does Motown String Music:

    Either way, the Big Ben era in Detroit is renewed, so start unpacking your rebound row t-shirts. Although, it might need to change its name to "rebound seats" to sound less intimidating because this isn't the same Wallace that came to Detroit in 2000.

  • I know someone made this point in the comments, but one of the first things I did after hearing about the Rashard Lewis suspension was look at the schedule. The Pistons play Orlando twice in the 10 games he's on the shelf, a nice break considering the Magic have otherwise improved since advancing to the Finals last year following the acquisitions of Vince Carter, Brandon Bass and Matt Barnes. Who knows, maybe the Pistons have improved, as well, but the first quarter of the season (at the very least) will be a transition period as everyone gets used to each other.
  • A note from DBB old timer Quick Darshan:

    SHAMELESS PLUG:

    A film I wrote is opening in Detroit this weekend (www.oceanofpearls.com). You don’t have to go see it. Just buy a ticket and then go see GI Joe or something else instead. That’s what I’m going to do.

    It's showing at Emagine Canton, Landmark Maple Art (Bloomfield Hills) and AMC Forum (Sterling Heights) -- check here for times. Go see it.

  • Update: According to the calculations of Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus, Detroit has the fifth-easiest schedule in the league. (Who has the easiest? The Cavs, followed by the Bobcats, Magic and Celtics.)
  • Will Stuckey return the No. 3 jersey to Ben Wallace? Should he? Place your vote at Need4Sheed. My guess is that he will if Wallace wants it (and the league allows it). Then again, I don't think he ever should have been allowed to wear it in the first place -- if I had my druthers, we'll someday see numbers 1, 3, 22, 32 and 30 hanging from the rafters.

    Update: As DBB reader mannie32 pointed out below, it looks like Stuckey is prepared to hand it over. This afternoon via Twitter, Stuckey said:

    lol Looks like I got to find a new # Welcome back 2 Detroit Big Ben!

    (Of course, take it with a grain of salt -- still not 100% positive that account actually belongs to Stuckey. I'm looking into it.)