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Reasons to Get Drunk and Surly Tonight

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As if Mike Payne (congrats, btw) needs a reason...

God is sending AI to Memphis? Is there some sore of Lutheran convention I haven't heard about?

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My, but ESPN employs some incompetent people. From a Detroit News article, about how coach John Kuester will use Ben Gordon:

Gordon has been a prolific scorer off the bench throughout his career. He'll likely remain in that role with the Pistons, although more facets to Gordon's game are likely to be cultivated, such as creating offense for other teammates.

"You don't want to pigeon-hole a player of Ben Gordon's ability," Kuester said. Pretty clear. Kuester likes Gordon's talent, and will have to work hard to delineate his offensive role.

ESPN's take, per the SAME DAMN ARTICLE:

New Pistons coach John Kuester can't wait to begin working with the teams [sic] re-vamped [sic] roster. One decision he has not made is whether Ben Gordon will start or come offer [sic] the bench.

Actually, the article suggests precisely the opposite. Kuester's quote would be downright strange were it referring to whether Gordon would come off the bench. This is awful.

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I decided not to lay into part IV of the Langlois-Dumars battle of the press release dissemination. By and large, the questions are reasonable and the answers are thoughtful. As a stats-oriented individual, however, this was tough to swallow:

You can win 55 games and be nowhere near heading toward a championship, or you can win 48 to 50 games, get to the second or third round and know that you’re heading that way. Example. Rick Carlisle’s second year here we won 50 games and got to the conference finals and I said, you know what, we’re heading that way. A couple of years ago, over the last couple of years, we won a whole lot of games and I didn’t have the same feeling.

Feelings had nothing to do with it. While the team's win total stayed the same from year to year, its pythagorean win expectation increased from 48 to 52. In Carlisle's first year, we ran into a Celtics team with a slightly better point differential, and lost. The next year, we faced a Magic and 76ers team with an inferior point differential, and won.

That said, it does demonstrate the Joe D's "gut" is largely in line with reality. In other words, we can at least discern that he isn't sugar coating or doghousing. This squares with my assessment of his management style. He has good instincts that occassionally fail him. We could do much, much worse.

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Much, much, worse.

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That's all kids. Stay in school and wash your hands to prevent swine flu.