Joel Anthony, consummate professional
Joel Anthony has made an impact on the court few thought possible, but he has also made an impression on his teammates off it. Despite only playing a handful of games, Anthony has always been ready for when his name was called out, staying in the gym, working hard in practice and trying to stay in a constant rhythm, which is evident on the court every time he steps onto it. Per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
"That's hard to do," guard Jodie Meeks said of being ready despite getting little playing time. "He always stays ready, lifts every day, works hard. So we appreciate his professionalism. He comes in and helps us when his number's called."
Nine years into his career and Joel Anthony has won two NBA championships with the Heat, with whom he played some of his best basketball. However, after six seasons, 350 games (110 starts) with Miami, he was traded to a 2013 Boston team that was relatively full up front, and he struggled to find playing time. Since then he has been acquired by the Pistons, and the change of pace over the past two years hasn’t really affected the Canadian national.
"There have been situations where I've started, where I've come off the bench, played a lot of minutes, didn't play a lot of minutes. But the most important thing is that you go out there and do your job regardless of the situation. So I would hope that the things that I can bring would be a good example, because that's the way that I learned -- by seeing the veterans before me that worked hard and came out there and did their job. And you held them to a higher standard for that."
Although he hasn’t always played consistent minutes, Anthony has made an impact on the players around him, instilling some of his experiences and wisdom around the locker-room. With many younger players on the roster, you would hope that Joel’s work ethic would rub off on them, and that they learn that no matter your situation, you should be ready to come to work and give your best effort. His professionalism does not only give credit to his own character, but that of Stan Van Gundy, who brought him in not only as an end-of-bench option, but to mentor a young and still relatively raw Drummond. Hopefully Andre has been taking notes from the ex-Heat defensive anchor’s activity on and off the court, because it could take him a long way.
Drummond unhappy in Piston blue?
Amongst other potential trade chatter and rumors came this surprising snippet from TNT’s David Aldridge’s interview with Detroit owner Tom Gores, where Aldridge speculates Andre Drummond might be unhappy in Piston blue. Citing ‘whispers’, the TNT analyst opines that due to Detroit’s poor play since his arrival, it could affect his willingness to re-sign long-term when given the option. Considering how well the team has played since Dec. 22 and no concrete evidence pointing towards the 21 year-old having any problems with his current team, I doubt Andre would not reconsider re-upping with the Franchise.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports’s Brett Pollakoff, Andre seemed confident and didn’t let on to anything potentially rubbing him the wrong way with how the team has handled him. That being said, Piston fans and the coaching staff alike have noticed a dip in the Center’s performance and body language through the past few games; but although Andre has sometimes looked disconnected on the court, there is no indication that it stems from anything relating to his situation in Detroit. Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News suggests that if anything, all the 21 year-old might need is a pep talk from his teammates, or a conversation with New Orleans head coach Monty Williams, who had his ear when both were on the FIBA USA Basketball team. Williams, who served as an Assistant Coach with the USA team was someone Andre confided to when he had problems or questions on and off the court during his time with the team.
It wouldn’t be the first time a player reached out to an old connection to get their head straight, high school coaches, parents or former teammates, players often look to talk to someone they can trust to vent their frustrations. Hopefully, whatever has been bothering Andre will soon sort itself out, and Detroit’s star
Center Penguin will be back in his usual form, and if there is anything we can take away from his recent performance, it certainly looks like he is back on track.
UPDATE: That heart-to-heart talk came with SVG before the Pacers game, in which Drummond tipped in the game-winner.
"That was really the first time any head coach and I ever sat down and just had a heart to heart like that," Drummond said. "We both know what the problem was and for us to sit down and talk about it really shows that he cares. He wants everybody to be great but he knows that it starts with me. [Friday night] was a good night."
Trade Watch Bullets
It’s the beginning of the NBA silly season, where names of players and teams are thrown into the rumour mill and analysts try and find connections. Over the next few weeks, on top of the usual Pistons News updates, I will be providing a short summary of possible trade targets and the latest speculation regarding the Pistons that has surfaced over the week.
- Nuggets are reportedly aggressively shopping Wilson Chandler , and Vince Ellis reminded people that Chandler was once open to playing in Detroit . Remember, Chandler grew up in Benton Harbor, Mich., about three hours from the Palace.
- The LA Lakers reportedly inquired about Brandon Jennings & Greg Monroe, which DBB’s Sean Corp covered in depth here .
- DraftExpress' Johnathan Givony announced that Luigi Datome could be on his way out of Detroit, and DBB’s Matt Watson has the trade speculation covered here .
- Bleacher Report's Jakub Rudnik believes the Pistons’ shopping list includes the Knicks’ Jason Smith, Cole Aldrich as well as Denver’s Wilson Chandler and Miami’s Luol Deng.
- Former Michigan Wolverine Nik Stauskas is reportedly on the trade block according to Ken Berger over at CBS Sports , the Kings are supposedly looking to bolster both forward spots – could the Pistons emerge as trade partners?
- According to Pistons.com Editor Keith Langlois Quincy Miller won’t be getting a phone call from the Detroit front office unless injuries strike, as the Pistons are looking to maintain their open roster spot for potential trades. -- UPDATE: Miller has signed a ten-day contract with the Sacramento Kings.
- RealGM's Shams Charania says the Pistons and three other teams are keeping an eye on Damion James. Detroit is reportedly considering to sign the 27 year-old D-League Forward to a ten-day contract.
Tweet of the Week
More SVG on Jennings: "Sometimes you’re going, "umm" with some of his shots but I’m not trying to put a leash on him."— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) January 13, 2015