All indications point towards Detroit retaining Brandon Jennings
Since Reggie Jackson's arrival in Motown at the deadline, many have question whether Jennings would be retained, but according to Pistons.com's Keith Langlois, there is so far no indication that Brandon's time is up in Detroit. While fielding a series of questions in his weekly mailbag, Langlois explains that the odds of Brandon being included in any draft-day trade are close to nil, with his rehabilitation from a torn Achilles tendon still underway. The Pistons' web editor believes that the only thing that would precipitate the point guard's departure would be a big step forward from Spencer Dinwiddie, who showed promise during the course of the season.
"Is it possible, if Dinwiddie takes an assertive step forward in his second season, that Van Gundy would at some point feel comfortable trading Jennings to perhaps bolster a frontcourt position? Sure. But he'd be trading from a position of weakness at this point."
Langlois described the potential of a Jackson-Jennings point guard rotation, imagining the possibility of both floor generals playing both guard positions during certain stretches, and pointing out the obvious talent upgrade from the previous rotation featuring Jennings and D.J. Augustin.
"In fact, Stan Van Gundy will have even greater opportunities to make use of both players than he did with the Jennings-Augustin tandem. He had to be especially selective about playing them together due to their size, but Jackson's greater height and length will allow Van Gundy to use Jennings and Jackson as a backcourt much more frequently. In fact, if and when Jennings gets back to full strength, I'd be surprised if we didn't see a Jennings-Jackson combination for three- or four-minute stretches of each half next season. No reason Jennings can't come close or get to 30 minutes a game even as Jackson's backup."
The Pistons find themselves with a good problem to have, with two starting-caliber point guards and a promising rookie manning the minutes at the point, Stan Van Gundy will have a lot of flexibility to create a powerhouse rotation. All that is missing is depth in the front court to match the talent pool in the back.
Bobby Portis to work out with Pistons
Arkansas forward Bobby Portis is reportedly scheduled to workout for Jeff Bower and Stan Van Gundy according to The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach. The 6'11" Razorback is also scheduled to work out for the Thunder, Heat, Raptors, Pacers, Hornets, Suns, Bucks and Jazz. Portis, whom DBB reader count that baby and a foul covered in depth here, is currently expected to be drafted 16th overall by the Cetlics. Here is what CTBAAF had to say about the 20 year-old prospect:
Once you watch him a few times you'll see some things that remind you of Greg. He's not a great athlete but he can move his feet well. He gets good position for rebounds and can pass out of a double team. Things that won't remind you so much of Monroe, he can get some blocked shots and knock down the 3. He didn't shoot it enough to really call him a "stretch 4" but the base is there to add to while making them at 46.7%!!!.
Portis averaged 17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game for Arkansas this year, while shooting .536/.467/.737. For comparison's sake, Greg Monroe shot .526/.240/.670 and averaged 15.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 34.1 minutes during his last season as a Hoya.
Lakers knew they would be "exposed" against 2004 Pistons
Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher put together an oral history of the 2003-2004 Lakers (hat-tip Vince Ellis at The Detroit Free Press), and the 2004 Pistons obviously came up. Here are some of the best snippets:
Rick Fox: I knew we'd get exposed. I hoped we'd pull it off. Who doesn't want a fourth championship? But I remember back in January or December, watching the Detroit Pistons and having the utmost respect for them in the regular season. They held six or seven teams in a row to under 70 points. I was listening to our team and I personally felt we didn't have enough respect for the Pistons. We thought we were going to steamroll them. And that's how we, as a group, behind the scenes, were talking about it.
Tayshaun Prince: Right before Game 1, they threw something for me at my high school Everybody in L.A. is a big Lakers fan. And as much as they were appreciating me for what I did coming from that school and everything, the first question out of their mouth was, "How you going to feel when you lose this series?" The only thing I could do is laugh it off.
Chauncey Billups: You know, man, I was very, very confident even before we started Game 1 of that series. In our two meetings against them during the season, we had our way with them. We did. With the team we had—not the personnel—we were tough to contend with.
Kobe Bryant: Honestly Detroit played extremely well. They were a well-oiled machine, man—on both ends of the floor. They were sharp as s--t. Extremely sharp, extremely crisp, extremely methodical and it was well deserved.
Phil Jackson:I saw it coming. Being a lame-duck coach, having a group of kids that were at each other's throat for most of the year, having two guys like Gary and Karl, who were brought in as ringers. Karl was out. Gary was...it was a struggle for him to try and match up at that point for a long period of time in a game.
We were clearly overmatched in that Finals.
The entire article is worth a read, and has some great quotes that really add to the Pistons' 2004 Championship run. What was your favorite moment?
Tweet of the Week
Just another day working. pic.twitter.com/Dl3ZEASBPA— BRANDON JENNINGS (@BrandonJennings) May 27, 2015