Welcome to Hot Take Week on Detroit Bad Boys. Longtime readers of Detroit Bad Boys might remember the old slogan on the masthead – “A Detroit Pistons blog with completely fair and unbiased opinions of 29 of the Association’s 30 teams.” We’re going to live that truth with writers delivering blistering truth bombs that may or may not resemble reality all week. There are only two rules:
- No writing about the Detroit Pistons
- No doing any research in support of your argument – it all had to come from the gut.
Full disclosure, I moved to south of LA in Orange County almost a year ago and in my office I’m surrounded by Lakers fans. So I hear about the Lakers.
Mix that situation with my boyhood love of the Pistons and hatred of the Lakers and there is bound to be a slightly different interpretation of how I think this season might go compared to Lakers diehards. But my version actually has its airtight logic while Lakers fans ... well, you know how they can be.
LeBron James is getting old
I hate the overused “Father Time is unbeaten” but it happens to be true. Father Time is also a sneaky bastard who attacks when and how he wants. He cares not for your legacy or your narrative. A couple years ago, literally from one day to the next, my vision decided to turn me into my Grandpa, squinting at a medicine bottle, moving it further and closer and further and closer until I realized what was happening. It didn’t creep up on me. It was zero to Grandpa in 60 seconds.
LeBron has been a marvel, but I saw signs last year. I even saw a missed dunk or two. He played it off (what, oh shit? ha ha how did that happen?!) but that will happen more and more, and other things will follow.
Anthony Davis could be a rich man’s Karl-Anthony Towns
Hey, bonus hot take wrapped in a hot take! I think the kids call that “meta.” Don’t get me wrong, AD is a monster of a player but he hasn’t won anything yet and I’m wondering if it’s more him than anything else. A rich man’s KAT is a phenomenal player but maybe not someone that can take you to the promise land in 2020. Or 2021, 22, 23....
There is a massive amount of pressure on this team
There has been scrutiny and presssure every minute since LeBron arrived, and that compounded when they gave up the farm, and their future, for AD. They say pressure can create diamonds, but it can also make you collapse into a pile of goo. And guess what?
Davis can leave after this season
How about that for pressure? If things aren’t going well does AD make his displeasure known by hinting at moving on after this season? Whenever someone starts dating a person who cheated on their previous partner I’m always suspect. That’s a bit of a dramatic way of looking at Davis’ situation but there’s some logic to it. Once a wandering eye....always a wandering ... brow?
The coaching staff is actually built for implosion
The Lakers hired a pretty decent coach who unfortunately hasn’t done a ton since he may have caught lightning in a bottle in Indiana a few (quite a few) years ago in Frank Vogel. Make him, yes MAKE him hire an assistant coach who was/is also gunning for his job and has a history of not being all that nice (or good as a coach) in Jason Kidd. Oh, and make sure not to hire the coach LeBron wanted in Ty Lue and let him get poached by, yes, the Clippers. (You can’t make this shit up).
The Clippers got much better
Speaking of pressure and the Clippers, imagine the pressure if and probably when the lowly Clippers dare to be a better team, which they already were last year and they added Paul f’ing George and Kawhi motherf’ing Leonard and kept most of the rest of the team. Lou Williams. A killer. Montrezl Harrell, beast mode personified. They have a stable front office. And a fantastic owner.
The Lakers, besides Davis, didn’t get that much better
Kawhi may or may not have purposefully waited on his decision to sign with the Clippers in order to dry up the free agent pool for the Lakers. Whether or not that’s what he intended that’s exactly what happened. The Lakers prize signing after Kawhi didn’t happen was Danny Green. I’m not sure if you watched last year playoffs but Danny Green looked a whole lot like Reggie Bullock, the guy who is amazing for stretches and then disappears for much longer ones.
“But but but they also signed Avery Bradley, lock down defender!” We all know in Pistonsland how that’s going to go. It will be surreal to potentially see the two (Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) failed Pistons SGOTF on the floor together, scrambling around looking like they are lock down defenders while they lose their men under/over screens and run/fly past them on last ditch efforts at botched close outs.
Kyle Kuzma is a great young player, but third banana superstar after LeBron and AD? Settle down, young fella. You may have already hit your ceiling.
DeMarcus Cousins might have been a possible boost for them. Instead they got...
Dwight Howard (Marquese Chriss)
Are you kidding? What the hell are they thinking? We Pistons fans have seen what a divisive player who everyone just can’t give up on yet because he still might have an elusive extra gear or final chapter can do in our dalliance with Josh Smith. He was a different player but same headcase. He went from Detroit to Houston to the Clippers before people finally realized he was terrible. And not only was he terrible but he thought he wasn’t. That was the problem. Delusional players are team killers.
And wait, didn’t you bet huge on this same player only a few years ago? When he was actually good?
Leadership, or incredible lack thereof
A decision like bringing in Dwight points a huge blinking neon arrow at poor leadership. The whole summer of Magic quitting and Rob Pelinka the weasel who lied about setting up a meeting with Heath Ledger (who was already dead) and Jeannie Buss talking more to Kurt Rambis’ wife than almost anyone else and and and ... it was an absolute, godawful, embarrassing mess. And it will be a massive mess again lickety split as soon as things start going south. Be it injuries, no help for the top two, coaching and/or management struggles. This is a house of cards. Oh and LeBron of course has no history pointing fingers and pouting to “subtly” send a message to change things/rosters/coaching staffs in the middle of a season right?
Get the popcorn, you may not even need a microwave. You may be able to get it popping from the heat of the dumpster fire.