Pistons/NBA First Round Preview

BY: DALTON

As many of you may know by now, the Detroit Pistons will be playing playoff basketball for the first time since 2016 and the second time in the last ten years. First off, suck it to the tank crowd. I hate the idea of tanking because losing sucks and I am not sold on tanking even working. An organization like the Pistons needs to take baby steps to build a winning culture. The first step is effort. Blake has embedded that with his consistent hustle despite being the best player on the team. He continually was diving for lose balls and sacrificing his body. The next step was to get into the playoffs. Its all about the little things. Secondly, the tank crowd can suck it once more.

suck my dick GIF

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Western Conference Preview:

Golden State (1) vs LA Clippers (8)

  • I feel bad for the Clippers because they have had a great season while retooling for the future only to be promptly curb stomped by the Warriors in the first round. Should be business as usual for Steph Curry and the crew.
  • GS Wins 4-0

Denver (2) vs San Antonio (7)

  • A very interesting series simply because of the experience differential between the two franchises. Denver has been amazing all year but the Spurs are the Spurs and will inherently be pesky. Denver will win but it wont be easy.
  • Denver Wins 4-2

Portland (3) vs Oklahoma City (6)

  • Probably the series in the West that is on the highest “upset” alert. OKC has been pretty bad down the stretch but that doesn’t mean Russ, PG, and Adams aren’t going to be playing. They can turn it around at any time. I guess I just don’t trust Portland yet until they actually do something.
  • OKC Wins 4-2

Houston (4) vs Jazz (5)

  • I’m being completely honest here, I probably couldn’t name three players on the Jazz. For that reason, I will pick Houston. Gobert will give Harden a tough time at the rack but Harden will just end up shooting 50 free throws a game.
  • Houston Wins 4-1

 

Eastern Conference Preview:

Milwaukee (1) vs Detroit (8)

  • As pumped as I am for the Pistons and want to blindly believe they will pull off the rare 8-1 upset, the Bucks have arguably the best player in the league. Add on the fact that Griffin basically has one leg right now and there isn’t much light at the end of this tunnel. I do think the Pistons take the next step in their culture change and win a game.
  • Milwaukee Wins 4-1

Toronto (2) vs Orlando (7)

  • Orlando played surprisingly well this year behind Gordon and Fournier. Former Piston DJ Augustine had been absolutely cooking lately. But, much like the Bucks and Pistons, the Raptors have the best player on the floor in Kawhi Leonard. Also, Toronto provides a huge home court advantage.
  • Toronto Wins 4-0

Philadelphia (3) vs Brooklyn (6)

  • Philly is clearly more talented but I feel like Brooklyn is going to be a tough out. This will be the only first round series to go seven games but the higher seed will persevere. Butler, Simmons, and Embiid are just too much for the Nets.
  • Philly Wins 4-3

Boston (4) vs Indiana (5)

  • This will probably be the most fun series in the first round. A lot of close games and maybe a little controversy. Marcus Smart is out for the Celtics and that is a much bigger blow than people realize. The plucky Pacers are about as tough as they come for 5-seeds.
  • Indy Wins 4-2

 

 

 

 

Top #23s in Piston’s History

BY: DALTON

By now, everyone knows that Blake Griffen has changed his number from 32 to 23 as to not infringe upon the legacy of Richard “Rip” Hamilton. Love this move from Blake. He could have said that he wanted to keep the same number as he has had his whole NBA career, but he came in and knew the importance of that number to both the fans and the franchise.

To honor the newest 23 to the franchise, here are the definitive rankings of top Pistons to wear #23

 

3. Mark Aguirre

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Mark wore the #23 for most of his time in Detroit. Acquired in a trade from Dallas in order to help push the Pistons to a championship in the 1989 season. Obviously, it worked. He went on to help the Bad Boys win another one in the 1990 season and it is tough to see Detroit winning either of those championships with out him. In his NBA career he was a 3 time NBA all-star and he averaged 20 ppg, 5 rpg, and 3.1 apg.

 

2. Blake Griffin

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He has yet to play a game with the Pistons but just his potential ability to turn around a franchise in despair launches him to the second spot on this list. He is a 5 time NBA all-star and is looking to add on more. Up to this point, Blake has averaged 21, 5, and 3 in his career. While he isn’t the high flyer he used to be in Lob City, he has certainly expanded the game and will make the Pistons watchable for at least the next 4 years.

 

1.Ersan Ilyasova (Arsen Ilyasov?????)

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The greatest Piston to ever wear #23 and I feel many pundits could argue that he is the greatest player in basketball history to wear the ole two-three. During his short, but memorable stint in Detroit he had entertained the masses similar to the likes of Chauncey or Isaiah. The only word that really comes to mind is “magical”. I could give you the numbers of his time here in the D, but he is the type of player that NERDS cant comprehend. Only a true basketball galaxy brain, like myself, can understand what exactly happened during those magical nine months in Southeast Michigan.

 

BONUS CONSPIRICY THEORY

Instant Griffin Trade Reaction

BY: DALTON

Big deal for Stan Van today! Just to catch everyone up, the Clippers traded Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, and Brice Johnson for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban NotGonnaAttemptHisLastName, 2018 First Round Pick and 2019 Second Round Pick.

At first look, this is a lot to give up for essentially Blake Griffin. The health issues of Griffin are certainly a concern and Johnson/Reed probably wont contribute much so essentially trading for one player leaves another sour taste in my mouth. The Pistons gave up quite a bit too. Shipping out two starters (Bradley and Harris) and a fan favorite is always tough, couple that with the draft picks and this deal doesn’t look great for the Pistons. Looking at the contract Tobias was on and his break out year and there will be more than a few collars pulled in cautious disbelief in Detroit.

BUT, I like this deal. Ill let you watch this video while you clean up the coffee you spit out.

 

Now let me tell you why:

  • What they had wasn’t working
    • The Pistons are in the middle of an eight game losing streak and have looked atrocious since Reggie Jackson went down with an injury. The Pistons have not had a playmaker in the lineup since then. I mean, yeah Andre is good and all, but if we absolutely need a bucket I’m not so sure he is the guy. Griffin is a bona fide all-star and known bucket-getter.
  • It really wasn’t much
    • Bradley was 100% not coming back to the Pistons and Boban didn’t contribute at all. Bradley is an elite level defender who will be courted heavily in the offseason when he becomes a restricted free agent. If the Pistons are going to pay a lot of money to a player, I’d rather it be Griffin than Bradley. As for Boban, I legit think he is too big to play long minutes. Like, his body literally cant hold up for long stretches of time. So essentially, the Pistons gave up Tobias, a first, and a second for Blake Griffin.
  • Doesn’t hurt the depth of the team
    • The Pistons were loaded at SG so losing Avery doesn’t hurt; in fact it may help. This season is already lost so now having an opening at SG will allow Kennard to get more minutes and move Langston Galloway into the main back up role. If Kennard can develop, him and Bullock will be a couple of interesting young players to have on the wings.
  • Griffin is trapped in Paradise
    • Griffin just signed a 5-year extension with the Clippers this offseason, so there is no threat of him just leaving in free agency any time soon. This gives the Pistons two all-stars to build around for the foreseeable future.

Plan the Parade!

BY:DALTON

I did it! Well, we did it. The Detroit Pistons have won the 2017 NBA Fantasy Draft title. First off, I wanna give credit to Blake Graber and the Houston Rockets. They gave us one hell of a fight over the course of 6 games. With that being said, the cream always rises to the top. When we were down 2 games to 1, there was never a doubt about who was going to win the series. The resiliency in this locker is second to none. Coming into this season everybody and their mothers had us as the second worst team in the NBA. Well, everybody except Las Vegas and joshbobdotcom columnist Dalton Potocki. He wrote in his season preview:

“What can I say? He did it again. Every player that Dalton drafted fits his offensive scheme. If they can get hot, look out because not even the rain they bring from deep could cool them off. This is such a Dalton team it hurts, he got his boys on a roster and the reports from camp are that the team chemistry is already through the roof. The bench is maybe the best in the league, being led by the Sauce King Brandon Jennings and JR “The Pipe” Smith. Then when you thought the roster was perfect, the GM went and traded Ian Mahinmi for Donatas Montiejunas. The only issue could be lack of athleticism on defense (white) and finishing at the rim. This is the odds on favorite to win the whole thing. Vegas has them at -3500”

 

While Brandon Jennings and Donatas Montiejunas didn’t finish the season with us, their contributions in the beginning of the season allowed us to trade them for people who could contribute more.

I have to give a special shout out to our budding superstar, Kristaps “God” Porzingis. He had one of the greatest NBA Finals in basketball history. He averaged 33 pts, 12 reb, and 5 blks. With out him we wouldn’t have been able to bring a 4th championship to the Motor City.

The Parade route will go down John R to Woodward, into Campus Martius, down to Cadillac Square and then we party it down at Lafayette Coney Island. Free coneys for anyone wearing a Mike Muscala 6th Man of the Year jersey.

Pistons Make Avery Big Move

BY: DALTON

The Pistons finally made a big off-season move. Before I get in too deep, I have to say that it hurts me losing Marcus Morris. I really enjoyed Morris as a player and a person. I thought he brought grit to the team that isn’t being provided by Reggie or Andre.

With that being said, this is an A+ trade for SVG. Avery Bradley is one heck of a player. Boston loved him because he always worked hard and played good defense, two staple traits of a SVG player. He shot almost 40% from the long line last year and has shown steady improvement throughout his career in the NBA.

This move pretty much says that KCP is gone. He’s still a restricted free agent and all reports are that the talks between him and the team halted. While KCP is a good player, the only way that I was ok with maxing him out was if the team moved Reggie or Andre. I give a lot of credit to SVG for getting aggressive in search of a replacement for KCP. If we maxed out KCP that would put the Pistons in a position where they could sign virtually no free agents.

SVG scored big time with this trade and, looking at the stats, Avery Bradley is just as good as a defender as KCP and is a better 3 point shooter on a more team friendly deal.

 

P.S. I really wish the Pistons went after Swaggy P, especially now that Morris is gone.

P.P.S. My projected starting line up: Reggie, Bradley, Harris, Leuer, Andre

Luke Kennard/Draft Grade

BY: DALTON

Well, SVG decided to go with the Dukie, Luke Kennard. I know there are questions about him as a player. He can shoot, which is what the Pistons desperately need but, c’mon, it’s Luke Kennard. The worst part though? The Pistons were so damn mediocre this year and so underperforming that it’s hard to get emotional one way or another. Do I think Kennard will be an all-star? No, I do see his ceiling as an Evan Fournier though and his floor is, Pistons fans brace yourselves, Kyle Singler. Kennard is a shoot first guard who has a bit of a drive game. I’m just expecting it to be an ok pick until the Reggie/Andre situation is resolved. To me, this pick looks like a last ditch effort to keep the pick-and-roll as the primary style of offense.

 

Grade: C+, could be better but at least it will resolve shooting issues off the bench.

Lakers Management Does the Right Thing

BY: DALTON

So incase you haven’t heard, the Lakers traded D’Angelo Russel and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Robin Lopez and a first round pick this year. People are calling this a move to free up space to sign a big free agent or trade for a big name player, i.e. Paul George. But, the Lakers front office can’t fool me; I know what this move is all about. The Lakers have chosen to side with Nick “Swaggy P” Young and I couldn’t agree with the decision more.

The Lakers play in L.A. (no duh) and this was about picking an L.A. guy over a non-L.A. guy. Compare the two, Russel is young, athletic, can score the rock, has a high ceiling, and will develop into a nice player. Young is swaggy and when you play in the City of Angels, swag is everything. Russel is a great basketball player but Swaggy P is an entertainer and the Staples Center is for entertainers only.

If this move surprises anyone than you’re a big dumb stupid idiot. Look who the GM of the Lakers is right now, Magic Johnson. Yea, the same one that was on the SHOW TIME Lakers. No one in the NBA is more show time than Mr.Swaggalicious. So I tip my cap to you Magic, I wasn’t sure if you could cut it as the GM of a franchise, but credit where credit is due.

Obligatory:

Swaggy P

Super Smash 2k League Draft Grades

BY: DALTON

 

The Super Smash NBA 2k league kicked off last night with one of the most anticipated fantasy drafts of all time, and let me tell you, it was not short of its billing. There were home run selections and many, many, many questionable picks. While the draft just finished some GMs have already made moves to bolster their rosters because in this league, a 14 game season, there is no time to waste.

 

LakersWordmark

GM: Doug Freeman

Roster:

  • Dame Lillard
  • Ben Simmons
  • JJ Redick
  • Jordan Clarkson
  • Javale McGee
  • Wes Matthews
  • Joakim Noah
  • Luc Mbah a Moute
  • Nick Young
  • Patrick Patterson
  • Jeff Withey
  • Marcelo Huertas
  • Jared Dudley

Analysis: There are certainly some solid pieces on this team. Playoffs are not in question for this team, as they should easily make it in. The real question is how far can this team go. Dame will certainly get his and Redick will help with floor spacing but the questions come with the stability of the centers. Javale and Joakim present issues in the health and brains department. The bench is thin and outside of Redick 3 point shooting can become an issue. If they want to make a big push then Doug is going to have to get on the phone and make some moves.

Grade: B-

Suns Logo

GM: Dallis Reynolds

Roster:

  • Gianis
  • Dwight
  • Jamal Crawford
  • Rudy Gay
  • Nikola
  • Skal Labissiere
  • Rajon
  • Mo Speights
  • Danny Green
  • Brandon Bass
  • Raul Neto
  • Omri Sasspi
  • Michael Carter Williams

Analysis: My first thoughts when I saw this roster were, “Oh my god, how can this many good players be on the same roster?” Then I remembered it wasn’t 2008. All the playmakers on this team are over 30 years old, outside of Gianis. Danny Green will also need one hell of a year from beyond the arc because there are no other knock-down shooters on the current roster. Nikola is going to have to have a year like 2013 to get this team in to the playoffs. The only thing they have going for themselves is they can play defense and score around the rim.

Grade: C

Rockets Logo

GM: “Steve” Blake Graber

Roster:

  • Mike Conley
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Lou Williams
  • Marcus Morris
  • Markieff Morris
  • Ryan Anderson
  • Joe Johnson
  • Tiago Splitter
  • Jodie Meeks
  • Jose Calderon
  • Troy Daniels
  • Jordan Mickey
  • Luke Gregory
  • 2018 First Round Pick

Analysis: When you look at the Rockets roster, there isn’t one name that jumps off the page. But, there are some playmakers (Conley and Johnson) and the Morris Twins can contribute on both ends of the floor. The front office also made a splash by moving Marc Gasol for Eric Bledsoe AND an unprotected, projected lottery pick next year. With the extra cap space and two first round picks, the future is bright. But, I am going to cut straight to the chase, the grade of this draft hinges on what Luke Gregory can contribute. Luke Gregory is a 2k Make-A-Wish player and while he is only 6’4 110 lbs. the boy can absolutely stroke it from deep. If he can knock down his 3’s the success of this team will be plentiful.

Grade: A-

Nets Logo

GM: Benn Braden

Roster:

  • Zach LaVine
  • Malcolm Brogdon
  • Joe Ingles
  • Evan Fournier
  • Buddy Hield
  • Zaza Pachulia
  • Yi Jianlian
  • Aaron Brooks
  • Beno Udrih
  • Boban Marjanovic
  • Matt Bonner
  • Troy Williams
  • James Jones
  • 2017 First round

Analysis: Before the draft, Braden made it publicly known that he is drafting to tank and his corresponding moves have already reflected the “Process” mentality. He moved his best players for Buddy Hield and a 2017 first round pick. The best way to sum up this draft is with a quote from their own GM, “In 4 years, we are going to win 8 straight championships” and I can agree that they are at least 4 years from relevancy.

Grade: F

Pistons Logo

GM: Dalton Potocki

Roster:

  • Kristaps Porzingis
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Ersan Ilyasova
  • Kyle Korver
  • Terrance Ross
  • JR Smith
  • Mike Muscala
  • Donatas Motiejunas
  • Jon Henson
  • DeMarre Carroll
  • Shaun Livingston
  • Brandon Jennings
  • Aaron Afflalo

Analysis: What can I say? He did it again. Every player that Dalton drafted fits his offensive scheme. If they can get hot, look out because not even the rain they bring from deep could cool them off. This is such a Dalton team it hurts, he got his boys on a roster and the reports from camp are that the team chemistry is already through the roof. The bench is maybe the best in the league, being led by the Sauce King Brandon Jennings and JR “The Pipe” Smith. Then when you thought the roster was perfect, the GM went and traded Ian Mahinmi for Donatas Montiejunas. The only issue could be lack of athleticism on defense (white) and finishing at the rim. This is the odds on favorite to win the whole thing. Vegas has them at -3500

Grade: There simply isn’t a letter high enough

2k Loog.

The Cavs Decided to Listen

BY: DALTON

I would be too humble if I didn’t take any credit for the Cars blow-out win over the Warriors in Game 4. I told the Cavs that if they didn’t like Curry stunting all over them then they should do something about it, and they certainly did. They turned in a perfect performance and thats what they need to do to beat this Warriors team. Take a look at the box:
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In the first half they put up a record 86 points. No one could miss. Then halftime hit and some, me included, thought that there was no way that the Cavs could keep up that shooting pace. They, me included, were wrong. Any time that the Warriors put together a little run to try and get back in it, someone on the Cavs hit a big shot.

You can look at that box score and many things jump off the page. To me, the three point shooting is the most impressive part. The Cavs starters combined for 21 threes. Kevin Love was 6/8! Kyrie was dazzling once more and LeBron casually put up another triple-double. It was a perfect offensive performance.

There in lies the problem. The Cavs played absolutely perfect, yet you couldn’t go to bed early because a Warriors barrage of threes can come at any time. Is it possible for the Cavs to come back from being down 3-0? Well, until someone wins 4 games it is technically possible. But, with 2 out of 3 remaining games being at Golden State and the only way we’ve seen the Cavs win is if they shoot 52% from the floor and the Warriors shoot 28% from three, I find it very unlikely that the Cavs win the next three. Maybe Ty Lou finds a different way to beat the Warriors, but until we see that new strategy, I can’t envision a way that the Warriors lose 4 in a row.

P.S. I have a few complaints: 1) Please start games in Cleveland at 7 pm. Late starts are dumb as hell. 2) The Refs were absolutely embarrassing for the NBA last night. I don’t think they had an impact on the final result of the game but in a potential series deciding game, with outstanding performances all around, the talk of the game will be the refs. What the hell are you doing NBA? The two best teams deserve your best officiating crews.

Cavs=Trash

BY: DALTON

So Bleacher Report reported that the Cavs are upset at Curry’s squat celebration after the KD dagger with 40 seconds left.

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Hey Cavs, if you don’t like Steph theoretically shitting on your home floor, FUCKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Wanna know how to silence the critics and keep opposing players from showing you up? Don’t give up an 11-0 run in the final 3 minutes of a must win game. For you guys to just choke away a game and then get all pissy about a player celebrating/taunting doesn’t make any sense. When the Cars were winning its all just fun and games. “What did you think of the new Kendrick?” Questions like that get a big laugh and response out of the self-proclaimed “King”. But now that they are on the verge of getting embarrassed the Cavs are gonna take joking around as personal attack? Grow the fuck up. Celtics players were mad when the Cavs were clowning during their series but now they are down and can’t take the heat. For shame Cleveland, for shame.

P.S.It makes me so happy that the Warriors are gonna sweep, you would have thought I was born in Oakland.

Warriors Cavs G3 Bet Guide

BY: DALTON

BET GUIDE

Spread: Warriors -4.5

Tough line here, I feel Warriors will win but not by enough to cover

BET: CAVS +4.5

 

O/U: 228

Popular bet is probably the over but GS on the road probably wont shoot as well and it could be an offensive struggle, relatively speaking of course

BET: UNDER

 

Money Lines: Warriors -160; Cavs +140

I feel like the Warriors are going to win outright but +140 on the best player in the world at home has a lot of value.

BET: Warriors -160