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Pistons fan here...I haven't checked out your blog in a while, but I did regularly during our playoff series last year. It seems like both teams are having an adjustment period with there new prominent players. It's too bad Brand isn't playing, I would like to be able to catch a full game with him in the line-up. However, it may actually help your chances of winning since you guys gave us some fits last year with your small ball line-up with Thad Young at the 4.

Admittedly it's been an up and down start to AI's tenure here, but I wouldn't discount the Pistons too quickly yet as an elite level team yet. We're changing from a slow paced half court team to a more uptempo team with a completely new offense while trying to figure out the best way to blend AI with the current group. At times we've looked brutal, but other times we've played great with double digit wins at LA, at a fully healthy Spurs team, and at home against Cleveland. Hopefully as we progress through the season and get McDyess back we'll be able to play well more consistently.

Best of luck tonight and the rest of the regular season.

Thanks for checking in James.

You're right, if everything clicks with Iverson this team could be right there in the playoffs, but just like w/ the Sixers, it's going to take time to figure things out. I'm really interested in seeing what they look like on offense w/ Iverson instead of Chauncey.

I'm not sure we'll see the small ball lineup at the start tonight. I think Mo is going to use Speights, but you never really know.

Good luck tonight.

It will definitely be interesting to see the lineup Mo goes with tonight. I like the idea of trying Thad at the 4, but I don't like starting Willie. We'll see.

Yeah, unfortunately any small lineup is going to include Willie.

Liked the post your name links to. Check it out guys.

I will just say I disagree with your assessment of Allen Iverson as a player. If he is top 50 all time, what is Chuancey Billups?

I think this Pistons team, as you seem to insinuate at times, is plain old average, like the Sixers right now. Why they aren't playing Amir and Maxiell is absoluely mind boggling to me. These guys are better than Kwame is every single *statistical* way. Now I know Kawme is a "very good post defender" but its not like you need another "very good post defender" in there with Rasheed, especially against the Sixers who don't have big who has a proven post game. Kwame is a scrub. Maxiell isn't and regularly gives the Sixers fits alla Craig Smith. Amir is a shot blocking and rebounding machine who might just be a complete stud if they just gave him a chance.

I don't worry about Stuckey unless he has a random hot game, which is rare. Same goes to Iverson pretty much. I haven't seen Iverson as a Piston for more than 2 quarters or so though so I can't say much about him and Rasheed in a pick and pops.

Who I am worried about is Tayshuan Prince... the guy who regularly destroys this team quietly.

Chauncey is a better player than Iverson right now. Probably has been for 3 or 4 years. He's not better than Iverson was at his best, not even close. Completely different types of players, but AI in his prime is probably top 10 in the league, even with all the headaches and the ball hogging.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 5 at 18:12

Yeah, I mean, I disagree. Iverson at his best played on the best defensive team in the league and was able to make us, singlehandedly, into a mediocre offensive team, and I do mean singlehandedly because without him the team that went to the Finals would've scored the fewest points of any team in basketball. But anytime we tried to get him some help, he made the help worse. People like Van Horn and Webber were, believe it or not, effective enough players before they came here. Now he's doing the same thing to Hamilton. Great players don't make everyone around them worse, great players don't only fit into teams where everyone's a defensive scrub. There simply is no roster you can construct around that guy to win a Finals, the only value he has is he can make an average team a good team.

Joe reply to Brian on Dec 5 at 19:56

I don't want to get into an Iverson argument really. If anyone really wants to I will keep this going. I don't think Iverson has ever been in the same galaxy as Billups though. Not even close. And it has nothing to do with Iverson being a ball hog or being a headache. He just plain is not that effective as a player. He is extremely inefficient at scoring, turns it over way too much, and has no overall game. Billups has a terrific AST:TO while being much more efficient when you take into account that he shoots 3s and makes his free throws.

This team doesn't have an identity right now, this is true.

The reason that Brown is starting over Amir and Maxey is because he has experience starting in the league, and is more of a true center. When Sheed lines up at the 5, he usually gets in foul trouble early going after cheap reach ins and stuff like that.

Maxiell is a rich man's Reggie Evans, and all Piston fans (except the blind homers) realize that at 6'6, Maxiell is limited as to what he can do on the block.

With as bad as the 6ers have struggled this season, I don't consider this game as an open and shut case. I think no one on the 6ers roster can stop Rasheed or Amir in the paint. Outside of Iggy, I don't believe that any of the perimeter players can keep the guards from taking it to the rack either.

No one can really stop Iverson from taking it to the rack. Hamilton doesn't seem to want to take it to the rack. Stuckey's a wild card.

It's not going to be one on one defense by the Sixers that decides the game. It'll be how well they handle the pick and roll. If history tells us anything, they won't handle it well.

On the other side of the ball, if the Sixers can capitalize on the mismatches, they have a good chance to be effective. If they don't, they're going to have problems.

I do expect to see them running more than they have been this season. They should have that sense of urgency back, knowing they don't have Brand to rely on in the half court. At least, that's what I hope.

Chauncey was on the decline. He no longer dominated in the playoffs and often left the team stagnant. Don't get me wrong, he was a Piston warrior, but they were not going to win it all with Billups.

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