Well, it's finally here. The start of the 2011-2012 NBA season. Personally I didn't think that we would be watching any basketball this season but lucky for us the billionaires and millionaires decided to stop fighting and play some basketball. (Note the sarcasm) I think this season has the potential to be quite unpredictable when it comes to what teams will be good or bad. And I think the Pistons have a chance to be a pretty solid team this year. The last few years have been brutal there's no doubt about that. Really it all started with the Billups trade and it's been downhill from there. And then with the team being for sale FOR EVER Joe D. apparently wasn't allowed to do....well anything. But with a new sheriff in town (Tom Gores) it seems like things are already getting back on track. I know it's hard to judge anything after a few days worth of training camp and a two game preseason, but from what I saw in those two games I like where this team is headed and here's a few reasons why.
Rip is finally gone! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the guy, but his time should have been over as a Detroit Piston about two years ago. His game did not fit with what they were trying to do and he clashed with a few too many people which caused angst in the locker room. Plus with him having moved on, it's one less shooting guard to spread the minutes around to. I wish Rip all the best and I hope he does great things in Chicago. And having just watched highlights of the Bulls last preseason game on NBA.com all I have to say is...WOW. I think he'll fit right in there. Yep, I'll predict it right now, you heard it here. The Bulls will make the Finals this year!
We finally have a head coach who can actually coach an NBA team! Michael Curry was a joke and Kuester wasn't that much better. Lawrence Frank will be a good coach for this team. They're young and they're teachable and I think he'll do a good job getting the headed in the right direction. From what I saw in the first two preseason games it looks like they'll be playing a somewhat faster offense at times and they look to be much better defensively as well. And it also looks like there will be an emphasis on penetration by guards which will result in a lot of kick backs for open jump shots and a lot more getting to the free throw line. I can't tell you how many times in the last couple years I watched these games and just sat there shaking my head wondering why they just settled for jump shot after jump shot after jump shot.
New ownership!! Never underestimate how important having a good owner is. Tom Gores seems like he means business which will be great for Joe Dumars. I have to admit I've been very frustrated with that guy the last few years, but lets all give him another season or two under new ownership before we ask for his head. So far everything he's done since the season officially started I haven't disagreed with, except maybe a little bit for the Tay resigning. But it's not like they over payed him or anything.
And last but not least.....Brandon Knight!!!! I wasn't crazy about the pick the night of the draft. I wanted them to pick Kemba Walker. And although that wouldn't have been a bad pick either, I like what I see in Brandon Knight. He's quick, he has great shooting range, he can dish out assists, he can penetrate almost at will, and he seems to play good defense. I watched him in the two preseason games and he honestly looks like he's been playing in the NBA for a few years already. Minus the stupid ticky tack fouls he commits sometimes. But he'll learn to avoid those. He's definitely an upgrade at the point guard position and I think all he's going to do is get better. And more important than any of these things, he's humble.
So all in all I'm looking forward to this season and I can't wait to start watching these games as they get better and better. I think they have a good chance at making the playoffs this season and I think we can all agree that that would be good enough for most of us considering what we've been through the last few seasons.
Until next time...go Pistons!!