Monday, November 3, 2008

Pistons Finally Shake It Up

If you haven't heard yet, the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets have reached a tentative agreement to trade Chauncey Billups, Antonio Mcdyess, and Cheik Samb for Allen Iverson.

Now this comes somewhat as a surprise. For a moment there, it seemed like Joe Dumars was ready to give the Piston's core one last shot at getting the title. ...guess that's not the case. As much as I loved Billups, this move was a much needed move. Despite having a new coach in Michael Curry, the Pistons essentially had the exact same players return for the 2008-2009 season (with the exception of Kwame Brown).

With Iverson, the Pistons have now added versatility to their backcourt. I'm assuming AI will start at PG, leaving Hamilton at the SG, Prince at SF, Amir at PF, and Wallace at C. However, if the Pistons want to play small ball, they can shift AI to SG and play Stuckey at point. Amir gets bumped out leaving Prince to play PF. AI is also that guy that can single handedly bring the Piston offense out of the bog-downs that always seem to hit them during crucial games. His quickness, slashing, and ability to finish consistently around the basket is something the Pistons haven't had for a while. Iverson, being at the latter end of his career, knows that he has to do whatever he can to attain that championship that has eluded him his entire career. Now he has the chance to do so.
Billups, a Colorado native, provides the Nuggets with playoff experience, stout defense, and much needed floor leadership. Mcdyess (and Samb) also adds some depth to the Nugget's thin front line.

Fantasy Implications
Chauncey Billups's value is going to go up. Billups, though consistent, has been in somewhat lackluster the past season. The change of scenery will revitalize him (and his stats). In Denver, he will be counted on to score and distributed much more than in Detroit (where one off-night was made up for by one of the other three starters). I predict his points will go up, while maintaining assists, and adding some more three pointers.
Allen Iverson's value is going to drop...but only by a bit. Detroit doesn't need him to score as much as Denver did. Joe Dumars's utter confidence in Stuckey also shows that Iverson won't need to play PG the entire time as well. Thus, I foresee a slight drop in both points and assists.
Jason Maxiell/Amir Johnson These two will rise in value purely because Detroit is less one big man. Mcdyess's minutes have to be redistributed amongst the two. Keep an eye on these two to see who benefits the most.

I know it's an old picture


kygojags said...

I heard that McDyess' contract is getting bought out by the Nuggets, enabling him to re-sign with the Pistons. I really feel that at this point the Pistons really needed some sort of shakeup. Their so-called offensive bog-downs are due to the fact that they never had a single go-to guy, they always used to just always defer to each other because they knew that one of the others would pick up the slack. Now Iverson gives them a sense of urgency on the court. By him being 33 and everyone knowing he only has maybe 1 or 2 good years left, everyone on the team knows that their window is closing, and I expect those undisciplined lackadaisical offensive possessions to stop.

Additionally, the old Pistons team was built on the fact that we could play shutdown defense and take our time on offense and slow the tempo of the game down. However, to be honest, the Pistons defense has been in decline ever since Ben Wallace left. By continuing to hold steadfast to a game plan that doesn't have the personnel or coaching to stick to it, the pistons were actually mitigating their strengths and opponents like the Celtics knew that and were able to exploit the zones to shoot high percentages. Now the Pistons will be running more, will be able to take advantage of younger high-energy guys like Johnson, Maxiell, and Stuckey, and become a more explosive team on both ends of the court.

Billups although was an all-star and pretty much the identity of the resurgence of the Pistons, post 2002, was a symbol of a stagnant and cocky team that never had any will to try hard enough, overall regardless if the team is better this year or not, I think that a change was needed and risk had to be taken.

Verdict: GOOD TRADE.

Anonymous said...

Sick trade. It has it's ups and downs, but it's something. Hopefully we can figure out who will be our 1 guard, and hopefully our team will run well together with AI.