Pistons or Bust. What is Going Right for the Franchise.
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
This week started one way and ended another. In our country has gone through this first week of the new year and reality was upended. Being a Pistons fan was very similar in a number of ways. We continue to play hard, but after the Bucks series we looked talent deficient and young with some small signs of life. Friday showed a team that went toe-to-toe with a very good Phoenix Suns team and, more importantly, played very well down the stretch of the game and looked poised in crunch time. Seeing as we have lost a number of games with 4th quarter leads, watching Jerami Grant score and facilitate his way to our second victory was glorious. On that note I decided to remind fans why we still root for this team and franchise.
A noticeable change has been Blake Griffin. He was going one-on-one in post opportunities, passing to cutters, and shooting the ball well. He just looks like he is playing with more purpose and more consistency. His resurgence has really shown the fact that we have two fantastic passers in the frontcourt between him and Mason Plumlee. While this isn't a strength that will win us a playoff series, it will make the season more fun to watch. Who doesn't enjoy a good back door court dunk?
My "first" season as a Pistons fan was '89-'90 (applies for the Lions as well. Great time for Detroit sports.) and I turned 7 just after the Finals. I, obviously, don't remember a time when George Blaha was not doing play-by-play for the Pistons and it should be noted how great he is and how much better he makes the game for fans. Commentary during the playoffs always sounds a bit strange because I have come so accustomed to Blaha's pace and knowledge. As fans, we should recognize how much better he is going to make watching this team as they go through growing pains and learn how to win in this league. He has been with Kelser since 1996 and their chemistry is great. We have top notch play-by-play commentators and we will need that come mid-March.
I need to take full responsibility for doubting Jerami Grant. I likened it to when Josh Smith wanted a "bigger role" and I was wrong. He seems to know what he was capable of and he continues to grow confidence. Against Phoenix is was outstanding down the stretch getting great shots and making those shots. He was at the free throw and scored 8 points in OT. The fact that he is outplaying what was thought to be an overpay, is huge for our future. His trade value is maintaining and with the need to move Griffin and Rose, having a 26 year old elite 3 and D player can bring draft assets or young players with potential. I know that many will not want to trade him and I completely understand why, he is fun to watch. Our next playoff season will be based off of our last 4 draft picks and next 3, not off of any signings this year. If we can increase our future and help return assets without waiting 2 years to do so would increase the speed of our rebuild.
We are a franchise that has an identity that was formed 30+ years ago and I love it. Tough, smart, passionate, defense, and team work are the ways to describe Bad Boy Basketball and I am here to declare that this team has these qualities. Bad Boy basketball is not defined by winning, although it does usually lead to that, but by playing the game the right way. It makes our team special in the NBA and that is hard to do. This team plays hard and I have confidence that we will outplay our talent this season and win games we shouldn't. Not to say we are going to wins tons of games, but we can beat teams that will try to take a night off. The prospect of watching a team that loses for an entire season is rough, yet watching a team go as hard as they can and lose is much easier. We haven't had that edge for over a decade now and watching Isaiah Stewart go nose to nose with Giannis Antetokounmpo made me believe that we are on the verge of watching a team that relights the Bad Boy insignia and takes us to the playoffs.
It has been noticeable how much our picks this year are catching on. Bey and Stewart are favorites. Grant is thought to be untouchable in trades. #TradeBlake is on full display.
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