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Lakeshow Episode 11: The View from Detroit

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You'd think that I'd give the Memphis Grizzlies a break. I mean, people who actually live in Memphis don't give a piddle in a rainstorm for them, why should anybody else care?

I just love listening to politicians spin and lie, that's all. 

Here's the way Memphis GM and Donkey Breeder Chris Wallce described the latest plot twist in the Allen Iverson soap opera:

Grizzlies, Iverson Agree to Terminate Contract

by Michael Tillery, Memphis Commercial Appeal

* * *
Iverson and the Griz mutually agreed Monday to terminate the one-year, $3.1 million contract he signed in September. Under the agreement, Iverson essentially forfeited the remainder of his salary.

Iverson will be waived, and then become an unrestricted free agent if no team claims him off waivers.

Iverson, 34, had been away from the Grizzlies for the past 10 days on a personal leave of absence. The Griz cited Iverson's personal matters as the reason for his departure.

"The Grizzlies and Allen Iverson have come to a mutual agreement that because of personal matters that forced him to leave the team on Nov. 7, Allen will step away from the game at this time, allowing him to focus on those matters," Griz general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. "As a result, we will be ending our contractual agreement with Allen, which will allow both parties to move forward. We wish Allen the best." * * *

Ha ha! The myth of "personal matters" is being spouted to the bitter end!

More Memphis mocking after the jump...

Of course, these imaginary "personal matters" aren't going to stand in the way of Allen Iverson returning to the NBA, only his returning to the Memphis Grizzlies. That's sort of funny, isn't it, since the "personal matters" were said by Memphis Liar in Chief Michael Heisley to have "nothing to do" with the bench role stuff? Here's a story by Mark Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

Allen Iverson  fully intends to resume his NBA career, preferably this season, his personal manager told Yahoo! Sports on Monday night [11/16/09].

Iverson reached an agreement on Monday to part ways with the Memphis Grizzlies after previously taking a leave of absence from the team. He is expected to clear waivers in a couple of days and become a free agent.

"There is absolutely no doubt that he still wants to play," said Gary Moore, Iverson's personal manager. "There should be no doubt in anyone's mind. He will be working out every day until he hears from someone."

Wait for it...........................................

A New York Daily News report said the New York Knicks would explore possibly signing Iverson. Team president Donnie Walsh wasn't committal, telling the Daily News, "We'll look into it. Right now, I'd say probably not, but we'll see." * * *

Well, you know, I know, we all know that if the General Manager in New York was Isiah Thomas, Allen Iverson would have been there yesterday — because if there's anyone in the NBA dumber than Memphis GM Chris Wallace (hard to imagine, I know), it's Magic Johnson's little friend. But Donnie Walsh happens to be one of the best and the brightest of the old school GMs. Compare and contrast to the New York Daily News, a tabloid rag which often ventures into the realm of speculative fiction in an effort to sell newspapers. Bottom line:  I'd take that particular rumor with exactly 3 pounds, 5.7 ounces of salt.

Don't worry about the tattooed twerp, though, as his personal manager notes

"His spirits are very high," Moore said. "There is nothing damaging to his spirits or anything. This time was necessary for him. God and family first, then basketball."

Allen Iverson is a humble Christian gentleman, after all!

 

 

 

Channel Surfing

Monday, Nov. 16.

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Portland (8-3) at Atlanta (8-2).

The Blazers were riding a league-best 6 game win streak, attempting to finish their first undefeated 5 game road trip since 1991. The last team to beat them? The Atlanta Hawks, surprising occupants at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

The Hawks and the Blazers are in many respects parallel teams in their depth and athleticism. On this night for three quarters the Blazers managed to dictate pace and forced the Hawks to settle for perimeter jumpers, which were not falling. A double digit lead was opened up, sitting at 9 to open the 4th Quarter.

The Blazers were unable to finish, however, missing jumpshots while getting wiped out on the boards. Hawks superstar Joe Johnson got red hot, racking up 10 points in the final quarter in leading the charge for Atlanta. The Hawks went on a 10-0 run and evened the game by the midway point. They held the momentum and the lead thereafter.

A desperation 25 footer by Rudy Fernandez at the buzzer tied the score to force the game into overtime, but Portland seemed gassed and never threatened in the extra frame. Joe Johnson (a VERY desirable free agent this summer) finished with 35 points and Josh Smith had 20 for the Hawks, who remain on top of the Eastern Conference, leading the Celtics, Cavs, and Magic. Hawks 99, Blazers 95 (Overtime).

 

Tuesday, Nov. 17.

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Detroit (5-5) at LA Lakers (7-3).

Consider, if you will, the fable of the tortoise and the hare:

There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.

Hare ran down the road for a while and then and paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and cried out, "How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?"

Hare stretched himself out alongside the road and fell asleep, thinking, "There is plenty of time to relax."

Slow and Steady walked and walked. He never, ever stopped until he came to the finish line.

The animals who were watching cheered so loudly for Tortoise, they woke up Hare.

Hare stretched and yawned and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise was over the line.

After that, Hare always reminded himself, "Don't brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!"

Well, if Aesop were alive and hanging with his boys in SoCal today, and if he were courtside to watch the Lakers lay wood to the Pistons on Tuesday night, he'd be inspired to put his little story through a bit of rewrite.

In Today's Revised Version, Laker Hare would run 3/4 of the race, pulling out to an insurmountable lead. Then PJ the Gamekeeper would say, "That's enough humiliation for the poor Piston Tortoise, Laker Hare, please sit down and let your brother the Bench Sloth finish the race."

And brother Bench Sloth would run the wrong direction and chuck the Tortoise towards the finish line and crash into inanimate objects and take time to stick each of his 3 toes up orifices where the toes have no place being and would generally crawl in circles like a victim of Adam Morrison Disease. The insurmountable lead would almost vanish because Bench Sloth really had no place running a race against Piston Tortoise or any other competitive, unidirectional creature.

Then PJ the Gamekeeper would mutter "Screw this!" (but not so loud that any children would hear) and he would jump up from his comfortable padded seat on the bench, and would load his tranquilizer gun and shoot the incompetent Bench Sloth in the butt with a dart. Then would ask Laker Hare to kindly get his ass in there to finish the race for his challenged brother.

And Laker Hare would pull out the victory.

Kobe with his 100th game scoring 40. Please come back soon Pau, we can't take these idiots much longer.

Now for some rather less fabulous analysis, please remove your Popcorn Machine GAME FLOW CHART from its holster... Click that link, if you please.

Observation 1: This game played evenly for a quarter and a half. Then the Lakers went on a 19-6 run midway through the 2nd Quarter, with the Kobemeister doing the damage.

Observation 2: The Pistons had a run of 15-3 during the first part of the 4th Quarter. Kobe had to be inserted to stop the slide. This was followed by a 9-0 Piston run, with Kobe on the floor, forcing Phil to put Lamar Odom back into the game, which effectively iced it for the Lakers. But at this time a 28 point 3rd Quarter lead had fallen to just 7.

Observation 3: The 4th Quarter Pistons run was made exclusively by the Detroit bench, plus rookie SF Jonas Jerebko.

Observation 4: Starting PG Rodney Stuckey was a mindblowing Minus-30 on the Plus/Minus for the evening, while money men Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva were never reinsterted during the Detroit run.

Well, that's all I've got. Now please grab your cat and cuddle up to join me in watching the latest installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD:

 

And just in case you missed it, here was yesterday's dose...

 

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(1)

About Last Night: The Detroit Pistons have no answer for Kobe Bryant

by Patrick Hayes, Booth Newspapers/Full Court Press blog

Minus a frantic fourth quarter effort to close the gap, there wasn't much good to write about last night's game. The Pistons had no answer for Kobe Bryant, which was expected. Few teams do.

They also had no answer for Andrew Bynum's size. He had 17 points, 12 rebounds and a block for the Lakers, including five offensive rebounds. Ben Wallace didn't have a horrible game with five boards and three assists in 18 minutes, and Kwame Brown, other than his three turnovers, was solid with 9 points, five rebounds and three assists, but neither had much success pushing Bynum out of the paint.

Charlie Villanueva was a no-show for the second straight game, although Lakers forwards Ron Artest and Lamar Odom didn't do much either.

Basically, while it's hard to get too demoralized about a loss to the defending champs, the Lakers were able to do pretty much anything they wanted against Detroit's first-stringers. The fourth quarter comeback, taking nothing away from what the Pistons reserves were able to do, is fast becoming a common occurrence in LA, so again, nothing to get too excited about. * * *

 

(2)

Recap: Lakers 106, Pistons 93

by Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press

* * *

Turning point: When the Pistons inbounded the ball to start the second quarter — a period where the Lakers scored on 16 of 21 possessions.

The big number: 64 — the shooting percentage of the Lakers in second quarter.

The other side: Lakers center Andrew Bynum was a matchup nightmare with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Temper, temper: In the fourth quarter, Pistons' Jason Maxiell, who scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, cleanly blocked a breakaway dunk attempt from former MSU star Shannon Brown. Maxiell and Andrew Bynum later picked up technical fouls for jawing with each other.

Let it go, the sequel: Three days after being serenaded with boos in Washington by one of his former teams, Kwame Brown got the same treatment when stepped to the free-throw line in the first half. *  *  *

Equal number: The Pistons and Lakers each shot 47.2% from the field.

 

(3)

Tayshaun Prince Improves; Return Uncertain

by Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press

LOS ANGELES — When Tayshaun Prince felt something wrong with his back during a practice after the third game of the season, he figured a little extra stretching would help.

It turns out that was the worst thing he could have done.

Prince, a surprise passenger on the trip West, spoke with the media for the first time since it was announced before the Nov. 3 home game against Orlando that he was sidelined indefinitely with a small ruptured disk. It snapped Prince's streak of 496 straight games.

He has missed eight games, and while he didn't have a timetable for a return, he said he feels a lot better and is eager to return — with the blessing of the team's medical personnel and strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander.

"Obviously it's going to be something Arnie and me agree to, and obviously it depends on how I feel," Prince said of his return. * * *

 

(4)

Pistons Lit Up by Livid Lakers

by Ted Kulfan, Detroit News

Los Angeles -- The Los Angeles Lakers came into Tuesday's game angry, and the Pistons paid the price.

After ugly losses their previous two games, the Lakers beat the Pistons, 106-93.

But not without the Pistons giving the Lakers a scare at the end.

The Lakers (8-3) took a 28-point lead in the third quarter, but the Pistons cut the margin to seven points (98-91) with 1:55 left in the game.

DaJuan Summers then fouled the Lakers' Shannon Brown (Michigan State) on a 3-point try, which extended the lead to 101-91 and all but clinched the outcome.

"We gave them too much respect early on," Pistons rookie Jonas Jerebko said. "In the fourth quarter, we just played hard and not as much respect. But we can play a lot better than we did." * * *

Jerebko, a rookie from Sweden, guarded Bryant quite a bit Tuesday. It was an experience Jerebko won't soon forget.

"He's the best player in the league in my opinion," said Jerebko, who had eight points, two rebounds and an assist in 29 minutes. "It was tough but it's fun to play against such a good player. It was an experience." * * *

 

(5)

Worked: Lakers 106, Pistons 93

by Packey, Motown String Music (SBN)

If you want to see what a jet-lagged, inferior team looks like, watch the Pistons in a replay of this game. Or maybe it's just what a team looks like against the defending champs when Kobe Bryant is on the other side shooting 17-29 and scoring 40 points for the 100th time in his career.

Either way you look at it, the Pistons got worked, 106-93. They were outscored 65-41 in the middle two quarters, as the Lakers shot nearly 60% from the field. Detroit turned it over 15 times although it seemed like a lot more than that and the Lakers cleaned up on the glass, outrebounding Detroit 44-32, which also seems lower than it felt.

If it weren't for the Lakers putting it in neutral after three quarters and the inspired play of Will Bynum, this game would have ended similar to the way it ended in the third -- with the Pistons down more than some can count. Instead, Will "The Thrill" led the Pistons charge on the obligatory "blow out comeback" and put the Pistons within seven (!!!) with about two minutes remaining, but it was too little too late.

The Lakers turned it on one last time to push the lead back to ten and then Kobe Bryant sank a three pointer from a few feet behind the three point line to put the Lakers up 13 for good and give himself a quaint 40 for the night. * * *

 

(6)

Detroit Pistons Aren't Ready for Games Like This

by Dan Feldman, Piston Powered (TrueHoop)

After last night's 106-93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Jonas Jerebko went up to Kobe Bryant and congratulated him. Bryant look up, saw who it was, looked the rookie in the eye and said, "Good game."

It's funny, but I think Kobe was serious.

Last night's game turned for the worse when Jerebko began guarding Kobe Bryant. Bryant, who missed his first four shots, looked at the rookie and seemed to think, "He's guarding me?"

All of a sudden, Kobe's nagging groin injury and his cold shooting stroke disappeared. Bryant scored 40 points and added five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He controlled the game, and there was nothing the Pistons could do about it.

That's OK. Not many teams can do anything to slow Kobe.

But it was encouraging the Pistons kept playing hard — including Jerebko more than any other starter.

The Lakers built a 28-point lead midway through the third quarter, and Detroit cut it to seven with 1:54 left. Big leads in the NBA naturally shrink because the winning team becomes complacent.

But cutting it that much and forcing the Lakers to bring Kobe Brant back into the game is a little more than the typical swing back to the losing team. So, give credit to the guys out there in the fourth quarter:

  • Jerebko (the only starter with a positive plus/minus rating: +3)
  • Jason Maxiell (13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks)
  • Will Bynum (24 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block)
  • DaJuan Summers (team-best +12 rating)
  • Chris Wilcox (three rebounds in six minutes)
  • Kwame Brown (nine points, five rebounds and three beautiful assists)

But — and there's a huge but — the Pistons aren't ready for games like this: road games against the league's better teams. And they're certainly not ready for this road trip (games at Portland, Utah and Phoenix in the next five days). * * *

 

(7)

My Second Half Observations

posted by "Gabe" to Detroit Bad Boys game thread

Very very good: MFWB [Mother-Fuckin' Will Bynum]. He's awesome. Quickness + consistent finishing ability inside the paint + a clearly hungry player = an amazing guy to watch.

Very good: The 4th quarter effort from Summers/JJ/Max. Those three supplied the defense/hustle/physicality to match MFWB's incredible offensive effort. Kudos to all three of them, especially Max for devouring an infant of Shannon Brown's. Hopefully this earns him some more minutes, and he makes use of them.

Good: Kwame. He tried hard and made a pair of FT's.

Not so good: Kuester. His sub pattern really confused the hell out of me. He took out a scalding hot Max for Kwame with less than 5 minutes left in the game. And he gave Won'tcox some run in the 4th for no real reason, instead of either CV, or if we're just giving up, then Daye. If we'd hit a couple three's in the 4th quarter, in addition to MFWB's drives, we might have been able to really make it interesting.

Bad: Stuckey. He's clearly playing really, really hard. But IMO that might be part of the problem, as he continues to show a counterproductive tendency to force things that aren't there.

Very bad: The refs. That 3rd quarter was an abomination, easily the weakest, most horseshit calls I've seen this season. Then the refs tried their hardest to compensate and take it easy on us in the 4th, but for fuck's sake, can't they just call it even from start to finish?

Worst person on the planet: Kobe. The only living being who can make me even consider rooting for KG.

 

(8)

Never Say Die: Pistons Fall in LA

by Rashid S. Umar, Need4Sheed

After a promising start, the Pistons were overwhelmed by the Champion Lakers, but put on a late rally before falling 106-93. The Pistons were led by Will Bynum's 24 points and 6 assists, while Kobe Bryant scored 40 to help stop LA's two-game losing streak. Detroit falls to 5-6 on the young season and head to Portland Wednesday night.

Some key points:

  • Despite a strained groin, Kobe takes advantage of the smaller Piston guards en route to 40 points (including an unnecessary three pointer late).
  • For all the people who think that the team should trade Tayshaun or Rip, don't you think they would have made a difference tonight?
  • Lakers were without Pau Gasol and Luke Walton. * * *
  • Did Charlie V suit up tonight? I'm just asking.
  • Big Ben Wallace tried his best but was outdone by LA's low post offense.
  • Living in LA, I had to watch the Lakers broadcast which made me angry, so I decided to mute the television. * * *
  • Lamar Odom nearly had a triple-double with triple 8's. * * *
  • Another Bynumite night, we clearly had the Better Bynum! * * *
  • Too many turnovers in a short period of time during the second quarter led to a ridiculous Lakers rally.
  • While Ben Gordon was able to get off to a fast start, he was later neutralized while trying to defend Kobe. * * *
  • Pistons have lost 2 in a row and look to avoid another "L" tonight in Portland.

 

(9)

Too Much Kobe

Pistons Nation

I need some more coffee. These late games kick my butt. I wish the Pistons could have gotten back to their winning ways, but overall I wasn't disappointed with their play.

Not to take anything away from the Pistons, they played well, they just had the unfortunate task of catching a Lakers team at the Staples that was coming off consecutive losses.

Kobe Bryant was on his game after having two sub-Kobe games in the Laker's losses. Kobe dropped in 40 the World Champs, marking the 100th time he's scored 40 or more in a game.

The Pistons, down by as many as 28 in the game, made a valiant attempt at a fourth quarter comeback led by Will Bynum who had 10 of his team high 24 points in the 4th.

Last night was one of Jason Maxiell's better showings of the season. Max scored scored 13, with 7 boards and a pair of steals. * * *

 

(10)

Re: Game 11: Detroit @ Lakers

posted by "Vege" to RealGM Pistons message board

* * *
The great thing about this game is, after some dumb mistakes when Lakers put pressure on us and a few bad decisions, Bynum had another huge game. He played really great and got our players involved with a few great assists. He also got Lakers defense in trouble.

Maxiell played a great game. He did a great job against Andrew Bynum on both sides of the floor. Played with energy got some important offensive plays and got a monster block on Shanon Brown IIRC, that block was huge that dunk would get Lakers on fire and Max rejected it. I hope you keep playing with that energy Max, that was so different than the lazy ass you have being. I am glad to see him playing great after so long.

Stuckey/Gordon/CV had terrible games, I don't care what the numbers say, they were a disaster tonight.

 

(11)

Re: Game 11: Detroit @ Lakers

posted by "Piston Boris" to RealGM Pistons message board

Promising start, but the Lakers got rolling in the second quarter.

They played good defense on the Pistons' guards, forcing the frontcourt to carry the team. Villanueva was out of it for a second straight game, but worse with just 2 points and 4 rebounds. He did play solid defense.

Bynum and Maxiell led a great fourth quarter comeback, though. Bynum got the team's energy going again. Maxiell had his best game of the season with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks. One of 'em was a great point blank block at the basket of Shannon Brown who climbed the ladder to throw down a dunk. Maxiell just went up one rung higher and put up a "no fly" zone.

It was an odd lineup with DaJuan Summers, Chris Wilcox, Kwame Brown, Jonas Jerebko, Bynum, and Maxiell who brought Detroit to 98-91 with 1:55 left to go. Kuester is sending a message to the starters to compete and have no let downs. * * *

The rest of the West Coast trip will be brutal now.

The starters did get a break in the second half, which hopefully, they'll put to good use against a hot Portland team tonight.

This is a growing time for the young Pistons.

 

The Bottom Line:

1. Blech.

2. Will Bynum is the man!

3. It's lucky you have that Kobe fellow.