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Archive for July, 2009

John Kuester Looks to be the Next Pistons Head Coach

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 8, 2009

John Kuester’s name has been on the list from the start, well depends on whose list you were looking at. I knew he was on the Pistons radar but assumed he was further down the list perhaps. After Collins pulled out of the running, Johnson must have thought he was a good position to negotiate, apparently not. Dumars didn’t want to pay Johnson or give him a long term deal it appears, which is not a surprise with his record at Dallas.

Kuester has an impressive background, as an assistant, including considerable time with Larry brown. He was here for the 2004 championship and is acquainted with Detroit Basketball. Considering an offensive mind(much like Flip Saunders, gasp!), he has been credited with running Cleveland’s offense.

Kuester has about 15 years of assistant experience, certainly more than Michael Curry, and is widely respected in the NBA as a solid coaching candidate. The only drawback is we haven’t seen the results as a head coach.

It could be a situation where he’s a great assistant and a lousy head coach, or he could be due this opportunity and excel with it. Only time will tell. Either way the team is upgraded, the coaching appears upgraded, and we should be in for a solid season.

Detroit is still a player away from being considered an elite team right now, but winning changes everything.

Expect an official announcement very soon.

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Successful Fishermen Understand the “Why?”

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 7, 2009

I always like to tell people that I am not going fishing. I’m going catching. There’s a big difference.

I do still go fishing, I love to experiment, experience truly is the best teacher (if you are paying attention).

So what’s the difference between fishing and catching? What makes some anglers successful, while others struggle?

It’s an understanding of the “Why?”.

So what is the “Why?”? Simply put, it’s the reason you are doing what you are doing. If you can answer these questions every time you are fishing then you may be close:

  1. Why am I using this lure?
  2. Why am I presenting it this way?
  3. Why am I fishing it in this spot?
  4. Why am I using this line?
  5. Why is it working or (more likely) not working?

I will elaborate more on these subjects (continued from Bleacher Report) in the near future but I will address them some here as well.

  1. Each lure has purpose, it may be used in many ways, such as a plastic worm, or it may be more specific like a chatterbait. If you are going to fish a lure you should know what purpose it has. The catch here is that you give each lure purpose. Which leads us to the next point.
  2. The way you fish a lure can be the main difference between catching fish and just casting a lure. Crankbaits and stickbaits can be jerked erratically, walked steadily, and anything in between, soft plastics can be rigged in a seemingly endless array of presentations. It is important to understand why a presentation will be successful. Are the fish active? Is one weight going to keep the lure in the strike zone longer?
  3. Location, Location, Location, right? Yes, it is that important. If you Find the right spot, and use the right lure and presentation, then you are very likely to be successful.
  4. Line type fits in with presentation. Clear, open water usually calls for smaller diameter flourocarbon and mono. Thick weeds and brush usually calls for heavy braid. Fish can see line when it’s obvious. It is important to learn how to use what you need. If you are vertically jigging in 30 feet of water for small mouth bass with no weeds or structure around, you may only need 10 pound fluorocarbon line. Fishing in heavy weeds for the same fish may require 65 pound braid. If you know which lure and how you want it presented for the spot you chose, then make sure your line matches.
  5. This is the most important question to answer. The more times you answer this question, the better you have become. When you can successfully identify why something is working, you can use that knowledge to catch fish another time. Likewise, you can learn a lot from what does not work as well. Figure out if it’s the lure, the color, the presentation, or just a bad location. Experiment, pay attention, and learn to be a better fishermen.

Next time your out, pay attention to the “Why?”, you’ll be a better fishermen if you do.

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The Top Ten Bass Fishing Lures for 2009

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 7, 2009

Summer bass fishing has it’s own personality. The water temperatures, light penetration, weed growth, forage movement, and fishing pressure all have significant impacts on bass fisheries. From one weather condition to the next and from one time of the day to the next, the following slide show is a showcase of the best bass lures in use today. No. 8 landed this bass in the spring of 09′, along with three more just like him!

Check it out here!You have to love spring fishing here in Michigan.

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Detroit Pistons Free Agency Recap, Roster, and Rumors

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 6, 2009

The Detroit Pistons were slated to be big players in the free agent market. They were scheduled to have the most cap space available this off season due to terminating contracts. The contracts that expired belonged to Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson, Antonio McDyess, and Walter Hermann.

Kwame Brown had a player option worth $4 million this season and wisely decided to take it. His value on the open market would not be anywhere near what he will earn this season.

As it stands, Kwame Brown is the only “bad” contract the Pistons are holding. Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince still hold large contracts, roughly $20 million worth of the payroll belongs to them.

Prior to the draft the Pistons were involved in a three way trade that sent Amir Johnson to the Bucks in exchange for Fabricio Oberto. Oberto was then waved in a cap clearing move.

The Pistons had four draft picks but traded one of them away. The remaining players, Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers, and Jonas Jerebko. Chase Budinger was drafted and traded away for a future second round pick and cash.

All three remaining players are forwards, be it small or power forwards. Daye could turn into a center with some significant weight gain.

After the draft, the Pistons turned their attention to the free agency market. The market was set to open at midnight on July 1, 2009 and talks could begin at that time. Earlier in the day the Pistons made significant headlines when they fired first year coach Michael Curry. The firing was met with mixed reviews and much speculation about candidates for the job. No coach was named immediately and they entered free agency without a coach.

After Milwaukee failed to make a qualifying offer to power forward Charlie Villenueva, which came as a surprise, he became a free agent and quickly moved to the top of the list along with Chicago Bull’s shooting guard Ben Gordon. Both player visited Detroit and walked out with verbal agreements.

The players will be officially signed on July 08, 2009 and the salary for Gordon looks to be in the $11 million per year range with slight raises each year, while the salary for Villenueva is expected to be around $7 million per year with slight raises each year. It is reported that they each agreed to 5 year deals.

The Pistons now have a crowd at the guard position. It is widely anticipated that Joe Dumars will look to move Richard Hamilton in exchange for a center. The Pistons have many options. Trade exceptions would allow the Pistons to trade Hamilton for a larger salary to acquire a top caliber big post presence. Hamilton still has solid value, scoring nearly 19 points per game despite reduced minutes. He is a difficult defensive assignment as well and his movement creates opportunity for other players offensively.

Some of the current rumors include Tyson Chandler, a center for the New Orleans Hornets, and Carlos Boozer, a power forward from the Jazz. Chandler is the more likely candidate to be shopped but the emergence of Paul Millsap, in Boozers’ absence, have made it more possible that his expiring contract is expendable. Amare Stoudemire and David Lee are still options as well. Stoudemire would cause Detroit to go over the cap but the trade exception would allow it. David Lee would have to be part of a sign and trade with the Knicks. It would be a difficult move for the Pistons to pull off because New York is looking for  (CONTINUED FROM BLEACHER REPORT) expiring contracts and cap room in 2010. Richard Hamilton’s contract may be more than the Knicks wish to take on.

A more likely scenario for a trade would involve an expiring contract, in the Pistons case it would be Kwame Brown. One persistent rumor is that the Utah Jazz are looking to trade Carlos Boozer, whose name has been linked with the Pistons all off season, in exchange for Richard Hamilton. This trade is highly unlikely. The trade of Boozer would be to relieve cap space and move Utah out of the luxury tax. The Jazz would need to clear around $9 million, in my estimation, in order to sign Millsap and avoid the luxury tax.

A three way deal is the only way a trade for Boozer seems likely. The Jazz need a solid player with a low salary, the Pistons get Boozer, and another team gets Richard Hamilton. That’s the only realistic scenario that I see fitting.

David Lee is a similar situation. A sign and trade offer may only net the Knicks draft picks or a modest player with a small contract. Jason Maxiell, Arron Aflalo, or Will Bynum are possible offerings as is future draft picks.Kwame Brown’s expiring contract is possible but not likely. He does not fit what the Knicks are trying to do. Jason Maxiell makes the most sense here.

The salary cap affects everyone. The Pistons have some money to work with in a trade. They are most likely to use up the cap space they have by signing a free agent or by making a trade of Richard Hamilton to a comparable or larger contract forward.

Tyson Chandler is probably the most likely candidate. He makes almost the same as Hamilton and is always on the trading block it seems.

The coaching vacancy seems to be Avery Johnson’s to lose. Joe was said to be meeting with him over the weekend and many expect an announcement soon that he is the next coach. If he does not take the job then things get very interesting. The list of available coaches is less than impressive this year.

As it stands the Detroit Pistons opening day roster looks something like this:

PG Rodney Stuckey

SG Ben Gordon

SF Tayshaun Prince

PF Charlie Villenueva

C Kwame Brown

PG Will Bynum

SG Richard Hamilton

SG Arron Aflalo

F Austin Daye

F DaJuan Summers

F Jonas Jerebko

F Jason Maxiell

F Walter Sharpe

One other thing to consider, if the Pistons trade Hamilton for  an expiring contract they should have lots of money available to sign a top free agent next season.

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The Championship Will Likely Go With McDyess This Season

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 2, 2009

Anotonio McDyess: An aged veteran in the latter years of his ability with injury concerns.

-or-

Antonio McDyess: A tough, physical, smart player that is a showcase for effort and desire night in and night out.

Which one do you see?

I see the latter. I see loyalty and heart, desire and skill. He’s not the best remaining free agent, no not even that close.  What he is though is a veteran that will truly do whatever it takes to win a championship. An unassuming guy that is an excellent teammate and generally a joy to be around.

McDyess is being looked at by many teams. Most of them are contenders this year that are looking for that extra piece. Boston, San Antonio, Cleveland, Houston, Orlando, and Detroit are all interested. (There’s probably more than that even.) Boston should end up with Wallace , which leaves Cleveland and San Antonio as the main contenders for McDyess. I believe whichever team he chooses will become instantly better.

San Antonio could look at one more big run at the Championship while Cleveland already has it’s eggs in one basket this year. McDyess would easily make them the favorite in my mind. His ability to defend, score, stretch the floor, and play strong in stressful situations is exactly what they need at the power forward position. McDyess is still instant offense off the bench with his jump shooting, pick and roll ability, and offensive rebounding.

Whomever gets McDyess will get a guy who WILL leave it all on the floor. The beauty of that is that he still has a lot to leave out there.

Watch where he goes, you will probably be looking at an NBA Finals team.

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Ben Gordon and Charlie Villenueva are Unofficially Detroit Pistons

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 2, 2009

Reports are out that both Villenueva and Gordon will sign with the Pistons. Gordon’s deal is reportedly a 5 year $55 million contract, while Villenueva will receive a 5 year $35 million contract.

This is more than I had hoped they would spend on the two. I was thinking something along the lines of 6 years and $54 million for Gordon and 6 years $39 million for Villenueva. This would have left them a few million dollars to work with. Money that could be used to sign a role player or as part of a trade to bring another front court player.

Ben GordonThe Pistons will be very good this season whether they make another move or not. They won’t be top three in the Eastern Conference though. Boston, CLeveland, and Orlando are still likely to be the top three. Orlando could fall of with the loss of Hedo Turkoglu and Martin Gortat. The addition of Vince Carter may help, but I think Orlando has gotten slightly worse, not better.

Boston may make moves this off season that take them down a notch as well. The addition of Rasheed Wallace is a real possibility. I believe that would really change the team chemistry and they will be less productive because of it. Stephan Marbury and Wallace on the same team could make for a volatile situation. The leadership of Kevin Garnett will be crucial. They may also lose Glenn Davis.

Cleveland will add another forward. A guy like Antonio McDyess may become a solid option. They may be involved in a sign and trade deal. They only have mid-level exception money available right now, roughly $5.6 million. Their year to win has become right now. They need to make a deal and bring in another post player. I strongly feel Antonio McDyess is a great fit there. They may also do a sign and trade for a forward like Brandon Bass or pay a forward like Glenn Davis. They have options and need front court depth that can contribute.

If the Pistons find the right coach, it will be up to team chemistry to take them past the above teams. They just added close to 40 points of offense to the roster and they will be competitive. The front court is still missing one piece, in my opinion.

The coaching search seems to be narrowing, Doug Collins is reportedly out of the running. This leaves Avery Johnson and John Kuester as the most likely candidates. I am still expecting Avery Johnson to be here. An important thing to consider, Johnson has the strength of person and intelligence to manage a back court with three starters playing two spots. He knows the positions and would be a good teacher for Stuckey and Afflalo.

If the Pistons decide to keep Richard Hamilton here, Avery Johnson is the best candidate for the job.

He represents Detroit basketball in many ways, he was able to make the Dallas Mavericks a top defensive team, that should be all the resume you need.

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Gordon and Villanueva still on top

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 1, 2009

Gordon has already visited with Joe Dumars and it appears as though Villanueva has too, although I cannot confirm it 100%. If he hasn’t then he will be here shortly. If the Pistons want him then it should be a done deal. it’s more about what they do from here on out. A sign and trade with the Knicks for David Lee is sounding like a promising plan. Either that or you have to give up Rip or Tay in a trade. I think Lee would be the wise move if you can send Kwame Brown and his $4 million expiring contract along with a draft pick for David Lee. The Knicks get a stop gap center and the financial situation they are looking for while the Pistons get the player they need to compete with the Cavs, Magic, and Celtics.

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Let’s put one rumor to rest and maybe look at a new one (or two)…..

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 1, 2009

The Pistons will not, for any reason, combine Rip and Tay in a deal for Chris Bosh.

The combined contracts are much more than Bosh’s and would be too much to take on if your Toronto unless you throw in additional players.

On the Pistons end, the deal doesn’t make sense because Bosh would have to sign an extension, something that isn’t guaranteed. Giving up two quality players for one year with a another quality guy, just isn’t equal.

On an interesting note, the Pistons could move Rip and a draft pick and make a deal work. They would have to bring back Bosh and a bench player with a slightly high contract, that would free Toronto up with a little over $5 million in cap space.

Toronto would get some stability on the offensive end with Rip, a mid-level free agent, and a draft pick for Bosh’s one year deal.

The Pistons would be better this year and have Bosh’s expiring contract for next year’s free agency class.

If I’m Joe Dumars, I would be more than happy to give away my draft picks. If Toronto is willing, I would give them all of my picks next year. It is the closest thing to a win-win deal I can see.

David Lee and the Knicks could also be a part of deal like this. It depends largely on the contract he signs with New York. If he makes a moderate contract anywhere south of $10 million then the Pistons could look at him as a long term option. This deal is not ideal though. New York will be looking for expiring contracts and/or selling points for Lebron James. If they don’t grab Jason Kidd, then Rip could be a good selling point but they will have less finances to pursue Lebron or other top free agents. It would be a much more difficult move to make.

Interestingly though, the Knicks may move him for very little. Draft picks even, just to keep cap space. Kwame Brown and a draft pick may be all it takes. Leaving Detroit with Rip. This type of sign and trade deal could also be explored if Villanueva gets a higher offer to go elsewhere.

If I’m the Pistons and I make the deal for Villanueva, then both Bosh and Lee become solid trade options. Both options make the team better right now and have solid long term positives as well.

On a sidew note: I was listening to Pat Caputo refer to Joe Dumars as being Matt Millen, thanks to his poor drafting, last night on 97.1 The Ticket. If you throw out the Eastern Conference Finals trips and a Championship Ring, and the positive trades and Free Agency Acquisitions, and the financial management that created this year’s cap space, and okay, they aren’t the same, but the drafting hasn’t been a strong point.

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Avery Johnson’s Agent Has Been Contacted For the Detroit Pistons Coaching Vacancy

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 1, 2009

Vince Ellis is reporting is reporting on Freep.com that a source has said that the Pistons have contacted Avery Johnson’s agent and that he is very interested in the head coaching position. With only two teams in a coaching search, Detroit should be poised to get who they want.

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Pistons Free Agency and Coaching Update: July 1, 2009

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 1, 2009

Some reports are saying the current coaching vacancy is Doug Collins to lose. That may be a stretch, he had a semi-rocky past with the Pistons, but is certainly possible. Avery Johnson seems to be rumored as the second choice on the list with a log jam behind them including names such as John Kuersten, Sam Mitchell, Bill Laimbeer, I heard Rudy Tomjonavich, Jeff Van Gundy, and more.

As far as the free agency period goes, the Pistons and Ben Gordon still tops the rumor chart. David Lee appears to be a strong option at the power forward spot as does Charlie Villanueva. Villanueva is likely to be a much better deal financially and I expect a run at him. With Gordon and Villanueva the Pistons will have enough money to sign a deal around the mid-level exception or slightly lower. They could save this money and make a trade of Richard Hamilton, allowing them to bring back a center with a slightly larger contract (Chris Bosch anyone? sign and trade with Lee?) or they could take the money and spend it on some role players and depth. A center would add much more value to the roster in a trade but the depth would be suspect at that point.

The Pistons need help up front, Joe Dumars knows this and his attempt to address it in the draft needs to be noted. The front court is key. He will need to bring in at least two new front court players that can play the forward and center positions.

From a financial perspective, Gordon and Villanueva make sense, I think that opens the Pistons to trading Rip and picking up another big man. They could throw Fabricio Oberto in the deal to make it work.

I’d like to see this scenario most at this point. Stuckey, Gordon, Prince, Villanueva, and (Bosch, Jefferson, Lee, etc.)give the Pistons one of the better starting fives in the league. It’s a very balanced attack that would be very difficult to defend.

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