Monthly Archives: January 2021

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Before making his presence felt for the New York Knicks in the second part of the ’90s, Allan Houston was drafted into an aging Detroit Pistons squad looking to rebuild. Even though the Pistons were merely a shadow of themselves when they were two-time NBA champions, there was still a lot of grit and toughness in that squad.

In a recent interview for The Players Tribune, Houston remembers how important it was for his career to get drafted by the Detroit Pistons. That team had a lot of pride, but it was slowly entering a process of rebuilding. However, watching two leaders on that team in Isiah Thomas and Cheap Joe Dumars Jersey  even for a brief period of time, was enough to inspire Houston and give him the pattern of becoming successful in the NBA.

Detroit was a pivotal time in my life. Looking back on it, I needed to be around people who would push me and challenge me, on and off the court. I experienced the remnants of the Bad Boys. I saw brawls between teammates, players, and management. But I was also fortunate to be mentored by arguably the best NBA backcourt of all time. And wherever Cheap Isiah Thomas Jersey and Joe Dumars went, I followed. I watched their habits, listened to their conversations, studied their preparation.

Allan Houston, via The Players Tribune
For any NBA rookie, it’s important to land in a stable organization with good veteran leadership, and for Houston at that time, the Pistons were the right fit. Both Dumars and Thomas took Houston under their wing and taught him how to be a professional and have a broader perspective of everything, both professionally and personally.

These were legends — guys who … they’re in the Old Heads O.G. Hall of Fame. Serious individuals. Grown men. Those guys, they taught me how to be a pro. How to work. They gave me a vision for the type of career and the long-term impact I wanted to have as a professional and as a man. You couldn’t help but learn from those dudes.

Cheap Allan Houston Jersey  via The Players Tribune

Houston remembers his time with the Pistons as a lot of hard work, a great environment if you are young and eager to learn about the game. He learned that no matter what type of skillset you have and how good you were, toughness is a highly desirable trait, and it was imprinted in the Pistons’ DNA.

Everything was about hard work, and the players on those teams … they also taught me a valuable lesson about how grimy it could get in the league back then. Because, for as skilled as the guys on my first few Pistons teams were as players, they brought their lunch pails to work every day. No one wasted anything. And, of course, they were also just world-class brawlers.

Allan Houston, via The Players Tribune
Unfortunately for the Pistons, Houston later signed with the Knicks despite the fact they had tremendous potential immediately after Cheap Grant Hill Jersey was drafted. Prime Hill and Houston could’ve been a great dynamic duo for the Pistons, but eventually, it didn’t work out, and the Knicks came in the right time to snatch Houston away. He later made a name for himself with the Knicks, where he played until the end of his career in 2005.

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AUBURN HILLS – Toronto is taking the Lawrence O’Brien Trophy to Canada for one overriding reason: the 15th pick. If it hadn’t been the Raptors, it might have been Milwaukee to end Golden State’s reign and for the same reason: the 15th pick. Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo were both 15th picks two years apart, Leonard in 2011 and Antetokounmpo in ’13. Two-time MVP Steve Nash was the 15th pick in 1996.

Nobody else comes close to their class, though, among the 65 players drafted 15th overall since the NBA began seeding rosters via an amateur draft. Perhaps Al Jefferson
is the next most accomplished player, though he never made an All-Star team.

The Pistons have had the No. 15 pick four times in their history. Cheap Rodney Stuckey Jersey (2007) made the most immediate impact and probably wound up having the best career, though Phil Hubbard (1979), a great college player at Michigan before a catastrophic knee injury after his sophomore season, has a case.

The others taken with the 15th pick by the Pistons are Cheap Al Eberhard Jersey, back in 1974, and Cheap Austin Daye Jersey in 2009.

Last year’s 15th pick was Troy Brown, who played sparingly for the Washington Wizards. Brown profiles as the type of player most likely to be the pick of the Pistons this year: a teen with one year of college experience and little expectation of offering significant immediate help.

The four No. 15 picks prior to Brown were Justin Jackson, traded from Sacramento to Dallas in February, who shows promise as a rotation player heading into his third season after a three-year career at North Carolina; Juan Hernangomez, who’s shown flashes of promise but has yet to establish himself as part of Denver’s rotation in three NBA seasons; Kelly Oubre, who’ll be a restricted free agent after being traded from Washington to Phoenix at the trade deadline; and Adreian Payne, out of the NBA after being drafted by Minnesota out of Michigan State.

Our draft preview series continues today with a profile of Kentucky freshman guard Tyler Herro.

FIRST-ROUND CANDIDATE: Tyler Herro

ID CARD: 6-foot-6 guard, Kentucky, 19 years old

DRAFT RANGE: Ranked 18th by ESPN.com, 20th by The Athletic, 15th by SI.com

SCOUTS LOVE: Herro’s a bucket getter. That’s his calling card. It’s not all there is to his game, but that’s what will get him drafted in the first round – perhaps in the lottery. Herro, a freshman out of Wisconsin, wasn’t necessarily considered a one-and-done recruit when he pledged to Kentucky – breaking a prior commitment to Wisconsin – as a four-star who wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American. If you squint, you can see shades of J.J. Redick in Herro with his cutting and his quick trigger on catch-and-shoot opportunities. It says something that on a team with three likely first-round picks – P.J. Washington and Keldon Johnson, like Herro, are both considered potential lottery picks – it was Herro who led Kentucky in minutes played per game at 32.6. Herro plays with a high motor and a chip on his shoulder, traits that will endear him to NBA personnel evaluators. Herro has been reported to be one of the players with an invitation to the NBA green room on draft night, a strong indication that he’ll be a top-20 pick, further evidence that feedback on him since the NBA draft combine from front offices has been positive.

SCOUTS WONDER: Herro didn’t go through athletic testing at the NBA draft combine, but he did subject himself to measurements. One raised something of a red flag: his wingspan of 6-foot-3¼. That raises concerns that he’ll be challenged to defend at an adequate level, though Herro’s competitiveness and apparent average athleticism might lessen the impact. Herro showed some potential as a secondary playmaker, averaging 2.5 assists per game, but his ability to finish off the dribble over outstretched arms is put in question by the wingspan numbers. Shot selection also requires some fine tuning. As pure as Herro’s stroke appears, his .355 3-point percentage last season doesn’t scream “elite.” Like a lot of players who identify as shooters, Herro might be prone to hunt shots to get himself going and let other areas of his game lag until his shot starts to fall.

NUMBER TO NOTE: 93.5 percent – That was Herro’s free-throw percentage at Kentucky, supporting the school of thought that Herro will become an elite NBA 3-point shooter once he acclimates to the speed of the game and his body matures.

MONEY QUOTE: “I think I can step in right now and shoot with the best of ’em. I can space the floor. I think teams, they haven’t seen me really play with the ball in my hands. I think I can score at all three levels and I’m going to compete. I’m tough and I’m going to be a good teammate.” – Tyler Herro, on how he can help an NBA team as a rookie, while at the NBA draft combine

PISTONS FIT: If there’s a position where the Pistons are a little crowded, it’s at shooting guard. Even if Cheap Luke Kennard Jersey winds up swinging mostly to small forward, the Pistons still have second-year players Cheap Bruce Brown Jersey, Cheap Khyri Thomas Jersey and Svi Mykhailiuk. Mykhailiuk’s size (6-foot-8) makes him a more viable candidate to guard small forwards, but there’s still something of a logjam at the position. Given Herro’s short wingspan, his defensive versatility might be limited. On the other hand, given the premium on 3-point shooting – and Herro shows the ability to shoot it off of movement as well as in more common catch-and-shoot situations – there would be plenty of appeal in taking potentially the best shooter in the draft with the 15th pick.

BOTTOM LINE: Herro’s competitiveness and potentially elite shooting range make him a candidate to be drafted ahead of projections. The outsized importance of the 3-point shot in today’s game, at a time when 36 percent of total field-goal attempts come from the arc, easily could influence a team’s draft model to push Herro ahead of a handful or more of prospects conventionally thought to be ranked ahead of him. A report after a workout for the Celtics – who have three No. 1 picks, including one at 14, a spot ahead of the Pistons – that included other potential lottery picks in Kevin Porter Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker had Herro dazzling Boston, including making 80 percent of his 3-point shots in a drill. The fact Herro showed himself to be a good rebounder for his position and flashed secondary playmaking skills broadens his appeal.

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After the first quarter, Monday’s game against the Miami Heat looked as though the Detroit Pistons had up where they left off on Saturday.

That night, the Pistons picked up their best win of the season, also against the Heat. On Monday, they led Miami by 19 midway through the first quarter and closed the period with a 12-point lead.

Detroit couldn’t maintain it. Behind a strong performance by Bam Adebayo, the Heat defeated the Pistons, 113-107. Adebayo finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 27 points, six assists, four rebounds and a block. It was his 12th consecutive game with at least 20 points. Cheap Wayne Ellington Jersey scored 24 points, and Cheap Derrick Rose Jersey finished with 21 points and four assists.

Pistons forward Cheap Jerami Grant Jersey shoots the ball against the Heat during the first half on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Miami.
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Wayne Ellington erupts from downtown
It has been two weeks Ellington started his first game of this run with the franchise. Casey decided to reward his reliable vet by inserting him into the starting lineup on Jan. 4, with Cheap Josh Jackson Jersey out with a sprained ankle. Ellington entered Monday coming off two straight starts.

The 33-year-old guard has been one of the steadiest shooters on the roster. He entered Monday shooting 40.6% overall, the second-best mark of his career, with 10 makes in 19 attempts as a starter. He topped that all Monday, by far.

Ellington made seven of 11 3-pointers, falling one short of a career high, and scored a season-high 24 points. Other than Grant, he was Detroit’s most consistent source of offense in a game that saw the Pistons slump after a hot start.

Pistons guard Wayne Ellington attempts a 3-point shot over Heat forward Maurice Harkless during the first half on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Miami.
Pistons have best first quarter of season, but can’t keep it up
Slow starts have been a consistent issue for the Pistons over the last two weeks. They trailed by double-digits after the first quarter in three of their previous five games, and shot 4-for-20 and 6-for-22, respectively, in games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz last week.

Saturday’s blowout in Miami broke that run, as they built a six-point lead after the first period. They followed that with their best first quarter of the season on Monday, scoring a season-high 36 points. Ellington’s 3-pointer at the 4:59 mark gave them a commanding 28-9 lead. The Heat’s slow start was hardly surprising, considering their COVID-19 testing issues earlier in the day that led to the game being delayed five hours.

The hot start was largely powered by Ellington, Grant and Cheap Mason Plumlee Jersey. Ellington made three of his four attempts from deep in the period, Grant scored 10 points and Plumlee tallied eight points, three rebounds and two assists before the second quarter’s start.

Detroit tailed off, though. Following that 28-9 lead, Miami outscored them 79-52 through the end of the third quarter. The Pistons shot 15-for-23 overall and 5-for-10 from behind the 3-point line in the first quarter. Through the rest of the game, they shot 23-for-59 and 8-for-27, respectively.

Josh Jackson re-finding his rhythm
Jackson was arguably Detroit’s second-best player through the first eight games of the season. A sprained ankle then cost him two games, and his shooting slumped during his next two outings. He entered Monday shooting 9-for-36 in his previous four games.

Monday looked like a return to his early season form for him. He found some momentum in the second quarter, scoring nine points on 4-for-7 shooting. Jackson’s first made bucket was a confident drive to the rim, gliding past Miami’s defense; he later hit a triple and transition layup on consecutive possessions to extend Detroit’s lead to 11. He finished the night with 12 points, hitting five of his 11 attempts.