If you didn’t decide to venture out this past weekend into the icy cold and snow, you may have found yourself staring at the television watching the Pistons. While many of the characters look familiar, as do the uniforms, this current Pistons team is a mere shell of what they used to be. Following numerous appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals, the current Piston squad looks more like the teal-clad squad that battled for each win under a slew of coaches.
This season marks two decades following the first championship for the Pistons – a four game sweep over the Lakers in 1989. In that same NBA Finals 20 years ago, the rising Pistons found themselves taking on an aging Lakers team unable to dig deep and facing multiple injuries. If the thrashing defeat by the Celtics in the last postseason was not a wake-up call, the current play should be a total fire alarm. This team has made the OKC Thunder and the New Orleans Hornets (or is it the other way around?) look like taking on an all-star team. They have looked flat and should start playing some younger players now to gain that intensity back.
Speaking of intensity, have you ever seen an entire league gear up for an offseason like teams have begun to do for the conclusion of the 2010 season? League-wide the focus has begun to shift for that year’s free agent class. If cheaper is your preferred option, Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin is destined to be an outstanding player at the pro level. His talent and size could match up well with existing talent, placing any team one free agent away from an outstanding team. In the NBA game it just takes a couple stars playing in a semi-cohesive fashion. Hey Joe Dumars – your move is next.