I think most Americans can agree that one of the primary contributions the city of Detroit has made to the country in the past ten years was its role as the setting for the movie (8 Miles) that inspired Eminem’s ultimate chip-on-your-shoulder pre-workout song “Lose Yourself.”  In honor of Detroit’s association with the song, I’m incorporating random, out-of-context lyrics within this Pistons preview.

There’s vomit on his sweater already”  - to the entire Pistons team.  They’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do after last year’s putrid mess. The 2011-12 Pistons team finished in the bottom five in the league in rebounds, assists, blocks, field goal percentage, points per game, and turnovers. Their awfulness literally covered every facet of the game. Oh, and don’t think the fans didn’t notice. The team finished next-to-last in attendance.

“You only get one shot" – to Austin Daye and his awful 32% field goal percentage last year. One shot may be generous, actually. “You get no shots” might be a better limit.

"The clock's run out, time’s up" – to Tayshaun Prince, who I’ve briefly covered on the website before. Even though Prince is probably still the best pound-for-pound player in the game today, that’s just because he weighs 95 pounds. There is absolutely no reason that Prince should be playing 33 minutes per game like he did last year. He belongs firmly planted on a bench wearing the jersey of a playoff contender and entering games only when a lefty-on-lefty matchup is needed.

 “I’ve been chewed up and spit out”also to Tayshaun Prince, who looks like the bones that would be left over after being gnawed on by Boris Diaw.

This picture is included for you to create your own skinny joke…
“They’re so skinny, Somalians send THEM food” is already taken.

 “He's known as the globetrotter" – to new Piston Corey Maggette, who is now lacing ‘em up for his sixth NBA team. Maggette has managed only one playoff appearance in his entire thirteen year career, yet operates with a usage rate that would make it appear that he’s a legitimate first option. The best thing you can say about Maggette is that his overpriced contract expires before the overpriced contract of the guy he was traded for (Ben Gordon).

 "I was playin in the beginning, the mood all changed" – to Jonas Jerebko, who averaged over 30 minutes a game in the first seven games last year, and then over the last 15 games of the year never saw more than 27 minutes of action. Jerebko showed promise in his 09-10 rookie campaign, only to miss the entire 10-11 year with an Achilles injury. Last year his performance was clearly not on par with his rookie season, but Jerebko lacks no confidence…in his estimation, the Pistons played “playoff basketball” last year. Fair enough. You can’t argue with non-facts.

The only NBA player to be signed to a contract right after his frat team's
intramural basketball season ended.

"This hole that is gaping" – to the Pistons defensive frontcourt presence. There was not a single Piston who averaged over 0.8 blocks last year. Greg Monroe is a solid player, but he can’t protect the rim. This year, the Pistons will be attempting to fix the problem with the addition of Andre Drummond (voted “Most Likely To Be A Bust” in his rookie yearbook) and Slava Kravtsov. Kravtsov is a 24-year-old undrafted seven-footer from Ukraine who has had previous summer-league stints with teams like the Celtics. The best part about Kravstov’s signing was that it led to the creation of this blog post from a Pistons fan, which included, I swear to God, the following lines:

“The Pistons…ended up with a player who can dunk, as evidenced by the five-minute, 43-second highlight video."

“Kravtsov can dunk. He makes 20 field goals in the offensive portion of the video, 18 of them dunks" 

“There remains some untapped potential for reaching down to secure low-budget, free-agent, international centers who never played U.S. college basketball and never were drafted in the NBA” [and never started for their high school team, and make Jeff Foster look like David Robinson, and once asked Bryant Reeves for his autograph…]

“Whatever they get beyond a big practice player is a bonus"

"Back to the lab again, yo" and “I’m like a snail, I’ve got to formulate a plot.”– to Joe Dumars. Change has been slow in coming from Pistons management. This year’s team will offer more of the same mediocre basketball that Detroit has seen for the past four years. Knight, Monroe, Jerebko and Drummond all offer at least some modicum of potential.   But everyone else must go, or at least make way for new blood.  Stuckey and Villanueva’s contracts mercifully end in two years. Hopefully by then the Pistons can have a roster on the cusp of being worthy of being told “you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow."
Anonymous Czernobog said...
I got the impression that the "He can dunk" comments were meant to say "He can dunk, but probably can't do much else."

Quite frankly, Detroit managed to substantially overpay a Euro big who doesn't even play for his national team, as far as I can tell. The gap between him and someone like Nesterovic is massive.

Can Kravstov be any worse the Kwame Brown? I don't think Kwame has enough dunks and blocks to pack a 1:21 minute video. And it seems Kravstov has a mean streak to him too.
Is he going to be better than Milicic? I doubt it.

Czernobog: From the limited highlights is saw on the net, he seems to be running the floor pretty well for a guy his size. However...the highlights are from the Ukrainian league so you can really make any overly optimistic conclusions about his game and potential.
He might be happen just to be a 7 footer who got force to play bball just because he was tall.
Kinda reminds me of those old commercial of an NBA video game that had bunch of scrubs. One of them was an 8 footer from Ukraine

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is awesome.

Can we get some "New York State of Mind" Nas lyrics for the Knicks?

Love it.

Anonymous JJ said...
Awesome posts Paul and Jason!

Anonymous Jon said...
+1 Love the 8 mile lyrics tie in gimmick - how about a Jay-Z version for the Nets??

Blogger Paul said...
"New York State of Mind" = absolute classic.

But "Empire State of Mind" would be the song of choice for more current, pop-friendly, accessible lyrics to apply to the Knicks...unless, of course, that song gets passed on to Brooklyn because of its association with Jay-Z.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
He can certainly swat incredibly ill-advised jump shots and hooks into the stands.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Piston fans are stupid to think that Kravtsov can help the team. And many of them do think that Kravtsov and Drummond will significantly improve teams interior d. No way, at least before Drummond learns how to block out.

I think your post was pretty much spot on. The only thing I don't agree with is that Stuckey's contract is a super burden for the team. Stuckey is a decent young sg (not a pg), who played very well occasionally last year. If he can be more consistant, he'll be worth the money. Or at least close.

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Do Chicago next. from number 1 to number 21!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Tayshaun Prince, who looks like the bones that would be left over after being gnawed on by Boris Diaw.

That was too hilarious!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Great preview. I feel bad for the Pissed Ons fans. they deserve better. Before most games you d like to feel as is four team has at least a shit at winning.

Anonymous AK Dave said...

I vote for "Galactic Empire State of Mind."


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