Tag Archives: Pistons

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 32 – Whats Next

Listen to MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 32 – Whats Next by Opinionated Media on #SoundCloud

#NBA #Coronavirus #MVP #Kawhi #Raptors #Vegas #TrainingCamp

Pistons fans: One Way To Progress This Off-season

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

Hello Pistons nation. Hello Detroit. I’ll start by saying that the Pistons will have $-8,729,154 in cap. So in order to get better, we honestly need to shed a few contacts.

Reggie Jackson – 18mil
Leuer – 9.5mil
Langston Galloway – 7mil
Glenn Robinson – 4mil

Those are the contracts I would shed by any means.

It would give us about 30 in cap room but that’s without re-signing Ish (who is making 11 million), Wayne Ellington, Jose & ZaZa. We do have cap holds which would allow us to use the 30 on someone else and go into the luxury tax after that to retain any of the incumbent players we have (cap hold). I would only keep Ellington and maybe ZaZa.

I would also use that 30 million to go after someone like Kemba, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi, or even Klay. I don’t think market size matters to those players in particular and they bring an element and skillset we need to take the next step. Of course Jimmy and Kemba would be the likely targets to actually move and consider Detroit.

This is still SVG’s roster. We just gotta be aggressive this off-season. Kemba wanting to come here by sign & trade would be a godsend. If the hornets wanted a return on investment they can get Jackson & Leuer back as they will be on expiring deals anyway.

As far as trading Blake Griffin to Miami. I keep seeing publications writing stuff just to have something for their basketball sections to cover the Pistons. Please stop the utter nonsense. Why would you trade your best player for something less than a best back in return of for the 1st pick in the draft for Zion? It makes no sense. Dig deeper. As a Piston fan and supporter of anything Detroit, when I see such slander, I wonder where you are actually from. Who are you really a fan of? Go back to the drawing board.

The blueprint is simple. It’s just about execution. We will see this off-season. I expect good changes that propel this team into a higher seed and the conversation of top 5 in the east. No John Wall, no Victor Oladipo? We will be top 5 next season if we can shed salary and make changes. Trading Blake means tanking. We’re not built to quit. So change your perspective. Thanks in advance.

#DetroitBasketball

MoNeYBaLL Podcast: Episode 17 featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ

Listen to MoNeYBaLL Podcast: Episode 17 featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ by Opinionated Media #np on #SoundCloud
https://soundcloud.com/user-85278876/moneyball-podcast-episode-17

MoneYBaLL Podcast Episode 10: The MyGM 2K Cavs (and Other Deals)

Featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ

MoneYBaLL Podcast Episode 9: The Blake Griffin Pistons

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Blake Griffin, Welcome to Detroit!

NBA Outlook: One Month In

By: Opinionated MJ

Well well, how the mighty have stumbled. Both the Warriors and Cavs came out of the gate stumbling over their own feet. We just seen LeBron have to drop 57 in a performance that exhibited his paint domination, especially when you don’t have a rim protector. You need that to beat LeBron. We’ve seen the Warriors lose to teams that are truly suiting up to take their best shot at them. They didn’t get it together until they played the Spurs this week. We’re about 4 weeks in.

The surprises of the first month to me are the Clippers, Magic, Celtics, Pistons, and Grizzlies. They’ve all come out and have tried to set a tone for the beginning of the season that they can only build upon. No one expected the Grizzlies to be putting on such a strong start. Especially out west. The Pistons sat atop the east for a second, so did the Magic. Extra shocking indeed. The Clippers have shown what their new culture is since they’ve moved on past being “Lob City”. They seem to be more about ball movement and defense all while playing through Blake Griffin. Lastly, who would’ve thought that the Celtics would’ve endured the loss they suffered in the first game to Gordon Hayward? They’ve run off on a win streak, including a huge comeback against the OKC Thunder. Their youth along with Kyrie Irving and a surprising start from Al Horford have carried them along.

My early picks for MVP are Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook. Giannis is leading by far with me giving the other nod to Russell because of his willingness to incorporate his teammates while still very closely averaging a triple-double, again! Giannis came out the gate like a man on a mission. Maybe Kobe challenging him to become MVP has given him a straight path in the focus department. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s in the east and because of it he can surely attain this feat if he continues this trend. He’s got to land his team in the top 2 seeds out east and top 5 in the NBA and he’ll receive my vote.

My early vote for Rookie of the Year is Ben Simmons with Jayson Tatum following behind him in second. I’ve got Kyle Kuzma as my sleeper. He’s sneaky good and even reminds me of Kobe sometimes. Guess it just cause he’s a Laker. It’ll be interesting to see what November will bring us. October was a bad month. Numerous injuries, bad starts to strong teams, and slow beginnings to some big name rookies.

My pick for Most Improved Player is clearly Kristaps Porzingis. No argument at this time.

I’ll provide more insight on these topics and more in the next podcast. Be on the lookout for that.

Hello November! Don’t forget to set your clocks back!

King of the Ring: LeBron, the Cavs, and a Look Around the League

 

By: Opinionated MJ
Congratulations to LeBron and the Cavaliers! Cleveland, embrace this moment! You’ve been waiting for this. To finally see one of the best players ever, fulfill his promise to bring Cleveland a ring has got to be a breath of fresh air. I remember the feeling of living through a championship with my Pistons in 2004. The Red Wings were also prosperous. The Tigers were doing well as well if I’m not mistaken, I think we may have made the World Series that year. We had the Super Bowl here as well and I think a WrestleMania or something like that. Final Four NCAA basketball around this time as well. Great Year! Enjoy it!

 

LeBron has been preparing for season’s opening since Kevin Durant decided to become a part of the Golden State Warriors. They seem to be the only team that stands in the way of a repeat for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’d like to add that, if I were Carmelo Anthony seeing this ring ceremony tonight, I’d probably cringe and play with nothing but anger and hunger in my heart. Knowing I had the chance to be a part of the Miami team that won a ring and to be able to finally experience that level of success. It must be fulfilling for LeBron for sure. He has one ring by himself now as well. Kyrie pitched in BIG! I even thought Kyrie would win finals MVP after closing out Steph Curry and the Warriors in crunch time of those last few games.

 

I’m not big on picking another team except the current reigning Champions as the favorites to win it all. I’m going with the Cavs but I will admit I want my Pistons to win and if they can’t then I would love to see the Warriors win one for KD while he’s on a LeBron-esque mission to obtain a ring and put that on his resume. That would solidify him with other future Hall of Famers. I’d also like to see if they Bulls could somehow someway pull a rabbit out of a hat. Although, I think Chris Bosh is the only way they could achieve such success. I would also like to see the Spurs acquire DeMarcus Cousins for LaMarcus Aldridge. You heard it first. Chris Bosh to the Bulls, Cousins to the Spurs.

 

LeBron wants to win the MVP this year and that is making waves throughout the league. I think Paul George may have mentioned MVP first but he’s driven to do so as well, Damian Lillard wants to, and I’m very certain that Russell Westbrook wants to as well without saying it. Westbrook was chasing Magic Johnson’s triple-double record last year and didn’t admit it until someone asked him. I think LeBron should relax and let Kyrie and Kevin prove themselves and let them man the battleship until it absolutely requires LeBron to come in and take over. I know things used to fall apart fast when he exited the game last season and they would struggle to extend their lead over other teams at times. Let’s not forget their struggles en route to their triumph. Up and down season with LeBron thinking of his Banana Boat squad being teammates one day, social media jabs at some of his teammates, and a few other things. Maybe he also took a few pointers from Kobe about challenging your teammates. You do have to PUSH others to get something done more times than not. He successfully pulled that off and led his team to a Championship after being down 3-1. Congrats again to the Cavaliers! Good luck to the Cleveland Indians!

The Durant Warriors

 

By: Opinionated MJ

Durant will takeover the Warriors by season’s end. He will pry away the grip of the team away from Stephen Curry. Yes, the back to back, unanimous MVP will be dethroned from being king of the Golden State. He will step down, WILLINGLY, and allow Kevin Durant to take the reign. This doesn’t mean that there will be friction. This doesn’t mean that there will be egos clashing or silent envy brewing, no, not at all. It’s just the order of things. In order to have proper success, things must have an order.

 

You can’t have the same Steph Curry shot selection from the playoffs and have a thriving Kevin Durant in all of this. Not productively anyway. I’m sure he wants to maintain something north of 20 points per game. Lets look at this on the base level: Kevin Durant will take Harrison Barnes shots, plus more. With that being said, there needs to be a pecking order then. I think Steph needs to become a swap option with Klay Thompson. They need to exchange 2nd and 3rd option amongst one another (and maybe even 1st option with Durant on many nights) depending on who has the hot hand, depending on who is defending who, depending on what lineups are in. Everything is situational with this team now. If you know Steph Curry can pull up from 50 feet and make a shot on you and you still have to guard Klay, Kevin, and Draymond also keeps you honest, then what can you honestly do as far as stacking up on defense? There will be no double team that isn’t dissected. There will be no mismatch that can’t be instantly exploited. Let’s not mention the new death lineup. We’ll call it that now. I wish someone credible could read this. Commentators could say, “Uh oh, looks like the Warriors are going with the ‘New Death’ lineup!” New Death. Death you haven’t seen before cause it’s so many ways to kill opposing teams now. Enough sounding like I’m brown nosing. Pistons will sweep the Warriors in the finals. Neutral?

 

New Death… because Kevin Durant brings them about 3 new dynamics. I’ve come across things that say that he was the #1 player in post efficiency last season and I personally thought that it was their only weakness last year. Not being able to slow down the game and grind it out. They also have Kevin Durant, who can play isolation and create for himself without intimidation or hesitation. I’ve watched Steph avoid contact (guess he was hurt) in the finals, and I also watched Klay avoid it as well and pull up from the elbow. Durant will take the ball to the rack, with authority, and he’ll probably embarrass some opposing defenders and make some nice posters with his new digs on. The shot. The Drive. The Post. The Warriors sacrificed their defense for the opportunity to have what I’d call a “Super Offense”. Their defense should pick back up as the season goes along.

 

Once Draymond gets through to everyone on the team, everyone gets familiar with their place on the floor in those sets and how to help Durant, Steph & Klay when they run someone off the perimeter. Draymond will now be a rim protector. I think he should be anyway. He did a nice job of fouling LeBron from totally removing his soul in game 7 of the finals. Impressive if you can stop him from hammering you and instead you hammer him. I watched him tangle with Dwight Howard and come out on top. I watched him only be drowned out when there was a Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams combo on the floor to deny him rebounds and the ability to help on certain plays. It takes 2 baby!

 

They’re vulnerable, though. Everything has to go smooth. They have to iron the kinks out. I think we’ll see some things that we seen with the Big 3 in Miami. This time they’ll figure out the puzzle earlier on because they all lack the ego where they just HAVE to be the #1 Alpha on the team. The thing that everyone is on Durant about will be the same thing that could bring them good success. This is a TEAM sport right? It’s about having help and teammates they said. It’s about having a #2 they said. Jordan couldn’t do it without Pippen and without Rodman they said. Kobe couldn’t do it without Shaq they said. Wait, Shaq couldn’t do it without Kobe and shooters I said! LeBron couldn’t win a ring without Wade, Bosh, and Ray Allen, then Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, JR Smith they’ll say. Everybody needs somebody. Russell Westbrook was a ball hog that had everyone screaming for him to pass the ball to Durant before Durant fell to injury, right? How soon some forget some things. With that said, Russell Westbrook will be your 2017 NBA MVP… IF he can land the Thunder a 1-4 seed. Maybe even a 5 seed depending on his numbers and in-game performances. Especially if he dominates. I can’t wait to watch. I hope to see 2006 Kobe reincarnated.

 

Just my opinion.

Landscape of the NBA: Summer 16 (Part II)


By: Opinionated MJ

Welcome to another installment of the “NBA Landscape” series. Let’s jump right in to a few intriguing teams going into the 2016-17 NBA Season. Representing the Eastern Conference, yes, the conference I think possibly has NO chance to stop Cleveland regardless of how interesting they may get. I Like these teams but I believe they’re still one major piece short. That piece could be the growth of a player already existing on their roster.

 

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have found themselves loaded with talent in their starting lineup now and actually look very scary with Paul George another year removed from injury and with an entire season of health under his belt. No Danny Granger curse here. The Pacers now consist of Paul George, Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young just to name a few. They now have the depth that it takes to make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs. The only question is, will their new coach Nate McMillan be able to translate his defensive prowess into these players and onto the court while also finding an offensive system to get this collection of players to coexist in. I guess people will be saying Teague is declining because he won’t be finishing as much as he did in Atlanta, he won’t have to. Their X-factor that can bring them success is Myles Turner. He needs to grow and continue to expand his game. If he can successfully fit in around a bunch of ball dominant guards, this team can potentially contend against a LeBron James Cavaliers team. If not, they’re doomed to be defeated by King James as easy as Toronto and Atlanta have been in the past.

 

Boston Celtics

Very intriguing as well but they’ve also landed an ex-Hawk in Al Horford. I’m not too fond of that 60 win Hawks teams from 2 seasons ago because they still folded against LeBron when it mattered just as they did during the playoffs this past year. They still have Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Gerald Green, Avery Bradley, and the rookie Jaylen Brown. This team just keeps expanding their depth every year. I really think they just need to either find the formula the 2004 Detroit Pistons found by having depth and defense with sparky offense, or they need to try to find a way to land a superstar by DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES! Allegedly they could’ve landed Jimmy Butler, should’ve pushed for DeMarcus Cousins, and were in the running for Kevin Durant. A lot of people thought they would land Russell Westbrook but he decided to stay in OKC. I see Boston being more of the same since Al Horford doesn’t really want to play with his back to the basket. He’ll provide relief for Thomas. The Celtics need more perimeter defenders in case they fall to the injury bug again when it matters most. If you lose Bradley, Crowder, and even Thomas’ scoring when it matters most, you’re doomed. More depth may be the key. Maybe if Jaylen Brown can make an instant impact then they’ll be better than expected. He is their X-factor.

 

Detroit Pistons

My lovely DETROITTTTTTTTTT BASSSSSSKETTTTTBALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! I expect big things from this Pistons team coming into the 16-17 season. First things first, young Drummond. You must improve your free throws! This team is doomed unless… Stanley Johnson begins to find his inner Kawhi Leonard. I expect big things from him to go along with his attitude that he stands down to no man. I actually appreciate him for that reason. A lot of Cavs fans and NBA fans around the globe were saying that he should’ve kept his mouth shut. I beg to differ. What better to do being a #8 seed, underdog, gritty, new, young Pistons team making the playoffs for the first time in years and you get to see LEBRON JAMES as your opposition. It’s already win or go home. Sense of urgency from round 1! What better way to improve than to play against the absolute best team in the Eastern Conference and arguably the best player on the planet? Who better to talk smack to so you can be forced to elevate your game or be embarrassed. No matter the result, you win, due to the stage that this team is in. You automatically improve. He’s 19 (probably 20 now). He’s a kid! Already has the mindset of a man ready to put in the work to reach the goals and expectations set by his peers, the fans, and most importantly, his coach. Stan Van Gundy has a real diamond in the rough with Stanley Johnson. He IS the X-factor for the Detroit Pistons. I expect them to be top 4 in the East and as good as top 3. We stole Tobias Harris midseason, we’ve allowed Jackson a year to be the man running the show, we have Drummond who is capable of 20 & 20 on any night, and we also have Morris and KCP who can drop 20 without you expecting it at all. We have a well-rounded team. We just need Drummond to have a season where he plays better defense and can convert on 60-70% of his free throws. We were the BEST COMPETITION IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS against the Cavs. Everybody else tucked their tail in and cowered in fear. I say that with absolute confidence because it is true. LeBron hasn’t had any competition in the east but 1 team every year. The Heat were expected to be the competition but fell to the injury bug, piece by piece.

 

I’ll stop it at the Pistons. I’ll also get into the Knicks, Bulls, and express what I expect from teams like the Wolves, 76ers, Lakers, and more in upcoming articles. The Knicks are surrounded in mystique at this point. I also wouldn’t sleep on the Bulls. The defense I expect from them would resemble something like that of the Wade, Bron, Bosh Miami Heat. Durant, OKC, Pelicans, Jazz, Suns!! Can’t wait for this season!

Until next article!

​East for Russell WestBrook?

By: Opinionated MJ

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Your move Russell!

Why not move to the easy conference and position yourself to run for a championship? If you can land on Boston, Miami, Detroit, Indiana… you could easily compete for a finals berth. The only obstacle in the east is LeBron. That’s it, at least for now. Indiana and Boston look more promising now since free agency has began and they’ve made trades and free agency moves up to this point to add to their teams. Westbrook landing on one of these teams would be golden.

 
I include my hometown Pistons as well. I’d trade Reggie Jackson in half a heartbeat to land Westbrook and have him in Piston blue. Imagine what the pick & roll would look like with him and Drummond and with all the shooters that would surround both of them. Scary. They would be very scary good. Plus I trust Westbrook’s decision making more than Jackson’s. Jackson would pass too late and try to play hero ball late to makeup for it. We will be better next season as well. Top 5 in the east.

 
I don’t see what team honestly gives up better assets than Boston without knowing if he stays or not. I can see him dominating alongside Thomas and Co. This would definitely be exciting basketball. It would also allow them to run “super small ball” (yes I made that up) with Thomas & Westbrook in the backcourt and Horford at center. Having Crowder gives them someone to “cover” the unstoppable LeBron when it’s time to put up or shutup.

 
If I’m Russell, if not the Lakers, then I’m looking east. Easiest path to the finals. I know he’d like to go home, which could prevent a Boston deal depending on how much of a homeboy he is. His loyalty may only reside with Los Angeles. I expect to see Russell play for one of the historic rivals real soon. If OKC is smart, they make the move ASAP so they can retool before the season begins…

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