Since overreaction is one of the pillars of sports writing, now seems like a good time to discuss blowing up the Pistons. Sure, these guys have won 284 regular season games with the same core (Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Sheed) over the last five years. They've even managed to acquire some solid younger talent like Maxiell and Stuckey, despite the Darko debacle. Every year they are a title favorite due to things like savvy, chemistry, and experience. Unfortunately, they always seem a little complacent, leaving us all waiting for them to turn it on. And the truth is, I'm not sure it's ever coming on. Last year, what was supposed to be the ultimate team unit, conserving energy through a relatively average regular season, was eliminated by the ultimate one man show. Now, they've come out completely flat and lost to an inexperienced 76ers team that finished the season with a losing record.
Sheed is now 33, Billups is 31, and Hamilton is 30. The present may well belong to the Celtics, and few would doubt that LeBron is the future. Where does this leave the Pistons? All of sudden, missing the boat by taking Darko looks a lot more serious. Rather than reloading around Chris Bosh, Prince, Stuckey, and Maxiell, the Pistons are left with an aging core of semi-stars in danger of becoming underachievers and limited cap flexibility. Of course, observers of this article, if there were any, might wonder if I had any solutions to the situation. Nope.
By the way, I haven't seen the Sixers play for more than ten minutes all season. What happened to make them good? Seriously, if anybody knows, please tell me. Is it talented young players, a good coach, and a veteran point guard? Ed Stefanski? Positive energy radiating off of Kevin Ollie's stache? Opponents busy protecting their nuts from Reggie Evans?