Detroit Sports

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Around the Horn

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, I have been thinking of what direction to take this site. What will probably happen is that Dan Joseph, Sports Pig, and I will be teaming up to run a Detroit Sports Central website. This site itself will not have anything new on it but you will be able to find all my postings on the future new site. The new site will be based on Detroit Sports but it will also cover some of the national sports. I hope to have it ready in about a week. Now to some Detroit Sports news........

The Tigers appear to be in a one team race to sign Magglio Ordonez. This has been buzzing through the news the last few days and I have not written about it because of all the other free agents the Tigers have lost out on. The Tigers offered Ordonez a deal and Ordonez sent back a counter offer. It sounds like he wants a 7 year deal for about 11 million a season. Even though the price is steep, I still say the Tigers should sign this guy. He is an awesome player and he is the last big name free agent out there. Come on Tigers, don't let this one slip away too.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Pistons Mid-Season Report

The mid-season is here, and the Detroit Pistons are the center of criticism from their coaches and the media. They’ve been accused of not playing hard, but have shown at times that they can rattle off lengthy win streaks.

So let’s take a look at how they are doing individually with a mid-season report. Also, instead of a letter grading system, let me introduce a rating system.

1 - Excelling
2 - Above Average
3 - Average
4 - Below Average
5 - Disappointing


Richard Hamilton is the leading scorer of the Pistons with 20.5 points per game with 4.2 assists per game and a .440 shooting percentage. He’s been logging nearly 40 minutes per game all season and handling the task well. His shot from the sides is as good as it’s ever been. One area of concern is his streaky shooting consistency. Although I wouldn’t expect him to shoot .500 each night, there have been nights where he’s shot in the .350-.400 range. Hamilton needs look for better shots and overcome mid-game slumps. Mark: Average.

Chauncey Billups is certainly playing well in the clutch situation again this season. His assists are up and he seems to be moving the ball a little more. Unfortunately, he’s moving the ball too much. I’ve seen Chauncey with open lanes to the basket. He starts to take the steps towards it, and then he feeds the ball to someone else that isn’t expecting it. I know he’s just trying to be a good point guard and create situations, but he needs to watch the film and learn when and when not to pass the basketball. Mark: Average

Lindsey Hunter is the long time veteran of the bench. His job has been to backup Chauncey Billups. With the loss of Mike James, Hunter has been taxed with long minutes that seem to be taking a toll on him. His shots are off and he seems warm out by the middle of the game. His 4.9 points per game are a career low. Hunter must work on taking better shots. He’s shooting .355 percent this season. He’s lost focus of what a point guard is supposed to do. When he’s in coverage, he’s no longer passing, he’s battling. Better ball movement, and the help of their new point guard, will be key for Hunter in the second half of the season. Mark: Disappointing

Carlos Delfino is the newest member of the Pistons. He’s a shooting guard that stayed an extra year overseas to get his game ready for the NBA level. Expectations were high, but so was his energy when the season started. Delfino needs work on his free throws. He’s shooting .667, and bumping that up into the .750 range would add some fuel to the lax scoring of the bench. He also needs to add some assists and move the ball a little better. Carlos has been hurt all but 13 games this season. He’s off to a good start otherwise. Mark: Below Average

Horace Jenkins is a guy that is doing well in the role he’s been given. He’s appeared in six games and scored 3.7 points per game in the 7.8 minutes he was given. His shooting percentage is low at .350. Better shooting would be the ideal way for Jenkins to get noticed. He won the spot on the roster over Smush with his salary being lower. That won’t keep him here longer than this season. Mark: Below Average

Ronald Dupree has done a good job getting noticed with the time he’s been given. In 21 games he’s played 10 minutes per game with 2.6 points per game. His role has been limited, but he’s been improving each time he steps onto the court. He plays hard, moves the ball well, and has been able to make shots when needed. Although a lot of people expected more from Dupree, he’s young and his role is limited with this team. Considering all the factors, I’d say he’s been a great situational player for the Pistons. Mark: Above Average

Carlos Arroyo is hard to figure out. He’s only been a Piston for three games, and in Utah he was pushed to the end of the bench because he and Jerry Sloan didn’t get along. I will say that he’s adding a lot of energy to the Pistons bench. He’s also creating plays and scoring some points. Considering there is not enough data to give him a mark, I’ll just leave it with this: Carlos will make a difference for the Pistons in the second half.


Tayshuan Prince has been quietly shooting .471 percent from the field. He’s also been taking care of business on the defense end with his long reach and 3.9 rebounds per game. Prince has been criticized for his 12.3 points per game. Some feel he should be at 15 or better. With a starting lineup that includes two well shooting guards, that just isn’t going to happen. His points per game average is up from last season and his shooting is better than ever. The only thing Tayshaun needs to work on is keeping that ankle in shape. Mark: Excelling

Rasheed Wallace has some of the same problems that Chauncey has. He’s so unselfish that he misses opportunities at the basket in favor of passing the ball. When he doesn’t take pass the ball, he often finds himself in bad situations and has been struggling with battles under the boards. His defense has been pretty good with 7.7 rebounds per game and a couple blocks. Sheed needs to look for better shots and regain some toughness on the offensive boards. Mark: Below Average

Antonio McDyess was one of the heavily anticipated additions to the bench. With health concerns out of the way, Dice had the hype to come in here and score 50 points per game. Although that didn’t happen, and a bad leg kept him out of a couple games, he’s been a great backup for the Wallace brothers. He’s tough under the boards, shoots a high .535 shooting percentage, but is weak with his free throws. He can make a difference in a game when called on. He’s athletic and has a good vision of where the ball is going. Mark: Above Average

Darvin Ham has been one of the most disappointing guys on this team this season. He showed so much promise last year with his athleticism and ability to score. Ham has been in 30 games for seven minutes with less than a point per game. He can hit three pointers and make free throws, but has made no impact on the game, even in situational roles. Mark: Disappointing


Ben Wallace is still the lifeline of this team. Putting aside the fact that he’s the strongest defensive player in the league, Big Ben’s free throw percentage his dipped a little bit. His blocks are down, but his field goal percentage is rising. Overall Ben is continuing to make a difference on this team. Without him, they give up 100 points per game. With him, they gave up less than 90. Ben continues to work hard each game and press teams under the basketball. Mark: Above Average

Elden Campbell is in Utah now, but he was a part of this team in situations. He was the force against Shaq that helped slow him down. Campbell has seen better days, and only appeared in 21 games this season. He logged 10.8 minutes per game and shot poorly. He didn’t rebound well, didn’t block shots, and wasn’t one you could count on. Mark: Disappointing

Darko Milicic got in the game a few times this season. With suspensions and injuries, Darko has managed to get into 17 games and play 6.6 minutes per game. It is hard to get a handle on this guy. At times he looks to be making progress. Other times, he’s the same old Darko. He comes into games and fouls out in five minutes. Darko needs to continue to develop himself into an NBA player. He must work hard in practice and value each minute he gets during games. Mark: Average

The team is coming together just fine. They have been mostly average, but that isn’t going to win another Championship. They need to play more like a team, work on their ball movement, and get that hunger for winning back in them.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Best Team in Football

The New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-27 in the AFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl for the third time in the last 4 years.

The Patriots again proved that they are the best team in all of football. They went into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers, ending the Steelers' 15 game winning streak. The Patriots fully dominated and made play after play even when the Steelers were getting back into the game. Games like these have become the norm for New England.

The Patriots now move on to face the Eagles in the Super Bowl. I fully expect the Patriots to beat the Eagles to claim their third Super Bowl in 4 years.

Tom Brady is now 8-0 in his playoff career.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Pistons Acquire Arroyo

It's official! The Pistons have acquired Carlos Arroyo from the Utah Jazz. Utah will receive a future first round draft pick, and Elden Campbell.

Arroyo is averaging 8.2 points per game this season and has been in the dog house with Jerry Sloan for weeks. Arroyo had a break out season last year with the Jazz, and could return to the same form under new leadership.

Elden Campbell is expected to be waived, and could end up back with the Pistons once he clears waivers. Campbell's only major role this season has been against Shaq.

The Pistons had openly been looking for another guard to add to Lindsey Hunter. Last year's Hunter and James combination proved vital in Detroit's Championship run.

"We're excited to add him to our team, because we think Carlos adds great flexibility to our backcourt," Dumars said.

Look for Arroyo to join the Pistons very soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tiger Notes

The Detroit Tigers have invited 19 players to spring training camp. Most of these guys, if not all of them, will not make the team. The list includes Dean Palmer, Craig Dingman, Sean Douglass, John Ennis, Andrew Good, Matt Roney, Mike Bynum, Brandon Harper, Mike Rabelo, Maxim St. Pierre, Tony Giarrantano, Jack Hannahan, Mike Hessman, Michael Rivera, Alexis Gomez, Kevin Hooper, Nelson Cruz, Sandy Martinez, and Doug Creek. Players in bold means they have played on the Tigers before.

Former Tiger Eric Munson will compete for the starting third base job with the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers did not resign Munson, and Minnesota picked him up. Munson hit .212 with 19 homers and 49 RBIs last season with Detroit. The Tigers will see a lot of Munson because the Twins are in the same division as the Tigers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Pistons Knock Off Suns

Pistons Win

The Detroit Pistons extended their winning streak to six games, beating the Phoenix Suns 94-80.

Tayshaun Prince led all scoring wtih 26 points, and Ben Wallace added 15 rebounds. Detroit didn't shot particularly well, but kept to their defensive game and shut down the high scoring power of the Suns.

Nash was also out of the game, which didn't help things for the Suns. Nash, averaging 11 assists per game, sat out with a bruised thigh. The Suns shot 35% from the field, and 17% from the three point line. They took care of their free throws, but it wasn't enough.

Detroit took care of things under the boards. They dominated with second chance points, and converted many points of fast breaks and rebounds.

The Pistons are really heating up. They're finding ways to win, and are starting to hold most of their late-game leads. They're rumored to be working on trades that would solve their bench problems. If that happens, and they get the right fit, they would continue to dominate the Eastern Conference, and make a return to the NBA finals.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Patriots and Colts

With little going on in sports having to do with Detroit, I have decided to write a post about the Patriots and Colts playoff game that was on this Sunday.

For the second straight year, the Patriots beat the Colts in Foxboro during the playoffs. The Patriots were clearly the better team as they walked away with a 20-3 victory. With the win, the Patriots move unto the AFC Championship game to play the Steelers next week.

All season everybody raved about how good Peyton Manning and the Colts' offense was. Manning threw a NFL record 49 touchdown passes during the regular season(6 against Detroit) but he could not get the Colts into the endzone once. Manning is a great quarterback but again he could not win the big game on the road. The Patriots shut him down along with the rest of the Colts' "unstoppable" offense. (Here is a picture of Manning walking off the field after the loss).

The Patriots are the best team in football and they proved it again on Sunday. People thought that the Colts would finally be able to beat the Patriots but it was not going to happen against the defending champs. I love the Patriots because they play like a team. They do not have a lot of superstars but they get the job done when it counts, plain and simple. They deserve to win another championship. If they win, it will be their third championship in 4 years. GO PATRIOTS!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Grant Hill back in Detroit

The Orlando Magic are in Detroit tonight to play the Pistons but this game is more than a regular NBA game. The reason this is a big game is because it will be first time that Grant Hill will play at the Palace since joining the Magic almost 5 years ago. This will be Hill's first game back in Detroit, since joining Orlando, because he has been injured for the last 4 seasons. He has only played 47 games since joining the Magic(not including this season) due to a persistent ankle injury.

Grant Hill played for the Pistons for a run of 6 seasons. In those six seasons he did very well. He scored 21.6 points per-game when he was with the Pistons. That average ranks fourth in the team's history. In his last season with Detroit he averaged 25.6 points per-game. He almost signal handedly took the Pistons from the bottom of the league to being a playoff team. This guy was a lot of fun to watch when he was in Detroit.

When the Pistons traded Hill a lot of fans might have been thinking how dumb they were for trading away such an awesome player. However, it was one of the best moves the Pistons ever made. They traded him for then unknown Ben Wallace. Trading away Hill for Ben Wallace freed up a lot of money which allowed them to sign some good players. If the Pistons had not traded away Hill then they probably would not have won the championship last season because all the pieces they assembled would not have come into place like they did.

Grant Hill has made a courageous comeback this season. He has played in 33 games and he is scoring 19.2 points per-game. He looks to be back in top form like he was at the start of his career. Hill has showed me a lot by coming back through ankle surgery after ankle surgery. I wish the best of luck to him and the Magic.

Click Here to read a very good article on Hill's return to Detroit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pistons Roll, Jefferson Out

The Detroit Pistons walked into New Jersey and took care of the Nets last night, winning 89-80. Detroit's fire was lead by Rasheed Wallace and Lindsey Hunter. Hunter had 10 points in 20 minutes, Rasheed had 19 points and 13 rebounds.

New Jersey took a hard blow before the game. It was announced that Richard Jefferson would have season-ending surgery on his wrist.

"This is a tough blow," Thorn said. "Richard, in my mind, he's an All-Star player this year. You could depend on him as a guy who has played great for us. He's a guy who plays hurt and cares about his teammates."

Jefferson's wrist was hurt on a play against Detroit on December 27. Chauncey Billups chased Jefferson down the court, and hit him pretty hard, prompting the refs to call a flagrant foul.

"You can look at the play, I remember it vividly," Billups said on Tuesday night. "I was running down, I couldn't stop. We were both sprinting. I couldn't stop. I felt like when he got the ball he jumped back into me. Everybody knows I don't play like that."

Jefferson called the play dirty. "I wouldn't say it was a cheap shot," he said. "I don't think it was retaliation. I don't feel it was a cheap shot. Was it a bad play? Was it a dirty play? Yes. Is Chauncey Billups a dirty player? By no means, I don't think so.

New Jersey's hopes of contending for the Eastern Conference are all but gone. There is new speculation that Jason Kidd will demand a trade before the deadline, and the arrival of Vince Carter hasn't had much impact.

Detroit is starting to play better. They are holding opponents down low enough for them to win, and the bench is coming alive more. Trade rumors continue, as the Pistons are reportedly looking at the possibilties of acquiring Kwame Brown from the Wizards, and Oliver Miller from the ABA.

No deals are imminent or even in the stages of being close.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Preview - Pistons at Nets

Detroit looks to continue to grow as a team as they head to New Jersey to take on the Nets tonight. Game time is at 7:30 PM.

The Pistons have struggled this season. They are in need of another backup guard, and more depth at the bench.

One of their bright spots has been Richard Hamilton. Hamilton is coming off a 25 point game in which the Pistons beat the Celtics 110-104 on Friday. Hamilton should be able to match up well against Vince Carter. I also look to Tayshaun Prince to add some help on defense if Hamilton can’t get it done, but look for Prince to keep Jefferson in line.

Although this Nets team is a little different than the one they faced earlier in the season, the Pistons still should have the edge. They’ve been able to contain Jason Kidd in the past, and Vince Carter isn’t a difference maker anymore.

Look for rebounding wars under the boards with Ben Wallace and Richard Jefferson. Wallace is the clear dominant force under the hoops against almost any team.

New Jersey isn’t a strong blocking team. Now-retired Alonzo Mourning is still their leading shot blocker with 2.3 blocks per game. The Pistons should take advantage of the lack of defense, and crash the boards, and work the perimeter.

Another key to victory is stopping New Jersey’s transition game. They are good in transition, and could be deadly on the break. Making their shots should lift them to a victory of the Nets.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Coldstove Notes

It looks like Derek Lowe and Kevin Millwood will most likely not be playing with the Detroit Tigers next season. Millwood is finalizing a 1 year, 7 million dollar deal with the Indians. Lowe is probably going to sign with the Dodgers. It is tough to see the Tigers lose out on even more good players. I think their problem this entire offseason was that they did not want to spend the big bucks to get some of these star players. However, it can not all be blamed on the Tigers. Most of these players simply did not want to play on a losing team. I can not really blame them but it is still tough to see them sign somewhere other than Detroit. With the Tigers not doing much this offseason, it could be another long regular season in Detroit.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Around the Horn

The Detroit Lions ended another losing season this past Sunday but I want to talk more about their season....Joey Harrington was critisized for his play this season. Although he could have done better this season, his numbers this season were better than his numbers last season. This year he threw 19 touchdowns and last year he threw 17 touchdown passes. He threw 12 interceptions this season and 22 interceptions last season. His quarterback rating went up to 77.5. He became the first Lions quarterback in a long time to throw for over 3000 yards in one season. If Harrington can play next season as good as he did in the beginning and ending of this season, then the Lions have a shot at the playoffs. He must be consistent all of next season instead of just some of the season, like he was this season.

Kevin Jones was named NFL Rookie of the Month for the month of December. He ran for an amazing 526 yards(5.1 per carry) and 4 touchdowns during December. He ended the season with 1,133 yards and 5 touchdowns. He only fumbled the ball once all season. He became just the third running back in Lions history to record 1000 or more rushing yards in his rookie season. This guy is going to be a great running back. I can not wait to watch him next season.

Other Lions news that I neglected to cover was that the Lions signed Shaun Rogers to a 6 year, 46 million dollar deal with a big signing bonus. This guy is a very good player and it was nice to see the Lions sign this probowler to a long term deal.

The Detroit Pistons have released Derrick Coleman and have signed Anthony Goldwire. Here is the story by Dan Joseph.
The Detroit Pistons have released Center Derrick Coleman. Coleman, a long time veteran, averaged just 1.8 points, three rebounds, and 10 mintues per game.

Coleman came to Detroit through a trade that sent Corliss Williamson to Philadelphia. The trade was made to clear salary cap room to re-sign Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince.

Detroit has signed guard Anthony Goldwire to a 10 day contract. The 33 year old guard has appeared in 231 NBA games, averaging 6.5 points, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 rebounds.

Seems to me that the Pistons are up to something. Trade rumors are swirling around Baron Davis of the Hornets. Billups, Hunter, and a draft pick for Davis? Maybe that's a bit too much, but its worth thinking about. Davis is averaging 19.5 points per game, 6.1 assists, and shoots 35% from the three point line. I still believe the Pistons would be better with a stronger Point Guard.

The Detroit Tigers have pulled out of the running to sign Carlos Beltran. They said that he was too expensive and they were probably right. I did not expect at all for the Tigers to even make a serious offer for Beltran. The Tigers hitting was not their problem last year, their problem was pitching. They should go after Kevin Millwood or Derek Lowe, the only good pitchers left on the market. Even if both guys want too much money, I still think the Tigers should go after them. Who else is there left to sign anyways? The Tigers will need to overspend a little and get a quality pitcher that will help out their young pitching staff.

The Tigers signed Ramon Martinez to a one year deal worth about a million dollars. They basically signed this 31 year old second baseman for some added depth on the bench....The Tigers also traded for catcher Vance Wilson to backup Pudge. They traded a minor leaguer to the Mets for Wilson.

It looks like Fernando Vina will not be ready for the start of the 2005 season due to an injury. Vina signed a 2 year, 6 million dollar deal with Detroit before the start of last season. This past season he hit only .226 and was injured for most of the year.

I do not watch or cover a lot of Michigan Basketball but I would like to mention how they beat Iowa, the number 15 ranked team in the nation. It was Michigan's first game in Big Ten play. The Wolverines were NIT Champs last season and this season they should finally be able to make it to the big dance.

NBA Preview - Memphis at Detroit

The Memphis Grizzlies (16-17) visit the Palace tonight to take on the Detroit Pistons (17-13). Memphis enters the game on a four game winning streak, the Pistons with a two game winning streak.

The last time these two teams met, the Pistons were struggling to find their game. They played good defense, but failed to produce the points needed to win the game, including only four from the entire bench. As a result, they lost 68-72.

This game should be much different. Ronald Dupree is getting more opportunities, and playing betters, and Antonio McDyess is back playing.

I wouldn’t expect a much different game from the last. The scoring will be higher, but the results could be the same. Memphis’ starting five matches up well with the Pistons’ starting five. Each team has three rebounding threats, and both play tough defense. The difference could be in the bench.

Look for a good game from Rip, and a battle under the boards between Lorenzen Wright and Ben Wallace.

Keys to the game:

1. Contain Pau Gasol.
2. Defend the perimeter and don’t let Miller and Battier rain threes.
3. Dupree and McDyess need to produce.

If the Pistons continue their success from the starting rotation, and add points from the bench, we should see a comfortable win.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Smush Sent Packing

Backup point guard Smush Parker was waived by the Detroit Pistons Tuesday. Parker is a good, athletic player, and he showed that he can be a good NBA player when he was given more playing time. I wouldn’t expect him to stay on waivers for long.

Parker played in 11 games, averaging 3.0 points, 1.0 assists, and 0.8 rebounds. Parker’s ultimate demise was that he wasn’t a difference in the tempo of the game, and couldn’t distinguish himself from Horace Jenkins.

Jenkins may also be waived today. The league said that players must be put on waivers by today, otherwise the contracts for players will be guaranteed. If not waived, look for him to be activated before Thursday’s game against Memphis. Otherwise its possible Carlos Delfino could be activated.

Delfino, recovering from right knee surgery, is hoping to be back in the rotation soon. Delfino adds a solid player that can add 8-10 points per game when healthy. Delfino would also help deepen the bench, something the Pistons badly need.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Another Season is Over

The Detroit Lions ended another losing season on Sunday against the Titans. It was a fairly close game but the Titans prevailed 24-19.

The last drive of the game for Detroit was almost like a mirror of their entire season. They were down by 5 with the ball around their own 15 yard line. Time was running out on the game and the season. Joey Harrington led the Lions down the field till they got into Tennesse's red zone. With less than a minute on the clock, on fourth down, Harrington threw a pass towards Roy Williams but he was covered too well and the ball was deflected away. The Titans then sat on the ball and ran out the clock.

The reason I said the final drive of this game was almost like the Lions' entire season is because it was a lot of fluff with little actual success. The Lions really underachieved this season. They lost 6 games by 7 or less points. If they had won both games against the Vikings, they would have most likely made the playoffs. They have a lot of talent(mostly young talent) with the likes of Roy Williams, Kevin Jones, Shaun Rogers, James Hall, and others. They finished the season at 6-10, an improvement over last season, but it still not a record to be proud of. They must improve next season on both sides of the ball. It will be another long offseason with a lot of questions to answer.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A tough loss

For the second staight year the Michigan Wolverines played in the Rose Bowl and for the second straight year they will be going home with a tough loss. The 5th ranked Texas Longhorns beat them 38-37. Texas won this game by kicking a fieldgoal as time expired.

This was a great game even though Michigan lost. This game started slow but ended in an explosion of offense. Both teams traded the lead for a while late in this game. Michigan took the lead late in the game on a fieldgoal but it was not enough as Texas came back to win it.

Texas quarterback Vince Young had the game of his life with 376 total yards along with 4 rushing touchdowns and 1 passing touchdown. He destoyed Michigan all game.

In his first bowl game, Chad Henne again led Michigan on offense. He threw for 245 yards along with 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions. This was a great way for this freshman to end his season.

It was a sad game for Braylon Edwards to end his college career but like through his entire career, he had another great performance. He caught 10 passes for 118 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was one of the best receivers Michigan ever had and he will be missed.

Steve Breaston had one of the greatest games Michigan fans will ever see. He had 318 all purpose yards(217 on kick returning) along with a touchdown. Time and time again he gave Michigan great position on the field. This was the best game of his 3 year career at Michigan.

Michigan's kicker Garrett Rivas kicked 3 field goals for Michigan, including 2 in the fourth quarter. He helped keep Michigan in this game.

It was tough seeing Michigan lose 2 straight Rose Bowls but the future is very bright for this team. They were Big Ten champs and they only lost one conference game(against Ohio State). They finished with a 9-3 record this season. Their leaders on offense-Chad Henne and Mike Hart(81 yards rushing in this game)-were only freshman this year and they will continue to get better. We lost Braylon Edwards and other seniors but this team can only improve. Next year I expect them to compete for the Big Ten crown again but I also think they will compete for the National Chamionship. Thanks Michigan for another great season! We will see you play again in 8 monthes.