Friday, June 29, 2007

Pistons Draft Recap

Detroit addressed its need for perimeter depth in the draft last night, taking Eastern Washington combo guard Rodney Stuckey with the #15 pick and UCLA shooting guard Arron Afflalo with the #27 pick in the first round. Detroit also added DePaul SG Sammy Mejia with their second round pick, 57th overall.

Stuckey projects to back up both Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton in the near future, and for right now will probably take the bench spot of (hopefully soon-to-be retired) PG Lindsey Hunter. Stuckey possesses the ability to penetrate into the lane and score that the Pistons were sorely lacking last season, and should be able to contribute immediately. He will need to improve his outside shot, as he made only 26.7% of his three point attempts last season, and his defensive effort. However, despite his shortcomings, I definitely like this pick. Stuckey fills a need for the Pistons off the bench, and has the potential to be a solid starter down the road.

Afflalo is a very good mid-range and decent long-range shooter who also possesses good defensive skills. After leading UCLA to back-to-back Final Fours, Afflalo certainly has the big game experience necessary to be comfortable playing a role on a playoff team. Scouts knock his athleticism, which may mean Afflalo will take a while to adjust to the NBA game. I'm not sure how much Afflalo will actually see the floor next year, with Stuckey and Flip Murray probably playing ahead of him in the guard rotation. He seems a little small to back up Tayshaun Prince at small forward. Afflalo certainly fits the mold of a Piston player, but I'm don't know if he fits into the rotation as it currently stands.

I can't claim to know anything about Mejia, another guard who doesn't look like he'll make the Pistons roster next year. I don't really understand the logic behind this pick, with Detroit drafting Stuckey and Afflalo and already having Murray, Will Blalock and Alex Acker at the guard position. I don't expect to see Mejia in a Piston uniform now, or possibly ever.

Overall, I thought this was a decent draft for the Pistons. Stuckey looks to step in and contribute right away, and Afflalo is a strong defender and a pure scorer. I'm still not sure why we drafted Mejia, but Joe Dumars has a habit of drafting some gems late in the second round, so I will withhold judgment on that pick until further notice. I'm looking forward to seeing these players don the Piston uniform next season.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jon Kitna is a More Optimistic Man Than I

"I'll keep to myself what I think we actually will win. But it's more than 10 games."

That was Lions' quarterback Jon Kitna in a Thursday radio appearance on WDFN-AM Detroit. Yes, the same Jon Kitna who turned the ball over an NFL-leading 31 times last season. Now I know Kitna must be excited about being able to throw to Calvin Johnson, Roy Williams and Mike Furrey next season, but expecting Detroit to go from 3 to 10+ wins without a major roster overhaul, coaching change, or free agent signing seems mildly delusional at best.

Hitting 10 wins would constitute a 7 game improvement from our dismal 2006 season (I know, I should be a math major). The last time Detroit made such a large leap in one year was in 1980, after Detroit landed the number one pick in the draft and took a running back by the name of Billy Sims.

Billy Sims, NOT on the 2007 Lions

As for the Lions' greatest improvement under current GM Matt Millen? That would be our quantum leap from 3 victories in 2002 to a whopping 5 in 2003. Take into account the fact that Detroit traded away its best cornerback (Dre Bly) for a backup running back/insurance policy for Kevin Jones' foot (Tatum Bell) and did not draft a single projected starter with its three (three!) second-round picks this year, and you can consider me skeptical.

Kitna, Perhaps Losing the Last of His Marbles

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tigers' Pitching Shakeup Continues

Two days after dealing Wilfredo Ledezma for Braves' lefty reliever Macay McBride, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Tigers have traded starter Mike Maroth to the St. Louis Cardinals. With the quick rise of Andrew Miller and the impending return of Kenny Rogers (who starts his first game of the season tonight), Detroit had little room in its rotation for Maroth.

No word yet on who Detroit has received in return. Updates coming as more information is revealed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Up North... no updates this weekend.

Go Tigers!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Long String of Zero's

As Justin Verlander was mowing down Brewers last night, I sat in the left field stands and thought about every other Tigers game I've attended. There haven't been that many, probably seven or eight since I moved to Ann Arbor in 1993. On the drive to every game, I'd always think to myself what it would be like to see something truly special happen. A Tiger hit three home runs, maybe a walk-off homer, or...a no-hitter. That dream would always die sometime in the early innings, and I would move on to just hoping the home team would pull out a victory.

Yesterday, a few friends and I reached our seats in the home half of the second inning after being held up at home when one friend cancelled at the last minute and we tried to find someone to take our extra ticket (nobody did). The first thing I did was check the scoreboard, and was relieved to find that the Brewers had not mustered a hit yet. Neither had the Tigers, but I was pretty confident our offense wouldn't get shut out, let alone no-hit.

As the fourth inning rolled around, I could sense something special could happen. Verlander struck out the side that inning, three magnificent K's sandwiched around a walk to Bill Hall. Verlander already had seven strikeouts, and the game wasn't even halfway done. At this point, I'm starting to get a little excited. I tried to dismiss my thoughts of a no-hitter, caught up in the sports fan's fear of jinxing the game by thinking about it too much.

Verlander rolled out without incident until the seventh, when he had to leap to snag Prince Fielder's bouncer up the middle for the first out, and Magglio Ordonez made a sliding catch in left to rob Corey Hart of a hit for out number two. Verlander, perhaps sensing the impending heart failure of the 33,555 in attendance, temporarily calmed the collective nerves of Comerica Park by striking out Geoff Jenkins to escape the inning with no-hitter intact. In the bottom of the seventh, Detroit added their fourth run of the game, but at this point the Tiger bats were a complete afterthought. The dormant caterpillars in my stomach had metamorphosed into full-blown butterflies, and all I wanted to see was Verlander work his magic on the mound and put my mind (and guts) at ease.

After Johnny Estrada grounded out to begin the eighth, Verlander once again walked Hall. What happened next caused me to utter a phrase that I had sworn would never come out of my mouth. On a 1-0 count, Gabe Gross hit a sharp grounder to the left of the second base bag that looked destined for the center field grass (at least in my paranoid mind). Neifi Perez, aka Neifi 'effin Perez, he of the .180 batting average, backhanded the ball with his back to second before flipping the ball behind him to Placido Polanco, who turned the beautiful double play with a perfect strike to Sean Casey. I yelled "I love you Neifi!" at the top of lungs while high-fiving friends and strangers with reckless abandon. No-hitters do funny things to people.

I don't really remember the bottom of the eighth, except that by that time the adrenaline coursing through my veins was enough to cause my hands and legs to shake uncontrollably. All I could think was "I can't believe this is happening." Well, that and "if they get a hit, I may break down and cry." As the crowd rose as one when Verlander strolled out to the mound to start the ninth, I felt like I was standing on Jell-O. Verlander quickly took Craig Counsell to a 1-2 count before dropping a nasty curve off the table. Counsell could only muster a meager half-swing before making his way back to the dugout. One out, two to go. Next up was Tony Graffanino, who had already struck out three times on the night. Three curveballs, three strikes. As the crowd roared, my mind quickly raced to last Thursday, when I sat in Buffalo Wild Wings and witnessed Curt Schilling lose his no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth. More shaking ensued.

J.J. Hardy stepped into the batters box. I guess Justin's adrenaline was flowing even more than mine was, because his first pitch rocketed through the strike zone at a mind-boggling 102 miles per hour. Hardy fouled off Verlander's second offering, a 99 mph fastball up and in, causing my heart to skip a beat at the sound of bat meeting ball. One more strike. Hardy fouled away a high curve, and Verlander stepped off the mound to regain his composure. Verlander stepped back in, the roar of the crowd at a deafening level, and unleashed another high curve. Hardy made contact, and the ball arced towards the right field fence, forcing Magglio into a hasty retreat. Just as I was about to lose hope, Magglio settled just in front of the warning track and the ball dropped harmlessly into his glove.

Chaos ensued as the Tiger dugout emptied onto the field, engulfing Verlander in a jubilant celebration in front of the mound as Comerica Park erupted in cheers. Words cannot describe the feelings of relief and excitement that came over me as we stood and saluted the greatest baseball performance I've ever had the privilege of seeing in person. After cheering Verlander for several minutes from our seats, we rushed down to the Tiger store at the front entrance. I had to get something to mark the occasion. As I type this right now, I am sitting in my Justin Verlander t-shirt, the last of its size (medium, as if you care) in all of Comerica Park.

From our vantage point (upper deck seats deep in foul territory down the left field line) it was tough to see exactly how Justin was striking out all these Brewers. All we could see was the radar gun and the befuddled reactions of the batters as they walked dejectedly back to the dugout. The highlights on Sportscenter confirmed what we could all tell from the upper deck: Verlander was beyond dominant. His electric fastball and vicious curve were unhittable, literally.

I can't begin to describe how lucky I feel to have seen this game. I've been to a decent amount of sporting events in my young life, including a lot of big Michigan football games, and nothing touched the electricity of Comerica Park last night. As a fan watching the game, you really feel as if you were a part of something special. I know this sounds ridiculous, at least to anyone who doesn't follow sports, but last night was one of the best nights of my life. Who knows, at 24 years old, Justin Verlander may even have a couple more left in him. After last night, I'll believe anything now.


I was there.

More tomorrow.

Sleeping may prove difficult.

(AP Photo)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Pistons Offseason Breakdown, Part Two

I apologize in advance for any egregious crimes against the art of writing I perform in this post. At this time of the morning (it is currently 8:20 am), my brain functions somewhere between "drunk Ozzy Osbourne" and "Paris Hilton with a closed head injury." Consider yourself forewarned.

This is me, right now. Minus the bling.

In the aftermath of the Pistons' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, a veritable maelstrom of unsubstantiated rumors have been thrown forth by everyone from respected newspaper columnists to belligerently intoxicated fans who retain the ability to type on a computer (as of yet, no belligerently intoxicated columnists, unfortunately). Names such as KG and Kobe have been thrown into the fray (sometimes in the same lineup...I want whatever that guy's on), as well as (relatively) more feasible rumors of Rasheed going to the Knicks.

While few of these rumors have any basis in actual reality, it certainly is fun (and somewhat therapeutic) to join in the wild speculation. So, here's what I believe the Pistons should do:

1. Re-sign Chauncey Billups. Regardless of how poorly he played in the playoffs, Chauncey is still a top-10 NBA point guard who has the size and skill to contribute well into his 30s. Anyone looking to see how big point guards like Chauncey fare as they start to move into their mid-30s should watch Jason Kidd play. Kidd has a much longer history of injuries than Billups, but has not lost his ability to manage the game and continues to average nearly a triple-double every year. Chauncey is not the passer that Kidd is, nor will he ever be, but he is a much better shooter, and long-range shooting does not tend to decline severely with age. Chauncey still has the ability to point guard a championship team, and any statement to the contrary is a knee-jerk reaction to an ugly postseason exit.

2. Trade Rasheed Wallace for an expiring contract. Bill Simmons brought up an interesting scenario in his recent column on the Pistons:
Deal Wallace (two years and $26 million remaining on his deal) in a three-way trade in which 'Sheed goes to Washington, Antawn Jamison (expires in 2008) goes to Portland and Zach Randolph goes to Detroit. ... Or they could just deal 'Sheed for Jamison straight up if they wanted the cap space.
Both of these potential deals intrigue me, and I would pull the trigger on either if I was Joe Dumars. Randolph is very talented and young (25 years old), and his "character issues" have been very overblown in my opinion. He certainly carries no more baggage that Sheed did when he came to Detroit, and that move worked out pretty well. However, I like the potential deal for Jamison better because of the cap flexibility it provides in the 2008 offseason. Jamison is no slouch himself, and would be a solid starter at the power forward position for next year. With the cap room gained from his expiring contract, the Pistons could then make a strong push for signing Elton Brand or Shawn Marion, two players who could be on the free agent market (both have player options for '08-'09) after next season. Either way, I think Sheed needs to go, especially if (as he is "absolutely" sure will happen) Flip Saunders is indeed the coach next season.

3. Draft a Point Guard and a Center. Detroit needs a true center who can come in and play immediately, or at least split time with Nazr Mohammed (whose contract may make him difficult to deal). Obviously, who Detroit takes and when they take him is contingent on what the other teams do early on. Rumor has it Chinese PF Yi Jianlian may fall down to Chicago at the ninth pick, which may mean Washington Center Spencer Hawes would be available for the Pistons at 15. Hawes is a skilled low-post scorer and a good passer for a big man, and should be able to play immediately. Detroit could also look at Colorado State PF Jason Smith, and athletic seven-footer who could play the five on an up-tempo team. If Detroit gets Hawes or goes with Smith, I would like to see them draft Florida PG Taurean Green with the 25th pick. Green was a member of Florida's back-to-back national title teams, and has been playing quite well in the NBA pre-draft camps. If Hawes is gone before 15 (as he is projected right now), Detroit should take either Texas A&M PG Acie Law (if he is, improbably, still around), Georgia Tech PG Javaris Crittenton, or Eastern Washington combo guard Rodney Stuckey. Law is clearly option number one among most Pistons fans, and Detroit would probably prefer him over Hawes if both somehow dropped. If Detroit goes with a guard early, Pittsburgh C Aaron Gray or Spanish C Marc Gasol (brother of Pau) should both be available at 25.

Given these moves, your 2007-2008 Detroit Pistons would look something like this:

Chauncey Billups
Rip Hamilton
Tayshaun Prince
Antawn Jamison
Spencer Hawes

Antonio McDyess
Flip Murray
Taurean Green
Jason Maxiell
Amir Johnson
Nazr Mohammed
Carlos Delfino
Ronald Dupree
Will Blalock
Cheikh Samb? (probably NBDL if he comes over to America from Spain...check out Detroit Bad Boys' article on him for much more)




This isn't exactly a world-beating lineup, but it has the potential to turn into much more in the future, especially if Brand or Marion sign on next offseason. Detroit also has the possibility of using its mid-level exception if it so desires (maybe Jamaal Magloire?), but I'm not sure they'll use it if they can't get rid of Mohammed for an expiring deal.

This is all just wild guessing, and I'm probably horrendously wrong on most of my guesswork, but this at least gives us some idea of what may occur during the offseason.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I Swear I'll Post Soon...

Expect the second part of my Pistons offseason breakdown tomorrow...there's so many rumors and wild speculations flying around and I'm trying to compile and make sense of all of them. To hold you over (as I'm sure you're really anticipating my post) here's two articles regarding the offseason:

McDyess, Murray Want to Stay Pistons (Detroit News) - This is found surprising, to say the least. I expected McDyess to at least test the free agent market in search of a championship contender. Murray I had written off as completely gone. However, this is great news for the Pistons bench next year. McDyess has been a steady contributor and great sixth man, as well as a leader in the locker room. Murray fell out of the rotation (inexplicably, in my opinion) late in the season, but I think he's the scoring threat Detroit needs off the bench, and he's one of the few current Pistons with the ability to create his own shot off the dribble.

Further rumors and speculation coming tomorrow...

Saunders Will Stay As Pistons Coach
(Detroit News) - This is going to cause a certain amount of discontent among Pistons fans, many of whom believe Saunders should have been fired after being outcoached by Mike Brown (who is certainly not to be confused with Larry Brown) in the Conference Finals. However, owner Bill Davidson didn't seem to pleased with the possibility of paying the balance of another fired coach's contract, and there aren't that many viable candidates out there to hire. Keeping Saunders, who has repeatedly butted heads with Rasheed Wallace, leads me to believe it is likely that Sheed has played his last game in a Piston uniform.

Further rumors and speculation tomorrow...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Pistons Offseason Breakdown, Part One

I think it was fitting that I woke up this morning (alright,'s summer) to the sound of rain pelting my gutters and thunder echoing through the heavens. It was a perfect start to what should be a tumultuous offseason for the Detroit Pistons.

Part One of my offseason breakdown will show who of the current Pistons is poised to return, and who should be starting next season in another team's uniform.

Likely to Return:

Rasheed Wallace (2 years remaining; due $12.54 million in 2007-08)-
Regardless of whether Sheed is still as beloved among Piston fans as he once was in light of his ejection (and complete loss of composure) in Game 6, he will be back in a Detroit uniform next year. With his $12.54 million salary, declining production, and obvious attitude issues, Wallace is relatively untradeable if the Pistons want to get any sort of worthwhile value out of a trade.

Rip Hamilton (3 years; $9.75 million)- Rip is one of the pieces that Detroit will be looking to build around for the future. He is 29 years old, is in tremendous shape, and has a style of play that lends itself to a long and effective career. He has been probably the Pistons' most consistent player since the 2004 title run, and should be the team's go-to scorer next season and beyond.

Tayshaun Prince (4 years; $8.675 million)- Tayshaun is the other player the Pistons will shape their team around. He is probably the most battle-tested 27 year old player in the league, with an NBA title and five conference final appearances already under his belt, and has shown tremendous leadership for a player of his age and experience. He is already an all-league defensive player, and his offensive game has developed with each passing year.

Carlos Delfino (2 years; $1.868 million)- Delfino is only 24, and will certainly have a role coming off the bench for the Pistons in the near future. He's a solid defender and has decent athleticism, although he needs to learn how to play in control on offense. Delfino is a former first round pick who has a lot of talent, so Detroit will look to develop him before they decide if he is worth keeping around after his contract expires.

Jason Maxiell (3 years; $1.041 million)- Maxiell was a revelation in the playoffs, providing a tremendous spark off the bench with his energetic play. He should have a much bigger role next season, especially with the possible departures of Antonio McDyess and Dale Davis. Maxiell is a potential starter down the road, a power forward who plays much bigger than his 6'7" frame.

Ronald Dupree (1 year; $826,046)- Dupree will probably never be a player who consistently cracks the rotation. He's a pretty athletic small forward, but has a shaky jumper and is already 26 years old. He didn't make the Pistons playoff roster this season. However, he's under contract for next year, so expect to see him on the end of the Detroit bench for at least one more season.

Amir Johnson (restricted free agent)- A lot of Pistons fans (including myself) are excited about the 20 year old's potential, and Detroit will do whatever they can to lock him up. He absolutely tore up the NBDL, and also played well in a brief stint with the Pistons this season (including a 20 point, 12 rebound, 4 block performance against Boston on April 18). He is a long (6'9", 210), athletic forward who should be coming off the bench next year and has the potential to be a very good player as he gains experience.

Will Blalock (team option for next season; $687,456)- Detroit is in desperate need of depth at guard, and Blalock is cheap and serviceable. I doubt the Pistons will expect him to be the backup point guard, but Blalock may be the third guard off the bench next year. For the small cost there's no reason Detroit shouldn't give the 23 year old a shot.

Up in the Air:

Chauncey Billups (unrestricted free agent)-
Chauncey will surely opt out of his contract with Detroit and test the free agent market. Despite his poor showing in the conference finals, he is still a top 6 point guard who will certainly garner attention from teams looking for a floor general. He should be able to command upwards of $13 million, which would make him the highest paid player on the Pistons. What Detroit does with Billups, whether a sign-and-trade or just signing him, determines the direction the franchise is taking for the next few years.

Antonio McDyess (unrestricted free agent)-
I'm also assuming McDyess will opt out of his contract (he has a player option for $6.4 million next season) and try to negotiate a raise, whether with Detroit or another team. It will be interesting to see how much Detroit is willing to pay him, what with Maxiell looking like a potential sixth man and Johnson waiting in the wings for a chance at playing time. My guess is that McDyess will go to another contender in his quest for that elusive championship ring.

Probably Gone:

Nazr Mohammed (4 years remaining; due $5.6 million in 2007-08)-
Nazr certainly wasn't happy with his playing time after Detroit acquired Chris Webber, and Detroit will probably look to trade him in the offseason. His contract could be difficult to work around but I really don't see him wearing a Piston uniform ever again. He could be an extra piece in a potential Billups or Wallace trade.

Dale Davis (unrestricted free agent)- Davis, who is 38 years old and has played 16 seasons in the NBA, will most likely retire. Detroit would be unlikely to resign him, as they have young big men who they will look to get playing time.

Lindsey Hunter (1 year; $2.25 million)- Hunter has been offered a job in the Pistons front office whenever he decides to retire, and there is a decent chance that happens this offseason. I certainly hope he does, as I'm tired of watching him ruin our offense off the bench, as well as my fond memories of him from the title team and the mid-90's Pistons.

Flip Murray (unrestricted free agent)- Flip has a player option for one more year that I'm pretty sure he'll turn down. He also was not happy with his limited role as the season wore on, and I'm sure another team will find a spot on their bench for a player with his scoring ability.

Chris Webber (unrestricted free agent)- According to the Detroit News, Webber may be leaning towards retirement. He certainly looked like he didn't have a lot left in the tank at the end of this year, and his legs don't have much spring left in them. The only way I see him playing next year is as a bench player for a title contender.

Wow, that took forever. Tomorrow I'll look at possible offseason moves for Detroit, especially with regards to Chauncey Billups, as well as who we should draft.

Out With a Whimper

I really don't have much to say about that one. 98-82 Cavs, and the season (and possibly an era) ends without the Pistons ever putting together a truly complete game this series. This certainly ranks way up there among the most painful games to watch in my lifetime. Rasheed losing his composure (and sanity) before getting kicked out really shows how far this year's Piston squad was from being a title team. To completely jeopardize any chance your team has to win (as well as guarantee that you'll be suspended for a possible Game 7) is a completely selfish move and is on the total opposite end of the spectrum from what being a team player (and Detroit Piston, at least the past few years) is all about.

Congratulations to the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland. Their fans certainly deserve to see a title team after suffering as much as any sports town in the country.

Tomorrow, I'll look at what the future holds in store for the Pistons. Will Chauncey be back? Should we fire Flip Saunders? Is Joe Dumars going to blow it all up and start over? It should be a very interesting few months in Detroit.

Friday, June 1, 2007

LeBron LeDominates

I was hoping to return to the world of blogging (after this hiatus caused only by my own tremendous laziness) with a post about how the Pistons had grabbed the upper hand in their series against the Cavs.

LeBron James had a different story in mind.

Every time I close my eyes I see images of LeBron going around, over and through the Pistons defense en route to scoring 48 points (including the Cavs' final 25 points of the game) and leading Cleveland to a 109-107 double-overtime victory and a 3-2 series lead. Whenever he decided he wanted to go to the basket, he did so with stunning ease. Anyone who doubted LeBron's ability to play in the clutch and be aggressive when it mattered was silenced by his spectacular display of how to run an offense with only one man. The palpable fear in the Palace any time LeBron touched the ball speaks volumes about how dominant he was.

Some other thoughts:

  • I'm pretty sure most everyone is in agreement that Antonio McDyess should not have been ejected for his takedown of Anderson Varejao late in the first quarter. The play was certainly deserving of a flagrant, but the ejection was completely unwarranted. At least I got to see Varejao writhing in pain on the ground. Somebody needed to teach him what getting truly fouled actually feels like.
  • According to one of the TNT announcers last night (either Doug Collins or Steve Kerr, I don't remember), Lindsey Hunter is "maybe the best defender in the league in terms of stopping the dribble." Sorry, but getting in a stance that even Coach K would call unnecessarily low and doing everything you can to try to pick the dribbler's pocket (usually ending in several quick fouls) does not a great defender make. Lindsey got blown by for layups a couple times last night, and finished with a team-low +/- of -10. Add in his complete ineptitude on offense, and I tend to scream long series of four-letter words anytime Flip Saunders decides he needs Lindsey's aggressiveness more than Flip Murray's scoring ability. Is he forgetting that Murray poured in 8 points in 20 minutes in Game 3? Not even Lindsey airballing a driving layup attempt was enough to get Saunders to take him out. If my hairline starts receding as a result of this series, Saunders and Hunter should be forced to cover my Rogaine expenses.
  • It was good to see Chris Webber finally playing with some semblance of a pulse. He had 20 points on 9-13 shooting as well as 7 rebounds in 30 minutes. He was finally getting his open shots to drop, and was able to blow by (alright, "blow by") Zydrunas Ilgauskas pretty much at will. C-Webb has trouble any time the Cavs go with a quicker lineup (read: whenever Ilgauskas isn't in the game), but was effective against the plodding Cavs center last night.
  • One would think that after LeBron scored, oh, his 20th consecutive point or so, Flip Saunders would decide to go back to double-teaming LeBron and see if any of the other Cavs could make a shot. However, making that assumption would be to underestimate Saunders' inadequacy as an in-game coach. Honestly, by the second overtime, I don't think any of the Cavs besides LeBron remembered what it felt like to have a basketball in their hands. If I had to pick my poison, I'd go with forcing Anderson Varejao/Donyell Marshall/Sasha Pavlovic/Eric Snow to hit the winning shot instead of watching helplessly as LeBron got a full head of steam before attacking the basket and dropping in another layup. Consider me very much on the "Fire Flip" bandwagon at this point.
Game 6 is Saturday at 8:30 pm. A Pistons victory would do wonders for my sanity and general temperament. A loss will send me spiraling into a deep depression that will last anywhere from a couple days to several weeks. Yes, I have issues.

(Getty Images Photo)