Every few weeks or so I’ll see a sportscenter highlight where Rodney Stuckey pulls off an amazing move or posterizes a big man.Â A few years back when I used to see these clips I’d think this guys “a beast.”Â He’s Vinnie Johnson with hops.Â But now that these clips occur as frequently as Detroit wins a game, my reaction is more like, meh.
Joe Dumars must by have now realized that the Pistons have gone as far as they can with Stuckey at the helm.Â As tantalizing as Stuckey’s dunks may be, what Detroit needs is a point guard who can manage the game.Â And when they invested money in Ben Gordon, they doubled down on scoring guards, which is only a good GM move in an AAU league.
What about this for an idea, what if Detroit re-signs and trades Stuckey to Denver for Raymond Felton?
Stuckey would provide Denver with an explosive scorer off the bench, capable of either pairing with or replacing J.R. Smith depending on what Denver eventually decides on doing with him.Â And like Felton, he can also play alongside Ty Lawson when Denver goes small or has to match up with Golden State’s duo of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis.
And on the other hand, Felton would provide Detroit with heady point guard play and the occasional last minute heroics, things they’ve been missing since Chauncey Billups left town.Â Felton is a pass first guard, which will make Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon and everyone else around him happy.Â His presence would also be a boon for Greg Monroe as it would take some pressure off of him to create his own shot.
Felton’s arrival won’t be enough to help the Pistons hoist another banner, but it’ll likely keep the lights on at the palace til the end of April.
Now that the Detroit Pistons have a new owner they can take another step in making this team a winner again.Â A surefire way to revamping this once proud franchise that has become a shell of its former self of late is by hiring former Pistons stalwart Bill Laimbeer as their head coach.
Laimbeer is the right person for this job not only because he’d provide another link to the Piston’s late 80s glory years, but also because he’s proven himself worthy of an opportunity.Â Laimbeer won two WNBA titles as head coach of the Detroit Shock and most recently served as an assistant coach for that D-League super-team known as the Minnesota Timberwolves.Â Minnesota’s all-star forward Kevin Love has gone on record about the positive impact that Laimbeer’s presence has had on his development.Â Laimbeer’s presence could presumably yield similar dividends for Greg Monroe, Detroit’s promising young big man.
Another reason that Detroit should hire Laimbeer is that he’s a bastard, a low down dirty bum, and a pain in the ass.Â Detroit’s current roster is loaded with finesse players and freestyle artists like Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva who’d undoubtedly grow as players if they adopted some of the antagonistic traits that made Laimbeer an effective member of the Pistons.Â Unlike recent Pistons coaches such as Flip Saunders, John Kuester or Michael Curry, Laimbeer will not be passive, and therefore he has the right makeup to unify Detroit’s fractured locker room.Â As it stands now, the Pistons are three separate teams.Â Team A is comprised of championship holdovers Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace.Â Team B is made up of the younger/more athletic players who were expected to supplant Team A, e.g., Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and Austin Daye.Â And finally Team C, recent additions such as Monroe, Ben Gordon and Villanueva.Â Laimbeer should be able to rally these disparate groups together, and he has the clout to stand up to management to lobby GM Joe Dumars to put an end to the musical chairs atmosphere that has hovered over the franchise the past five years.
The Pistons will have no shortage of options as they review candidates, but if they want to make the right choice, then Laimbeer is their man.