Flip had to go. He inherited a great team, but he could not motivate them out of their collective "we're the champs by divine right" mentality. More than any other reason, this mindset cost the Pistons their chance to win titles that could have been theirs in each of the last three years. Another reason he had to go? It had become apparent his successor was already on his staff. When the players, and even the fans know it, the coach is a lame duck, and loses effectiveness.
Is Micheal Curry the right choice? For a lot of reasons, it is easy to question this move, but I'll give Joe Dumars, who has a brilliant basketball mind, the benefit of the doubt on this one. Joe knows more about Curry and the dynamic of the Pistons than any of us, and he clearly has a plan. More than anything, he must feel that Curry can command the attention of the players, which is critical to eliminating the aforementioned mentality of this team. A big hope, however, is that the Pistons can retain Dave Cowens, who has head-coaching experience, as a mentor and big-man coach, as he seems to have great success developing Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson. In addition to Dumars, Cowens would be a sounding-board that Curry will need.
Who needs to go? Joe D. has stated he will attempt to change this team's core, and than none of the starters is untouchable. But the changes that will be made have more to do with market value than they do a given player's value to the Pistons team. The Pistons biggest need is a low-post offensive presence, but can they really trade Rasheed Wallace, who has trade value due to his considerable skills and expiring contract, in an even-up deal for one of the few dominant low-post players in the league? As good as Joe D. is, it's not likely. What is more likely is that Dumars will attempt to package a couple of his current core players, with my guess being Wallace and Prince or Hamilton, to obtain the big name low-post player they need, with another role player with an expensive expiring contract or a first-round draft choice coming to the Pistons in the deal. That is easier said than done, however, and I am saying it here the Pistons will not be able to swing such a deal. What is more likely is that Joe is listening to offers for Wallace, Billups, Hamilton, and Prince, with Prince being the player that is most likely to attract the attention of other teams. If something happens, look for it before the NBA draft, as teams will want to know what kind of nucleus they have before draft day, with many offering lottery picks as part of a trade.
Regardless of what happens, the Piston's style of play will change. With Curry as coach, and with the emergence of Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell, and to a lesser extent Amir Johnson, the Pistons will defend the ball more, look to force turnovers, and get out on the break, something that, for all of his strengths, Chauncey Billups does not do particulalry well.
The outcome? The Pistons will not have as many regular season wins when they go into next years playoffs. They may even be a No.3 or 4 Eastern Conference seed. But when the playoffs arrive, they will be a different team (look for a Wallace trade to actually occur at next year's trading deadline) less reliant on perimeter shooting, and with more seasoning of its younger players, better poised to make a longer playoff run.
THIS IS ONE GUY’S OPINION. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PISTONS?