Pistons Made the Right Decision
There has been mixed reactions to the blockbuster deal which sent Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess. It is a deal that made sense for both sides. The Nuggets weren’t going anywhere in the Western Conference with the one/two punch of Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. It was time for them to go a different direction and eventually start a minor rebuilding process. Detroit on the other hand needed to take a risk. There was no reason to think they were going to get past the Celtics with the same roster they had last year, and their windown is obviously closing. It was time to swing for the fences and then prepare to pursue LeBron James if the move didn’t work out.
The Nuggets still remain a borderline playoff team in the West. Even with the steady hand of Billups at point guard, the ceiling for them is probably a hard fought first round exit. On the other hand, the Pistons have a legitimate chance to beat anybody in a seven-game series in the East, including the Celtics. Allen Iverson is an X-Factor, he can go off in any game and pull his team above a superior opponent.
The Pistons have a scary backcourt rotation, composed of rising start Rodney Stuckey, steady shooter Rip Hamilton, and now Iverson. Even withouth McDyess, Detroit is still formidable up front. However, there will now be increased pressure on Rasheed Wallace to play at a premier level night in and night out. Beyond that, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson will determine whether or not this was the right decision. If the two youngsters can show they are ready for major minutes, the Pistons could give the Celtics all kinds of trouble.
The Pistons are now clearly the second best team in the Eastern Conference.It will be interesting to see how they match-up with Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, and Toronto throughout the rest of the year. Iverson, Stuckey, and Hamilton are going to be a handful for any of those teams to stop. Joe Dumars has given his team an improved chance to win a NBA Championship this year. If it doesn’t work out this year, they can begin the process of clearing cap space to make a run at LeBron James. They could certainly make a strong pitch to him as a well-run organization that is consistently competitive. Also, they will still have talent in Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Maxiell, and Johnson.
You have to expect Iverson to be re-energized in the Eastern Conference. His window is closing and the Pistons’ window is closing. There shouldn’t be a hungrier team in the East. Can Detroit now match the Celtics’ intensity?