Sunday , Jun , 03 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Cleveland Cavaliers & Detroit Pistons: Two Franchises Heading In Different Directions

The Eastern finals has altered the balance of power in the NBA’s lesser conference … The Cavaliers are the new team to beat, while the Pistons are no longer a lock to contend … Click here for this story ….

The Eastern Conference final was a tale of two NBA franchises heading in very different directions.

For the victorious Cavaliers, it was the best of the times. And for the Pistons, it was the worst of times.

Seriously, by upsetting the , there’s an argument floating around The Association that the have permanently altered the balance of power in the East.

Cleveland’s now top dog. Detroit’s been demoted to challenger. The Pistons may even be middle-of-the pack material.

Marty Burns, a writer with CNNSI, reports that Cleveland has the tools to become an Eastern Conference dynasty:

Meanwhile the other East contenders all have issues. The Heat are old. The Bulls need a post player. The Raptors and Magic aren’t there yet. But while Detroit will head home to mull over such matters, the Cavs are headed to San Antonio for Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Win or lose in the championship round, they (the Cavs) have seized the throne in the East.

This is a fair assessment. gives Cleveland a chance to win every year. All he needs is a few shooters to stretch opposing defenses, some big bodies to rebound, and a couple of blending stars to help with the scoring.

Burns is right. King James and the Cavaliers have seized the Eastern Conference throne.

It’s a different story in Motown. Journalists like the Detroit News’ Terry Foster believe the Pistons are past their prime and need to be blown up:

The Pistons are done, and now comes the hard reality of losing. This must be the conclusion of the Pistons as we know it. This has been a nice run of five straight Eastern Conference finals, two NBA Finals and an NBA title in 2004. But all good things must come to an end. This team will never be the same mentally and physically.

They just did not lose a series. They lost four games in a row, and all of the blemishes that we saw haunt the Pistons all season bubbled to the surface. They were undisciplined, fought with one another and their coach, could not shoot and fell apart. So long live the Pistons. It was a nice run that is over even if the organization does not admit it. This franchise won’t rebound from this as San Antonio has done time and again. It is time for fresh blood. Maybe the patrons here at Kickers don’t see it. But hopefully Dumars will.

This column is accurate. The Pistons aren’t finished, but they need significant changes in order to compete next season.

, , , and Jason Maxiell should be kept as the core. Everybody else is expendable. This includes forward Rasheed Wallace, who lost his cool on too many occasions and looked like he was back in Portland with the Trail Blazers. I was half-expecting Sheed to throw a towel at Arvydas Sabonis.

Wallace isn’t a cancer or a black sheep. In fact, he’s a great player. But the versatile post was out of control in this series. If the right offer comes up, the Pistons have to consider moving him.

Detroit’s front-office also needs to examine the job Flip Saunders did as head coach. Saunders, for whatever reason, doesn’t have control of the team. Players were publicly questioning the coaches’ strategies and game plans. During several games, the Piston players yelled at the coaching staff.  Something has to give here.

Detroit has a talented nucleus. But they’ll need much more than their usual off-season tweaks to compete next year.

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