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Pistons’ Blake Griffin recovers place among NBA’s elite

With a few days of relaxation and recharging ahead of them, many of the Pistons lingered around the visitors’ locker room in Boston’s TD Garden on Wednesday night, ready to go in different directions after the flight back to Detroit.

As the temperature in Boston hovered around 30 degrees, cheap nba jerseys from china
they had visions of warmer weather in exotic Caribbean islands or the Mexican Riviera. The five-day NBA All-Star break is a respite for the Pistons, who are able to get away and clear their minds before the final flurry of 26 games in the regular season.

Not for Blake Griffin.

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His happy place this weekend will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he’ll join the league’s elite players for his sixth All-Star Game — and his first since 2015. This season, Griffin has shown that he belongs among the league’s elite, maybe even more than he did in the selections in his first five seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.
In his first full season with the Pistons, Griffin is posting the highest scoring average of his career: 26.3 points, to go along with 8.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He’s in his ninth season, but Griffin is healthy, turning back the clock and defying the critics who said he was injury-prone and hurtling toward the downside of his career.

He always thought of the injuries as short-term obstacles and that he could get back to where he was — maybe not to an elite level again, but at least to be a consistent, high-level player.

“As a player, you always believe in yourself,” Griffin said this week. “I don’t really think in terms (of getting back to the All-Star Game), but I knew I had another level to go to and being healthy was part of that. At the beginning of the year, my goal isn’t to only make the All-Star team — it’s much more than that.”

Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings or Pistons? Predicting who wins title first

It has been well documented that the Detroit sports scene is experiencing a down turn. It has been more than 1,000 days since the last postseason win by the Detroit Lions, Pistons, Red Wings or Tigers.

And based on those four teams’ and their varying degrees cheap nba jerseys
of rebuilding, playoff success around these parts seem far off.

But how far? We asked our writers to rank each team’s chances of winning their respective league’s title next.

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Dave Birkett
1. Tigers

2. Red Wings

3. Lions

4. Pistons

None of these teams seems particularly close to winning anything, let alone a championship, but the path to the World Series – through a complete tear-down, strong drafting and some timely free-agent signings – seems to offer more hope for the Tigers than any of the tracks the other teams are on.

NBA power rankings: Why Detroit Pistons could continue 2nd-half surge

You might want to hold off on the Golden State Warriors’ annual June coronation.

Oh, they remain the top bet to reach the NBA Finals out of the Western Conference.

But will they win their fourth title in five seasons?

The top-heavy Eastern Conference might have something to say about that.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics have fan bases that can at least dream about winning an NBA title.

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Dreams that don’t extend to Detroit Pistons fans.

But at 26-30 and tied for the East’s eighth and final playoff spot, the Pistons control their playoff destiny over the final 26 games.

Here are my rankings going into Wholesale nba jerseys
the season’s stretch drive following the NBA All-Star break.

30. New York Knicks (11-47): The Knicks ended 18-losing skid at Atlanta, but rumor mill is strong they will land free agent Kevin Durant.

29. Phoenix Suns (11-48): With building blocks Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton in place, Zion Williamson would be nice addition.
28. Cleveland Cavaliers (12-46): The recent return of Kevin Love (toe injury) will likely hinder tanking efforts over last part of the season.

27. Chicago Bulls (14-44): Forward Otto Porter Jr. has been unleashed, scoring 22.5 points per game in four contests since trade from Wizards.

26. Atlanta Hawks (19-39): Rookie point guard Trae Young is improving as the season goes on. The Pistons face him Friday night.

Grading Every NBA Team 1 Month into the Regular Season

In the interest of full disclosure: I tend to be a generous grader.

Maybe I like to see the best in the NBA’s 30 organizations, as I seek the silver linings and optimistic takes at this early stage of the 2018-19 campaign. Perhaps I’m too soft, hesitant to throw down a poor mark even when one is deserved.

But that’s changing this year, thanks to a handful of teams that are falling apart. The Washington Wizards are dysfunctional, the Houston Rockets got off to such a slow start that Carmelo cheap nba jerseys china
Anthony is no longer a part of the roster, and the Cleveland Cavaliers can’t make any progress without LeBron James.

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That’s only the start.

Using the plus/minus grading system employed by the University of Georgia (among others) and looking not just at win-loss records, but also player development, underlying metrics and more, we’re giving the entire NBA a 2.77 GPA that corresponds most closely to a B-minus. Here’s hoping your favorite team is above that benchmark.

Stop being technical: Detroit Pistons trying to avoid complaining rep

Ish Smith addressed the issue with humor.

The normally mild-mannered Detroit Pistons point guard came into the season with two technical fouls over his eight seasons.

He already has that number through 14 games.

“It’s kind of weird because I’m usually the good guy,” cheap nba jerseys from china
Smith deadpanned after Tuesday’s brief practice.

“I don’t know what the refs seeing this year.”

And then Smith turned serious.

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After four technicals in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s 113-102 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers — the Pistons (8-6) easily lead the league in technical fouls with 15.

Although Smith didn’t draw the officials’ ire Monday, he agreed with Pistons coach Dwane Casey and star forward Blake Griffin that enough is enough.

“We do gotta stop,” Smith admitted. “It’s getting a little bit out of hand. I’ve got three. I’ve only got one outside the three I got this year in previous years.

“We gotta clean it up, if possible. You gotta be little political, politically correct when you speak to them. They’re human beings. You gotta respect them, respect the game, respect the league.

“Last night was a little too outrageous.”

Pistons coach Dwane Casey and Blake Griffin took the blame.

Casey said he is at fault for allowing the constant complaining. Griffin knows his three technicals set a bad example.

Pistons vs Rockets preview: Warning, Houston has figured some things out

After some publicized struggles with defense, wins and Carmelo Anthony, the Houston Rockets have righted the ship. Carmelo is gone, the defense has perked up and the Rockets have won four in a row and seven of their past nine games. After mostly sleepwalking (and arguing) their way through an easy victory against the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers, things are suddenly about to get much more difficult.

Game Vitals
When: 8 p.m. EST
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

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Analysis
In the past nine games, the Rockets have the seventh-best defense in the NBA. For those who are curious, somehow the Pistons are ranked sixth, by the way. Houston also has a net rating of +6.7, cheap detroit pistons jersey
ranking fourth. In short, whatever plagued the team in the first couple weeks seems to have resolved itself.

The team’s net rating with the three stooges known as Carmelo, Michael Carter-Williams and Marquese Chriss has been -9, -21.7 and -28.6, respectively. In that nine-game streak, Caremlo got 107 minutes before he was unceremoniously let go, or perhaps put out of his misery, while Chriss has played just 16 minutes and MCW 11.

It hasn’t been former Piston James Ennis who absorbed all those Anthony minutes and helped turn the season around, however. It’s been Gary Clark. Yup, Gary Clark. Clark was an undrafted, undersized rookie forward on a two-way contract who has suddenly become a mainstay in the Rockets’ rotation.

Clark, as it turns out, is PJ Tucker with training wheels. A versatile, gritty defensive-minded forward who can shoot a respectable 3-ball and has just one less block in the past nine games than starting center Clint Capela despite playing 33 percent fewer minutes.

The other Rocket to watch out for (pick your poison, right?) is Eric Gordon. He’ll be matched up against the lesser defensive guard on the floor for the Pistons (pick your poison, right?) and he could go off. Gordon has been ice cold from 3 this year, hitting on less than one-quarter of his attempts with no improvement since the team’s hot streak. But the Pistons have a habit of turning into slump-busters for opposing shooters.

This game is going to hinge almost completely on guard play, in fact. I imagine that Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin will be somewhat stymied by Capela and PJ Tucker, respectively, who are really solid, versatile defenders who match up well against the Pistons.

That means it’s Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, and Glenn Robinson III against Chris Paul, James Harden and Ennis. Wonder who’ll be likely to prevail in that showdown?

Brooklyn Nets at Detroit Pistons Live Game Thread: Let the NBA season begin!

Welcome back everyone! I know we had previews for the preseason games and content all summer long, but it is officially basketball season and that is cause for celebration!

By the way, my name is Jason and I’ll be doing the previews all year, it’s going to be a ride. There will be ups. There will be downs. There will be “From The Vault” videos you save in a tab on your browser cheap nba jerseys from china
and forget to delete for three years. There will be jokes only like seven of you get. I’d love it if one of us cried at some point (probably me). Regardless, follow me on Twitter and say what’s up, we’ll be talking Nets all season long.

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Speaking of the Nets, they’re opening this one up in the home of Motown and hoping to take down the Pistons and get themselves off to a 1-0 start. Every team is full of hope at this point in the year, and there’s nothing better than having that hope validated with a win in the very first game of the season.

1-0. It looks so fresh, so clean. Everything is easier when you win that first game, so let’s hope the Nets get it done in Detroit.

Detroit Pistons top Nets in start of Dwane Casey Era

DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons were missing two starters on Wednesday, but their Big Three compensated nicely.

This team’s success will be determined in large part by how often and how well Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson play together.

The season-opener cheap nba jerseys from china
was a good sign as the three played key roles in a 103-100 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Little Caesars Arena to get the Dwane Casey Era off to a good start.

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Griffin collected 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Drummond tallied 24 points – including his first 3-point basket since Jan. 15, 2017 – and 20 rebounds. Jackson scored 19 points.

The Pistons didn’t launch a barrage of 3-point shots, as Casey intends (they went 6-of-24). They powered their way inside with Griffin and Drummond.

Casey, in his first game as Pistons coach after seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors, substituted freely, using 10 players by the start of the second quarter.

Stanley Johnson (toe) and Reggie Bullock (flu) weren’t available. Rookie Bruce Brown and Luke Kennard started instead. Brown provided defense and an element of grit.

Backup center Zaza Pachulia played 14 minutes and picked up six points, seven rebounds and four assists. Ish Smith scored 11 points.

Detroit Pistons open season without Stanley Johnson (toe)

DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons will be missing one starter, possibly two, when they open the regular season tonight against the Brooklyn Nets at Little Caesars Arena.

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Coach Dwane Casey confirmed before the game Cheap Detroit Pistons jerseys that small forward Stanley Johnson is out due to a toe injury suffered in the preseason. Casey said shooting guard Reggie Bullock is questionable with the flu.

Casey did not reveal who will start in Johnson’s spot, saying he needed to first see if Bullock is available.

Johnson averaged 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in four preseason games. He struggled shooting, converting only 25.6 percent of his shots, 27.3 percent from 3-point range.