As a personnel man, Stan Van Gundy has broken a lot of the so-called contemporary rules. Since being lured back to the NBA by Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores in May 2014, Van Gundy has not exactly followed the usual NBA blueprint in rebuilding the once-proud franchise, which has not been to the playoffs in six years. Van Gundy has flat-out waived four veterans with fully guaranteed contracts, accumulating nearly $32 million in dead money to be paid over the next five
I like the Detroit Pistons and the Sacramento Kings as upstarts in the East and West. I also think the Milwaukee Bucks are going to be the funnest team to watch develop … but I am not alone in that opinion. I am not on the Jahlil Okafor for MVP bandwagon. Other are, but I think it’ll be Stanley Johnson of Detroit (if the Pistons make the playoffs) or Emmanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets for ROY. As far as MVP, it
In 2014-15, the Detroit Pistons’ season broke down into three key sample sizes: 1. Pre-Josh Smith buyout (Oct. 29-Dec. 22). Detroit went 5-23, was 28th in offensive rating (97.6) and 24th in defensive rating (105.8). 2. Post-Josh Smith buyout, pre-Brandon Jennings injury (Dec. 23-Feb. 19). Detroit did a virtual 180, going 16-10 with the sixth-ranked offensive rating (106.4) while improving their defensive rating to middle-of-the-pack status (15th, 101.9). 3. Post-Reggie Jackson acquisition (Feb. 20-April 15). The Pistons closed the season 11-17 and regressed to the mean
When the NBA’s incoming rookie class got together last month for rookie orientation, they were polled about a number of things — including which of them would be named the Rookie of the Year. The winner was Stanley Johnson, who went with the No. 8 overall pick to the Detroit Pistons. What are the Pistons getting from the PAC-10 Player of the Year out of Arizona who won four consecutive state titles at Mater Dei H.S. in California before doing his one-and-done?
There has been a lot of activity during the offseason. Since July 1, there have been free agent signings totaling nearly $2 billion. In addition, there have been a dozen trades involving 22 players and 12 draft picks. But which teams have really improved themselves? And which teams have taken a step backward? In this edition of the Three-Man Weave, we take a lot at who won – and lost – the offseason in the Eastern Conference. 1. Which Eastern Conference team has had
What do James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have in common? They’re all legitimate MVP candidates, of course. But what else does that Awesome Foursome have in common? In a potential playoff series against the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, they can all expect to see an individual matchup with Kawhi Leonard. In case you’ve been transfixed by March Madness, the Spurs are looking like a championship contender. Again. If you want some perspective, my son Andrew was born
Teams in the NBA playoff races aren’t the only ones watching scoreboards this time of year. Take the Philadelphia 76ers, for example. The Sixers lost their first 17 games, were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race nearly a month ago and almost certainly will lose 60-plus games for the second straight season. But GM Sam Hinkie and the rest of the Sixers’ front office are tracking the results of other games almost as closely as their own. That’s because Philadelphia could have
The MVP is James Harden’s to lose, right? And Coach of the Year is a two-man race between Steve Kerr and Mike Budenholzer, correct? Not so fast. It is still February, the temperature here in New York is going to hit zero again tonight, and the number zero was an accurate reflection on the chances of Russell Westbrook contending for the MVP award and Stan Van Gundy being in the mix for Coach of the Year as recently as Christmas. To refresh your