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Smack / Mar 25, 2009 / 3:26 am

Pistons lose postseason ground, and Spurs regain their top spot

Ben Gordon

Could Ben Gordon be a quality NBA point guard? Clearly he has a good enough handle — just ask Arron Afflalo, who was getting mixed up by BG in last night’s Bulls/Pistons game — and he’s shown some passing skills when he wants to pass. If the right coach got Ben in the right mindset, could he be a more effective scoring PG than an undersized two-guard? You could ask that question with a straight face after Gordon put up 19 points and six assists while helping fill in for injured Derrick Rose (wrist), the rare game where BG was a force despite not hitting any threes. Kirk Hinrich added 24 points and eight dimes as Chicago pulled to within one game of the Pistons for the 7th playoff spot in the East and extended their lead over Charlotte for the 8th spot … Without Rip, A.I. and Rasheed, Detroit’s “offense” was little more than a series of iso’s and post-ups for Tayshaun Prince (20 pts, 9-17 FG) and the occasional clear-out for Rodney Stuckey. Thanfully Will Bynum (20 pts) was around to fill in some of the gaps, otherwise the score would have been ugly … If Nike went the Penny Hardaway route and gave their top guy a Lil’ LeBron character, they could probably save production costs by just having Bynum play the role. He looks like a LeBron action figure … Reggie Miller was stuck on insisting that Tyrus Thomas is a “walking triple-double” because he’s got the athleticism and timing to block 10 shots a night. Forget that the only player Reggie could think of to average 10 blocks was Alonzo Mourning in high school (Travis Outlaw also swatted 10 a night in high school), he wouldn’t let it drop, and even had Craig Sager ask a bewildered Vinny Del Negro during the game whether Tyrus could be a 10-blocks guy … Houston’s reign at the top of the Southwest was short like leprechauns, as their loss at Utah and the Spurs’ win over Golden State last night put them back where they’ve been for the last decade or so — looking up at San Antonio … Roger Mason was the hero (again), sticking the game-winning jumper with 23 seconds left after taking a handoff from Tim Duncan coming off a curl. After Stephen Jackson misplayed it defensively and Ronny Turiaf inexplicably ran away from Mason to guard Duncan, Mason (24 pts) was wide-open from the top of the key. Monta Ellis (27 pts) had a good look on the Warriors’ next possession (actually he had two, but he passed up an opportunity to drive to the basket) and bricked a jumper, then after Kurt Thomas missed two free throws on the other end, Monta missed a three at the buzzer … The rest of the game was Golden State failing to keep Tony Parker (30 pts, 10 asts) out of the paint. No one expected Nellie‘s squad to do much with TP defensively, but at least they had Jamal Crawford available to trade buckets with him. Oh wait … Meanwhile, Houston couldn’t overcome one of those Ron Artest Ugly Nights (5-22 FG) and muster enough offense to get past the Jazz on the road. Ron and the rest of his team made Mehmet Okur look like Dwight Howard, as Memo recorded four blocks and the Jazz had 12 as a team. It was close in the third quarter before Carlos Boozer sparked a big run where Utah pulled away … In Tuesday’s only other pro game, the Lakers smashed the Thunder behind 14 points, 14 boards and seven dimes from Pau Gasol, and 19 points from Kobe … Tuesday was a day off for the NCAA Tournament, but there were a couple NIT games. In one upset, Florida lost its quarterfinal matchup with Penn State. At home. Billy Donovan‘s name has popped up in rumors regarding the possible vacancy at Kentucky (Billy Gillespie, also in the NIT this year, is on the hot seat), and after two straight NIT appearances, maybe Donovan will start thinking that way. As the Orlando Magic know, he’s not necessarily married to the Florida job. If you had the choice and the money was equal, where would you go: Florida or Kentucky? … We’re out like Houston leading the division …

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  • jamesagee

    f**k it.
    First!

    Pistons out in the first round, Dumars better have a plan up his sleeve for next year or he’s out. Stuckey is no Wade and Darko is Darko.

  • s

    Um – doesnt Darko play for Memphis? Whats your point?

  • Rafa23

    his point is that he has no knowleadge about basketball whatsoever…

  • I love BIG BREASTS

    Thabo block on Kobe was pretty nice, Kobe got mad after that!

  • dagwaller

    So Kirk Hinrich goes off for 24 points and 8 assists, but the story is Ben Gordon going for 19 and 6? Huh?

  • Flying_Aussie_Dutchman

    ‘In Joe We Trust’?

    As a loyal Piston fan, this season has been tough to watch unfold. Not since the 2000-2001 season has it been so bad. Live and learn tho – Michael Curry is bad coach, don’t trade anyone for Iverson especially BILLUPS etc

    I feel mostly bad for McDyess. The dude plays his heart out day in day out and I think he truely deserves a ring (remember him crying after losing the playoffs last few years.

    They have Wallace and Iverson’s contract expire this year. And Hamilton, Brown (player option tho), Johnson, Bynum and Sharpe next year. I doubt Hamilton will return, he will want to go to Denver.

    But I trust Joe D has something up his sleeve

  • jamesagee

    It’s funny that I have to explain this to you idiots because you can’t decipher anything that might take a little bit of thought, I thought it was plainly obvious, the point I was making that with the SECOND pick of the draft being DARKO and the THIRD pick being WADE that he(DUMARS) is trying to make up for his mistake by going with a combo guard with STUCKEY but since WADE is in the running for MVP and as Van Gundy said last Sunday that the only comparisons between Stuckey and Wade is that they both play in the NBA. That with this mistake accompanied with the Iverson trade he has alot of ground to make up.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Wade was the 5th pick, but I get your point.

  • K Dizzle

    Dagwaller wit the heat lol
    great post

    Lovin the poll question – nobody else should be gettin votes but Capt. Jack. Dude is clutch

    The only thing Joe d better have up his sleeve should be a time machine to get back to the 03 draft and grab Wade, Bosh, melo, even Josh Howard cuz that miss is costin em now

    Peace

  • Rafa23

    lol @ james

    calling us idiots and then saying wade was the 3rd pick. like i said earlier…

  • SD32

    @jamesagee – Its funny that it takes one of us ‘idiots’ to tell you that Wade was actually picked 5th. Carmelo was 3rd, followed by Bosh, then Wade. Get your facts straight before you start abusing people

  • http://www.twitter.com/austinburton18 Austin Burton, “T.M.P.”

    About that Thabo/Kobe block … I was surprised Kobe didn’t take himself out of the play by complaining to the ref when the ball was still live.

  • AB_40

    in two or three years detroit will be contending again

  • Luigi

    once Detroit is reigning again in about 2-3yrs when they have a good PG. solid SG. Tay. n 2 yungns n not to mention a few rooks from the draft..

    but as for that aside. Thabos block on Kobe was ridic.

  • http://dimemag.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    the kobe block would probably be thabo’s greatest moment in his nba career…

  • Frank

    Offtopic: Perry Dozier Jr.: The Next Sebastian Telfair?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/sports/10recruiting.html?_r=2&hp

  • len-e

    not to take anything away from the young man but for some reason the bulls look more bullish without rose.

  • Artest

    Does anyone know where one could take a look at how Thabo blocked Kobe.

  • Celts Fan

    if they’d taken Bosh instead of Darko (a big to replace Big Ben, not a 2 or 3 in Wade/Melo since they have 2 solid ones) the Pistons would be a dynasty. Just saying…

  • knoc

    All these ifs. whos to say that theyd pan out like they did if Detroit pickd them instead of Darko. They probably woulda been buried on the bench since LB was the coach. And im not a Detroit fan.

  • goonther

    Win in Florida – no one cares. Win in Kentucky and you get free shit the rest of your life

  • the_don_mega

    thinkin’ Wade is the 5th pick back in 03 makes me an idiot… LOL!

  • E$

    Go Hawks, Go Suns :)

  • POPPI GEE

    Houston Up!

    Good game last night. Again Deron Williams, my favorite guard in the game who plays for the team I despise in the game, did his thing.

    All of Utah did their thing. At this point I think Utah could actually make some serious noise for a championship if they were a better road team. Cause at home, other teams have little hope. Still the road will be what sends them on this year.

    The Bulls looked amazing last night. Tyrus actually cared and Kirk was getting it in.

    I hope Thabo told his mama to record the game. Cause that is good as it’s going to get with him blocking Kobe.

    What about 11 or so games left and I need the Suns to take that 8th spot.
    I need Houston to stay in the upper seeds where they can at least have homecourt for the 1st round.
    I need everyone on Detroit to get healthy.
    I need Atl. to keep going off.

  • jamesagee

    @knoc
    you’re probably right. And Darko might have been soft to begin, but Larry Brown pulled the balls right off of him. How old was he when he came in? nineteen?

    Yeah I f*cked up the picks that’s my arrogance. But you see my point. Around Detroit Dumars isn’t holding the same high regard as he use to.

  • shake&bake

    I’d much rather coach Kentucky. Florida is a football school and always will be.
    If Tyrus Thomas could control himself when necessary, he could be a nice player. On one play last night he threw a baseball pass outlet that went out of bounds to the Bulls bench on the other side of the court. Everyone stopped and looked at him, thinking “You can’t be serious”

  • Patrick

    @james

    I like what you are bringing this morning. Are you meaning for a comedy routine because if yes it is pretty funny. Wrong picks, wrong teams, wrong words. Clever.

    For all you detroit fans out there. It could just be my “arrogance”, but with the economic and housing markets up in south canada shouldn’t you be more worried about keeping a city than keeping your obviously old and not contending team?

  • POPPI GEE

    I wonder what was up with D. Will looking upset towards the end of the game when Korver had the ball. He was letting him know too and Korver just had a dumb look on his grill.

    Crazy play where D-Will had Ron running in circles lol.

    Olympic rings look nice too!

    Watching Yao and Scola try to do the run and jump up into other thing is awkard as that NCAA selection hand shake, pound, no hand shake, dap, no fist bump no hand shake series.

  • No J Mayo

    Billy D would be a golden god in the bluegrass

  • jamesagee

    @Patrick
    I know Darko plays for Memphis, he was drafted by the Pistons, yes I screwed up the draft which i will admit but it was five in the morning and I was studying for an exam, so it was my “arrogance” because I would have double checked otherwise, but it wasn’t lack of knowledge I also know Kaman was drafting that year also, and he lives in Grand Rapids so we could have been a hometown hero of sorts. But lastly I know it’s easy to talk shit on Detroit, but if you had sense of history you would be rooting for it since the main cause of it’s fall was abject racism. But you probably took that all into account right?

  • DETROIT CAN SUCK IT

    @ James

    just shhhhhh bro

    you’ve lost and you’re boring

  • Kobeef

    If Mo Williams can be a starting PG in the NBA there is no way Ben Gordon can’t do the same.

    Ben played PG most of his life (all but the NBA). A Wade-Gordon backcourt would work well and would be nasty on offense. BG is unrestricted this sumer so someone will take him from the bulls.

  • karizmatic

    I think BG could and should play point guard, but then I’m not a fan of “combo guards” or undersized shooting guards for that matter. I will go so far as to say not only should BG be playing point but on an extreme I believe Wade should be playing point as well. I also was one of those petitioning for AI to play point. But I understand Wade is a beast, AI is a rare talent, and it would require a drastic “Chauncey Billups” change in mindset for all involved, but I believe any undersized shooting guard with handles would be more suited and ultimately more successful playing point. You end up devalued and on the bench trying to be an undersized two guard, which is exactly where BG will probably end up next season.

  • karizmatic

    Oh yeah and I’ve been saying for a while it would be in Cleveland’s best interest to pick up Ben Gordon if they can next season whether he’s going to play point or shooting guard.

  • Tom S.

    I don’t feel bad for McDyess. He had a chance to sign with the Cavs, but he went with the Pistons instead. Big mistake.

  • ShowKase

    @ post 21 & 29 – I go to UF and I would tell Billy D to head for the Bluegrass. We are a football school, who had a great 2 year run. (4 national championships in three years in just crazy!) Besides, I think we could use a change of pace. If Billy D did leave, I’d hope that we could bring back Anthony Grant at VCU. He got them ballin as mid-majors, and I’m sure he could produce a few SEC chips with more talent and a bigger budget.

  • that’s whats up

    lucky win for the Spurs. They need Manu back quick.

    Watched Rockets/Jazz and a few things:
    When 8 minutes have gone by in the 1st quarter and Artest is 2-7, that’s not a good look.
    Aaron Brooks is quick, and fairly nice, but he ain’t there yet.

    …and what’s up with the Rockets uniforms? Are they really made of satin.
    They look a little lady-like to me

  • HooMee?

    Gordon would have trouble at PG because he doesn’t handle defensive pressure well at all. He turns the ball over more against even soft double teams than most anyone else I’ve seen. He is also usualy good for one turnover per game when he simply falls down without anyone touching him. He’s usually a willing passer, which is great. But that still doesn’t make him a PG. Hinrich was the one running the offense last night — not Gordon.

  • heavy d

    Money being equal, I would say stick at Florida. At UK, it seems that having an NCAA title isn’t enough for job security. Their fan base is unrealistic in their expectations and need a little further adjustment before it becomes a worthwhile job to take.

  • LakeShow84

    Whats Manus injury again?? he aint played in a goooodddd minute.. he better get back soon.. u got to get back into bball shape but then again dudes a star and star usually can hop right into the fire..

    Another Laker win bebe.. Im not even worried about homecourt.. unless we play Boston or maybe Orlando.. Cavs are a mirage this year.. im more worried about AB coming back in time to at least get into game shape and play 10-15 minutes..

  • LakeShow84

    Ron Artest is a jacker..

    just in the sense that when his shot aint fallin he will still end up with 20+ shots lol

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    love seeing the Jazz play the rockets. got to see them play 24 times in the last 3 years. I think Sloan needs to figure out what to do about CJ/AK, because he’s giving both guys enough playing time to really play awkwardly out there — and not enough time for them to feel comfortable and get in a rhythm.

    Houston is deadly from deep, but they need to just go into yao 5 times in a row every quarter. Dude is a force of nature close to the basket.

    Utah should feel good about this win, but they’ve got some tough games coming up: @ phx, vs. phx, vs. ny (this isn’t that tough), next night @ por, @ den, vs. ‘sota (6th game in 7 nights), @ nor, @ dal, @ spurs . . . sheesh.

  • Kudabeen

    Ben Gordon reminds me of a bigger Damon Stoudamire…He was a great scored and a really good distributor, but set in a scoring role, because of a lack of talent around him. Then people forgot about his setup ability and he was pegged as a scorer only…

    Ben clearly can be a starting guard, but He would be best with another 2 or 3 that has passing ability…Much like Mo Williams this year…

  • Kudabeen

    So we don’t care about the women’s NCAA tournament is what you’re telling me Dime? MSU upset Duke…Watching Mya Moore and crew do damage…I can’t watch all the way through, but I follow it…support the ladies not just when they do a sexy photo shoot (me like), but when they are doing their thing on the court too…

    stepping off soap box…

  • Kobeef

    @Kubadeen

    Agreed, BG would work well as a PG paired with Joe Johnson or Brandon Roy.

    The Hawks and Blazers both have salary cap space this offseason if they wanted to make a run at BG. Atlanta seems like a great option for both Ben and the Hawks…

    PG: 6’3 Ben Gordon
    SG: 6’7 Joe Johnson
    PF: 6’10 Al Horford
    SF: 6’9 JSmoove (Marvin is a RFA this offseason and a prime target for a sign and trade)
    C: ???

  • http://iballforreal.blogspot.com Trey

    Are we watching the same Ben Gordon. He can make some good passes here and there, but he’s a scorer first and a scorer second, then a turnover machine third. Let’s not switch his position off one or two games when there’s years of evidence suggesting he’d be a disaster at PG

  • http://www.myspace.com/beenobrown BROGDEN

    Nah Trey – his spot up duty at PG has been lacking, too hard to judge on anything else.

    RON RON went 5 for 22 from the field. UGLY!
    Ewwie Gooey.

    And oh yeah, BROOKS is outta position…which may or may not mean sumptin come post season.

    Lakers ARE 20 points better than OKC…funny how LA’s starters sit while OKC’s starters are bustin they azz to still only lose by 20…classic case of ‘SUPERIOR team vs INFERIOR team.’

    Alright, I’m gettin’ tired of these FEARLESS CATS driving to the HOLE with absolutely NO SHOT whatsoever. Here’s looking at you WESTBROOK!

    I’m starting to see the Lebron love affair in pop culture and in the commentator booth. I mean, the block on Kobe was nice BUT I swear I saw Kobe REJECT a 3-POINTER, straight up n down…and it got NO MENTION AT ALL! If it was Lebron, ahhh nevermind…

    Stat Line of the Night:
    TAYSHAUN PRINCE, at 6 FOOT 9 had 1 REBOUND in 41 minutes of tick.

    On the other hand 5 FOOT 11 WILL BYNUM grabs 4 boards…just thought I’d put that out there…

    TYRUS AND NOAH…when they fill out WILL DEFINITELY BE A PROBLEM. A very legit 4/5 combo right there given some time and development…doubt we’ll get to see them COME OF AGE together though…

    I aint sold on the Jazz. They’re good but I’ve seen them lose BIG TIME to SCRUBS on the ROAD. They gotta stop that. Season’s damn near over though, better hope they get a TOUGH 1st round opponent. Maybe they’ll learn to win then…get some battle scars…get some experience…if they beat a Portland or Denver or Houston club in the 1st round, THAT experience will go FAR.

  • dagwaller

    Kudabeen/Kobeef, GREAT points about Roy and Johnson.

    That’s why oversized PGs will always be better than undersized SGs, in my opinion. Much more rare, and they create such mismatches. They force bigger and slower guards to check the ballhandler, which you figure they wouldn’t be used to.

    And coincidentally, Atlanta and Denver (I think that Billups fits the oversized PG role) have holes at PG. Bibby and Atkins are ok, but Gordon is a better scorer than either, not to mention younger. Probably not cheaper, though.

  • Kobeef

    @Trey
    BG played the point for the NCAA Championship Huskies. He is a score first PG but he can play the PG at an elite level

  • shake&bake

    @ Kuda – correct, nobody cares about women’s basketball.

  • dagwaller

    On a related note, how is it that the Suns get so much media attention for dropping so far in the competitive West’s playoff race, after losing arguably their best player…

    …while the Pistons can barely stay in the playoffs in the EAST, despite having largely the same roster (minus Billups, adding Iverson)? Same coaching situation, too (take away a great coach, add an untested coach). This is after 6 straight years of making the ECF. Granted, the postseason hasn’t even started yet, and I won’t count the Pistons out, but it’s not looking good.

    The disparity between the attention the two teams get is glaring.

  • LakeShow84

    Gordon wouldnt be a good PG because when the game clock would be winding down he would just be looking for his shot..

  • that’s whats up

    dagwaller says:

    So Kirk Hinrich goes off for 24 points and 8 assists, but the story is Ben Gordon going for 19 and 6? Huh?

    It could be because Hinrich used to run the point before Rose was drafted and he now plays a more natural two guard position.
    Or it could be because he’s white.
    It’s a toss-up

  • http://www.myspace.com/beenobrown BROGDEN

    @48 – KOBEEF, Taliek was the 1.
    Gordon was the 2.

  • dagwaller

    Kobeef, hahaha.

    Chicago seems to have a similar problem to Detroit. Such a crowded backcourt! Personally, I like Kirk and Rose in there better than I like Ben Gordon, and that would let Gordon be the spark off the bench – a role in which he’s shone in the past.

    Then again, Kirk has had a couple of off seasons in a row, so maybe the lineup they’ve been using is best? Watching the team last night, I couldn’t help but think, though, that more Kirk is good for the Bulls.

  • Jules

    “Are we watching the same Ben Gordon. He can make some good passes here and there, but he’s a scorer first and a scorer second, then a turnover machine third. Let’s not switch his position off one or two games when there’s years of evidence suggesting he’d be a disaster at PG”

    Seriously, people have such short attention spans. Ben looked nice with the ball yesterday but he is NOT a great ballhandler. Sorry.

  • the cynic

    “10 blocks a game”?

    I know Reggie is just joking around, but he doesn’t need to keep dragging it on, this is basketball, not family guy

  • dagwaller

    I mean, don’t get me wrong…BG is a good player. I just have him pegged as the sparkplug off the bench. Manu Ginobili Lite.

  • Diego

    From a UF alum, Billy D. should consider U.K. 1st round UF NIT at home: 4,000 fans; 2nd round: 6,000 fans. That’s crap, even if it is spring break. And Billy D. could get U.K. recruiting back up and be there with Duke and N.C. like the old days.

    But I would hate to see him leave! UF has got talent (and much-needed size) coming in next year and will be back in top 20.

    Regarding the Hawks, J-Smoove has no handle and would be a terrible small forward. Smoove is a power forward, and Horford makes for a solid center–but losing Zaza to free agency would really hurt. Zaza’s got some nice bulk. (Damn shame the Hawks only have been on national tv twice this year. You people are missing a good team.)

    Bibby should be gone, unless he can be had for less than half his current salary. Marvin can be kept with Bibby gone. I don’t know if BG brings much more to the table than Flip. I’d love to grab back J=Chill from Greece, keep Zaza, keep Flip, Bibby at half price, and Acie improving in the off-season = Serious title contender.

  • ace