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belcherboy

Your opinion: Pistons first quarter of the season

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We are over a quarter of the season through, what is your take on the Pistons. I was really down on them starting out, but I am feeling much better about them. My take so far is...

1) The Pistons haven't lost a whole lot without Ben. It isn't the playoffs so we might be crying later, but so far we have played quite well without him.

2) I am feeling much better about Flip. Again, it isn't the playoffs which seems to be his Achilles heel. He probably has one of the best regular season winning percentages of active coaches. Let's see if his playoff percentage changes.

3) I am disappointed so far in Nazr. Fortunately he didn't cost us too much, but I expected more out of him.

4) Flip Murray has been a plus for us. Very cheap for what he gives.

5) Still not sure on Maxiell and Delfino. They seem to have a solid future and have shown some good ball at times. I'm hoping to see much more development out of them by playoff time.

Feel free to add your own observations. I am glad to see us where we are after the big change this team had after last season. Hopefully we continue to gel as a team.

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I'm a little concerned with the offense this year to be honest. Defense is where I expected it to be, but I don't understand how the offense has fallen off so much. Nice to see more of a commitment to rebounding but we're seeming to fall off in that department from where we were early in the season. Nazr's done what I expected so far, Delfino is disappointing and it's time to move him and possibly McDyess before they lose value. I also expected to see an offense more geared to go through Prince. Why he can't play during the regular season the way he does in the playoffs is a mystery to me.

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I'm pretty happy, they don't seem to be as decimated as a team as I thought they would be. Billups is playing well, and the bench is starting to contribute. I think they are the favorite to win the East this year with what they have right now.

I really like the way they have been playing, it's reminiscent of previous years, keep it close and win it at the end. Rasheed has been surprisingly consistant. Dale Davis has been a godsend, Maxiell and Delfino are starting to become key members of the bench, once McDyess gets going which he will I expect even better things out of these guys. They are 15-8 leading the conference, and have played a lot of road games.

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It's going pretty much exactly as I expected, except I was way too high on Milwaukee (but hey, at least I've been right about Chicago being a third place team so far!)

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I think the defense has been much better than I thought to be honest. I have been impressed.

I like what I've seen out of Sheed offensively. I was hoping we wouldn't see a perimeter fest out of him this season and we really haven't. He has his times but he's camping down low more than I saw him last year and more than I expected this season.

I am not upset with Nazir. He's been what I kind of expected him to be. He has his moments, but he also has him moments. But generally he's what I thought he'd be.

Like Bishop said I'm a little surprised with Prince's role. I didn't think he'd be our top option or anything like that but it seems his role offensively has remained about what it was last year. I say that and I check the stats though and he's third in offense ahead of Sheed. So maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

This team is doing a bit better than I thought it would but I'm still concerned exactly if we are a true contender. Because the conference is so weak and right now Shaq is out we clearly are. However, I'd have to say a ton of teams in the West impress me more than the Pistons. Thankfully that's not an issue until the finals. I'll be interested to see how we develop and offensive game during the playoffs. Seeing Sheed more underneath is a good start, but I still don't see anything that wows me into thinking we are going to be a strong enough offensive team to make up for our defensive liabilities. And while I think we've been stronger than I thought in the past, I think more of these issues will show in the playoffs.

Dale Davis - we are getting much more out of him than I ever expected we could. I guess when a guy hardly plays the year earlier and is a year older you think he's ready for the scrap heap. In reality I think he's been very serviceable and there are times I want to see more of him. Of course we don't want to overdo that because we are going to need him fresh for the playoffs.

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With the exception of the inexplicable losses to sub-.500 teams, I'm pretty happy with how the Pistons are playing. In the real "tests" they have fared pretty well, save the near win in Utah.

They seem to be taking as much advantage of the loss of Ben as they can... more zone, use of the small lineup and getting Rasheed low (with the Center now having to be defended honestly). And while they are allowing more points per game than last year, they are still ranked 7th in the league in that category. Not too bad.

I'm fine with how Nazr is being used. He's more foul prone than I expected but he's a lot more agile than I expected too. His FG % is over .55 on more than just dunks and is a shot blocking threat. Not horrible by any stretch.

The guy I'm most disappointed with is Murray. I have read that Flip is going to stick with him which I'm sure is because he has the potential to be instant offense off the bench. But I'm too the point I'd rather see Delfino get the bulk of those SF/SG minutes. The other question I have is backup PG. Hunter is a great defender, but I don't think he can run the offense. Murray hasn't looked great at that either. I'm hoping to see Blalock get a long look, otherwise, I think that's an area the Pistons are going to need to address.

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