I’m really starting to think Joe Dumars acquired Allen Iverson more as a salary dump than a way to get his team over the hump (the hump being the Celtics).
I asked Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett after the game if something seems different to them about the Pistons. After all, last year, every game, regular season or playoffs, went right down to the wire. This year, two blowouts for Boston. Is it really as simple as big guard Chauncey Billups now playing in a Denver uniform, or is something else at play?
As always, the Truth spoke the truth.
“You have to figure they’re only going to get better as the year goes along with Allen Iverson. I think we really match up a lot better with them this year then we did last year, especially with the Chauncey Billups factor. Even though Iverson is a great player, we don’t have to worry about their point guard posting us up. They definitely bring a different element with the way they play. I think they’re more of a running team but you have to figure they’re going to be a better team down the road when we see them again.”
That may be true, but I just don’t see the toughness and the swagger that you usually expect to see from the Pistons. And it’s not like they’ve been finding themselves – this team won 4 of 5 games before coming into the Garden last night.
With Iverson a free agent at year’s end, it may be time to just blow up the Pistons and start rebuilding. That big free agent class of 2010 is right around the corner, so fans wouldn’t have to wait too long to turn things around.
(And in an aside, the Celtics could be players in that class. Ray Allen (over $18 million), Brian Scalabrine ($3 million), Tony Allen, and Eddie House are all off the books. Even after resigning guys like Powe and Davis, it’s more than enough money to take a stab at someone in a group that will include LeBron, Dwayne Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudamire, Michael Redd, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Manu Ginobili, Joe Johnson, and Chris Bosh. I’d bring back Joe Johnson in a second – a perfect fit to replace Ray if the Celtics decide to go in another direction. Johnson will be 29 at that point.)