Sunday, April 19, 2009

NBA Playoffs: Would Allen Iverson Make a Difference?

I unfortunately did not get to watch all of yesterday's Cavs-Pistons game. But I have to ask the obvious question to start things off. Would the presence of a healthy, motivated Allen Iverson matter in this series?

During last year's play-offs, Detroit finally appeared to have compensated for a major weakness. I've stated for a long time that Detroit was most hampered by their lack of guards. Chauncey and Rip used to get worn down late in the play-offs, and this cost the Pistons several times. Finally, last year they had Rodney Stuckey starting to blossom in the play-offs.

However, Dumars saw fit to trade Chauncey away in the hopes of...well, I'm not sure, but I would guess salary cap flexibility and better developing Stuckey. Now, with AI's mysterious "back" ailment (or, perhaps more likely, lack of gastronomical fortitude and acute absence of his much ballyhooed heart, ahem), the Pistons are right back where they were in the last 5 years.

I look at that Pistons bench, and wonder where the scoring is going to come from now. Bynum, perhaps, but otherwise most of those bench players need help creating their shot. However, I'm not counting these Pistons out yet. Allen Iverson is a great player, but it seems like he disturbed that close-knit Pistons locker room. Sometimes teams will rally when they have fewer resources or have something to prove.

One more comment; WHAT HAPPENED TO TAYSHAUN?! Last year, he fell apart in the Boston series after two great series. He appears to be ready to repeat this year. He seems to have problems with physical scorers like James and Wade...that's to be expected when he's defending, but if he can't score either, the Pistons are in serious trouble.

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