I hope this year we could get that 2nd title with this group of Pistons. In any case, heres what I think we need to see for the Pistons to win a title from here on out. As the playoffs progress I will add stats to show how the listed things did or did not happen.
Tayshaun Stays Agressive
I wanna see Tayshaun continue to have confidence and take the ball to the rim. That Dunk on Howard was incredible. Tayshaun can lead the team on both ends of the floor when he is at his best. He's entering his prime and should be confident in his first step and his ability to post up and use that hook shot. I love to see him push the ball on the break because he's a great finisher and good passer. Tayshaun has to step his game up a level or two as our veteran core gets older and so far things are looking good.
- 5-15-08 - Tayshaun is averaging 16/6/3 on 66% shooting in the playoffs so far, and has been money in the clutch on both ends.
Sheed Exploits the Low Post
Sheed needs to use his great footwork and ability to draw double teams. Sometimes he can fall in love with that jumper. I know I stress this a lot and sometimes I can be very critical of Sheed but he is my favorite personality in the NBA and I want to see him be the player he knows he can be. The player he is when he matches up with Duncan and KG, I want to see that every night.
- 5/15/08 - Sheed has been doing well with the ball down low, but hes been putting up a lot of 3's too. Lucky for the Pistons he's shooting 45% from downtown. His biggest impact has been on the other end of the floor where he schooled Howard and has been posting a very solid 3.3 bpg in the playoffs thus far.
Rodney Stuckey Steps Up
I wanna see a great game out of Stuckey.That 19 pt, 9-9 ft ft performance was a good start but I think he can do better. He seems like he can get any shot he wants and I want to see a 20/5 game with Chauncey injured. Stuckey has all the ability in the world its up to him what to do with it. I think he's got an incredible group of guys to help him along the way.
- 5-15-08 - Rodney's only shooting 35% in the postseason but his impact has been far bigger. Starting in place of Chauncey in game 5 he posted 15 pts, 6 asts, 3 reb, and 2 steals. If he continues playing as well as he has and starts finishing with more consistency I will feel comfortable checking off this item on the list.
J-Max Grows Up
This is his 3rd year and I'm really proud of how well he has improved every aspect of his game. At 6'7 he gets up as high as any player except maybe Lebron and has the lower body strength to establish position against even Dwight Howard. He has decent footwork, a stepback jumper, and a good touch around the basket. Not to mention his shotblocking and rebounding. Next year he should be a starter. I want him to use this playoffs to show us why.
- 12/11 on 6-8 shooting April 20th, 11/4/3 ast/3 blk on 5-5 shooting May 5th, 12/9/3 blk/2 stl game in 25 mins May 3rd, http://youtube.com/watch?v=rVCy0GH4-a0
- 62% shooting for the postseason as of May 15th...but aside from the posted games has been quiet and struggled worse than usual at the line. McDyess has been more than solid and has outplayed Maxiell so far.
The Bench Comes Through
We need the bench to regularly outproduce the opponents bench for our team to win. This is the reason why we commited so many minutes to guys like Stuckey, Aflallo, Hayes, Amir... even Herrman, Dixon and Ratliff. Lets see Hayes drop 20+ off the bench. Lets see Amir come in for a stint and get a string of blocks and rebounds. Our backup bigs are going to be especially important. I want to see Aflallo step up as a spark off the bench and do his thing creating fastbreaks off turnovers, going after loose balls, playing great D.
Go Hard for The Rebounds
The Pistons have consistently had trouble winning the rebounding battle during the regular season. We need to clean the boards if we're going to succeed against Cleveland or Boston, and hopefully whoever comes out of the West. We've done a good job so far against Howard keeping him to only one game with over 12 rebounds, considering he had been averaging around 20 against Toronto. There should be one Piston with double digit rebounds every night.