by Craig Kwasniewski
The Antonio McDyess in Denver, Part Trois has officially ended... and with his departure follows are those fond memories of the past week; like the team physical or that time he refused to practice or that other time he refused to practice... parting is such sweet sorrow.
Since everyone knows that he's pulling a Brent Barry (I mean faking interest in other teams for 30 days and returning to the Spurs last season, not standing behind the three point line for 20 seconds screaming "Woooo, I'm open!!!!!") let's now look at what effect Dyess' return to Detroit will have in the Eastern Conference.
Sorry Detroit, maybe that was a little strong. But as a person who has a lot of respect for the Pistons and their fans, I really want to see them roll to the finals and it's frustrating to see them morph into the Atlanta Braves of the NBA.
Anyway, Boston clearly exposed Detroit's true weakness in Sunday's 88-76 thrashing: a lack of front court depth. While Boston lost key veterans James Posey and PJ Brown they still have KG and a few young bigs with aggressive size like Kendrick Perkins. Detroit obviously seized the opportunity and one-upped Boston by signing... Kwame Brown??? (Somewhere even Darko Milicic is laughing.)
As a Lakers season ticket holder I witnessed 2 1/2 seasons of Kwame. Sure you'll get a sculpted body with defensive end quickness who's probably one of the strongest players in the NBA. He's actually a fairly decent defensive player... however... you also get a player with zero handles and whose offensive skills resembles elementary kids playing tether ball. Basically you're going four-on-five at the offensive end.
Next, I see that Detroit rolled out
Fabio Walter Hermann in the first half to defend Paul Pierce. He actually held his own forcing Pierce into foul trouble with his "stifiling" defense (translation: Pierce was insulted that Hermann matched up and committed a very aggressive offensive foul in frustration). Anyway Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman and Spider Sally collectively rolled over in their graves just the sight of that guy on the floor in a close game.
So I guess I'm arguing against my own case for McDyess's return? He'll definitely fill their needs up front and carry Detroit to the Finals, right? Deeeeee-troit basketball!!!!!!
Ummm, no! A 34-year old power forward with bad wheels ain't the answer against the likes of KG, Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe or even Glen Davis (who's weeks away from joining Oliver Miller, Tractor Trailer and "Hot Plate" Williams (the best nickname ever!) in the worthless fat guys stealing money in the NBA hall of fame).
Clearly, the Pistons need a young bruiser with post moves up front. Jason Maxiell's still making too many dumb fouls and hasn't improved enough for starter's minutes, Sheed's getting up there in age and is showing that he's not willing to grind it out down low for a full 82-game season, Amir Johnson's not really a starter and they're giving key minutes to Kwame Brown and Walter Hermann... that's not enough to deal with Boston.
On paper, I really liked the deal for AI. Detroit sorely needed to inject some new life in the franchise and with AI you get a player who's never intimidated by Boston's tough physical defense. Plus you add one of the league's most exciting players with a great fanbase. Detroit will LOVE AI!
It's just too bad the trade, along with Antonio McDyess's expected return, will not be enough to get by Boston or even Cleveland.
One thing Fabio always had... THE FINGER ROLL!!!