This afternoon edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” — Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews an upcoming 76ers opponent — features tonight’s opponents, the Detroit Pistons who are the foes for the 76ers last game vs. a team that is currently below them in the NBA standings.
That’s right the Pistons hold a better NBA Lottery spot (currently projected to be 5th) then the Sixers (currently projected to be 7th) and if Philadunkia’s home team has any hope of moving closer to a Top 5 selection in June’s NBA Draft then they need to lose this game. Tonight’s contest is the last game for 2009-10 in which the Sixers control their own destiny with regards to the pursuit of a better draft pick. After tonight we’ll have to rely on other teams around the League – Sacramento, New York, Golden State, the Clippers, Indiana, Detroit and perhaps Washington as well – to win a few games down the stretch for the Sixers to move up the Draft board. We all know those teams can not be relied on for anything, so tonight the Sixers must take matters into their own hands. Play solid, hard basketball and take another OT loss as you did in Toronto the other night or simply lay down like dogs like you have done many times this year — honestly it’s up to you. We don’t care how you do it, just DO NOT win this game.
For a little more insight into the Pistons team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Dan Feldman from pistonpowered.com to answer two questions on the Pistons from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this Detroit squad from an insider’s perspective.
Philadunkia : We’ve been highly critical with the coaching job Eddie Jordan has done this year and in our opinion, he can not get fired fast enough. Jordan is not 100% to blame for the train wreck in Philly this year, but he gets the majority of the blame and rightly so. We’re curious to hear from you, how much of went wrong in Detroit this year is John Kuester’s fault?
Dan Feldman @ pistonpowered.com : I think the Pistons’ biggest problem this season has been injuries. A perimeter-heavy roster is No. 2. Obviously, neither of those issues have anything to with Kuester. But this team has also quit, and I think that reflects on Kuester. He doesn’t always know which buttons to push, but that’s bound to happen when you’re a first-time head coach. Kuester deserves some blame, certainly not most of it, and probably not enough of it to be fired.
Philadunkia : Any interest in trading Rip Hamilton for Sammy Dalembert straight up this summer? According to NBA Trade guidelines, the money works (Believe it or not, Sam actually makes more cash then Rip.).
Dan Feldman @ pistonpowered.com : I think I’d do that trade. (Would you guys?) As much as I’d like to see Hamilton retire a Piston, I realize it probably won’t happen. This trade would give Detroit more financial flexibility in the summer of 2011, Dalembert fills a need.
I also don’t think it was a coincidence a respected veteran like Chauncey Billups was traded to his hometown Denver Nuggets. I’m not saying Joe Dumars would only trade Billups where he wanted to go, but I believe he tried to accommodate the guard. I’d think Hamilton will get similar treatment. A Coatesville, PA, native, Hamilton probably wouldn’t mind playing for the 76ers.
That said, the deal does make some sense. The Pistons need a big man, Dalembert is three years younger than Hamilton — and most importantly, his contract is two years shorter than Hamilton’s.
Like with sending Chauncey Billups to his hometown of Denver, I think Dumars will do what he reasonably can to take care of his veterans. Philadelphia would be home for Hamilton, a Coatesville, Pa., native. Still, I just don’t think Dalembert is good enough to make the deal work.
Two Points of Analysisfrom Dan Feldman @ pistonpowered.com :
1. Charlie Villanueva has battled plantar fasciitis most of the season, so don’t write him off just yet. It’s the type of injury that rest won’t help, so he as might as well play. It’s contributed to his miserable season, but as long as the Pistons aren’t winning anyway, it’s not that much of an issue having him on the court.
2. Rookie Jonas Jerebko is having a fantastic season. He’s gotten a lot of attention around Detroit, but I’m not sure how much nationally. He’s a tremendous rebounder, especially offensively. His defense and hustle impress, too. He’s got a great motor, but he’s wearing down a little bit as the season winds down. Because the Pistons have had a few days off, I’m going to guess, as a basketball fan, you’ll enjoy watching him play.
Our thanks to Dan Feldman for his insights.