Horsepower

D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler Added to the Roster

Twenty-six year-old guard D.J. Augustin has signed a two-year,$6 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. The former No. 10 overall pick has had anything but a spotless career, but could be on the verge of a comeback after a successful season with the Chicago Bulls. Joining Augustin will be veteran forward Caron Butler, 34, who is set to make $4.5 million next season with the Pistons.

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More Former Dumars Employees Leave

When Stan Van Gundy accepted the job as President of Basketball Operations and head coach for the Detroit Pistons he made it no secret that he would make the team his own. Almost immediately Van Gundy let go five staff members, including assistant coach Rasheed Wallace. Various men who had worked with Van Gundy in the past replaced them.

Continuing to surround himself with people from his past, Van Gundy next hired old college basketball rival Jeff Bower as the organization’s general manager.

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Early Summer League Success for Caldwell-Pope

A Piston is back on top of the leaderboards. It may only be the Summer League, but two games in, Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is leading the Orlando Summer League in points per game(28) and is top-five for rebounds per game (8.0). During Sunday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Caldwell-Pope averaged a basket for almost every two minutes he was on the court.

The 2-0 Pistons should welcome these stats after a disappointing rookie season for their shooting guard.

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Pistons Select…Spencer Dinwiddie

Stan Van Gundy made his first roster move June 26 when the Detroit Pistons drafted Spencer Dinwiddie with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Dinwiddie played point guard for the University of Colorado, and stayed through his junior year. This past season he averaged 14.7 points and 3.8 assists in over 31 minutes per game.

Dinwiddie has incredible size for a point guard, measuring 6-foot-6 and having a wingspan of 6-foot-8.25.

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Horsepower – #11 – 6/26/14

This week on Horsepower Cameron Billes returns to the mic. Billes and Colin Jackson debate potential Pistons draft choices, Greg Monroe’s future with the team, the highs and lows of the last season plus what to look forward to during the summer for the NBA.
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Salvage or Shop: Josh Smith

Josh Smith’s first season in Detroit was less than spectacular.

With three years remaining on Smith’s contract, front office team Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower must decide whether or not to keep or shop Smith. Given his poor performance last season and the size of his contract, it is unlikely the duo will be able to unload Smith even if they wanted to. Read More…

Opinion: New General Manager, New General Direction?

On Wednesday, Pistons President Stan Van Gundy announced that his former college basketball rival, Jeff Bower, would be filling Joe Dumars’ shoes as general manager for the Pistons organization. Bower coached his first year at Marist College, where he had a 12-19 record, last season.

Before accepting the job at Marist, Bower worked with the New Orleans Hornets off and on for many years. As a coach in New Orleans, Bower secured a 34-39 record. His record as a general manager for the city’s team was slightly more positive. In 2005, he made the key decision to draft Chris Paul. Yet, the franchise still struggled with losing records, dealing with injury and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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Return of the Greg?

Pistons power forward Greg Monroe’s contract is up. He has been in the NBA for four years and is no closer to an NBA title than the day he was drafted with the Pistons’ first round pick in the 2010 Draft.

This last season, defense was a major issue for Monroe due to the fact that the team’s three big men had trouble discerning their defensive roles. Monroe’s average rebounds, blocks and steals all decreased the past season compared to the previous year before small forward Josh Smith was added to the roster.

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A Look Back to the Past

It seems so long ago that the Detroit Pistons were the perennial powerhouse in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. What happened to the team that made it to six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals and back-to-back NBA Finals appearances?

June 1 marked the 10-year anniversary of when the Pistons beat the Indiana Pacers 69-65, which sent them to their first Finals appearance since 1990.

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Out with the Old

A week ago, the Pistons announced that they hired three assistant coaches and a team scout. Among those let go was former Detroit basketball star Rasheed Wallace. Under the Dumars administration, Wallace worked post-retirement as an assistant coach with head coach Maurice Cheeks last season.

Now with Van Gundy at the helm, Detroit is cleaning up after Dumars’ mess of letting go personnel. Along with Wallace, assistant coaches Henry Bibby and Bernard Smith will not be returning for the 2014-15 season in Detroit. Meanwhile, former interim head coach and assistant John Loyer will be lucky enough to keep his job.

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Opinon: Beyond the Office, Dumars Did One Thing Right

Ask any Detroit Pistons fans what their biggest disappointment of the last decade in Detroit was and their response would probably relate to Joe Dumars.

Dumars made mistake after mistake — from drafting Darko Milicic, trading for Allen Iverson, signing Ben Gordon, unloading Ben Gordon on Charlotte and the list goes on.

Amidst the mistakes, one thing he did right was not sign anybody currently on the roster to a maximum contract. A few players like Josh Smith and Charlie Villanueva are especially overpaid. Villanueva was included along with the original disastrous Ben Gordon deal.

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Opinion: The First Round — Cleaning up after Dumars and Gordon

Cleveland has done it again.

They have somehow managed to win the NBA lottery once again, yet disappoint a city full of thousands of fans in a matter of seconds.

This time, I am not even talking about Cleveland fans. They have enough problems. And poor Pistons fans wince at Cleveland’s luck this time. Read More…

So Much for the Underdog

The NBA’s Eastern Conference has been notably worse than the Western Conference this year. Although some teams like the Toronto Raptors quietly succeeded, all the focus in the East went toward the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.

Stories like the brief return of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah’s domination took away from this narrative occasionally, but the focus always returned to Miami and Indiana. ESPN even went so far as to spend days of programming building hype for LeBron James and Paul George’s final regular season meeting.

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More Fish in the Sea

Almost a full month has passed since former president of the Pistons organization Joe Dumars stepped down from his position. Dumars’ long awaited departure from the general management position added a second vacant spot on the team. The first and longest vacant position the team has is that of head coach.

Dumars had a long history of firing head coaches after short periods with the team and let Maurice Cheeks go halfway through this past season. Since then, John Loyer, an assistant coach who worked with Cheeks for many years in three different cities, has been running the team.

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Not Quite Over

Racist troubles wracked the NBA world during the first round of the NBA playoffs, stemming from the comments of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling to his ex-girlfriend. Within hours of the TMZ premiere of the tape, in which Sterling made several racist comments involving black patrons of Clippers games, a media firestorm was underway.

Within days, NBA commissioner Adam Silver condemned the comments and held a vote for NBA owners, that resulted in Sterling’s banishment from the NBA without taking away his ownership.

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Mark Jackson Coaching the Detroit Pistons? Thanks, but No Thanks

Mark Jackson, the head coach for the Golden State Warriors, was fired May 6 after spending three season with the Warriors.

The Detroit Pistons are in search for both a new general manager and a new head coach. While many fans would love to see Jackson manning the sidelines in Auburn Hills, the Pistons would be wise to let Jackson coach somewhere else.

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Horsepower – #9 – 5/9/14

Cameron Billes and Colin Jackson bring you the ninth edition of Horsepower.

Listen for a discussion of who could be the next Pistons’ general manager, whether Gary Harris or Nik Stauskas makes more sense for Detroit in the upcoming draft, a few NBA playoff predictions and a whole lot more.

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Racism in the NBA

With news of Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist remarks comes a new firestorm whether or not racism is still alive in the NBA.

Sterling himself has denied being a racist and the Clippers organization has officially denied Sterling’s potential racism as well. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has made his own comments in response to the whole situation in a very professional manner. Read More…

Could Have Been Them

A No. 8 seed beating a No. 1 seed-that is exactly what basketball fans have witnessed three times so far this postseason. The Indiana Pacers are currently down two games to one to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs.

Atlanta’s playoff success is important for a few reasons. First off, it shows that the best record does not necessarily reflect the best team. Second, it shows how quickly a team can collapse, especially when its 7-foot-2 center is completely absent from his own body and the team’s star scorers are not performing well either. Third and probably most importantly to Pistons fans, it shows what could potentially have been theirs: a first round playoff series win.

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