Pistons Mailbag - Monday, April 18, 2011 - Page 2
Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois answers your questions about the Pistons and NBA. Click here to submit your questions - please include your name, email address and city/state on the form. Return to the Mailbag homepage.
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Anthony (Bensenville, Ill.): With the CBA expiring this summer, how does that affect summer workouts? You said in a recent Mailbag that Terrico White wouldn’t be able to work with Arnie Kander if they don’t get a CBA in place. To make things clear, what exactly is restricted if there is no CBA by June 30?
Langlois: Virtually everything that involves players with existing or expired contracts, Anthony. The NBA, if no new CBA is struck by midnight June 30, ceases doing business, essentially. Personnel executives will still be out looking at players in amateur competitions, but clubs won’t be able to have contact with their players and players will not be allowed to use team facilities, just as the NFL is experiencing now. About the only exceptions NFL teams have been able to make is to honor charitable commitments – players appearing on the team’s behalf for the community’s benefit.
George (Madison, Wis.): Chemistry, or the lack of it, seems to be the key for more progress for the current Pistons team. Is there any particular veteran player who might be available who you think might bring “chemistry” to this team?
Langlois: Adding solid character guys doesn’t necessarily mean a team will develop keen chemistry, George. Sometimes a team that is filled with players who enjoy each other’s company doesn’t necessarily fit best together on the court. It’s more art than science when you’re trying to foster team chemistry. Sometimes, through no bad intent, it just doesn’t mesh. If there is no obvious reason for lousy chemistry – and Joe Dumars, to be clear, might have a clear idea of why the Pistons’ chemistry didn’t develop this season – then changing the mix is one way to shake it up.
Omid (East Lansing, Mich.): Chad Ford of ESPN.com has the Pistons nabbing Bismarck Biyombo in the draft unless the Pistons get a top-three pick. Does he really sound like that good of a match for the Pistons?
Langlois: NBA teams don’t have a lot to go on with Biyombo, Omid. The most recent and perhaps the most relevant chance to evaluate him came at this month’s Nike Hoop Summit in which Biyombo put up a triple-double (points, rebounds, blocks) against a talented Team USA that included 6-foot-10 Kentucky recruit Anthony Davis, who would be a strong candidate to be the No. 1 pick if he were in the 2011 draft. Biyombo did play a number of games this year after a January call-up for a team in Spain’s ACB league, considered Europe’s best, and put up decent numbers for a young player. Biyombo’s offense currently consists of put-backs and dunks and it’s tough to project just how much room he has for offensive growth, but he’s got an NBA-ready body and a 77-inch wing span that should translate well to becoming an active defender of the rim. The age question – some suspect Biyombo is older, perhaps significantly so, than his listed 18 – is one any team that weighs drafting him must answer to their satisfaction. But you can bet teams will be doing tons of leg work to thoroughly study Biyombo between now and June 23. But a Draftexpress.com story over the weekend suggested that a study of Biyombo’s skeletal features proves he’s the age he claims to be, or close to it.
Anthony (Edwardsburg, Mich.): I noticed the Pistons had a winning record at The Palace this year, 21-20, which is respectable considering it was a down year. But it also means they were only 9-32 on the road. What can be done to fix that?
Langlois: The Pistons lost too many leads this year, home and away. Their second-half problems were well-documented over the course of the season. There are a lot of things that go into that, or could be credibly argued as a part of it, at least. The lack of a clear go-to scorer; the lack of chemistry that either led to or was caused by the rotation uncertainty, depending on your point of view; poor team defense that also might be traced to chemistry issues, etc. Whatever roster changes take place between now and next season, improvement has to begin with developing the mental edge required to protect leads and execute in the final five minutes when probably 50 percent of NBA games are decided.
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