As NBA teams burn the midnight oil with the clock ticking loudly now on the draft, the boss should pull his staff aside in the 28 franchises where they’re not competing for a title and impart this object lesson: We’re putting together a basketball team, not a track club.

The two teams deciding the 2012 NBA championship are led by players at the opposite end of the athletic spectrum, at least athleticism as they measure it at the Chicago draft combine. The numbers from last week’s combine for this year’s draft came out Tuesday and you can bet teams were poring over the results.

(Editor’s note: True Blue Pistons continues a 14-part draft series leading to the June 28 draft with a look at seven players who could be upset picks on draft night. Coming Wednesday: A look at Arnett Moultrie, one of seven big men in the mix to be the ninth pick.)

If Isiah Thomas isn’t the most fascinating and complex athlete I’ve encountered over the past 25 years, he makes the cut to five. Or to 12, which is more than he managed 20 years ago when they picked the players who would represent the United States at the first Olympic games that allowed basketball pros – the Dream Team.

Judging by the teasers that have aired throughout the NBA playoffs, the NBA TV Dream Team documentary that airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday will more than casually address the failure to include Isiah on the roster of the most talented team in basketball history.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons will be looking for energetic drummers with a rock ‘n’ roll style when auditions are held for their 2012-13 Drumline team on Sunday, June 24th at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Applicants will be judged on their rudimental technique, ability to learn quickly, personality, self confidence and other qualities that embody being a Drumline member.

CHICAGO – The first day of the NBA draft combine did little to dispel the pervasive sense that there is very little certain about the 2012 draft beyond Anthony Davis going No. 1 to New Orleans.

Who might go No. 2? Six months ago, the overwhelming consensus pointed to Andre Drummond, who was viewed as a prospect with perhaps even more upside than Davis at that point. He’s been compared to the likes of Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire, but a lackluster freshman year at UConn also drew less flattering comparisons to names like Kwame Brown or Emeka Okafor.

Two years ago at this point, Ekpe Udoh’s name was barely a blip on the radar. It was ludicrous to think Greg Monroe might fall to the Pistons only because Udoh would go ahead of him.

A year ago now, Bismack Biyombo was a man of mystery thought to have a shot at perhaps sneaking into the late lottery. Come draft night, Michael Jordan was so fearful Biyombo wouldn’t be there at No. 9 – one spot after the Pistons – that he swung a trade to get up to 7 so he could claim Biyombo for his Charlotte Bobcats, dropping Brandon Knight into old rival Joe Dumars’ lap.

Instead of nearly six weeks between the lottery and the draft, this week there are four. The change won’t unduly strain NBA teams, but it does change their timelines. Things turn up a notch this week with the Chicago draft combine, where the Pistons will watch the athletic testing and measurements with interest but be intensely focused on interviewing candidates for the No. 9 pick.

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