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Thread: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    No really this is an interesting article. He more or less says that the Pistons would have won the championship with or without Larry Brown. I tend to agree. If Carlisle would have stayed a third season and if the same trade had taken place acquiring Sheed, I think the Pistons still would have won it that season.


    http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/pfriendly_new.php


    PISTONS PRIMED WITHOUT LARRY
    By PETER VECSEY

    HOOP DU JOUR REGGIE Miller caught me by surprise Thanksgiving. Out of nowhere he reminded TNT's viewers how the Pacers failed to make the playoffs under Larry Brown his last season and that Indiana won 59 games (58-24, actually) the next marking period under rookie Larry Bird.

    Cheryl's baby brother then brazenly noted how Larry became "overbearing" at the end, much appreciated by the audience in my home theater. It would've been even better, of course, had sidekick Dick Stockton bothered to solicit an example of Brown's bossiness. But when tuned in to TV's Style Section, you learn to scoop up whatever scraps you can get and be satisfied.

    Switching to the pristine Pistons, Miller offered us his before-and-after appraisal of Brown. It was nothing we haven't heard before from mere commoners. Instead of taking his opinion to an intuitive level and going up strong with it, Miller pulled up at the 3-point line. Instead of coming out from behind his freshly transplanted Happy Face, he poured softener on his fabric.

    "Under Flip Saunders they're playing more relaxed and with more freedom," Miller said in essence, and then was quick to qualify. "They were a good team before he got there, but Larry taught them how to win a championship."

    Yipes, I realize that's the consensus perspective of those on remote outside the Pistons organization, but with all due disrespect, your thrice weekly citadel of neutrality sturdily suggests it may very well have been the other way around, or, at the very least, a 50-50 proposition.

    As I recall, the Pistons won back-to-back Central Division crowns prior to Brown's arrival and their gratification didn't stop there. I looked it up in fact; they lost to the Nets in the '02-03 Eastern Conference finals under Rick Carlisle who, by the way, didn't have Rasheed Wallace's cosmic components to help even up the odds.

    Now hear this:

    Except for Lindsey Hunter (part of the '01-02 Lakers when they took success to the limit), the majority of Brown's Pistons played eight years or less before capturing a title.

    Brown was in his 25th year of professional coaching before finally reaching his Finals reward.

    So, who really taught whom to win what? Yes, Brown won an NCAA championship in '88 as Kansas coach. Yes, he guided UCLA to a second-place finish in '80. Yes, his Nuggets took the Nets to six games in the ABA's swansong sumo series. Yes, his Sixers went to the '01 Finals and upset the Lakers on the road in Game I before dropping four straight. Yes, he won a gold medal on the '64 Olympic team. Yes, he was an assistant coach on the '80 and '00 Olympic teams.

    I fully recognize and suitably offer a sitting ovation for all of the Hall of Famer's above achievements.

    Still, the reality remains, Brown never prevailed in the pros until he worked the sidelines at the Palace, and the team he inherited already was pleasingly primed. Truth be told, the Pistons were much better than their record.

    Let's try not to forget Carlisle's resistance to an explicit midseason directive by owner Bill Davidson to give Tayshaun Prince more of Michael Curry's minutes and to find quality time for Mehmet Okur cost him his job.

    Taking nothing away from Brown's cerebral participation as it pertains to practice, teaching, preparation and out-thinking pretenders and contenders alike between the lines, Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace already had proved their legitimacy by the time he showed up, whereas Prince and Okur were overdue to contribute content.

    There's no getting around it; the Pistons indeed were peaking. Once Dumars pilfered Rasheed from the Hawks Feb. 19, 2004 at the trade deadline in a three-way deal involving the Celtics, it couldn't help but be a mountainous peak.

    So, it's not as if Brown were forced to coach from weakness. All the wonderfully carved pieces, including the brains of the outfit, were in their proper places. If you look at what he had to work with in Detroit's "five-game sweep" of the spellbinding Lakers, it shouldn't have come as all that much of a surprise. The biggest shock was that Phil Jackson didn't try to switch benches when LA trailed 1-3.

    Still, the question lingers, who meant more to whom? I say Brown was sitting on a win, that Detroit would've won the title with or without him. Before Brown's two years in the privileged playoff company of Pistons (31-17) his all-time tournament record was below the equator, 89-94, including 20-22 in the ABA.

    Furthermore, a number of Brown's teams also got better after he bolted. Like the '83-84 Nets that eliminated the defending champion 76ers in the first round. Like the '97-98 Pacers who extended the Bulls to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals. Like the '78-79 Nuggets.

    Whenever someone in Brown's flock tries to cinch their case about his celestial coaching know-how, they aim the floodlights at the Clippers. With Larry at the helm for half a semester (23-12 in '91-92) and all of the following season (41-41) they crashed the playoff party twice in a row but couldn't buy a round.

    How can Reggie Miller and I not praise Brown for piloting my bent and battered Paper Clips to star-stained heights? Of course, four years later they qualified again for the after-party, escorted this time by Bill Fitch, who, incidentally, guided the '81 Celtics to crowning glory in only his 11th pro season.

    peter.vecsey@nypost.com

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    No really this is an interesting article. He more or less says that the Pistons would have won the championship with or without Larry Brown. I tend to agree. If Carlisle would have stayed a third season and if the same trade had taken place acquiring Sheed, I think the Pistons still would have won it that season.
    I don't because I don't think anyone would have played Shaq straight up without doubling him in the finals except LB. Carlisle would have doubled him regularly which would have opened the floor for Kobe and provided open shots for their shooters.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick
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    I don't because I don't think anyone would have played Shaq straight up without doubling him in the finals except LB. Carlisle would have doubled him regularly which would have opened the floor for Kobe and provided open shots for their shooters.
    IIRC, we have never (or rarely) doubled Shaq in Miami that I can recall. We stuck Pollard, Dale, or David on him and that was that.

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Rick Carlisle double teams less than Larry Brown does, so I don';t buy that argument, Rimfire. But the Pistons did not beat the Lakers because they decided not to double Shaq, they won because the Lakers were injured and mentally exhausted and were ready to be beaten. But more than anything the Pistons were playing great at the time

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    IIRC, we have never (or rarely) doubled Shaq in Miami that I can recall. We stuck Pollard, Dale, or David on him and that was that.
    Yes - but before the 2004 finals everyone doubled Shaq when he got the ball in the post. It was close to automatic. That included Carlisle.

    It took Larry Brown in the finals to show everyone that you could beat Shaq-teams by playing him straight-up.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Rick Carlisle double teams less than Larry Brown does, so I don';t buy that argument, Rimfire. But the Pistons did not beat the Lakers because they decided not to double Shaq, they won because the Lakers were injured and mentally exhausted and were ready to be beaten. But more than anything the Pistons were playing great at the time
    They beat them because they could shut Kobe down (and everyone else) and Shaq couldn't expend enough energy to beat them by himself every game.

    Yes, the Pistons were playing great and Robert Horry didn't hit a shot those entire playoffs. But never doubling Shaq, even when he was dominating the game, just wasn't done up to then.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    This has been a very strange week. Bender on the verge of retirement and now I'm actually agreeing with Peter Vecsey. Just plain odd.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    It wasn't just not doubling him. It was the combination of not double-teaming him, not fouling him, and letting him get his points. I agree that this was not likely the strategy any other coach would have used.

    As for whether the Pistons would have won with Carlisle, I doubt they would have gotten Sheed had he been coach, as Brown was pushing Dumars hard to trade for him from the start of the season. And the fact that Carlisle's Pistons' teams always underachieved in the playoffs (losing to lower seeds) also makes me doubt they would have won it all.

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick
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    Yes, the Pistons were playing great and Robert Horry didn't hit a shot those entire playoffs. But never doubling Shaq, even when he was dominating the game, just wasn't done up to then.
    Horry was a Spur that year.

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Still, the reality remains, Brown never prevailed in the pros until he worked the sidelines at the Palace
    While this is a true statement, it is not evidence that LB didn't make a difference.

    LB has a habit of taking on teams that need a mental lift and a defensive makeover. His MO is that he turns around a mediocre program and makes it competitive by teaching them to "play the right way." He makes overachievers out of underachievers.

    There was some eyebrow raising when he took the detroit job because the pisstons were already a successful team. There was speculation that he wasn't going to make a difference because there was so little he could improve on that team. It just wasn't his usual job.

    I'm not suggesting he was THE difference. Obviously adding rasheed was a plus as well. But suggesting he made no difference is just

    EDIT: But vecsey has people talking about what he had to say, so mission accomplished.
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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    Horry was a Spur that year.
    That may have been a contributing factor.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    This is the closest I've ever seen UB come to discrediting the Pistons' championship (I don't think he did, as his view of the Pistons is clear from numerous posts over the years, but its as close as I've seen him come).


    Quote Originally Posted by unstandable
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    not fouling him
    This should get mentioned more then it does. In foul trouble, even Devean George becomes a threat. Even Kobe shooting 27% becomes a threat.


    Would the Pistons have won w/ Carlisle and not Brown.

    The question hinges (IMO) on whether Carlisle would have changed his playoff coaching style in a 3rd year in Detroit. If Carlisle coached the same way he coached the 2002 and 2003 playoffs, then no. Do I think the Pistons should have gotten farther in the playoffs under Carlisle, I don't know maybe not (definately not in '03 because with Billups injured the Nets were simply better, but that chucking Celtics team wasn't better then the '02 Pistons). Do I think Carlisle's coaching was a detriment in those two playoffs, yes. If Carlisle changed how he ran things in the Playoffs, then they probably have a chance in '04 with him at the helm.

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    Horry was a Spur that year.
    Which simply proves DK's point that Horry never hit a shot in that series.



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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    I swear we've discussed this before. Bird single'd Shaq in 2000, and he killed us. Absolutely killed us. Now, Detroit is obviously a much better defensive team then we were. So, I wonder if Rick would have tried the same thing with Ben, or been afraid to after watching Dale get skinned alive.

    Rick would have gotten Detroit to the finals, without question. So, IMO, the question is two-fold. How would he have coached that series, and, more importantly, how would the team have responded. Personally, I just don't see Detroit playing as well for Rick in that series as they did for Larry. They may still have won, but it wouldn't have been a 5-game sweep.
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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Rick Carlisle double teams less than Larry Brown does, so I don';t buy that argument, Rimfire. But the Pistons did not beat the Lakers because they decided not to double Shaq, they won because the Lakers were injured and mentally exhausted and were ready to be beaten. But more than anything the Pistons were playing great at the time
    They won because they scored more points in 4 of 5 games.




    And they were better.

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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
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    I swear we've discussed this before. Bird single'd Shaq in 2000, and he killed us. Absolutely killed us. Now, Detroit is obviously a much better defensive team then we were. So, I wonder if Rick would have tried the same thing with Ben, or been afraid to after watching Dale get skinned alive.
    Shaq was a different player in 2000 than he he was in 2004. And he still got his.

    EDIT: The Pistons handled the Lakers in large part because Tayshaun and Rip were able to contain Kobe, something Reggie and Jalen could never do.
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    Default Re: Interesting article from Vescey about Reggie, Pistons, Larry Brown....

    Heck, Brown wouldn't have won the title at Kansas if Manning hadn't carried that team to the top. Brown did his job in Detroit and that is that.

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