The Sunday night game at the Palace of Auburn Hills against the defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics left Detroit fans more than disappointed and wondering if Joe Dumars, Pistons' President of Basketball Operations, made the right move.
Just two games after the Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups deal, the Pistons have gone from 4-0 to 4-2.
Fans have to keep one thing in mind, though: Transitions take time. The Detroit Pistons as we knew them are dead, and a new team has been formed. The same core which played together since 2004, and some for longer, has been shaken up and you can't just expect that to heed immediate results.
Gone is the slow, half-court offense. Steady, sometimes efficient, and sometimes outright ugly. In is the AI offense: up-tempo, fast moving, penetration to the net, and kick-outs galore, something a superstar can do—something the old Pistons didn't have.
In the NBA you need a superstar to win and that's why this trade is all the more important for the Pistons. Denver had their superstar already in Carmelo Anthony, so they traded for a steady hand that could add veteran leadership—good trade for Denver.
The Pistons had a veteran team but a team with little fire—a team that was complacent and needed a shakeup. A team that, more than anything, needed a guy who could score at any moment, on any play, at any time—a superstar. In comes Allen Iverson, which is a great trade for Detroit.
Bringing in AI adds fire to this Pistons team, and undoubtedly this 0-2 start will turn around. The Pistons, however, have to find time to practice with and learn about their new teammate. This is truly a passing of the guard. The Pistons now must learn how to play a "superstar-style offense."
And since Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince have never done that as Pistons, there are kinks to be worked out. And the same can be applied to Iverson.
AI doesn't know when he should take over a game yet. He is trying to find that balance between being a team player and being a superstar. He doesn't want to make his new teammates think he is a ball hog who won't play team basketball.
When the Pistons actually have time for a full practice (for the past week they have been playing every other day), and AI actually has time to gel with his teammates, we will see a much-improved team.
Round one goes to Boston, and right now the trade certainly looks better for Denver.
But remember—this is a superstar league. The 2004 Pistons were the exception, not the rule.
They learned that the hard way, going to six straight Eastern Conference Finals, but not bringing home the prize, constantly losing to the Tim Duncans, Dwayne Wades, LeBron James, and Kevin Garnetts of the "superstar NBA."
They now have the missing piece, but the puzzle is still being put together.