Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Play! Magazine Attends Pistons Media Day

IP's own Brian St-Pierre was in attendance this week for the Pistons Media Day. Here's a look at some pictures from the event and some input on the players/coaches featured.

John Kuester, Pistons Head Coach

Kuester is a first-time head coach but has plenty of experience as an assistant coach in the NBA, and the players appear to have much more confidence in him than they did with last year's coach, Michael Curry.

Chucky Atkins, Pistons Guard; Maceo Baston, Pistons Forward

Atkins and Baston are auditioning for the Pistons' 15th and final roster spot during the 2009 NBA Preseason. Atkins is a former starting point guard for Detroit and has the experience and shooting-ability to potentially earn a guaranteed roster spot.

Ben Wallace, Pistons Center; Kwame Brown, Pistons Center w/ IP's Steve St-Pierre

The cornerstone of Detroit's 2004 NBA Championship, Ben Wallace returns to the Pistons and will attempt to earn the role of starting center. However, it's Kwame Brown who is being projected to start in the middle for the Pistons this season.

Charlie Villanueva, Pistons Forward; Rip Hamilton, Pistons Guard; Ben Gordon, Pistons Guard

Villanueva, Hamilton and Gordon form a UConn trio for the Pistons this year. Villanueva is expected to be named the team's starting power forward, while Hamilton and Gordon will compete for the starting shooting guard spot.

Who's going to end up starting at two-guard? How about at center? Does Atkins deserve the final roster spot? Is Kuester going to pan out as head coach?
What's your take?

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Coca-Cola To Provide Refreshments And Give Away Free Preseason Tickets

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The Detroit Pistons will host an open practice inside
The Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday, October 10 from 12:30 p.m. - 2:00
p.m. Admission is free for all fans and doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

"The open practice is a great event where our fans can come out and get a
preview of this year's team," said Joe Dumars, Pistons President of
Basketball Operations. "Having the practice free to the public is a great
way to kick-off training camp and get the community excited about the
upcoming season."

Pistons players will practice on the court beginning at 12:30 p.m. Coca-Cola
has teamed with the Pistons and will provide refreshments and free preseason
tickets. In addition, the event will feature a number of exciting
opportunities for those in attendance. Pistons coaches will be on the
microphone at the beginning of the practice to provide interaction with the
fans while the 2009-10 Pistons Dance Team "Automotion" and Pistons mascot
Hooper will perform along with the Pistons Flight Crew.

"Coca-Cola has always been about small moments of refreshment --
something we all could use - so we're inviting people to enjoy an ice-cold
Coca-Cola, a hot dog and a game, all free of charge," said Mike Alter,
Marketing Development Manager for Coca-Cola. "It's a little break that
everyone can enjoy."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pistons' Training Camp Roster

With their Media Day just hours away, here's a look at the Pistons' Training Camp roster, according to the Detroit Free Press.

17 G Chucky Atkins 5-11 160 8/14/74 South Florida 10
8 F Maceo Baston 6-10 230 5/29/76 Michigan 4
38 C Kwame Brown 6-11 270 3/10/82 Glynn Academy HS 8
12 G Will Bynum 6-0 185 1/4/83 Georgia Tech 2
5 F Austin Daye 6-11 205 6/5/88 Gonzaga R
7 G Ben Gordon 6-3 200 4/4/83 Connecticut 5
32 G Richard Hamilton 6-7 193 2/14/78 Connecticut 10
33 F Jonas Jerebko 6-10 231 3/2/87 Kinna, Sweden R
54 F Jason Maxiell 6-7 260 2/18/83 Cincinnati 4
22 F Tayshaun Prince 6-9 215 2/28/80 Kentucky 7
3 G Rodney Stuckey 6-5 205 4/21/86 Eastern Washington 2
35 F DaJuan Summers 6-8 240 1/24/88 Georgetown R
31 F/C Charlie Villanueva 6-11 232 8/24/84 Connecticut 4
6 C Ben Wallace 6-9 240 9/10/74 Virginia Union 13
13 G/F Deron Washington 6-7 202 12/12/85 Virginia Tech R
9 F/C Chris Wilcox 6-10 235 9/3/82 Maryland 7

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shock Fall Short In Conf. Finals

After four straight seasons of being knocked out of the playoffs by the Detroit Shock, the Indiana Fever finally returned the favor last night in a hard-fought Game 3 in Indiana.

The Shock battled despite being without the services of two key forwards in Katie Smith and Plenette Pierson. Their injuries were undoubtedly what held Detroit back, and there's no question the Shock will return in 2010 eager to compete for another WNBA championship title.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pistons Invite Atkins To Camp

In 2000, the Pistons brought in Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins as free agents. It's fitting that towards the end of their careers, the team has decided to see if the two can reunite for one last chance at playoff glory in Detroit.

The Pistons have invited Atkins to next week's training camp on a non-guaranteed contract after signing Wallace earlier this summer. The team already has 14 guaranteed contracts, and Joe Dumars, Pistons President, has said he prefers to leave a roster spot open to begin the season. That said, Atkins is a familiar name to Pistons fans, a class-act and - most importantly - a solid third-string point guard that has outside-shooting ability.

Whether or not Atkins can stick around beyond preseason remains to be seen.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



Shock's Smith Likely To Miss Series

The Shock begin the first of a three-game series with the Indiana Fever in the WNBA's Eastern Conference Finals tonight at The Palace. The game is set for 8 p.m.

Guard-forward Katie Smith is expected to miss the series, still recovering from her back injury. Should the Shock advance to the WNBA Finals, it remains to be seen if Smith would attempt to return to the court.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pistons' Open Practice Promises Twist

Pistons fans are already anxious to see the new players on the 2009-10 roster once training camp begins next week. Apparently the team is planning another way to entice interest in the club.

According to Keith Langlois at, the Pistons are planning to hold their annual open practice to the public during preseason. Though the details have yet to be officially released, Langlois says there is a twist in the works this year to attract even more fans.

The Pistons have held the open practice for the last couple of seasons at Oakland University in Rochester. As for the twist, perhaps it's a meet-and-greet with players. It could be a chance to win extra prizes. It could even be a chance to play H-O-R-S-E with the coaching staff, which has happened in past years.

Details are expected to be formally announced shortly.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Shock To Face Fever In ECF

The Shock are set to battle the Indiana Fever in the WNBA's Eastern Conference Finals. The following is a look at the upcoming schedule:

Game Date Teams Time TV

Game 1 Wednesday, Sept. 23 Indiana at Detroit TBD ESPN2
Game 2 Friday, Sept. 25 Detroit at Indiana 7 p.m. NBATV
Game 3* Saturday, Sept. 26 Detroit at Indiana 7 p.m. NBATV

*if necessary

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shock Advance To Conference Finals

The Shock defeated the Atlanta Dream tonight to advance to the WNBA's Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth straight season. Their opponent is to be determined, and Game 1 will be played at the home site of the lower seed on Sept. 23.

Guard Deanna Nolan returned after suffering a concussion towards the end of Game 1. It's also possible Detroit will get small forward Katie Smith back from injury in time for the second round of postseason play.

The Shock schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals is as follows (all times are Eastern):

Eastern Conference Finals Schedule
Game Date Time TV
Game 1 Wednesday, Sept. 23 8:00PM ESPN2
Game 2 Friday, Sept. 25 TBD NBATV
Game 3* Sunday, Sept. 26 TBD NBATV
*if necessary

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jerrells Leaves Pistons For Spurs

Undrafted rookie guard Curtis Jerrells has decided to leave the Pistons and join the San Antonio Spurs' training camp roster. It's believed the Pistons would prefer to bring in a third point guard to push current Pistons Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum in preseason.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Deanna Nolan and Katie Smith Signed Through 2010, Plenette Pierson Signed Through 2012

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Detroit Shock General Manager Cheryl Reeve announced today
that the club signed Deanna Nolan, Katie Smith, and Plenette Pierson to contract
extensions. Per team policy, financial terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Nolan, a three-time WNBA champion with the Shock, appeared in 33 games (all starts)
this season and averaged 16.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals in
33.7 minutes per game. She scored in double-figures in 29 of 33 games this season,
and was named WNBA Player of the Week three consecutive times to end the season.
Nolan tallied career highs in defensive rebounds (11) and total rebounds (14) vs.
New York on (8/4). The Flint native was named 2006 WNBA Finals MVP and has WNBA
career averages of 13.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals in 260 games.

Smith, the 2008 WNBA Finals MVP, has appeared in 27 games (all starts) this season
for the Shock, averaging 15.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 34.7 minutes
per game. She shot a career-high 91.8% (56-61) from the free-throw line and a
career-high-tying 43% (57-132) from beyond the arc. Smith recorded her 300th steal
at Indiana (6/21), becoming the first player in WNBA history to record 5,000 points,
1,000 rebounds, 900 assists, and 300 steals. The Ohio State product and member of
two Shock WNBA Championship teams has WNBA career averages of 15.7 points, 3.1
rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.9 steals.

Pierson, who was named 2007 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year and a member of two Shock
WNBA Championship teams has been sidelined since the Shock's first game of the 2009
season. She was injured while battling for a rebound vs. Los Angeles on June 6 and
had season-ending shoulder surgery on June 24 to repair shoulder instability
following her injury.

Pierson appeared in 28 games last season and averaged career highs in points (11.9
ppg), assists (1.9 apg) and blocks (1.2 bpg) in 23.2 minutes per game. She led the
Shock in scoring on five occasions, rebounds five times and assists four times.
Pierson had seven multiple block games, finishing with a career-high 34 blocks.
During the 2008 WNBA Playoffs, Pierson averaged 7.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7
assists in six games. She missed three games with a dislocated shoulder/torn labrum
after getting injured in Game 2 of the first round. In 196 WNBA games Pierson has
career averages of 8.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.6 blocks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shock Playoff Schedule - Eastern Conf. Semis

Atlanta vs. Detroit
Local EDT National Broadcast

Game 1 - Wed Sept. 16 Atlanta at Detroit 8:00PM 8:00PM ESPN2
Game 2 - Fri Sept. 18 Detroit at Atlanta 7:30PM 7:30PM NBATV
Game 3 * Sun Sept. 20 Detroit at Atlanta 3:00PM 3:00PM ESPN2

* If necessary

Shock Open Postseason Against Atlanta

Finishing with a record of 18-16, the Shock will play the Atlanta Dream in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs. The league has yet to release a playoff schedule for the Eastern Conference.

Injury update: guard-forward Alexis Hornbuckle is day-to-day with a strained hamstring but is expected to be in the starting lineup of Game 1 vs. Atlanta; guard-forward Katie Smith's status (back pain) remains up in the air; forward Plenette Pierson (shoulder) will not be playing in the postseason.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shock Clinch Playoffs; Pierson Could Return

Despite another season of adversity, the Shock have managed to make a late-season push and clinch a postseason berth.

They've suffered injuries to veterans Cheryl Ford, Deanna Nolan, Katie Smith and Plenette Pierson. Reserve center Kara Braxton was suspended for the 2009 season's first six games. They took all season to finalize their roster, including a coaching change following the resignation of Bill Laimbeer, Former Shock Head Coach.

Yet, the Shock have battled to secure a spot in the playoffs and could clinch homecourt advantage for the first round. They've had to do it without Pierson all season as well as Smith, who has missed the last six straight games. Pierson says she is prepared to return to the court for postseason play, but Smith's status is still up in the air. Should Smith be forced to miss additional time, expect the Shock to continue starting guard-forward Nikki Teasley, who recently signed with Detroit for the remainder of the season.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pistons Add Baston To Camp Lineup

The Pistons have announced the addition of Indiana Pacers free agent forward Maceo Baston to their training camp roster. A 1998 second-round draft pick and former Michigan Wolverine, Baston is not expected to make the team's final roster for the upcoming regular season.

The team's official roster count is currently at 14 of a maximum 15, with Baston and fellow preseason invitee Curtis Jerrells signing non-guaranteed contracts with Detroit.

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine