Game Preview: Detroit Pistons vs. Charlotte Bobcats


Date: Nov. 11, 2009

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit Plus


Detroit: 3-4

Charlotte: 3-4

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Detroit -4.5

Over/under: 172.5

Score: Detroit wins, 89-84

Statistical projection

Detroit offensive rating: 104.1 (19th)

Detroit defensive rating: 104.6 (12th)

Detroit pace: 87.7 (30th)

Charlotte offensive rating: 92.8 (30th)

Charlotte defensive rating: 96.9 (4th)

Charlotte pace: 88.6 (29th)

Score: Detroit wins, 89-87


Pistons coach John Kuester will face his mentor, Larry Brown, for the first time as a head coach tonight.

Brown will go down as one of the greatest coaches of all time – and deservedly so. If Kuester is anywhere near that level, that’s a tremendous boon for the Pistons.

But is he?

John Krolik of Cavs the Blog discusses how the loss Kuester, who was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator last season, has affected the team. His conclusion: not much – and I tend to agree.

Did Kuester implement a great system last year? Or did LeBron James become a better offensive player because he was a year older? Probably more of the latter.

Are the Cavaliers missing Kuester or struggling to incorporate Shaquille O’Neal in the lineup? Once again, it’s probably the latter.

The NBA is a players league. Having talent – and talent that fits together – is most important. Yes, a coach help it fit, but he can only do so much.

Great coaches help their team a little bit here and there. They don’t make huge mistakes. But how often do you see a coach make the difference between a good season and a bad season?

A coach’s impact should be measured over many years. Sam Mitchell (Raptors), Avery Johnson (Mavericks), Rick Carlisle (Pistons), Doc Rivers (Magic) and Mike Dunleavy (Trail Blazers) each won the Coach of the Year award recently.

All have been fired from the team they won the award with. A season simply isn’t enough time to measure a coach’s value.

Brown has proven himself through many years of excellent coaching. I’m not sure if Kuester will.

But at least he’s come far enough to experience this game, which surely must be a thrill.

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