Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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Why the Pistons will lose early

George Foster - April 27th, 2006
“The Detroit Pistons are the best team in basketball and a lock for the NBA championship.”
Recently, words to this effect came from respected basketball legend and TV analyst Bill Walton. Most sports fans in Michigan would have to agree - expectations in these playoffs are very high for the team. Anything less than an NBA championship crown will stain the Detroit Pistons as a failure this year.
All season, the confident, unselfish Pistons have done whatever is necessary to win. They have the distinction of being the only dominant NBA team in memory that doesn’t have a superstar player to bail them out when times are tough. No Michael Jordan to hit the last second championship shots, no Shaquille O’Neil to score at will inside, no Magic Johnson to transform ordinary players around him into stars.
The Pistons’ core group of players (Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince) is very good but not great individually. This team is built to win in the regular season, though, not necessarily in the playoffs. Expect the Pistons to be shocked by their first round opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks.
Impossible, you say? Don’t the Bucks have a losing record? Where did Northern Express find this dope to write about sports? Here are the reasons why the Pistons are primed for failure:
First of all, the Pistons’ depth of personnel is not good. Before the season, Coach Saunders insisted that Darko Milicic and Carlos Delfino would log greater minutes in an effort to give the starters more rest... it didn’t happen. Delfino has averaged only ten minutes per game and Milicic was sent packing to Orlando in a trade.
Detroit is the only NBA team whose starters each averaged over 35 minutes per game (NBA games last 48 minutes). Chauncey Billips, in particular, always appears worn out - a coaching decision rested him the last game of the season. Additionally, only Antonio McDyess has played significant minutes coming off the bench all season. It is too late to ask benchwarmers Lindsey Hunter, Maurice Evans, Delfino, et al to make major contributions in the playoffs - they are not conditioned or capable of it.
Secondly, Detroit didn’t play the suffocating defense this year that it has in the past few seasons. Previously, their team-defense kept the game close when otherwise playing ugly. The Pistons could then engineer just enough scoring to win nip-and-tuck games. This year, the Pistons exert much more energy on offense - not conducive to clamping down defensively on opponents at will.
Also, I’ll let you in on a little secret: the Milwaukee Bucks ain’t that bad. Lefty Michael Redd can be unstoppable when he is in a scoring zone. Point guard T.J. Ford may be too quick for Chauncey Billips to guard. 7-footer Andrew Bogut from Australia will be a load down under (the basket). Look for former MSU Spartan and Flint native Charlie Bell (where has he been for the last five years?) to come off the bench to help smother Billips at crunch time and provide significant scoring.
The Pistons have had a great run over the last few seasons. Their meteoric rise to elite basketball status has been thrilling, even heroic. Yet, this most recent era of Pistons success just passed its zenith.
Now that you have been warned, I don’t want to hear any crying after the Great Fall. The Bucks will win in six games - I guarantee it.
 
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