Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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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