Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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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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