Winning only option for Detroit Pistons

Published On: Mar 01 2013 08:05:33 AM EST
DETROIT -

In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday.

The Pistons broke their three-game losing streak in Washington, DC on Wednesday night.

And you can bet some fans weren't happy about it.

But we're not talking about Wizard fans. Yep, some Pistons fans.

That's because fans think lottery pick position this time of the year when it's clear their favorite team isn't going to make the playoffs.

That's where the Pistons (23-27) -- losers of four of their last six -- are as we enter the final two months of the season.

The more you lose, the more ping-pong balls you get. That gives you a better chance to get another young, top player in the draft. That would be great for a team like the Pistons, who already have added a few young, talented players the last few years, including Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight.

But the Pistons' management and coaching staff isn't playing for next year. The idea of not winning on the court to win in the lottery is a bad one.

"It's about winning and getting better every single day," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said recently. "You never fool with the Basketball Gods. And the minute you tell your group you're not about getting better and about winning, anybody who wants to be a part of that, you don't want them."

Plus, the worst team isn't guaranteed of getting the best player. The NBA changed those rules years ago so teams wouldn't try to tank the season to get the overall No. 1 pick.

The Pistons currently have the fifth-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Frank, though, wants his team to win as many as it can and finish off this season strong.

"The nature is we get paid to compete at the highest level, get paid to do everything we can to try to win the game and improve," Frank said. "And the minute we stop doing it, we're shortcutting  our responsibilities." 

Porcello's Future

Just two starts into the spring and battling for the fifth and final spot in the Tigers' rotation and Rick Porcello is struggling.

In a 5-3 loss to the Braves on Wednesday, the Tigers' first round pick in 2007 gave up three runs in three innings, including a long homer. Manager Jim Leyland called the fastball that Juan Francisco drilled `"a mistake."

Still, Porcello is really in the hot seat, especially after last season when he was 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA. He really needed a great spring to make people to forget those numbers last year.

Moles say that a few teams are still scouting Porcello in hopes of making a trade with the Tigers. Stay tuned.

Brady's Extension Not Good for Others

Tom Brady is being praised. Instead, he should be ridiculed.

Brady, the New England Patriots' quarterback, didn't take a huge pay cut in signing a new three-year, $27-million extension. At the end of the day, he basically is going to get all the loot coming to him.

But that's not the case most of the time when a player restructures his deal for  the so-called betterment of the team.

This time around, Brady might have just threw his fellow NFLers under the bus.

Brady's action, taking a below-market price for the final three years of his deal -- $7 million for 2015, $8 million for 2016 and $9 million in '17 -- isn't a good thing for others.

Now, other owners will use Brady as the poster child for putting their team ahead of themselves. And if you balk, they'll tell fans you don't want to win like Brady.

Nonsense.

To this day, it makes no sense why NFL teams are even allowed to rework a player's contract dollar-amount down to give the team more cap space so it can add free-agent players to its roster.

It's basically Hollywood accounting gone wild.

But nobody threw their arms up in disgust when Ahmad Bradshaw, Demetrius Bell, Chris Canty, Osi Umenyiora and Kyle Vanden Bosch -- just to name a few -- were released in the last few weeks.

Most weren't bounced not because they still aren't productive. It was simply because their ``cap'' number is too high.

The system isn't fair to players. It pushes guys with contracts out the door.

The onus shouldn't be on players to fix the phony NFL math.

The teams should have to do its business correct and not have the players being the ones to bail them out.

Thanks, Tom -- for nothing.