May 30, 2007
It seems that everyone has an opinion about what to expect for the rest of this series between the Pistons and Cavs. The Pistons are too old. The Cavs don’t have enough experience to win on the road. Detroit still has the home-court advantage. Daniel Gibson has a spot reserved in the Hall of Fame. There’s dissent in the Pistons locker room.
For the record, we’re not sure what to think anymore. The Cavaliers have clearly outplayed the Pistons all four games of this series, the difference being that in the first two games Detroit made the clutch plays down the stretch, and Cleveland didn’t. The opposite happened in the last two contests. Both squads still have reason for optimism, and only time will tell which one can actually make good on what they have going for them.
Detroit has the home-court advantage (let’s see if Gibson still smirks and Gooden still hits those shots on the road), more talent up and down the bench, and more playoff-proven experience. Cleveland has the best player on the court, the momentum, and enough youthful ignorance to actually believe they can win this thing (which they might very well do). If the Pistons prevail tomorrow night, I think they close it out in seven. If the Cavaliers win, well, the Pistons will have a grueling task ahead of them just to get it back to Detroit.
Here’s what ten other writers have to say with this series tied at two games each.
Detroit was fortunate to escape Games 1 and 2 with identical 79-76 wins, and the Cavaliers made all the clutch plays in Games 3 and 4. Cleveland has the momentum of winning the last two games, and the confidence gained from taking the Pistons down to the wire at The Palace in both games there. Of course, we’ve seen Detroit go through stretches like this in the playoffs before, only to bounce back strong. But the difference now is they’re facing a team that not only believes they can win this series, but now has the confidence to expect it will happen.
If we’re lucky, now that Cleveland has evened the Eastern Conference finals at two games each after winning Game 4 on Tuesday night 91-87, we’re about to see the last of Detroit. This is a dynasty that has lasted too long anyway. Outside of Detroit, has anyone enjoyed watching the Pistons over the past four years? They have no flash, no fury, one ring and no fans beyond their state border. There is no single reason to root for the Pistons, and no reason to believe they can finish off Cleveland.
[The Pistons' A-game] had better show up Thursday, or the Pistons will find themselves in the same situation they were in a year ago — trailing 3-2 and needing to win a Game 6 on the road. Last year, they were barely able to get that win. This year, you get the feeling that if Cleveland has a chance to close out the series at home, they won’t come up one rebound short as they did last May.
So again, that A-game from the Pistons had better show up soon. And Mr. Big Shot had better start playing with the same level of poise we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the last half-decade. If not, a new finalist may just Rise Up in the East.
The Pistons keep swearing everything will be fine, order will be restored. Uh-huh. And the Cavaliers keep ignoring them, shrugging at all that Detroit experience, intimidated by none of it. The Pistons lost their poise, lost their shot and lost their lead in the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night. They’re back in familiar trouble, potentially worse than last year, shoved there by LeBron James and a band of teammates gathering confidence in huge heaps now.
As much as the Pistons hated hearing it, they didn’t want a repeat of last year’s series with Cleveland, but that’s the direction this is headed, again. The Pistons are in more trouble than they know, or at least more trouble then they expected.
As for the Pistons, I guess now is the part of the series that we hear that “the Cavs have their attention” and “now the Pistons will start to play”. Are you kidding me? You think Detroit wants to play 6 or 7 games against the Cavs? Sure, it helped them alot last year after “coasting” against Cleveland. The Heat kicked their ass. The goal is to finsih a series as soon as you can, to save your body. So keep telling yourself that, Piston fans, and enjoy another ass-whooping should you survive this cake-walk series.
Funny how not one Cavalier fan commented on this blog until they tied the series up, at least Bulls fans stuck with their team when they were down 3-0. Remember LeBron fans, we have no problem with intelligent comments, but when you get nasty and idiotic we hit the delete button, so don’t bother. Comment modification is now turned on thanks to some vulgar comments from Cavs fans.
No one owes you anything. You don’t deserve to be in the Finals right now. You don’t deserve this “so called” shot to play the Spurs in a re-match of 2005, a series you claim you should have won. You want to throw temper tantrums and headbands and embarrass yourself on national television? You want to drive the ball on a fast break with 40+ seconds in the game, down by 3 and pull up for a lunging 3 point shot? You want to allow a rookie to score 21 points on 7 shots? You guys feel ok with the fact that the only guys fired up last night were McDyess and ‘Sheed? Coach, you want to not make any adjustments at all?
After the game Wallace stormed past reporters refusing to talk. While teammates were showing and answering questions Wallace was already in the team bus stewing. That’s good. Maybe this loss will spark the Pistons to play better. If Wallace is angry that is usually good news.
However, the Pistons need more than emotion to win this series. They need execution also. There are some things they’ve figured out. But there are others that have totally confused them. It will be interesting to see how Wallace plays in Game 5. He is quite often the key to the Pistons success. And the question is quite simple. Does he use his boiling anger to inspire the Pistons? Or is this the first sign of implosion?
Before I write this I’m telling you I don’t know if it is true, it is complete hearsay. That’s why it’s in a blog and not a story. But some PWK (people with knowledge) whispered to me tonight the Pistons are having some chemistry problems in the locker room right now. Again, I don’t know the team and I don’t know the locker room. I am just passing it on because it’s from a reliable source. It is interesting, though, that Wallace got a technical foul for yelling at his own teammate tonight.
As the Detroit Bad Boys point out, Chauncey choked. In a series of un-quotidian events to finish the game, Billups leapt into the air with nowhere to go, turned the ball over, and instantly committed a silly foul; later, on a fast break, he pulled up for three when he didn’t need to, and missed. And it’s odd how Tayshaun Prince vanishes during games, isn’t it? The Pistons are a team in peril. Do not think Detroit’s a lock Thursday at home. We don’t think they’ll win another game this postseason.