Thursday, January 26, 2006

35-5, Sparty gets bent over, and the Maize Rage rushes the court. Just another night of hoops in the D

Need I say that it was a wonderful night for roundball in the D? It's not often when you see the "House that Cazzie built" in a complete frenzy. About 45 minutes to the north, the Palace was at its usual fevered level, for good reason.

On with my slanted, biased, and highly uninformed thoughts...

MSU was bent over, spanked, then anally abused by the officiating crew last night. There were some phantom calls that were as bad as the so-called foul called on Bill Laimbeer in game 7 of the '88 NBA Finals. (One of the worst calls ever) I 'll admit that there were questionalble fouls called against both teams, but Sparty took the brunt of the referee ineptness. A 24 shot free throw disparity against Sparty was a death knell. That put them on a razor's edge, having to play a perfect game. The "Tin Foil Hat" brigade will be out in force saying there is a conspiracy to prop up the Wolverines. Thing is, the Michigan Mafia may have that kind of pull...

Still, Michigan did what they were supposed to do in a rivalry game. Play their asses off, keep their own crowd in the game, and win. The Wolverines were 3 for 3.

As well as Michigan played, you have to wonder if the game would turned out differently if Tom Izzo doesn't call the time out that nullified what would have been a game tying 3 ball by Maurice Ager. Coaches tend to outsmart themselves. Sometimes you have to let the players play.

I love watching Michigan's Graham Brown careen around the floor. Just think if he had talent that matched his will and intensity. Or if a Courtney Sims played with the same burning fire as Brown.

Did I say the officiating was at a Sun Belt Confrence level of awful? I just wanted to make sure.

I think I can say with some confidence that there will be two Big 10 representatives from our fair state in the NCAA's. I'm not totally convinced, as it's a long, tough Big 10 season, but my Magic 8 Ball shows encouraging signs...

At the "House that Isiah built," Chauncy Billups had another game that cements his status as a legitimate MVP candidate. Last night's stat line?

25 points 15 assists 5 rebounds. Just. Insane.

Chauncy went into Mr. Big Shot mode and hit two jumpers in OT that essentially ended the game. What more can one player do? You know what really tells you something about Billups' season? That Rip Hamilton throws in a clutch 35 points, and even though it's not exactly an afterthought, it's not the lead story. It's Billups' daily heroics.

Even with Billups playing out of his mind, he's not my favorite Piston to watch. So who would that be, you ask? It's 'Sheed. I love his inside/outside game. He falls a little too much in love with the 3 point line at times, but that also makes him entertaining as all get out. The man can fling a headband like no other... If there is a better statement about hoop than "Ball don't lie," I haven't heard it.

On the other hand, Michael Redd was unstoppable. He was Kobe lite. But the Pistons are so good, it made no difference. It's very comparable the Bad Boy's old "Jordan Rules." Let one guy get his, stop the rest.

I'm thrilled the Pistons matched the 35 - 5 mark, just so they can move past it. There's bigger fish to fry. Home court through the playoffs is still not a given, despite their phenominal record. The Spurs and Mavs are still lurking a few games back overall, just close enough to keep the Pistons interest. I seriously doubt we'll see them sleepwalk though the dog days like last season.

As for the Eastern Confrence home court race? The Pistons are an amazing 11 games up on Miami. 11 games! Is that possible this early in the season? We are in midst of watching one Hell of an historic season. They have become so through in their domination, you have a tendency to take wins for granted. You sometimes forget just how scary good the Pistons and their season has become.

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