Monday, May 15, 2006

The Pistons...lose?

74-72 Cavs. The series is now tied 2-2. Not cool. Not cool at all. The Pistons gave a pair of very frustrating performances in games 3 and 4. But I'm not uptight about it either. Not at all. It still takes 4 wins to take a series, right? The Pistons still have home court, am I correct? So I'm not going to rant, rave, bitch, and moan over a couple of close losses. As they say, it's not a series till someone wins a road game. We Pistons fans have seen this time and time again over the past 3 years, they never ever do it the easy way. They just don't. It's not the end of the world, by any means. The Pistons have been in similar situations in the past against better teams and prevailed.

On the other hand, the way Cleveland has celebrated their wins, you'd think they just won the NBA Finals.

The Pistons' achilles heel showed up tonight. 7 points from the bench, with a big fat goose egg for Antonio McDyess. The Cavs bench put up 21. There's your game.

McDyess has been, to put it mildly, awful. Worse than awful. With 'Sheed dinged with a rolled ankle, the inability of McDyess to stay on the floor for any significant amount of time has been killing the Pistons. He's a low post presence that the Pistons have sorely lacked the past 2 games. With 'Sheed out and McDyess playing like McDunce, the Pistons were playing 3 on 5 while on offense, as Maurice Evans was on the floor during crunch time. Maurice freaking Evans. 'Nuff said. 'Sheed's inside/outside game and deft passing makes the offense go. Without him, it made running the offense that much harder.

At times the offense, with ugly looking several minute long scoreless stretches, looked as it did under Carslie and Brown. Stagnant. Long jumpers taken late in the shot clock. It's obvious some offensive tweaking is needed. Now is when Flip Saunders earns his keep.

It still feels to me as if the Pistons did more to lose that the Cavs did to win. The Pistons have not played their best over the past 2 games while the Cavs were playing with determination, desperation, something to prove, whatever you want to call it. But can LeBron and his minions win at the Palace? That's the question for which I don't think the Cavs yet have an answer.

I said earlier that this series was over. I also said that I would not be surprised if the Cavs won a couple of games. Nothing has happened that would cause me to change my opinion. But a rebound game from McDyess and a relatively healthy 'Sheed would have me feeling even better.

Pistons in 6.

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