Saturday, June 03, 2006

This isn't the result I expected

Miami Heat 95, Detroit Pistons 78

Read the numbers and weep.

Chauncey Billups: 3-14
Rip Hamlton: 12-28
Rasheed Wallace: 4-12
Tayshaun Prince: 3-9
Ben Wallace: 2-5
Tony Delk: 3-7
Antonio McDyess: 0-3
Lindsey Hunter: 0-3
27-81, 33%

Not exactly the offensive effort I expected in an eliminaton game.

An ugly loss. Pure and simple, a game the Pistons deserved to lose. Unfortunately, the Pistons are still broken, and it will take some major off season tweaks to fix them. It's much too soon and emotions are still too heated to think of what those tweaks may be. But the pot that is the Pistons roster and coaching staff needs to be stirred. Maybe vigorously.

As for tonight, I expected more, much more, especially on defense. But for the Heat to shoot 55% in a must win game? Shaq doing whatever he wanted in the paint? Jason Williams, of all people, shooting the lights out? Jason freaking Williams?! White damn chocolate? Huh? Where was the lock down defense we Pistons fans came to know and love? Something's not right.

The offense was once again stagnant. The Pistons reverted back to the bad habits we thought were corrected by their play in game 5. We thought we saw signs of the return of the motion offense that was so successful in the regular season. We thought wrong. Too much poundiing the ball on the wings or at the top of the key, which lead to starting plays with not enough time on the shot clock. That alone is hard to phathom. But seeing too much one on one play, constant attempts at isolation, and just plain missing wide open shots? Again, something's not right.

The Pistons looked like a tired team. Just plain gassed, mentally, physically, and emotionally. They tried to flip the switch, but they had nothing left to give. The Pistons met a team in the Heat that wanted it more, and didn't take games off. Maybe 4 years of deep playoff runs finally took its toll. I'm sure 4 years of having to constantly fight off elimination due to falling behind in nearly every series caught up with them. You can only climb out of so many holes before you finally dig 1 hole too many.

The season's over, ending without the title we all expected. Am I disappointed? Damn straight. Is the Pistons run as an elite team over? Hardly, especially if Joe Dumars pulls off some judicious off season moves. A team that wins 64 regular season games is not going to fall off the face of the NBA map anytime soon.

You can't take away what the core of this Pistons team has accomplished. 4 straight confrence finals. 2 NBA finals. 1 NBA title, and were just a few minutes from winning another. It was an unprecidented run, and fun as all get out to watch.

But lets not write the obituaries quite yet. The Pistons are still a contender, and should be for the forseeable future. In Joe I trust.

Unforunately, for the time being, we're left with more questions than answers in regard to why the sudden playoff collaspe. Is it Flip Saunders' fault, for letting the inmates run the asylum? Are the players and their sudden proclivity for finger ponting to blame? Could the hubris of the starting 5 be the problem, thinking they could win by just walking onto the floor? Did LeBron James and Dwayne Wade expose the Pistons' weaknesses, or maybe they were just too damn good? All of the above? None of the above?

Right now, I doubt any of us could say for sure. The collaspe was so sudden, so quick, that it caught us all off guard. It may take some time for before we can look back and see what caused the sudden fall from grace.

It was one hard fall.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah -- after Game 2 of the Cavs series, everything went sideways. And the jump shot betrayed them cruelly.

    I tell you -- get that team a low-post scorer, and it'll be unstoppable.

    Come on, Joe -- get loose!