Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Chicago Bulls are 1 player away from beating the Pistons. Unfortunately, he's 43 years old and owns the Bobcats

The Chicago Bulls have a roster issue. That being they don't have a circa 1991 Michael Jordan on their playoff roster. It has become obvious that having a young, title hungry Jordan on the Bulls would be the only chance they have of taking out the 2007 Detroit Pistons. As far as I know, Mr. Peabody hasn't yet invented the Wayback Machine, so the Pistons need not worry about a time traveling Jordan.

Sherman & Mr. Peabody are the Chicago Bulls only hope

The Detroit Pistons have made this round of the NBA playoffs boring. By sprinting out to double digits leads right after the opening tip, the Pistons have been doing Detroit sports fans a huge favor. Their blowing the Bulls right out of the Palace have allowed us to tune in the Red Wings, whose games with the now vanquished San Jose Sharks have been nail-biters in comparison.

The Pistons haven't looked this focused since their 2004 title run. While watching the game (Flipping between 24, the Pistons, and the Red Wings caused a great deal of painful thumb strain. But in the playoffs, you have to watch hurt...) I expected the Pistons to let off the throttle, allowing the Bulls back in the game, much as they did against the LeBron's last season. I was thrilled to see that they kept their foot on the Bulls throat, and pretty much choked out their playoff hopes in the process.

What is even more encouraging is that despite their focus, the Pistons aren't yet playing their absolute best. There were too many turnovers last night, 21 to the Bulls' 13, and even more glaring, the Pistons were well out shot from the charity stripe. I don't think I've ever seen a team shoot 29 (!) more free throws, as did the Bulls, and yet get blown out of the arena so decisively.

Back in the 80's, the Pistons had "The Jordan Rules." Imaginary rules or not, the Bad Boy Pistons were unquestionably in the Bulls' collective heads for several years. I think we are seeing history repeat itself.

The Bulls guards are shooting blanks, and are being grossly outplayed. Their forwards aren't faring any better, the Pistons front line are mentally and physically dominating play. Ben Wallace is no longer a superhuman force of nature, he's just a good rebounder and defender who is non-existent on offense.

The Pistons' domination of the Bulls was so total, Bulls coach Scott Skiles never changed his facial expression through the the last 3 quarters of game 2. It was the look of a shellshocked man who's resigned to his fate. He doesn't have a solution, any answers, or even a prayer. How do you tell a team that they are still in this series, despite being out played and out talented? I don't even think the Zen Master himself could make that sound plausible.

The Bulls may end up winning a game or 2. That's just how the Pistons roll. But to think that the Bulls can win 4 of 5 from the Pistons? After consecutive 20+ point losses? While enduring such utter and total domination? Not even bringing back the Zen Master, Jordan circa 1991, and Jordan's caddie in Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine could pull this series out of the ashes.

1 comment:

  1. But in the playoffs, you have to watch hurt...
    That's absolutely correct! We've been training for this all year long and it's indeed time to step up, stay focused, make plays, and leave it all on the couch.