Friday, May 11, 2007

That. Was. Embarrassing.

After a very ugly 24 minutes, I thought the above, or something similar, would be the headline of my next post. That post was going to be about the Pistons deciding to take the night off against the Bulls.

A 28 point 1st half? What. The. Fuck?

I was going to write that what we witnessed was a typical Detroit Pistons game 3 playoff effort, an effort we've seen before in previous series. 2006's examples being awful game 3's against the Bucks and the LeBron's.

I would have also delved into the thought being that Pistons don't seem (or want) to play their best until their backs are against the wall. If we saw the same sort of effort in game 4, that would lead to another one of those 6 or 7 games series that the Pistons would invariably win, but never should have gone that far to do so.

I even thought of getting a head start, and posting some quick thoughts royally ripping the Pistons royally their lack of both effort and killer instinct against an inferior opponent.

Then the 2nd half started, and I figured it would be best to wait. The Pistons could at least make a game out of it. I was hoping they would make a run, get the game somewhat close, and not give the Bulls much momentum going into what I thought would be a more interesting that it should of been game 4.

I'm glad I held off...

In a short 12 minute span, the Bulls' 19 point lead, my building bile, and my blog post, all went right out the window.

The game finished 81-74 Pistons, but it wasn't even that close by the end.

What we witnessed in the 2nd half Thursday night was a textbook example of a young team undergoing a total meltdown. A nuclear meltdown. A China Syndrome meltdown. I don't think I'd call it a choke job, as the Pistons had much to do with Chicago's mental mistakes and horrible decision making. I think we can all agree that it was definitely an embarrassing 2nd half performance, or lack thereof, by the Bulls.

After the 2nd half tip, the Pistons executed their offense to perfection, and the shots finally started to fall. Defensively, the Pistons didn't let the Bulls have a single easy shot. And as we saw, hardly any found net, with the Bulls only scoring 30 points. The Bulls couldn't execute. It was asking to much for them to make a pass, a shot, or a anything resembling a good decision in the 2nd half.

Chicago had absolutely no answer for Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and someone who's going to be a very, very rich man after the playoffs, Chauncey Billups. Grizzled playoff veterans were taking visibly nervous playoff neophytes to school, and giving them an ass kicking.

'Sheed ended the 3rd with a dagger of a 3, to bring the Pistons to within 1 of the Bulls. The game was over then and there. At that point, it was just going to be a matter of what the Pistons' final margin of victory was going to be.

Gordon, Deng, Nocioni, Brown. Hell, just name a Bull, they were visibly shaken once the Pistons made their move. They couldn't hold on to passes, bricked free throws, and couldn't hit even uncontested shots.

And just where was Ben Wallace in the 2nd half? On the bench, thanks to his non-existent offensive game, and if you ask me, emotion. When he was a Piston, Ben Wallace was a huge, intimidating presence. He could control a game with his defense, rebounding, and will. But with the Bulls? That's not the same Ben Wallace I saw as a Piston. He's just another guy now.

If I'm a Bulls fan, I'm thinking differently about him after this series. They paid Wallace 60 MILLION DOLLARS, and they get absolutely no veteran leadership. Wallace showed up late for the game, 'nuff said. Late for a must win playoff game? Your prize free agent? The face of the franchise? Make you wonder where Wallace's head was at, as it sure isn't in this series.

When it was all said and done, the Pistons had crushed any and all hope the city of Chicago may have had in the Bulls, let alone the Bulls themselves.

This series is over. Bring on the LeBron's.

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