May 25, 2004

The Pacers shot just 27.5 percent in a 72-67 loss to the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night.

The Pacers shot just 3-for-22 in the fourth quarter and went the final 3:31 without a field goal as the Pistons made good on Rasheed Wallace's guarantee that Detroit would win the game.

posted by justgary to basketball at 12:17 AM - 31 comments

Rasheed, however, was 4-19 from the field.

posted by justgary at 12:19 AM on May 25

Rasheed also had 5 blocks, and helped to keep Jermaine O'neal scoreless in the second half...

posted by MeatSaber at 12:49 AM on May 25

Thanks meansaber. I didn't see the game, so I just glanced at the stats. (still....24%?)

posted by justgary at 12:54 AM on May 25

This game was a really crummy offensive game more than a great defensive game. If the Pistons had hit their free throws in the first half and Indiana had hit a few wide-open looks all game, the score would have been in the 80s or 90s.

posted by dusted at 12:56 AM on May 25

Yep, I use to be a big NBA fan, but it's hard to get excited over a 72-67 game. No way could that be just a good defensive game. That's also a pitiful offensive display.

posted by justgary at 01:07 AM on May 25

Guaranteeing games is the dumbest ritual in sports. Scott Pollard's quote was funny though.

posted by corpse at 05:44 AM on May 25

The game was a defensive battle not a bad offensive game. When Prince blocked Miller's layup I was stunned, it was probably one of the five best plays in playoff history.

posted by jbou at 06:53 AM on May 25

what was scott pollard's quote? didn't see it in the recap and i wasn't following along when the guarantee was made. and anyplace I can see this block? ESPN suggests they have it but it involves dealing with their ESPN motion hoo hah.

posted by gspm at 07:15 AM on May 25

I'm sure there were great defensive plays, but a good offensive team does not score 67 points, case closed. I missed his quote also. What was it!?

posted by justgary at 07:31 AM on May 25

NBA.com has the video on its front page...

posted by MeatSaber at 07:47 AM on May 25

When Prince blocked Miller's layup I was stunned, it was probably one of the five best plays in playoff history. I didn't see it until the recap on the local news. I really wish I had gotten to see it as it happened.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:03 AM on May 25

gspm, he said: "I guarantee that there's going to be a Game 2, and that someone's going to win it. And I guarantee that Rasheed will probably be in the game and I won't," Pacers forward Scot Pollard quipped. "I guarantee we'll be wearing white jerseys and they'll wear their road jerseys. If nobody wins, the fans will get their money back -- that's a guarantee."

posted by corpse at 09:18 AM on May 25

also, Reggie should have dunked it. He had an awesome dunk last year vs the Nets, if he had went up stronger last night the outcome could have been different.

posted by corpse at 09:23 AM on May 25

Agreed, corpse. At least he if had gone for the dunk, he probably would've been fouled, and much as I don't like him, Reggie's one of those guys that can nail the free throws at the end of a game. Hell, if he'd made the dunk and gotten fouled, it probably would've been game over, Pacers win.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:46 AM on May 25

I'm sure there were great defensive plays, but a good offensive team does not score 67 points, case closed. 19 BLOCKS. Case closed. Seriously, how can you chalk it up to Indiana being a bad offensive team. That's just not supported by objective facts. Detroit was a freakishly good defensive team after they got Rasheed. They had five straight games where they held opponents under 70. What we have here, as a criminal investigator might say, is a pattern.

posted by Mike McD at 09:47 AM on May 25

Thanks, Mike McD.

posted by jackhererra at 10:00 AM on May 25

Reggie should have dunked it. He had an awesome dunk last year vs the Nets, if he had went up stronger last night the outcome could have been different. Reggie admitted as much in the post game news conference, while giving credit to Prince for such a great play. I'm no Miller fan to be sure, but it was a class move.

posted by trox at 10:13 AM on May 25

Damn...Mike McD beat me to it. Everyone is so quick to judge a low-scoring game as a bad offensive game, when a great defensive battle will yield the same result, no matter the level of the offense. And if you want to call last night's game boring based solely on the score, then you might want to leave your fan card at the door...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:15 AM on May 25

Damnit, MeatSaber, I forgot my fan card at home. I just call it like I see it, and I saw a lot of missed shots off of picks and screens when the shooter had a clear view of the basket. They are both good defensive teams, but neither of them could buy a basket last night.

posted by dusted at 10:31 AM on May 25

Tayshaun's block was definetly one of the highlights of this or any year. Can't believe that he made it down there. I think Detroit is the only team left that could conceivably make it tought for the Lakers.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:33 AM on May 25

thanks MeatSaber. I admit that I didn't look at the NBA page which probably should have been stop #1. i am lazy. great play though. for sure. and that quote was good.

posted by gspm at 12:16 PM on May 25

I think Chris said it best: "Don't be scurred of scorrring, babies." Oh no, don't be scurred.

posted by dusted at 01:13 PM on May 25

I thought that was one of the best games so far these playoffs. It's rare to see such exciting defense. Tayshaun's block was just insane... I had a feeling he would get it; it was very much like the block he got on a Richard Jefferson breakaway dunk a while ago (which got called a foul even though it was clean on replay).

posted by swank6 at 04:51 PM on May 25

19 BLOCKS. Case closed. Seriously, how can you chalk it up to Indiana being a bad offensive team. Hmm, well, that's pretty easy. They shot 33.7 percent in their first game against detroit. They shot 27.5 percent last night. That's awful. But maybe detroit is the best defensive team of all time? Except Indiana shot 32 percent in game 6 against miami. I rest my case. That's just terrible offense, and that anyone can attribute it all to great defense, or consider this simply the case of a great defensive game is blind to the facts. It might have been a great defensive game, but it was also a horrid offensive game. Detroit had only 4 baskets in the entire fourth quarter. From espn: The first quarter was an exercise in offensive futility, the Pistons missing 13 of their first 15 shots and half of their eight free throws. Rasheed Wallace was razzed by the fans after shooting an airball from 19 feet From the indystar: But whether the shots were blocked, altered or uncontested, the Pacers struggled in every quarter. The highest shooting period for Indiana was the second when the Pacers made 8-of-20 shots, 40 percent. In the second half, the Pacers were 8-of-39 from the field, 20.5 percent. In the fourth quarter, with the game hanging in the balance, Indiana made 3-of-22 shots, 13.6 percent. The Pacers were also 0-of-8 from 3-point range in the fourth. And misery definitely loved company in the fourth quarter, in particular. Reggie Miller missed all five of his field-goal attempts, and Jermaine O'Neal missed all three of his shots. O'Neal was 0-of-8 in the second half. Jamaal Tinsley was 1-of-5 in the fourth quarter. Ron Artest suffered through a 5-of-21 shooting night. Your're acting like a good defensive game and a bad offensive game are mutually exclusive. Because Detroit played a great defensive game doesn't mean that Indian didn't play a terrible offensive game. You can also take the blocked shots (19) and point towards offensive futility contributing. Take Millers late blocked shot for example...should never have happened. But this isn't anything new. That's the NBA today. Terrible offense has been a problem for a while. It's not like I'm bringing up anything new. This is just par for the course. But you look at the great championship teams of the past (celtics, lakers, bulls) and there's no way they go through three games like the pacers just went through, I don't care how great a defensive team detroit is. Pitiful shooting, pitiful ball movement, nonexistent play-making from the guard position. It's all there, along with the blocks. The Pistons' 78-56 win in Monday's Game 1 produced several marks or near-marks for offensive futility since the introduction of the shot clock in the 1954-55 season. Among them: 19: Nets' field goals made ... Fewest in NBA playoff history 62: Combined points for both teams, first half ... Fewest in NBA playoff history (second-fewest in either half) 56: Nets' total points ... Tied for second-fewest in NBA playoff history 134: Combined points for both teams ... Second-fewest in NBA playoff history 25: Nets' points in first half ... Tied for third-fewest in NBA playoff history

posted by justgary at 06:59 PM on May 25

And if you want to call last night's game boring based solely on the score, then you might want to leave your fan card at the door... We all have different taste. To say if I don't enjoy the type of game played last night I'm not a real fan is ludicrous. What we have here, as a criminal investigator might say, is a pattern. You also have the NBA today. If you want to talk patterns, an even bigger one is the lack of quality offenses in todays game, and the gradual decline over the years. If, as many claim (many in the nba) offensives today are not the quality of those in the past, your two series pattern is quite explainable.

posted by justgary at 07:05 PM on May 25

I'm not the only one that thinks the offense stinks: ESPN columnist Peter May, in an article titled "That's Not Entertainment" had this to say: Yes, I know the party line by now. It's the defense, stupid. We're seeing tenacious, maniacal, resolute and persistent defense by both teams. How else do we explain those appalling scores? How about this: Neither team can make a shot. I don't know how you can come to any other conclusion. Yes, the defense is tough. But what's tougher is to watch these teams try to score -- defense or no defense. Even Pacers boss Donnie Walsh confessed to that after the first two games produced jaw-dropping scores of 78-74 and 72-67. "A lot of bad offense," he admitted to Indy columnist Bob Kravitz.

posted by dusted at 04:50 PM on May 26

Yes, the defense is tough. But what's tougher is to watch these teams try to score -- defense or no defense. Exactly my point. Two teams can play great defense, but that doesn't mean the offenses were horrid. And they are.

posted by justgary at 07:08 PM on May 26

Scores are down because of tougher defences: Agreed. Scores are down because nobody can make wide open shots: Agreed. There is a link that ties the two things together: rhythm (or streakiness). Because the defences have gotten to be so good, and because the players have become so athletic while the court size hasn't changed at all, it becomes very difficult to make jump shots those times when completely open because most players are not pure jump shooters, they are rhythm/streak shooters, and this exposes them. That said, I'm not trying to give the NBA an excuse. In their promotion of the TV-style highlight reel form of the game, they have done an atrocious job at ensuring that fundamental skills have evolved at the same pace as the athleticism of the players.

posted by smithers at 08:58 PM on May 26

It looked like more of the same painful shooting for three quarters tonight, but both teams really picked it up in the fourth quarter. I think it was around 50-60 at the start of the fourth and it ended 85-78. Thank God for free throw shooting to get the score into a respectable range! What's up with the refs not calling fouls?! First they wouldn't call it when Madsen was intentionally fouling Shaq last night, and tonight Reggie Miller was obviously fouled while shooting a three at the end of the game with no call. Are the refs tired of blowing their whistles or something?

posted by dusted at 10:58 PM on May 26

Dusted, I think I agree with the commentators for once (I'm a bit shaky on Doc Rivers, ordinarily). The fake-and-jump-into-the-defender play is a bit lame. It's one thing if the defender jumps into you and you jump straight up. It's another thing if the defender jumps straight up and you (the offensive player, like Miller) jump into them. That is an offensive foul, if it's anything.

posted by BobbyC at 08:35 AM on May 27

Oh, Doc. I hope he gets a coaching job real soon, because I can't stand the games he does. He was praising the spurs for not guarding the man taking the ball out against the lakers. That is until the impossible happened..

posted by corpse at 09:44 AM on May 27

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