June 08, 2004

Disgustingly arrogant, disgustingly dysfunctional, and on occasion, disgustingly good. Itís virtually a guarantee they'll be awake and inspired for Game 2 tonight. The Lakers will show up tonight, fashionably late. And when they step on the floor, theyíll see those same annoying Pistons, fabulously flawed on offense, ferociously functional on defense. A well-written column from the Detroit News. via

posted by Ufez Jones to basketball at 12:43 PM - 26 comments

I was sorely disappointed when the Pacers lost, but I have to admit that I admire Pistons' relentless defense. (Or maybe I envy it.) I didn't think I would be interested in the finals, but I find myself drawn to the series because of the Pistons. With that said, I find it disturbing that the Eastern Conference is being depicted as having lousy offense, instead of having exceptional defense. During the 7th game of the Eastern Conference finals, one of the announcers said that the Lakers must be salivating over the dismal offensive display (as opposed to worrying about the stifling defense of both teams). I agree with Dumars, who was quoted in the article: "When a team doesnít shoot well, I donít care who you are, itís hard to say it was the defense that did it." I suppose if the Lakers continue to shoot under 40% we will hear that they are in a slump, as opposed to crediting the defense of the Pistons.

posted by jacknose at 03:16 PM on June 08

it's not like the pistons-pacers wasn't all about the pistons... espn must have their angle.

posted by chmurray at 03:26 PM on June 08

Ratings for Sunday's game one were up 53% over last year's game one. The Pistons win was great for the NBA, as a lot more people will be tuning in hoping to see an upset.

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:38 PM on June 08

Detroit does a great job at forcing turnovers, but then always seems to choke on their next shot.

posted by adampsyche at 09:16 PM on June 08

If Ben Wallace ever learns how to finish strong and effectively, he's going to be twice the beast he already is. btw, adam, if you feel like it, feel free to join #spofi. Sadly, I seem to be the only one there tonight.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:35 PM on June 08

Where was that ferocious D when Kobe drained that last minute shot? How about in OT when the Lakers were walking all over Detroit?

posted by molafson at 12:20 AM on June 09

The Pistons made one small defensive mistake...they didn't foul Shaq when he was being doubled in no-man's land...the ball ended up in Kobe's hands, and you cannot tell me that shot was anything but a prayer. Hell, Tayshaun Prince's desparation shot off the glass in game 1 looked like it had a better chance than Kobe's 3. The Lakers dodged a bullet in this game. It's only going to get harder. The Pistons are not the Nets, they're not the Sixers, and they're not the Pacers...the Lakers are still in a dogfight in this series, and throwing up desparation 3's at the last second is not going to win this series for them. Face it...the Pistons are not is awe of the mighty Laker juggernaut, they deserve to be in these Finals, and they have a good chance of winning this series.

posted by MeatSaber at 12:36 AM on June 09

Detroit pretty much choked completely after Kobe was able to tie it. I'm not gonna fault Rip's D on that shot... he was avoiding the foul, and from where Kobe was shooting, it would have been stupid to risk it. Kobe made a crazy shot, and that's what it comes down to. After that the Pistons lost all their fire. And yes, they should definitely have fouled Shaq. Can't believe the Lakers even let him touch it.

posted by swank6 at 12:38 AM on June 09

the ball ended up in Kobe's hands, and you cannot tell me that shot was anything but a prayer. A prayer? I've got to disagree. Kobe has hit a ton of game-winners - so many that I'm surprised when they don't go in. However, I agree that the Pistons belong. They absolutely belong in the Finals. This is going to be a great series, and I'll admit that I came in expecting a sweep.

posted by dusted at 12:55 AM on June 09

The Pistons should have fouled Shaq. Even if he went 2-for-2, they'd be up by a point with the ball and seconds left. The defense on Kobe was a little too loose, and why not foul him before he shoots? I agree with dusted; Kobe makes big shots like that all the time. You don't get many chances to put the Lakers in a 2-0 hole. I hope this missed opportunity doesn't cost the Pistons. I like their chances, though. They beat the Lakers in LA, almost beat them in Game 2, and the next three games are in Detroit.

posted by kirkaracha at 02:49 AM on June 09

Nothing frustrates me like watching a team up 6 with less than a minute, and they can't let the FUCKING clock run out successfully. A 24-second violation is better than taking stupid shots- because stupid shots lead to defensive rebounds lead to fast break points, and fast break points is NOT the fucking game the Pistons should be playing. What the fuck?! What ass clown thinks it's a good idea to take a silly fading bank shot from the foul line in heavy traffic with time left on the clock, only to see LA get the rebound and drive back down the court?! Unbelievable. When you're up 6, you can NOT lose that game, or go to OT. Unless you're fucking retarded. It's just too easy- put the pressure where it belongs, pass/dribble, blah blah, then the other team fouls you, and you start playing that little foul line tango- you get fouled, get a point or two, low pressure on defense, get the ball back, squat on it, get fouled to stop the clock, get a point or two, low pressure on defense, etc, etc, etc, fucking ETC. The Lakers are masters of this, how can the fucking Pistons make it look so hard to just close out the last 45 seconds? What the FUCK?! And that idiot inbounds pass... what the FUCK?! How does a team look so good, and then suddenly look so bad?! The Pistons HAD that game. I swear to god, I've never understood how some talented players and seemingly intelligent coaches can go all stupid in the final minutes. It's fucking easy- if you're up by THREE, you FOUL, so that the only way they score THREE is in some desperation free throw+ intentional miss+rebound+putback. I'll never understand why they don't even get kooky- for example, on an inbounds, just form a roman phalanx, SOMETHING, to make it happen. Fucking morons.

posted by hincandenza at 03:12 AM on June 09

that sounds like the basketball equivalent of why game 7s in the stanley cup final tend to be a little underwhelming (based on the last three examples thereof). when the game is on the line then the game changes, sometimes for the worse. and yeah, sounds like the pistons blew it.

posted by gspm at 05:13 AM on June 09

sheesh. watching the little espn motion replay it looked like Rip had pretty good and safe D and Kobe was a step or so behind the 3 so full credit to Kobe for making the shot.

posted by gspm at 05:59 AM on June 09

The 'kobe is massively clutch' argument would be stronger if he weren't 4-28 for the playoffs on 4th quarter threes before last night.

posted by tieguy at 07:50 AM on June 09

Hal, Billups took his shot with 0:16 seconds left. It would have been a shot clock violation at 0:10 seconds, so that wasn't a bad shot by Chauncey. They should have fouled Shaq, Brown said in the post game that was the plan if Shaq got it down low. They didn't expect Shaq to get it at the three point line. I, like everyone else, am sick of seeing the Lakers squeak out games that they should lose. It all started with Portland back in 99'. Teams just get nervous against the Lakers. The Blazers in 99', Kings in 02', Fisher against the Spurs this year, it's like they made a deal with the devil.

posted by Mike McD at 08:15 AM on June 09

Hannibal Lector made the right call not to foul Kobe on that last-second heave. Kobe's chance to make that shot was lower than his chance to sink three free throws. I can't believe Shaq touched the ball in that situation and wasn't fouled. If the Lakers win this series, I think that could be the decision the Pistons most regret. But the net result of Tuesday's game was a better finals. If Detroit wins that game, it's all but over.

posted by rcade at 09:05 AM on June 09

The previous time the Lakers were down the court, with about :30 left, and 'Sheed got called for a foul on Shaq's slam was complete shit. 'Sheed didn't even touch Shaq (wisely, when Shaq's got the ball underneath the hoop and you're up by three). That's my main gripe of the game. Oh, that and Pistons complete and utter fold in overtime. It was like watching the Mavs. But the net result of Tuesday's game was a better finals. If Detroit wins that game, it's all but over. This is probably true, on both counts.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:23 AM on June 09

I, like everyone else, am sick of seeing the Lakers squeak out games that they should lose. It all started with Portland back in 99'. Teams just get nervous against the Lakers. Teams beat themselves more than the Lakers beat them, and the Lakers also benefit from luck. Their arrogance and utter lack of modesty is the main reason I hate them.

posted by kirkaracha at 09:34 AM on June 09

'Sheed got called for a foul on Shaq's slam was complete shit ... That's my main gripe of the game. And mine ... I thought from the get-go that "star calls" could be a deciding factor in this series, and that was a total star call if there was one. Of course, the Pistons fold in overtime was their own fault, but how often do we see that in basketball that a team (incredulously) blows a lead in the final minute and can't recover in OT. You could almost bet the house on it 30 seconds into the extra frame.

posted by smithers at 11:24 AM on June 09

All right, if you're going to gripe about the Shaq foul, you've got to acknowledge the foul on Kobe that wasn't called late in the game. This happens every time the Lakers win - someone starts bitching about unfair calls. The Lakers won because they executed at the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime. Period.

posted by dusted at 12:59 PM on June 09

The Lakers executed? Here's my narrow point, I wouldn't call the end of the game good execution. Last three possesions: 1. Kobe went one on one, missed a three, Shaq got the offensive rebound because he's the biggest guy on the court, and got fouled on the way up. Is that what Phil drew up? 2. Then, Billups broke Fisher down, probably got fouled on the shot (but other than LJ when has a foul ever been called on a decisive shot), and got a good look from 8 feet. Again, not great execution. 3. Kobe goes one on one, pulls up three feet behind the line, and hits a three. Great individual play, yes. Great execution, I think not. Dusted, Although you're a Lakers fan, you seem like a rational person. You can understand the difference between saying the Lakers outplayed the Pistons down the stretch and saying there executed down the stretch. What makes this matchup good is the clash of talent vs. a team.

posted by Mike McD at 01:54 PM on June 09

That talent vs. team comparison is a good one. The games aren't as much fun as watching my Mavericks fly up and down the court, but I am finding the Pistons a great team -- emphasis on that word -- to root for.

posted by rcade at 02:07 PM on June 09

Mike McD - you're right. When I wrote that the Lakers "executed," I meant outplayed rather than did what the coach set up. Bad choice of words.

posted by dusted at 02:19 PM on June 09

Despite the fact that I would rather get bleach in my eye then(sic) see the Lakers march triumphant to another championship, there was something kinda funky about watching Shaq and Kobe out there with Derek Fisher, Luke Walton and Kareem Rush. Like the two best players in a gym class picking the goth kids to be on their team. This Chris guy is a damn genius.

posted by dusted at 05:30 PM on June 09

Good game though.... Very entertaining. As a Raptor fan - It was a priviledge to watch such competitive back and forth ball.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:38 PM on June 09

The 'kobe is massively clutch' argument would be stronger if he weren't 4-28 for the playoffs on 4th quarter threes before last night. Why would people let facts get in the way of hyperbole? :)

posted by justgary at 12:18 AM on June 11

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