June 10, 2004

Do you believe now?: We've been saying it all year...can the rest of the country hear us yet?

posted by MeatSaber to basketball at 11:33 PM - 22 comments

I'm waiting for Justgary to explain that the Lakers are a bad offensive team.

posted by Mike McD at 11:40 PM on June 10

That was *brutal*. There is no question what the better team is, no question at all. They may not win, but right now they are only a fluke shot they'd be a commanding 3-0; as it is, you gotta love them either closing out, or going back to LA up 3-2. It's a pleasure watching Detroit play; they are swarming, energetic, pushing for every rebound and loose ball. It's almost embarassing the way the Lakers are playing in comparison.

posted by hincandenza at 11:49 PM on June 10

Mike, two different series. In the thread you link to I said several times detroit played great defense. I simply said that the pacers played awful offense. Again, the two can occur at the same time. As I said in the thread, that's the NBA of today, not just of any particular series, and again, I'm not the only person in the world with that opinion. I wasn't paying much attention but I think they had someone on at half time (or maybe before the game) saying the same thing. But that's a whole different topic, so I won't debate on that. Also in the thread you're referring to I commented on the fact that Indiana was held to a pitiful 36 percent against miami before they even got to detroit. That pretty much shows a pattern of offensive futility on the pacers part, though I'm guessing you'd chalk it up all to great defense. Back to this series, I really hope detroit pulls it out. I think they want it more and it shows.

posted by justgary at 11:54 PM on June 10

The quote I object to is: a good offensive team does not score 67 points, case closed

posted by Mike McD at 12:04 AM on June 11

Big Ben is my hero. That man is a monster! And I should love Prince, but I'm a UGA kid. Ah, hell, anybody who can do that against Kobe is forever my hero.

posted by jmd82 at 12:05 AM on June 11

The quote I object to is: a good offensive team does not score 67 points, case closed Reading that sentence, I can understand your objection. It came out a little differently than I intended it. I don't think a good offensive team should be held to 67 points when they're playing well. Just a slight difference. If the jordan bulls, magic lakers, Isiah pistons, or bird celtics are playing well, I'll never believe even detroit could hold them to 67 points. Look, I think detroit's defense is very impressive, and I love watching their hustle, especially tonight. I just don't think kids coming into the nba have the offensive skills, especially the shooting/passing skills, that they use to have. It might have something to do with everyone leaving college early. I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm excited about game 4.

posted by justgary at 12:15 AM on June 11

Cool, I agree with you. I doubt Detroit could hold the Isiah Pistons to 68, or the Bird Celtics (although I'm starting to think this is a revolutionary defense). You now what's so awesome about this defense? It is a joy to watch. It's not like the old Pat Riley teams where the key was puting a forearm in the guys back and fouling the crap out of everyone. The Pistons just play good, clean defense. They held the Lakers to 68 points and only commited 16 fouls all game. That, gents, is astonishing.

posted by Mike McD at 12:37 AM on June 11

Mike is right - LA has fouled more in all three games and no one is stepping up outside of Shaq and Kobe. Detroit is shutting them down. Period. That said - I'm not counting the Lakers out yet. Not until ther're officially dead. And then I'm still not sure Shaq won't just take the trophy right from Stern, anyway. And push him.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:46 AM on June 11

It's not like the old Pat Riley teams where the key was puting a forearm in the guys back and fouling the crap out of everyone. The Pistons just play good, clean defense. Yep, or the old pistons where Laimbeer would beat up anyone who came into the lane. I have no problem giving credit and I would have never guessed the pistons would do that to the lakers. The pacers are one thing, but the lakers with malone, shaq, and kobe is quite another. Very impressive.

posted by justgary at 12:46 AM on June 11

The pacers are one thing, but the lakers with malone, shaq, and kobe is quite another. You left off Payton =-O

posted by jmd82 at 12:51 AM on June 11

That, gents, is astonishing. I really have to agree, it has been a pleasure to watch. My university teams were very similar to Detroit -- less raw talent, LB-style coach, great team defence -- that I am really hoping the Pistons win to validate a certain style of play, which I wasn't sure could ever win in the NBA. The flip side, however, is that having played on those teams in university, I am very well aware of where the vulnerabilities are. The number one vulnerability of a great team defence like Detroit's is a slashing point guard that can create offence. And not to rain on the parade, but Detroit has been helped BIG-time in this regard: Bucks without T.J. Ford; Nets with a gimpy Kidd (who doesn't penetrate much anyways); Pacers with a gimpy Tinsley (they run a motion offence anyways); Lakers with a gimpy Payton (they also run a motion offence anyways). I don't want to take away from Detroit's accomplishments, but the road has been made much easier with the absence of that primary threat.

posted by smithers at 07:21 AM on June 11

After last night's game I am a believer in the theory that Detroit is making L.A.'s offense look bad. It would be a shame if people came away from this series with the perception that the Lakers stank up the joint. Detroit is contesting everything, even down-low stuff with Shaq that should be automatic buckets. I'm definitely on the Pistons bandwagon. Their style of grueling but clean defense is something I haven't seen before in the NBA. I think we're looking at Detroit in six back in the Staples Center (no team has ever won all three at home in 2-3-2). Larry Brown atoned for his mistakes in Game 2 with the crushing way in which he schooled Luke Walton. The Pistons took every play right at him on offense until fouls and misplays forced Phil Jackson to yank Walton quickly, and he was a non-factor in the rest of the game. Jackson made perhaps the biggest coaching gaffe in the series by letting Kobe Bryant become invisible in the second quarter. They should have been feeding him plays until he heated up. It's better to lose because Bryant missed his shots than to let him get a one-point, three-shot half.

posted by rcade at 07:50 AM on June 11

First off, I generally hate NBA basketball. But these Pistons are a joy, yes joy, to watch. I've never seen defense so interesting.

posted by trox at 08:55 AM on June 11

The only thing making me doubt the Pistons are historical things: 1. The thing about no team ever winning the middle three. That's not insurmountable, and they are a good road team, but any return trip to LA makes me nervous. 2. The thing about no team that lacked a superstar has ever won the championship, save the 77 Blazers, who had Walton but he was more famous from his college days than an actual NBA superstar--right? I'm all for the Pistons rewriting the rules about what it takes to win in the NBA, but if they don't win it's just NBA business-as-usual. And the odds tend to favor business-as-usual; it's hard to overcome a way of winning that has persisted for years.

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:35 AM on June 11

Watching the Pistons play the Lakers so far reminds me of watching the Flames play the Wings this year. I said it looked like the Flames had 10 guys out there on defense...and so do the Pistons...it's good to be on this side of the fence for a change...

posted by MeatSaber at 09:44 AM on June 11

The only thing that makes me nervous is Shaq. Shaq is going to come out and bull his way to the basket. If the refs whistle the charge it is over. Otherwise, it's could be very hard to contain Shaq.

posted by Mike McD at 09:49 AM on June 11

had Walton but he was more famous from his college days than an actual NBA superstar--right? No.

posted by yerfatma at 10:02 AM on June 11

I hate NBA basketball... I refuse to watch it... Crap, when's the next game?

posted by mick at 10:12 AM on June 11

Looking at those photos of Bill Walton, is anyone else disappointed that his son doesn't look more like a crazed Amish giant?

posted by rcade at 10:18 AM on June 11

There have been some teams that won without superstars. How about the 78-79 Sonics...Dennis Johnson, Jack Sikma, and Paul Silas aren't exactly Magic, Kareem, and Worthy.

posted by filthyboy at 12:20 PM on June 11

DJ's a superstar in my book. He happened to have most of his success playing on a team with Bird, McHale, and Parish -- but I think if he'd played his prime years on another team he'd been in the Hall of Fame by now. His defensive skills were amazing and he could come out shooting when it was necessary.

posted by Bryant at 10:18 AM on June 12

The officials are trying to make up for every foul discrepancy of the last four years in one game. The calls in tonight's game are as one-sided as I've ever seen. The Lakers are playing 5 on 8 tonight.

posted by dusted at 10:26 PM on June 13

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