Friday, May 23, 2008

Game 2: This Just In - The Pistons are Good at the Basketball

Blame for last night's 103-97 loss to Detroit could be (and has been) placed on a number of things – poor defense, the referees, Rondo's unwillingness to shoot something other than a layup - but one thing will probably be overlooked in the sea of analysis you'll encounter this morning:

The Pistons are really, really good.

They're good on offense, and they're good on defense. They're good at drawing fouls, and they're good at making free throws. They strategize extremely well, and carry those plans out with precision. They shoot, they rebound, and they force turnovers. They even win, and do so often. This comes as shocking news to novice C's fans, who had assumed since October that the Celtics were the only team in the NBA that was actually winning basketball games. In fact, the Pistons have been winning games for a while, which explains their upset win over the Lakers a few years back and six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances.

The Pistons’ goodness was the difference between last night and the C’s other playoff defeats. The Celtics lost those games to Atlanta and Cleveland. The Pistons won last night. They won by making shots when they needed to (50% from the field). They won by getting to the line often (32 free throws!). They won by gameplanning for the Non-Caucasian Three to make their shots, while clamping down on everyone else (coughRondocough). There’s a difference there, and it lies somewhere in the chasm between me, during losses, yelling
“IHATEYOURAYALLENANDHOPEYOUDIEOFFACECANCER” at my (newly refurbished!) television, and “wow, that other team is amazing.” It’s subtle, but I think you can catch it.

That’s why I can’t really be mad about last night. The C’s lost. It happens. It was good to see Ray Allen show some life, it was shitty to see Rajon Rondo get confused when the Pistons dared him to shoot something outside of five feet, and it was terrible to see Rip Hamilton make everything under the sun. Game 3 is Saturday in Detroit, and I’m hoping the C’s come prepared. Because the team they’ll face is pretty damn good.

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