Pistons clear 2006 leader after wins over San Antonio
Posted: Friday January 13, 2006 3:43PM; Updated: Friday January 13, 2006 5:04PM
Well, the Pistons sure made it easy for the Power Rankings staff this week. By dismantling the Spurs on San Antonio's home floor Thursday night, Detroit left no doubt who rules the NBA. The Pistons have now defeated the Spurs by identical 15-point margins in both meetings. If you're looking for another telling stat to illustrate Detroit's dominance over San Antonio this season, how about this one: in the two games, the Pistons have outrebounded the Spurs 113-62.
San Antonio won't panic. The defending champs are a veteran team. They know that Tim Duncan has been battling foot problems. They realize that newcomers Michael Finley and Nick Van Exel are still getting acclimated to the system. They also know the NBA season is a marathon, and that what happens in January seldom means much in June. But the Spurs are probably feeling a little queasy about their repeat title chances right now.
This week's high riser: KNICKS (No. 22 from 30) This week's big drop: ROCKETS (No. 25 from 20)
The only thing hotter in Detroit these days is the Pistons' dance team calendar. But nobody in Motown is protesting this display, which involves 13 wins in 15 games after Thursday's romp at San Antonio.
It seems the only way to beat these guys right now is to take them to triple OT (and maybe get a few favorable calls, to boot). They beat the Warriors on Thursday to make it eight of 10 as Steve Nash continued his MVP-caliber play.
Mark Cuban is furious about non-calls (Mo Taylor's shove of a ref in Wednesday's loss at New York). But he's got no complaints about his team's record in close calls (21-5 in games decided by 10 or fewer points).
They won at Golden State on Wednesday to even their current seven-game road marathon at 2-2. Shaquille O'Neal (21 points, 10 rebounds) says he's starting to get his game into shape after that long layoff earlier this season with an ankle injury.
They won at Philly on Wednesday to make it three straight, and eight of nine overall. Their second unit, led by Matt Harpring, Milt Palacio and Deron Williams, has been their secret weapon during the surge.