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11:55 PM ET, 4/26/06
Pistons -- remember them? -- are rolling
Posted by Kelly Dwyer
Yes, this series is underway. They've played two games, in fact. Pistons handled the Bucks pretty, uh, handily on Sunday and Wednesday.
Ben Wallace (left) and the Pistons have had no trouble in the first two games against the Bucks.
Scarily, the Detroit Pistons, once again, are being afforded the chance to do their damage without anyone noticing. Strange, given that the Pistons have averaged 55 wins a year over the last five campaigns, winning a lobby full of regular-season hardware alongside a Lawrence O'Brien trophy (not the one G. Gordon Liddy was looking for) in 2004.
And yet, even after taking the champion Spurs to the brink last June and flirting with 70 wins this season, Flip Saunders' crew is on the tips of absolutely nobody's tongue. Detroit's play has yet to even be broken down on this blog, and we've managed to discuss Frankie Muniz's real estate worries, ancient BBC music programs and Andrew Lawrence's conniving way with bus drivers. Tonight's Game 2 was the game nobody wanted to telecast, relegated to NBA TV as on-air fodder to be obliterated in the ratings by a more attractive Dallas/Memphis pairing, or a too-chirpy group of amateur singers plying their trade on network telly.
Topping that, Game 3 in Milwaukee won't be seen until Saturday night on ESPN. You know who watches NBA hoops on ESPN over a Saturday night? Mugs like me, hoping for a Jason Maxiell sighting. Hardly the stuff that knockout Q ratings are made of.
Wednesday's annihilation was exactly what you'd expect. On offense, Detroit was allowed to move the ball and set uncontested screen after screen against a Bucks defense that ranks among the league's worst. Milwaukee wasn't even trying, as players like Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace were allowed to slide into open pockets and receive slick passes without even a hint of help defense to complicate things.
Even the most basic of tenets, something about not allowing layups, was continually ignored. At one point in the first half, Milwaukee watched as Ben Wallace threw up three head fakes before bounding up for an easy slam. Bucks? That's Ben Wallace. Foul him. Even if Ben's strength allows him to throw down a dunk, the man only converted 6-of-27 (22 percent) "and one" free throw attempts this year. Overall, the Pistons shot 51 percent, and 30 of their 42 field goals come off of assists.
Milwaukee's only offense seemed to come from bombing from the perimeter, the kind of face-up looks that only come after guys like Michael Redd, Mo Williams and Charlie Bell wave off a screen and call their own number. Andrew Bogut, who has been criminally underutilized all season, ended up leading his team in assists with four. Four! When he wasn't dishing to his teammates, the rookie power forward was left shooting bail-out perimeter shots that invariably fell short. What Terry Stotts' offense lacks in coherence and selflessness, it makes up for in utter confusion.
Actually, my opening line? The one about this series being underway? Kindly disregard it.
The reason that no one cares about this series is because the Pistons so out-class the Bucks that they could win by 10 playing 4-on-5. Everyone knows the Pistons are going to whoop up on the Bucks, and probably the Cavs-Wizards winner after them, before having to devote any attention to playing basketball. My take? Sheed should get all of his anger out on the Bucks, so he won't get any stupid techs when it matters.
Yeah and no one cares about a good team that can make basketball interesting to watch and occasionally pull off a brilliant team move before you've blinked is cos everyone's busy sucking up to "king james" and "flash".
Unfortunatley for the Bucks, this year's playoff appearance will be moot, and it will end in Milwaukee on a negative note. Detroit won't be tested until Miami/New Jersey, but even then those teams will be handled with ease. Successful basketball is a light-switch to Detroit; just watch what happens when it gets dark...
You might be write about the pistons not being talked about around the nation say as much as the heat, or lebron james, but I haven't met anyone who talks about the Spurs repeating. I mean come on! They are the world champions for god sake's! This could just be the area I'm in (Kentucky) but especially around here everyone is saying that the Spurs are overrated! Makes me so mad! Frankly, no matter how boring Stephen A. Smith says these two teams are, the Pistons and the Spurs are the two best teams in the NBA and should both make it back to finals.
Of course, the being spurs being ignored is a given in th nba (what with t-mac and yao, king james, and d.wade to take all our attention). The spurs have just as much chance as detroit of winning the title. even being a suns supporter i had to admire the way they took apart phoenix with their precision in the western finals last year.
Teams with out stylz and "boring" teams like detroit and SA funnily enough are the best in the league.
Its good to see that nash has won the MVP again. at least he promotes the TEAM aspect without trying to get more endorsement deals in the process...
Plenty of fans care about this series but the 1 vs 8 is usually not one expected to be competitive. It rarely goes the distance or even to 6 games. to think if the Bucks had only beaten the Wiz a week ago they'd be squaring off against the vulnerable Cavs. That says every game does matter. Still if Kukoc & Co can get a win Sat. night then game 4 will loom large.
News Flash -- the Spurs and the Pistons are by far the best teams in the NBA. Much to the chagrin of the NBA and networks, they will again meet in the Finals. It is anyone's guess who will win that battle. Until then, we will be bombarded by daily hail-storms on the exploits of the more popular teams, especially those populated with NBA royalty -- not the "boring" Duncan and Wallace. San Antonio and Detroit respect and fear each other. Those teams set the example for every pro team in any sport. I am proud to watch them both, and it will be a great finals (with low ratings again).
The reason that no one cares about this series is because watching Pistons playing basketball is BORING. Wait a second… They don’t play basketball. You can call it whatever you want but in any other basketball league that is properly refereed, 5 Pistons starters will all get 6 fouls by the end of the 1st quarter. And just because this team is currently NBA darling they’re getting away without any problems from NBA referees with all hold-push-clutch-and-grab style of defense. Nobody cares about Pistons because with their style of game they killing people’s love to basketball.