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Hoop it up all week with SI.com's writers in the NBA Playoffs Blog, a daily journal of NBA commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
12:42 AM ET, 5/28/06

Heat demoralized Pistons in the paint

Posted by Ian Thomsen
Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade and the Heat combined to shoot 35 of 48 from inside the arc.
From one procrastinator to another, I feel a moral obligation to share this warning with the Detroit Pistons: Don't do this. You think you can wait until you're down 3-1 before pulling out a frantically hysterical comeback to reach your third straight NBA Finals. But I'm telling you, it isn't going to happen that way, not this time. Your defense isn't good enough to generate easy baskets, Shaquille O'Neal is healthy and Dwyane Wade can get to the basket whenever he likes.

The Miami Heat handily won Game 3 at home Saturday 98-83 -- and went up 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals -- despite being outscored 22-18 at the free throw line and 21-6 from the 3-point line. So how were they able to maintain their lead for the final 45 minutes without interruption? By converting a devastating 35 of 58 shots (64 percent) inside the arc and outscoring Detroit 50-16 in the paint, thus betraying the Pistons' creed that they are a defensive team first and foremost.

The Heat demoralized the defending conference champs by penetrating the lane and forcing Ben Wallace to make impossible choices. If he remained with Shaquille O'Neal (27 points on 15 shots) then he was ceding an uncontested drive; but if Wallace came over then Shaq was free to attack the rim for lobs from Dwyane Wade or Antoine Walker because the Pistons weren't rotating to help Wallace protect the rim.

Detroit, these are no longer Larry Brown's Pistons.

Yet the Pistons can cling to the hope derived from Chauncey Billups's resurgence (11 of 17 from the floor) as he exploded for 31 points to keep the Pistons close. "When Chauncey is scoring and he's aggressive offensively, he's a better distributor," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said before Game 3. Yet his teammates were a collective 16 of 47 (34 percent), which isn't going to work for a team built for balance.

Billups shot the Pistons to within 74-73 with 7:42 to go, but next time down the Heat forced him to release the ball and Antonio McDyess's resultant dunk was blocked sensationally by Dwyane Wade. This was followed by a missed layup from Tayshaun Prince (1-for-7, 3 points), a pivotal mistake that was sandwiched by a three-point play from Wade and Shaq jump hook to put Miami back in charge at 79-73.

Will this loss galvanize Detroit? Will the Pistons display the sense of urgency that has been more or less absent since the first half of the regular season? "I think Monday is going to be huge," said Miami's Walker (11 points, 4 assists), whose drives helped stimulate the Heat's offensive balance. "We have to take it as a Game 7 type of game. We've got a golden opportunity to go up 3-1 and really put them behind the eight ball."


other than tanking the first quarter of Game 2, the Heat have outplayed the Pistons in every respect.

I'm a Heat fan, but felt that the Pistons were the better team, even after their tough series with Cleveland. I can't believe what I'm seeing from Miami right now.
Posted: 1:50 AM   by Anonymous
Its all juz D. Wade..Hes the best player after Kobe!!
I do not know why people aren't talking about the elephant in the room. Big Ben Wallace is not a game-changing defensive presence anymore. That was obvious by the end of the Cleveland series, and it's becoming just painful to watch now.

His lateral mobility just isn't there. The explosive range that allowed him to go at the last second to snuff out penetrating drives without giving up the dump off is gone. He isn't quick enough to get on the offensive glass or even beat Shaq down the floor, and it's really gutting Detroit's defense and stunting their offense.

He has become a pure position defender, which is A.) a losing proposition against the Diesel and B.) really exposes the lack of quickness and strength in the Pistons backcourt, allowing Flash to get to the rim at will. The series is 2-1 now, but I don't see Detroit winning another game.
Posted: 2:47 AM   by Anonymous
A lot of people have been counting out Miami all season long. They have also said that Miami will not get past the Nets. Well here they are now. Its Miami's time. Last year was a whole different thing. Shaq was injured and so was Wade. This time they're both healthy. Barring any other injuries to the duo, its going to be Miami in the NBA finals.
Posted: 3:01 AM   by Anonymous
The most overlooked player that is changing the face of this series is the rejuvenated Gary Payton.
While he may not score like he used to, for the Heat he is the stabilizing force they lacked last year.

Antoine Walker is coming on but he is not the guy you want handling the ball when the game has gotten tight.

Payton's veteran stability is a big surprise considering what happenned in the LA finals and may be one the great stories of these playoffs.

MFH in Miami
Posted: 3:07 AM   by Anonymous
One of the biggest surprises for Miami is the rejuvenated Gary Payton. He may not score the points he used to but he is providing that key veteran stability that the team so sorely lacked in the tight series last year.

After the meltdown with LA, who would have thought that Gary Payton may be one of the unsung keys to Miami's playoff run .....

And since J. Williams can not defend Billups, Payton becomes all the more valuable in the series.
Posted: 3:11 AM   by Anonymous
i think the pistons have used up their nine lives. they have been a good team the past few years, but i dont think they would have beaten a healthy heat team last year and i really don't see them doing so this year.

honestly, i hoped cleveland was going to take them out.
Posted: 3:42 AM   by Anonymous
I hope the people who critized shaq saw how he played this game and realize the diesel is still a very dominating player.

#1 Shaq fan.
Posted: 5:37 AM   by Anonymous
Dwayne Wade is still playing... Kobe's on vacation...
Enough said.
Posted: 7:36 AM   by Anonymous
Shaq has finally adjusted to how the game is being called against him. Ben Wallace WILL NEVER be able to cover Shaq one-on-one. As long as the ball goes inside, and Miami's bench continues to attact the basket rather than shoot jumpers, Detroit is done. Done in five or six.
Posted: 8:04 AM   by Anonymous
All I can say as a Die Hard Fan of any team Miami is _ GO HEAT!! Detroit plays with a sense of entitlement, as if other teams are just gonna lay down for 'em. News Flash - Cleveland almost upset them, but Miami's the better team this year...
Posted: 8:24 AM   by Van Dyk
Am I the only one sick of Detroit's bitching and complaining to the refs ?

The only thing that I have learned from the series is what a low class team this really is. I carfully watched Hamilton guarding Wade last night (after he did his own bit of whining).

Any chance Hamilton had to hit Wade he did. It was disgusting and classless. He calss it "defense" I call it thuggery. Maybe that's why he wears a mask...

That idiot wallace (Rasheed - all though that term can probably be applied evenly to both)dissing his own coach TWICE. What's up with that ?

These guys are championship caliber ? Maybe. But certainly rank among the bottom in terms of class.

Posted: 8:35 AM   by Maj-D
It still amazes me how the NBA & sports know-it-alls claim that "King" James is the best player in the NBA and better than D Wade.

Come on!! Dump the hype.

The Heat, Shaq, and D Wade, avoiding any injuries, are in the championship series, in 5 games.

Detroit's going to cave in.

Posted: 8:36 AM   by Anonymous
First off, I'm a true-blue Pistons fan living in the Detroit area but I am tiring fast of their on-again, off-again efforts in these playoffs. Other than games 6 and 7 in the Cleveland series when they HAD to win, they haven't strung together 2 solid wins in a row yet. They seem to think they can win when they have to. This won't work with the "improved" Heat. Plus we need to trade Sheed. He is simply becoming an embarassment to the team. When I saw him choose to not participate in a time out last night and hang around center court while the rest of the team was meeting with the coach, I lost the last of what little respect I had for him at all. Ben Wallace had a tiff with the coach earlier in the year as well where he refused to enter a game in which he had thought he hadn't received enough offensive touches. Hello??? Ben, you're not here for your offense! Just go look at your free-throw percentages especially in the playoffs! I say bench ANYONE for a game or two no matter what the outcome for a player who chooses not to particpate or listen to their coach. For a highly-paid professional, this is simply un-accepatable. The bottom line is that the Pistons had better start playing hard every night or they will be sitting at home watching the remainder of the playoffs on TV just like their Detroit counterparts, the Red Wings.

Mad in the motor City!!
Posted: 9:50 AM   by Amos Bwire
Detroit hyped stories are all but done...Thanks to King James. The kid has shown his boy Wade the door, attack 'em...attack 'em and then attack 'em! They're nothing but a team full of boring overconfident guys who rely only on very common defensive plays and media to win games.
Posted: 10:17 AM   by Anonymous
what we're seeing is a miami team that is healthy. last year, its two main characters, shaq and d wade weren't very healthy, and as a result, had a more difficult time with the pistons and lost. however, both are healthy and rested from a short second round series with new jersey. it is evident in their play. everyone else on the team has their role, but when it comes down to it, the health of their two superstars is most important in their quest for the nba title.
Posted: 10:46 AM   by Anonymous
Both teams are winning the game they must win. Detroit had to win the second game. Miami had to win game 3 and the Pistons must win Monday. The first team that do not win their 'must win game' will lose the series.
Posted: 11:22 AM   by carlos34
do i have to say his name Dwyane Wade the guy is unbelievable forget the hype about Lebron but this is the best player of the 03 draft the guy simply outshine every defining second of the game. Trust me this is really hard for me to make this comparison but the kid is following the great (MJ) path the resemblance is uncanny he is just unbelievable during the whole series shooting over 60% for the series against a great defensive team it's scary what this kid can do in only his 3rd playoff season
Posted: 11:23 AM   by Anonymous
The Heat is Finally On!!

Last year the Heat were plagued with injuries and some out of place role players. I have the feeling that this year the new role players (like Payton and Walker) know and accept their them. Shaq was essentially rested all season and got in some shape. It's really starting to show. Where have all of those moves he's been doing been the last few years?

As for Detroit, I say done in six. They look tired, over hyped, and ready for a breakup.
Posted: 11:25 AM   by Anonymous
Gotta agree with Amos Bwire. It was James who exposed the weaknesses of the Detroit machinery. The Cavs put up an effort that exposed flaws on Detroit's defense. Unless the Pistons change their tactics and the team start jamming together, Miami will be on the finals in 5 games. And Flash has shown again why he's better than shoot-and-shoot Kobe. -A.C.E.
here's the thing, Detroit has nothing for a bench other than the occasional McDyess baseline jumper. All Miami really needs to do is neutralize Tayshaun Prince and they'll cruise. As long as Shaq and D-Wade match whatever scoring output that Billups and Hamilton do, Detroit is in trouble because of their pathetic bench.

Another thing I haven't seen any of the sportswriters comment on is that Shaq wasn't in foul trouble last night, which allowed him to be on the court the majority of the game and dominate.

Ben Wallace is a good player, no doubt, but I think his defense has always been overrated. Sure, he a lot of shots, but it's been shown that fast guards (Lebron and Wade) can take it right to him, and then just pass it up for a lob. He's completely confused out there.

I also think he's questioning his own worth to the team because of the "Hack-a-Ben" that Riley is using. It's actually been more helpful for Detroit to have Wallace on the bench in favor of McDyess because at least McDyess can hit the mid-range jumper and hit his free throws. Not only is Wallace doing nothing defensively, but he's also an offensive liability.

As for Rasheed, what a baby. Get in the huddle and help you teammates. At least when D-Wade and Payton went off on each other, it was because they knew they could play better and they were trying to motivate each other. Sheed is like a little kid who doesn't get to play with his friends' toy, so he goes off and crys about it.
Posted: 12:23 PM   by Anonymous
Kobe and Lebron are better than Dwayne. It's just that the Lakers and Cavs do not have any supporting cast to help them. Put Shaq on either team and they would be in the finals also.
Posted: 12:34 PM   by Anonymous
Has anyone come to the same conclusion that I have: Detroit was never as good as they were made out to seem. They struggled against the Cavs not because they weren't focused (if you are in the NBA and not have had a ny personal problems focus is not a valid excuse)but because they suck. They haven't lost these two games because of a lack of effort but because they suck so they look as if they are not trying. Detroit was never really that good.
Posted: 1:00 PM   by Anonymous
This was it... Detroit will wake up now that they are down.. and from here on out, Miami doesn't have a chance... that is of course, unless they have the other team (the referee's) like they did in Game 3. It is a shame that they have to rely on the third team just to win. Detroit is ticked off, Miami be worried!!!
Posted: 1:02 PM   by Anonymous
At the start of the regular season, I was expecting 2 things with Detroit (1) they will be a great regular season team (2) they wont last deep in the playoffs. Got the first, and very much suprised that they are still playing. Reason: COACH. Same guy who cant move the Timberwolves deep in the playoffs. This guy preaches "shoot-if open" offense. This is why they struggled with Cavs, but luckily won that series. He is limited with X & Os. Heat in 6.
Posted: 1:09 PM   by jdog22
Comparisons are inevitable but the Kobe-LeBron-Wade debate is full of nuance and can't be answered yet. If you think Kobe would be in the Finals with Shaq, I'll remind you that Detroit beat that team 4 out of 5 times. Kobe's the best all-around player, LeBron's the best teammate, and D-Wade is like a combination of the two. And, although I'm a Carolina guy, I'm sick of watching 'Sheed act out.
Posted: 1:15 PM   by Anonymous
So Kobe and Lebron are better than Wade because their teams suck? No, Kobe and Lebron get more touches because their teams suck. When Lebron put his team on his shoulders in the last Cleveland win he made 32 points... on 30 shots. He shot 50% only twice in that series. When Kobe put the team on his shoulders... oh wait, Kobe just quit. Wade's shooting 60% against the Pistons. And not because of double teams on Shaq. Wade is beating his man CONSTANTLY, getting whatever he pleases. So either the Pistons have fallen apart defensively or Wade's just that good. Pick one.
Posted: 1:26 PM   by Anonymous
People are talking about the biggest winners in free agency thanks to the playoffs, eg. Bonzi Wells, but how about the millions Ben Wallace seems to be losing himself? Hack-a-Ben is more effective than Hack-a-Shaq, and he just isn't intimidating anyone out there. Dumars has some big decisions up ahead...
Posted: 1:35 PM   by Anonymous
Well, I guess we all know how Miami fans are feeling now, don't we! As a Detroit fan, I agree the Pistons are nowhere near previous playoff levels. Miami is playing hungry and focused and no-nonsense basketball. No one denies D-Wade is truly superb and Shaq is having a bit of a re-birth of sorts.

But Detroit had to go through periods when no one gave them credit, just like Miami has. If Miami wins 2 more, then good for them. But the Pistons have learned a few things along the way and although they aren't quite where they used to be it ain't over til it's over.
Posted: 1:46 PM   by Anonymous
"Antonio McDyess's resultant dunk was blocked sensationally by Dwyane Wade."

Ian watch the replays before you glorify something that did not happen. Wade did not touch the ball on that missed dunk...McDyess got 'stuck' as the ball hit the front of the rim.
Posted: 1:48 PM   by Anonymous
its time for 'sheed to step up

go pistons
Posted: 2:01 PM   by Anonymous
Detroit need to bring Larry Brown back to win this series (playing defense). Also, Antoine Mc Dyess should be replace Ben Wallace for the rest of series.
Rick Carlisle and Flip Saunder are good coach but not the best coach.
Posted: 2:25 PM   by Anonymous
i love shaq and i sure wish he could win another ring. we were devastated in LA when he left. but having said that, the pistons aren't done yet. let's not get carried away here ok. also, for all you great scouts or GMs who think dwade is better than both the king and kobe, all i have to say is this...why don't you try putting dwade on either the cavs or lakers with the same guys that king and kobe have and then we'll see how far he leads them, i say not even in the playoffs
Amos Bwire, how can you rely on Media to win games?? that makes entirely no sense. If they are a bunch of overconfident guys who make mediocre defensive plays, yet they have won 2 straight conference finals and an NBA championship in 04 along with 64 games this year. Then every other team should be watching. Yes this might be the end of there run and things seem to be unraveling a bit. But they are simply one win away tomorrow night from regaining home court and the advantage in this series! Lets all not count them out just yet. Dont forget, the heat didnt average 65% shooting in the regular season like this series. yet they still lost a game. everyone calm down, when and IF this series gets to 3-1 heat, then we can all start talking about this is over. How can anyone ever put the Pistons in the category of Overated? Look at what they have the done the past three years. That just seems ludicrous and unfair. Sheed must be traded and Ben Does not deserve big money from Detroit.
Posted: 2:44 PM   by Anonymous
1 thing that comes to mind is the strategy of the Heat. They must have played it cool in the regular season so as to keep their main cast fresh for the playoffs. Detroit was all over the place and I think they are worn out by the season and playoffs; in particular the Lebron series. Overall the Pistons I don't think have what it takes to beat the heat and we may be ending the series earlier than we thought.
Until Lebron and and Wade get 3 rings on there Fingers, we can all start comparing them to Kobe. Lets not forget how close the lakers were to upseting the Suns this year. Who look like they have a legit chance to making it to the NBA finals, without home court. Lebron looks like the the Most Valuable Player to his team right now. With Kobe coming in a CLOSE second.
Posted: 3:23 PM   by Anonymous
Being from detroit, naturally im a Pistons fan...though they arent playing inspired ball...I don't count them out. They dominated the regular season. This team has been here before, many times. They were down three games to two against the Nets a few years back and went on to dismantle the Lakers. I think they are beating themselves. Untill they lose a fourth game don't count them out. As for you Heat fans Miami isn't beating them....Detroit is beating themselves.
Posted: 3:53 PM   by Anonymous
Are your people nuts? Did you watch games one and two? Ben Wallace played Shaq great defensively. I saw a lot of missed dunks and balls off the rim. That wasn't becuase of Shaq...That was becuase of Big Ben. Yes, they spanked the Pistons in Miami. They did dominate the paint. But don't think the Pistons won't make adjustments. I say shut down Wade and let shaq have the paint. Make them one deminisional. The Pistons are down but not out... They been here before, many times, don't count them out untill they lose the fourth game.
Posted: 4:01 PM   by Anonymous
to say that if wade had the same supporting cast as kobe or lebron he wouldn't be in the playoffs is absurd he did have the same supporting cast as kobe did 2 years ago the results was wade,odom,butler went to the second round of the playoffs kobe's version of odom and butler didn't make the playoffs
Posted: 4:17 PM   by Anonymous
what makes dwade so special is his ability to shoot a high percentage. Lebron shot 44% and took over twenty shots against Detroit to get his numbers. Dwade is also a much better defender than Lebron as proven by his All-Defense 2nd team last year.
Posted: 4:29 PM   by Dwades World
Dwade's success against the pistons has nothing to do with Lebron exposing anything. Dwade has been leading the way for his class since he started. He has more playoff experience than lebron. Dwade is better than Kobe or Lebron. He took the heat to the playoffs in his freshman year without Shaq, Amazing resemblance to MJ. Kobe nor Lebron has done that. And how long did it take Lebron to even make it to the post season.
Posted: 5:13 PM   by Anonymous
Wade has Shaq. Lebron lead his team to the second round and almost took out the Pistons by himself. Wade isn't in Lebrons league. Shaq makes a difference and every role player on the team deserves credit.

If Lebron was on the Heat and Wade on the Cavs Wade would have been out in the first round and Lebron would have the Cavs in the exact same place as Wade.

Look at the second series. NJ vs Miami, If it wasn't for Walker Miami would be home now. If it wasn't for Walker and Payton Miami would have lost game 1.
Posted: 5:15 PM   by Anonymous
Basically, here is the deal in the Wade-James-Bryant debate... In order to compare apples to apples with respect to Wade and Bryant, look at the play of Lamar Odom during his single season in a Heat uniform and his tenure in L.A. Odom has not been nearly as effective alongside Kobe as he was on a much less talented Heat team when D-Wade was a mere rookie. In those playoffs, D-Wade was more effective than Odom, who became second-fiddle. Odom shot from the field at a higher clip than he is currently shooting and played better in general. As a Laker, his percentages have been down and he is often-criticized for defense that was excellent in MIA. He is still a young player who has GAINED experience and therefore his decline in playing level cannot be blamed on age. Furthermore, that talent-deprived Heat team made it further in the playoffs than did this years edition of "Just Shoot It," co-authored by Bryant and Jackson. By transitive property and the simple fact that Wade has clearly bettered himself over the past three seasons, no doubt can be had in guarunteeing that Wade trumps Bryant and his scoring any day.
As for James, the comparison is a little more difficult. A previous blogger said that during the playoffs, it took 30 shots for Lebron to have 32 points. That said, he may be forced to carry the team on his back, and he may have more future potential, but at this point in time, Lebron is a shade worse than Wade. The Shaq argument is bogus. If you look at games without Shaq, Wade has stepped up his game significantly, shouldering the load, and, if possible, more defenders (he already has three to four on average as he drives), leading his team to victory. Meanwhile, without Wade, the Shaq-led team has lacked the energy and the means by which to win a game. Miami is Wade's team, and while Lebron has saved Cleveland basketball, Wade would be just as, if not more, effective than James on the Cavs.
Obviously, a Heat fan
Posted: 5:28 PM   by philip boutwell
The MAIN reason the Heat are so dominant vs the other teams in the playoffs and will win it all? not Shaq, not Wade, not a lack of Larry Brown, But:
He is a coach's coach, warts and all!
Posted: 5:48 PM   by Anonymous
To Mr. "Put Wade in Kobe or Lebron's shoes"
Newsflash: Half the Lakers roster used to BE the Heat, and Wade tooke those guys to the playoffs AND led the team in playoff scoring as a rookie.
Posted: 6:07 PM   by Anonymous
The fact of the matter is, Detroit gets less respect from the refs than Miami does. This whole season, which Detroit has finished with the best record, other teams have been complaining about the suffocating defense the pistons have played. They have been saying that the pistons have been getting away with too much contact, when in fact they just weren't used to the pistons style of play.

As a result, Miami has been getting the majority of calls this series. All you need to do is look at game 3. You can't honestly tell me that mcdyess's dunk against wade wouldn't have been called a foul if wade had been dunking and a piston was playing defense.

The pistons also won't continue to shoot as poorly as they have during the first three games. They are still better all around than miami (aka shaq and wade). The pistons will play well enough in Game 4 in a hostile environment in a must win game (see Cavs game 6), and will win twice at home.

Pistons in 7.
Posted: 6:21 PM   by Anonymous
Just so you know my bias, I will first say I am a Heat fan. But with that said, I have mad respect for the abilities and capabilities of the Detroit Pistons. So far, Miami has prooven to be the superior team in the series. Hopefully that trend will continue, but as evidenced during the season, we never really know which Miami Heat team will show up on a game for game basis. With some good fortune, the A team will continue to show up and send us to the finals and beyond.

Now for this talk concerning DWade, Lebron and Kobe. Interesting that some would ask what DWade would do without a supporting cast. All you have to do is look at the 2003/04 season when DWade teamed with the likes of Butler, Grant, Odom, Jones and Haslem. History shows they went to the 2nd round of the playoffs in DWade's rookie year before being elimated. Bron didn't make it to the playoffs until his 3rd year in the league. Kobe didn't make it to the 2005 playoffs even though he had many of the same supporting cast from DWade's 2003/2004 team which were sent to L.A. for Shaq. Nuf said about who is the superior player--hard to deny cold hard facts!
Posted: 6:25 PM   by blake
Just so everybody knows DWade did make it to the playoffs without Shaq. Do we not remember his rookie season. They beat the New Orleans Hornets and then took 2 from a strong pacer team that still had ron artest(before he went crazy) and reggie miller. The only other good player on the team was Lamar Odom.The Miami Heat basicly traded the whole heat team to the lakers for shaq so if kobe was just as good as DWade then the lakers should have made the playoffs last year.Ohh but they didnt. Kobe is only a great individual player and not a team player. I dont think DWade or LeBron is a lot better then the other.They are both amazing players but get their teams involved thats why LeBron almost upset the Pistons and DWade is still playing
Posted: 6:36 PM   by James
I have said that D-Wade was the best player in the league since last year. Look at how the best three players show up against the best teams. D plays better that Kobe and Lebron against the best teams in the league. Other than his emotional whines during games. He is virtually unstoppable. I expect his whole game to blossom next year with the range from three point land.
Posted: 6:44 PM   by James
the heat are killing the pistons because they are the better team. People - do not forget who Detroit has on their team and who they don't. Larry Brown is a teacher of basketball, he taught these mops that no one else wanted how to play together. They learned that two seasons age. Now Flip, does not have the discipline to install a disciplined type system for these guys to excel in. These guys from Detroit have been in the league at least 7 years with the exception of Prince. They are not that good individually and they peaked the last two years because of that fact. These guys are not franchise players and they are on the downside of their careers.
Posted: 6:48 PM   by Anonymous
wow people are soooo quick to count Detroit out. I am a Detroit fan and right now i', not pleased with they have played since the end of the season until now. I hate how they just cant win the games they should example Cavs series. With all that said their is a reason they were the best team this season , this was the same group of guys that played all season long. Game two is gonna come around and they are gonna play Detroit basketball and win and than everyone is gonna be talking bout the Heats problems. Till the series is done we really cant talk about any team problems cause their is a reason the series is SEVEN GAMES. And when Detroit sends Miami home Pat Riley will have to go out and buy a new team.
Posted: 9:13 PM   by espi
all these things happen for a reason and the reason would be the MIAMI HEAT would be the new NBA CHAMPIONS. players come from all over the league to be with shaq and they expect to have a ring in their fingers.
Posted: 10:11 PM   by Anonymous
I'm sick of hearing Detroit and their fans complain about the refs. They play the most physical defense in the league yet are called for the fewest fouls per game.

This series they have been shooting mostly jumpshots while the Heat is scoring in the paint, but somehow the Pistons are shooting more free throws. So don't use the refs as an excuse for not playing well.
Posted: 10:55 PM   by Andrew
Wow. No surprise that the Pistons fans have resorted to whining about the "third team"...the refs. Amazing how fans mirror a team. Lets have some truth.

Fact: The Heat outscored the Pistons 50-16 in the paint. They were obviously the more aggressive team.

Fact: Despite this, the Pistons shot MORE free throws than the Heat 33-25.

So, the Pistons, while playing a perimeter dominated style, shoot more free throws than an aggressive Miami team on Miami's OWN floor and the refs are favoring Miami?

You Detroit morons are delusional.

The fact is that detroit gets more respect than anyone, gets away with more fouls than anyone and still lead the league in whining, incredulous faces, disbelieving stares and apparently none of them have ever committed a foul. EVER.

Miami attacks and attacks and Detroit somehow has a huge free throw edge in this series.....and there are actually Detroit fans with the audacity to suggest the refs favor Miami.

Give me a break.
Posted: 12:23 AM   by v4015
I am not a heat nor a piston fan.
Acutally, i don't have team since the MJ Bulls so I don't have bias against either team (actually i don't particularly like walker or williams but whatever). However, I'd rather see the Heat in the Finals than the pistons. Does any need a reminder of how BORING last year's
finals was ? Professional games are entertaining because we see things that we can't do (eg monsters dunks, fadeaway 3's at the buzzer etc.) so I don't want to see a bunch of guys holding, grabbing, playing physical defense
grinding out 80 point wins.

Out west, either phoenix or dallas would both be fun to watch in the finals. In the east, I'd have to go with the Heat. I mean who would you rather watch ? D wade driving for a highlight dunk or hamilton/billups running around a screen for a jump shot.
Posted: 12:38 AM   by J Banks
Look, I hate getting in the who's the best debate--LeBron, Kobe, or D-Wade, but the slams that D-Wade can't carry a team like the other two needs to stop.

How exactly did Miami get to the play-offs the year before Diesel got to South Beach? Oh yeah, Dwyane Wade was there with a reluctant Eddie Jones and an inconsistent Caron Butler.

Instead of arguing about who is the best, let's enjoy their respective talents and abilities. We're so obsessed as fans at annointing someone "The Best" or "The Air Apparent" because Jordan dominated the game for so long--but what was the fun in that, really, for non-Bulls fans? Now, we've got a rebirth of 80s ball--not necessarily the aestetic beauty of the game, but a wide range of players to follow. We can argue about who's the best much like we did when Magic ran Showtime, Larry bombed away for Boston, Dr. J walked the skies, and Isaiah was actually beneficial to a franchise. And that's the best part

With all that said, Heat in 6.
Posted: 5:50 AM   by Anonymous
The Heat got the eye of the tiger.
We love Miami Heat in Japan.

Posted: 6:16 AM   by Anonymous
"Miami doesn't have a chance... that is of course, unless they have the other team (the referee's) like they did in Game 3"

Another crying Piston...Detroit is the least penalized team in the NBA. Look at the way Hamilton is guarding Wade...and you think the referees are on Miami's side? Wakeup..Detroit even shoot more free throws than Miami in Game 3 even though they playing in the paint as much.
Posted: 12:20 PM   by Anonymous
one word: Riley. His replacement of Van Gungy is making sense now. He gives his team an edge, whether it is completely taking out B.Wallace (is he a positive factor) with Hack-a-Ben (you think Ben is all happy and confident) or intimidating the opposing coach who has confessed to following Riley's model of a career. Mind games baby! One thing is for sure, the Heatare definitely playing TOUGHER defense, maybe even as physical as Detroit, and Detroit is much more of a finesse team on offense.
Posted: 1:34 PM   by Stephen
I'm not a fan of either team, but it's suprising to see so many people jumping on the Heat bandwagon after one good game. I wouldn't count out the Pistons just yet. Everyone knew this series was going to go 7 games.
Posted: 2:52 PM   by yodaddy1
Wade, Lebron, kobe argument is crazy. Has anyone considered that kobe plays in a much tougher conference. Kobe is a much superior player than Wade. Lebron is closing in fast (needs to work on his D). People forget the playoff moments kobe has had. The other 2 players havent event made it to the finals first. Lebron and kobe are at a different level than wade. Sure wade's numbers are great but so are Glibert arenas. Wade without shaq has the same playoff success as Arenas has had. think about it!!!
Posted: 4:09 PM   by taeh
Kobe cannot give them a ring this year. lol
Posted: 10:05 PM   by Anonymous
wade without shaq has the same success as arenas has?...umm, do you remember who kobe was playing with in his trips to the finals?...and rather than embrace having shaq's presence, kobe ran him out of town. think about that.

in the wade-lebron-kobe argument it's impossible to really decide who is the best player because they all are in different situations. one thing can be said though, lebron and wade are far more mature and less egotistical than kobe, and only 3 years into the league!

yes, kobe had a great playoff, when he felt like playing...can you picture wade or lebron floating around the perimeter and quitting on his team in game 7 of a series? nope. i dont think wade's ego is gonna run shaq out of town anytime soon either.

kobe has the best skills in the NBA, but is hindered by his lack of maturity and his ego. as lebron and wade develop their skills they'll easily surpass kobe in greatness as a basketball player.
Posted: 11:22 PM   by realfan
The fix is in. David Stern is going to wind up ruining a once great sport. He caters to the superstars, and tries to get rid of the super teams. I loved Wade when he played for Marquette. He is an awesome talent. However, the guy has been placed on a pedestal way too early. He cries every call and just appears to be a whiny @#@!#. I hope someone knocks the china doll on his !@##$ in the next game. Way to go Stern!
Posted: 11:38 PM   by Anonymous
to yodaddy1, if lebron needs to work on his D, than so does kobe. Plus lebron leads his team, something kobe never has and never will do. and lebron will let people other than himself score and wont complain about not getting the ball enough. While i agree kobe is more talented than wade id much rather have wade on my team because wade is a team first player like lebron. you aren't going to championships with a one man scoring show with no chemistry together.
Posted: 6:13 AM   by Anonymous
Well well well,a Heat fan i am and i must say i always doubted sometimes what Miami could do against the Pistons. But i always saw possibilities, especially after Billups bombed (choked - no offense intended) in last year's finals again the SPURs.
Shaq is really playing the game well at this stage in his career also look at how he knows to block RIP everytime. He challenges no other player like that because he knows everyone so well. Wade is on another level too but we must respect all players for coming up Strong. The Glove can hold the ball in pressure situations, walker can attack and pass, Haslem can rebound, Posey can spread the D-fense, what more do you want????
Posted: 12:05 PM   by Anonymous
How can anybody play true defense if they are scared of fouling. You mean to tell me that 3 starters with 4 fouls by halftime and by the end of the third 2 of the starters had 5 fouls.
In my opinion it looks like the NBA brass want ratings and the Shaq and Wade show reminds me of the Shaq and Kobe show of old. I know they have been mad about Detroit's success because of the ratings of last year. Now I don't like San Antonio but the same thing has happen to them, even though they almost won.
Note to NBA Brass, if you want ratings stop being lazy and support teams, I mean basketball is a team sport right? What are you teaching our future hoopers and future fans? Get it together.


disgruntled former NBA Fan
Posted: 12:47 PM   by Anonymous
You guys can holler Kobe, and

that other Cleveland Guy, But

Dwayne Wade, he is the Man.
Posted: 8:21 PM   by Anonymous
disgruntled former NBA fan sounds like a disgruntled pistons fan. the pistons have never committed a foul, just ask them.

first off let me say that i dont like shaq's game, i'm not a big fan. but no one can muscle up to him and yes, that is going to draw a lot of fouls.

another reason they get so many fouls is because not a single player on their team can keep up with dwayne wade's athleticism. wade is able to consistently beat his man which forces the rest of the team to try to recover and results in a lot of defenders being out of position and fouls.

it isnt the NBA trying to promote Shaq and Wade. it's the fact that a dominant post presence and a lightning quick slasher are going to draw a lot of fouls. if anything the NBA has adopted encouraging the "team" concept over the individual star - just look at the All-star game. yes, the pistons have good players, but 4 of the best players in the east?...definitely not. the NBA promoted the "team" concept while snubbing more deserving players like Gilbert Arenas and Dwight Howard.

I'd like to pose one last question...what is Rasheed Wallace teaching future hoopers and future fans?
Posted: 3:24 AM   by Anonymous
What do you mean detroit is beating them selves? are they the ones shooting above 50% for the Heat? The bottomline here is that the Pistons are an over confident bunch. They want respect but they are not giving any to their opponents. Just look what Cleveland done to them after that "Guaran-Sheed". I'm not hearing one right now.