PDA

View Full Version : Warning - Wednesday articles out of Detroit



Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:45 AM
Read these at your own risk.
http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/mitch18e_20050518.htm

MITCH ALBOM: Pacers couldn't even stop a clock

May 18, 2005






BY MITCH ALBOM
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST



Rick Carlisle wears a suit and tie and a dress shirt and dark socks and he's not allowed to play anyhow, so all he could do was call time-outs. Sometimes that's effective. And sometimes it's all you've got.


We lost track of how many time-outs Carlisle, the Indiana coach, signaled for during the bloodletting that was the late second and third quarters Tuesday night. Suffice it to say, he spent the nest egg. Time out, ref. Time out, ref. Making a "T" with his hands. Touching his shoulders. Why bother, Rick? It was like trying to save the


Titanic by scooping with a paper cup.


Antonio McDyess and Ben Wallace had back-to-back dunks? "Time out," Carlisle asked. Detroit scored five more unanswered points? "Time out," Carlisle asked.


Ben dunked again, Rip Hamilton finished a fast break, Tayshaun Prince hit a running jump shot? "Time out," Carlisle asked. The Pistons' defense smothered or altered nearly every Indiana shot? "Time out," Carlisle asked,


You only get six time-outs a game, plus two 20-second versions that must be split between halves. Few at the scorer's table could remember the last time a coach used all his time-outs before the third quarter was 10 minutes gone.


But that's how it was for Carlisle and Indiana in Game 5 at the Palace. What else could he do? The Pistons were overwhelming, and the Pacers were all thumbs. It was like trying to dodge raindrops in a thunderstorm. Like throwing darts at a charging bull. Like one of those heavyweight fights where all the battered boxer can do is clench and clench and then the ref breaks them apart and he clenches again.


If this had been Little League, they would have invoked the mercy rule.


By these are the playoffs. You know what they say to mercy?


Fuggedaboutit.



Nothing but bricks for Indy
"Those two quarters" -- the second and third -- "were great," coach Larry Brown said after the 86-67 romp and the Pistons had a 3-2 lead in this Eastern Conference semifinal. "We made them work for every shot. We gave them, for the most part, one shot. That got us out on the break, and that got us some easy baskets, and easy baskets are so hard to come by in this series."


You wouldn't know Tuesday night. While the Pistons dunked away, Indiana's woeful second quarter of 14 points was eclipsed by an even worse third quarter of 11 points. They missed 14 shots in a row. Their long ones were clanking. Their short ones were challenged, poked or swatted.


Over a six-minute span in that third period, Detroit's lead went from seven points to 22 points. And I'm not talking gradually. I'm talking uninterrupted! It seemed like the Pistons were playing with nine guys. They chased down Indiana's misses. They hit dunks, jumpers and more dunks. They did whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted. They owned the ball the way "Desperate Housewives" owns magazine covers.


You pretty much knew it was over when a long rebound came off an Indiana miss and two Pacers were converging on it and Chauncey Billups ran like a mugger from behind and fisted the ball up into the air -- and all the way down court to a solitary Rasheed Wallace, who plucked it for a jam.


A few minutes later, Carlisle called his last stop in the action (with 2:31 left in the third and the Pistons up by 25) and he was officially unable to stop the clock anymore. His time-outs were ... out. Which is called what exactly? "Times out"? Whatever it is, did you know it was against the rules? You need to carry at least one time-out into the fourth quarter. If you don't, they can call a technical foul before it's over.


So, as if the loss weren't bad enough for Carlisle, he could only watch with 2:17 left as the referees blew the whistle, charged his team with a "T," and Darko Milicic -- oh, the humanity! -- sank the free throw.


"When you stink, you stink," Carlisle said, "and the last 31 minutes, we stunk."


The last 31 minutes?



Time to polish off the Pacers
OK, Detroit. Now finish.


Don't wipe your brow. Don't take a deep breath. Don't flick the sweat away from your eyes or shrug your shoulders thinking you'll come back with a tighter grip. End it. That has to the mind-set this morning or the Pistons will be back here for a Game 7 on the weekend. Remember. It looked this easy after Game 1 as well. Then the Pacers took the next two. The most dangerous team is a team with nothing to lose and a season on the line. Nobody will lie down Thursday night.


Yes, it's true that the Pacers on Tuesday seemed intent on adopting a new team motto: "Less Than Zero."


And yes, they look tired and shoot like Barney Fife. But that was Tuesday. All eyes are on Thursday.


"We have to regroup in a big way,"


Carlisle said.


In the meantime, you have to feel, if only a little bit, for the former Pistons coach. What could he do? A total system shutdown? A 31-minute stretch that "stunk?" In the end, Carlisle was like a man with no quarters, standing by an expired parking meter as a cop writes him a ticket.


Times out.


And, if the Pistons have anything to say about it, time's up.


MITCH ALBOM

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:47 AM
http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/pistons18e_20050518.htm
DETROIT 86, INDIANA 67: Revenge of the fifth

Pistons attack, take 3-2 lead
May 18, 2005







BY PERRY A. FARRELL
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER



It was just one game, but it sure was a beating.


From the 10:17 mark of the second quarter, when Tayshaun Prince was called for goaltending, the Pistons dominated play and beat the Indiana Pacers, 86-67, Tuesday night at the Palace.


The victory gave the Pistons a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and they can finish the series Thursday at Indiana.


The Pacers went 10 1/2 minutes without a field goal spanning the second and third quarters. They scored 14 points in the second quarter and 11 in the third, a span in which the Pistons totaled 46 points, had a 30-4 run and took a 69-46 lead.


"I thought the second and third quarters we defended about as well as we have all year," Pistons coach Larry Brown said.


Prince scored 10 in the first quarter and finished with 16 points and a playoff career-high 12 rebounds. For the second time in the series Ben Wallace led the Pistons in scoring, getting 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. All five starters scored in double figures.


"That happens when we come out and execute our sets and move the ball from side to side," Wallace said. "I rely on scoring my points on put-backs and us rotating the ball. ... When we're in our set defense we force them to make tough shots."


Jermaine O'Neal led the Pacers with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Reggie Miller scored eight on 3-of-9 as the Pacers shot only 36.9%. The Pistons owned the boards, 52-34.


"This is a true test of our will," O'Neal said. "We're just not making shots right now. We'll see. I think we still have it in us. We just have to make some changes defensively. Our bigs and our smalls have to collectively stay in and rebound. I think that's where we need to make some changes. Our defense does set up our offense. In the third quarter they came out with more will than we had. Detroit makes you pay for bad offensive possessions."


The Pistons took a 42-35 halftime lead as backup guard Carlos Arroyo made four assists in the second quarter and led them on a 15-2 run.


Then the Pistons really whipped up on the Pacers in the third, outscoring them, 27-11, holding them to 4-of-14 shooting and commanding the backboards, 17-4.


"Tough night," said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, who used all four of his second-half time-outs in the third to try to slow the Pistons. "I was encouraged how we started the game. Seventeen minutes in, we were up four and then they went on a 15-2 run and things kind of snowballed from there.


"The last 31 minutes certainly were not what we had in mind. The last 31 minutes were dismal. The last 31 minutes we stunk. Detroit raised their level of play and we didn't respond. We're disappointed but not distraught. We had an elimination game against Boston and we won a Game 7 in Boston. We're going to have to respond again at home."


The Pacers didn't score in the third quarter until the 5:34 mark. The Pistons opened the quarter with a flourish. Rasheed Wallace hit two free throws for his first points of the game. Ben Wallace dunked. Richard Hamilton hit a jumper. Ben Wallace hit two free throws, and Prince nailed a floater in the lane. It was 52-35.


It didn't get any better after the Pacers called time out. Ben Wallace made a nearly impossible tip. Rasheed Wallace got open in transition for a left-handed lay-in that gave the Pistons a 56-35 edge.


Soon it was 61-40, then 65-40.


Chauncey Billups put his signature on the quarter with a triple from the left baseline, giving the Pistons 27 points in the period and a 69-46 lead.


"I thought those two quarters we were great," Brown said. "I felt like we made them work for every shot and we got out on the break. You have a hard time getting easy baskets when their defense is set."


"Tonight was our night," Prince said. "We made some plays, got in the passing lanes and things went our way. In Game 4 we looked at it as a must-win and tonight we tried to come out and play the same way."


Contact PERRY A. FARRELL

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:48 AM
TNT beating ESPN.

http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/pline18e_20050518.htm

TNT in the ratings lead for cable

May 18, 2005






FREE PRESS NEWS SERVICES



TNT and ESPN are not often thought of as rivals. Both carry sports, but TNT bills itself as the network that knows drama, and ESPN promotes itself as the worldwide leader in sports.


So it is a victory of sorts for TNT that in the three seasons since ESPN has carried the NBA, TNT usually garners higher ratings.


There are reasons. TNT and TBS have carried NBA games for 21 years. Come playoff time, TNT carries many more games on many more nights. And its studio show is the hoops salon that ESPN's is not.


"We consider ourselves, and our fans consider us, the home of the NBA," said David Levy, the president of Turner Sports and Entertainment.


Partly through the second round of the playoffs, TNT's first 32 games produced a 2.5 cable rating, while ESPN's 14 telecasts generated a 2.3 (each cable rating point equals nearly 900,000 TV homes). ESPN is up by a tenth of a point over the same period last year, while TNT is down by the same amount.


Levy discusses TNT's advantage as one built through longevity, volume and the ability to promote games on "Law & Order," "NYPD Blue," "Sex and the City," "Seinfeld" and other nonsports fare.


"We can expand the reach of the audience beyond a sports audience," Levy said.


Artie Bulgrin, ESPN's senior vice president for research and sales development, conceded that TNT had advantages, particularly the impact of carrying many more playoff games, which provide extra promotion for other games.


"No question that helps by getting viewers into a certain routine," Bulgrin said, "and we have to compensate by talking about our scheduling on 'SportsCenter' and on our NBA support programming. And we leverage the power of our other media on the Internet, the radio and the magazine."


Bulgrin doubted that promoting games on dramatic and comedy shows gives TNT much of a boost anymore, and he theorized that it was more important for games to have highly rated lead-in programs. But he said ESPN was still hindered, by a crucial smidgen, in the second round because TNT's games are carried exclusively, while ESPN goes against the teams' local telecasts.


Carrying the Eastern Conference finals in its first two seasons, while some of the hotter teams were in the West also has hurt ESPN. That is reversed this year.


Although much of the NBA's focus is on cable -- as designed by the league when it got more money from ESPN than NBC would pay to renew what it had -- the broadcast side is sagging. ABC's playoff rating this season has plunged 35 percent, reflecting a single problem: the absence of the Lakers, who produced two early-round ratings for ABC last year of 4.8 and 4.9.


Without the Lakers, there are no mega-teams in reserve. Shaquille O'Neal's migration to Miami, even in tandem with Dwyane Wade, has not turned the Heat into a ratings magnet, at least not yet.


The ratings darling so far has been Dallas, which beat Houston in seven games and now is tied, 2-2, with Phoenix. TNT's three top-rated games, and ESPN's highest-rated one, starred the Mavericks.


"The Lakers were so dominant last year, with Kobe and Shaq," Levy said. "We won't get ratings spikes like that this year, but I think we're seeing more consistent, competitive rounds of games.


"We don't have the Los Angeles and New York markets, but we're holding our own."

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:50 AM
This is an interesting article

http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/journal18e_20050518.htm

PLAYOFF JOURNAL: Here's how they light up the night

May 18, 2005






BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST


During the second quarter of the Pistons' playoff game Tuesday night, three police dogs walked past Dan Rehel, Don Pasternak and Greg Boyle at the Palace security door -- and didn't even stop for a sniff.


"No residue on us!" Rehel said.


The three guys cracked up.


See, at a time when security is as tight as ever -- because regular-season games against the Pacers featured a brawl and a bomb threat -- Rehel, Pasternak and Boyle routinely walk into the building with explosives.


They're part of the eight- to 10-man crew responsible for the pregame fireworks that make you jump, no matter how many times you've experienced them, even though you know they're coming.


Their passes say "Pyro." It stands for "pyrotechnics," but it might as well stand for "pyromaniacs."


Rehel, 22; Pasternak, 21; and Boyle, 21, make no bones about it. They love fire.


"Oh, yeah."


"Oh, yeah."


"Most definitely."


You think of Beavis from the old "Beavis and Butt-Head" cartoons on MTV, his eyes crazed, his fists shaking, shouting, "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!"


One of their bosses, Jon Gerych, laughed when he heard the dogs had left them alone.


"They look like guys you'd want to stop," he joked.


They were the kind of kids who played with firecrackers. Growing up in Roseville, Pasternak used to shoot model rocket engines across fields -- and, well, one time he lit up an entire field. The fire department came. He got in big trouble.


"I got my butt kicked," he said. "I was grounded for forever, I think it was."


Now it's a job.


They work for Band-Ayd Systems, a company that does sound, lighting, staging, video and special effects for events.


They arrive at the Palace about three or four hours before game time with about 200 pounds of propane, 40 grams of concussion powder and everything else they need to go boom. They get checked by security and the fire marshal, then get checked again after they set up.


They erect tall metal stands behind the baskets. Each has a large flame sandwiched by small ones -- and a name. They call one Rodan and the other Ghidorah, after fire-breathing monsters in Godzilla movies.


How powerful are the flames? Let's put it this way. Your typical gas grill has about 25,000 to 30,000 BTUs. Each of these stands has about 1.5 million BTUs. The heat is so intense you can feel it from far away. It has rolled over the banners in the rafters.


Everything is controlled by a computer, safety precautions are in place, and when the time is right ...


"We just light it all off," Pasternak said.


"Blow it up," Boyle said.


When the show's over, they have 45 seconds to take everything down so the real fireworks -- Pistons vs. Pacers -- can begin.


In all seriousness, these guys are professionals. They have done their thing for every playoff game and for a few big regular-season games. Only once have they been stopped, and it wasn't their fault.


They were supposed to light it all off, blow it up, March 25. But that game was against Indiana. That was the game when the bomb threats were called in.


Said Boyle: "We weren't allowed to do it that day."


Contac

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:51 AM
http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/pacers18e_20050518.htm

Pacers 'plain-out got embarrassed'

Indiana forward Jackson heated after 19-point drubbing
May 18, 2005







BY HELENE ST. JAMES
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER



After the Pacers needed more than six minutes to score in the third quarter, after the Pacers were assessed a technical foul for excessive timeouts, after the Pistons had schooled the Pacers in how to play playoff basketball, Stephen Jackson let loose.


THEY HAD NO SHOT
The Pacers' shooting slump continued as they made just 24 of 65 shots (36.9 percent) in Game 5. Their quarter-by-quarter stats:
QTR FG PCT SCORE
1st 10-19 52.6% Det. 23-21
2nd 3-16 18.8% Det. 42-35
3rd 4-14 28.6% Det. 69-46
4th 7-16 43.8% Det. 86-67


He sat in the corner of the visitor's dressing room at the Palace, 12, maybe 14 minutes after the Pacers had lost, 86-67, in a game in which they trailed by as many as 28 points.


"We didn't come to play," Jackson said. "We didn't realize what we had at stake. We need to look in the mirror and figure out what we're going to do to come back here for Game 7. We just plain-out got embarrassed. I mean it's uncalled for to get beat like this in Game 5. It makes no sense."


The Pacers go home now, down 3-2 in their second-round series, but having Game 6 Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse is hardly a beacon of comfort. Already these playoffs the Pacers lost at home twice to Boston in the first round, and they lost Game 4 there Sunday to Detroit. If they don't improve on Tuesday's disaster, where at one point they missed 14 shots in a row, it's a wrap.


"It makes no sense," Jackson reiterated. "There's no answer that I can give you all why we got beat like this in Game 5 of the playoffs, with the chance to go to the Eastern Conference Finals. There's no excuse. We just got outplayed from beginning to the end. We've got to be smarter; we've got to help each other. We've got to want to win. We just went out and went through the motions. We weren't even trying to win this game."


After shooting 52.6% in the first quarter, the Pacers shot just 18.8% in the second quarter. When Jeff Foster dribbled inside and threw the ball up and through the net at 5:34 of the third quarter, it was Indiana's first field goal and first points of the quarter.


"It's embarrassing," Jackson said. "Do we want it bad enough? I mean, how do you get beat that bad in Game 5? I mean, I'm not taking anything from the Pistons; they played a fantastic game. They did what they had to do."


The Pacers had taken a four-point lead when Anthony Johnson made two free throws, but then Ben Wallace tipped in a shot, signaling the beginning of the Pacers' demise. Wallace shot -- uncontested -- an alley-oop dunk and a reverse dunk before the second quarter ended, trashing the Pacers in the paint while the Pacers themselves were unable to make a dent. It didn't matter where the Pacers set up -- Jamaal Tinsley missed a lay-up, Jermaine O'Neal a mid-range jumper, Reggie Miller a long-range jumper. Coming off pick and rolls players were intercepted and pushed back out; in the paint the Pistons' big men swatted away shots like flies.


"They wanted it more," Jackson said. "We played like we didn't belong in the NBA."


Contact HELENE ST. JAMES at 313-222-2295 or stjames@freepress.com.

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:53 AM
http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/pistons18e_20050518.htm


Pistons attack, take 3-2 lead
May 18, 2005







BY PERRY A. FARRELL
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER



It was just one game, but it sure was a beating.


THIRD WATCH
The Pacers had a disastrous third quarter Tuesday night. It took them 6:26 to score their first points during which the Pistons were on a 15-0 run: The stats:
DET IND
Points 27 11
Fast-break points 8 0
Field goals 9-21 4-14
Free throws 8-10 2-2
Rebounds 17 4
Blocks 3 0
Steals 4 2
Turnovers 3 5


From the 10:17 mark of the second quarter, when Tayshaun Prince was called for goaltending, the Pistons dominated play and beat the Indiana Pacers, 86-67, Tuesday night at the Palace.


The victory gave the Pistons a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and they can finish the series Thursday at Indiana.


The Pacers went 10 1/2 minutes without a field goal spanning the second and third quarters. They scored 14 points in the second quarter and 11 in the third, a span in which the Pistons totaled 46 points, had a 30-4 run and took a 69-46 lead.


"I thought the second and third quarters we defended about as well as we have all year," Pistons coach Larry Brown said.


Prince scored 10 in the first quarter and finished with 16 points and a playoff career-high 12 rebounds. For the second time in the series Ben Wallace led the Pistons in scoring, getting 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. All five starters scored in double figures.


"That happens when we come out and execute our sets and move the ball from side to side," Wallace said. "I rely on scoring my points on put-backs and us rotating the ball. ... When we're in our set defense we force them to make tough shots."


Jermaine O'Neal led the Pacers with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Reggie Miller scored eight on 3-of-9 as the Pacers shot only 36.9%. The Pistons owned the boards, 52-34.


"This is a true test of our will," O'Neal said. "We're just not making shots right now. We'll see. I think we still have it in us. We just have to make some changes defensively. Our bigs and our smalls have to collectively stay in and rebound. I think that's where we need to make some changes. Our defense does set up our offense. In the third quarter they came out with more will than we had. Detroit makes you pay for bad offensive possessions."


The Pistons took a 42-35 halftime lead as backup guard Carlos Arroyo made four assists in the second quarter and led them on a 15-2 run.


Then the Pistons really whipped up on the Pacers in the third, outscoring them, 27-11, holding them to 4-of-14 shooting and commanding the backboards, 17-4.


"Tough night," said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, who used all four of his second-half time-outs in the third to try to slow the Pistons. "I was encouraged how we started the game. Seventeen minutes in, we were up four and then they went on a 15-2 run and things kind of snowballed from there.


"The last 31 minutes certainly were not what we had in mind. The last 31 minutes were dismal. The last 31 minutes we stunk. Detroit raised their level of play and we didn't respond. We're disappointed but not distraught. We had an elimination game against Boston and we won a Game 7 in Boston. We're going to have to respond again at home."


The Pacers didn't score in the third quarter until the 5:34 mark. The Pistons opened the quarter with a flourish. Rasheed Wallace hit two free throws for his first points of the game. Ben Wallace dunked. Richard Hamilton hit a jumper. Ben Wallace hit two free throws, and Prince nailed a floater in the lane. It was 52-35.


It didn't get any better after the Pacers called time out. Ben Wallace made a nearly impossible tip. Rasheed Wallace got open in transition for a left-handed lay-in that gave the Pistons a 56-35 edge.


Soon it was 61-40, then 65-40.


Chauncey Billups put his signature on the quarter with a triple from the left baseline, giving the Pistons 27 points in the period and a 69-46 lead.


"I thought those two quarters we were great," Brown said. "I felt like we made them work for every shot and we got out on the break. You have a hard time getting easy baskets when their defense is set."


"Tonight was our night," Prince said. "We made some plays, got in the passing lanes and things went our way. In Game 4 we looked at it as a must-win and tonight we tried to come out and play the same way."


Contact PERRY A. FARRELL

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:55 AM
http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/drew18e_20050518.htm


DREW SHARP: Big Ben needs no bell to silence Pacers

May 18, 2005






BY DREW SHARP
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST



The Big Ben bell tolled, and this time it was a death knell.


Indiana knew it.


With each Ben Wallace rebound and put-back slam off a missed shot Tuesday night, the gong that reverberated through the Palace shook America's sports darlings du jour back to reality.


There wasn't much left to say after the Pistons pushed the Pacers one step closer to the edge of the cliff with an 86-67 victory in Game 5.


And that's precisely the way Big Ben wanted it.


He's the silent Wallace.


There has been too much talking and not enough taking inventory in this second-round series to suit him. If Rasheed Wallace is the megaphone, then Ben is the dead mike -- heard only when the situation calls for a higher decibel level.


The Pistons shouted at the top of their lungs in this game, reaching a defensive crescendo in the third quarter that was amazing even by their extraordinary standards.


This was Ben's kind of moment -- just shut up and play. Let the results do all the talking.


"What's there to say when you get this deep in the playoffs," Joe Dumars said afterward. "Talk is just clichés now. You show up and play. And we don't lose too often when Ben brings the energy like he did tonight. We feed off it."


They got fat off it.


The Pacers went nearly seven minutes in the third quarter without a point, succumbing to the immovable defensive front the Pistons placed before them. Jeff Foster finally ended the embarrassment, driving hard to the basket, the lone semblance of strength from the quickly wilting Pacers. It left even Dumars, the Pistons' president of basketball operations, shaking his head.


But it shouldn't surprise. This team can reach exceptional degrees of stinginess when energy and execution intersect at equally high levels.


"I don't feel like talking about what I'm going to do," Ben Wallace said. "I'm just going to out there and do it."


Here's what he did: 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots in 37 minutes. In the third quarter, when the Pistons outscored Indiana, 27-11, Wallace had seven points, four rebounds and one block.


Everyone talked about how the series wasn't over, but who's kidding whom? The charade might get an extension through the weekend, but the Pistons will move on to the Eastern Conference finals.


Success for Indiana is pushing the Pistons enough that it might cost them in the next round or perhaps the NBA Finals.


But please, enough with the condolences for the poor Pacers and how their rise from the rubble of Ron Artest's anger ranks just shy of Helen Keller's first words. They lament about the obstacles thrust before them, using the suspensions after the Nov. 19 brawl at the Palace as the motivation for their rehabilitation. They have played the victim card to the point of nausea.


Conveniently lost in this touchy-feely story of perseverance is that the Pacers placed themselves in this predicament. They foolishly lowered themselves to the level of those determined to bait them.


They screwed up.


They're the reason they came into the series with no chance of enduring a best-of-seven endurance race. They had nothing left in the tank, while the Pistons got their second wind.


Just as they always do, the Pistons looked to Ben Wallace for that added jolt of energy.


"This was one of our best defensive performances," Wallace said. "We were able to get stops early with our defensive sets. We didn't wait until later, and when we get those stops with our regular defensive sets, we're pretty tough to beat."


You're impossible to beat when you hold your opponent scoreless for almost seven minutes. The Pacers were left frustrated and defenseless.


They're out of excuses now, and worse yet, out of options.


Contact DREW SHARP at 313-223-

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 11:56 AM
http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/rosey18e_20050518.htm


MICHAEL ROSENBERG: Selfish? Pistons will pass

Arroyo's playing, 'Sheed's cheering, all are producing
May 18, 2005







BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST



Look, there's Rasheed Wallace, out on the floor, doing what champions do: talking to his teammates ... with his T-shirt on, and a towel over his shoulder, knowing full well that he was going back to the bench.


And wow, check out Lindsey Hunter, sprinting out there to grab a loose ... teammate, for a high five.


And hey, isn't that Carlos Arroyo, recently paroled from the Pistons bench, making gorgeous passes and firing up the crowd and acting like he's never been happier?


Welcome to the Palace, where everybody feels like the king. The Pistons flattened Indiana so badly Tuesday night, the Pacers just faxed themselves back to Indianapolis.


Technically, the Pistons won, 86-67, because they scored more points. Technically, the alley-oops count, and the ensuing celebrations on the bench do not.


Except, of course, they do.


Once again, the Pistons were led by a man they like to call "Who cares?" Oh, I guess on this night it was Tayshaun Prince. But the Pistons don't worry about that. You would sooner catch them studying the Japanese translation of The Complete Works of James Joyce than their own box scores.


The Pistons blew it open midway through the game, when they outscored Indiana, 30-4. And frankly, it didn't seem that close.


You want the best play? Forget the dunks. That's too easy. Besides, everybody dunked. At one point, out of sheer exhaustion, the Pistons' net called time out.


No, if you want the best play of this whole crazy run, keep your eye on Chauncey Billups. There he is, all alone with the ball, and ... wait a second. Did he just give up a wide-open three-pointer, so he could pass to Prince?


OK, so there's Prince, and ... whoa, what on Earth is going on? Prince just gave up an open three-pointer, just to pass across the court to Rip Hamilton.


All right. Here's Hamilton. A fabulous shooter. All alone, with a chance for a three, and ...


Now I'm confused.


One of three things just happened.


Either I have short-term memory loss, the Pistons just passed up another open three-pointer, or I have short-term memory loss.


"That just tells you how unselfish we are," Hamilton said. "We know how important a possession is. Nobody is trying to take a quick three. We're just trying to grind it out."


The Pistons led by 21 at the time. If you don't play selfishly when you're up 21, you get a lifetime ban from the Selfish NBA Players Association ("Where Nobody Pays Dues.")


The Pistons never play selfishly. Ever. And everybody does something. The center, Ben Wallace, defends guards. The small forward, Prince, leads the fast-break. The highest-paid player, Rasheed Wallace, cheers for his lowest-paid teammates.


"It's fun," Hamilton said. "It's fun when everybody's chipping in, everybody's helping each other. It's fun when everybody gets a piece of the puzzle."


And everybody rebounds. It's funny to think that just a few days ago, people were wondering how the Pistons would keep Jeff Foster off the glass. I guess we can hold off on Foster's Hall of Fame induction.


The Pistons are back to being rebounding machines, Jeff Foster is back to being Jeff Foster, and the Pacers are backed against a wall.


Arroyo knows how they feel. A week ago, he couldn't get on the floor unless he grabbed a mop and a bucket. Tuesday night, he was a vital part of a huge victory.


Arroyo entered the game at the start of the second quarter, and almost immediately, he made one really foolish pass, right to the Pacers' Anthony Johnson. Brown pulled him. You had to wonder if Arroyo would spend the night practicing the art of sitting.


Nope. Brown sent Arroyo back in there. Brown pushed all the right buttons in this game. The coach is supposed to put his guys in position to succeed, and with this kind of success, Brown deserves a heap of credit.


But on this team, who needs credit?


Contact MICHAEL ROSENBERG

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 12:19 PM
http://www.freep.com/sports/pistons/plist18e_20050518.htm


WORKING OT: Steve Schrader takes a closer look at the NBA playoffs

May 18, 2005







TWO CENTS WORTH

•Nice try, Rick Carlisle. You can call time out, but you can't hide.


FRIENDLY FOES


Some people are wondering whether Rasheed Wallace should be fraternizing with the enemy during the playoffs -- in this case his good friend, Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal.


It was well-publicized that Saturday night, while other Pistons were watching the Winky Wright-Felix Trinidad fight on TV together in Indianapolis, O'Neal invited 'Sheed to watch it at his house.


(Judging by the series, though, maybe Pacers fans should be more concerned about how all this is affecting Jermaine.)


Anyway, the criticism sounds like something Isiah Thomas said back in 1994, when he did a long interview with the Free Press' Mitch Albom as he left town for a job with the Raptors. Isiah put forth the theory that the passing of the torch to the Chicago Bulls might have been helped along by Joe Dumars' friendship with Michael Jordan.


"They got to be friends, so Jordan got to get inside our inner workings and find out who was who and what made this guy tick," Thomas said then. "When you look back on it, you see the games that he played in the media. ... It was masterful. ...


"I don't want to say that's the reason why they beat us, but all of a sudden, we weren't the big bad bear anymore. ... In competition ... you just can't let the guy know you as a person, because the thing that really drives you or scares him is the fear that he has of you."


Well, at least Joe and Michael didn't kiss before games, like Isiah and Magic Johnson used to.


BEST BETS


•TNT is springing for a new set for "Inside the NBA" next season, so it's auctioning off the old stuff for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on eBay. Bidding ends May 31 on items like the desk, the Kenny's Court backboard and the scoreboard.


•He didn't make the cover of the new Sports Illustrated -- it's MVP Steve Nash -- but Chauncey Billups gets some props in a sidebar, "The Smoothest-Running Piston," by Jack McCallum.


CLEVELAND ZEN


OK, we're getting tired of hearing where Phil Jackson might be coaching next season, but Dean Williams wanted to put in a pitch for Cleveland.


A businessman, Williams also is priest and leader of the Jijuyu-ji Zen Group there.


"I think Phil would find this a very comfortable place, culturally and spiritually," he told the N.Y. Times. "To have him come here, using Zen principles in the basketball arena, would be a wonderful thing for the spiritual community, for the whole city. People are talking about it, the conditions exist, and the karma is pointing in that direction."


BOTTOM LINE


•Chauncey Billups, asked if he planned on seeing "Revenge of the Sith": "I've never seen any of the 'Star Wars' movies, and I've never seen any 'Star Trek,' either. That's not my thing."


•Rick Carlisle, same question: "I didn't even know there was a new one coming out."

Isaac
05-18-2005, 12:34 PM
I liked what Stephen Jackson had to say. He said the right things, and I KNOW he'll come to play on tursday. I wish I could say the same for everybody else.

DisplacedKnick
05-18-2005, 12:43 PM
The first article wasn't too bad - at least the writer essentially said, "Watch out Detroit - don't let up now."

Which based on the last 2 games is about all you can hope for.

beast23
05-18-2005, 12:54 PM
For me, there is only one thing I hope for.

Find a way to win Game 6 so that if nothing else, we can put a royal scare into the Pistons in Game 7.

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 02:13 PM
For me, there is only one thing I hope for.

Find a way to win Game 6 so that if nothing else, we can put a royal scare into the Pistons in Game 7.


There is also an extra day off between games 6 and 7

waterjater
05-18-2005, 02:30 PM
We need the EXTRA Day now. This is what helped against the Celtics. We got some time to rest and try some new things. Now we are in deep ****! Hope we find the will to push it to 7!!!

Cactus Jax
05-18-2005, 03:07 PM
Dear God, Ben Wallace the silent assassin, lol. He NEVER gets frustrated or gives cheap shots, or celebrates, or talks trash, he just plays his game...:rolleyes:

Sorry but your city isn't full of darlings, and it doesn't matter what Ronnie did after the cup was thrown. People always talk about how JO was way out of line when he got in the confrontation with Corliss Williamson, but Ben Wallace lost it as much as JO did that night.

Then for Ben to do it again in the bomb threat game was a joke.

Unclebuck
05-18-2005, 03:58 PM
In fairness to Ben he's been very calm in this series.

Cactus Jax
05-18-2005, 04:04 PM
In fairness to Ben he's been very calm in this series.

To be fair, Ben isn't proclaiming himself this way either, it's all the opinion of a questionable writer.

To say the guy acts calm on the court though is to say JO acts calm when dunking, it just doesn't happen. Not that there isn't too much wrong with it, but he does get to near showman status.

One part of the game that pissed me off was when Arroyo 1st got in the game and they took the lead, he acted like he hit a game winning shot. Energy is nice, firing up the crowd is nice, but don't be flashing your jersey around, that really should've pissed off the Pacers, but they were too tired to do much of anything.

Hicks
05-18-2005, 04:07 PM
In fairness to Ben he's been very calm in this series.

He only throws a hissy when he's being blown out; hasn't really happened (not for a full game)