View Full Version : Pistons want Pacers in playoffs

04-05-2004, 03:48 AM
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups wants more.

He wants a few more games against the Indiana Pacers this season.

He wants a few more chances to match wits and skills with the team that owns the NBA's best record.

And he wants more opportunities to prove that he and his Detroit Pistons teammates, and not the Pacers, are the Eastern Conference's best team.

"Definitely I do, I do. I want a (playoff) series with them bad," Billups said after the Pistons' 79-61 pounding of the Pacers before a sellout crowd at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Sunday afternoon.

The conference finals is the only place the Pacers (56-21) and Pistons (50-27) could see each other again this season.

Billups insisted that potential postseason matchup would rival any other in the league for hype, drama and intensity -- all of which were at a fever pitch before Sunday's regionally televised game on ABC.

"It'll be a very emotional series because we think we're the best and they think they're the best," Billups said, as if both teams had already made it through the first two rounds of the playoffs. "And when you have two teams of this caliber, there's going to be some heated battles, some competitiveness.

"I feel like we're the best two teams and I want what the fans want. They want great basketball and great competition."

The fans got it from the home team Sunday, as the Pistons avoided a season sweep by the team that wrestled away their Central Division title.

Playing the type of skintight defense that has been its hallmark the past six weeks, Detroit held an opponent to fewer than 70 points for the 10th time this season.

Doing it against Indiana seemed to satisfy the crowd, particularly those Pistons loyalists who serenaded the Pacers' bench with insults from tipoff to the final horn.

The Pistons forced the Pacers into their worst shooting performance and lowest scoring output since March 1998, while leading by as many as 19 points late in the game.

Billups and his backcourt mate, Richard Hamilton, didn't care about style points. They only wanted redemption.

After making just 21-of-80 shots from the floor in three losses to the Pacers, they felt compelled to turn things around.

"We couldn't have played much worse (in the previous games)," said Billups, who scored just 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting Sunday, but had seven assists without turning the ball over.

Hamilton picked up the scoring slack, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, while adding five rebounds and three assists. He scored eight points during a game-ending 29-13 run that sealed the Pistons' third consecutive 50-win season.

"(Hamilton) was on another level out there," said backup Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter. "Everybody could see that. It didn't matter what anyone did, he was just on. But he did it on both ends of the floor. He played great defense on Reggie Miller, too."

He did, however, have plenty of help on the defensive end.

Detroit center Ben Wallace, the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, was his adviser.

"I told Rip (Hamilton's nickname) not to get frustrated," he said. "I mean, Reggie's going to flop, he's going to get some calls because he's a good actor. I told (Rip) to just focus and keep his head and hands up, because we were going to get him some open looks.

"The rest was history."


04-05-2004, 04:40 AM
It sounded less like Billups dislikes Indiana, and more like Billups is just trying to promote it for the media.

I have to agree with him, a detroit/Indy ECF would be the most intriguing Eastern series in half a decade.

04-05-2004, 05:09 AM
Yep a Pacers vs Pistons ECF would defintely be worth the price of admisson and it would be a Explosive series , It would definately be a ECF game that would be talked about for years to come.

04-05-2004, 08:42 AM
Should I? Maybe not! Oh hell - why not?


04-05-2004, 08:43 PM
Should I? Maybe not! Oh hell - why not?


Exactly what I was thinking! :devil:

04-05-2004, 09:00 PM
Bring on Detroit; I don't care at all! I believe in my team and nothing will dissway my faith that my team will win the NBA Finals this season.

05-25-2004, 04:17 PM
Well they got their wish and it's gonna be a hell of a series.

Hold on tight...