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Mourning
05-03-2004, 04:38 PM
New York Post:

PISTONS NOT BETTER TEAM

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QUIET STORM:
It's no secret that Detroit's defense, with Rasheed Wallace now in fold, should provide Nets with tougher test than last year, when Jersey swept Pistons in Eastern finals.



May 3, 2004 -- AUBURN HILLS - The funny part is how cool the Pistons have been the past few weeks, how detached. For a team that hasn't won a thing in 14 years - including their own division this year, incidentally - the Pistons sure seem eager to get on with the tedious business of dispatching the Nets and reaching out to their greater destiny.
"We feel like we have a chance to do something special," the Pistons' Chauncey Billups told Detroit writers over the weekend, "and the Nets just happen to be in our way right now."

The Nets are in their way like an annoying speed bump, like a slow stop light. Funny stuff. Similar sentiments have been tumbling off of the Pistons' tongues ever since the regular season ended, ever since the Pistons became everyone's Hot Team of the moment, sparked by he addition of Rasheed Wallace and a late-season commitment to defense that caught the league's attention.

It's good that the Pistons feel this way.

It will also be utterly useless once this second-round playoff series begins this evening at The Palace, where the Nets will continue to remind the rest of the Eastern Conference who the biggest, baddest team on the block truly is. Memo to the Pistons: the Nets bring an astonishing 14-game playoff winning streak against the East into this series. Four of those games were against the Pistons in last spring's conference finals.

The Nets did not win those games in a lottery.

"They're not better than us," Kenyon Martin said Saturday. "You can say anything you want about this, or about that, or about what happened during the regular season, but until they prove it, they aren't better. No way."

Martin can drive you insane if you root against him, as Knicks fans discovered the past few weeks, but he happens to be speaking the truth here. The Nets didn't exactly cover themselves in glory this year, either on the court or in the way they made Byron Scott disappear. It doesn't matter. They know how to win a playoff series better than almost anyone in the NBA. Better than everyone else in the East.

Now, it's possible that a balky knee belonging to either Martin or Jason Kidd will implode this series; if that happens, the Pistons may do to the Nets what the Nets just did to the Knicks.

Otherwise, every syllable of Martin's observation is correct. And the Nets won't only win this series, they'll win it running away.

"The Nets swept us last year," Billups said. "They were better than us at that time. We feel like it's different this year."

It is different. It may take the Nets five games this time, or six. But they'll dispose of these flawed Pistons, who can still go through long stretches of a game looking like they're shooting a greased-up ball.

And if you are a basketball fan in New York's great hoops metroplex, you simply cannot wait for this series (which will inexcusably drag out for 18 days if it goes the whole seven) to begin, because it seems like decades since we last saw a meaningful basketball game.

Much as we wanted the Nets-Knicks series to resemble some kind of basketball holy war, we know what we saw, and what we saw was a painful exhibition of just how wide the Hudson River really is in terms of roundball relevance and respectability. Tim Thomas' cheap Ali act notwithstanding, there just isn't enough juice to justify the teams' mutual distaste.

The Pistons and the Nets don't like each other, either, thanks to the last time they played, March 18, when the Pistons trapped with their starters for most of an 89-71 rout, and the Nets countered by calling time-out late in the game to take a successful crack at halting the Pistons' string of sub-70 defensive games.

Ben Wallace called the Nets "petty" that night. Richard Jefferson said, "Hopefully, we'll see them down the line."

The line arrives tonight. So does the meaningful portion of the NBA playoffs. It's about time."

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Mourning
05-03-2004, 04:42 PM
and another one :D

PISTONS' DEFENSE SETTING NET TRAP

By FRED KERBER
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May 3, 2004 -- AUBURN HILLS - The Nets know what's coming. The Pistons want to make them shoot jumpers. Lots and lots of jumpers. Go ahead and try, say the Nets.
But how will the Nets combat the Detroit approach?

"Run our offense the way we've been running it," said Kenyon Martin. "If we have faith in our offense and we run it the way we're capable of running it, taking no shortcuts and things like that, we'll be all right."

"They're going to try to trap us a lot, try and take away Jason [Kidd] early on fast breaks so we can't get it to him quick," assessed Richard Jefferson. "The bigs will hang around J, to not let us get the ball to him. But, that's what everybody wants to do. Everybody wants to do that. How many times has it been done consistently in a seven-game series? Twice in the last three years?"

* Detroit is the defensive monster. The Nets are the offensive darlings. But in four games this season, the Pistons showed their unappreciated offensive prowess, scoring nearly 12 fast-break points a game against the Nets. And the Nets? Well, they've never been recognized enough for their defense, which at times is simply outstanding.

"Maybe [it's] because of the fact that they see all kinds of ESPN plays, the alley-oop dunks, the behind-the-back passes, the throw it-off-the shot clock, hit-your-head, bounce-it-in," reasoned Nets coach Lawrence Frank. "But there's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears being exhausted on the other end in order to get the glory down there."

And Detroit coach Larry Brown wants the Pistons to run right back at the Nets.

"You have to run against a team that runs. If you don't run then you don't put any pressure on them. But you can't take bad shots," Brown said."

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Kstat
05-03-2004, 06:51 PM
The funny part is how cool the Pistons have been the past few weeks, how detached. For a team that hasn't won a thing in 14 years - including their own division this year, incidentally - the Pistons sure seem eager to get on with the tedious business of dispatching the Nets and reaching out to their greater destiny.

Forgive me, but what exactly have the Nets won again?

Reggie4Three
05-03-2004, 07:55 PM
The funny part is how cool the Pistons have been the past few weeks, how detached. For a team that hasn't won a thing in 14 years - including their own division this year, incidentally - the Pistons sure seem eager to get on with the tedious business of dispatching the Nets and reaching out to their greater destiny.

Forgive me, but what exactly have the Nets won again?

Just a little more than the Pistons over the past few years.

Kstat
05-03-2004, 08:09 PM
The funny part is how cool the Pistons have been the past few weeks, how detached. For a team that hasn't won a thing in 14 years - including their own division this year, incidentally - the Pistons sure seem eager to get on with the tedious business of dispatching the Nets and reaching out to their greater destiny.

Forgive me, but what exactly have the Nets won again?

Just a little more than the Pistons over the past few years.

Either you win the title, or you've truly won nothing. Just ask the Buffalo Bills.

Shade
05-03-2004, 08:13 PM
The funny part is how cool the Pistons have been the past few weeks, how detached. For a team that hasn't won a thing in 14 years - including their own division this year, incidentally - the Pistons sure seem eager to get on with the tedious business of dispatching the Nets and reaching out to their greater destiny.

Forgive me, but what exactly have the Nets won again?

Just a little more than the Pistons over the past few years.

Either you win the title, or you've truly won nothing. Just ask the Buffalo Bills.

But they DO have a lot more playoff experience the last two seasons. 2 consecutive Eastern Conference Championships are nothing to sneeze at.

3Ball
05-03-2004, 10:18 PM
Don't be fooled -- Nets better than ever
2-time defending Eastern champs wrongly overlooked

Bill Kostroun / AP file
No one seems to think the Nets can beat the Pistons, but with point guard Jason Kidd, and coach Lawrence Frank, you shouldn't count out New Jersey.
COMMENTARY
By Mike Celizic
NBCSports.com contributor
Updated: 2:41 p.m. ET May 03, 2004Hard to believe that after just 17 days of NBA playoffs, we’re already in the second round, isn’t it? And, now, as if to emphasize that things aren’t moving quickly enough, some people are already suggesting that at least one second-round match is over before it’s been played.

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That series would be the Pistons against the Nets. The previews read like reviews – or obituaries. The Nets’ two-year reign as champions of the East is over. The Pistons, who tied with San Antonio as the stingiest team in the NBA this year, has already been granted a pass into the third round, if not the finals.

There are many times when it makes sense to write off a defending champion, or at least to seriously doubt its ability to repeat. In baseball and football, sports in which repeat champs are rare, it is almost foolish to pick a team to repeat.

But this is basketball, a sport in which teams repeating is more the rule than the exception. Blithely writing off the Nets, even against a formidable opponent coached by a legend the likes of Larry Brown, is not a wise.

It is especially not wise because the Nets, unlike the Lakers – a team whose ability to return to championship form is also being doubted – are not a team in turmoil. The Nets are not laden with aged stars who have difficulty maintaining their stamina. If anything, the current Nets team is better than the one that went to two straight NBA Finals.

The players have felt that they were held back during the past two years by their coach, Byron Scott. Scott, they felt, was not good coaching game situations and not good at crafting schemes to deal with the strengths of opponents.

Scott is gone now, replaced by Lawrence Frank, a kid who looks as if he were plucked out of a high-school cafeteria lunch line. They have thrived under Frank, and, in the first round against the Knicks, Frank schemed New York’s point guard, Stephon Marbury out of existence in the critical moments of games.

The four straight wins over the Knicks ran the Nets' streak of playoff wins against conference opponents to 14. The difference between the team that won 10 straight last year and four this year is that this year’s team is better.

Jason Kidd, sidelined late in the season by knee problems, showed no signs of lingering lameness against the Knicks. Neither did forward Kenyon Martin, also shelved for a time in the second half of the season.

Both have had plenty of time to get even healthier while waiting to face the Pistons.

They’ll need to be. Under Larry Brown, the Pistons have begun to tap their potential. With Rasheed Wallace aboard, they are a defensive team that makes Chuck Daly’s old Detroit Bad Boys seem absolutely profligate.

The Nets won’t be able to get their aerial circus running against the Pistons, the common wisdom says. They’ll be hammered on the boards, it goes on. And the Nets won’t be able to function in the half-court offense they’ll be forced to adopt. And Brown is Brown, one of the game’s great coaches against the kid, Frank.

It all makes wonderful sense, except for the fact that they have to actually play the games. Frank and Brown have split the two regular-season games they faced off in. That alone suggests that this won’t be a walk in the swamp for the Pistons.

And, for all the talk about Rasheed Wallace and the other Pistons, let’s not forget that the Nets have Kidd, who is better than any point guard in the business. They have Martin, who stepped up against the Knicks in Game 4 to have the biggest playoff game of his still-young career.

They also have Richard Jefferson, a member, along with Kidd, of the U.S. Olympic Team, and a man who can score from anywhere on the court.

Where the Nets suffer is as center, where they have no one who dominates. But Aaron Williams and Jason Collins are solid defenders – at least against people not named Shaq or Duncan.

If Alonzo Mourning had been able to play, the Nets would be the picks in this series. But the fact that he will never play again doesn’t mean the Nets don’t have a chance.

They are the team that took Detroit in four last year, except they are more experienced and better coached. Yes, the Pistons are perhaps better coached – Rick Carlisle, their coach last year, hasn’t done badly in Indianapolis – and they have better personnel.

But are the Pistons that much better? Are they really good enough to beat a two-time Eastern Conference champion?

That can’t be answered in an analysis, but only on the court. That’s where the Nets won their title. It is where the Pistons will have to take it away. It won’t be nearly as easy as a lot of people think. It may not even be possible.

Mike Celizic is a free-lance writer based in New York and a frequent contributor to NBCSports.com.

Hicks
05-03-2004, 10:35 PM
When they held them to 71 @ NJ... I wrote that off to injuries. Still do. But tonight? :uhoh:

Roaming Gnome
05-03-2004, 10:37 PM
This thread after watching Game #1
:rotflmao:

Roaming Gnome
05-03-2004, 10:45 PM
I'm sorry, that had nothing to do with rust! Detroit just didn't let NJ play their game. IMHO...That was all Detroit!

Roaming Gnome
05-03-2004, 10:49 PM
:dead:

Suaveness
05-03-2004, 10:50 PM
I'm going to be a troll for a sec.

Detroit sucks.

Roaming Gnome
05-03-2004, 10:54 PM
btowncolt...
Thats not fair deleting your post! :o

Anthem
05-03-2004, 10:57 PM
One area where Jersey is significantly weaker this year than in years past: Coaching.

But that's another thread.

whodean
05-04-2004, 12:03 AM
Dominating! Pistons didn't even play a great offensive game and blew out the Nets, holding them to 56!!! Be afraid Pacer fans, be very afraid.

Hicks
05-04-2004, 12:06 AM
Dominating! Pistons didn't even play a great offensive game and blew out the Nets, holding them to 56!!! Be afraid Pacer fans, be very afraid.

*Psst* :pacers: >> :nets:

Oh, and the fact that we actually HAVE an a half-court offense helps.

Shade
05-04-2004, 12:07 AM
Dominating! Pistons didn't even play a great offensive game and blew out the Nets, holding them to 56!!! Be afraid Pacer fans, be very afraid.

We're much better than the Nets, especially defensively.

Don't be making those conference championship tees just yet. :cool:

whodean
05-04-2004, 12:08 AM
I certainly HOPE the Pacers put up more of a fight than the Nuts

Hicks
05-04-2004, 12:09 AM
I certainly HOPE the Pacers put up more of a fight than the Nuts

And I certainly HOPE you don't have to seriously even wonder if that's gonna happen.

Kegboy
05-04-2004, 12:14 AM
Oh, and the fact that we actually HAVE an a half-court offense helps.

Said it in one, my brother.

:highfive:

Arcadian
05-04-2004, 12:32 AM
It was a fine performance by the Pistons.

But I don't think much of the Nets. They are not contenders. They are a 47 win team and the same team no one gave a chance to beat or compete against the West when they got there the last two years. Both the Pacers and Pistons are significantly better.

Reggie4Three
05-04-2004, 12:34 AM
It must be the playoffs, with the way people are overreacting to each game.

If the Nets win Game 2, nobody will remember or care about Game 1. Game 1 was very dominant for the Pistons, but in the end, it's still just 1/4 of what they need in this series. I am not writing the Nets off until Detroit wins Game 2, and either Game 3 or 4 in New Jersey.

Arcadian
05-04-2004, 12:38 AM
Hey! I overreact after every game regular or playoff.

kybjones
05-04-2004, 01:42 AM
Hmmm...

Detroit dumps Micheal Williams in Expansion Draft to Charlotte
2nd Round Pick to Hornets for Micheal Williams
Micheal Williams to Minnesota for Pooh Richardson
Pooh Richardson to Los Angeles for Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson to Denver for Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose to Chicago for Ron Artest

Thanks again to our (possible) upcoming opponents.

whodean
05-04-2004, 09:51 AM
You have Chicago to thank for Artest, too bad you couldn't keep Miller though, you will need the beef to hang inside with the Pistons and I just don't think you have it.

TheSauceMaster
05-04-2004, 09:57 AM
You have Chicago to thank for Artest, too bad you couldn't keep Miller though, you will need the beef to hang inside with the Pistons and I just don't think you have it.

Well Pistons Fans say we don't have it and Pacers Fans say the Pistons don't have it ...who is right :confused:

Only a ECF Matchup between the two would surely see who has what it takes in a best of 7 :D

We can shoot comments all day long back and forth who is better , but after all were just giving opinions on what we think as fans for each team ;)