I could have posted this right after the loss because I had some time, but in all honesty I wanted to wait till I calmed down a little before I posted.
I'm glad I did.
Oh btw, I'm playing NBAtv in the background listening to the press conferances. Right now they are previewing the E.C. finals between the Pistons & the Heat. Isn't that great, were not eve out yet & they are talkinga about Prince being able to guard Dwayne Wade. When you play like this I guess it's to be expected.
Well let's just get this out of the way right up front.
The Detroit Pistons are the world champions & tonight they certainly showed us why. Sure we sucked & there are a lot of things we did wrong, but you don't get your @ss beat this bad without the other team having a heavy hand in it. Tonight, across the board, the Pistons were the better team with the better coach.
Every loose ball, every rebound, every single hustle play they just beat us & that is the bottom line. They beat us so bad many of us are already conceding the series. Our team pretty much conceded the game mid-way through the third quarter so it's hard to blame some of our fans for giving up on the series.
I asked last year at this time & I ask again this year. The Rasheed Wallace trade was there for us to make from Atlanta just like it was for Detroit. Why didn't we do it? I know some of you are gonna say because we had the best record in the NBA & that probably is true but I kept saying over & over our center spot was not set. Of course you might wonder if a team of both Artest & R. Wallace might be a little explosive but I have come to the conclusion that even though I hate his on court demenor with ref's., I think he is a true leader of a team.
Detroit beat us, hands down that's all there is to say.
Now to us.
Right off of the bat I can tell you that for us to have an success we are going to need a couple of things to happen.
1. We are going to have to hit some form of outside shot. I don't just mean 3 point shots, I mean any kind of shot away from the basket. If we don't it's pretty much over.
2. We must have multiple players going for rebounds on the offensive end. The old stop the transition buckets be damned, we are getting killed on the boards & it is because if you will notice that Detroits big men very rarely grab offensive reounds. They do however tap a ton of offensive rebounds to thier guards & small forwards who, as you may notice, have not left the offensive end of the court to stop our transition. The reason is simple an offensive rebound absolutely stops transition baskets.
3. We must penetrate & kick. Of course this goes back to hitting some shots as well. But whether it's Jamaal or Jackson or Jeff Foster driving we need somebody flanking him going to the rack & anther player getting to som mid level 10' jumper area.
4. Defensively we need to stay with our man better & not get caught on switches. Like we did several times in the second quarter.
Now to the players.
Dale Davis was the only player in the 3rd quarter who seemed to have any urgency about him. Normally I always make it a point to say that I am a huge fan, but in this case I'm not going to. No matter if I was a fan or not Dale was the only person who was doing anything to make the situation better. He rebounded & he played solid defense. He just didn't score which at the end of his career will always be the one thing we look back on & say that this is the reason he was never a true star. But it's to late to change those spots now. Dale did his part.
Stephen Jackson tried. He got the Pistons in the penalty to begin with but eventually they shut him down. He did a horrid job of keeping Prince off of the boards though & several times in the first half he was nowhere to be found in blocking out. But I never felt like he was a detriment on the floor.
Jermaine O'Neal. We may need to be honest here. As long as Rasheed Wallace is a Piston & as long as he is not old & haggard Detroit may always enjoy the advantage vs. us with J.O. It's not about talent, it's about for whatever reason Jermaine just cannot play well against him. It may be that Sheed is just that good, it may be that they are to friendly & therfor J.O. can't get up for it, it might be that it's the mentor thing I've mentioned or it might be something else all-together. But for whatever reason since Sheed arrived in Detroit Jermaine just has not been the same kind of player vs. them. Now I know some of you are disgusted with some of our fans for seeming to blame the entire series on J.O. & let's be honest it's not fair to blame it all on him. However I think you should not complain about our fellow forum members that much either because J.O. is the franchise player. He wants it, he demanded it & now that it's hear people expect a certain level of play from him. Right now, even J.O. fans have to admit this, he is not playing to the level of his contract.
Reggie. Again, same rule as Sunday, I have vowed to not say anything bad about him because it is his last year but man is it tough to not do that tonight. But since I promised I will only say this. Reggie wore his uniform very neatly.
Jamaal. We got another taste of Mel Mel the abuser & man was it putrid. I felt abused after about the 17 min. mark in the game. I don't know if it's Rick or Jamaal but we are not running any real form of offense. Ok, it may be Detroit's defense as well.
*side note* Look Detroit played about as good on the defensive end during the 3rd quarter as I have ever seen played. So maybe it was just that *end side note*
I'm not even going to try and analyze the bench players because it just wouldn't be worth it.
A.J. played well but beyond that I'm not sure anybody else really did. I also wonder if maybe Rick doesn't trust Jeff that much vs. Detroit because he sure has no problem giving him the hook early on.
I'm sorry guys that I don't have any further in depth thoughts on the game, we just got our @ss kicked & I don't know what else to say.
We have one game to get it right or we will see the end of Reggie right on our own floor.
The only thing that I do fear now is that there might be some real violence at the end of the game on Thursday if we do lose because there will be lots of raw emotion about that being Reggie's last game & while not all Piston fans are @ssholes there certainly are some who will be sure to rub it in to our fans faces.
Let's hope cooler heads prevail & better yet let's hope the Pacers turn this thing around.