Hey I have been away from a computer since Friday afternoon, but I did not miss one minute of the Pacers v Pistons game today, and I have a lot to say about this game.
First let me say I have read every post you all have written about the game today, but I wanted to start a new thread anyway.
I said a few weeks ago the Pistons are the best defensive team I had seen since the Bulls of the 90's and I still believe that. Larry Brown must be in heaven, this is his type of team. He loves a team that can pressure the basketball. And the Pistons certainly can. The most amazing thing to me is that their second unit in some ways is better at pressuring the ball.
The Pistons are a great defensive team. When describing great defensive teams people often say, "they don't let you get a good shot" The Pistons are better than that, they don't let you make a decent pass.
There are two ways to beat the Pistons pressure defense.
1) when is is one-on-one pressure, the only way to beat it is with dribble penetration. There is no way to make a decent pass against that type of pressure. That is why Artest and Tinsley are so important against the Pistons.
2) Now when they Pistons trap the ball either at midcourt or near the sidelines, the Pacers must anticipate the trap and pass the ball quickly, and for goodness sake keep the ball in the middle of the court. We all know that Brown always drags the big guy to the ball handler near halfcourt. When the Pacers have their big guy throw the ball in bounds the big guy defending traps the ball handler, easy way to prevent that is have Artest or Reggie throw the ball in.
Now to todays game.
Beating the Pistons defense is not about calling a certain set play, the Pacers needed to just make instinctive basketball plays, the Pistons take you out of your set plays, so you need a point guard or someone who can take the ball and just make basektball plays. Pacers only have really two guys who can do that Artest and Tinsley. When Artest got into foul trouble the Pacers were in big trouble and without Tinsley it was bad news.
Let me address Richard Hamilton. Some of you are blaming Reggie. Well Freddie did not do any better, and Artest can't guard him either. Hamilton is a different type of offensive player. He is like Reggie in that he moves without the ball and Freddie is simply not experienced enough to know how to fight through those picks and Ronnie 's biggest weakness is fighting through picks. So Reggie is the Pacers best bet. Although I would be interested in seeing what AJ could do guarding him.
I see a 7 game eastern conference finals between these two teams. Homecourt might be the only difference.