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Barring any unforseen complications, we should be back to full strength (minus Ron) for the next match-up against the Pistons. This should be a pretty accurate assessment of where we stand now in regards to Detroit.
With Ron, I think we're undoubtedly better than Detroit. Without him, it's still up in the air.
KSTAt, Keep your Detroit filth to yourself. With Ron and S. JAX, there is no real question as to if the Pacers are better than Detroit or not. With Ron, we are on a whole different level that the Pistons do not match up to. With S. JAX and ONEAL, I still think we are better; but that homecourt might make the difference.
with or without ron, i think we're still a better PLAYOFF team. I'll change my tune if we lose a playoff series in May or June.
I thought you were last year because you'd been deep in the playoffs and the Pacers hadn't. It's extremely rare, historically, for a team to get to the finals that hasn't made some deep playoff runs. NJ in 2001 is a notable exception but the EC was absolutely pathetic that year.
Other than that, the diff between the teams was paper-thin.
Game 5 in the ECF was the definition of a team that wasn't mentally ready to play - got too caught up in the game 4 win. I don't see them making that mistake this year.
IOTW, I was looking forward to an absolute war in the conf finals. Still may be - I'm not convinced this team can't be nearly as good without Ron as with him. For all his great play, he sure seemed to do goofy stuff at critical moments. Depends on SJax.