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Thread: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Something to keep in all of our back pockets for a day like today. We are the hunted, we are the marquee team, and we are the date circled on the calendar. Until this game we were the best team in the NBA and even with this loss we are still the second best team. As long as we are a top 5 team every single team we face will be ďUPĒ for us. There will be no off nights for our club and we will most likely get the best every team has to offer.

    This is both a beautiful thing and a burden but it is reality, so while our team (like any team) is bound to have ďone of those nightsĒ like we did tonight, the opponents are not going to suffer that very often against us.

    I say all of that to say this; we canít all be lining up to jump off of the big bank building downtown after every loss to a team with a lesser record. Itís going to happen, you just have to hope it doesnít happen very often and you certainly donít want it happening at home more than a couple of occasions but it will happen.

    Iím not making excuses mind you nor am I overly thrilled with tonightís performance but under no circumstance am I going to offer up any ideas of changing the lineup or the roster all because we just lost to a team that actually took the best (record wise anyway) team in the league to overtime and then beat the second best team on their own court.

    Do not sleep on Detroit. They are not a championship caliber team but Iím telling you I donít want to see them in the playoffs. They are every bit as big as we are across the front line and if they are not stronger then IMO they are at least equally strong. I have never been a Jennings fan but he certainly plays much smarter for Cheeks than he ever did up for the Bucks and sadly he certainly outplayed his counter part tonight.

    So while we did not have a great game a lot of that had to do with the way the Pistons were playing defense and most importantly the way they absolutely dominated the glass which was beyond embarrassing to watch.

    So while I will cast a critical eye towards our local heroís do not mistake that as disrespect for what the Pistons accomplished tonight, they were ready to play and took us out of the game right from the start.

    Before the game started I knew Roy was going to have a hard night on offense. In the pre game warm ups he was missing point blank hook shots without other players even guarding him. Iím not talking about one or two Iím talking about one time he put the ball up from four different spots on the floor (3 hooks & 1 jumper) and he missed all three hooks and banked in the jumper. Hey, it happens. We donít like it happening but it does happen. But what killed me was his just overall lack of presence and sadly I hate to say it but if you go back and look at Royís post game reaction from our first win in Detroit it became apparent to everyone (including Andre Drummond) that Andre Drummond was in Royís head with his trash talking. Roy didnít like it and made the cardinal sin of making that public. So what is the first thing that happens tonight? Drummond jumps to the moon to slam back a missed shot on the first play of the game and immediately tells Roy all about it. Roy never recovered, even though Drummond was out of the game early due to foul trouble, you could see Royís face and demeanor were never the same. He never got position for his shot, he never was able to get rebounding position and defensively he was just off all night.

    If there is any one thing that I do take away from the game, which really isnít much from this game but itís more of an accumulation from a lot of our recent games, is that we have got to stop spotting teams a lead in the first half and then have to depend on huge second halves to save us. While our defense is superb, generally, our offense is at best scary and when our weapons are not hitting we really struggle to get anything going and as was proven tonight we canít just trade baskets and hope to win.

    While I almost never criticize Frank because he is an absurdly good coach I do question two decisions he made tonight. In the 4th quarter you were brought back into the game by Luis Scola, unless Luis was ready to drop over (which he sure did not look gassed to me) why on Godís green earth did he take him out of the game. He was tearing up the Pistons with his mid range sniper game. If you felt you needed West back in the game, take out Roy who was giving us nothing.

    My other question is really more of a philosophical thing & I know a lot of coachís donít believe in doing it but to me it just makes sense. When Lance hit that three to bring us to two why not foul Andre Drummond on purpose? He was still in the game and there is no way in hell he would have hit 2 free throws, he might have hit 1 but no way would he have hit 2.

    Again I know that most coachís donít do the ďhack aĒ method for principle but dag nab it sometimes it works and you have to go to it.

    It was a scary game going into it because of what I said before about getting teams best every night and frankly we have just looked sluggish the past couple of games.

    I donít know what to think about the game Wednesday in Miami.

    Letís do grades.

    Paul George: C+ That may be a harsh grade but I donít want people to look at his stat line tonight and pretend that he had a good game, he did not. Not only was he not hitting shots but he was not doing a really good job on Josh Smith either. Now part of that is not his fault as we were all treated to a dose of what can be called ďGood JoshĒ (kind of like good and bad Lance) well actually for awhile in the 3rd he was ďgreat JoshĒ. But there just seemed to be something off all night about him. He got lost on a couple of drives, did not seem to be able to penetrate on offense and obviously was missing some shots that he normally makes. He settled a few times too many for my taste on jumpers instead of challenging them but I always say that.

    David West: B- Meh, got worked tonight by some unknown named Harrellson in the first half. Iím just going to assume/pretend that he had never seen film of him and wasnít ready so he wonít make that mistake again. Detroit has the one front line that are all as big as David West and maybe as close in strength as he is. David wasnít horrid but he certainly didnít set the world on fire either.

    Roy Hibbert: D+ He was at least tall. Just one of those nights that thankfully we donít have to see very often. Iím hoping that maybe seeing that small front line in Miami will get him back on track before he has to face Dwight Howard on Friday.

    Lance Stephenson: A+ You canít ask for anything more. This game would probably have been a double digit loss and never have been close if it wasnít for Lance & Luis.

    George Hill: D+ Grabbed some rebounds so that is always appreciated but other than that, completely unremarkable night from him. We really suffer when he allows his player to take plays off on the defensive end because he is not even an offensive option. In other words Jennings did not have to spend a whole lot of time or energy chasing George but George sure did have to blow out the after burners to chase him. Iíd really like him to find a nice middle ground on offense and try and stick with it.

    Luis Scola: A+ Again based on what he is (backup 4) you canít ask for anything more. In fact the only thing more that could have been asked would have been for the coach and not him, in other words he should have played more.

    C.J. Watson: B+ Solid backup point guard. In fact tonight I would have preferred him to play some more minutes as I thought he was far more aggressive on both ends of the floor. Scola gets most of the press and most of the accolades (deservedly so) but I think adding Watson to our group is of equal importance to our team. In years past he would easily have been our best point guard but now we have the luxury of having him come off of the bench.

    Rasual Butler: B He is the type of player that title contending teams always seem to have. A savvy veteran who can still on occasion get the job done. Everybody wants youth and the excitement it brings but when you are going for the big prize you want a veteran who can come in, get to his spot and hit his shot while still able to defend. Butler has done that for that past two games & Iím glad Frank is giving him the chance.

    Ian Mahinmi: C You know all things considered the fact that he wasnít abused from end line to end line has to be taken as a victory. He didnít do anything good but he didnít do anything bad either so Iíll just give him a C

    Orlando Johnson: D The grade of D is not so much for his performance tonight but more along the lines of me seeing the D league in his near future. His shot is gone and you can tell every single time he goes up for his shot that he is now thinking about it which leads to a slight hesitation in his release. Donít know what went wrong or where but he has really blown a very big opportunity here as he could have secured all of or at least most of the backup wing positions early in the season.

    Now as to the last part I donít want to make to big of a deal of but I would be remiss if I didnít say something. Because I certainly have reported it in the past when other players have done it on past teams so itís only fair to bring up when these guys do it.

    Lance and Paul got into a shouting match with each other on the bench tonight. It was over an offensive possession early in the 4th (I think) but it was pretty heated for a few min. (coaching staff in their pre huddle huddle away from the players). I couldnít tell who started it or what they were saying but it looked pretty bad for a few seconds there.

    Now there did not seem to be any long lasting effect and they both spoke many times after this tiff civilly so I am defiantly going to write it off as a heat of the moment combat thing. But it did happen so while Iím not concerned at all it still is worth noting.

    Again I want to restate my feelings from the start. Itís a loss, a home loss at that but still just a loss. We shake it off and move on to the next one and donít give this a second thought.

    In honor of our victors from Detroit we shall hear from Detroit native Bob Segar.



    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    I know Smoove ended up shooting less than 50%, but man, him making multiple pick and pop threes has to be worth closer to three field goals to your defense's psyche. The Pacers didn't beat themselves, the Pistons won this game. It's just that some of the key plays that brought up and kept the lead for them felt almost grimy to watch. Well done, team named after a steaming hot, oily car part, well done.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Paul George is starting to lose brownie points the last few games. He's forcing/missing shots, making stupid decisions with the ball, guys are backdoor cutting on him as if he's caught gawking at the jumbotron.

    Tonight, with the exception of Lance, Luis, and C.J., they looked disinterested and fatigued. And don't get me started on the rebounds.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Lance and Paul got into a shouting match with each other on the bench tonight. It was over an offensive possession early in the 4th (I think) but it was pretty heated for a few min. (coaching staff in their pre huddle huddle away from the players). I couldn’t tell who started it or what they were saying but it looked pretty bad for a few seconds there.
    Interesting.

    I was disappointed that, IIRC, Lance never touched the ball again after his three pointer, even though he was dominating the game.

    When he's playing well, he ought to get touches, and I have to wonder if that's not what the tiff between he and Paul was about. As usual, he got more when he played with the subs, and less when GHill and PG came back in. And we didn't do as well.

    Those two egos are going to have to work things out, and from the your description it sounds like they may know how to do this (like a married couple, its far worse if they never have tiffs in the first place).

    George Hill, on the other hand, if he keeps playing like this, needs to switch spots with Lance, hand over the point guard duties, and go stand in the corner.
    .

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    ďPeople talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but heís really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.Ē óLarry Brown

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    If there is any one thing that I do take away from the game, which really isn’t much from this game but it’s more of an accumulation from a lot of our recent games, is that we have got to stop spotting teams a lead in the first half and then have to depend on huge second halves to save us. While our defense is superb, generally, our offense is at best scary and when our weapons are not hitting we really struggle to get anything going and as was proven tonight we can’t just trade baskets and hope to win.

    Ulp, I thought for a second you were talking about the Colts. Peck, we may be behind SA in W/L percentage but we have played 1 more game than they so wouldn't we have a 1/2 game lead on them?
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    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    I personally have the feeling a few things are going on, 1; we have had serious practisre sessions, to many days with no games so there was time for it and have been trying things out that dont quite work yet (step late syndrom) or they are tired from those practises. 2; Lance, everyone can be over the moon with him, and yes he has nice things to show for, but he so desperately wants to be the "man" (i appreciate being connected with what you are doing but his reactions to his own actions are not directly team-orientated and this may be a problem in the making.

    of course there is the fact that PG looks tired, so that makes it more likely that the practise sessions have something to do with it.
    On the other hand whilst i hate losing to Det specially it is about time we got our behinds handed to us, we've grown way to cocky, and finally it shows what an off-day for Roy does to the team.
    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    I think our "struggles" lately have been for a reason I mentioned before the road trip. I mentioned that the pacers might go 5-1 or 4-2 on the road trip plus the game at home against the Heat, and the effects of the road trip might not be felt or seen until the games after the Heat game. And that is exactly what I think has happened.

    Pacers have experienced an emotional letdown. I know I have. Everything was building towards the road trip and the Heat game last week, but after that I was thinking wow we are going to just keep winning and winning. No I wouldn't admit that out loud, but in the back of my mind I was thinking it. So i think the players are in the same situation. I mean even a 25% emotional letdown can cause problems.

    They will get it turned back around. Besides the Pacers were not going to win 18 out of every 21 games for the whole season, they are not that good. So a coming back down to earth was to be expected anyway.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    I have not seen Paul George this poor of defense in a long time. He was lazy and when he wasn't lazy he was going for the big steal, thus leaving his man for an easy bucket. He did make good passes out there.

    Lance should have iniated the offense more. Pope could not handle him. And I agree Roy should have been taken out for West, not Luis.
    We did not have the intensity, and while that is not excusable...it happens in a 82 game season. This team is too young and too inconsistent offensively to win 70 games.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    My hope is this makes it less likely we get beat tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    The thing that really killed us was the way the Detroit front line was able to convert the offensive rebounds they snagged. The teams shot close to the same percentage but the extra shots we allowed the Pistons to get were the difference.

    I'm not sure why we seem to have these nights where it seems like we couldn't track down a rebound with a bloodhound and a butterfly net, but this wasn't just about rebounds banking off hands or being knocked away. This was about guys not involved in the rebound letting Detroit players get by them, as if no one had any idea who they were supposed to take care of.

    I'm glad we have guys going after rebounds, but there are times I think that instead of 3 guys going up for it, we need 2 guys going after it and one guy protecting them from the swoop-in.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    The thing that really killed us was the way the Detroit front line was able to convert the offensive rebounds they snagged. The teams shot close to the same percentage but the extra shots we allowed the Pistons to get were the difference.

    I'm not sure why we seem to have these nights where it seems like we couldn't track down a rebound with a bloodhound and a butterfly net, but this wasn't just about rebounds banking off hands or being knocked away. This was about guys not involved in the rebound letting Detroit players get by them, as if no one had any idea who they were supposed to take care of.

    I'm glad we have guys going after rebounds, but there are times I think that instead of 3 guys going up for it, we need 2 guys going after it and one guy protecting them from the swoop-in.
    And it wasn't just Drummond. It was guys like Singler and Harrelson. To me it was more effort than anything. Singler should not have had a game like that. We gave them the first half, and then Smith happened in the second half.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Something to keep in all of our back pockets for a day like today. We are the hunted, we are the marquee team, and we are the date circled on the calendar.
    We are the danger...

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    I enjoyed Grantland's snarky take on the game:

    "The Detroit Pistons, fueled by Josh Smith's 30 points on 29 shots, handed the Indiana Pacers their first home loss of the year, 101-96. "More of a long-term thing," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel of the loss, before shaking his head and saying, "What? No. I mean, man, Smith was money tonight, huh? Guy's tough to beat when he's firing a high volume of jump shots. Would hate to see him do that to us in some sort of playoff scenario.""

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...s-lose-at-home

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    The rebounding in this game reminded me of the playoff series against NY when someone would shoot....Dale, Antonio, and Rik were waiting for the rebound...then out of nowhere Camby swoops through and takes the ball

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Smith always has and always will lose more games with that jumper than win, last night he was just hitting it. It's a 3 to 1 ratio of bad to good at least, as all of Atlanta nods their collective heads in agreement. Then you add in Jennings horrific shot selection. Love Detroits front line, but I still say Smith and Jennings are a recipe for never being a serious contender. I'm guessing in 2 years Detroit fans will have learned to dislike them as much as their previous cities.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Smith always has and always will lose more games with that jumper than win, last night he was just hitting it. It's a 3 to 1 ratio of bad to good at least, as all of Atlanta nods their collective heads in agreement. Then you add in Jennings horrific shot selection. Love Detroits front line, but I still say Smith and Jennings are a recipe for never being a serious contender. I'm guessing in 2 years Detroit fans will have learned to dislike them as much as their previous cities.
    Normally I would agree. Lets see if they can continue to play like this for an extended period of time. But I think Jennings is not playing like he did last year. He is distributing the ball and taking better shots. Smith I have my doubts, and I think Monroe might get frustrated as he becomes the 3rd option. But I think this Pistons team will be a 45 win team when it is all said and done. And if they click consistently and get a shooter (Affalo?) they could seriously contend.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by pogi View Post
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    Paul George is starting to lose brownie points the last few games. He's forcing/missing shots, making stupid decisions with the ball, guys are backdoor cutting on him as if he's caught gawking at the jumbotron.

    Tonight, with the exception of Lance, Luis, and C.J., they looked disinterested and fatigued. And don't get me started on the rebounds.
    I am not trying to defend PG but he is averaging almost 37 minutes per game while almost always defending the best player of the other team. He is averaging 24 ppg with the other team switching defenders trying to keep fresh legs on him. I am anxious to see if Danny's return will help. PG can not keep up this pace and still have something left for the playoffs. Just my opinion.
    I would rather be the hammer than the nail

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by Alabama-Redneck View Post
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    I am not trying to defend PG but he is averaging almost 37 minutes per game while almost always defending the best player of the other team. He is averaging 24 ppg with the other team switching defenders trying to keep fresh legs on him. I am anxious to see if Danny's return will help. PG can not keep up this pace and still have something left for the playoffs. Just my opinion.
    Then hes not a superstar.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-Mad-Mario View Post
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    Then hes not a superstar.
    Then Lebron must not be either since he ask for someone else to help guard PG the last time they met. Not very many "superstars" are 2-way players. That is why Danny's defense fell off the past few years. DG was the only consistent scoring threat and the coach, who's name we can not speak, had him back off on the defensive end.
    I would rather be the hammer than the nail

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Detroit matches up very well to us. They have a frontline that's just as strong and formidable as ours, not quite as seasoned but the talent is there. They've got a tweener in Josh Smith that PG struggles to defend, and they have a point guard who can make some plays. It's not a bad loss, and this team was going to lose games to some non-marquee teams. However, we just looked flat. It was one of those games where we needed one of our horses: George, West, and Hibbert to will us to a win.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    3/4s aren't the best match ups for Paul at this point in his career. Josh Smith is a big 3 as are Carmello and Lebron. None of those 3 have to try to guard PG by themselves either. Paul would kill 2 of those 3 if they were put on an island defensively like he is and even Lebron would have to use a ton of energy. These guys aren't machines, each has strengths and weaknesses. The idea of Danny is exactly the answer, almost moreso it saves PG as much as what Danny can bring directly.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by Alabama-Redneck View Post
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    Then Lebron must not be either since he ask for someone else to help guard PG the last time they met. Not very many "superstars" are 2-way players. That is why Danny's defense fell off the past few years. DG was the only consistent scoring threat and the coach, who's name we can not speak, had him back off on the defensive end.
    No he didnt. Scola just posed matchup problems. PG also had 2 days rest and started the game flat.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Kurt Helin ‏@basketballtalk 1h
    Chris Kaman not happy he signed with the Lakers http://wp.me/p14QT0-2Tdx

    So Kaman is not happy in LA, Cope straight up for him works



    Note that LA wanted Cope in the off season.
    Not sure if LA wants to take on salary next year (they are trying to sign a max guy and I believe that they are close), but this would be a good idea for both teams. Swap free agent pieces that you ended up not needing. The Pacer bench gets a tick better while shedding salary next year.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    Agree with the above.

    DET is a tough team. If they keep up this rebuilding effort, they will be monsters in a couple of seasons.

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    Default Re: Odd Thoughts: Toughness....Imported from Detroit

    If they keep running the offense through Josh Smith on the block, they will be good much sooner than that. If they don't, they will never be, short of another roster overhaul.

    As I mentioned before, Smith went at Nic Batum on the block Sunday and shot 13/14 inside the paint. Now he's got two consecutive 30+ point games to build on, on combined 57% shooting. Neither of these games were flukes where he shot lights out from the perimeter. Either this continues or it doesn't, but it's all up to him.
    Last edited by Kstat; 12-17-2013 at 03:18 PM.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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