Tuesday, May 10, 2005


AUBURN HILLS -- Reggie Miller runs on old and tired legs.
They've logged hundreds of miles in places like Madison Square Garden, old Chicago Stadium and the Pontiac Silverdome. He has used them to chase. He has used them to run defenders off screens. And he has used those old bony legs to trip people while he is shooting three-point baskets.
These legs have carried him to All Star games, the all-time scoring list and playoff runs both long and short.
But now he is asking these legs to do the impossible just days before retirement.
He is asking these legs to keep up with Run N Rip Hamilton, the modern day Reggie Miller.
Run N Rip ran Reggie ragged by dropping a 28-point licking on the old man. The Pistons enjoyed fresh legs in their 96-71 victory over the Pacers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals game at The Palace. The Pacers came in with tired legs, having ousted Boston just 48 hours before in the opening-round playoffs.
You knew Game 1 would be the game where the Pistons enjoyed the jump and the Pacers would play like bumps.
So now the Pacers must do two things to make this a series. Well, actually they do have a third option. They must hope the Pistons go away, but that is not likely to happen considering the Pistons are hell bent on winning a second straight NBA title.
1. The Pacers must slow Run N Rip, who curls off picks with the speed of the Tasmanian Devil. He ran Miller ragged in the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago. And he is doing it again. But this is what Run N Rip does. He runs and runs and runs some more.
And while he is running, he is shooting and scoring and making life miserable even for an old man he calls a hero and mentor.
Run N Rip is relentless. They call him Pretty Boy in the dressing room. But inside the smooth dressing player is a stone cold killer. He throws daggers all game long.
2. The Pacers must find a way to slow Ben Wallace. While Hamilton hurt the Pacers with his legs, Big Ben just shoved them aside like they were 99-pound weaklings. He recorded 21 points, 15 rebounds and embarrassed the Pacers. The guy can be pretty amazing sometimes.
Monday was one of those evenings. Wallace and his fresh legs and billowing fro was very active inside. He came out of no where to snag rebounds and block shots.
The Pacers said they must stop these two to get back in the series. But it is not that simple. Did you notice Chauncey Billups barely shot the ball? Did you notice Tayshaun Prince had a mediocre game and that Rasheed Wallace just stuck around and enjoyed the ride up close?
If the Pacers do find a way to make Run N Rip walk and force Air Ben to the ground there are at least three other guys willing to step their games up.
That is why the Pistons will win this series. They got too much jump in them. The Pacers are worn, beaten, battered, tattered and at least one of them is ready for the soap factory.
Miller must summons those legs to help him. But at this stage of his career he is giving way to the young man. He cannot keep up. But that is no shame.
Few can hang with Run N Rip.


Blogger Ian C. said...

Terry, you said it. Chauncey, Tayshaun, and Rasheed had sub-par games, and the Pistons still won by 25 points. Carlisle is probably having ulcers thinking about that, and Larry Brown might've actually gotten a good night's sleep.

Detroit's depth alone should carry them through this series.

10:15 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

Everyone keeps saying the Pacers have the deeper bench. However, the bench is not as big of a factor in the playoffs as during the regular season. The pistons appear safe in this one

10:29 AM

Blogger buttercut99 said...

That was not even a game for all intents and purposes. The Pacers will show up Thursday and the Pistons know it.I think the guys who were off last night left it in neutral on purpose.

12:01 PM

Blogger the sports dude said...

Man, nice to see something of yours in writing again, your column has been missed.

Look, I was talking to a guy at work this morning and mentioned to him that I thought the Pistons overall play was not that good in the game, it was average at best. Now he is a hockey fan, so I could understand him not understanding basketball all that much and he questioned my sanity. Basically I turned to the missed free throws, the off nights from Chauncey, 'Sheed and Tayshaun as my reasoning and he said "Well, they still blew them out, didn't they?". Well, yes they did, but it could have been and should have been more.

That's the only point I got across to him, that the Pistons - to me - played an average game and still easily took care of the Pacers. Hopefully they won't let up and we can send Reggie off into the sunset with a nice sweep or something. Man, I can't stand that dude.

Love the site, welcome back and keep writing! Later.

1:24 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

Sports Dude,
Its funny. We were thinking the same thing. As I watched the game I thought the Pistons played so-so. Nothing special. Prince and Rasheed Wallace were off. And I would not say Billups was off. He just held back on the throttle. He can get ir rolling scoring wise when he wants. I expect him to bust on Jamaal Tinsley in Game 2. But the Pacers vow to play better and harder. And I believe them

5:38 PM

Blogger Jack Fu said...

The Truth speaks, indeed.

Absolutely right-on about the game, although I have to say that despite the fact that the Pistons outclass this current incarnation of the Pacers at every position, they DID only play a so-so game last night.

I've noticed that some are taking the "they didn't play that well and they STILL blew them out" road, but I don't think it's that simple: the Pacers looked worn out, and I think they'll be coming at Detroit harder in Game 2, and probably much harder in Game 3. I guess I'm trying to say that the Pistons are definitely the better team, but that seven "so-so" games won't get it done in this series.

Oh, and I LOVE the Inferno. My favorite radio show in The D, and possibly anywhere else, too. Keep up the great work.

6:57 PM

Blogger CPG said...

1 Chancey Billups-Mr. Big Shot is by far the most under- rated point guard in the NBA right now. The guy can break down any point guard in the NBA. He is money from the foul line and his teammates believe in him crunch time. He is why I think any lead under 10 isn’t safe with 2:30 left against this team. His ability to understand what LB wants is magical and why I think he is number one.

2 Ben Wallace-He is literally the heart and soul of this team. Maybe the only guy in the NBA who can literally change the game from the Defensive end of the court. His D and ability to hustle can literally change the flow and the feel of the game. Free Throws and his small hands which effect his ability to finish at the basket sometimes are his only weaknesses.

3 Tayshaun Prince-Has the potential to be the best all-around player in the league. That block on Reggie Miller will go down as maybe one of the best playoff plays in the history of the league. He has the ability to shut down the other team’s best scorer (Just Ask Jeally Bean Bryant’s Anal Loving Son and T-“Glad to be in the second round”Mac). His continue growth and aggressiveness may fault him to the top of my list.

4 Rasheed Wallace-Simply a Top-3 power forward when he wants to be and maybe the best defensive power forward when he puts his mind to it. Brings that bad boy edge and swagger these boys in blue needed. Gives new meaning to the word Guransheed!

5 Richard Hamilton-Money when it comes to 15 ft in. He is a dying breed If and When I have a son I am going to work with him on the mid-range game because it’s a lost art. This guy has so much energy and is a highly underrated defensive player with his speed and energy he is one of the view who can keep AI in front of him.

Big Props on the Casino T!

9:08 PM


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