Tuesday, June 07, 2005

STARS KEEP GOING DOWN TO PISTONS. IS TIM DUCAN NEXT?

If I am Tim Duncan I am worried. Something bad is about to happen.
The Pistons are coming to town and that can only mean bad news for San Antonio's super star power forward.
When the Pistons travel they pack black magic, voodoo dolls and evil spells. Big names fall when the Pistons roll in during the playoffs.
In the last two playoff seasons we've seen Kenyon Martin, Jermaine O'Neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Kidd and Dwyane Wade either miss games or be limited because of physical injuries. And in the 2004 NBA Finals we saw an entire Los Angeles Lakers team implode.
Wade was the latest victim. He played well below 100 percent in Game 7 after injuring a rib cage doing a cross over dribble in Game 5.
A cross over dribble?
Are you kidding me?
What's next Robert Horry going down doing a set shot?
Wade tried but was a shell of himself. He could not attack the basket with his usual zest and his mediocre defense became a liability. Still, he gave a gritty performance and in time will play for an NBA championship. He is that good and that determined.
Beware Tim Duncan. Some bad injury is right around the corner. I don't know what it is but something will happen to the Big fella at some point of the NBA Finals which begin Thursday in San Antonio.
The naysayers will say the Pistons are lucky to be in their second consecutive NBA Finals. And they are right. But weren't the Boston Celtics lucky when Adrian Dantley and Vinnie Johnson cracked domes in the 1987 playoffs? Weren't they lucky again when Isiah Thomas threw that ill advised pass in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals?
That is sports. We always talk about match ups, but we seldom factor in good old fashioned luck as a factor.
That's because you cannot predict luck. You cannot predict when a hamstring will snap or a team will bicker with one another on a national stage.
The Pistons are like a steam locomotive. They simply go where the track carries them. And if something is in the way they roll through it to their destination.
It is not their fault that others have blown motors and aching joints.
You play who they throw in front of you.
It is refreshing to see the Pistons in the Finals again because a number of national media were ready to call last year's title a fluke.
It was not. It was legitimate because last time I checked 16 teams began the playoffs and only one survived.
The Pistons do not need to talk about validating or anything like that. They are in the Finals again because they belong.

52 Comments:

Blogger the sports dude said...

Hey, they don't need the injury excuse in the Finals. If/when the Pistons beat the Spurs everyone can say Pop let his buddy LB win as a retirement present! See, finally an excuse for the Pistons that isn't related to injury.

In all seriousness I, like you, say you play who is on the court. Injuries are part of the game and you do what you got to do. For the record Wade looked pretty darn good in the third anyway. Also, I don't hear anyone talking about Rip's calf and the crap ball it caused him to play the first few games of the series. Look, every team has them, every team deals with them and championship teams take advantage of the other teams weakness. Does that cheapen the Pistons? No, it proves they do what they need to do to win.

This series is going to be a dog fight, no doubt about it. I would be very surprised if it was a "five game sweep" like last year. I am not going to post about it today, I am going to enjoy this and think on it. My thoughts on the Finals will come tomorrow. All I can say is I am glad the Pistons won, I look forward to the chess match between LB and Pop and what should be a great Finals. Also, I hate shaving, so I am glad that I can keep my playoff beard for at least another week! Ben grows the 'fro on his head, mine is on my face!

Take care, god bless and bye-bye!

10:13 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

terry,

Zeke's ill advised pass to Bird was in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, not 1988

10:45 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

Terry,

Good assessment. Nevertheless, the Pistons will not be acknowledged as a legitimate NBA Champion until:

1. They beat a formidable healthy opponent,

or

2. At the very least have one of there stars date a hottie like Eva Longoria.

With their luck, it seems like the latter is more likely.

10:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-YAWN-

10:58 AM

 
Anonymous No SIRrrrrrrr!!!! said...

sports dude...

I watch alot of basketball and while Wade had a pretty good 3rd quarter, he was not even close to his normal self.

I gotta believe based on his 3rd quarter performance and his overall series performance, a healthy Wade would have gone for 40+.

But, shoulda coulda woulda. The Pistons won, they move on. The question I have is will they be able to respond to the versatility of the Spurs.

I see San Antonio winning in 5 games.

11:02 AM

 
Blogger Leelanau Sports Guy said...

Tim Duncan is the heart and soul of the Spurs no doubt but a bigger challenge for the Pistons might be the backcourt matchup. Billups and Rip will have their hands full with Parker and Manu on the defensive end. The series will come down to how well they do slowing them down. Duncan is going to get his 25-30 points, 12-15 boards every game. The key is to not let Manu go crazy.

It's just like the Heat series, Shaq pretty much got his consistent totals throughout, but when they slowed down Wade they got big wins. Same thing in this series. Concentrate on the guards and let Duncan get his.

11:15 AM

 
Blogger Robbie said...

No matter what people say when it comes to predictions, i like the pistons because the sheer fact they do not have home court advantage. Yes, no home court adv. Given the format of the finals, the Pistons have to win one of the first 2, and then hold home court, the same way they did last year. Because the Spurs have so much time off, it is likely the Pistons can steal one, and will play great at home, knowing they can seal the deal.

12:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Terry, tell your fellow journalist Dan LeRetard to get a clue before his next column.

1:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Terry, I know how we're all on an emotional high from just beating the heat, and i hate to bring it up right now, BUT:

What do you think about Scott Skiles being the new coach of the Pistons? The bulls have stopped negotiations with him, and he has shown that he could help the young guys progress (and help Darko and Delfino progress).

I know he's no flip saunders, but isn't skiles an intriguing option?

1:32 PM

 
Blogger Kent Herriman said...

Remember, Duncan went down with an ankle injury last time these two teams met, and that was just the regular season. Things doesn't look good for the Spurs.

2:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as legitimacy of the Pistons goes, I think Dan Patrick put it best today by saying what are the Pistons supposed to do, give the opponents one of their players?

Andy

2:23 PM

 
Blogger $$Pryceless$$ said...

If teams only had better conditioned athletes, Arnie Kander or Mike Abdenour, injuries are not an excuse, that's why I respect Stan Van Gundy for not making it one. You play with who you have, Rip hasn't been 100% in the playoffs, and not a word has been said about it, I'm sure other Pistons are hurting too. It happens, you play with it.

The playoffs are a time when players are banged up and play through pain, a champion plays through all pain and adversity, the Pistons do that.

The Pistons will never be a fluke, they won 54 games last year and an NBA Title. There is no "fluke" in that. They dismantled the hell out of the Lakers, they made them look like fools and beat them horribly in every game, selfishness doesn't make a team look that bad---a great team does. That Pistons team, was a great team.

This Pistons team is a great team, you don't go to the Finals twice on a fluke either, and neither will you win on a fluke, esspecially when you have been counted out for the second straight season.

If the Pistons win this series, I can't wait to hear what Tim Legler has to say....bum.

GO PISTONS!

3:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to give credit to one of the biggest stars in this year's Detroit playoff run:

Arnie Kander.

Knock on wood, but ... could it be that there's a REASON why our guys don't seem to have many serious injuries? Could it be that a former ballet dancer and herbalist has given us an edge on the rest of the league?

Could it be that Detroit isn't luckier, just smarter?

Could be.

3:06 PM

 
Anonymous Brian said...

Yeah Priceless, here's the list of Piston's injuries.

Ben's playing with bone spurs that will require surgery after the season, Rip has a Shaq-like injury in the calf, Tay's ankle is tweaked, Lindsey has the rib problem like Wade on both sides, and i'm sure there's others.

You're right you never hear them complain about it or give their injuries credit to some of their struggles.

Mental studs. Go Pistons.

3:20 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

the guard match up should be a great one. I think this is a delicious match up and I believe the winner of this battle will get the unofficial title as best back court in the NBA. Rip and Billups might have he belt now but the Spurs back court is coming after the title.

3:55 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

scott skiles as the next coach?
I do not think that is a good idea. He might work well with younger players but he is too abbrassive to make it work with a veteran team like the Pistons. Skiles contract is not being renewed because players hate him. Flip Saunders or Natt McMillian are better choices.

3:56 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

The Pistons have had their share of injuries. But Arnie Kander is still among the best in the business. I bet he has prevented a number of other injuries.

3:58 PM

 
Blogger WTFDetroit.com said...

When I hear "the haters" saying that the Pistons title last year was a "fluke", it just makes me shake my head.

Especially when they play that "the Lakers were in turmoil" card.

Do they not see who helped put them in said turmoil?

Before the Finals, the Lakers confidence and swagger were riding high, and they left the D after game 5 with their tails in between their legs, trying to kill each other.

Let's help the doubters keep it in perspective: This. Is. No. Fluke.

4:16 PM

 
Blogger Detroithoosier said...

Bring back Rick!!!

5:06 PM

 
Blogger $$Pryceless$$ said...

Terry and everyone else,

Is it just me or do I see NOTHING with Flip Saunders? The guy really hasn't accomplished anything....he made it out the first round like 1 time in 8 years, he has had probably the best player in the NBA for at least 5 of those season. I don't think he should have been fired, but I don't think he'd be a coach for the Pistons, IF LARRY BROWN leaves.

I like Nate McMillian a lot more.

Ultimately , why don't we just steal Mike Woodson from Atlanta. I'd even somewhat enjoy Kevin O'Neill over Izzo, Lamb or Flip.

Those three names right above make me Cringe.

What about Michael Curry?

6:48 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

Lindsay Hunter has the same injury as Dwayne Wade on both sides..... Now that is some funny ______.

When is the last time Linsay went out and drop 30+ points on a defending champion?

You can't tell me that injuries didn't affect the outcome of this series. If you think otherwise, your objectivity is suspect.

Clearly the Pistons did what they had to do to win. But you have to admit that the opponent was hurt by other factors.

My point is simple, the Pistons championship last year and the road to the championship this year have not been against formidable opponents.

7:38 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

Scott Skiles????

Talk about going from the Penthouse to the Outhouse.

Oh, and John Wooden could fix Darko. The best thing for Darko is to play the Shawn Bradley role on this team.

7:40 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_right_way said...

wtfdetroit

If you know anything about the Lakers, when Carl Malone got hurt in December, he never recovered. The Lakers season was over then.

Furthermore, the team make-up was pathetic. Payton didn't fit in, and Carl Malone had no back up.

Again, the Pistons beat in my opinion what was a poorly constructed team. I don't know that anyone would give them accalades for beating that disfunctional Laker squad.

7:47 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

tfoster...

I hope you are right with this guard match up. I think Parker has yet to prove himself as a consistent threat. The problem I see with the guard match up is Detroit's depth -vs- San Antonio.

If Larry Brown is smart he will exploit that and use his bench more strategically for a change.

7:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell is "Carl Malone"? Is he good?

9:15 PM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

I see Chauncy posting up Parker and I see Tayshaun posting up ginobili and I also see rip running Bowens alot. I don;t see Ben getting worn out with 300 lbs hitting him all the time and I see Rashid having big games. I also see Manu Slashing and driving and I see Parker trying to do the same thing. I think the Pistons will win becuase of the boards and yes the PArtiots of the Nba will win again concrete.
TErry can u please reiterate how the team was ready to have a mutiny on Carlisle. I don;t see any coach who can replace Larry. So as Larry goes away unfortunately so does the pistons unless you can find a an X and O guy and has the ability to let veterans be themselves

9:29 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

You are right about Flip Saunders teams underachieving in the playoffs. However, I don't put the blame on him. The Timberwolves were a team built for the regular season and there were some masterful choke jobs that a coach cannot be faulted for.
If they go McMillan or Saunders the Pistons should be fine. They have a vet team. They simply need to bring somone in the players respect.

9:32 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Real way,
You are right. People were injured but I am not going to take anything away from the Pistons. They line up 16 teams at the beginning of the playoffs and they go at it. It is not like the Pistons took a baseball bat to people and clobbered them. Injuries are part of the process. Sorry I refuse to say any part of their championship last year or run this year is tainted.

9:34 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Detroit,
I will say this about the Lakers. The Pistons helped put them in turmoil but they were already in it before the series began. My newspaper sent me to Lakers practice a couple days early and I could see what was happening. I immediately changed my pick on the radio and picked the Pistons to beat the Lakers.
That team had already split and didn't even know who they were playing. And they did not respect their opponent.

9:35 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

You cannot blame the Karl Malone injury for the Lakers downfall. They did beat San Antonio with the same team and same make up

9:37 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Here is the deal with Rick Carlisle.
Guys were tuning them out. and the thing I noticed is that the Pistons played worse in the playoffs than the regular season.
Ben Wallace wasn't even talking to Carlisle at the end. And there were way more guys in the Big Ben Camp than the Rick camp. It was slowly splitting and he was getting on guys nerves. The end was coming for his run here.

9:39 PM

 
Blogger h bomb said...

fellow Detroiters -

I just got back from Minneapolis today and what a hoot - their sports radio this a.m. devoted more time than I could listen to moaning about losing Chauncy from th T-Wolves and how "everyone should have known Detroit was the BETTER TEAM" v. Miami.

How sweet it is!

One of the best parts was looking at Steve Kerr on my hotel TV set - I thought he might start crying at the end there. Maybe he's thinking about the next series. Only wish he was still with the Spurs to watch us WIN.

I have no idea what to predict - all's I know is - I get to watch at least 4 more Piston games this season. LOVING IT!!!

9:49 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

tfoster

I don't get it. On one hand you prop the Lakers up to validate the Pistons championship run.

Then you talk about the turmoil they were in prior to the series.

Did the Piston beat a team in turmoil or a formidable opponent?

I think the mystique of the Lakers mentally beat the Spurs last year.

On the other hand, I think the mystique and envy of the Lakers franchise was not enough to beat a good Pistons team.

I compare it to Jethro and Granny going into town to visit Mr. Drisdale. The country folk were not intimidated by the city folk and always kept their money.

11:23 PM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

H bomb,
Minnesota fans should be angry that they do not have Chauncey Billups. He sure could have helped that declining franchise. All they had to do was pay him and play him. But that is the bad part of the salary cap. You cannot keep everybody.
And did you hear in Minny how they want to hire Flip Saunders back? I heard that rumor.

3:54 AM

 
Blogger T Foster said...

Right way,
Winning the championship over the Lakers was an accomplishment. The Lakers had turmoil before facing the Pistons but no one took advantage of it. The Pistons did.
I am simply saying after going to one Laker practice I changed my mind on who was going to win the series. I knew the Lakers had to come stronger than that if they were going to beat Detroit.

3:56 AM

 
Blogger h bomb said...

About Saunders: the Minn talk show guys sounded thoroughly resigned to not having anyone as good take his place. They fatasized about Izzo and Phil, but don't believe that will happen. They talked about elevating an assistant. No hints that they believe re-signing Saunders is a possibilty.

6:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have friends down in San Antonio, and the word is we are dirty and sports radio is telling everyone that we need to cheap shot people to get them hurt. Like Earlier in the year they said we tried to hurt duncans ankle

8:40 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_RIght_Way said...

I am a basketball fan to the fullest extent. I admit it, I sometimes even watch a little WNBA to try and get my fix.

Unfortunately, if this series turns out to be one of those low scoring defensive Piston type productions, I will be highly disappointed.

My heart tells me that San Antonio will turn it up because they have another gear.

But my mind tells me that the most exciting thing about this series might be the expectation of seeing Eva Longoria in the audience.

10:14 AM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

Thanks Terry for re telling and putting the nail in the coffin for the CArlisle saga. I hear that he is wearing on the players in Indy. Terry you keep saying these guys are vet's and don;t need an X and O guy I disagree I think you need a guy like that so when those plays that need to be called are made it turns out to be right. I know it's a players league however there are times where a X and O coach can call something that makes a difference. Prime example in the philly game Chauncy on a set play hit's 3 which shows where a guy who can coach makes a difference

10:38 AM

 
Blogger WTFDetroit.com said...

Sorry Right Way, when you are critical of my opinion about the perception of the Lakers both pre-Finals and post-Finals last year, and then cite "Carl" Malone's injury, you lost your credibilty with me.

Excuses are for losers, and you seem to be in the excuse business.

10:45 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

NBA Championship Matchup Predictions

Billups -vs- Parker
Parkers quickness will beat Billups muscle. Billups mental toughness will stifle Parkers young psyche. In the end speed kills... Advantage Spurs

Hamilton -vs- Bowen
Rip is the best player on this Piston team. Dispite Bowen's nagging defense, Rip will get his. Advantage Pistons

Prince -vs- Ginobili
Princes defensive ability against a quick agile guard is suspect. With the exception of game one, Wade pounded him. Ginobili is more crafty at using screens and seams to ward off defenders. Prince's 180lbs princess frame will not withstand it. Advantage Spurs

Wallace -vs- Duncan
No need for discussion.
Advantage Spurs

Wallace -vs- Mohammed
Which Rasheed will showup. The player or the NBA technical foul leader. Mohammed has the length and hands to frustrate Wallace. Wallace must resort to launching threes. Advantage Spurs

10:49 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

wtfdetroit.com...

Credibility includes an accurate assessment of the situation.

If you have convinced yourself that the Lakers team with Karl Malone on one leg or Miami with Wade at 50% were formidable opponent...you keep watching FLUKEVISION instead of cable or satellite.

10:57 AM

 
Blogger WTFDetroit.com said...

TRRW,

FLUKEVISION? That's just brilliant.

I'll just keep watching things that matter and that are indisputable, like the scoreboard, the championship trophy presentation and the parade footage.

For now, I can only watch last year's, in 2 weeks maybe I'll watch another one live.

To quote my favorite movie of all time, Glengarry Glen Ross, "Your excuses are your own".

11:07 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"NBA Championship Matchup Predictions

Billups -vs- Parker
Parkers quickness will beat Billups muscle. Billups mental toughness will stifle Parkers young psyche. In the end speed kills... Advantage Spurs

Hamilton -vs- Bowen
Rip is the best player on this Piston team. Dispite Bowen's nagging defense, Rip will get his. Advantage Pistons

Prince -vs- Ginobili
Princes defensive ability against a quick agile guard is suspect. With the exception of game one, Wade pounded him. Ginobili is more crafty at using screens and seams to ward off defenders. Prince's 180lbs princess frame will not withstand it. Advantage Spurs

Wallace -vs- Duncan
No need for discussion.
Advantage Spurs

Wallace -vs- Mohammed
Which Rasheed will showup. The player or the NBA technical foul leader. Mohammed has the length and hands to frustrate Wallace. Wallace must resort to launching threes. Advantage Spurs"

All that, and a bag of chips...
adds up to exactly one friggin' bag of chips.

11:40 AM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

You Piston fans are jaded by the envy and mystique of successful NBA franchises like the Los Angeles Lakers. Yeah I said it..... Champions 3 out of the last 5 years. Made it to the finals 4 out of the last 5 years.

I breakdown game analysis and all I get is a bag of chips and the old excuses line.

Speaking of excuses, in this series, please don't let that inferiority complex spill over into complaining about the referees.

12:26 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_WAY said...

tfoster...

I listen to the Sports Inferno today. I got to ask, do people in the Detroit area watch any other teams in the NBA?

I don't profess to know everything about every team in the NBA, but caller after caller had no clue about San Antonio and or other teams in the NBA.

The notion that this San Antonio team is the same as last years team is crazy.

There is alot of focus on Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker. I happen to think Mohammed is the x-factor in this series. He won't score alot but he will create havoc and challenge Ben on controlling the board.

1:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assigning Nazr a matchup advantage over Sheed is not the act of a credible individual. But what the heck, everybody's blowing hot air before the games start. All I want is a good series that temporarily shuts up the know-nothing pundits who think that people aren't interested in watching good basketball.

10:30 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

Anonymous...

Point taken. Rasheed can certainly outplay Mohammed. But which Rasheed will show up.

The Pistons tend to get frustrated when they have the same tactics employed against them. If this is in fact going to be a defensive battle, Rasheed is likely to be in one of his states.

The know-nothing pundits will certainly evaluate the entertainment value of this series and cast their judgement in the end. A low scoring offensive absent series lacks the broad appeal that most fans are seeking.

11:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

real_right_way, it's certainly true that Sheed is erratic. But the Spurs got Nazr not because of R.C. Buford's brilliance, but because the guy was utterly overpowered playing center regularly for the Knicks. In Sheed he's facing just the kind of big man he didn't have to worry about against Phoenix.

For the Pistons to win, Sheed has to bring all the ability he's been teasing folks with for years. Maybe it can only happen against a club good enough to command his attention.

12:44 PM

 
Anonymous The_REAL_Right_Way said...

Anonymous...

As predicted Nazr outplayed Rasheed in game 1. Not only that, most of my other predictions were on target. The only one I missed on was thinking Rip would get his.

I suspect my credibility has been restored and yours is now suspect.

3:46 PM

 
Blogger KG said...

Spurs in 6

12:28 PM

 
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