Monday, June 20, 2005


It was a brain freeze. There is no other way to put it.
Rasheed Wallace will have to live with his bone headed actions during the final seconds of the Pistons 96-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs for the rest of his life.
He left Robert Horry alone at the three-point line to double Manu Ginobili in the corner.
What was he thinking? Did someone forget to tell him all the game-winning three-point shots Horry has made for the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and the Spurs? This guy came out of the crib burying game-winning three-point baskets.
And you leave him alone at the top of the key?
That is like leaving your home knowing a cat burglar is standing by the China cabinet. The Pistons won't lose any plates or dishes. Wallace simply threw away an NBA championship.
It is not smart.
This was a wonderful game. It was the most compelling game of the playoffs and you knew one or two plays would decide it. But what Wallace did was inexcusable. He let his teammates down and there is no way to defend his actions.
Yeah a lot of things happened in the game. Chauncey Billups missed shots. Rip Hamilton missed what could have been the game-winning shots later. But I don't fault them. Those are effort plays. Some you win. Some you lose.
But there is no excuse for mental errors.
None at all.


Blogger vray said...

god bless it i'm sick because of it. i know, as a fan (a true fan, yes i bled teal) that they don't owe me more that what they've accomplished. I love them for everything they've achieved. However, for the love of god, guard horry. It's that simple. They put Bowen on Chauncey to avoid the same mistake. I still believe that they can pull this out. They are just gonna have to do what they do. Backs against the wall.
thanks for your time. vanessa

1:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:25 AM

Blogger Ian C. said...

I repeat what I said in response to Terry's last post:

"HOW was he left open on that play? Don't you ALWAYS watch the guy making the inbounds pass on a play like that? Dammit, 'Sheed!"

1:29 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

As I have said many times, Sheed has never worked on his mental game.

He almost blew it earlier with the timeout call at the end of regulation.

The person most responsible though is Chauncey. Most people will continue to say I am nuts but he didn't get his teammates involved.

They stood around watching him. Rather than making Duncan work by feeding Rasheed who was scoring on Duncan, Chauncey stayed in the scoring mode. He cannot create for his teammates.

The classic was when he drove to the basket late in the game and missed the shot rather than dumping it off.

I will say it over and over Chauncey is overrated as a point guard.

1:37 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Actually real right Tiny tim was really tiny. IF not for Big shot bob the headlines would have called tim a choker. 3 things. I was dead wrong on the spurs. I really thought the pistons would blow them out based on what I saw from them. Secondly I thought Pop did a great move by switching Bowens to billups and Rip proving to truly not being able to create for himself. Thirdly why would Rashid leave Horry wide open for that 3. I swear I and my girlfriend were watching the game and I said no matter what do not leave Robert open and bam rashid did it. I am still sticking to my guns and the pistons will be the champs again. As I take my piston blinders off It was a great game. I did enjoy the back and forth. One more point I that struck me was how many minutes Rip had logged in. Could Delfino had given him a breather versus the human victory cigar. Pistons in 7

1:59 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:00 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

One more thing Rip should have passed it 2 Tayshaun who was open for a lay up

2:08 AM

Blogger DonVitoCorleone said...

Just a shame. Rasheed made one of the largest mental mistakes in the history of the finals.

Just a shame. What can you do?

2:56 AM

Anonymous ME again said...

People tend to forget-
Rasheed pretty much cost us the game in regualtion when he called the timeout, he was so LUCKY that the clock was (maybe) expired. IF that game was in SA, we wouldn't have gotten that break.

It's time to show what you're made of, pistons!

7:15 AM

Anonymous Me Again said...

What was rasheed smoking before the game?

"Wallace's description of the play was even more baffling. "I decided to double Tim Duncan down low, but [Horry] got the ball back and knocked down the shot."


Memo to 'Sheed: That was Manu Ginobili you doubled, not Duncan. In the corner, not down low. And in doing so, you left open one of the most fearsome clutch shooters in playoff history – as you ought to remember from your experiences with the Trail Blazers in the 2000 Western Conference finals. "

7:22 AM

Blogger dt said...

to real_right_way:

There is obviously nothing I can do to change your narrow mind, but your continued comments toward Chauncey Billups border on the absurd.

Chauncey spends the better part of 40+ minutes doing nothing but getting his teammates involved. Yet you make him out to be a Kobe-like ballhog.

He is the finest half court point guard in the league and half court is where championships are won. You can have the Jason Kidds and Steve Nashes of the world while I stick with Chauncey and we'll see who ends up on top.

7:36 AM

Blogger hitman said...

Sheed's knucklehead play may have produced the game winner but it did not lose the game for Detroit. They were unable to put a team away that was playing scared at the end and it cost them. With all that said they still had 5.9 seconds with the ball at half court and that was the best shot they could get off? Rip was rushing all game and tried to be the hero committing an offensive foul and hitting to the left of the rim leaving no chance for a tip-in, instead of passing to Tay for a wide open dunk (Ginobili did what Sheed did and left the man passing in the ball). Backs against the wall is one thing head in a guillotine with the cord released is another...

8:48 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


If 26 and 19 is "really tiny," what do you call the games of Ben, Rasheed, Prince and Hamilton.

M.I.A. perhaps.

8:57 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


I can think of very few situations where Chauncey made his teammates better.

Yeah, yeah the guy can score and is one of the best shooters in the league. But he is not a point guard that makes his team better. Bobo the Clown can come down and run a set offensive play.

When they need him to get his team going, what does he do, he can only take advantage of a switch and mis-match with a scorers mentality. I don't remember one time where he used the pick and role to get his teammate the ball. He used it to create a mis-match for himself. The Big's need to be fed to keep their minds in the game.

I didn't say he was Kobe. Nor did I say Kobe was a point guard either.

9:08 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

I hope Eva Longoria is in the stands again next game. The Spurs seem to play much better when she is around.

Plus the scenery is so much better. I trust the Piston fans kept the beer off of her. I saw a bodyguard the size of Shaq with her.

I'm sure the Piston fans didn't want that big guy going Stephen Jackson on them.

9:25 AM

Blogger Leelanau Sports Guy said...

Billups was the only reason Detroit even had a shot at the end of regulation or overtime. He is one of the top point guards in the game and arguably the Pistons best player (at least most clutch).

Not sure what Rasheed was thinking, and he is getting pounded by all the press for it. You just don't give up three point shots up by two in the final seconds, that's elementary basketball stuff. My 5th and 6th graders know better.

The Pistons needed to win that game to win the series. I hope they somehow prove me wrong, but I wouldn't bet on it.

9:38 AM

Blogger MortyCrass said...

ESPN certainly got what they wanted - classifying the whole thing as one man's meltdown.

I, for one, am not buying into it. Within the other 52+ minutes of play, there were other meltdowns to behold - Duncan's meltdown at the line, Rip's refusal to get Bowen out of his head and just play his game...and oh, LB's meltdown for not insisting on going to McDyess when Horry CLEARLY could not handle him.

Rasheed's actions are understandable, given that the Pistons have trapped Point Guards in the corner COUNTLESS times successfully. They probably thought they'd jam up Ginobli and game over.

I want to know why they couldn't run a better offensive play with 5 clicks left...plenty of time to set up a good shot with a weak side tip. THEY HAD TO KNOW CHAUNCEY WAS GOING TO BE TRIPLE COVERED!

9:45 AM

Blogger dt said...

rrw -

..not a point guard that makes his team better ??! I happen to think that he is the perfect point guard for this team, even if he does not fit the prototypical (and antiquated) notion of the position of point guard.

Just exactly who would be your ideal point guard in today's NBA? Keep in mind that half court is much more critical in the playoffs than full court or fast breaking offense.

Chaucney Billups' game is a poor man's version of Isiah - who seemingly wouldn't pass your muster as a point guard either. Both are shoot first players who deferred to teammates until the big time moments.

As far as utilizing the pick and roll, just exactly who is feeding Rip off the screens for the curl or flare jumpshots? Who has fed Ben Wallace continually off the wing pick and rolls actually making Ben an offensinve factor? Who recorded 7 assists and only 1 turnover in EACH of the last THREE games while handling the basketball virtually 90% of the time?

Look, I grant you that Chauncey is not the 'protypical' PG, but who is anymore? The game has changed. There is far less free lance and creativity in today's NBA, therefore the 'drive-and-dish' guy has become an anachronism. For that I blame the coaches, not players like Chauncey Billups. The guy is a tough ass winner. Period. It really gets frustrating that you call him out as the problem when guys like Hamilton, Prince and Sheed continually shy away from big moments.

I'd really like to see you list of 'great' point guards in the league right now, as well as those that you'd rather have leading the Pistons.

9:46 AM

Blogger dt said...

morty -

I agree with you that to minimize this game to ONE play - especially for the express purpose of placing blame - is ridiculous. But 'Sheed leaving Horry to double team is NOT understandable at all - not at that moment in the game. You simply do not EVER leave the in bound man at that point in the game.

Remarkably, Ginobili did the exact same thing on the Pistons' final play. Following his inbound pass to Rip, Tayshaun made a baseline cut as Ginobili turned to stop Hamilton. Prince was wide open for a bounce pass retrun from Rip whihc would have won the game for Detroit on a dunk by Tayshaun.

9:51 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

In hind sight they could have put Darko on Horry. He might have had a three busted on his head but he would not leave the man open if Brown told him to stick to him.

10:44 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

They told us in those black and white films we used to watch in elementary school. The most dangerous man on a play like that is the one who inbounds the ball.

10:45 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

I thought Chauncey made a couple of bad plays but he carried this team for long stretches. if not for him I am not sure the Pistons are even in the game.

10:46 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

I dont know if Rasheed was smoking. Lets just say mentally he was not into the game.

10:47 AM

Anonymous chousey said...

the fault of this game lies with two people: Rasheed and Rip Hamilton, and not for the mistakes mentioned here.

First of all, Rip had a game clinching play on his hands and blew it. As Horry went up for his dunk, Rip had position, had an offensive foul ready to be called on Horry - and bailed out at the last second like a little girl. Not only would the Pistons have had a 4 point lead with 1:25 to go, but that would have been Horry's 6th foul; he's done, and we're all asking TD at the press conference: "Hey Tim, is your breathing OK after you spent the final 10 mins of the game choking?"

And, as T-Fos so eloquently put it in his post, Rasheed made the most bone-headed play that we've seen in a while. Leaving the man whose rep is based on winning games with 3's? Leaving the man who's been KILLING you the entire 4th quarter and OT? LEAVING THAT SAME MAN FOR A 3 WHEN YOU'RE UP 2 WITH 9 SECS. TO PLAY!?! Inexcusable. Stupid. Lack of concentration. Bet we won't see a pic in the paper of his goofy ass smile tomorrow, will we?

One more note: Chauncey played a hell of a game. 34-5-7 is a great game, and he definitely put his team in a spot to win. This guy is (by the fans and media) the most underrated player in the league. Pistons win last night, and Chauncey is getting things said about him similar to what everyone was saying about Manu after the first 2. Great floor management. Not afraid to go to the rack at crunch time. Outstanding performance.

10:50 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


What is the, "prototypical (and antiquated) point guard in your opinion?

If it is someone who makes his teammates better, I guess I am talking about a "prototypical (and antiquated)" point guard.

Quite frankly, antiquated is thinking that half court basketball is more critical in the playoffs. If you have a team that can use the fastbreak/up-tempo game to their advantage, you use it.

Evidently, you have slowdown basketball tunnel vision. This is precisely why you can't see Billups' flaws.

Help me out here, what point guard in the league couldn't hit Rip on the curl. As I mentioned before this is a set play/scheme. BoBo the Clown could hit Rip on the curl.

Your comment about Ben being an offensive threat is laughable. I can't even begin to count the times that Chauncey gets the ball to Ben in a position where he can't do anything with it because he lacks the skills. A good point guard would set a guy like Ben up for easy baskets. Asking Ben to take the ball 10 ft away from the basket is suicide.

You need to look at the game a little closer. Is it Rasheed, Rip, and Tayshaun that shy away from the big moment or Chauncey that doesn't put them in a position to seaze the moment. Look at the film my friend.

My list of great point guards will follow.

11:36 AM

Blogger dt said...

My bottom line is simple. I want a point guard that maximizes my chances to win. Period. I don't think there are many (any?) in the NBA that do that better right now than Chauncey Billups.

I look forward to your list - although I am puzzled that you cannot simply rattle them off. If this type of argument takes any sort of 'research' then I think we are really in for some fun! ;o)

11:53 AM

Blogger dt said...

PS -

I am hoping that your list will include both current and past point guards

11:55 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


It is amazing how people get caught up in the box scores for one player but not another.

Billups took and missed several ill advised 3 pointers. I thought the crucial play came late in the game in regulation when he drove to the basket forced and missed a shot when he had a team mate open.

I find it interesting that when a Kobe has a game like this you call him a ball hog. When Chauncey does it, he is great. Go figure.

My list of point guards in the league that make their teams better.

Steve Nash
Mike Bibby
Jason Kidd
Baron Davis
Dwayne Wade (the most complete player of the group)

One stat if find extremely interesting is this past year, Kobe had more assist per game than Chauncey. Go figure.

11:57 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


I didn't put past, but the best of all times is easily Magic Johnson.

I could have rattled them off, but I didn't want a 5 mile long post.

11:59 AM

Blogger dt said...

Well, if nothing else, rrw, it was a pretty predictable list, but let me get one thing straight: Are you saying that this group does a better job of creating pure scoring chances for his teammates (hence makes them "better") or are you saying that each of these PGs would make Detroit a better team?

12:09 PM

Anonymous AC said...

Baron Davis???? r u kidding me, he is a shell... garbage, pure garbage.

12:13 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Both, each would make Detroit better.

To add to this discussion, Chauncey is a shooting guard, not a point guard. He is out of place, if I were to list the top PG's and SG's, I don't know that Chauncey would make the top 10.

I know that hurts, but that is reality.

From you perspective, where does Chauncey fit amongst the best guards in the league?

12:17 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


If Chauncey spent a few years down in New Orleans, and then on to Golden State, I'm sure you would say the same about him.

Baron will prove you critics wrong as a Warrior. Clearly though, Baron can see the court, Chauncey has poor court vision.

12:21 PM

Blogger billionaire said...

The real right way how about tony parker. He had a horrible game as well. If ginobilli was not dropping dimes the way he did Pistons would have easily won. Also in todays Nba even better on this team you need your point gaurd to score. Considering Ben in a liabilty lest not forget when we had two liabilites IE Micheal Curry and Ben starting yikes. I still won;t count this team out even though I picked them in 6. ALso nothing beats Rashid play I do look for him to make amends and if they win the series then All will almost be forgotten. I wonder if we had delfino versus the Human victory cigar would there be a difference

12:28 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Who was in charge of flip the switch for game 5? Have they been fired yet because they forgot to turn it on?

I thought Parkers game was solid. Particularly on defense.

Don't get me wrong folks, I'm not saying Billups had a bad game individually. What I am saying is he didn't get his team going when they needed it most. I think the Pistons were standing around watching Billups.

When your point guard has the ability and proclivity to get you the ball at anytime, you keep your head in the game. If not you tend to drift. I saw Ben, Rasheed, and Tayshaun drifting late in the game.

12:44 PM

Anonymous Nathan said...

No, it's not the way it is, so it doesn't hurt.

I wouldn't trade Billups for any player on that list. We all know Billups has flaws (worst being those quick 3 point attemps with 16 seconds left on the SC). But what point guard doesn't?

Nash is only mediocre on defense, and doesn't play the half court game as well as Billups/Kidd/Wade. He is the best improviser and passer, but is nothing spectacular when running a set play.

Bibby is probably a worse defender than Nash, but has a more consistent 3 point shot. He's more consistent at the 3 than Chauncey, but Chauncey is the better cluch player (obviously, Bibby isn't too shabby in that department).

Kidd is probably the best all-around passer. I think he's better setting up teammates in the half court than Nash, but he's not nearly as good of a finisher.

Davis? Seriously? What the guy above me said. He's a damn shell.

Wade is the best all-around on that list, and is the only one that I'd consider trading Chauncey for. However, I wouldn't do it, because I have a gut feeling that Wade is ready to go Kobe on us. I guess it's just my opinion, but the more the media raves about him, the bigger his head is going to get.

Billups is clearly the best clutch PG, and he's also the strongest and toughest. The thing about him is that even though he's not the best driver, or best passer, or best shooter, he's above average at all of them.

Signed, Nathan, supporting his favorite basketball team, even after a loss, not jumping on and off of the often mentioned "bandwagon."

4:05 PM

Blogger dt said...

First of all, it is not reality, it is your opinion. I'll debate this but let's not get too haughty here.

Let's take each player on your list, starting with Nash. There is no question that he is a pass first PG that looks to set up his teammates. But his impact with Phoenix was exaggerated this season because it also coincided with Quentin Richardson’s arrival and Amare Stoudemire’s return from injury. Also, how come Dallas’ record actually improved without Nash this season? Nash does play the position with more open court flare - more entertainemtn factor - but there is no way he makes the Pistons a better team than Billups - especially in the East.

Bibby, too, fits your prototype PG but why hasn’t Sacramento won more big games with the array of talent they’ve had? And not that stats tell everything, but I believe that both Vlade and Webber have each led the Kings in assists while Bibby has been the PG. I can’t imagine that Joe D. – or many other NBA GMs - would ever accept Bibby in a trade straight up for Billups.

Jason Kidd was the last of the true point guards but his time is past. He excelled in the open floor as well as the half court. But his half court game – and therefore his team’s potential – has suffered his entire career due to his lack of shooting ability. Also, ask yourself why Kenyon Martin has continued to put up the same consistent numbers in Denver without Kidd as he did in NJ with him.

Baron Davis at the point for Detroit with Chauncey Billups at the two would be an intriguing combination by the way, but that is not the argument here. Davis is the best half court point guard on your list but name me one thing he does significantly better than Billups whihc would offset his weak 3 pt and FT shooting?

And, finally, yes, Dwyane Wade is the most complete player of the group, but he is not a point guard, not unless you also consider Michael Jordan a point guard.

You’re right about Magic Johnson. He redefined the position. But other than he and Isiah Thomas – the only PGs other than Billups to win Finals MVP in the last 25 years - what truly ‘great” point guards have ever won NBA championships. They all seem to be those that “make their teammates better” but aren’t good enough to win it all.

The game has changed. “Pure” point guards no longer impact the game the way Bob Cousy did (and talk about a team that Bobo the Clown could have led!) Would you rather have John Stockton on your team or Isiah Thomas? Steve Nash or Dennis Johnson? In today’s NBA, teams are better off with the best ‘players’ at the point and on the floor in order to maximize their chances to win. And if you’re still not convinced, how about the fact that the list of starting point guards on NBA Championship teams the past fifteen years includes such notables as BJ Armstrong, Ron Harper, Derek Fisher and Avery Johnson??!

Look, as an MSU guy, I appreciate more than most the impact of having / not having a point guard haivng lived through it the past three years. But the days of the 'classic' point guard are gone. Billups makes Detroit a better TEAM and that's all that really matters.

7:25 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

dt & nathan,

There is a reason Chauncey has been traded throughout his career. So to your statement about, "many other GM's". There have been an awful lot that have not seen what Chauncey brings to the table.

I disagree, pure point guards do impact the game. Jason Terry is a great point guard, that would explain Dallas continuing to do well after Nash.

Detroit should bendover and kiss LB's butt, it's his system that makes these guys win. I still stand by my statement that BoBo the Clown could feed Rip on the curl.

Tell me, where does Chauncey fit in the top 10 guards in the league, or does he?

8:24 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

Hey nathan,

You don't have to be spectacular when running a set play. But for god sakes, don't be predictable.

This is where the real point guards stand out, they can run set plays and improvise and disguise them so the defense does know what you are running 80% of the time.

Billups can't.

8:31 PM

Blogger dt said...

I'm not debating that pure point guards don't impact the the game - they do. They just don't win championships. Billups does. Could he turn Golden State into a chmapionship team? No, but he could make them better just like your boy Baron Davis and probably teach them how to win better than Davis.

But would Phoenix and Dallas have better chances to win an NBA Championship with Billups running the point on either team. You bet they would and GMs know this now.

Billups is not the same player that he was when he was drafted by Boston, either, so your 'proof' that he has played for six teams is moot. He has improved since then - most notably under the guru of PG play - Larry Brown hismself - and while he is not one of the ten best overall guards in the league, his complete game makes him easily one of the top five point guards in the league.

Or put a different way, which point guards in the league do you think Joe Dumars would take in a straight trade for Billups? I'll even allow you to take salary cap ramifications out of play. Which point guards in the league today if traded for Billups straight up makes the Pistons a better team.

I'm not sure how it satisfies you to denigrate the first or second (with Ben) toughest, most consistent player on this team.

9:28 PM


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