Senior HTF Member
- Sep 26, 1999
Boom and that does it. The Pistons are playing the Lakers. This could be very interesting indeed.
I would probably think that the Pacers and Pistons will be here again next season...so I'm looking forward to that.You might be one of the only ones...this game was awful for the most part though it did pick up a bit at the end. The shooting especially in quarter number 2 was horrid. I know that some of that is due to good defense, but good defense and not being able to make shots consistently just makes things worse and worse.
Look it pains me to say this, because I like the Pistons fans in here. It pains me to say this because I am one of the few non-Piston fans that dug the bad boys back in the late 80's early 90's, and it pains me to say this because its been a long time coming for this franchise, but realistically I just don't see them having much of any shot to win barring an injury. I want a competitive finals, and I want one that will be better than what we got last year, and I believe that will happen. I hope it goes 6 but wouldn't be surprised if it only went 4.
You might not believe me because after all I am a fan of their opponents and would've picked L.A. to win anyway, but I'm hoping for a better series than I'm expecting.
Detroit, you earned it. I got my finals match-up correct and that makes me extra happy.
Indiana...well what can I say? They're not done yet, they'll be back around, partially because they are a good team and partially because they're in a weak conference. I hate to shovel dirt on the grave, but I think the team had a better record than they really should've. I don't know, but I'm just going to assume that their poor shooting was limited to this series, because if it weren't I'd have to really wonder how they managed to be the league's only 61 win team.
The ESPN guys ragged on this game something fierce at halftime, I was almost expecting them to say, "Why don't you see what's on ESPN 2 instead?"
So it all comes down to this
The Eastern Conference Champions, the Detroit Pistons
The Western Conference champions, The Los Angeles Lakers
for the NBA Championship of 2003-04.
Sunday, 9 PM ET on ABC. I can't believe that starting time BTW.
I hope that healthy players on both sides and not the officials or injuries can decide the series, regardless of who wins.
but I'm just going to assume that their poor shooting was limited to this series,It wasn't. It started to pop up even in parts of the Boston series. But for the season it was much, much better. I'm telling you that without Jamal this team's offense goes right in the toilet, just like it did without Mark Jackson a few years ago. People bitched about his slow feet and semi-good outside shooting, but the dude made the offense run.
When Tinsley is healthy and on so does he. To me the biggest problems for Indy in the post-season was the need to address the issues of transition of key players. Reggie IS NOT the man now. Yes he had a couple of moments and games, but he should have been in BYRON SCOTT'S role for the mid-90's Pacers, the vet that comes in and gives you the occassional boost.
Yet in the playoffs they pushed toward him MORE. That's just a failure to deal with reality. The same thing happened with Tinsley when he got hurt. Rick left him out there way too long trying to let him be the injured hero type. I admire Jamal trying and wanting to do it, but sometimes you have to be the bad guy and say "kid, ya ain't got it tonight".
That was Rick's one issue in the postseason. Reluctance to hurt people's feelings.
BTW, I take it from Mike's post that Anderson got in the game. I can tell you right now without seeing the game that this was a huge mistake. Dude got smoked twice, once by MIA with the big lead, once by DET with the big lead. When he was playing regular he was decent, but after sitting so much he looked like CBA garbage. Too short as well which made him Billups bait in game 4.
Indy will hang AC out but the Bobcats won't take his contract. I think you can protect 8, right? If so I see Indy listing -
and maybe Miller, but this is an iffy one.
Anderson will sign elsewhere, AJ might get taken, and Indy would love to move AC's contract and sign a scorer (a guy like Brent Barry wouldn't be bad...too bad they didn't get Jon Barry in this last year after some serious discussions about it). Not sure what will happen with Primo and the other Jones.
LA fans think they know, but they just don't. I saw Shaq "defend" in 2000, and he doesn't. The guy often doesn't even get his hands over his head.I'm not sure what you mean by that L.A. fans think they know, but they just don't comment...but, I will agree that Shaq is not a real good defender and more often then not a lazy defender.
However, part of this is at least somewhat due to the fact that the center position is weaker now than at any other time that I can remember. You've got power-forwards pretending to be centers, you've got centers that can't score...everything. Its not like back when it was Shaq, Ewing, Robinson Hakeem and so on.
Shaq knows that really their is no center threat to him right now, and when its this obvious, unfortunately sometimes it causes laziness.
Seth, it sounds like you had a good night in spite of the game...although you should be extra glad you haven't watched the second quarter yet. It was at that point in the game, I knew whoever came out the winner was walking in to an asskicking. I don't expect the Lakers to be as lazy in this series as they were in the Minnesota series...although it could happen, this is the title series, the most important one.
Detroit had 27 at the half tonight
L.A. had 28 at the end of 1 last night.
Realistically, Detroit is going to face a team that has home court and is 9-0 at home in this post season...going to be well-rested (although both teams will have time off), a team that likes to make statements in game 1 (well accept against the Spurs where game 1 wasn't until game 3) and a team where guys off the bench can get hot enough to do damage when it is needed most, and it can be different guys different nights.
So, Lakers in 5 and I haven't the foggiest for MVP...probably Shaq.
On the NBA.com thing I believe I picked L.A. in six after tonight I was considering them in 4, and was also thankful that it was not San Antonio and Detroit...no good would've come of it.
BTW, I take it from Mike's post that Anderson got in the game. I can tell you right now without seeing the game that this was a huge mistake.Seth, It was just awful. If you happen to watch the game...just start FF'ing once he comes in (two different times), because if you don't...you will be cursing his name for months! I think he had 3-4 TO's in 5 or 6 Minutes of playing.
The Artest Flagrant foul was a killer too. Artest was cheap-shoted by Hamilton in the junk, and then Ron retaliated (now, not as badly as they made it out to be on ESPN, but still VERY stupid!) and that cost them 4 PTS right there. This was with 2+ minutes to go (maybe 4+) can't remember...
I wish Jeff Foster would have been utilized more in this series (even though he is not much of a scorer)...I still think they could have run some plays for him after his sucess in the Miami series. But DET's Defense was the factor in Jeff's lack of playing time most definitely. I still think he should have been used more than 2 minutes last night though.
All in all - good game, especially if you throw out the first halfAnd the end
I wouldn't mind seeing Bender left unprotected and taken in the expansion draft. I just don't think this kid can take it to the next level. But, what do I know?
I really like Croshere (always have) - though his Defense is pretty shoddy at times. I think not playing much those seasons while Zeke was in town really stunted his growth as a baller.
I think signing Brent Barry would be an awesome move for the Pacers this offseason. They need someone who is a 3 PT specialist and can also drive to the rack (much like what Croshere has been doing) but also one that can finish (what Croshere hasn't had much success at to this point). Barry made $5.4M and wil probably get $7-8M with a new deal this season. Supossedly, Denver and San Antonio are interested in him, and Indiana was interested the last I heard any rumors before the playoffs started.
The Artest Flagrant foul was a killer too. Artest was cheap-shoted by Hamilton in the junk, and then Ron retaliated (now, not as badly as they made it out to be on ESPN, but still VERY stupid!)I do not see how anything that Rip did on that play could be called a cheap-shot. He backed into Artest while trying to post up and bumped him with his rear end, as players do all the time in the post. Artest retaliated with a deliberate forearm to the head of Hamilton. The play definitely deserved a flagrant foul call, and it killed the Pacers. Without that moronic play, the series may have gone back to Indianapolis for a Pacers seventh game victory.
Anyway, I do not think anyone except the most blatant "Piston with blinders on" fan expects Detroit to beat the Lakers in a seven game series. Once again, the Pistons would need to win in six games, because there is no way they would win a Game 7 on the road in LA. I think two victories against LA is the most that can be expected of this matchup. Therefore, I'll go with LA in six games.
Hopefully this will follow the same blueprint that the Bad Boys Pistons did in the late '80's, progressing each year to the next level. That would mean a title in 2005. Of course, Dumars still has some work to do if that's going to happen.
If Detroit can do to L.A. what they did to Indiana (i.e., hold them to 67 points or less 3 or more times and never let them score more than 83 points), then I'll believe it was the defense. If the Lakers get into the 90s, and especially if they can break 100, then there's no way that it wasn't mostly bad offense. But we'll see.Not necessarily the other games, but the lack of scoring on game 6 was not due to good defense. It was just a bunch of guys who could not score.
So bad that Reggie missed not one but two free throws in the final minutes.
And now for all of the good that he did this year, Artest will live yet another year with a hothead label. Someone who puts his own feelings of the moment above the interests of the team. It makes no difference if it was payback or not—you can’t afford that kind of foul in the waning minutes of a close game.
And one thing I think the East is forgetting: the Lakers are physical as well. They have to tone it down for the Western conference, where the style of play is different and the fouls are called a little differently. But you think Big Ben is going to outmuscle Shaq? That Tayshaun is going to do to Kobe what he did to Miller?Prince guarded Artest, not Miller. Hamilton guarded Miller most of the series.
So bad that Reggie missed not one but two free throws in the final minutes.This is just not true...Reggie only took one free throw all night (on the Hamilton Technical Foul after the Artest incident) and missed that one...
And I'll echo what Seth has been saying all along..as Tinsley goes so do the Pacers...Tinsley played 3 minutes of game 6 and left the game with the Pacers in full command of the game (though it was early). I just wish he would have been healthy for this series.
In that respect, I wish the Pistons the best of luck against the Lakers...they are pretty much 100% healthy (minus R. Wallace and his foot) and that definitely will give them a better shot to beat the Lakers than the Pacers would have had if they had gotten to the Finals.