2003-2004 NBA Season

Casey Trowbridg

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I'm the one that called Detroit an average team, and while they may be only slightly above that, I still stand by it.

This is not like football where the offensive and defensive players are different...if you sub in a guy in the NBA that can defend well but not score, that hurts you on the offensive end of the court. As I said before, holding the Lakers to 68 points would be very impressive, but if you're only scoring 60 points a game then your right back where you started anyway.

But, I will not accept that each team is independent from its competition if that were true then during that last series we wouldn't have had to ask ourselves if it was great defense or horrible offense.

I relate it to a boxer that has an impressive win/loss record, but never fights the top contender. The boxer could be 50-0 with 50 KO's, but if he hasn't beaten anyone of note, there is still a question of how good he really is.

In football, a good offense or a good defense can carry you because of the fact it is different players. Why did San Antonio take Bruce Bowen out of games late in that series? The answer is because while he was a good defender he couldn't score, which is what they needed and so him being out there dragged the team down. You can be so good at one thing and barely competent at another and be a big star in this league, but hell in the case of the Pistons this team wouldn't last 5 minutes with the bad boys because not only could they defend...but they could actually put the ball in the ucket. Again with the comparison to football people don't regard the Baltimore Ravens that won the Superbowl as a good team, but as a team with a great defense.

Honestly on another thought, I don't know if I buy the whole the Lakers want to win the title on their home court deal. They had championship celebrations on the road in New Jersey and Philadelphia, and IMO the mentality is lets get this over with ASAP. This is the series where I expect maximum effort because this more than all the other games, is the series that matters.

I'm beginning to want to pick L.A. in 4 games, but I'll stand by what I said at the beginning of the playoffs.
 

george kaplan

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I truly believe that the Lakers are superior to Detroit. However, I also have seen the Lakers put in half-assed efforts too many times. If I knew that the Lakers would play their hardest, I'd be all with you guys picking them in 4 or 5. But given the uncertanties in Laker effort, I wouldn't be surprised to see it go anywhere from 4 games to 7 games. And while I would be surprised to see Detroit take the series, if the Lakers don't put in the effort, Detroit could easily upset them.

Lucky you.


Here's the latest from Spurs fan. They know, just absolutely know that the Lakers are going to win the series. Why? Because the NBA is like the WWF. It's fixed. It must be. There's no other way to explain how the Lakers beat the Spurs. Clearly the refs purposely call phantom fouls, or don't call real fouls, in order to make sure the game comes out however Stern has dictated.

Of course there is disagreement about how deep the conspiracy goes. Some think it's only the refs. Others think the teams themselves (except for the Spurs of course) are also part of the WWF fakery. So, either Detroit has orders to throw the game, or the refs will make sure that the Lakers win.

Oh, and they also are pontificating on Phil Jackson vs. Auerbach. No way in hell is Phil Jackson a better coach than Auerbach, and certainly not better than Popovich. Hell the only reason Jackson won all those rings was cause he had such great players. Oh, and the conspiracy of course. But still he's never won without great players.

Of course, those particular great players played many years in the NBA with other coaches and never won. And very few NBA coaches have won championships without great players. But if you point that out, you just don't understand basketball as well as Spurs fans do!

San Antonio - a pretty nice place to live that would be a hell of a lot nicer if there weren't so damned many ignorant Spurs fans here.
 

Carlo Medina

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Casey, I would agree that to the ones who've been there before, Shaq, Kobe, Fish, etc. it doesn't matter where they win. But there is a sense of satisfaction winning it at home because the fans are cheering (and yes, Malone will get loudly booed at the Palace, and most places actually) for your victory. I think they want to win for Malone, and to a lesser extent GP, at home so they can be cheered and experience the thrill of winning it w/ an arena full of people behind you. That's why I think the essentially threw Game 5 vs. Indy in 2000 because none of them had won it. The next two years they were all business, of course.

We'll see, though.
 

Casey Trowbridg

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You know what's funny, if their were a pro L.A. conspiracy in the NBA, then would that not mean that the Spurs winning last year was a part of it, and they didn't actually earn it.

I mean lets look at it like this. Last year, San Antonio wins the title, this makes the Lakers want to sign GP and Malone who have never won rings...so that this year, the league can hype those guys possibly last shot to win a ring. It makes a great story. I also suppose that the NBA fixed all those Kobe court dates to be the same day as games, because after all the league surely must have known that Kobe would shoot the lights out in some of those games right? They must have put a tracking device on the ball in Portland to make sure the last shot went in and the Lakers played San Antonio in round 2 and not round 3 which IMO would be pretty dumb, because wouldn't you want your top match-up to be in the finals and not the second round?

Here's another 1, what are the Spurs taking to keep quiet about the conspiracy. I mean in the WWE the guy that loses knows he's going to lose, so if this were like that, then wouldn't the Spurs be in on the fix? If so what are the fans complaining about, because if the Spurs are in on the fix, and don't complain about it they must not hate it that much right?

Here's another puzzler, in the mid 1990's there was a year that the Lakers did not make the playoffs, I believe they drafted Eddie Jones that season, but...why didn't the league to stack the deck more in their favor rig the lottery to give them the top pick?

Basically, I feel sorry for George for having to put up with that garbage.

I still say that the Lakers will play at their game throughout the whole series, because this is the one that they want to win. All the other stuff got them to this point, and if they don't care enough to put in the effort in 4 finals games in a row then quite honestly they don't deserve the ring.
 

Carlo Medina

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Excellent, excellent game by the Pistons. I don't anticipate that the Lakers will come back.

Larry Brown really makes me sad, because he left my alma mater UCLA before he really had a chance to make an imprint. I really believe he would have carried Wooden's torch (not necessarily won as many championships, but kept the quality level high) if he had stayed at UCLA for more than his 2 years.

He developed a masterful game plan today.

Now, just like vs. SA, we will see the Lakers adjust. And it's that adjustment that has gotten Jackson all those championships. This is where he'll earn his money.

I predicted this would go 6, but I didn't think they'd lose Game 1. I actually thought they might split at home but take 2 of 3 in Detroit and win it at home in Game 6. Now they have to hold on Tuesday or my predictions go out the window.
 

Brandon_T

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Good Job by the Pistons tonight, Carlo, one of the differences between SA and Detroit I think is that Pop, didn't adjust to the adjustments, LB will do that.
 

Patrick Sun

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So, if you're Phil Jackson, what changes do you make to counter the rope-a-dope strategy (let only Kobie and Shaq score, shut everyone else down on the Lakers)?

I think Karl and Fisher have to step it up scoring-wise.
 

Shane Martin

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Well the Big 2 of the Lakers got theirs but that's all they got. Excellent Defensive effort made by the Pistons.
So, if you're Phil Jackson, what changes do you make to counter the rope-a-dope strategy (let only Kobie and Shaq score, shut everyone else down on the Lakers)?
Nothing really. Just nobody showed up or they did and when they did the Pistons told them to sit down. Their D tonight was like a deathgrip.

Another interesting thing is how Brown was able to keep Rasheed out of what appeared to me the majority of the 2nd quarter. Rasheed didn't appear to complain about it either.
 

Jan H

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Congrats, Brandon, and all you Pistons fans (and Laker haters). I'm more than happy to eat crow on this one, because you deserve it. The Lakers got spanked tonight. The Pistons outhustled, outsmarted and outplayed the Lakers, flat out. Only Shaq showed up. That is not going to get it done against these guys. Larry Brown utterly outcoached the Zen-master tonight. Kudos!
 

Jan H

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The only change that needs to be made (and if they don't, the Lakers might be the ones to get swept), is that the Lakers must match the Pistons defensive intensity. The Pistons are a below-average offensive team, but they had plenty of open looks tonight and might have scored 100 had they not made as many mistakes as they did. Still, if I'm Phil, I'm going to let Ben Wallace take as many open J's as he likes. In any case, it was a great win for a very deserving Pistons team that I, and I suspect, the Lakers, underestimated.
 

Casey Trowbridg

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I'll keep this short.

Congradulations to the Pistons on their victory tonight, I didn't think they had it in them.

That's all I'll say, I didn't see the game, I won't comment on it, and I'll just leave it at congratulations.

Not that anyone cares, but I've had some personal stuff just hit me like a ton of bricks in the past few hours...and so the game didn't seem all that important.
 

Rob Tomlin

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The Pistons defense played pretty good tonight, but not that good. The Lakers simply looked horrible on offense (except for Shaq) and acted like nobody knew what to do (except for Shaq).

Even though Kobe got his points, he didn't have a particularly good game, with a low field goal percentage.

This was the Lakers team I was afraid might show up tonight!
 

Brandon_T

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Thank you Jan, very big of you. I think this has the potential to be a great series.

Casey, I hope all turns out well I my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Brandon
 

Brandon_T

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The Lakers simply looked horrible on offense (except for Shaq) and acted like nobody knew what to do (except for Shaq).
And that is what EVERY team has said so far, Mil, NJ, and Ind. Its not them, we are just missing our shots. Of course you are cuz someone has a hand in your face. I love Piston basketball.
 

Rob Tomlin

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By the way Jan, have you ever seen the Lakers match the Pistons defensive intensity at any time during this entire season?

Other than Shaq's rebounding, the Lakers have been a rather average defensive team for the most part.
 

Rob Tomlin

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And that is what EVERY team has said so far, Mil, NJ, and Ind. Its not them, we are just missing our shots. Of course you are cuz someone has a hand in your face. I love Piston basketball.
Brandon-

I don't know what your point is. I specifically stated that the Pistons defense played good, just not "that" good. I have seen enough Lakers basketball this year to know that they can play MUCH better offensively than they did tonight, regardless of how good the defense of the other team is.

Larry Brown is a great coach, and I have always been a fan of his. I knew he would have the Pistons ready to play.
 

Jan H

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Rob, yes, I have. I was on the 17th row at Staples for Game 3 in the Spurs series (the one that started the charge), and they absolutely locked down everything the Spurs wanted to do. They are capable of playing excellent defense. If they do, they will still win this series. If they don't, they'll lose. Simple as that.
 

Carlo Medina

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Let's give Brown a ton of credit. This was actually the first time I've ever seen this strategy employed: stop everyone else and let Shaq and Kobe "get theirs".

Every team that plays the Lakers try to contain one or both, and that's why the role players flourish. I guess the common logic has always been if you let Shaq and Kobe get 60+, the rest just by being in the building have to be able to account for 25 points. Clearly not the case tonight.

But we'll see Jackson's adjustments in Game 2, and if they are successful, Brown will have a chance to show his quality over previous coaches by adjusting to the adjustments, something that as mentioned before, Pop didn't do successfully in the Spurs series.
 

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