Some of the wonderful things rattling around in this full brain 'o mine. UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY (or at least twice a week)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Cure for what ails the Pistons...

What happened Tuesday night was kind of a travesty...if you're a Pistons fan.

If it continues, it could be looked back on history as 2 things:

1) The startling and abrupt crumbling of the Pistons Big Game mystique.
2) The annointment of King James and his Roundtable into instant Title Contenders.

And nothing would make the media happier.

After the Cavs pushed the Pistons to 7 last year, and tired them to the point where they never recovered against the Heat, many were ready to put James and his Merry Band of miscreants into the Title picture. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if 7 out of 10 sportswriters picked the Cavs to take the #1 seed by 5+ games this year.

Alas, the Cavs stumbled. Unfortunately, in the East, stumbling equals the #2 seed in the conference, and because of a freak Gilbert Arenas injury (and to a lesser extent Vince Carter again crumbling in crunch time), the Cavs had the easiest path to the conference finals that any team has ever had.

I thought for sure that the Pistons, after sweeping a tough Magic team, and playing well for most of the 2nd round, would be better off when it came time for them to face the Cavs. I thought the Cavs would be full of themselves, while the Pistons had been somewhat humbled by Chicago's sudden turnaround to make Round 2 a series.

Boy, was I wrong.

What have I been treated to since this round began?

The Cavs have outplayed the Pistons every single game. What's scary is that even holding James to under 20 points, the Cavs had more than enough chances to win the two games at the Palace. Chauncey Billups' well documented troubles with the Cavs came back, and he's just not looking like the same player I've come to know and love over these last couple of years.

I think alot of this has to do with the Cavs Defense, which I just don't think has been given enough credit. The Cavs are swarming, giving the Pistons different looks, trapping the easiest plays that the Pistons obviously have taken for granted. Billups is rushing, which for him, is never a good thing. I haven't seen him this screwed up since the first half of 2004 when Larry Brown was in his head on every possession.

What remains is a best of 3, with the Pistons still holding home court. If the Pistons lose tomorrow at the Palace, the series may not be over...but I'd put the Cavs' chances at better than 75% that they finish the Pistons in 6.

What needs to be done to take the Pistons into the Finals for the 3rd time in 4 years?
1) Chauncey needs to slow down and breathe.
He is rushing, making bone-headed plays at the end of games. He needs to just relax. Not push, and let the game come to him.

2) Sheed needs to maintain his cool.
For God's sake, he needs to calm down. I've been ultra-impressed with him this postseason, and he needs to continue to play up to this new standard.

3) Rip needs to be involved the whole game.
For the most part, he's been involved in the 1st quarter, and then I barely notice he's on the court until 2 minutes left in the game. If he's on the floor, start running more staggered screens to get him open for shots.

4) Play CWebb and Hunter/Delfino in the 4th.
Look, I know McDyess is better than CWebb defensively. But, maybe, to open the 4th for maybe the first 5 or 6 minutes, put in Hunter or Delfino (to throw a wrench against Lebron/Gibson/Hughes) and put CWebb in to help facilitate the offense more. In the 4th, the Cavs have clamped down, and Billups just hasn't been able to break their traps for the most part. Put CWebb at the elbow, let Hunter or Delfino and /Prince/Rip run cuts trying to get easy access to the hoop. I think it would give the Cavs a different look they haven't seen for the most part that they wouldn't be able to clamp down on.

Here's hoping there's still baskball for Deeeeeeeetroit fans after this weekend....

No comments: