Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pistons Blogging: You Must Watch the Embed

The Pistons beat the Celitcs in their holiday showdown between the beasts of the East yesterday. And you know what that means:

Remix! Your life is not complete until you've watched that through to the end, by the way.

Usual caveats apply here. Only one game out of however of the too many they play in the regular season. Doesn't mean much, doesn't portend anything for the post-season where, if there are gods in the basketball heaven, these two teams will surely meet. But, it does confirm a few of my suspicions.

First, that Boston is slightly - and I must stress slightly - overrated. They've had a soft schedule in the first quarter of the year. This is the first time they've met up with Detroit and they haven't faced an extended road trip out West yet either. In other words, they haven't played the best competition. So while their stats are eye-popping they're somewhat lessened by the fact they've been beating up on creampuffs to start the year and running up their record, just like the national title contenders do in college football. You play the games you're given and all but you can count me as one of the non-believers of the theory that the Celtics are the most awesomest team ever and Garnett is the second coming of Basketball Jesus and the rest that comes with a sparkling regular season record that doesn't mean anything. Good team, they have some flaws, and they're beatable. Say the same about everyone in the East right now. Should make for a hell of a series in the playoffs, though. And nice to see the rekindling of the old Detroit/Boston rivalry. Still can't believe Zeke threw that pass away...

Second, that in a potential series, I happen to like the Pistons chances. This is not only because I am a huge homer and would pick them no matter what and then attempt to twist logic and reality to explain just why they're destined to win. But also because I think the Pistons will be better at controlling tempo. They're also a much more experience, playoff hardened team (I think, a little too hardened and the window is swinging shut, mind and I'm still puzzled why Dumars didn't blow the team up over the summer since they couldn't win last year and they've now brought everyone back a year older to try to do it all over again while a lot of teams have only improved? Right, that's going to end well.) but forget the calm, clutch behavior that comes with having been in those tense closing moments before. What really won that game for the Pistons was how they slowed the game down and dominated defensively, especially in the second half. I expect, if they can do that in an energized Boston arena, they can do it again.

Third, that just because he has a good team it hasn't magically made Doc Rivers into a good coach. I'd prefer to believe that my Pistons won the game but I'll also concede that Rivers did a lot to give it away with some really boneheaded playcalling down the stretch. Again, I like that potential match-up when it comes to a playoff series.

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