Saturday, May 24, 2008

NBA Blogging: Why I Think Detroit Will Win (Tonight)

Now that Detroit has done the seemingly impossible and put a big stake in the heart of Boston's home court invincibility, it's easy to be optimistic about this series. It's by no means over and could change around in a heartbeat, but Detroit has both the home court advantage and also the better chance to win.

The reason is that Boston's been a different team on the road than it has at home. Three of the next four games in the series take place at the Palace, too, so now all the pressure is on them to get off their slide and to climb their way out of their hole while Detroit just has to keep doing what they've been doing (Which is to say, keeping that vaunted switch firmly in the on position. I don't think we're going to see another game like Game 1 out of them soon although you never can tell. Really, though, I never expected them to win that one, Game 2 was the one they were likely to steal. And as bad as they looked in that opening match, the lesson I took away from it wasn't that Boston was the superior team. It was that the Pistons played an awful game and they came awfully close to winning it anyways. What I saw in that game was that the Pistons can play with the Celtics. And what we saw in Game 2 was that at their best the Celtics can barely play with the Pistons.).

I don't care if Ray Allen has another great game or if he's somehow managed to steal somebody's else's legs. Reports of his demise were greatly over-exaggerated. Just as reports of his revival are being over-played. He's been having a rough postseason to be sure but last game was his third 25 point game of the playoffs. He can play well and it still won't matter.

Because the difference between Boston at home and Boston on the road has been their bench. The way they played at Cleveland and at Atlanta was the way they played in Boston during Game 2. Which is to say they've been non-factors in those road games while they've generally been egged on by their home crowd to something more. And as we saw on Thursday, Boston's Big Three can't beat Detroit's Significant Six (Or Magnificent Seven. Where the heck's Maxiell gone this series? I know McDyess is playing lights out but Maxiell was chipping in nicely as a sub before...) by themselves. Detroit's starters and Boston's starters had nearly the same exact point totals in Game 2. The difference was Rodney Stuckey. If their playoff history is any guide that's only going to get worse for Boston on the road.

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