Ugly game but that's how they like it
That was a dog of a game.
But if you’re the Pistons, dogs are a man’s best friend.
Sixty-six fouls, 67 free throws, two hours 49 minutes. All the flow of sludge. Sweet.
With Chauncey Billups struggling and Rasheed Wallace basically uninvolved most of the night, it was exactly what the Pistons needed and they did it to near perfection.
I don’t know if they can slow it down and make it ugly enough to win on the road, but I’ve learned over the years to never count them out.
The Celtics continue to confound. They looked horrible for long stretches, their point guard play was abysmal but it’d be just like them to do an about-face and look like the 66-win team when they get back home tomorrow.
I picked the Pistons in six when this thing started, I guess I should stick with it.
But the way these teams have played, you can certainly envision a scenario where Detroit wins in Boston and then Boston wins in Detroit and we all head back to Beantown for Game 7 on Sunday night.
I don’t know if there’s a better Detroit story than Antonio McDyess, which I’ll explore more fully in the paper version of this tomorrow.
Blows out knee in 2001, blows it out again in 2003, re-invents self as smooth shooting big. Nice kid. Can’t think of anyone not happy for him.
I remember back in 1995 when the Raptors were trying to figure out who they’d take with whatever draft pick they had. I can remember one of Isiah’s trusted lieutenants telling me much they loved the kid from Alabama and if they had a chance, they were going to take him.
The day before Game 4, he’s listening to a conversation between Juan Dixon and Chauncey Billups and he’s hearing Juan saying everything was going to be all right.
That’s when McDyess spoke up and said it was time to stop talking and get it done on the court. It’s the new Leader McDyess.
"Yeah, because I’m kind of fed up with excuses,” he said after Game 4. “Since I’ve been here we kind of have had excuses why we haven’t won another championship … and I feel that if I don’t say nothing vocally that we would have an excuse this year. I don’t want us to have no excuses.”
Here’s one from the mailbag:
Q: Non-Raps related, but to answer why (Tony) Parker doesn’t get any MVP consideration well it doesn’t help if you are only the third best player on your own team. Besides, he might have played Nash to a tie, although Nash obviously wasn't the one guarding him. Paul, however, was clearly the better player in the series overall. But, to get to my question and it has something to do with Euro players (I include Ginobli, etc., in here if they played in Europe before coming to the NBA) doesn't it seem that all the top Euro players where drafted outside the top 10 aka Ginobili, Parker, Nowitzki, Divac, Kukoc, Sabonis, Radja, Petrovic?....the only exception being Pau Gasol...unless I am forgetting someone - while most of the ones that make it into the lottery end up being so-so or even busts?
Jeff D, London, UK
A: Well, most of those guys (and Nowitzki was a No. 9 selection and traded from Milwaukee to Dallas in what has to go down as a deal in the He Who Shall Not Be Named department) spent time in Europe after they were drafted before heading to the NBA.
That might have something to do with it, don’t you think?
Parker, of course, is the exception but it took him a while to gain the trust of his coach.
But you’re right on a few top 10 busts. Nikoloz Tskitishvili comes quickly to mind in the “bust” department.
Bryan Colangelo’s got another thing to deal with in Florida today.
And it’s something that will have an impact on every team in the league.
Colangelo’s a member of the league’s competition committee and the steering committee that’s part of that group and they’ll be talking about an increase in instant replay this morning in Orlando.
As we’ve seen with a handful of clock mistakes throughout the season and the playoffs, there’s no reason not to expand how replay can be used.
Maybe that takes giving coaches “challenges” or something like that but that’s a slippery slope. Coaches will whine and challenge at the slightest provocation and the last thing we need is a steady parade to the video replay table.
Something has to change, but not too drastically.
If you’re interested, here’s the list of the 15 potential top draft picks who’ll take part in the Orlando pre-draft camp. Remember, they won’t do much other than take physicals and do some testing. The only basketball will be “light drills” so it’ll be hard to get a true handle on many of them.
Joe Alexander, Darrell Arthur, D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Donte Green, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez, Kevin Lowe, O.J. Mayo, JaVale McGee, Anthony Randolph, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.
None of the top-rated Euros – Danilo Gallinari and Nicolas Batum chief among them – are there.
Who do we like tonight?
I’m taking the Lakers, with great trepidation, though. And it’s going to rest on Lamar Odom.
Odom should be able to dominate Fabricio Oberto any time he wants and listening him take responsibility for the loss the other night makes me think he’s going to have a big one in Game 4.
Of course, if the Lakers don’t do something to stop Tim Duncan, who got an easy 20-20 game killing Pau Gasol the other night, the Spurs could very well reduce that series to a best-of-three.
And if both conference finals get to that stage, it might provide the drama that’s been missing for almost the entire playoffs.