Game One- Detroit Leads 1-0
You’ll get two different reactions after the result of Game One, the first from Detroit fans would “See we told you, it’s all about the defense” and the Laker fans would have something like this to say, “It’s only one game”.
While both would have a point clearly LA did not show-up Sunday but at the same time Detroit, though one of their best defensive efforts, could do even better against a Laker team that looked totally indifferent toward playing defense.
So what happened in Game One, well first in Game Two if LA wants to win, they should let the rest of the guys, not just Kobe and Shaq, know that there’s a game that night. Gary Payton, and Karl Malone COMBINE for 7 points is not going to win you any games whether your playing Detroit or Golden State. These are hall-of-fame players they need to step it up and maybe be a little more selfish and aggressive on Tuesday. For the other guys, Fisher, Rush etc. they all played pretty bad, but they also didn’t contribute anything on defense or in any little ways to help get the Lakers some easy looks, which against Detroit you need to have. In a nutshell LA stunk and come Tuesday you know Phil Jackson will have his whole team ready for an almost do-or-die type game for the Lakers.
Detroit came out and let everyone know their defense can play against anybody, and they got enough firepower to spread your defense quite thin. But the thing the Pistons did so well was the “intangibles” the things not really seen in the box scores, contesting all shots (even Kobe’s break-away lay-up that Tayshaun Prince made sure he at least wouldn’t get a dunk), making guys hesitate (Fisher 4th quarter at the rim hesitates because he thinks Ben Wallace was going to jump), and most of all as Detroit has done all year no easy baskets, even Shaq’s 13-for-16 from the field performance was more about him being on then bad defense. Elden Campbell to me was huge, 6 points (missed 4 foul shots though), 4 assists, 2 blocks, and very solid “D” against Shaq. Rip Hamilton seemed to force allot of stuff, but Rasheed Wallace was awesome, the guy takes
4 shots and ends up with 14 points, talk about proficiency. If the Pistons don’t get too far ahead of themselves, which I think Larry Brown’s 76ers did after winning Game 1 three years ago, Detroit can win this series.
But the thing we all need to keep in mind is whether Detroit can play with LA if the Lakers come to play, from this point on though there are no more excuses, no “feeling each other out”, the games on and Detroit just through the gauntlet right into LA’s face.
Programming note: This may just be me but who cares about the celebrities courtside?? Next they’ll have cameras in so-and-so’s house capturing them watching the game on their jumbo screen, c’mon gimme a break with all the cut-aways, former NBA players fine they’re prevalent to the game, Jackie Chan and Kid Rock, no.